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it may be well to look back to a period still more remote. The religious liberty which had been so largely enjoyed during the period of the Commonwealth (1653 —58) was immediately restrained, if not wholly suppressed, on the accession of Charles the Second to the throne. Presbyterian church government was abolished throughout the kingdom and Episcopacy established. Three hundred ministers, who refused submission to the prelates placed over them, were ejected without form of trial, from their churches. By act of Parliament the king was declared to be " the only lawful supreme governor of the realm as well in matters spiritual and ecclesiastical as in things temporal." The sore persecutions that followed during the reigns of Charles and James the Second are familiar to all readers of the annals of Scottish Presbyterianism. But the revolution of 1688 followed, and William the Prince of Orange, and Mary, his wife, were placed upon the throne. Religious liberty was now proclaimed throughout the kingdom and Presbyterianism restored to Scotland. But so great was the desire of the government to avoid ecclesiastical excitement that the General Assembly of the church was induced to permit several hundred Episcopal incumbents, who during the preceding reigns had been placed in their charges, to retain those charges on The single condition that they would now submit to that Presbyterian system which they had before been laboring to overthrow. These men were little credit to any division of the church. Bishop Burnet, the friend and adviser of William and Mary, the distinguished author of the "History of the Reformation," and of "The Church in His Own Times," who cannot be suspected of any groundless prejudice against these men, says of them, "They were the worst preachers I ever heard; they were ignorant to a reproach, and many of them were clearly vicious. They were a disgrace to their orders, and were indeed the dregs and the refuse of the northern parts. Those of them that rose above contempt and scandal were men of such violent tempers that they were as much hated as the others were despised."
The influence of these men was soon felt not merely in spreading the leaven of error, but in weakening the spiritual life and power of the church. Men in high places,—the Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow, and the Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the same institution,—when arraigned before the bar of the Assembly on the charge of teaching doctrines in direct opposition to some of the fundamental principles of evangelical religion, were either dismissed without censure, or, being censured, were still permitted to retain their positions and all the emoluments pertaining thereto. The spirit of moderatism (a term expressive of loose morality and worldliness of spirit) was not only abroad but was dominant in the church. Being an ecclesiastical establishment, the settlement of pastors in the congregations of the church was by the presentation of a patron, and not by the choice of the people. Some may not have regarded this as oppressive, but to multitudes it was a galling yoke. They regarded it as an unrighteous and hateful imposition. Efforts in the direction of reformation from this undesirable estate were made from time to time, but they proved abortive. One, somewhat more concerted and systematic than the rest, was made about the year 1720 by the celebrated Thomas Boston, associated with James Hog, the Erskines, and others, who were termed "the Marrow men." But it, too, was met by the pointed condemnation and rebuke of the Assembly. Shut out also from the privilege of protesting in the church courts against the prevailing latitudinarianism of the times, it only remained for those who would stem the tide to use the liberty which they still had to preach the truth from their pulpits. It was the exercise of this privilege that precipitated the event to which can be traced the origin f the United Presbyterian Church in the United States.
On the 10th of October, 1732, it became the duty of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, a prominent member of the Evangelical party in the church, to preach a sermon at the opening of the Synod of Perth and Sterling. His text was the words, " The stone which the builders refused is become the headstone of the corner." (Ps. cxviii. 22.) The sermon, as delivered, is found in the published works of the author, vol. ii. page 593. It pleads earnestly for the exaltation of Christ as the chief corner-stone in the spiritual building, the church, and inveighs somewhat warmly against any policy or practice in the church which might tend to degrade him to an inferior position; but there is nothing in it that ought to be offensive to, or that should be regarded as scandalous by, any right-thinking man who loves evangelical truth. Yet a buzz of excitement immediately ensued. The debate ran through three days, and the vote being taken at length, by a majority of six the sermon was condemned and the preacher adjudged to a public rebuke at the bar of the Synod. Fourteen members dissented from the decision, and Mr. Erskine protested and appealed to the General Assembly. This body met in May following (1733), and the case coming up the Assembly sustained the decision of the Synod, and as a termination of the process ordered the appellant to be rebuked at its own bar. He submitted to the rebuke; but immediately laid on the table a protest, in which he claimed that he should "be at liberty to preach the same truths of God, and to testify against the same or like defections of this church upon all proper occasions." In this protest he was joined by three others, Messrs. James Fisher, William Wilson, and Alexander Moncrief. All were of considerable prominence in the church : Fisher, the author of the well-known exposition of the "Shorter Catechism" bearing his name; Wilson, who, as the future Professor of Theology, prepared and read his theological lectures in the Latin language; and Mon-
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crief, son of the Laird of Culfargie, whose thorough education had been received in the University of Leyden at the feet of the celebrated Marck. With the presentation of their protest the matter would in all probability have terminated, as at this time it does not appear that there was any desire or purpose on the part of the protesters to withdraw from the church of their fathers. But the protest thus laid on the table, being afterwards read by a member of the court and its contents by him stated to the Assembly, another scene of excitement ensued, the end of which was that the Assembly, indignant at the protesters for the liberty they claimed, directed its commission, which was to meet in the autumn of the same year, to deal with the protesters, receive the withdrawal of their protest, and in case of refusal to withdraw to proceed to inflict a higher censure.
The commission met, and, obedient to the order of the Assembly, the protesters appeared at their bar. Long discussions followed, but the protesters adhering to their positions were, first, "suspended from the exercise of the ministerial functions," and, afterwards, it was decided to "loose the relation of the said four ministers to their several charges, and declare 'them no longer ministers of this church, and prohibit all ministers of this church to employ them in any ministerial function." Direction was also given that notices be served on the sheriffs of the districts in which the parishes of the protesters were located to see that the sentence of the commission in letter and spirit be fully executed. Against this action the protesters protested again, avowing their purpose to disregard it, as to the matter of ceasing from ministerial functions, and closing their protest with the memorable words: "And we hereby appeal to the first free, faithful, and reforming General Assembly of the Church of Scotland."
On the 5th of December following (1733) the brethren thus unchurched, and thus protesting and appealing, met together at Gairney Bridge, and after much and prayerful deliberation constituted themselves into a court of Christ's house, which they named "The Associate Presbytery." At and even before this time a reaction in the sentiment of the church was beginning to be felt. The popular talents and high attainments and character of the brethren protesting, in connection with what by many was regarded as the imperious course of the prevailing party in the Assembly and Synod, produced an impression so marked through the land that no less than seven of the fifteen Synods composing the whole church had sent up remonstrances against the suspension of the protesters by the commission, and so strong had this reactionary feeling now become that the Assembly of 1734, almost immediately after being constituted, empowered the Synod of Perth and Sterling to meet on July 2d (in advance of the regular time of meeting), and take action looking to the speedy reinstatement of the suspended brethren into good standing in the church. The Synod met at the time designated, and proceeding immediately to the work assigned by the Assembly, with unanimous consent removed the sentence of suspension from the protesters and restored them fully to Christian and ministerial fellowship in the church. Certain members of the Synod were also appointed to convey to the brethren now restored official notice of the action now taken, and to give notice of the same also to their congregations.
A critical juncture was now reached. What will the newly-formed "Associate Presbytery" now do? Taking the matter into serious consideration, they made known their purpose to maintain their separation from the mother-church. A pamphlet was soon issued, indicating their action and setting forth in detail the reasons justifying their course. As we assume not to denounce unqualifiedly the action of the General Assembly, so we assume not to defend without qualification the action of the protesters in declining the apparently liberal terms of reconciliation and restoration now tendered unto them. It is confidently believed that in the course they took they were actuated by pure motives; nor is it doubted that He who " walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks" was able to overrule and did overrule this unhappy division for good, both to the parent church and also to those who by its act, at first cut off from its communion, now chose to maintain a permanent separation from it.
The events following need not be noticed in detail. The membership of the new Presbytery was soon increased to eight, all men of weight and influence in their respective fields of labor. In 1739 they were summoned before the bar of the Assembly to answer for the sin of schism. In constituted capacity as a Presbytery they appeared at the bar and entered a formal declinature of the authority of the court. Another "year of grace" was given by the Assembly, at the end of which, in 1740, the eight members of the " Associate Presbytery" were formally deposed from the office of the ministry and cut off from the communion of the church.
They pursued the "even tenor of their way." Frequent accessions to their numbers were received from time to time of those in the Assembly who during the long controversy had all the while sympathized with the position and principles of the protesters. In 1744 the new organization contained twenty-six ministerial members, who belonged to three Presbyteries, constituting the "Associate Synod." The unhappy controversy about the Burgess oaths now followed, resulting, in 1747, in the division of the Associate Synod into two bodies about equal in size, known as the Burgher and Anti-Burgher Synods. The division continued for a period of seventy years, when, in the year 1820, a union of the long-divided parties was effected (a very few declining), resulting in the formation of the " United Secession" Church, a body which embraced at the time
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of the union two hundred and sixty-two congregations. Twenty-seven years later, in 1847, a union was formed between the "United Secession" and the "Relief Church." The latter was the result of a secession from the Established Church in 1758, solely as a protest against the principle of patronage, and on the ground of the absolute right of every congregation to choose its own pastor. At the time of its union with the United Secession the Relief contained one hundred and thirteen congregations, which, added to the number in the other branch, made the whole number four hundred and ninety-seven. The organization thus constituted took to itself the name of the "United Presbyterian Church of Scotland." At the present it contains about five hundred and fifty congregations, being one of the three principal organizations (Established, Free, and United) into which the Presbyterianism of Scotland is divided.
But the object of the present sketch is to trace the line of the "Secession," as, about the middle of the eighteenth century, it became shifted to the west of the Atlantic.
From the very rise of the secession in Scotland, many of its families following the tide of emigration had been removing to America, settling, among other points on the coast, in considerable numbers in the counties of the province of Pennsylvania lying near the southern border and east of the Susquehanna River. From these petitions for supply of preaching had been forwarded to the "Associate Presbytery" in Scotland as early as 1742. But, on account of the scarcity of preachers, and the large demand for their services at home, it was not till 1753 that Messrs. Alexander Gelatly and Andrew Arnot arrived in Pennsylvania. Room for abundant labor was open before them. But the labor performed was not all in the line of public proclamation of the gospel message. The same field of labor to which they came was already pre-occupied by the Presbytery of New Castle, subordinate to the Synod of New York and Philadelphia (afterwards the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States). From this Presbytery there came at once, as it was proper there should, an invitation to the newly-arrived preachers to cast in their lot with them. After due consideration the invitation was declined. Then followed from the Presbytery of New Castle a published deliverance, the propriety of which may perhaps admit of a doubt, warning the people under its supervision against countenancing the ministrations and some of the doctrines of the ministers of " the Secession." Then followed, as was to be expected, a rejoinder from the latter. Two members of the Presbytery, Messrs. Finley and Smith, publish their reply. To this again Mr. Gelatly responds in an extended pamphlet of two hundred and six pages. And thus the warfare went on.
In the mean time the two ministers of the Secession were organized into a Presbytery. Mr. Arnot returned to Scotland, but others continued to arrive from time to time, till in 1776 the whole number was thirteen. Three of these living in the State of New York were in this year formed into a separate Presbytery,—the Presbytery of New York,—the others constituting the Presbytery of Pennsylvania. But all the while occupying substantially the same ground with these ministers of the Secession were certain ministers of the Reformed Presbyterian order (or Covenanters).
In the times of persecution in the reigns of Charles II. and James II. certain religious societies, who refused submission to the powers that were then in the land, were led and ministered to by Richard Cameron, from whom the name Cameronians was sometimes given them. At the head of his little band Cameron was surprised and slain in 1680 at Airdsmoss. His young and devoted associate, Donald Cargill, who succeeded to the leadership, was also hunted down and executed in the year following, July 27, 1681. Another youthful leader was now raised up in the person of James Renwick, but the spirit of persecution was still rife, and though preserved from the hands of those who sought his life for a period of five years, he was at last captured and executed, Feb. 11, 1688. The revolution following, Renwick's was the last life sacrificed on the altar of religious liberty in Scotland. Three others were soon raised up to minister to these long-persecuted bands, but William and Mary were now on the throne. Religious liberty was restored, prelacy was suppressed, and Presbyterianism made the established religion of Scotland. The three ministers, therefore, and a majority of their followers returned to the Establishment. But a minority, mainly for the reason that the king with all his liberality still claimed royal supremacy over the church, maintained their ground. For sixteen years they were without a minister. But at length in the year 1706 they were joined by Rev. John McMillan from the Establishment, who became their minister, and for the long period of thirty-seven years continued to minister to them alone. From this, his long and solitary connection with them, they were frequently called McMillanites. In 1743, McMillan was joined by Thomas Nairne, from the Secession Church, and a Presbytery was formed which took the name of the Reformed Presbytery. Others were added to its membership from time to time. Among these was Rev. John Cuthbertson, who emigrated to America in 1749 or '50, and continued to minister alone to scattered societies of Reformed Presbyterians in different parts of the country for more than twenty years. In 1773 he was joined by Messrs. Lind and Dobbin from the parent country, and a Presbytery was constituted.
Between these Reformed Presbyterians and the Associate Presbyterians negotiations with a view to union were commenced in 1777, and were carried on to their consummation in 1782 in the union which originated the "Associate Reformed Church." The ministers of the Reformed Presbytery all entered the,
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new organization, and of the other side all but two, Messrs. William Marshall and James Clarkson. Through these, as strengthened by new arrivals from Scotland, and by the return of two who at the first had entered the union, the organization of the Associate Church was continued.
Though somewhat aside from the direct purpose of this sketch, it may be noted that while all the ministers of the Reformed Presbytery entered the union, not a few of the numerous societies of their people stood aloof. To these pastors were sent from the Covenanters of the old country, a Presbytery was organized, and thus the Reformed Presbyterian organization was also perpetuated. It continues to this day, as represented in the two Synods of the Reformed Presbyterian Church,—the Old and the New School.
The two churches—the Associate Reformed and the (residuary) Associate—occupied the same territory, and over the same territory in other parts they continued to have their progress and development.
The fourteen ministers of the Associate Reformed were grouped in three Presbyteries, named respectively the First, Second, and Third, all of which constituted the Associate Reformed Synod. In twenty years, so rapid and widely extended had been the growth of this church, that in 1802 it was found convenient to divide the Synod into four, known respectively as the Synods of New York, Pennsylvania, Scioto, and the Carolinas. The two latter, being far remote from the places of meeting of the General Synod, almost uniformly held within the bounds of one of the two former, gradually subsided into a state of entire independence from the two former and from each other. A reconstruction of the Synod of Scioto was effected in the year 1820, when it was transformed into the Associate Reformed Synod of the West, including in general all territory lying west of the Allegheny Mountains. As thus reconstructed it grew and prospered, and in 1839 was divided into the First and Second Synods of the West, and in 1852 the additional Synod of Illinois was formed from a part of the Second Synod of the West.
Negotiations in the East for a union with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church were partially successful in 1822, but a minority declined, through which the organization of the Synod of New York was perpetuated, continuing its separate organization till 1855, when the breach between it and the Synods in the West was healed. Being brought together again, the four Synods were now united under a delegated body known as the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Church of North America.
We now return to 1782. The Associate Presbytery remained undivided till the close of the century; but it had become large and unwieldy, and was accordingly erected into a Synod in 1801, which was named the Associate Synod of North America. It was made up of the four Presbyteries of Cambridge, Philadelphia, Chartiers, and Kentucky. On account of difficulties growing out of the connection of the churches in Kentucky with the system of slaveholding practiced in that State, the pastors of the churches and large numbers of their people removed to the adjacent free States of Ohio and Indiana, and thus, about the year 1804, the Presbytery of Kentucky became extinct. But others were organized, so that notwithstanding the extinction of the Presbytery of Kentucky the whole number had increased in 1820 to six. About this time a correspondence was begun with a view to union with the Associate Reformed Synod of the West. It was conducted in a becoming spirit on both sides, but it soon became evident that the time for the healing of the breach had not yet come, and in 1822 the correspondence was dropped.
The negotiations which finally resulted in the formation of the United Presbyterian Church originated in a proposition submitted by the Reformed Presbyterian Synod (New School) to the Associate Reformed Synod of the West in the year 1836. While the matter was favorably regarded by the Synod addressed, it was not till the year 1838 that a convention was held by delegates from these churches. The conference thus had was so encouraging that following conventions were held in 1839,1841, and again in 1842, when, for the first time, delegates were in attendance from the Associate Synod. Other conventions followed from year to year. One basis of union after another was prepared, proposed, criticized, and rejected. The Reformed Presbyterian brethren, with whom the movement for union originated, withdrew entirely in 1847 from the negotiations. But the others persevered in what they regarded as a good and hopeful work. The result was that a basis was finally prepared on which both branches of the long-divided church felt that they could stand. With feelings of pious devotion, and great joy and gladness, the union of the two churches was consummated in the City Hall, Pittsburgh, May 26, 1858.
The basis of union is the Westminster Confession of Faith, with a modification on one point,—the power of the civil magistrate "circa sacra," and a judicial testimony covering certain points which were either not embraced in the confession or were not so distinctly set forth and defended as the circumstances of the church and of the times seemed to require. The whole number of these articles in the testimony is eighteen, of which the last five embraced the points usually regarded as distinctive features of the church's profession. They are as follows, viz. :
"ART. XIV. Slaveholding.—We declare, That Slaveholding—that is, the holding of unoffending human beings in involuntary bondage, and considering and treating that as property, and subject to be bought and sold—is a violation of the law of God, and contrary both to the letter and spirit of Christianity.
"ART. XV. Of Secret Societies.—We declare, That all associations, whether formed for political or benevolent purposes, which impose upon their members an oath of secrecy, or an obligation to obey a code of unknown laws, are inconsistent with the genius and spirit of Christianity, and church-members ought not to have fellowship with such associations.
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"ART. XVI. Of Communion.—We declare, That the church should not extend communion in sealing ordinances to those who refuse adherence to her profession, or subjection to her government and discipline, or who refuse to forsake a communion which is inconsistent with the profession that she makes; nor should communion in any ordinance of worship be held under such circumstances as would be inconsistent with the keeping of those ordiainces pure and entire, or so as to give countenance to any corruption of the doctrines and institutions of Christ.
"ART. XVII. Of Covenanting.—We declare, That public social covenanting is a moral duty, the observance of which is not required at dated times, but on extraordinary occasions, as the providence of God and the circumstances of the church may indicate. It is seasonable in times of great danger to the church,—in times of exposure to back-sliding, or in times of reformation when the church is returning to God from a state of backsliding. When the church has entered into such covenant transactions, they continue to bind posterity faithfully to adhere to and prosecute the grand object for which such engagements have been entered into.
"ART. XVIII. Of Psalmody.—We declare that it is the will of God that the songs contained in the Book of Psalms be sung in His worship, both public and private, to the end of the world; and in singing God's praise these songs should be employed to the exclusion of the devotional compositions of uninspired men."
The following summaries present the comparative strength of the two churches at the time of their union in 1858. Associate:. presbyteries, 21; ministers, 198 ; licentiates, 33 ; congregations, 293 ; members, 23,505. Associate Reformed: presbyteries, 28; ministers, 221; licentiates, 32 ; congregations, 367 ; members, 31,284.
The comparative aggregate strength of the United Church in the year following the union and in the year 1881 (twenty-two years later) is shown in the following statement :
At what time the forefathers of the United Presbyterians of Washington County began first to make their appearance within its bounds cannot now be definitely ascertained. The earliest settlers of the county were not men of any one religious faith to the exclusion of others, and the reasonable probability is that Associate and Reformed Presbyterians were found among them. Rev. Matthew Henderson, who had been laboring many years as pastor of a congregation in Chester County, made his first visit to Washington (then Westmoreland) County in 1779. This was no doubt in response to invitations received from those of his own religious faith, some of whom may have been living in the county many years before. In 1782 he was permanently located as pastor of the congregations of Chartiers and Buffalo (afterwards called North Buffalo). Other congregations sprang up in different parts of the county in years following, as will appear in the histories of those congregations respectively.
Of the twenty-one United Presbyterian congregations now found in Washington County, eleven, at the time of the union which formed the United Presbyterian Church, were in connection with the Associate Presbyterian branch of that church, viz.: Burgettstown, Chartiers, Mount Hope, Mount Pleasant, North Buffalo, Peters Creek, Pigeon Creek, Robinson, South Buffalo, Washington, and Wheeling. Four were in connection with the Associate Reformed side of the house, viz.: Canonsburg, Chartiers Cross-Roads, Paris, and West Middletown. Six were organized at or since the union, and are composed for the most part of members from both sides of the united house, viz.: Centre, McDonald, Mount Prospect, Taylorstown, Venice, and West Alexander.
The following tabulated statement will show in alphabetical order the names of the congregations, and in following columns township or borough, name of pastor, number of members, Sabbath-school scholars, aggregate contributions, and average contribution to each member, the whole being as shown in the statistical returns for the year. 1881 :
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The Associate Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Canonsburg.¹—On the 21st of April, 1794, the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania (which four years later became the Associate Synod of North America) elected Rev. John Anderson, D.D., as its first theological professor. He was then, and had been for two years, pastor of the united congregations of Mill Creek and Harmon's Creek, now Service and Frankfort, Beaver Co., Pa. This action of the Presbytery of Pennsylvania resulted in the establishment of what, without presumption or disregard of truth, may be termed the earliest and oldest of the theological seminaries of the United States. The essential elements of a veritable theological seminary were there. A seminary building, two stories high, was erected; a library of eight hundred theological works, mostly obtained from Scotland, was collected ; a professor was elected who during definite terms of some months each year gave instruction to the students. The number of students, of course, was not large, generally varying from five to ten. The whole number who finished their theological course while the institution continued at Service, in Beaver County, was thirty-one. Having continued in the work for twenty-four years, admonished by the gathering infirmities of age, Dr. Anderson resigned his professorship to the Synod in the year 1818. In 1819 the Synod, to save in some measure the traveling expenses of the students, decided to establish two seminaries, denominated in the phraseology of the time the Eastern Hall and the Western Hall. The former was located, in 1820, at Philadelphia, in charge of Dr. John Banks, who was at the time also a professor in the University of Pennsylvania and pastor of a congregation in the city. The Western Hall was located, in 1821, at Canonsburg, and Dr. James Ramsay chosen as professor. Dr. Banks, under whose supervision eleven students were educated for the ministry in Philadelphia, died April 10, 1826, and the Synod, instead of electing a successor to the deceased professor, discontinued the institution, or, if we may prefer so to express it, united the Eastern and Western into one hall at Canonsburg. Dr. Ramsay was fifty years old when he assumed the professorial chair, and continued to occupy it for twenty years. His attention was mainly given to lectures on theology and church history, and instruction in the Hebrew language. In theology his text-book was the Medulla of Marck, of the University of Leyden, in Latin. On Mondays and Thursdays he read his lectures to the students, and on Tuesdays and Fridays catechized them on the lectures of the preceding day. On Wednesdays discourses were delivered by the students, which were criticized both by students and professor. in addition to his service in the theological seminary, Dr. Ramsay occupied the post (somewhat honorary in character) of Professor of
¹ By Rev. J. T. Brownlee.
Hebrew in Jefferson College. Dr. Ramsay was tall and thin, and somewhat ungainly and awkward in his general appearance. The head was small, and the eye rather inconspicuous, having often the appearance of being partially closed. A stranger would not suspect, on seeing him for the first time, that he occupied any very prominent position in the community. Indeed, his uncommon modesty and the great simplicity of his character, connected with his plain and unstylish appearance, would readily dispose those who highly appreciate elegance and style of manner to regard him as a very common man. But views of this kind were soon corrected in the estimation of all who came to know him well. The essential elements of true gentlemanliness few possessed in larger measure than he. Located for almost half a century in the midst of an intelligent and cultivated community, pastor of a congregation which grew large and strong under his ministrations, principal teacher of the theological seminary of his denomination, and located all the while under the very shadow of one of the leading colleges of the land, no man ever stood better the test of time (one of the very best of all tests) than Dr. Ramsay did.
For many years after Dr. Ramsay began the work of his professorship the services were conducted in his own house. Many of the students boarded in his family, and their uniform testimony was said to be that the better they became acquainted with him in social intercourse, as well as in his public service of preaching the gospel and theological teaching, the better they liked him.
The erection of a seminary building had been in contemplation for years, but. it was not till the year 1832 that the contract for the edifice was actually made. And when contracted for, by delay, the reason of which cannot now be definitely ascertained, the house was not complete and ready for use till the fall of 1835. In comparison with many structures reared for similar purposes in more recent times, the seminary building Would not be regarded as a very grand or imposing edifice, but it was quite adequate to the purpose for which it was erected, and when completed was regarded as no discredit to those under whose supervision it was built, or to the surroundings in the midst of which it stood. The main building was sixty-six feet in length and thirty-six feet wide, connected with which was a wing in the rear forty-five feet long and seventeen feet wide, which was fronted through its whole length by a porch eight feet wide. The whole was divided into chapel, lecture-rooms, library - rooms, apartments for a resident family, and dormitory accommodations for about thirty students. About five acres of ground were connected with the building. The cost of ground, building, and all appurtenances was reported by the building committee as being six thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight dollars and sixty cents, all of which was fully paid when the house was ready for use. The
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treasurer of the building fund and the active superintendent of the whole work was the late Daniel Houston, Esq., whose economical and otherwise efficient management was highly appreciated by the church at large. Twenty students were in attendance during the first session in the new building, and in view of the limited room most of them had been accustomed to during previous terms in the doctor's house, they no doubt felt that now at length they had "been brought into a large place."
The election of an additional professor, though long in contemplation, was not realized till 1833. At the meeting of Synod in the month of October of that year,- Rev. David Carson, of East Tennessee, was chosen for the chair of Hebrew and church history. He accepted the position, but could not enter upon the discharge of its duties during the session then immediately ensuing. In the month of June, 1834, he removed with his family to Canonsburg. The fatigue and exposure incident to his long journey of six hundred miles in his private conveyance aggravated a disease which had given him some trouble before, the result of which was that some weeks after his arrival at Canonsburg he was prostrated in a protracted and painful illness, which terminated in his death, Sept. 25, 1834. Rev. D. W. Carson, D.D., of Burgettstown, Pa., and J. G. Carson, D.D., of Xenia, Ohio, are his sons and his only children now surviving. Though the settlement of Mr. Carson as a pastor was in a district far remote from the centres of the church's strength and influence, he was reputed to be a preacher of unusual power, and many high expectations in regard to his public usefulness as a preacher and professor were disappointed by his early and, as to many, it seemed, untimely death. He died in the thirty-fourth year of his age.
In the month of November immediately following the death of Mr. Carson, the Synod, being in session, elected Rev. Abraham Anderson, of West Hebron, N. Y., to fill the still vacant chair. He could not see his way clear to accept the office at the meeting at which he was elected, and at the meeting in the following year declined the proffered honor. And thus Dr. Ramsay, who had been long looking for assistance, was left one year more in the unaided performance of his work. At the meeting of Synod in October, 1836, Rev. Thomas Beveridge, D.D., of Philadelphia, was chosen to the vacant chair. Though the notice served upon him was somewhat sudden, yet in view of the pressing need for his services he moved immediately to Canonsburg, and entered on the duties of the professorship at the opening of the session of 1835-36, the first the exercises of which were conducted in the new building. The first settlement of Dr. Beveridge as a pastor was in the united charge of Xenia and Sugar Creek, Greene Co., Ohio. Having labored in this field for three years his health became impaired, and he was laid aside for some time from the active work of the ministry. He was afterward located for a period of seven years in charge of the Walnut Street Church in Philadelphia. At the time he assumed the duties of the professional chair lie was thirty-nine years old. For the long period of thirty-six years he continued in this position, twenty of which were at Canonsburg, and sixteen at Xenia, Ohio, to which place the seminary was removed in 1855. He resigned the chair Oct. 14, 1871, and died May 30, 1873, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.
Dr. Beveridge was the son of Rev. Thomas Beveridge, Sr., a native of Scotland. He was born Oct. 9, 1796, at Cambridge, Washington Co., N. Y., graduated at Union College in 1814, and studied theology under Dr. John Anderson in the seminary at Service, Beaver Co., Pa. He was somewhat under the medium height, and slightly inclined to corpulency. His hair, which was always abundant, was jet black in his youth, but while yet in his prime was changed to iron-gray, and continued to whiten as age increased. The complexion was dark, and the expression of the countenance pleasant and agreeable. In striking contrast with the senior professor, his whole appearance marked him at once as a man of note. He was all his life a diligent student, a man of books. Few private libraries are ever seen so large as that which he gathered around him. His knowledge of books was indeed quite remarkable, extending not only to the large collection covering the walls of his own study, but to the theological and general literature of his own and other countries. His style of writing was chaste and clear and strong. He published no books, but contributed quite extensively and on various subjects to the monthly 'periodicals of the Associate and United Presbyterian Church. Among the last of these contributions to the literature of the church was as chairman of the committee by which was prepared the revised version of the Psalms of the Bible now in use in the United Presbyterian Church. The sermons and theological lectures of Dr. Beveridge were uniformly written in full. While always a prominent and influential member of ecclesiastical assemblies, his habit of full preparation for his public deliverances at other times operated perhaps to some extent in the way of hampering him when participating in promiscuous discussions. In addition to his duties in the theological seminary, Dr. Beveridge preached regularly to the church of his denomination in Washington from 1835 to the fall of 1849, and during the six years following, on alternate Sabbaths, to the Associate congregation of Miller's Run (now Venice).
For a period of seven ,years the two professors, Drs. Ramsay and Beveridge, were associated in their respective professorships in the seminary. But Dr. Ramsay was growing old, and having long cherished the purpose not to continue in the professorship after reaching his threescore years and ten, he accordingly at the meeting of Synod in 1841 at Washington, Pa.,
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gave notice of his intended resignation of the theological chair. The purpose thus indicated was executed the following year, 1842. With a vote of hearty thanks for his long and valuable services, the resignation was accepted. He continued to minister regularly to his congregation for some years, but the infirmities of age were gathering about him, and after a pastorate of almost forty-five years he was released from the charge of his congregation June 12, 1849. He now removed with the aged partner of his life to the residence of their son-in-law, Rev. Dr. McElwee, in Frankfort, Beaver Co., Pa., where he spent the evening of his days. He died March 6, 1855, in the eighty-fourth year of his age.
At the same meeting of Synod at which Dr. Ramsay resigned (1842), Rev. James Martin, D.D., of Albany, N. Y., was chosen as his successor, and entered on the duties of the professorship at the opening of the session of 1842-43. His connection with the seminary, however, was destined to be comparatively brief. A lingering pulmonary affection, with which he had been struggling before his removal to Canonsburg, continued and increased during his professorship, till at length severe hemorrhage ensued, from which he rapidly sank and passed away, June 15, 1846. Four sessions in the chair of Theology and Hebrew completed the work of Dr. Martin in the seminary. But his professorship, though brief, was far from being unsuccessful. His mental faculties were of the very highest order, and by liberal education and much study, and full consecration to his work, he seemed to be eminently fitted for the post to which he was called. He had remarkable facility in giving to the students, with apparently no strain or effort on his own part, a clear perception of the most intricate points that came in the way in his theological lectures. In the most artless way, also, he always evinced a very deep interest in the welfare of all the students, and thus secured in unusual measure their affection for himself. The words of advice and encouragement addressed to many of them privately were cherished by them as precious memorials. And even his admonitions, instead of producing alienation, served rather as cords to draw the admonished more closely to him. The responsibility of educating an able and well-qualified ministry for the church seemed always to weigh heavily on his mind. He was full of his work. In almost every respect except physical capacity for work he seemed to the church, and especially to his students, the " beau ideal" of a theological professor.
During his pastorate in Albany, Dr. Martin was for some years editor of the Religious Monitor, the monthly periodical of his church. In this capacity he wroth extensively on subjects of passing interest. A sermon which he published in 1841 on "the duty of .submission to church rulers" attracted much attention on account of the distracted condition of the eastern section of the church at the time. A series of articles which he wrote for the Religious Monitor on the " imputation of Adam's first sin to his posterity," suggested by the controversy which at the time was rife in the Presbyterian Church on this and kindred subjects, was afterwards collected and issued in a duodecimo volume in 1834, which was regarded as an unusually lucid and able discussion of the subject.
The temperance and anti-slavery reforms always found in Dr. Martin an able and fearless advocate. On every subject he was a characteristically independent thinker. While it gave him no special pleasure to antagonize the views of others, his own positions on all important questions were assumed as the result of his deliberate judgment, even though they might sometimes be unwelcome to those whom he loved most, and with whom he was most intimately associated.
The death of Dr. Martin occurring immediately after the meeting of Synod, his successor was not elected till the following year, and thus the services of the seminary during the session of 1846-47 were left wholly in the hands of Dr. Beveridge. In 1847, Rev. Abraham Anderson, D.D., who had been chosen once before, was now re-elected, and entered on the duties of the professorship at the beginning of the following session. Dr. Anderson was born in Cumberland County, Pa.; came while very young with his parents to Chartiers township, in Washington County; lived on the farm till after his majority ; served as a private soldier one year in the army of Gen. Harrison on the Northwestern frontier, in the war of 1812; entered Jefferson College after his return, and graduated in the class of 1817; spent one winter in the theological seminary at Service,. Pa.; was Professor of Languages in Jefferson College from 1818 to 1821, during which time he read a course in medicine with Dr. Letherman ; was licensed to preach Aug. 29, 1821; ordained 1822 by Presbytery of the Carolinas; pastor at Steel Creek and Bethany, N. C., 1822 to 1833; pastor at West Hebron, Washington Co., N. Y., 1833 to 1847. The professorship of Dr. Anderson began in 1847, when he was fifty-eight years old, and continued through seven years till his death, May 9, 1855. He was not less than six feet three inches in height, and large in proportion. He was not corpulent, neither was he slender. He stood very erect, and walked with a gait which impressed many with the idea that his measured step and lofty bearing were an acquirement of his army life which adhered to him through his future years. His discourses in public and from the theological chair were models of strength and logical accuracy, but his elocution had little about it to make it attractive. The voice, though not hard to hear, had little of richness or melody, and seemed almost entirely destitute of that capability of modulation and expansion which give to oratory so much of its charm and attractiveness. His gestures also, which were few, had a measure of stiffness about them which gave his hearers to
408 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
feel that little loss would have been sustained had they been entirely omitted ; but in gifts and qualifications more essential to public usefulness, and especially to efficiency in the professorial chair, there was no deficiency. His general scholarship was good, while in the field of New Testament Greek it was so full and thorough that he often read in his family devotions from the Greek, giving without hesitation or difficulty his own literal translation. In Hebrew and theology also (the chair which he filled) he was quite at home. He wrote little for the press, but after his death his theological predilections, much as he preferred them for the students, in the form of questions and answers, were collected and published in an octavo volume of seven hundred and sixty-seven pages. They who desire information on almost any point in the whole field of Bible theology can here find it tersely and plainly stated and well supported. Soon after the close of the session of 1854-55 an internal disease, from which Dr. Anderson had suffered less or more for years, assumed alarming symptoms. His sufferings became very intense, and, having a very strong and vigorous physical system, they were quite protracted. He died May 9, 1855.
At the meeting of Synod near the close of the month during which Dr. Anderson died, after a contest which excited no little interest it was decided to remove the seminary from Canonsburg to Xenia, Ohio. Circumstances favored the bringing about of this result. The Synod was met at the time in Xenia. Its membership was not made up of delegates from different sections. Every minister in the church and a ruling elder from each pastoral charge was entitled to a seat. The result would necessarily be that parts adjacent to the place of meeting would be much more fully represented than more distant parts. And yet the vote was close,—fifty-seven for Canonsburg against sixty-two for Xenia. Had the meeting of Synod been in Pittsburgh or any of the central localities of the church, the result would no doubt have been different. But while some unpleasantness of feeling resulted from the action taken, there was no effort made to reconsider or revoke the decision to remove. Rev. Samuel Wilson, D.D., f Xenia, was elected to fill the chair left vacant by the death of Dr. Anderson. Dr. Beveridge removed during the summer to the new location, and from that time forward to the present the institution has been maintained and conducted in Xenia.
The seminary building in Canonsburg, after serving the purpose of its erection for twenty years, was with the grounds annexed now sold. The east end of the building, including the chapel and a number of dormitories, has been taken down and removed. The west end with the wing in the rear still remains, being now used as a dwelling and boarding-house. On the south side of Pike Street, toward the west end, this three-story house, somewhat antiquated in appearance as compared with the fewer buildings around, may still be seen, and it is all that remains of what was once the Associate Presbyterian Theological Seminary Canonsburg.
It now only remains that a list be given f student educated for the ministry in this seminary. The lit first given includes those trained wholly under Dr Ramsay up to the year 1835. Their places of residents or principal fields of labor are annexed. Thom known to be deceased are indicated by a star.
1821 to 1835.
Daniel McLean,* New Concord, Ohio.
Samuel McLean,* Poplar Ridge, Ohio.
W. M. McElwee, D.D., Frankfort, Beaver Co., Pa.
J. Begg,* Mercer, Pa.
M. Snodgrass,* Custard, Pa.
Joseph Clokey,D.D., Professor Theological Seminary. Xenia, Springfield, Ohio.
William Douthet,* Glade Mills, Pa.
S. Hindman,* Iberia, Ohio.
J. Hindman,* Glade Run, Pa.
Nathaniel Ingles,* Burnett's Creek, Ind.
James McCarrel,* Kendal, Beaver Co., Pa.
James Templeton,* Bell Brook, Ohio.
John Wallace,* Allegheny Co., Pa.
S. Wilson, P.D., Professor Theological Seminary, Xenia, Ohio.
James C. Bruce,* Monmouth, Ill.
James Rodgers, D.D.,* Allegheny City, Pa.
Alexander T. McGill, D.D., Professor Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J.
James P. Ramsay,* New Bedford, Pa.
W. McClelland,* Philadelphia, Pa.
J. M. Henderson, Oakdale, Ill.
B. Boyd,* Pigeon Creek, Washington Co., Pa.
D. Lindsey,* Bermingham, Iowa.
Thomas Wilson, Leavitt, Ohio.
D. Thompson, Garnett, Kan.
W. C. Pollock, New Berlin,
H. H. Blair,* New York City.
J. P. Dickey, Donegal, Ireland.
Thomas Kendall, D.D.,* Willamette, Oregon.
James Patterson, D.D.,* Prest. Col. New Wilmington, Pa.
David Strang,* Peoria, N. Y.
John S. Easton, D.D ,* Allegheny City, Pa.
James Dickson,* Portland Mills, Ind.
William Galbraith, Freeport, Armstrong Co., Pa.
George M. Hall,* Duanesburg, N. Y.
The above include thirty-four in all.
The following attended the seminary after the establishment of the second professorship, and are arranged in classes according to the years in which they received license :
William Bruce,* Mercer, Pa.
James McGill, Lexington, Mich.
Samuel Douthet,* Glade Run, Pa.
J. M. Scroggs,* Conneautville, Pa.
Joseph McKee, Los Angeles, Cal.
C. Webster,* Philadelphia, Pa.
Robert Forrester,* Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
W. Y. Hamilton,* Philadelphia, Pa.
Samuel McArthur,* New Concord, Ohio.
Edward Small, Mercer, Pa.
James P. Smart,* Xenia, Ohio.
Joseph J. Cooper, D.D., Prof. Theo. Sem., Allegheny, Pa.
John W. Hansha, Argyle, N. Y.
James Law,* Philadelphia, Pa.
I. N. Laughead, Washington, Iowa.
John L. McLean,* Hayesville, Ohio.
W. H. Walker,* Scottsville, Pa.
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James Brown, D.D., Columbus City, Iowa.
Thomas Gilkerson,* Saltsburg, Pa.
D. R. Imbrie,* New Wilmington, Pa.
William Smith,* Buffalo, Wis.
John Bryan, Bloomington, Ind.
John M. French,* Noblestown, Pa.
Isaac Law,* Putnam, N. Y.
D. H. A. McLean, D.D., Mansfield, Pa.
Archibald Reid,* Cambridge, N. Y.
George C. Vincent, D.D., Prest. Franklin Col., New Athens, Ohio.
D. G. Burnous,* Cambridge, N. Y.
W. J. Cleland,* Wilton, Minn.
J. R. Doig, D.D.,* Vinton, Iowa.
J. W. Logue, Northfield, Ohio.
John Todd,* Brookville, Pa.
Thomas B. Walker,* New Orleans, La.
A. Barcroft,* Apple Creek, Ill.
Titus Basfield,* London, Canada.
R. J. Hammond, Americus, Nan.
Alexander Murray,* Oakland, Venango Co., Pa.
John Scott, D.D.,* Prof. Theo. Sem., Monmouth, Ill.
B. F. Sawyer, Darlington, Pa.
J. D. Cunningham,* Otter Creek, Iowa.
Jacob P. Fisher,* Cherry Fork, Adams Go., Ohio.
R. W. French, Peotone,
John Marshall,* Londonderry, Ohio.
Joseph McClintock,* Worth, Pa.
T. R. Simpson, M.D., Allegheny, Pa.
J. G. Austin, Hemmingsford, Canada.
Cyrus Cummins, Wheeler, Mercer Co., Pa.
J. B. Forsythe,* Kingston, Iowa.
James C. Herron, Telfer, Ontario, Canada.
S. T. Herron, Bloomington Ferry, Minn.
Moses Arnot,* South Hanover, Ind.
James McArthur, Olena, Ill.
S. F. Morrow, D.D., Albany, N. Y.
R. H. Pollock, D.D ,* Mount Vernon, Ohio.
J. R. Stentz,* Martinsville. Ohio.
Alexander Story, Washington, Iowa.
Abraham Anderson,* Pittsburgh, Pa.
A. M. Black, D.D., Fort Gay, W. Va.
James L. Bull, Traer, Iowa.
Samuel Collins, D.D., Washington City, D. C.
D. W. French, D.D.,* Mercer, Pa.
H. K. Lusk,* Hutton, Pa.
N. McDowell, Indianola, Iowa.
Alexander McHatton, Flat Rock, Ill.
Joseph McKerahan,* Glencoe, Ohio.
George McMillan,* Hanover, Ind.
William Oburn, Galion, Ohio.
William Wishart, D.D, Hayesville, Ohio.
Joseph D. Wolf, attorney-at-law, Pensacola, Fla.
W. H. Andrew, D.D.,* Galt, Canada.
James G. Ballentine,* West Hebron, N. Y.
G. D. Henderson,* Monmouth, Ill.
James G. Rankin,* Bavington, Washington Co., Pa.
D. W. Collins, P.D., Blairsville, Pa.
T. B. Hanna,* Clinton, Pa.
F. A. Hutchinson, Noblestown, Pa.
J. D. McNay,* Palestine, Ill.
J. C. Telford, West Lebanon, Pa.
John A. Vance,* Waukesha, Wis.
Thomas Brown, Beulah, Kan.
John T. Brownlee, West Middletown, Pa.
Hans W. Lee,* Pittsburgh, Pa.
D. S. McHenry, Santa Anna, Cal.
Byron Porter,* Elderton, Pa.
James Thompson,* New York.
S. Anderson,* College Springs, Iowa.
A. B. Cassil, Mansfield, Ohio.
David Donan, Cochranton, Pa.
S. G. Irvine, D.D., Albany, Oregon.
W. G. McElhenny,* Hoboken, N. J.
J. A. Shankland, Villisca, Iowa.
J. M. Snodgrass, Spring Branch, Iowa.
J. B. Strain, Canonsburg, Pa.
James M. Smeallie,* North Kortright, N. Y.
Hugh Sturgeon, Darlington, Pa.
J. T. Tate, Talleyrand, Iowa.
T. H. Beveridge,* Philadelphia.
D. W. Carson, D.D., Burgettstown, Pa.
Andrew Irons,* Bruce, Mich.
John A. McGill, McCoysville, Pa.
J. C. Murch,* Scotch Ridge, Ohio.
James N. Smith,* Edgerton, Kan.
W. H. Wilson, Washington Territory.
Josiah Alexander, New Wilmington, Pa.
Joseph Barclay,* Leo's Summit, Mo.
J. B. Clark, D.D.,* Allegheny, Pa.
W. A. Black, North Hope, Pa.
Samuel Kerr, D.D., Harrisville, Pa.
James P. Lytle, D.D., Sago, Ohio.
J. S. Maughlin, Onawa, Iowa.
S. G. McNeal, Pleasant Run, Ind.
Alexander R. Rankin, Murraysville, Pa.
E. H. Stevenson,* Sealcot, North India.
J. R. Thompson,* Mount Pleasant, Pa.
Samuel Alexander, Carlton, Kan.
A. J. Allen, Carrollton, Ohio.
J. H. Andrew, Brooklyn, N. Y.
J. C. Brownlee,* Milnersville, Ohio.
James Ingles, Scotland, Ind.
W. C. Jackson,* Philadelphia, Pa.
W. J. McGill,* McAlevery's Fort, Pa.
James A. McKee, East Finley, Washington Co., Pa.
Samuel Patton,* Detroit, Mich.
J. B. Whitten, Frankford, Philadelphia, Pa.
J. A. Leiper,* Hookstown, Pa.
J. H. Nash, Steubenville, Ohio.
James L. Purdy, King's Creek, Pa.
J. P. Scott, D.D., Monticello, N. Y.
D. 11. Goodwillie, Commerce, Mich.
William Bruce, D.D.* (Professor Theological Seminary), Xenia, Ohio.
D. K. Duff, Atwood, Pa.
A. Gordon, Gordaspur, North India.
A. A. Rodgers,* Monmouth, Ill.
J. McNeal, East Tennessee.
Gilbert Small, Idaville, Ind.
S. C. Reid, Hookstown, Pa.
S. F. Farmer, Concordia, Kan.
William Grimes, Glencoe, Ohio.
J. B. Wilson, Otter Lake, Mich.
W. McGibson, New York.
J. B. Lee, D.D., Bovina, N. Y.
F. McBurney, Mexico, Pa.
410 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
J. W. McFarland, San Francisco, Cal.
H. McHatton, Duncansville, Ill.
John Patterson, Pleasant Hill, Pa.
James Price, Philadelphia, Pa.
James Sawbill, Winterset, Iowa.
James G. Carson, D.D., Professor Theological Seminary, Xenia, Ohio.
J. A. Edie, Beaver, Pa.
Whole number from 1835 to 1855, 150.
Whole number from 1821 to 1855, 184.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Its Planting in Pennsylvania, and especially in Washington County.¹—The purpose of this article is to give a brief account of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, its origin and present condition, how it differs from other Presbyterian bodies, how it was planted in Pennsylvania, and especially in Washington County.
This denomination of Christians is a legitimate outgrowth of the great revival of 1800, a revival of religion which, commencing under the ministry of Rev. James McGready, of sainted memory, and continuing with great power for a number of years, extended from the region of Green River in Kentucky on the north to that of the Tennessee on the south. This great work of grace occurred in Transylvania Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church. The ministers were unhappily divided into revival and anti-revival parties. The conflict between them was of long continuance, and the history thereof cannot be related in this brief article. It would lead to the discussion of ecclesiastical acts that were regarded by the revival party as arbitrary, unwarranted, and oppressive, and to an extended narrative of unredressed grievances which finally resulted in the organization of an independent Presbytery and a separate denomination known as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Those who desire a full account of this matter are referred to Rev. James Smith's "History of the Church;" to Rev. Dr. Cossitt's "Life and Times of Ewing ;" and to Rev. Dr. Crisman's " Origin and Doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church."
Passing over this stormy period and drawing the veil of oblivion over its acts of violence, we find that on the 3d day of February, 1810, Rev. Messrs. Finis Ewing and Samuel King, distinguished Presbyterian ministers of the revival party, in company with Ephraim McLean, an intelligent and acceptable licensed preacher, visited Rev. Samuel McAdow, an aged minister of the same party, at his home in Tennessee. They made known to him the object of their journey, and urgently requested him to unite with them in constituting an independent Presbytery. Mr. McAdow answered that the measure was one of too great importance to be decided hastily, and asked time for prayer and reflection. But having spent the greater part of the night and part of the following morning in deep reflection and solemn prayer, he at
¹ By Rev. Azel Freeman, D.D., minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Old Concord, Pa.
length returned from the place of his retirement and devotion with a most serene and heavenly countenance, and said, "God has answered the doubtful question ; I believe that Providence has spared my life to help the church out of this difficulty; I am now ready with your assistance to constitute a Presbytery, and to ordain this young brother (McLean) before we adjourn."² Accordingly, after solemn prayer, the following action was unanimously taken:
" In Dixon County, State of Tennessee, at the Rev. Samuel McAdow's, this fourth day of February, 1810, we, Samuel McAdow, Finis Ewing, and Samuel King, regularly ordained ministers in the Presbyterian Church, against whom no charge, either of immorality or heresy, has ever been exhibited before any of the church judicatures, having waited in vain more than four years, in the mean time petitioning the General Assembly for a redress of grievances and a restoration of our violated rights, do hereby agree and determine to constitute into a Presbytery, to be known by the name f the Cumberland Presbytery."³
This was the beginning of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church as. a distinct denomination. The new Presbytery adopted as its doctrinal standard the Westminster Confession of Faith, excepting the idea of fatality, which they believed to be taught therein, and after due examination they ordained Ephraim McLean. At the meeting of this Presbytery in the following March there were four ordained ministers, five licensed preachers, and eight candidates for the ministry. The constituting of an independent Presbytery was hailed with joy by all the churches that were friendly to the revival. The increase of the church was so rapid that in three years from the organization of the first Presbytery it was thought necessary to divide that Presbytery into three, and on the 5th of October, 1813, the members of these Presbyteries met at the Beech Church in Sumner County, Tenn., and constituted Cumberland Synod. At this first meeting of the Synod Rev. Messrs. William McGee, Finis Ewing, Robert Donel, and Thomas Calhoun were appointed a committee to prepare a Confession of Faith, Catechism, and Discipline in conformity with the avowed principles of the body, and a " Brief View" of the doctrines and discipline of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church having been read before the Synod was unanimously approved, and directed to be published in Woodward's edition of "Buck's Theological Dictionary."'
According to this " Brief View," Cumberland Presbyterians dissent from the doctrines of the Westminster Confession in the following particulars : " 1. That there are no eternal reprobates. 2. That Christ died not for a part only, but for all mankind. 4. That all infants dying in infancy are saved through Christ and sanctification of the Spirit. 4. That the Spirit of
² Crisman's Origin and Doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, pp. 70, 71.
³ Smith's History of the Christian Church, p. 639. 4 Ibid., pp. 645-48
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God operates on the world, or as coextensively as Christ has made the atonement, in such a manner as to leave all men inexcusable." These are the main points in which they differ from Calvinists. It may be remarked here that they differ also from the Arminians mainly in holding that all who are truly regenerated by the spirit will freely but certainly persevere to the end and obtain eternal life.
In its form of government the church is strictly Presbyterian, the several judicatories being Sessions, Presbyteries, Synods, and a General Assembly. Beginning as a distinct denomination in 1810, it has grown in seventy years from one Presbytery to one hundred and seventeen, from four ordained ministers to about fourteen hundred, and from the churches that had adhered to the revival party to a membership of about one hundred and twenty thousand. It has under its care at least five colleges, one of which is properly called a university, having, besides its collegiate department, well organized schools of law and theology. It may be observed in this connection that the practice of ordaining men to the whole work of the ministry who have not the advantages of a collegiate education—a practice originating in the exigencies of the great revival—is now generally discountenanced, and almost entirely abandoned by the Presbyteries. The General Assembly has under its control various boards of Christian beneficence, as a board of education, a board of publication, a board of foreign and domestic missions, and a woman's missionary board. There are three ordained missionaries with their wives, and two lady helpers in Japan, and five ordained missionaries with twenty native helpers among the American Indians, and a great number of home missionaries.
But I hasten to give a brief account of the planting of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, and especially in Washington County. In May, 1829, the first General Assembly appointed two missionaries, Rev. Messrs. M. H. Bone and John W. Ogden, to travel and preach " in the eastern section of the valley of the Mississippi." They preached with great power in Southern Ohio, in Washington, Pennsylvania, and through the State of Virginia. "The mission of these brethren," says Smith, in his "History of the Church," "paved the way for the opening of a door for extensive usefulness to the church in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania." The preaching of these men made thousands inquire, " Who are these Cumberland Presbyterians? and how do they differ from other Presbyterians?" These inquiries were largely answered by reading the article, "PRESBYTERIANS, CUMBERLAND," in Buck's "Theological Dictionary" (Woodward's Edition), many copies of which were sold in those days.
In January, 1831, by request of the Upper Ten-Mile Presbyterian congregation in Washington County, Pa., five of its members wrote to Rev. F. R. Cossitt, D.D., president of Cumberland College, Princeton, Ky., saying, "That they had lately heard of the Cumberland Presbyterians of the West; that they had examined the brief exposé of their doctrines and discipline, published in Buck's `Theological Dictionary,' which the congregation sincerely approved ; that although they were members of a Presbyterian Church, they could not adopt its Confession of Faith in toto, and were solicitous to become better acquainted with Cumberland Presbyterians, who were viewed by them as their brethren in Christ; and that it was their earnest request that Mr. Cossitt should take measures to provide them, for a short time at least, with the ministrations of a missionary." President Cossitt replied that lie would lay their application before the next General Assembly, that would meet in Princeton in the following May.
To this letter of President Cossitt the same committee soon sent the following reply : " Immediately on the receipt of your letter we called a meeting of the congregation, and having read your letter to them, they expressed their gratification at the prospect of becoming better acquainted with the Cumberland Presbyterian ministers. They entreated us to continue our correspondence with you, and to renew the request that your Assembly would send us a missionary for a short time. Should you succeed we wish you to inform us as early as possible, and if practicable we are solicitous for him to reach this by the 1st of June, which will enable us (should we agree with you in faith and practice) to obtain our dismission from the Presbyterian Church at the session of Presbytery which meets about the middle of that month. We are also authorized to state that our minister heartily approves our proceeding, and will with us attach himself to your body so soon as an opportunity shall offer. We think that nine-tenths of our sister congregations of the Presbyterian Church believe as we do ; and for some time, especially since two of your preachers were in Washington, an anxious desire has been manifested by them to become better acquainted with your ministry. And many who make no profession of religion are solicitous for your ministers to operate in this country; and we believe that if your Assembly will send us one or more zealous preachers, they will under God prove a great blessing to the Church of Christ. We do request that you press this matter upon the General Assembly with as much ardor as possible."
These remarkable letters are copied from Rev. James Smith's " History of the Church," pp. 653-55. The five men who wrote them were Odel Squier, the father of Rev. Dr. E. K. Squier, and long an elder of the Concord Cumberland Presbyterian Church ; Luther Day, also an elder and the first stated clerk of the Concord Church ; Ephraim Post, the father of Rev. W. E. Post and of several elders ; Henry Cary, the father of two efficient ministers, Brothers John and I. N. Cary ; and William Stockdale, the father of Hon. J. M. Stockdale, now the editor of one of our
412 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
county papers. The minister of the Upper Ten-Mile congregation, referred to in the letters, was Rev. Jacob Lindley, D.D., the father of Dr. Lutellus Lindley, who recently died in Connellsville, Pa., and of Rev. Daniel Lindley, a distinguished missionary, who died at his post among the Caffres in Africa some years since. "Father" Lindley, as he was called, had been for some fifteen years president of the State University at Athens, Ohio. Two of his daughters were afterwards married to distinguished ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the one to Rev. Robert Donnell, the other to Rev. Lee Roy Woods. It may be added that after Father Lindley connected himself with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, he was in his old age the author of an interesting work entitled "Infant Philosophy."
The General Assembly receiving these letters from the Upper Ten-Mile congregation, with other letters of like character from Western New York, and regarding these pressing calls as an intimation that the great Head of the Church was opening to their ministry a more extensive field of labor, appointed Rev. Messrs. Alexander Chapman, Robert Donnell, Reuben Burrow, John Morgan, and Alfred M. Bryan missionaries to visit the congregations that had thus applied for ministers. Smith says, " Soon after their appointment Messrs. Chapman, Morgan, and Bryan proceeded to Western Pennsylvania ; Messrs. Donnell and Burrow passed through North Carolina and Virginia, and in the autumn met the others in the vicinity of Washington." They all made the journey on horseback, and were much delayed by preaching and holding meetings on the way.
On the 14th of July, Morgan and Bryan, who were some days in advance of Chapman, reached Washington, Pa., where, Bryan being sick, Morgan preached several times with great power in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which Rev. John Waterman was then pastor. On the 20th of that month Morgan, being conducted by some of the committee that had written for the missionaries, preached at a Methodist Church called Mount Zion, twelve miles south of Washington. Here he first met Rev. Jacob Lindley, the Presbyterian minister at Upper Ten-Mile, who, on being invited cordially, took his seat with him in the pulpit. Brother Morgan in his account of this meeting in the Union Evangelist, says, "During the sermon there was nothing remarkable but a fixedness of attention on the part of every hearer, and many tears from many eyes which bespoke the searching influence of gospel truth. Mr. Lindley closed the meeting with an unusually feeling and powerful prayer, the tears streaming down his eyes all the time." At the close an appointment was announced for preaching the next Sabbath in a beautiful grove of sugar-maples near the spot where the Concord parsonage now stands.
Alexander Chapman, the most aged of the missionaries, usually called " Father" Chapman, arrived in Pennsylvania on Thursday, July 21st, and preached that night at West Alexander. His journal shows that he met Morgan and Bryan the next day in Washington, and that he rode on Saturday to Ten-Mile Creek, where he preached at night. (Bird's "Life of Chapman," p. 93.) On Sabbath morning, July 24th, Morgan preached to an immense multitude collected in the sugar-grove above referred to, and was succeeded by Father Chapman immediately with another sermon. A deep solemnity pervaded the whole mighty assembly. One lady was so deeply convicted of her lost condition that she fell from her seat as if she had fainted. Dr. Henry Blatchley, the most eminent physician of the neighborhood, being called to her assistance, was unable to determine the nature of her complaint,—" a strong mark of the doctor's discriminating medical judgment," says Morgan, "for, indeed, it was a case which demanded the presence of the Physician of souls, to whom the distressed, sin-sick woman made fervent application in prayer; and in a few days she was restored, and was able to tell who had made her every whit whole."
In the afternoon of that day Morgan preached at the house of Mr. Marsh, an irreligious man, living near the spot where Mr. Day's store is now kept at Sparta. " Here," says Mr. Morgan, "the mighty power of the Holy Ghost was felt by all present, and many of the unconverted were cut to the heart. Truly the place was awful on account of the presence of God. Now it was manifest that the Lord had begun a great and good work among the people." And he adds, " We now continued preaching from house to house, and from grove to grove, every day during the whole week, and convictions multiplied daily in every direction." There must have been a divine power in those meetings, considering that the people were so moved in the midst of the busy season of harvest.
Mr. Bryan, having now recovered, preached with great power. While the solemn meetings still continued on Ten-Mile, others of great interest were held in Pittsburgh and in Williamsport (now Monongahela City). The missionaries held a meeting of several days' continuance in a Presbyterian Church seven miles from Washington, not far from a place now called Van Buren. Of this church Rev. Dr. Dodd was then pastor. They afterwards held another meeting of like continuance in Dr. Lindley's church at Upper Ten-Mile, or Prosperity. To each of these Presbyterian Churches Mr. Morgan says they were invited by the pastor and session when their doctrine and manner of preaching had become well known. The meetings at these churches were characterized by deep feeling and great solemnity, and at each of them there were many "professions of religion." One or two incidents will illustrate the power of these meetings. At Upper Ten-Mile Church, when by request of Mr. Lindley the anxious were first invited, on Sabbath evening, seventy-two came forward, asking the prayers of the church. On next morning
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Father Chapman preached one of his most powerful sermons, that which he calls in his journal his "action sermon," urging sinners to immediate action with reference to their salvation. He was succeeded by Mr. Morgan, after a recess of thirty minutes. When the audience came together, Morgan began by reading a hymn in his most impressive and solemn manner; then, two of the elders having that morning laid in a complaint against what they deemed too much excitement, he remarked that "some thought the anxious had been called forward the evening before under too much excitement, and to prevent this charge being made again he would now invite them forward at the very commencement cf the service, before singing, praying, or any appeal to their feelings whatever." The seats then being designated and prepared for them, one hundred and twenty came forward. "Those who before had found fault," says Mr. Morgan, "now melted, and said with streaming eyes, `It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good.’”¹
About this time, probably before this meeting, the first Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania was organized. This was called by the missionaries "the Concord Church," the minutes of which begin with this record : " August 16th, 1831. This day there was a Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized by Rev. Alexander Chapman and Rev. John Morgan, a congregation consisting of thirty-seven members, who presented certificates from the Old Presbyterian Church. And on motion the congregation proceeded to the election of Ruling Elders, when Odd Squier, Samuel Day, Luther Day, and Isaac Connet were duly chosen and ordained Ruling Elders, and Luther Day was chosen Stated Clerk of the Session thus formed." Concord congregation, having its church edifice at Old Concord, Morris township, Washington Co., extends some distance over the line into Greene County. Indeed, the organization, Mr. Morgan tells us, took place in a grove of sugar-maple on the farm of William Stockdale, now belonging to James Dunn, and situated in Greene County.
"The groves were God's first temples," and many of the great meetings held by the missionaries were in the groves. Mr. Morgan, in his account of these meetings, published in the Union Evangelist, says, "We had no meeting-houses, of course, and indeed if we had had they would have been of but little use to us, unless they had covered from one-half to one acre of ground, so large were the crowds that attended."
There were now numerous cases of deep awakening widely separated, and the missionaries thought that, under the circumstances, a camp-meeting would be the best means of drawing these together, and bringing them more directly and effectually under the means of grace. After the removal of many scru-
¹ Morgan's history of these meetings in the Union Evangelist, vol. I. No. 7.
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ples and objections, this meeting was held in Washington County, near one of the head-springs of North Ten-Mile, and about half a mile from the spot where Concord Church now stands. It began on Thursday, Sept. 1, 1831, and continued one week. This was probably the greatest meeting of the kind ever held in this State. Indeed, the missionaries, who had been long accustomed to camp-meetings, never had seen one that would compare favorably with this. There were about two hundred and fifty families that tented upon the ground. Mr. Morgan says, " We had attended many meetings, but this surpassed any we had ever seen. Several times when the anxious were invited we counted some two hundred and fifty on the seats at one time. Convictions of sin were more general, deeper, and more rational than we had ever before noticed, and conversions the clearest, attended with the most overwhelming joy and peace. It was common, to see persons of age and intelligence, overwhelmed by a sense of their sins and their lost and miserable condition, in the deepest anguish of soul, as if they could not possibly live, their whole appearance clearly showing that the arrows of the Almighty had deeply wounded their hearts. From this sad and affecting condition they would seem all of a sudden to awake into light, and life and joy the most ecstatic and indescribable." Mr. Chapman says of this meeting in his journal, "There was harmony among Christians, and much conviction among the wicked. The meeting continued seven days. The immediate visible result was two hundred and fifty professions of religion." Mr. Morgan testifies to the same result as to the number of converts, and he adds, " Never, perhaps, were there fewer spurious professions, where the number was so great, in so short a time, since, the days of the Apostles."
It should be remarked that on Saturday of the great camp-meeting, Robert Donnell and Reuben Burrow, the other two missionaries that had been appointed by the General Assembly, arrived at the camp-ground, and their powerful preaching added greatly to the interest of this and of subsequent meetings. They preached with great success in the Upper Ten-Mile Church at Prosperity, and at many other points in Washington County. The Concord camp-meeting had been attended with such an outpouring of the Spirit, and had been so solemn and orderly, that many requested the missionaries to hold another " as soon as convenient." To these requests the missionaries readily acceded. This second camp-meeting was held in October, on the premises of Abel Millikin, near what is now known as Clarktown, and still nearer the spot on which the Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which sprang from this meeting, now stands. There were some strange rumors afloat in the vicinity of this meeting. A few superstitious people, who believed in witchcraft, lived in that settlement. They had heard of the mighty work on the head-waters of Ten-Mile, and 'they readily be-
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lieved the story told by some mischievous person, that the "strange preachers," as the missionaries were called, carried about with them a certain magical powder, which they sprinkled upon the people, thus making them crazy. "Mr. Morgan says, "They were actually afraid to have the preachers come nigh them, lest-some of this powder should fall on them."
However, the second camp-meeting was a grand success. The Spirit was graciously poured out, and one hundred and twenty-five professed faith in Christ. It should be remarked that many of the Presbyterians were deeply interested for the success of this meeting. Rev. Dr. Dodd himself became so enlisted in it that he employed Dr. Lindley to conduct a sacramental meeting for him at Braddock's, now the Presbyterian Church, near Grayville, in Greene County, while he went with his family and camped at Millikin's. His faith was rewarded, for Morgan says, "Several of his children, as well as we remember, were hopefully converted during the meeting."
The time now came for the return of the older missionaries to their homes in the South. The two younger men, Morgan and Bryan, who were still single, had intended to labor here for a few months only, and then cross the mountains, spend some time in New England, and then return to the South. But after much hesitation they at length yielded to the entreaties of the people, and concluded to make their homes in Pennsylvania. But before Morgan could settle here he had to return to his father's, in Alabama, to arrange some business. And it did seem for a time that Bryan would be left alone in this State during the coming winter. What must have been his joy when he heard of the coming of his friend and fellow-presbyter, Rev. Milton Bird, then in the full vigor of youthful manhood. As an evangelist, a pastor, an editor of church papers, and a teacher of probationers for the ministry, no one did more in establishing and confirming the churches in Pennsylvania than Mr. Bird. He was long pastor of the Pleasant Hill congregation, on Lower Ten-Mile, in this county. In regard to his coming to this State, his esteemed widow, still living near Princeton, Ky., has sent me the following extract from his journal: " The Green River Synod was induced to pass an order for the organization of Pennsylvania Presbytery. Pursuant to the appointment of Synod I proceeded to Pennsylvania, going from Elkton, Ky., to Paris, Ky., where I took the stage for Maysville; thence I took passage on the steamer ' William Parsons' for Wheeling; and thence by stage to Washington, Pa., where I arrived on the morning of November 7th, 1831."
Mr. Morgan returned to his father's, in Alabama, early in November, 1831. I have recently received from his daughter, Mrs. Brown, of Nashville, Tenn., a letter written by him to his father a few days before he started on this journey, and dated " Washington, Pa., Oct. 28, 1831." In this letter he says, in regard to the meetings in Pennsylvania, " We have bad one of the most powerful and glorious revivals of religion I have ever seen. About six hundred have professed religion since the last of July, and many more are now inquiring what they must do to be saved." This private letter shows beyond all doubt that the missionaries had not labored in vain in the Lord. Among the converts at their meetings in the summer and autumn of 1831 might be mentioned a number who became ministers of the gospel, as Rev. E. K. Squier, D.D., Rev. W. E. Post, Rev. Messrs. John and Isaac Newton Cary, Rev. Messrs. Philip and Luther Axtell, Rev. Stephen Winget, and also many distinguished citizens of this county, as Elias Day, long a ruling elder of the Concord Church; Col. Albert Squier, who recently died at Cumberland, Ohio ; Stephen Blatchley, one of the most eminent physicians of this county ; and Abram Van Voorhees, who, though a noted skeptic, was converted at the Concord camp-meeting through the conversation and prayers of a little girl ten years old, and who afterwards removed from Washington County and became one of the distinguished legislators of the State of Ohio. If there was space, many others might also be mentioned in this connection.
Early in 1832, Mr. Morgan returned to Pennsylvania. Green River Synod, having passed an order in the fall of 1831 for the organization of a Presbytery in this State, appointed four of its members to carry this into effect. Pursuant to this order two of these, Rev. Messrs. Alexander Chapman and William Harris, par nobile fratrum, came to Pennsylvania early in May, 1832 ; the other two, Messrs. Bryan and Bird, as has been shown, came in 1831. A camp-meeting was now held at Millikin's, on Lower Ten-Mile, including the third Sabbath in May, at which there were seventy-five professions. During this meeting Rev. S. M. Aston, a famous Cumberland preacher, arrived in this county from East Tennessee. On the 25th of May, 1832, the Cumberland Presbyterian ministers, with a few representatives from congregations already formed, met in Washington, Pa., and there constituted what was at first called the Washington Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Soon after the constituting act the name of the Presbytery was changed to that of Pennsylvania. At this first meeting of the Presbytery Mr. Aston was received into membership ; also Rev. Jacob Lindley, D.D., and Rev. Cornelius Loughran were received from the Presbyterian Church..
The new Presbytery thus formed was practically without boundaries. The churches formed in Ohio were for several years included in it. The number both of churches and ministers rapidly increased. At an early period Lee Roy Woods, S. M. Sparks, Isaac Shock, A. T. Reese, Felix G. Black, and other Cumberland Presbyterian ministers came from the South; Rev. David Barclay and his son, Charles R. Barclay, who soon became an eminent minister, came from the Presbyterian Church; Rev. A. Shearer, from the Bap-
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tist Church; Rev. Roderick Chapin and Rev. R. C. Hatton, from the Methodist Episcopal Church; and a number of young men who became efficient ministers were trained under the care of the Presbytery.
In the spring of 1837 the Pennsylvania Presbytery was divided, pursuant to the order of Green River Synod, Union Presbytery being struck off on the east, including all the Cumberland Presbyterian Churches east and north of the Monongahela River, except the church in Pittsburgh, and Athens Presbytery being formed on the west, including the churches in Ohio, and from these three Presbyteries the Pennsylvania Synod was constituted at Uniontown, Pa., in the fall of 1838. At the second meeting of this Synod, which took place in Washington, Pa., Oct. 17, 1839, there were reported twenty-two ordained ministers, eight licensed preachers, eleven candidates for the ministry, thirty-five congregations or separate churches, with a membership of three thousand two hundred and fifty-seven communicants. The Synod had for a number of years under its fostering care Greene Academy, at Carmichael's, Pa., Madison College, at Uniontown, and Beverly College, in Ohio. It has had under its care for about thirty years Waynesburg College, a flourishing institution of learning at Waynesburg, Pa., many of whose graduates have become efficient ministers, two of them presidents of colleges, and three of them missionaries in Japan. In April, 1847, the northern part of Union Presbytery was struck off and Allegheny Presbytery was constituted, and soon thereafter the Ohio Synod was constituted, three Presbyteries having been formed in that State, and Pennsylvania Synod was also reconstructed from the three Presbyteries of this State. The Synod thus severed from the churches in Ohio contained in 1880 thirty-five ordained ministers, forty-seven congregations, one hundred and nineteen elders, eighty deacons, five thousand and eighty-three communicants or regular members, and over thirty-five hundred in its Sabbath-schools. The total contributions reported during the year amounted to sixteen thousand four hundred and seventy-eight dollars.
There are but seven congregations or separate Cumberland Presbyterian Churches in Washington County. There were two others, one in Washington and one in Monongahela City, which from various causes, principally from emigration to the West, have become extinct. The church in Washington was organized in the fall of 1831, Peter Wolf, Andrew Bell, Moses Little, and A. M. S. Gordon being made elders. The church in Monongahela City was organized in April, 1834, and Dr. Samuel King and Thomas McVay were the elders. The origin of the Concord congregation in Mortis township has been already given. Organized on the 16th of August, 1831, it probably had a larger membership in 1832 than it has ever since attained. It has suffered loss at various times from emigration, and still more by the formation of other congregations at various outposts in its vicinity, Thus, in 1832, a considerable part of its membership went into a separate organization at West Union, in Greene County. A few years later the Windy Gap congregation, near Burnsville, in West Finley township, was organized. This was originally but an outpost of the Concord Church, but has become a large and flourishing congregation. It is a common saying that most of the people at Concord answer to the name of Day, and the majority at Windy Gap to the name of Sprawl& The next outpost of Concord that became a separate congregation was at Nineveh, in Greene County. And recently, at a fourth outpost in East Finley township, the Fairview congregation was organized, which involved the withdrawal of some forty members from Concord. However, there are at this time (1882) about one hundred and fifty members in the Concord Church.
The Bethel congregation, seven miles south of Washington, near Van Buren, was organized by Rev. John Morgan, May 30, 1832. It was composed in part of Presbyterians from the Upper Ten-Mile congregation. Five of its members, namely, Ephraim Cooper, Sylvanus Cooper, Thomas Axtell, John Wolfe, and Samuel Day, having been elders in the Presbyterian Church, were re-elected to that office at Bethel, and Samuel Weir, Isaac Condit, and Archibald McCracken were added to their number. This is at the present writing the largest and most flourishing Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in the county. Early in the year 1833 the Pleasant Hill congregation, on Lower Ten-Mile near Clarktown, was organized, and Joseph Evans, Abner Clark, and Abel Millikin were made elders. The Greenfield congregation was organized by Rev. S. M. Sparks, March 28, 1836, but who were made elders is unknown to the writer. The Millsboro' congregation was received under the care of Presbytery Sept. 6, 1838.
It should be remarked that all the congregations in this county are maintaining the regular means of grace, and that they contribute to the benevolent enterprises of the church, especially to the cause of missions. They all have weekly prayer-meetings and flourishing Sabbath-schools. The exact number of communicants in these seven churches is unknown to the writer, but would probably not fall short of one thousand. Three of the congregations, namely, Concord, Bethel, and Windy Gap, have snug parsonages. At the present writing, Rev. J. Reed Morris is pastor at Windy Gap, Rev. Azel Freeman, D.D., at Concord, Rev. P. H. Crider at Bethel, Rev. Luther Axtell at Pleasant Hill, Rev. I. N. Cary at Greenfield and Millsboro', and James S. Keener, a licentiate, is ministering to the Fairview congregation.
Finally, the writer hereby acknowledges his great obligation to Rev. Philip Axtell, of East Pittsburgh, who has long had charge of the minutes of Pennsylvania Presbytery and Synod, and whose statistics of the churches, published in the "Semi-centennial,"
416 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
have been relied on for many of the foregoing statements.
The Christian Church¹ or Disciples of Christ.—The materials of this historical sketch have been gathered chiefly from the "Life of A. Campbell," by Dr. R. Richardson, and " The History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve," by A. S. Hayden. The purpose is to give a brief but accurate account of the origin, principles, and progress of a powerful religious movement that took its rise in Washington, Washington Co., Pa., rapidly extended over the greater part of this country, and is now pushing onward into other countries with an accelerating force. This general outline must necessarily be, for the most, a compilation, and the present writer, having acknowledged his indebtedness to the above-named standard works, will use freely the facts and the language in which they are presented without marring this article with quotations.
Thomas Campbell descended from the Campbells of Argyleshire. He was born in County Down, near Newry, Ireland, Feb. 1, 1763. Early in life he began to exhibit a deep religiousness, which was manifest in all his life to all who knew him. His father was a strict member of the Episcopal Church, but the rigid and frigid formalities of that ritualistic establishment did not satisfy the fervid religions feelings of his sympathetic nature. He fled to the gospels, and found more congenial spiritual aliment among the warm-hearted and zealous Seceders, a branch of the Presbyterian Church, a secession from the Kirk of Scotland. He became deeply anxious for his soul's salvation, and passed through mental struggles of indescribable anguish. At length the coveted peace dawned on his soul, and in the raptures of gratitude for so great a deliverance he resolved to consecrate himself to the public service of the blessed Redeemer, to whom his soul now clung with the ardor of a most devoted love. He completed the usual classical studies in the University of Glasgow, and also a course in medicine and lectures in law. He next completed the theological course in Divinity Hall, under Archibald Bruce, D.D., a master of profound abilities, and was commissioned, under the rigid and thorough examination of the Scotch Seceder Church, with the full credentials of the Christian ministry.
He cultivated early and ever that deep reverence for the Bible which made him familiar with its meaning and its language, and which, by exalting the word of God into such incomparable pre-eminence above all human compositions, laid the foundations for the attempt to discard all human creeds as bonds of union, and to unite all the true followers of Christ into the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. His faith was equal to any demands upon it from that infallible, divine authority. Simple, trusting reliance on the Lord and child-like obedience to
¹By Rev. W. L. Hayden.
all His known requirements constituted the whole of his religion practically viewed.
By excessive labor in teaching and pastoral duties his health was impaired, and a sea-voyage was resolved upon as the necessary means of recovery. Accordingly on the 8th of April, 1807, he sailed for Philadelphia, and arrived there after a prosperous voyage of thirty-five days.
The Anti-Burgher Synod of North America was then assembled in the city. Mr. Campbell presented his testimonials from the Presbytery of Market Hill and the church at Alrovey to the Synod, and was very kindly received. Following the tide of emigration at that time he was, at his request, assigned by the Synod at Philadelphia to the Presbytery of Chartiers, embracing Washington County, in Western Pennsylvania. Upon his arrival at Washington, Pa., he found himself in the midst of old friends and neighbors who knew his worth, and the Seceder congregations were much pleased at having so important an accession to their ministry. He had not, however, been very long engaged in his regular ministrations among the, churches before some suspicions began to arise in the minds of some of his ministerial brethren that he was disposed to relax too much the rigidness of their ecclesiastic rules, and to cherish for other denominations feelings of fraternity and respect in which they could not share. They were therefore induced, after a time, to keep a wary eye upon his movements.
On a sacramental occasion Mr. Campbell felt it his duty, in the preparatory sermon, to lament the existing divisions in the Presbyterian family, and to suggest that all his pious hearers who belonged to other branches of that family in the vicinity, and who felt so disposed and duly prepared, should enjoy the benefits of the communion season then providentially afforded them without regard to party differences.
At the next meeting of the Presbytery a young minister, Mr. Wilson, who had accompanied him and was present at the communion, laid the case before the Presbytery in the usual form of "libel," containing various formal and specified charges, the chief of which were that Mr. Campbell had failed to inculcate strict adherence to the church standard and usages, and had even expressed his disapproval of some things in said standard and of the uses made of them.
The Presbytery took up the accusation and formally propounded various questions to Mr. Campbell in order to elicit fully his private views. He was guarded and conciliatory in his replies, but reiterated his convictions, and insisted that in the course he had pursued he had violated no precept of the sacred volume. His pleadings, however, in behalf of Christian liberty and fraternity were in vain, and his appeals to the Bible were disregarded, so that in the end the Presbytery found him deserving of censure for not adhering to the "Secession Testimony." Against this decision Mr. Campbell protested, and the case was then, in due course, submitted to the Synod at its next
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meeting. Anxious to avoid a position unfavorable to his usefulness, and calculated to produce discord and division, and cherishing still the desire to labor harmoniously with those with whom he had been so long associated, he addressed an earnest appeal to the Synod when his case came up for consideration, in which he defined and defended his position.
This appeal contains the first formal enunciation of the germinal principle of his reformatory work. He says, "I dare not venture to trust my own understanding so far as to take upon me to teach anything as a matter of faith or duty but what is already expressly taught and enjoined by divine authority." Again, "I refuse to acknowledge as obligatory upon myself or to impose upon others anything as of divine obligation for which I cannot produce a ' Thus saith the Lord.' "
After reading the appeal and hearing the case before the Synod, it was decided to set aside the judgment, and decision of 'the Presbytery, on the ground of informalities in the proceedings in the trial of the case, and to release the protester from the censure inflicted by the Presbytery. The charges and all the. documents pertaining to the trial were then referred to a committee, which finally reported that "there are sufficient grounds for censure," based on the two first articles of the charge.
From extreme reluctance to separate from cherished friends and brethren in the ministry, Mr. Campbell submitted to the decision, declaring at the same time that it was only in deference to the judgment of the court, and that he might not give offense to his brethren by manifesting a refractory spirit. But this concession did not conciliate his opponents.
By bitter and persistent persecution he was forced to the conclusion that bigotry, corruption, and tyranny are qualities inherent in all clerical organizations. Hence he finally concluded to separate himself from all connection with a people who seemed to regard their own particular "testimony" as practically a more important rule of action than the Bible. He accordingly presented to the Synod a formal renunciation of its authority, announcing that he abandoned all ministerial connection with it, and would hold himself thenceforth utterly unaffected by its decisions.
His withdrawal from the Seceders occasioned no interruption of his ministerial labors. From the great personal influence he had acquired in various portions of the counties of Washington and Allegheny, and the novelty and force of the plea he made for Christian liberality and Christian union upon the basis of the Bible, large numbers continued to attend his ministrations wherever it was in his power to hold meetings. He preached weekly, sometimes in a maple-grove, but generally in the houses of his old Irish neighbors who had settled in Washington County, to all who chose to assemble.
Finding, after a time, that his hearers (many of whom still held membership in the Seceder or Presbyterian Churches) were in constant attendance, and apparently convinced f the correctness of the principles which he taught, and desirous of the success of his efforts to form a union upon the Bible alone, he proposed to the principal persons among them that a special meeting should be held, in order to confer freely upon the existing state of things, and to give, if possible, more definiteness to the movement, in which they had thus far been co-operating without any formal organization or determinate arrangement. This proposition was at once gladly acceded to, and a convenient time was appointed to meet for the purposes specified at the house of Abraham Altars, who lived between Mount Pleasant and Washington, and who, though not a member of any church, was an earnest friend of the movement.
At the time appointed there was a very general assembling at the place designated. After earnest prayer, invoking divine guidance, Thomas Campbell set forth the objects of their assembling. He dwelt upon the manifold evils of divisions in religious society, which divisions, he urged, are unnecessary and injurious, since God has provided, in his sacred Word, an infallible standard, which is all-sufficient and alone sufficient as a basis of union and Christian co-operation. He showed that the real occasions of the unhappy controversies and strifes which have so long desolated the religious world are outside of the Bible, and therefore insisted upon a return to the simple teachings of the Scriptures, and upon the entire abandonment of everything in religion for which there cannot be produced a divine warrant. Finally, he announced the great principle or rule upon which they were acting, and would continue to act consistently and perseveringly to the end. "That rule," said he, "is this, that where the Scriptures speak we speak, and where the Scriptures are silent we are silent."
From the moment these significant words were uttered and accepted the more intelligent dated the formal and actual commencement of the reformation, which has been carried on with wonderful success and has produced important changes in religious society over a large portion of the world.
After the adoption of this basal principle there were a few defections of persons belonging to the religious parties and fearing its application to some of their cherished views and practices. Notwithstanding some differences on some points, the members were cordially united in the great object of promoting Christian union and peace in the religious world. At a meeting held on the head-waters of Buffalo, Aug. 17, 1809, it was resolved to form themselves into an association under the name of "The Christian Association of Washington," and twenty-three of their number were appointed with Mr. Campbell to determine the proper means to carry its important ends into effect.
418 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
As it had been found somewhat inconvenient to hold meetings in private houses, it was thought advisable by the members to provide some regular place of meeting. Accordingly the neighbors assembled, and in a short time erected a log building on the Sinclair farm, about three miles from Mount Pleasant, upon the road leading from Washington to that place, at the point it was crossed by the road from Middletown to Canonsburg. Here Mr. Campbell continued to meet his hearers regularly, and spent most of the week at the residence of a Mr. Welsh, a respectable farmer and favorable to the association. In this retired place he wrote, the famous " Declaration and Address," designed to set forth, clearly and definitely, the object of the movement in which he and his associates were engaged.
At a special meeting of the chief members it was unanimously agreed to and ordered to be printed on Sept. 7, 1809. In this remarkable document, which occupies fifty-four closely-printed pages, the occasion and nature of the association are defined, and a preamble and five resolutions are presented that were accepted as its constitution. A standing committee of twenty-one members was appointed to superintend the interests of the society, and its meetings were held semi-annually on the first Thursday of May and November. It did not recognize itself as a church, but simply as a society for the promotion of Christian union and of a pure evangelical reformation by the simple preaching of the gospel and the administration of its ordinances in exact conformity to the divine standard.
Another principal actor in subsequent events must be introduced at this point.
Alexander Campbell, oldest son of Thomas Campbell, was born Sept. 12, 1788, in county of Antrim, Ireland. His ancestors on the paternal side were of Scotch origin, but on the maternal side they descended from the Huguenots in France. He inherited a vigorous and well-balanced physical and mental constitution, and was trained from his earliest years by his learned father to habits of severe application. He completed his course of education in the University of Glasgow. Blessed with an exceedingly intellectual and pious parentage, and reared in one of the strictest schools of Presbyterianism, he early formed and cultivated habits of piety and a taste for theological studies which gave shape to his entire life. A profound reverence for the word of God was a marked feature of the character alike of the boy and of the man.
While at Glasgow he was much interested in the reformatory movement of the Haldanes and others then progressing in Scotland, which wrought an entire revolution in his views and feelings in respect to the existing denominations, and disengaged his sympathies entirely from the Seceders and every other form of Presbyterianism. This movement gave the youthful Campbell his first impulse as a religious reformer, and which may be justly regarded as the first phase of that religious reformation which he afterwards carried out so successfully to its legitimate issues.
Thus Providence was working on both sides of the Atlantic,—in the wild woods and superb hills of Western Pennsylvania, and in the cultured fields of Scotland's classic city,—preparing father and son for the important work in which they were destined to cooperate. The trials and envious persecutions which the father underwent at the hands of the Seceder clergy on account of his broader sympathies and his exaltation of the Holy Scriptures as the basis of Christian union fully prepared his mind to enter into the liberal and independent views which the son had imbibed in old Scotland. When the son Alexander arrived with the family at Washington, Pa., about Oct. 22, 1809, he was fitted to enter heartily into the work of reformation already inaugurated by his revered father.
While examining the proof-sheets and discussing the questions involved, the younger Campbell was greatly impressed with the importance of the principles laid down in the Declaration and Address, signed by Thomas Campbell and Thomas Acheson. They expressed clearly his own mature convictions, and he was captivated by the clear and decisive presentations of duty and the noble Christian enterprise to which he was invited. At the sacrifice of brilliant worldly prospects and preferments, and distinctly foreseeing the hostility which would be provoked, he resolved to consecrate his life to the advocacy of these principles. They formed a step in advance of any religious reformation previously attempted. Only a few seed truths, culled from this "Magna Charts." of ecclesiastical reform, can be given in this sketch.
Commencing with the admitted truth that the gospel was designed to reconcile and unite men to God and to each other, the address portrays the sad divisions that existed and their baleful effects, and declares that Christian union can be accomplished only in one of two ways,—either in and through the truth and upon principle, or by compromise and accommodation. It proposes to " come firmly and fairly to original ground and take up things just as the apostles left them, that thus disentangled from the accruing embarrassments of intervening ages we may stand with evidence upon the same ground on which the church stood at the beginning."
Here is the startling proposition to begin anew, to begin at the beginning, to ascend at once to the pure fountain of truth, and to neglect and disregard the decrees of popes, councils, synods, and assemblies, and all the traditions and corruptions of an apostate church. Here is an effort, not so much for the reformation of the church as was that of Luther and of Calvin, and to some extent even of the Haldanes, but for its complete restoration at once to its pristine purity and perfection. By coming at once to
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the primitive model and rejecting all human imitations, by submitting implicitly to the divine authority as plainly expressed in the Scriptures, and by disregarding all the assumptions and dictation of fallible men, it was proposed to form a union upon a basis to which no valid objection could possibly be offered. So fully and so kindly was every possible objection considered and refuted, that no attempt was ever made by the opposers of the proposed movement to contradict directly a single position which it contained.
After the fullest preparation for the prodigious undertaking thus opened before him in a new and unexpected field of action, Alexander Campbell preached his first sermon from Matt. vii. 24-27, on July 15, 1810, in a grove on the farm of Maj. Templeton, some eight miles from Washington. From this time his public services were in continual requisition, and in the course of the first year he preached one hundred and six sermons at the Cross-Roads, at Washington, Buffalo, Middletown, and in Ohio at Steubenville, Cadiz, and St. Clairsville.
As many members of the Christian Association lived near Buffalo Creek, it was about this time resolved to erect a house of worship there. They selected a piece of ground on the farm of William Gilchrist, in the valley of Brush Run, about two miles above its junction with Buffalo Creek, as an eligible site for the building, which was to be framed. Meantime a temporary stand was erected near the chosen site, and Alexander was requested to preach the first discourse, which he did on Sept. 16, 1810, from the appropriate and prophetic text, Job viii. 7: "Though thy beginning was small, thy latter end should greatly increase."
About this time the elder Campbell discovered that his overtures met with little response, and the association was assuming a somewhat different character from that originally contemplated, and was gradually taking the position of a distinct religious body. This occasioned great uneasiness. The idea that he should be the means of creating a new party was most abhorrent to him, and he was disposed to adopt any measure consistent with his principles to avoid such a result. Yielding, therefore, to the solicitations of some of his friends, though in opposition to the views of his son Alexander, on Oct. 4, 1810, he, as the representative of the Christian Association, applied to the Synod of Pittsburgh, then in session at Washington, to be taken into Christian and ministerial communion. After hearing Mr. Campbell at length, and his answers to various questions proposed to him, the Synod unanimously resolved not to grant the request, for reasons assigned and "many other important reasons."
The next day Mr. Campbell appeared in Synod and asked an explanation of what those "important reasons" are. The Synod returned answer: "It was not for any immorality in practice, but, in addition to the reasons before assigned, for expressing his belief that there are some opinions taught in our Confession of Faith which are not founded in the Bible, and avoiding to designate them; for declaring that the administration of baptism to infants is not authorized by scriptural precept or example, and is a matter of indifference, yet administering that ordinance while holding such an opinion; for encouraging or countenancing his son to preach the gospel without any regular authority; for opposing creeds and confessions as injurious to the interests of religion; and also because it is not consistent with the regulations of the Presbyterian Church that Synod should form a connection with any ministers, churches, or associations."
Thus the application resulted as the younger Campbell anticipated, since it was not proposed to unite with the Synod on Presbyterian principles, but only to obtain its consent to Christian union on Christian principles. The experiment illustrated the charity of the applicants, evinced the sagacity of the youthful champion of Christian freedom, and disclosed the essential character of sectarianism, in confirmation of the declaration " that a book adopted by any party as its standard for all matters of doctrine, worship, discipline, and government must be considered as the Bible of that party."
Alexander Campbell, though but a youth and as yet a novice in the field of polemics, readily took up the gauntlet thus defiantly thrown down by that dignified body, and resolved to review the proceedings of the Synod, which his father was inhibited from doing by his declaration. The semi-annual meeting of the association at Washington, Nov. 11, 1810, furnished the first favorable opportunity, and his purpose was announced in the Reporter on October 22d and 29th preceding.
At the appointed time the preacher, " without any regular authority," addressed a large assembly, and in a masterly effort he pointed out the way of the Lord, and triumphantly vindicated the principles of the association against the allegations of the Synod. In its characterization of Mr. Campbell's plan to promote Christian union, a controversy was initiated which has continued for nearly three-fourths of a century, and every encounter on a fair field has only strengthened the cause which was then assailed.
But the Campbells were not controversial, either in the matter or manner of their regular ministrations. The whole spirit of their movement was that of peace and conciliation. Their discourses were devoted to the elucidation of portions of Scripture for Christian edification and for the enforcement of the great duties of the Christian life. 'Their aim was not so much to repair defects in modern Christianity as to restore that which was original and pure, both in letter and spirit, in principle and practice. Occupying a position that is necessarily antagonistic to all religious parties as such, they were inevitably drawn into
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occasional conflict with "the sects," and then no man ever met a more valiant opponent than the younger Campbell, and no man—infidel, Roman, or sectarian—ever came out of a tilt with that knightly defender of the faith and-practice of primitive Christianity without being worsted in the conflict.
At the meeting of the association on May 4, 1811, the question of changing the character of the society, and of assuming that of an independent church, was duly considered, and, though reluctantly, it was finally concluded to take this step, as the attitude which the religious parties had assumed left no other alternative. It was history repeating itself, for such was the case with the Reformation of Luther, of Calvin, of Knox, and of Wesley.
At this meeting Thomas Campbell was appointed elder, and Alexander was licensed to preach the gospel. Four deacons were also chosen, viz.: John Dawson, George Sharp, William Gilchrist, and James Foster.
On the following day, May 5, 1811, the church held its first communion service, and A. Campbell preached from the words, " I am that bread of life."
On June 16, 1811, he delivered the first sermon in the new meeting-house at Brush Run.
Up to this time the incessant labors of these great restorers of Christian law and ordinances had so occupied their time and attention that they had not carried their own principles to their practical results. When they began, according to the custom of the independent churches in Scotland, to celebrate the Lord's Supper weekly, the question as to who was authorized to partake of the emblems naturally arose. This involved the question of baptism, particularly its action and subject. A conscientious adherence to their manifestly correct rule held them firmly to the word of God, and compelled them to renounce everything for which they could not produce a "Thus saith the Lord," either in express terms or by approved precedent. As the unity of the church and the overthrow of sectarianism were their leading objects, they regarded the question of baptism as one of small importance, and a matter of indifference as to its mode.
The first baptisms were administered by Thomas Campbell on July 4, 1811, in a deep pool of Buffalo Creek, about two miles above the mouth of Brush Run, and on the farm of David Bryant. By this time many of those who had at first been identified with the Christian Association had become indifferent, and many sympathizers held back from entering into a church relation. So the church at this period could reckon only about thirty regular members, who continued to meet alternately at the Cross-Roads and at Brush Run. On the first day of the year 1812, Alexander Campbell was regularly ordained as minister of the gospel by Thomas Campbell.
It was not until after the birth of his first child, March 12, 1812, that infant baptism became to A. Campbell a question of practical interest. Then searching out critically the signification of the words rendered baptism and baptize in the original Greek, he became satisfied that, when used to indicate the Christian ordinance, they could mean only immersion and immerse. From his further investigations he was led finally to the clear conviction that believers, and believers only, are the proper subjects of the ordinance. Hence allusion and an unbelieving subject, whether infant or adult, were abandoned as entirely outside of the Bible.
He resolved at once to obey what, in the light of the Scriptures, he now found to be a positive divine command. He made application to Matthias Luce, a Baptist preacher, who lived above Washington, to perform the rite, stipulating with him that the ceremony should be performed precisely according to the pattern given in the New Testament, omitting the modern custom of giving so-called "religious experience," and admitting the candidates on the simple confession that "Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God." Elder Luce first objected that these changes were contrary to Baptist usage, but finally consented, remarking that he believed they were right, and he would risk the censure.
Wednesday, the 12th day of June, 1812, was selected as the time, and the deep pool in Buffalo Creek where the first baptisms were administered was the chosen place. Elder Henry Spears accompanied Elder Luce, and upon their arrival at the place on the day named they found a large concourse of people, including the greater part of the members of Brush Run Church.
The Campbells, in the order of age, gave lengthy addresses, in which they reviewed the whole ground, related their struggles with reference to this important change, presented the teachings of the Scriptures upon the subject, and dwelt at length upon the gracious promises of God to all who should obey him. When the youngest Campbell concluded seven persons were immersed, viz.: Alexander Campbell and his wife, Thomas Campbell and his wife, Dorothea Campbell, James Haven and his wife. The meeting continued seven hours. Just before it commenced Joseph Bryant had to 'leave to attend a muster of volunteers at Taylorstown for the war against Great Britain, and after attending the muster he returned in time to hear an hour's preaching and witness the baptisms.
From the moment Thomas Campbell followed the example of his son in relation to baptism he conceded to him in effect the guidance of the whole religious movement. The father, having accomplished his special mission in propounding and developing the true basis of Christian union, gracefully surrendered his position to the son, as the master-spirit in holding up the word of God alone as the guiding light to the pilgrim on his way to eternal life.
At the next meeting of the church of Brush Run, on Lord's Day, June 16th, thirteen other members,
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and among them James Foster, requested immersion, which was administered by Thomas Campbell, each one making the simple confession of Christ as the Son of God. Soon others followed in like manner, until a great majority of the,,church consisted of immersed believers, while other individuals who had been in the association, and among them Gen. Acheson, abandoned the cause which at first they so warmly espoused. Thenceforth the Jordan flows between those enlisted in the restoration movement and every phase and form of pedobaptism, and the spirit of persecution was aroused against these humble learners in the school of Christ.
The adoption of immersion naturally served to give the church of Brush Run more acceptance with the Baptists. Of these there were but few in the region of country between Washington and the Ohio River. East of Washington, along the Monongahela River, they were quite numerous and had formed an association of churches called " Redstone," from an old Indian fort of that name on the Monongahela, about sixty miles above Pittsburgh, where Brownsville is now situated.
Elders Luce and Spears belonged to that association, and they with others often urged that the Brush Run Church should connect itself with this body. To this there were three obstacles in the way. First, notwithstanding the claim of independency put forth in theory by the Baptist Churches, they were very much under the control of the clergy, who constituted the ruling element in the Associations.
Second, The churches composing the Association had adopted the Philadelphia Confession of Faith of Sept. 25, 1747, which contains a fair proportion of the unscriptural theories and speculations usually found in such standards.
Third. Immersion itself was not to the church of Brush Run precisely what it was to the Baptist Church. To the latter it was merely a commandment, a sort of front door by which regularity and good order required people to enter the church. With the former it was the primitive confession of and putting on Christ, and hence a gracious token of salvation.
However, A. Campbell was often sent for, and pressed to preach for the Baptist people, and upon acquaintance he liked the people more and the preachers less. He visited their Association at Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pa., in the autumn of 1812, and returned with his previous unfavorable opinion of the Baptist preachers confirmed. Nevertheless he often spoke for the Baptist congregations for sixty miles around. They all pressed him and his brethren to join their Redstone Association. The matter was laid before the church in the fall of 1813, and it was finally concluded, after much discussion and prayer for the wisdom which comes from above, to make an overture to that effect, and accompany it with their sentiments, wishes, and determinations fully written out, which was done in a document of ten pages of large dimensions. The proposition was discussed at the Association, and after much debate it was decided by a considerable majority to receive the Brush Run Church, notwithstanding their remonstrances against human creeds as bonds of union or communion among Christian Churches, but with their expressed willingness, upon the conditions specified, to co-operate or to unite with the Association. Among the minority opposed to this union thus formed there was Elder Pritchard, of Cross Creek, Va., Elder Brownfield, of Uniontown, Pa., and Elder Stone, of Ohio, and his son, Elder Stone, of the Monongahela region, who seem to have confederated to oppose the influence of A. Campbell, but for three years they could do nothing.
In November, 1815, Mr. Campbell proposed to a few members of the church residing in Wellsburg, Va., that a meeting-house should be erected in the town, which was then entirely without any place for public worship, and volunteered his services for three or four months in soliciting necessary means. The proposition was agreed to, and Dec. 12, 1815, he left home for an eastern tour to Philadelphia and New York, and returned after an absence of some months, having obtained about one thousand dollars. With additional assistance afterwards secured in the vicinity a lot was purchased, and a comfortable brick house was soon erected.
The erection of this house gave great offense to Elder Pritchard, minister of the Cross Creek Baptist Church, three miles above, who had already signalized his hostility to Mr. Campbell, and who seemed to think his influence would be weakened and his congregations would be diminished by the building of the house in Wellsburg.
The Redstone Association convened at Cross Creek on the 30th of August of this year, 1816. On Saturday Elder Pritchard asserted the right of the church where the Association was assembled, in conformity to a rule adopted by the Baptists in Maryland, to select the preachers for the Lord's Day, and, regardless of the great anxiety of the people and some of the preachers to hear Mr. Campbell, had Elder Stone substituted for the former in the arrangement for that day.
Next morning David Philips, of Peters Creek, one of the oldest and best preachers in the Association, was deputed by a large number to see Mr. Campbell and to insist that he should preach, as he was first nominated. He said he had no objections to preach, but that he would not violate the rule of the Association. Providentially, Elder Stone was taken ill, and upon the personal invitation of Elder Pritchard, Mr. Campbell preached, having asked leave to follow Elder Cox, as be was called upon unexpectedly.
On this occasion he delivered the famous Sermon on the Law, which created such excitement in the Baptist community. Mr. Pritchard could not suppress his dissatisfaction during its delivery, and at
422 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
the intermission that followed he proposed a public protest, but more prudent counsel prevailed.
At this same meeting of the Association, on Saturday, August 31st, a letter was presented by T. Campbell from a number of baptized persons in the city of Pittsburgh, requesting union as a church to this Association.
It was voted that as this letter is not presented according to the constitution of this Association, the request cannot be granted. However, Mr. T. Campbell was invited to a seat, and a committee was appointed to investigate the subject of the letter, viz., D. Philips, M. Luce, and Mr. Pritchard.
Though the sermon, which created an extraordinary sensation, contained nothing but plain Scripture teaching in reference to the law and the gospel, the opponents of Mr. Campbell succeeded in bringing it up for trial and condemnation at the next Association at Peters Creek in 1817. It was founded on Rom. viii. 3, and its general purport was simply to show that Christians are under law to Christ and not to Moses. The speaker, in the first place, showed that the phrase " the law" in the text signifies the whole Mosaic dispensation, though it does not include the two principles which our Great Prophet teaches is the basis of the law of Moses and of the prophets. He then pointed out what the law could not do, and why. It could not give righteousness and life, nor exhibit the malignity of sin, nor furnish a suitable rule of life to mankind in this imperfect state. He next illustrated how God remedied these defects by the gospel, by sending his Son to make reconciliation for sin, and by his perfect example and teachings.
From these premises he deduced various conclusions, viz.: 1. There is an essential difference between the law and the gospel,—between the Mosaic and Christian dispensations. 2. Christians are not under law, but under grace. 3. There is no necessity for preaching the law in order to prepare men for receiving the gospel. 4. All arguments and motives drawn from the law or Old Testament to incite the disciples of Christ to a compliance with or imitation of Jewish customs are repugnant to Christianity, not .being enjoined by the authority of Jesus Christ. 5. The Lord Jesus Christ should be venerated in the highest degree, and the most punctilious regard should be paid to all his precepts and ordinances.
In the fall of this year Thomas Campbell removed his family to Newport, Ky., and left to Alexander the entire public advocacy of the cause of restoration, now struggling in its infancy in Western Pennsylvania and Virginia, excepting the labors of James Foster, which were chiefly confined to the Brush Run Church. As yet this was the only church in the reformation, though it met alternately at Cross-Roads and Brush Run.
Early in the year 1818, A. Campbell opened a school for young men, called " Buffalo Seminary," which flourished nearly five years. Some of his pupils devoted themselves ardently to the study of the Scriptures, and became able advocates of what was termed the ancient gospel. Thus while the reformation was but imperfectly developed or established, and did not number more than one hundred and fifty persons scattered among the Baptists in this region, Mr. Campbell was training skilled workmen to scatter the good seed in other States, and to protect it from the devouring fowls of partisan prejudice, bigotry, and wickedness. He was laying the foundations deep and broad for years to come by building up an institution of learning. In 1840 he founded Bethany College, which has sent, and still sends, out its well-trained advocates to maintain the glorious work since he has finished his course and received his crown.
The granite rock of this remarkable religious movement is the acceptance of all that is divine in religion, and the rejection of all that is human. Hence the Alpha and the Omega of its faith is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. His will, revealed in the New Testament through the inspired apostles, is its only directory of worship and law of discipline. It proclaims the largest liberty consistent with loyalty to Christ, and repudiates all domination over individuals or churches, whether by synods, presbyteries, conferences, associations, or local church officiaries. It advocates the unity of the church in opposition alike to religious sects and to the destructive heresy of church independency, and adjusts difficulties in or between churches on the principle of fraternal reference to wise men among brethren chosen on occasion. It proposes "to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" by unity in faith, diversity in opinion, and charity in all things.
By such manifestation of the truth, commending themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God, these great leaders strove to overcome sectism in all its forms, that the prayer of Jesus in the darkening shadows of Calvary might be realized in the actual oneness of them that believe on him through the word of his chosen apostles, and that the world may believe that he was sent of God. The rock on which they built stands like Gibraltar, against which the waves of rationalism and sectarian intolerance have beaten only to be turned back in harmless spray. Men of narrow minds and wordly policies may fail to grasp a scheme so comprehensive, and to perceive aims so high and heavenly, and so fail to give effect to this matchless plea, but, in principle and exalted position, this effort for the restoration of primitive Christianity can never be surpassed.
The following tabulated statement was carefully prepared in the year 1880. It is believed that the aggregates are below rather than above the truth as to the extent f this movement in this country. But beside this it has extended into Canada, Jamaica, Great Britain, Australia, and other foreign lands. Missionaries are now pushing on this work in several
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cities in England, in France, in Norway, and in Constantinople. A church has been planted in Japan, and missionaries are about to go to India.
TABLE OF STATISTICS.
The list of periodicals published by the Disciples includes thirteen weeklies, twelve monthlies, three semi-monthlies, and one quarterly review, also Sunday-school papers, four monthlies and eight weeklies.
There are more than thirty colleges under the influence and patronage of the Christian Church. Truly though thy beginning was small, thy latter end has greatly increased.
The Catholic Church¹. in Washington County.—Catholics were among the pioneer settlers of Washington County. Mr. Robinson, an Irish Catholic, settled in the vicinity of where Clayville now stands before the close of the war of independence or about that time. Mr. Henry Montague, also an Irish Catholic, settled in the neighborhood of West Alexander in the year 1794, on a piece of land still occupied by his descendants. Others settled in the vicinity not long after, of whose Catholicity little more than the tradition is left among their descendants.
Between the years 1797 and 1801 a certain Father Lannigan, heretofore in charge of a Catholic settlement in Westmoreland County, came with a number of his people, negotiated for the purchase of several thousand acres of land near West Alexander, but soon becoming dissatisfied with the location, they sold out their land, bought another tract in Greene County, and settled there. Father Lannigan passed through Washington, probably on his way to West Alexander
¹ By D. J. Malady.
or to Greene County, in 1801, and preached a sermon in the court-house. The reverend gentleman stopped overnight with Mr. Robinson, near Clayville, and at times with Mr. Montague also; but we have no positive evidence of his holding divine service or performing any ministrations among the Catholics of this county. There is no mention of his name in this region later than 1801. Nearly all the early events of Catholicity in this county from this time centre around the homestead of Mr. Montague. His original possession f a hundred and forty or fifty acres was bought from the State. The warrant of survey bears the date of 1795, and the deed 1799. In the year 1809 he bought an adjoining tract of one hundred and fifty or two hundred acres from a German named Goss, who, together with his brother, had bought it from the original owner, a certain Gater, about two years previously. On this purchase stood the old Gater House, so called from the original owner of the land. It was a log house, built on the primitive backwoods plan, when strength and security of defense against savage depredations were considered important points to house-building.
Mass was offered up in this primitive chapel about the year 1811 by Father O'Brien, the first stationary priest of Pittsburgh.
This is the first authentic account we can obtain of the celebration of divine service in the county.
The old wagon-road from Washington, D. C., to Wheeling and the West, which occupied nearly the same bed as the present National pike, was a route sometimes taken by the early Catholic missionaries to the West. This road passed near the house of Mr. Montague. The saintly and illustrious Fenwick, afterwards the first Bishop of Cincinnati, passed over this route on his first missionary journey into the. then wilderness of Ohio in the summer of 1814.
He came alone and unattended, stopped at the house of Henry Montague, held divine service, ministered to the few Catholic families around, and consecrated or blessed a small plot of ground on the farm of his host as a burial-place for the Catholics scattered around. This is the oldest landmark of Catholicity in the county. Mr. Montague, his wife and son, and a number of the old Catholic settlers are buried there.
During the construction of the National pike-1818 to 1821—the venerable Father Maguire came through several times and ministered to the Catholic workmen along the road from Brownsville down through this county. The first Catholic chapel was built at this time, and completed before the year 1821 had drawn to a close. It was a frame building about twenty by thirty feet. It was built by the contributions of the Catholic workmen along the road, and situated near West Alexander, on the pike. The neighboring Catholic families also contributed towards its erection. Father Rafferty from Pittsburgh attended it at regular intervals about the year 1830.
Father Homer, the first stationary priest of Wheel-
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ing, afterwards came at regular times, covering a period of about two or three years from 1833 to 1836. In this year Right Rev. Bishop Kenrick, of Philadelphia, visited this portion of his diocese, said mass, and confirmed in the chapel at West Alexander. The following year, 1837, he sent Rev. Father Gallagher to take charge of this and surrounding missions, with headquarters in Brownsville. Father Gallagher was the first regularly appointed pastor of the Catholic Church in Washington County. He had a large field to labor in, but managed to attend to the church at West Alexander once a month. He also visited Washington monthly, and from this time we may date the separation of the two congregations of Washington and West Alexander, now Claysville.
ST. JAMES' CHURCH, WEST ALEXANDER, NOW SACRED HEART, CLAYSVILLE. —About the year 1839 or 1840, Right Rev. Bishop Kenrick visited this faraway portion of his scattered flock a second time, held divine service, and confirmed in the old St. James' Chapel at West Alexander. Father Gallagher was succeeded in 1846 by the Rev. P. Duffy. Under his energetic administration the old frame church was torn down and a new brick one erected in its place, larger than the first, being thirty-three by fifty. The ground on which both of these churches stood was part of a donation of two acres from Mr. Michael Dougherty, a Catholic, and Mr. Schaefer, a Protestant, both of whose farms lay adjoining the spot. It is a beautiful place, commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country. The cemetery of this congregation is still there, and few more charming sites can be found among the hills of Pennsylvania than this peaceful little city of the dead.
Father Duffy remained but a short time, and was succeeded for a brief period by the Rev. Father Gallagher a second time. Rev. James Kearney came after in 1849, and Rev. James McGowan in 1850. He was succeeded by Rev. Henry Duff Lambert.
In 1852, Brownsville was separated from this mission, and the Rev. Daniel Hickey was appointed to take charge of West Alexander, Washington, and the Greene County missions. He took up his residence near the church, the first resident Catholic clergyman in Washington County. The Hempfield Railroad was being constructed about this time, and owing to the number of Irish Catholic workmen employed there was a large though temporary increase of the congregation. When this influx subsided St. James' congregation numbered about twenty, or, at the most, twenty-five families, made up of the descendants of old settlers, of those who had worked on the pike, and of some who worked on the building of the Hemp-field road, and remained after it was done. Father Hickey died Oct. 5, 1854, in the thirty-first year of his age, and was buried in the church cemetery. A beautiful marble monument over his grave attests the devotion of the people among whom the labor of his young life was spent.
Rev. John Farren came next; then Rev. Francis O'Shea in 1855; Rev. Jerome Kearney in 1856; Rev. Francis O'Shea came a second time in 1858, and was succeeded in the spring of 1859 by Rev. Dennis Kearney. Rev. James Nolan came in the spring of 1860; Rev. Patrick Sheehan in the summer of 1862. In January, 1864, Rev. James Lahaney. In October, 1866, Rev. J. Scanlan. Rev. J. McEnrue came in the summer of 1868, and remained until 1873. The old church, built in 1846, had become by this time unsafe, and besides was badly located for the convenience of the bulk of the congregation. Ground was, therefore, purchased in the borough of Claysville, about five miles from the old site, with a view of erecting a new church. The foundation of the new church was completed when Father McEnrue left in January, 1873. Rev. J. A. Canevin succeeded, but remained only a short time, leaving early in the summer of 1873. Rev. F. McCarthy was then appointed. Mass was said meanwhile in private houses, and in the school hall in the borough of Claysville. Old St. James' Church near West Alexander was sold for the value of the material it contained, and some time after torn down.
The new church was energetically pushed forward, and completed in 1874. It is a brick structure, eighty feet in length by thirty-five in width, with a brick tower in the front centre, and tastefully finished throughout. It was dedicated under the title of the Church of the Sacred Heart by the Rt. Rev. M. Domenec in the summer of 1875. Rev. F. McCarthy left in the spring of 1877. Rev. T. Howley succeeded him, and remained until January, 1879. Rev. J. Malady came next. He was appointed immediately after his ordination, and labored zealously and fruitfully for over three years, and died in Washington, April 27, 1882, in the twenty-eighth year of his age.
The number of families belonging to the Church of the Sacred Heart at Claysville is not perceptibly larger than it was twenty or thirty years ago. No new industry has been developed in the vicinity, and the natural increase has been counterbalanced by death and the departure from time to time of much of the younger portion for more promising fields and pastures new.
CHURCH OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, WASHINGTON.—The first appearance of Catholicity in this town was in the person of the Rev. Father Lannigan in 1801, and the first public utterance of its doctrine was doubtless his sermon in the courthouse at the same time. Rev. C. McGuire, the venerable founder of St. Paul's Cathedral, Pittsburgh, came through several times previous to and during the years 1820-21. Rev. . Rafferty, of Pittsburgh, came and held divine service in the house of Matthew Blake. The name of a certain Rev. Mazachelli is also mentioned as coming after him. In the year 1836, Rt. Rev. Bishop Kenrick, of Philadelphia, came at an episcopal invitation, and held divine service, preached, and confirmed in the court-house. The
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congregation at this time did not number ten families. In 1837, Rev. M. Gallagher was sent to take charge. He visited this mission separately from that at West Alexander, and about once a month. The history of the Catholic Church in Washington may be said to begin from this time, when an independent congregation was organized. Being, however, always under the care of the same pastor as the West Alexander mission, the change of incumbent was always the same for both. Soon after this the Catholics bought a lot on Maiden Street, opposite the present gas-works, with a view of building a church. Their Protestant neighbors, however, proved so decidedly hostile that they abandoned the project, and bought the lot of the present site, then outside the borough limits. Happily the spirit displayed on this occasion is now a thing of the past, and without regard to theological tenets the courtesies of life can be interchanged and kindliness exist among men. The new lot purchased was forty feet by sixty, to which was added another piece, twenty by eighty, of adjoining lot, donated to the church by Mr. Anthony Rentz. The lot was purchased March, 1842.
A short time previous to this the Rt. Rev. Bishop Kenrick visited this part of his flock a second time and administered confirmation. In company with the Methodist clergyman, Rev. Mr. Holmes, he dined at the house of Mr. Rush, on Chestnut Street. So mutually agreeable did this odd association prove that after dinner they adjourned to the minister's house, where the Catholic bishop passed a very pleasant evening with the preacher.
From this time mass was said at different Catholic houses in the town, and finally in the court-house until the church was built. The work of building a church was begun in 1853 under Rev. D. Hickey. Rev. J. Farrell, who succeeded after the death of Father Hickey, completed the work begun ; and the church was finally dedicated under the title of the Church of the Immaculate Conception by Bishop Whelan, of Wheeling, Aug. 26, 1855. About this time, or soon after, services began to be held below Canonsburg on the Pittsburgh pike, for a few families scattered around in that neighborhood. It is still attended monthly, and bids fair to increase. A new burial-ground was purchased in 1872 by Rev. J. McEnrue. It is beautifully situated on the slope of a hill about one mile from town on the Pittsburgh pike. Under the administration of Rev. J. Malady it was surveyed and staked off according to a well-arranged plan, which will add much to the beauty of the place when the improvements are carried out.
The church in Washington has steadily increased from the beginning, so that whereas in 1852 there were no more than twelve families, now there are over fifty. Property is being bought next to the church, and the future presents an encouraging outlook for the Catholic Church in Washington.
CHURCH OF THE TRANSFIGURATION, MONONGAHELA CITY.—This church is in charge of the pastor of the Catholic Church of Elizabeth, on the opposite side of the Monongahela, in Allegheny County. Its history is comparatively recent. Divine services were first held in the town by Rev. J. O'Reilly, of Pittsburgh, 1835, although mass was said for a few years before two or three miles back of the town for a few families that resided there. A new church was begun in 1865, and dedicated the following year by the Rt. Rev. M. Domenec. It is a plain brick building, thirty-five by sixty. The congregation is composed principally of miners, is fluctuating in size, and never very large.
RELIGIOUS HISTORY.—( Continued.)
SOLOMON SPAULDING AND THE BOOK OF MORMON.¹
THE conviction has become almost universal, except among Mormons themselves, that the "Book of Mormon" was founded upon Rev. Solomon Spaulding's romance, entitled "Manuscript Found." It is eminently fitting, therefore, that a history of Washington County, Pa., in one of whose villages Spaulding spent his last years, and where, after a checkered life, his wearied body found its resting-place, should contain at least a brief notice of the man whose pen has been the guiltless cause of one of the most remarkable delusions the world has ever witnessed.
Solomon Spaulding was born in Ashford, Conn., in 1761 ; graduated at Dartmouth College, N. H., in 1785 ; entered the ministry of the Congregational Church ; preached for three or four years, and then, on account of impaired health, relinquished the sacred office, removed to Cherry Valley, N. Y., and engaged in mercantile business; in a few years failed in this enterprise, and in 1809 removed to Conneaut (formerly New Salem), Ashtabula Co., Ohio, where he engaged in building a forge. This business also proved unsuccessful, and he became involved in debt. Residing at Conneaut for three years, his attention was arrested by the numerous Indian mounds and fortifications in its vicinity, and being a man of literary tastes, and particularly fond of history, he conceived the project of writing a romance which would purport to account for the presence of the mound-builders on this continent, and to narrate their history. This employment beguiled the tedious hours of his enforced leisure, and when the romance approached completion, the idea suggested itself that its publication, by the profits arising from its sale, might enable him to discharge his debts.
The time of Spaulding's residence at Conneaut was chiefly spent in the preparation of this historical ro-
¹ By Robert Patterson, Pittsburgh.
426 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
mance, and as the work progressed the author was accustomed to inform his neighbors, who would gladly assemble to hear each new installment read. In this small frontier settlement, where books were few and mail facilities very limited, each additional portion of the romance was awaited with the same interest with which the reader of the modern magazine looks for the number that will contain a fresh installment of the popular serial of the day. The characters and the incidents became subjects of general discussion, the outlines of the narrative were deeply impressed on the minds of the hearers, and the names of the prominent personages grew " familiar as household words."
At last, in 1812, with the fond hope that his daydreams might be converted into something more substantial, Spaulding removed to Pittsburgh, at that time a small but rapidly-growing city (its population in 1810 was 4768, with 767 houses in all), and took his manuscript to the printing-office of Mr. Patterson (father of the present writer) to see if arrangements could he made for its publication. For some reason, probably lack of funds on the part of the author and doubts of success on that of the publisher, it was not given to the world. In 1814, Mr. Spaulding removed to Amity, Washington Co., Pa., where he died Oct. 20, 1816.¹ His widow removed to the home of her brother, W. H. Sabine, Esq., at Onondaga Valley, N. Y.
Thus far all accounts agree. What became of Mr. Spaulding's manuscript is not so clear. That it was not published is matter for profound regret. How many bitter tears had remained unshed, how many homes undesolated, how many hearts unbroken had the printing in 1812 of Spaulding's prose epic rendered forever impossible the imposture under which, eighteen years afterwards, with many incongruous additions, it saw the light !
In this discussion there are manifestly but two points to be considered. The first is to establish the fact that the historical portions of the Book of Mormon are certainly derived from Spaulding's "Manuscript Found;" and the second to show, if practicable, in what way and by whom the plagiarism was probably effected. Of these, the first is the only vitally important one. If the identity can be determined the imposture will be proved, even though it may not be possible to demonstrate absolutely how the fraud was perpetrated.
¹ The headstone which formerly marked the grave of Mr. Spaulding at Amity has almost entirely disappeared. Rev. Abner Jackson, of Canton, Ohio, when visiting Amity in 1840, thoughtfully copied the inscription, then entire, from the crumbling stone, and records it in his letter published in the Washington Reporter of Jan. 7, 1881. It was as follows :
IN MEMORY OF
Solomon Spaulding, who departed this life Oct. 20th, A.D. 1816. Aged 55 years.
"Kind cherubs, guard the sleeping clay
Until the great decision day,
And saints complete in glory rise
To share the triumphs of the skies."
I. THE PLAGIARISM.—In our inquiries upon the first point a merited tribute should be paid to the value of Mr. E. D. Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled," issued by its author at Painesville, Ohio, in 1835, only five years after the publication at Palmyra, N. Y., of the Book of Mormon, by Joseph Smith. Mr. Howe's work was the pioneer upon this subject, and though long out of print, the few copies extant are still the store-house from which successive investigators derive their most important facts. It contains the statements of eight witnesses, whose testimonials were obtained in 1833, twenty-one years after Mr. Spaulding left Conneaut, seventeen years after his death, and three years after the appearance of the Book of Mormon. Their authenticity has never been impeached. Our limits permit only the extracts given below, but as printed in full by Mr. Howe they show the opportunities of the respective writers to become fully acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's romance, and this feature, had we room for the entire statements, would give them great additional force. Our transcript is taken at second-hand from D. P. Kidder's "Mormonism and the Mormons," Carlton & Lanahan, publishers, New York, 1842.
1. John Spaulding, a brother of Solomon, visited the latter at Conneaut just before his removal, and states as follows :
" He then told me he had been writing a book, which he intended to have printed, the avails of which he thought would enable him to pay all his debts. The book was entitled the ‘Manuscript Fouud,' of which he read to me many passages. It was an historical romance of the first settlers of America, endeavoring to show that the American Indians are the descendants of the Jews, or the lost tribes. It gave a detailed account of their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till they arrived in America, under the command of NEPHIE and LEHI. They afterward had quarrels and contentions, and separated into two distinct nations, one of which he denominated Nephites and the other Lemanites. Cruel and bloody wars ensued, in which great multitudes were slain. They buried their dead in large heaps, which caused the mounds so common in this country. . . . I have recently read the Book of Mormon, and, to my great surprise, I find nearly the same historical matter, names, &c., as they were in my brother's writings. I well remember that he wrote in the old style, and commenced about every sentence with And it came to pass,' or Now it came to pass,' the same as in the Book of Mormon, and according to the best of my recollection and belief, it is the same as my brother Solomon wrote, with the exception of the religious matter."
2. Mrs. Martha Spaulding, wife of John Spaulding, states in regard to Solomon Spaulding and his writings as follows:
" I was personally acquainted with Solomon Spaulding about twenty years ago. . . . The lapse of time which has intervened prevents my recollecting but few of the leading incidents of his writings; but the names of Nephi and Lehi are yet fresh in my memory as being the principal heroes of his tale. They were officers of the company which first came off from Jerusalem. He gave a particular account of their journey by land and sea till they arrived in America, after which disputes arose between the chiefs, which caused them to separate into different bands, one of which was called Lamanites and the other Nephites. Between these were recounted tremendous battles, which frequently covered the ground with the slain; and these being buried in large heaps was the cause of the numerous mounds in the country.... I have read the Book of Mormon, which has brought fresh to my recollection the writings of Solomon Spaulding; and I have no manner of doubt that the historical part of it is the same that I read, and heard read, more than twenty years ago. The old obsolete style, and the phrases of 'And it came to pass,' &c., are the same."
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3. Henry Lake, the partner of Spaulding in building the forge, writes from Conneaut in September, 1833, as follows :
"He [Spaulding] very frequently read to me from a manuscript which he was writing, which he entitled the ‘Manuscript Found,' and which he represented as being found in this town. I spent many hours in hearing him read said writings, and became well acquainted with their contents. He wishes me to assist him in getting his production printed, alleging that a book of that kind would meet with a rapid sale. I designed doing so, but the forge not meeting our anticipations we failed in business, when I declined having anything to do with the publication of the book. This book represented the American Indians as the descendant of the lost tribes, gave an account of their leaving Jerusalem, their contentions and wars, which were many and great. One time when he was reading to me the tragic account of Laban I pointed out to him what I considered an inconsistency, which he promised to correct; but by referring to the Book of Mormon I find, to my surprise, that it stands there just as he read it to me then. Some months ago I borrowed the Golden Bible, put it into my pocket. carried it home, and thought no more of it. About a week after my wife found the book In my coat-pocket as It hung up, and commenced reading it aloud as I lay upon the bed. She had not read twenty minutes till I was astonished to find the same passages in it that Spaulding had read to me more than twenty years before from his Manuscript Found.' Since that I have more fully examined the said Golden Bible, and have no hesitation in saying that the historical part of it is principally if not wholly taken from the' Manuscript Found.' I well recollect telling Mr. Spaulding that the so frequent use of the words, And it came to pass," Now it came to pass,' rendered it ridiculous."
It should be stated in explanation of the above that the Book of Mormon, at the time of its publication, was frequently spoken of as the " Golden Bible." Also that an incongruity occurs in the story of Laban, in the First Book of Nephi, where Nephi says they "did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod." Whereupon an angel appears and says, " Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod ?" Consistency would require that the number, whether plural or singular, should be the same in both sentences. The oversight is in itself a trifle, but its occurrence in both the Spaulding manuscript and the Book of Mormon is an unanswerable proof of identity.
4. John N. Miller writes from Springfield, Pa., September, 1833, as follows :
"In the year 1811 I was in the employ of Henry Lake and Solomon Spaulding, at Conneaut, engaged in rebuilding a forge. While there I boarded and lodged in the family of said Spaulding for several months.
I was soon introduced to the manuscript of Spaulding, and perused it as often as I had leisure. He had written two or three books or pamphlets on different subjects, but that which more particularly drew my attention was one which he called the ' Manuscript Found.' . . . It purported to be the history of the first settlement of America before discovered by Columbus. He brought them off from Jerusalem under their leaders, detailing their travels by land and water, their manners, customs, laws, wail, etc. He said-that he designed it as an historical novel, and that in after-years it would be believed by many people as much as the history of England. . . . I have recently examined the Book of Mormon,' and find in it the writings of Solomon Spaulding from beginning to end, but mixed up with Scripture and other religious matter which I did not meet with in the Manuscript Found.' Many of the passages of the Mormon Book are verbatim from Spaulding, and others in part. The names of Nephi, Lehi, Moroni, and in fact all the principal names are brought fresh to my recollection by the Golden Bible. Who Spaulding divested his history of its fabulous names by a verbal explanation, he landed his people near the Straits of Darien, which I am very confident he called Zarahemla. They were marched about that country for a length of time, in which wars and great bloodshed ensued. He brought them across North America in a northeast direction."
5. Aaron Wright, a former neighbor of Spaulding, writes at Conneaut, August, 1833, as follows :
" I first became acquainted with Solomon Spaulding in 1808 or 1809, when he commenced building a forge on Conneaut Creek. When at his house one day he showed and read to me a history he was writing of the lost tribes of Israel, purporting that they were the first settlers of America, and that the Indians were their descendants. Upon this subject we had frequent conversations. He traced their journey from Jerusalem to America, as it is given in the Book of Mormon, excepting the religious matter. The historical part of the Book of Mormon I know to be the same as I read and heard read from the writings of Spaulding more than twenty years ago; the names more especially are the same without any alteration. He told me his object was to account for all the fortifications, etc., to be found in this country, and said that in time it would be fully believed by all except learned men and historians. I once anticipated reading his writings in print, but little expected to see them in a new Bible. . . . In conclusion, I will observe that the names and most of the historical part of the Book of Mormon were as familiar to me before I read it as most modern history."
6. Oliver Smith, another old neighbor of Spaulding, writes at Conneaut, August, 1833 :
" When Solomon Spaulding first came to this place, he purchased tract of laud, surveyed it out, and commenced selling it. While engaged in this business he boarded at my house, in all nearly six months. All his leisure hours were occupied in writing an historical novel founded upon the first settlers of this country. He said he intended to trace their journey from Jerusalem, by land and sea, till their arrival In America; give an account of their arts, sciences, civilization, wars, and contentions. In this way be would give a satisfactory account of all the old mounds so common to this country. During the time he was at my house I read and heard read one hundred pages or more. Nephi and Lehi were by him represented as leading characters when they first started for America. . . . [Mr. Smith narrates his last interview with Spaulding, when the latter was about starting for Pittsburgh, and solicited Smith's leniency as one of his creditors, not to prevent his going. Mr. Smith then closes as follows :] This was the last I heard of Spaulding or his book until the Book of Mormon came into the neighborhood. When I heard the historical part of it related, I at once said it was the writing of old Solomon Spaulding. Soon after I obtained the book, and on reading it found much of it the same as Spaulding had written more than twenty years before."
7. Nahum Howard, another of Spaulding's neighbors in Ohio, writes from Conneaut, in August, 1833, as follows :
"I first became acquainted with Solomon Spaulding in December, 1810. After that time I frequently saw him at his house and also at my house. I once, in conversation with him, expressed a surprise at not having any account of the inhabitants once in this country, who erected the old forts, mounds, etc. He then told me that he was writing a history of that race of people, and afterwards frequently showed me his writings, which I read. I have lately read the Book of Mormon, and believe it to be the same as Spaulding wrote, except the religious part. He told me that he intended to get his writings published in Pittsburgh, and he thought that in one century from that time it would be believed as much as any other history."
8. Artemas Cunningham, of Perry, Geauga Co., Ohio, who visited Spaulding in October, 1811, at Conneaut for the purpose of securing a debt due him from Spaulding, found the latter "destitute of the means of paying his debts," his only hope resting "upon the sale of a book which he had been writing," and which, he thought, "would meet with a ready sale." Mr. Cunningham, writing in 1833, proceeds to say :
" Before showing me his manuscripts he went into a verbal relation of its outlines, saying that it was a fabulous or romantic history of the first settlement of this country, and as it purported to have been a record found buried in the earth, or in a cave, he had adopted the ancient or Scripture style of writing. He then presented his manuscripts, when
428 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
we sat down and spent a good share of the night in reading them and conversing upon them. I well remember the name of Nephi, who appeared to be the principal hero of the story. The frequent repetition of the phrase I, Nephi, I recollect as distinctly as though it was but yesterday, although the general features of the story have passed from my memory through the lapse of twenty-two years. He attempted to account for the numerous antiquities which are found upon this continent, and remarked that after this generation had passed away, his account of the first inhabitants of America would be considered as authentic as any other history. The Mormon Bible I have partially examined, and am fully of the opinion that Solomon Spaulding had written its outlines before he left Conneaut."
The testimony of these eight witnesses was published by Mr. Howe in 1835 at Painesville, Ohio, in close proximity to Kirtland, then the headquarters of Mormonism, where Rigdon in that very year delivered his seven famous lectures on faith, which are prefixed to the Mormon "Doctrine and Covenants," where the same year the first "quorum of the twelve apostles" was ordained, and where in the following year the first Mormon temple was dedicated. Through all this portion of Ohio public curiosity in regard to this new fanaticism had been intensely excited, and Mr. Howe's book was widely disseminated by his agents. Of its contents Rigdon and Smith could not possibly have remained in ignorance. Yet no denial, no protest, not the slightest attempt to evade these clear proofs of plagiarism was made, and under such a charge, so direct and public, preferred by persons of intelligence and of unimpeachable veracity, silence was equivalent to a confession of guilt. So strong, moreover, was Mr. Spaulding's disposition to read his history to every willing auditor, that the number of attestants to its general character and contents could at that date easily have been quadrupled. Other witnesses in other places have since 1835 added their evidence to that already given. Extracts from their statements are subjoined:
9. Mrs. Matilda (Spaulding) Davison, the widow of Rev. Solomon Spaulding (married in 1820 to Mr. Davison, of Hartwick, Otsego Co., N. Y.) made a statement in 1839 to Rev. D. R. Austin, of Monson, Mass., which was written down by him and published in the Boston Recorder in May of that year. She relates substantially, as already mentioned, the circumstances under which her late husband's "imaginary history" was composed, and adds,—
"It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of Manuscript Found.' The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. Spaulding progressed in deciphering the manuscript; and when he had a sufficient portion prepared, he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. . . . After the Book of Mormon came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the ' Manuscript Found' was written. A Mormon preacher appointed a meeting there, and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the Book of Mormon. The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had all been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present and recognized perfectly the work of his brothel. He was amazed and afflicted that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot and expressed to the meeting his sorrow and regret that the writings of his deceased brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking."
10. Mrs. M. S. McKinstry, the only child of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, made a statement at Washington, D. C., April 3, 1880, which was carefully taken down by Mrs. E. E. Dickinson, and was published in Scribner's Monthly for August, 1880, in which, speaking of her father's "Manuscript Found," she says,—
" He read the manuscript, which I had seen him writing, to the neighbors and to a clergyman—a friend of his—who came to see him. Some of the names that he mentioned while reading to these people I have never forgotten. They are as fresh to me today as though I heard them yesterday. They were Mormon," Maroni," Lamanite," Nephi.'"
11. William H. Sabine, Esq., of Onondaga Valley, Onondaga Co., N. Y., a lawyer of eminence and accustomed to weigh evidence, was the brother of Mrs. Solomon Spaulding, at whose request she gave D. P. Hurlbut authority to receive her late husband's "Manuscript Found" from Mr. Clark, at Hartwick, N. Y., in whose care it had been left. Mrs: McKinstry, in her statement above referred to, says that "Mr. Sabine had undoubtedly read the manuscript while it was in his house, and had faith that its production would show to the world that the Mormon Bible had been
taken from it." He based his request for the loan of the manuscript to Hurlbut upon his "desire to uproot this Mormon fraud."
12. To these statements of members of Spaulding's family or connection must be added the testimony of Joseph Miller, of Amity, Pa., born Feb. 1, 1791, and now in his ninety-second year. His memory, notwithstanding his advanced age, is remarkably clear and distinct; he has long been a ruling elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and his veracity is unimpeachable. He was intimately acquainted with Spaulding during the entire residence of the latter in Amity ; often heard him read his romance ; assisted in nursing him during his last illness, in performing the last offices to his remains, and in settling his temporal affairs. He is the oldest of three men who are living witnesses to the identity of the Book of Mormon with the Spaulding manuscript as read in their hearing by its author. Mr. Miller's testimony has been repeatedly published. The following extracts ate taken from the record made, with the utmost care to be accurate, by Dr. W. W. Sharp, of Amity, and published in the Pittsburgh Telegraph, Feb. 6, 1879. Mr. Miller says,—
"I was well acquainted with Mr. Spaulding when he lived in Amity, Pa. . . . Mr. Spaulding seemed to take delight in reading from his manuscript (written on foolscap) for the entertainment of his frequent visitors. Heard him read most, if not all of it, and had frequent conversations with him about it. Some time ago I had in my possession for about six months the Book of Mormon, and heard most of it read during that time. . . . On hearing read the account from the book of the battle between the Amlicites and the Nephites [Book of Alma, chapter I.], in which the soldiers of one army had placed a red mark on their foreheads to distinguish them from their enemies, it seemed to reproduce in my mind not only the narration but the very words, as they had been impressed on my mind by the reading of Spaulding's manuscript. . The longer I live the mote firmly I am convinced that Spaulding's manuscript was appropriated and largely used in getting up the Book of Mormon. I believe that, leaving out of the book the portions that may be easily recognized as the work of Joe Smith and his accomplices, Solomon Spaulding may be truly said to be its author. I have not a doubt of it."
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13. Redick McKee, Esq., formerly a resident of Washington County, Pa., afterwards of Wheeling, W. Va., and now of Washington, D. C., a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, and esteemed for his many Christian virtues, is another living witness to the similarity of the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's manuscript. In a communication from Washington, D. C., April 14, 1869, published in the Washington (Pa.) Reporter for April 21, 1869, and suggested by a statement then recently published in the Reporter by Rev. J. W. Hamilton of the reminiscences of Mr. Joseph Miller, above mentioned, Mr. McKee writes,—
"In the fall of 1814 I arrived in the village of 'Good Will,' and for eighteen or twenty months sold goods in the store previously occupied by Mr. Thos. Brice. It was on Main Street, a few doors west of Spaulding's tavern, where I was a boarder. With both Mr. Solomon Spaulding and his wife I was quite intimately acquainted. . . . I recollect quite well Mr. Spaulding spending much time in writing (on sheets of paper torn out of an old book) what purported to be a veritable history of the nations or tribes who inhabited Canaan. . . . He called it 'Lost History Found; 'Lost Manuscript,' or some such name, not disguising that it was wholly a work of the imagination, written to amuse himself; and without any immediate view to publication. . . . I was struck with the minuteness of his details and the apparent truthfulness and sincerity of the author. . . . I have an indistinct recollection of the passage referred to by Mr. Miller about the Amlicites making a cross with red paint on their foreheads to distinguish them front enemies in the confusion of battle."
Also, in a letter to the present writer, dated Washington, D. C., April 15, 1879, Mr. McKee says,—
"There can be no doubt that the Book of Mormon was founded on and largely copied from the vigorous romance of Solomon Spaulding."
14. Rev. Abner Jackson, of Canton, Ohio, in a communication to the Washington County Historical Society, dated Dec. 20, 1880, and published in the Washington Reporter of Jan. 7, 1881, gives a more minute account of Spaulding's romance, and a fuller outline of its narrative, than any of the preceding witnesses. He also institutes a close comparison between its plot and that of the Book of Mormon, showing the strict adherence of the latter to the former. Just before Mr. Spaulding's removal to Pittsburgh he brought his romance to Mr. Jackson's father, read much of the story to him, and gave him an outline of the whole. The son, being confined to the house with a lame knee, was present, and heard the conversation that passed between them. He is the third surviving witness to the unmistakable resemblance between the Book of Mormon and Spaulding's story. Of the latter he gives his recollections, and adds,—
"Spaulding frequently read his manuscript to the neighbors, and mused them as he progressed with his work. He wrote it in Bible style. 'And it came to pass' occurred so often that some called him 'Old Come-to-pass.' . . The Book of Mormon follows the romance too closely to be a stranger. In both many persons appear having the same name, as Maroni, Mormon, Nephites, Laman, Lamanites, Nephi, and others. Here we are presented with romance second, called the Book of Mormon, telling the same story of the same people, traveling from the same plain in the same way, having the same difficulties and destination, with the same wars, same battles, and same results, with thousands upon thousands slain. Then see the Mormon account of the last battle, at Cumorah, where all the righteous were slain. . . . How much this resembles ths closing scene in the' Manuscript Found!' The most
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singular part of the whole matter is that it follows the romance so closely with this difference: the first claims to be a romance; the second claims to be a revelation of God, a new Bible! When it was brought to Conneaut, and read there in public, old Esquire Wright heard it and exclaimed, 'Old Come-to-pass has come to life again!' Here was the place where Spaulding wrote and read his manuscript to the neighbors for their amusement, and 'Squire Wright had often heard him read from his romance. This was in 1832, sixteen years after Spaulding's death. This 'Squire Wright lived on a farm just outside of the little village. I was acquainted with him for twenty-five years. I lived on his farm when I was a boy, and attended school in the village. I am particular to notice these things to show that I had an opportunity of knowing what I am writing about."
The testimony of Esquire Wright was given above (No. 5). The constant recurrence in Spaulding's romance of the phrase, "And it came to pass" has been referred to by a number of the above witnesses, and Spaulding himself was admonished of its undue repetition, yet failed to remedy the defect. It is an important coincidence, worthy of special observation, that in no other volume probably in the whole range of English literature does the same peculiarity occur with one-tenth the frequency of its appearance in the Book of Mormon. This remarkable concurrence of a literary blemish is itself an indication of a common origin. The authorship of the Homeric poems, and even of some portions of the Bible, has been disputed by scholars on the ground of the presence or absence of much slighter peculiarities.
15. Rev. Robert Patterson, to whom the Spaulding manuscript was taken in 1812 for publication, should certainly have been applied to for information among the first. Mr. Howe, in his book already mentioned, states that " Mr. Patterson said he had no recollection of any such manuscript being brought there for publication, neither would he have been likely to have seen it, as the business of printing was conducted wholly by Lambdin at that time." This statement seems irreconcilable with the testimony of the widow and daughter of Spaulding, and also in conflict with the fact that the partnership of R. Patterson and Lambdin was not formed until Jan. 1, 1818. In 1812, Lambdin was a lad of fourteen in the bookstore of Patterson & Hopkins, and afterwards was continued in the employ of R. & J. Patterson. Mr. Howe, on being applied to for his authority for the statement, answered, "I think Hurlbut was the person who talked with Patterson about the manuscript." But Hurlbut himself informed the present writer (Aug. 19, 1879) that he had never seen Mr. Patterson or had any communication with him. There is therefore no known authority for the statement in Mr. Howe's book. On being applied to in 1842 by Rev. Samuel Williams, who was preparing for publication a pamphlet entitled "Mormonism Exposed," Mr. Patterson wrote the following brief certificate, which we copy in full from Mr. Williams' pamphlet:
" R. Patterson had in his employment Silas Engles at the time, a foreman printer, and general superintendent of the printing business. As he [S. E.] was an excellent scholar, as well as a good printer, to him was intrusted the entire concerns of the office. He even decided on the propriety or otherwise of publishing manuscripts when offered,—as to their morality, scholarship, ere., Ac. In this character, he informed R. P. that
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a gentleman, from the East originally, had put into his hands a manuscript of a singular work, chiefly in the style of our English translation of the Bible, and handed the copy to R. P., who read only a few pages, and finding nothing apparently exceptionable, he [R. P.] said to Engles he might publish it if the author furnished the funds or good security. He [the author] failing to comply with the terms, Mr. Engles returned the manuscript, as I supposed at that time, after it had been some weeks in his possession, with other manuscripts in the office.
"This communication written and signed 2d April, 1842.
It is matter of sincere regret that so meagre a document is all the written evidence that Mr. Patterson has left. Mr. Williams introduces it with the remark (p. 16) that " Mr. Patterson firmly believes, also, from what he has heard of the Mormon Bible, that it is the same thing he examined at that time." So many errors of date have crept into this part of the history of Mormonism that it may be well to note the following : Mr. Lambdin died Aug. 1, 1825, in his twenty-seventh year; Mr. Engles, July 17, 1827, in his forty-sixth year ; Mr. Patterson, Sept. 5, 1854, in his eighty-second year. Messrs. Williams, Howe, and Hurlbut are still living (March 4, 1882).
16. A coincidence may here be noted : Mr. Howe, in 1835, had in his possession a story in Spaulding's handwriting, and admitted to be his, which," purported to have been translated from the Latin, found on twenty-four rolls of parchment, in a cave on the banks of Conneaut Creek," giving an account of a ship driven upon the American coast, with a party from Rome, previous to the Christian era. The Book of Ether, which is a portion of the Book of Mormon, purports to relate the history of a party which commenced its wanderings at the confusion of tongues at Babel, found its way to America, and whose history, written by Ether upon twenty-four plates whilst he was concealed in the cavity of a rock, was long afterwards discovered by the people of Limhi. Here is a threefold resemblance : each is the history of a colony not Jewish transported to this continent ; each is recorded on the same number of plates or parchments; each colony seeming to have perished; and each history is hidden in a cave and is long afterwards discovered. That two plots so much alike should originate so nearly about the same time and place in two different minds seems incredible.
17. The statement which follows is accorded a place here not because it is entitled in its present form to be regarded as evidence, but that attention may be attracted to it and inquiry continued. In "Appleton's Cyclopaedia," under the title " Mormons," occurs the following statement : " As early as 1813 this work [Spaulding's] was announced in the newspapers as forthcoming, and as containing a translation of the ' Book of Mormon.' Spaulding entitled his book Manuscript Found,' and intended to publish with it, by way of preface or advertisement, a fictitious account of its discovery in a cave in Ohio." The author of this article, on being interrogated, could not recall his authority for the statement, but was positive that he had ample warrant for it at the time of writing. Few files of Pittsburgh papers of 1813 are in existence; some perished in the great conflagration of 1845 ; and all search for the said announcement has thus far been unsuccessful. Any reader of this paragraph who has access to a file of Pittsburgh newspapers of 1813 will do well to institute a search and report the result.
It should be remembered that the evidence adduced above has reference only to the historical portions of the Book of Mormon. Intermingled with these are crude ideas on various theological points that were themes of popular discussion in Western New York about the time when this pseudo-revelation was in preparation for the press. The opportunity of settling disputed points in favor of the side maintained by the medium of revelation was too good to be lost. For all such interpolations, and for the constant disregard of grammatical rules, Mr. Spaulding should not be held responsible.
The candid inquirer after truth cannot fail to be impressed by the concurrent testimony of a dozen witnesses, many of them personally unknown to the others and widely separated from them, yet agreeing in their recollections of Spaulding's romance, its plan and purpose, its general scope, the names of leading characters and tribes, its grand division of the population of this continent into two classes, the righteous and the idolatrous, and the discovery of the history of these people as recorded, and the record concealed in the earth. The same witnesses concur in recognizing precisely the same features in the " Book of Mormon,"—an identity in the names of prominent persons and places; an identity in the amazing frequency of wars and the vast number of sanguinary battles; an identity in events and the order of their occurrence so great that one witness declares that the " Book of Mormon was familiar to him before he read it ;" an identity of style, even the blemishes of the original being faithfully adhered to in the transcript; and an identity in the alleged discovery of the record in the earth. All this is established by the united testimony of men and women of unimpeachable veracity. Much of this evidence was published within five years after the appearance of the "Book of Mormon," must necessarily have been known to the Mormon leaders, and was never contradicted by them. The conclusion is irresistible that these two productions must have had a common origin. The adherents of Joseph Smith have never claimed that the " Book of Mormon" was the offspring of his imagination. They freely admit that he was too illiterate and ignorant to accomplish such a task. They contend that the "Book of Mormon" was divinely inspired, as truly so as the Bible itself. The question is thus narrowed down to a very simple alternative: either the " Book of Mormon" was inspired or its historical portion was the work of Solomon Spaulding.
II. THE PLAGIARIST.—If the origin of the "Book of Mormon" has been established by, the testimony
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cited above, we might at this point lay down the pen, were it not that public curiosity has been busy with the inquiry, How was the plagiarism effected ? And we are free to confess that all the evidence thus far elicited creates simply a very strong, circumstantial probability. One theory has been advanced that Smith might have stolen the manuscript from Mrs. Spaulding's trunk whilst it remained for some years unlocked in the house of her brother, William H. Sabine, Esq., at Onondaga Valley, N. Y., Smith being at the time, it is said, a laborer in Mr. Sabine's employ. No evidence is offered that Smith was thus employed; if so, he was not more than fifteen years of age, scarcely able to read, and the document would have been of no use to him; and Mrs. McKinstry's statement in Scribner's Monthly for August, 1880, effectually disposes of this hypothesis, as she testifies that about 1820 her mother sent to Mr. Sabine for her effects, and "that the old trunk with its contents reached her in safety." We have also the evidence of both mother and daughter that down to 1834 (the date of Hurlbut's visit and four years after the "Book of Mormon" was published) the alleged or suggested theft had not been discovered. Popular opinion has tended strongly towards the adoption of a different theory, that the agent through whom the romance was transformed into a revelation was. Sidney Rigdon, and the evidence both for and against that judgment will be given as briefly as possible.
Sidney Rigdon was born near the present village of Library, Allegheny Co., Pa., Feb. 19, 1793; attended in boyhood an ordinary country school ; joined the Baptist Church near his home May 31, 1817; studied divinity with a Baptist preacher named Clark in Beaver County, Pa., in the winter of 1818-19, and was licensed to preach ; went to Warren, Ohio, where he was ordained, and in the winter of 1821-22 returned to Pittsburgh ; became pastor of the First Baptist Church there Jan. 28, 1822, and for doctrinal errors was excluded from the Baptist denomination Oct. 11, 1823. He continued to preach in the court-house to his adherents, but in 1824, according to one account, he removed to the Western Reserve, Ohio; according to another account he engaged in the tanning business in Pittsburgh until 1826, and then removed to the Reserve, residing for brief periods at Bainbridge, Mentor, and Kirtland. At this time he was connected with the Campbellite or Disciples' Church, and preached its doctrines, mingled with extravagant conceits of his own, until in 1830 he joined the Mormons.
The theory hitherto most widely published and perhaps generally accepted has been that Rigdon was a printer in Patterson's printing-office when the Spaulding manuscript was brought there in 1812-14, and that he either copied or purloined it. Having it thus use in his possession, the use made of it was an afterthought suggested by circumstances many years later. More recently another theory has been advanced, that Rigdon obtained possession of the Spaulding manuscript during his pastorate of the First Baptist Church, or soon thereafter, 1822-24, without any necessary impropriety on his part, but rather through the courtesy of some friend, in whose possession it remained unclaimed, and who regarded it as a literary curiosity. The friends of Rigdon, in response to the first charge, deny that he ever resided in Pittsburgh previous to 1822, or that he ever was a printer, and in general answer to both charges affirm that he never at any time had access to Spaulding's manuscript. Taking up for convenience their statement first, we find the following evidence in its support :
1. Rigdon's relatives at Library, Pa., Carvil Rigdon (his brother) and Peter Boyer (his brother-in-law), in a written statement dated Jan. 27, 1843, certify to the facts and dates as above stated in regard to his birth, schooling, uniting with the church, licensure, ordination, and settlement in Pittsburgh in 1822. Mr. Boyer also in a personal interview with the present writer in 1879 positively affirmed that Rigdon had never lived in Pittsburgh previous to 1822, adding that "they were boys together and he ought to know." Mr. Boyer had for a short time embraced Mormonism, but became convinced that it was a delusion and returned to his membership in the Baptist Church.
2. Isaac King, a highly-respected citizen of Library, Pa., and an old neighbor of Rigdon, states in a letter to the present writer, dated June 14, 1879, that Sidney lived on the farm of his father until the death of the latter in May, 1810, and for a number of years afterwards, farming with very indifferent success; "it was said he was too lazy and proud to make a good farmer;" received his education in a log school-house in the vicinity; "began to talk in public on religion soon after his admission to the church, probably at his own instance, as there is no record of his licensure ;" went to Sharon, Pa., for a time, and was there ordained as a preacher, but soon returned to his farm, which he sold (June 28, 1823) to James Means, and about the time of the sale removed to Pittsburgh.
3. Samuel Cooper, of Saltsburg, Pa., a veteran of three wars, in a letter to the present writer, dated June 14, 1879, stated as follows: "I was acquainted with Mr. Lambdin, was often in the printing-office; was acquainted with Silas Engles, the foreman of the printing-office; he never mentioned Sidney Rigdon's name to me, so I am satisfied he was never engaged there as a printer. I was introduced to Sidney Rigdon in 1843; he stated to me that he was a Mormon preacher or lecturer; I was acquainted with him during 1843-45; never knew him before, and never knew him as a printer ; never saw him in the book-store or printing-office ; your father's office was in the celebrated Molly Murphy's Row."
4. Rev. Robert P. Du Bois, of New London, Pa., under date of Jan. 9, 1879, writes : " I entered the book-store of R. Patterson & Lambdin in March, 1818, when about twelve years old, and remained there until the summer of 1820. The firm had under
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its control the book-store on Fourth Street, a bookbindery, a printing-office (not newspaper, but job-office, under the name of Butler & Lambdin), entrance on Diamond Alley, and a steam paper-mill on the Allegheny (under the name of R. & J. Patterson). I knew nothing of Spaulding (then dead) or of his book, or of Sidney Rigdon."
5. Mrs. R. W. Lambdin, of Irvington, N. Y., widow of the late J. Harrison Lambdin, in response to some inquiries as to her recollections of Rigdon and others, writes under date of Jan. 15, 1882: " I am sorry to say I shall not be able to give you any information relative to the persons you name. They certainly could not have been friends of Mr: Lambdin." Mrs. Lambdin resided in Pittsburgh from her marriage in 1819 to the death of her husband, Aug. 1, 1825. Mr. Lambdin was born Sept. 1, 1798.
6. Impartial justice requires the addition to the above testimony of the very explicit denial of Rigdon himself, addressed to the Boston Journal, dated at Commerce (better known afterwards as Nauvoo, Ill.), May 27, 1839, in reply to the letter of Mrs. Davison, published a few days before, as already mentioned. Another extract from her letter will be found farther on, which provoked the following rejoinder from Rigdon :
"It is only necessary to say, in relation to the whole story about Spaulding's writings being in the hands of Mr. Patterson, who was in Pittsburgh, and who is said to have kept a printing-office, and my saying that I was concerned in the said office, etc., etc., is the most base of lies, without even the shadow of truth. There was no man by the name of Patterson during my residence at Pittsburgh who had a printing-office. . . . Mr. Robert Patterson, I was told, had owned a printing-office before I lived in that city. . . . This Mr. Patterson, who was a Presbyterian preacher, I had a very slight acquaintance with during my residence in Pittsburgh. . . . It I were to say that I ever heard of the Rev. Solomon Spaulding and his hopeful wife until Dr. P. Hurlbut wrote his lie about me I should be a liar like unto themselves. Why was not the testimony of Mr. Patterson obtained to give force to this shameful tale of lies? The only reason is that he was not a fit tool for them to work with ; he would not lie for them, for if he were called on he would testify to what I have here said."
A portion of this letter is too coarse for publication. The first sentence of the above extract does not impress one with its author's grammatical attainments. He is certainly incorrect, also, as to there being no Patterson's printing-office in Pittsburgh during his residence there, as his pastorate there began in January, 1822, and the firm of R. Patterson & Lambdin was in business until Jan. 1, 1823. But whatever may be thought of his testimony, as that of an interested party, there can be no doubt that the five preceding witnesses on this point have conscientiously stated what they firmly believed to be the facts. No one who knew them would for a moment doubt their veracity. On the other side, however, we have the following :
1. Mrs. Davison, in her letter of May, 1839, had used this language, " Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at that time connected with the printing-office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and, as Rigdon himself has frequently stated, became acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and copied it: It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all connected with the printing establishment."
Rigdon's passionate reply to this charge by Mrs. Davison has just been given above ; but her impression deserves to be considered in connection with the statements of the four witnesses next following. The question also suggests itself, How could Mrs. Davison have known anything, in her remote Massachusetts home, about Rigdon if he did not come to Pittsburgh until 1822, eight years after her departure?
2. Joseph Miller, of Amity, Pa., in his evidence, part of which has been already quoted, testified also as follows :
" My recollection is that Mr. Spaulding had left a transcript of ths manuscript with Mr. Patterson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., for publication ; that Its publication was delayed until Mr. Spaulding would write a preface, and in the mean time the transcript was spirited away, and could not be found. Mr. Spaulding told me that Sidney Rigdon had taken it, or that he was suspicioned for it. Recollect distinctly that Rigdon's name was used in that connection."
On being closely questioned whether he had not possibly confounded subsequent impressions, derived from what he had read and heard, with his personal recollections of what Spaulding had said, he emphatically answered " No !" and affirmed positively that "it was Spaulding's own statement."
3. Redick McKee, Esq., already mentioned as an inmate of Spaulding's family at Amity, says in his letter of April 15, 1879,—
" Mr. Spaulding told me that he had submitted the work to Mr. Patterson for publication, but for some reason it was not printed, and afterwards returned to him. I also understood he was then occasionally re-writing, correcting, and he thought improving some passages descriptive of his supposed battles. In this connection he spoke of the man Rigdon ss an employee in the printing or book-binding establishment of Patterson & Lambdin, in Pittsburgh ; but about him I made no special inquiries."
Mr. McKee differs from Mr. Miller in his recollection as to the return of the manuscript, but agrees with him as to Rigdon being an employee. These two venerable men are above the suspicion of stating anything they did not believe to be true. We are thus confronted with the singular fact to which these witnesses testify, that at least fourteen years before the completion of the plagiarism, and some ten years before even the conception of it, the future perpetrator is an object of note, it would seem of suspicion, in the mind of the man he is one day so deeply to wrong. By what mysterious intuition did Spaulding mark the rustic, uneducated youth, innocent as the latter must then have been of any base intent, whose name was destined to be so strangely and sorrowfully blended with his own?
4. Rev. Cephas Dodd, who died Jan. 16, 1858, was long the pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Amity, also practiced as a physician, and in this capacity attended Mr. Spaulding in his last illness. Of his testimony Mr. George M. French, now in his eighty-third year, residing near Amity, and whose wife was a relative of Sidney Rigdon, retains a vivid impression.
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Shortly after Mr. French's removal from Fayette County, Pa., to Amity in 1832, when the Mormon delusion was beginning to excite remark, Dr. Dodd took Mr. French to Spaulding's grave, and there told him his positive belief that Rigdon was the agent in transforming Spaulding's manuscript into the Book of Mormon. The conviction thus expressed within two years after the publication of the Book of Mormon, and three years before the appearance of Mr. Howe's book, which attributed the plagiarism to Rigdon, shows that Dr. Dodd's judgment was formed independently of any of the testimonies cited above. As to the plagiarism, it must have been based on his own knowledge of Spaulding's romance and comparing it with the Book of Mormon ; and as to the agent, his attention, like Mr. Miller's, may first have been directed to Rigdon by Spaulding himself. Mr. French has no personal knowledge of Rigdon's connection with the printing-office.
5. Mrs. R. J. Eichbaum, of Pittsburgh, now in her ninetieth year, with a memory marvelously tenacious of even the minutest incidents, with the vivacity of a maiden in her teens, with health, until recently, exceptionally good for one of her years, with a still keen enjoyment of the humorous, a clear mind, a kindly heart, and the Christian's hope of a better existence, seems to realize Wordsworth's picture
"of an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night."¹
We give her reminiscence in full, dated Pittsburgh, Sept. 18, 1879, only remarking that one who could hear her relate the incidents of her youth, and specify her reasons for fixing names and dates with unusual distinctness, would find it difficult to resist a conviction of the accuracy of her memory. She says,—"My father, John Johnston, was postmaster of Pittsburgh for about eighteen years, from 1804 to 1822. My husband, William Eichbaum, succeeded him, and was postmaster for about eleven years, from 1822 to 1833. I was born Aug. 25, 1792, and when I became old enough I assisted my father in attending to the post-office, and became familiar with its duties. From 1811 to 1816 I was the regular clerk in the office, assorting, making up, dispatching, opening, and distributing the mails. Pittsburgh was then a small town, and I was well acquainted with all the stated visitors at the office who called regularly for their mails. So meagre at that time were the mails that I could generally tell without looking whether or not there was anything for such persons, though I would usually look in order to satisfy them. I was married in 1815, and the next year my connection with the office ceased, except during the absences of my husband. I knew and distinctly remember Robert and Joseph Patterson, J. Harrison Lambdin, Silas Engles, and Sidney Rigdon. I remember Rev. Mr. Spaulding, but simply as one who occasionally called
¹ Since above was written Mrs. Eichbaum has died, May 4, 1882.
to inquire for letters. I remember that there was an evident intimacy between Lambdin and Rigdon. They very often came to the office together. I particularly remember that they would thus come during the hour on Sabbath afternoon when the office was required to be open, and I remember feeling sure that Rev. Mr. Patterson knew nothing of this, or he would have put a stop to it. I do not know what position, if any, Rigdon filled in Patterson's store or printing-office, but am well assured he was frequently, if not constantly, there for a large part of the time when I was clerk in the post-office. I recall Mr. Engles saying that Rigdon was always hanging around the printing-office.' He was connected with the tannery before he became a preacher, though he may have continued the business whilst preaching."
These witnesses are all whom we can find after inquiries extending through some three years who can testify at all to Rigdon's residence in Pittsburgh before 1816, and to his possible employment in Patterson's printing-office or bindery. Of this employment none of them speak from personal knowledge. In making inquiries among two or three score of the oldest residents of Pittsburgh and vicinity, those who had any opinion on the subject invariably, so far as now remembered, repeated the story of Rigdon's employment in Patterson's office, as if it were a well-known and admitted fact; they "could tell all about it," but when pressed as to their personal knowledge of it or their authority for the conviction they had none.²
The remaining testimony which now claims consideration is independent of any connection of Rigdon as an employee with Patterson, and it necessitates no charge of Rigdon's dishonorably acquiring the Spaulding manuscript, and no suggestion of such an improbability as that a young man, not noted for industry or application, would perform the arduous task of transcribing so large a document, clandestinely too, when he had at that time certainly no ulterior object in view.
6. The earliest published intimation we have seen that Rigdon had obtained the Spaulding manuscript occurs in Howe's book, issued in 1835, where it is advanced as "the strongest presumption," and is based on Rigdon's residence in Pittsburgh in 1823-24, on the probability that the manuscript had remained in the printing-office until then,.and on Mr. Lambdin's friendship for Rigdon. Says Howe, " We have been credibly informed that he was on terms of intimacy with Lambdin, being seen frequently in his shop." The name of his informant is not given, as it
²If any one would learn an impressive lesson upon the transitory nature of man's hold upon the remembrance of his fellow-men, let him engage in an investigation into some matter of local or personal history dating back a half-century ago. So rapidly, in the very places where a man has lived and labored, does the recollection of him fade Into rumor, or myth, or oblivion. The candid reader will doubtless suspend his judgment on this hitherto accepted theory of Rigdon's printership, or set it down as at most only probable, but certainly not yet proved.
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should have been. In support of the "presumption" of Rigdon's connection with the Book of Mormon, Mr. Howe states that "some new points of doctrine" which Rigdon had commenced preaching "were afterward found to be inculcated in the Mormon Bible." Also his frequent protracted absences from his home during the year or two preceding the publication of the Book of Mormon are cited as circumstantial evidence pointing to his co-operation with Smith.
7. Rev. Samuel Williams, of Castle Shannon, Allegheny Co., Pa., a successor of Rigdon in the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, published in 1842, as already stated, a pamphlet entitled "Mormonism Exposed." On page 4 he says, " In 1818, and for some years afterwards, Patterson & Lambdin were the principal firm engaged in printing and publishing books. The widow of Mr. Spaulding states that it [her husband's romance] was taken to that printing-office, and Mr. Patterson and many others of this city knew that Mr. Rigdon and Mr. Lambdin, who superintended the printing-office, were very intimate during Rigdon's residence here." On page 16, Mr. Williams expresses his conviction "that the manuscript remained in the office with others from 1814 until Sidney Rigdon came to this place and obtained it from Lambdin."
8. Rev. John Winter, M.D., was one of the early ministers of the Baptist Church, laboring in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. During a portion of the time when Sidney Rigdon was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, Dr. Winter was teaching a school in the same city, and was well acquainted with Rigdon. Upon one occasion during this period, 1822-23, Dr. Winter was in Rigdon's study, when the latter took from his desk a large manuscript, and said in substance, " A Presbyterian minister, Spaulding, whose health had failed, brought this to the printer to see if it would pay to publish it. It is a romance of the Bible." Dr. Winter did not read any part of it, and paid no more attention to it until after the Book of Mormon appeared, when he heard that Mr. Spaulding's widow recognized in it the writings of her husband.
The authority for the above important statement is Rev. A. G. Kirk, to whom Dr. Winter communicated it in conversation at New Brighton, Pa., in 1870-71. Dr. Winter died at Sharon, Pa., in 1878. Mr. Kirk conveyed this information to the present writer by letter, March 23,1879. Mrs. Mary W. Irvine, a daughter of Dr. Winter, writes from Sharon, Pa., April 5, 1881, as follows :
"I have frequently heard my father speak of Rigdon having Spaulding's manuscript, and that he had gotten it from the printers to read it as a curiosity; as such he showed it to father; and that at that time Rigdon had no intention, of making the use of it that he afterwards did; for father always said Rigdon helped Smith in his scheme by revising and making the Mormon Bible out of Rev. Spaulding's manuscript."
Rev. A. J. Bonsall, pastor of the Baptist Church at Rochester, Pa., and a step-son of Dr. Winter, authorizes the statement that he repeatedly heard Dr. Winter say that Rigdon had shown him the Spaulding manuscript romance, purporting to be the history of the American Indians, which manuscript he had received from the printers.
It was the impression of these three witnesses that Dr. Winter had himself committed his recollections of his above-mentioned interview with Rigdon to writing, as he intended to do, and was even understood to say he had done, but a careful search among his papers has thus far proved unavailing to find it. Dr. Winter was noted for his retentive memory and for his scrupulous accuracy in treasuring up conversations with brethren in the ministry and incidents in their history, many of which he contributed to the press in the form of sketches of Western church history. The reliability of the persons who have, in the interest of truth, related his statement to them will be confidently vouched for by all who know them; and Dr. Winter's evidence, thus attested, is of itself sufficient to establish the certainty that Rigdon, in 1822-23, had possession of Spaulding's manuscript.
9. Mrs. Amos Dunlap, of Warren, Ohio, in answer. to inquiries, writes Dec. 7, 1879,—
" When I was quite a child I visited Mr. Rigdon's family. He married my aunt. They at that time lived in Bainbridge, Ohio. During my visit Mr. Rigdon went to his bedroom and took from a trunk which he kept locked a certain manuscript. He came out into the other room and seated himself by the fireplace and commenced reading it. His wife at that moment came into the room and exclaimed, 'What! you're studying that thing again?' or something to that effect. She then added, 'I mean to burn that paper.' He said,' No, indeed, you will not. This will be a great thing some day I' Whenever he was reading this be was so completely occupied that he seemed entirely unconscious of anything passing around him."
10. Mr. Z. Rudolph, father of Mrs. Gen. Garfield, knew Sidney Rigdon very well, and has stated that "during the winter previous to the appearance of the. Book of Mormon, Rigdon was in the habit of spending weeks away from his home, going no one knew where; and that he often appeared very preoccupied, and would indulge in dreamy, imaginative talks, which puzzled those who listened. When the Book of Mormon appeared and Rigdon joined in the advocacy of the new religion, the suspicion was at once aroused that he was one of the framers of the new doctrines, and probably was not ignorant of the authorship of the Book of Mormon."
11. Pomeroy Tucker, Esq., a native of Palmyra, N. Y., and well acquainted with all the Smith family from their coming to Palmyra in 1816 from Vermont, was the editor of the paper—the Wayne Sentinel—in the office of which at Palmyra, in 1830, the Book of Mormon was printed. He performed much of the proof-reading, and had frequent familiar interviews with Smith. In 1867, Mr. Tucker published a volume entitled the " Origin and Progress of Mormonism," of which he was so well qualified to write. The facts which he records as having occurred in his own vicinity may be accepted as either personally known to him, or as stated upon reliable and convincing testi-
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mony. After narrating Smith's vicious and vagrant life down to the summer of 1827, he states (p. 28),—
"A mysterious stranger now appears at Smith's residence, and holds private interviews with the far-famed money-digger. For a considerable length of time no intimation of the name or purpose of this personage transpired to the public, nor even to Smith's nearest neighbors. It was observed by some of them that his visits were frequently repeated. The sequel of three private interviews between the stranger and the money-digger will sufficiently appear hereafter." [Great consternation was occasioned by the theft of one hundred and sixteen pages of Smith's translation from the golden plates, as it seems to have been impossible to retranslate the stolen portion. Where upon (p. 46)] "The reappearance of the mysterious stranger at Smith's was again the subject of inquiry and conjecture by observers, from whom was withheld all explanation of his identity or purpose." [At last the Book of Mormon was printed, Rigdon was among the first converts, and Mr. Tucker says (p. 75):] " Up to this time Sidney Rigdon had played his pith in the background, and his occasional visite at Smith's residence had been noticed by uninitiated observers of those of the mysterious stranger. It had been his policy to remain in concealment until all things should be in readiness for blowing the trumpet of the new gospel. . . . This man Rigdon now appeared as the first regular Mormon preacher in Palmyra." . . . " Who can doubt that he and Smith had become confederates in a grand scheme of cupidity and imposture? They had surreptitiously possessed themselves of a fabulous composition peculiarly adapted to their design. Secrecy and falsehood were necessary to the success of such a scheme, and to these, it is self-evident, they were mutually sworn." (P. 121.)
12. Mrs. Dr. Horace Eaton, for the last thirty-two years a resident of Palmyra, N. Y., has published a brief sketch of the " Origin of Mormonism," in which, after careful and thorough study of the subject, she concurs with Mr. Tucker. She says, " Early in the summer of 1827 a ' mysterious stranger' seeks admittance to Joe Smith's cabin. The conferences of the two are most private. This person, whose coming immediately preceded a new departure in the faith, was Sidney Rigdon, a backsliding clergyman, at this time a Campbellite preacher in Mentor, Ohio." Mrs. Eaton also mentions a theory, which has a strong probability sustaining it, that Parley P. Pratt, a peddler who " knew everybody in Western New York and Northern Ohio," and who was a member of Rigdon's church, was the medium through whom Rigdon made the acquaintance of Smith when seeking a suitable tool for his purpose. Pratt became, of course, an immediate convert to Mormonism, and one of its most famous and successful missionaries. Through his persuasive powers, we are told, Rigdon himself became a Mormon !
13. The "History of Franklin County, Pa.," by I. H. McCauley, published by John N. Pomeroy, Chambersburg, Pa., states, as if a matter too well known to require argument (p. 198), that " Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, and Sidney Rigdon were intimate acquaintances for a considerable time before Mormonism was first heard of."
14. The Millennial Harbinger, edited and published at Bethany, W. Va., by Rev. Alexander Campbell, the founder of the "Disciples" denomination, in the volume for 1844, p. 39, contains a letter dated Jan. 22, 1841, from Rev. Adamson Bentley, a very intimate friend of Rigdon (their wives were sisters), and whose testimony is beyond the imputation of doubt or suspicion. Mr. Bentley is writing to Rev. Walter Scott, another old and cherished companion of Rigdon:
"I know that Sidney Rigdon told me there was a book coming on the manuscript of which had been found engraved on gold plates, as much as two years before the Mormon book made its appearance or had bees heard of by me."
The editor of the Harbinger, the Rev. Alexander Campbell, clinches the above as follows :
"The conversation alluded to in Brother Bentley's letter of 1841 was in my presence as well as in his, and my recollection of it led me, some two or three years ago, to interrogate Brother Bentley touching his recollections of it, which accorded with mine in every particular except the year in which it occurred, he placing it in the summer of 1827, I in the summer of 1828, Rigdon at the same time observing that in the plates dug up in New York there was an account not only of the aborigines of this country, but also it was stated that the Christian religion had been preached in this country during the first century, just as we were preaching it on the Western Reserve."
According to the testimony of these two unimpeachable witnesses, Rigdon was minutely informed that the Book of Mormon was in process of preparation, and was thoroughly acquainted with the character of its contents, at least three, if not four, years before its actual issue. His own personal responsibility for its appearance is the only basis on which this foreknowledge can be explained. This testimony also shows how little reliance can be placed upon Rigdon's solemn and repeated asseveration that he bad never heard of Smith or of the Book of Mormon until he received the information from Parley P. Pratt, in August, 1830, and after a brief struggle accepted the new faith.
15. In Hayden's " Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve," pp. 239 40, occurs a statement from Rev. D. Atwater, a man noted for his strict regard for truth and justice, dated Mantua Station, April 26, 1873, from which the following extract is taken :
"Soon after this the great Mormon defection came on us. Sidney Rigdon preached for us, and notwithstanding his extravagantly wild freaks he was held in high repute by many. For a few months before his professed conversion to Mormonism it was noticed that his wild, extravagant propensities had been more marked. That he knew before of the coming of the Book of Mormon is to me certain from what he said the first of his visits at my father's some years before. He gave a wonderful description of the mounds and other antiquities found in some parts of America, and said that they must have been made by ths aborigines. He said there was a book to be published containing an account of those things. He spoke of these, in his eloquent, enthusiastic style, as being a thing most extraordinary. Though a youth then, I took him to task for expending so much enthusiasm on such a subject, instead of things of the gospel."
16. As the character established by Rigdon among his brethren in the Baptist Church whilst he was a member of that denomination has a direct bearing upon the question of his probable guilt or innocence, we make two quotations touching his reputation at that time. (1) From Rev. S. Williams' pamphlet, already referred to, pp. 1, 2 : "He professed to experience a change of heart when a young man, and proposed to join the church under the care of Elder David Philips. But there was so much miracle about his conversion, and so much parade about his profes-
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sion, that the pious and discerning pastor entertained serious doubts at the time in regard to the genuineness of the work. He was received, however, by the church and baptized by the pastor, with some fears and doubts upon his mind. Very soon, Diotrepheslike, he began to put himself forward and seek the pre-eminence, and was well nigh supplanting the tried and faithful minister who had reared and nursed and fed the church for a long series of years. So thoroughly convinced was Father Philips by this time that he was not possessed of the spirit of Christ, notwithstanding his miraculous conversion and flippant speech, that he declared his belief `that as long as he [Sidney] should live he would be a curse to the church of Christ.'" (2) In the (Pittsburgh) Baptist Witness of Jan. 1, 1875, Dr. Winter, in the course of a historical notice of the First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, says, " When Holland Sumner dealt with Rigdon for his bad teachings, and said to him, 'Brother Rigdon, you never got into a Baptist Church without relating your Christian experiences,' Rigdon replied, ' When I joined the church at Peters Creek I knew I could not be admitted without an experience, so I made up one to suit the purpose ; but it was all made up, and was of no use, nor true.' This I have just copied from an old memorandum, as taken from Sumner himself."
17. As an apology for Rigdon, and probably in reply to Dr. Winter's article, quoted above, a communication appeared in the Baptist Witness two months later, March 1, 1875, from A. H. Dunlevy, of Lebanon, Ohio, who, giving as his authority Dr. L. Rigdon, of Hamilton, Ohio, an elder brother of Sidney, states as follows :
"Sidney Higdon, when quite a boy, living with his father some fifteen miles south of Pittsburgh on a farm, was thrown from his horse, his foot entangled in a stirrup and dragged some distance before relieved. In this accident he received such a contusion of the brain as ever after seriously to affect his character and in some respects his conduct. In fact, his brother always considered Sidney a little deranged in his mind by that accident. His mental powers did not seem to be impaired, but the equilibrium in his intellectual exertions seemed thereby to have been sadly affected. He still manifested great mental activity and power, but he was to an equal degree inclined to run into wild and visionary views on almost every question. Hence he was a fit subject fur any new movement in the religious world."
The most skeptical reader will find it difficult to resist the conviction, after an impartial consideration of the preceding testimony, that Rigdon as early as 1823 certainly had possession of Spaulding's manuscript (how he obtained it is unimportant for the present purpose) ; that during his career as a minister of the Disciples' Church in Ohio he carefully preserved under lock and key this document, and devoted an absorbed attention to it; that he was aware of the forthcoming Book of Mormon and of its contents long before its appearance ; that the said contents were largely Spaulding's romance, and partly such modifications as Rigdon had introduced; and that during the preparation of the Book of Mormon Rigdon had repeated and long interviews with Smith, thus easily supplying him with fresh installments of the pretended revelation. The conclusion is irresistible that Sidney Rigdon was the agent by whom the plagiarism was effected. The memory of Lambdin should, however, be relieved from any charge of complicity in Rigdon's guilty use of the manuscript, and of any culpable intent in allowing him to peruse it as a curiosity in literature. Lambdin was resting in his early grave before Rigdon had, conceived his criminal scheme.
III. THE TWO MANSCRIPTS.—The question has been propounded with a somewhat triumphant air by Mormons, Why not produce the Spaulding manuscript and publish it with the Book of Mormon in parallel columns, and thus demonstrate the plagiarism ?
This was the very work for which Mrs. Davison, in 1834, gave D. P. Hurlbut an order for the delivery to him of her copy of her husband's "Manuscript Found ;" and she in her lifetime was fully convinced, as is her daughter now, that Hurlbut obtained that invaluable document and treacherously sold it to the Mormons. In confirmation of this opinion we quote from " Gleanings by the Way," by Rev. John A. Clark, D.D., published by Robert Carter, New York, 1842. This volume is made up largely of letters published in the (Philadelphia) Episcopal Recorder. On page 263, Rev. Mr. Storrs, of Holliston, Mass., in a letter dated June 28, 1841, to Rev. Dr. Clark, says, " Dr. Hurlbut took the manuscript. It is reported in Missouri that he sold it for four hundred dollars; that the manuscript is not to be found." On page 265, Rev. D. R. Austin, of Monson, Mass., in a letter to Dr. Clark, dated also June 28, 1841, writes, "He (Dr. Hurlbut) stated some time after he had received the manuscript that he had made $400 out of it. Mrs. Davison has not the least doubt now but that he obtained it in order to sell it to the Mormons." This is the earliest report we have seen of this alleged embezzlement, dating only seven years after Hurlbut's visit, but the statement has been often repeated since. It should be remembered, too, that only with the greatest reluctance did Mrs. Davison authorize the lending of the manuscript to Hurlbut at the solicitation of her brother, W. H. Sabine. The present writer called on Hurlbut at his home, and interrogated him with reference to this charge. The result of this interview is contained in the following paper, which Mr. Hurlbut signed :
GIBSONBURG, OHIO, Ang.19, 1879.
"I visited Mrs. Matilda (Spaulding) Davison at Monson, Mass., in 1834, and never saw her afterwards. I then received from her a manuscript of her husband's, which I did not read, but brought home with me and immediately gave It to Mr. D. E. Howe, of Painesville, Ohio, who was then engaged in preparing his book, Mormonism Unveiled.' I do not know whether or not the document I received from Mrs. Davison was Spaulding's Manuscript Found,' as I never read it; but whatever it was Mr Howe received it under the condition on which I took it from Mrs. Davison, to compare it with the Book of Mormon and then return it to her. I never received any other manuscript of Spaulding's from Mrs. Davison or any one else. Of that manuscript I made no other use than
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to give it, with all my other documents connected with Mormonism, to Mr. Howe. I did not destroy the manuscript nor dispose of It to Joe Smith, or to any other person. No promise was made by me to Mrs. Davison that she should receive any portion of profits arising from the publication of the manuscript if it should be published. All the affidavit, procured by me for Mr.. Howe's book, including all those from Palmyra, N. Y., were certainly genuine.
" D. P. HURLBUT."
This statement conflicts with the one given in 1834 by Hurlbut to Mr. Howe, as contained in his book, from which it appears that Hurlbut obtained this manuscript from "the trunk referred to by the widow," it being the only manuscript there in Spaulding's handwriting. When his attention was called to this discrepancy, Hurlbut had no explanation to offer, nor did he give any satisfactory reason when asked why, after spending months in securing testimony to the identity of the Spaulding manuscript and the Book of Mormon, he did not avail himself of the opportunity of settling the question beyond dispute when he had, as he supposed, the very document in his hands, without waiting for days until he gave it to Mr. Howe, at Painesville, and not reading it even then.
Whatever opinion the reader may form of Hurlbut's conduct, and of his refusal to account for it, it is at least clear, from the testimony of Mrs. Davison and her daughter, that Spaulding's "Manuscript Found" had been with his other writings in the old trunk at Hartwick, N. Y., and that it was abstracted either by Hurlbut or by some one else previous to his search. In either case it is simply adding insult to injury to call upon Mr. Spaulding's daughter now to collate the Book of Mormon with her father's manuscript, of which she has been so shamefully robbed. The Mormon who resorts to this dishonorable plea only shows to what a desperate strait he has been reduced in defending his "inspired" book.
Whether the manuscript which Rigdon had in his possession was Spaulding's own or a transcript made by Rigdon, is a matter of comparatively little moment, and it is one which it is impossible now to determine. It would not be strange if Spaulding, being a man of leisure, and fond of writing, had made out a revised copy for the printer, retaining his own first sheets, and that these latter were what he took to Amity, leaving the other at Patterson's office, possibly with a faint hope that some means of putting it to press might yet "come to pass." It is true Mrs. Davison says that the manuscript was returned to him, but she also says that Mr. Patterson was the " editor of a newspaper," which was an error easily made, as he had a job printing office; and, in like manner, after the lapse of twenty-five years, she might readily have forgotten that there were two copies, if such were indeed the case. Be this as it may, the copy passing through Rigdon's hands of course we cannot follow. Thus, unfortunately, both copies (Rigdon's and Mrs. Da-vison's) of Spaulding's now famous romance would seem to be irretrievably lost.
In the collection of the materials for the above imperfect presentation of a question of no little historical interest, the writer, takes pleasure in acknowledging the courtesy of the numerous correspondents to whom he has applied for information, and will be pardoned for mentioning his special obligations to Dr. W. W. Sharpe, of Amity, Pa., to George Plumer Smith, Esq., of Philadelphia, and to James T. Cobb, Esq., of Salt Lake City, at the instance of the last named of whom he commenced this inquiry, and to whom he is indebted for many of the references made.
IV. CLOSING REMARKS.—It was not the object of the present investigation to account for the origin of Mormonism, or to trace its rise and growth, or to describe it as a system of belief. This would have opened a far wider field of research, and would have required sketches of Joseph Smith and his numerous coadjutors, only one of whom has any connection with the question here under discussion. The one topic proposed for consideration was the authorship of the historical parts, constituting much the larger portion, of the Book of Mormon. Hence we have left entirely out of view the absurd fables devised by Smith—or, more probably, invented for him—to account for his possession of the Book of Mormon, namely, that an angel showed him, Sept. 22, 1823, where the golden plates where concealed ; that four years afterwards, Sept. 22, 1827, Smith removed them from the place of deposit where they had remained for fourteen hundred years; that these plates were covered with Egyptian characters, which he could, not understand, but by looking at them through two transparent stones which had been deposited with them the proper English words, one at a time, became visible to him ; and being himself unable to write a legible hand, the words were by him dictated one by one to a scribe, who sat separated from Smith, by a blanket hung up as a screen, as it would be certain death for any one but Smith to see the golden plates. In this way his first scribe, Martin Harris, in 1828 wrote one hundred and sixteen pages, which Mrs. Harris (honor to her memory) committed to the flames. As this portion, for some reason, could not be retranslated, the work was suspended until April 17, 1829, when a second scribe, Oliver Cowdery, undertook the labor, and in June, 1829, the manuscript was taken to the printer. To persons who accept Joseph Smith's statements in regard to his angelic visitants it does not seem at all incredible that Cowdery could in two months perform the stupendous task of writing out from dictation a manuscript about equal in magnitude to the Old Testament 1 And one story is as probable as the other. Such is the Mormon version of the origin of their sacred book, and the intelligent reader can choose between this theory and the only alternative offered, the Rigdon-Spaulding one.
It may not be amiss, in closing this summary of the evidence proving the fraudulent origin of the Book of
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Mormon, to remember that whilst honest indignation cannot and ought not to be suppressed against those who wrought this wickedness, nothing but sincerest compassion should be felt and shown for their deluded victims. That multitudes of them are honest in the convictions they express, incredible as at first it may appear, cannot be denied by any one who has acquainted himself with the heroic endurance and patient suffering, even unto death, which numbers of this misguided people have shown. The heart must be hard indeed that would not ache for them in reading Col. Kane's graphic narration of their banishment from Nauvoo and their pitiful pilgrimage to Utah, their pathway marked by the graves of those that perished.
And still more to be commiserated than the fate of those who fell by the way is the inexpressibly sadder lot of those poor women who survived the hardships, and their successors since, whose devotion to their God has been so wrought upon by designing men that, in dread of disobedience to a divine command, they have submitted to a polygamous relation against which every feeling of their souls revolted. The horrors of the hated Inquisition had no torture so terrible for the flesh to endure as that living death of agony to which many a pure spirit has been and is still subjected by this conscience enforced union with a beastly tyrant. Let the galling chain be broken, but let not the innocent captive be punished for the crime of her cruel master. Surely among these soul-stricken sufferers the compassionate Saviour has his hidden ones.
Should the eyes of any honest believer in the inspiration of the Book of Mormon fall upon these pages, his impartial and unbiased examination of the evidence here adduced is earnestly solicited. The number of attesting witnesses is not a tenth part of what it would have been had a thorough investigation been undertaken even a score of years ago. This has been made painfully manifest in the progress of this inquiry by the frequently repeated statement that this one and that one had recently died who could have given the very information sought. A conviction that the delusion would be short-lived operated, unfortunately, to prevent the collection of a far more abundant mass of testimony. But what is here presented should convince every sincere searcher for truth that the Book of Mormon, as issued by Smith, originated in fraud, and therefore with it the whole Mormon superstructure falls.
It is scarcely necessary to say that Spaulding himself must be acquitted of all intention to deceive, even though four of the hearers of his romance as read by him have attested his singular presentiment —was it prescience ?—that in after-years his romance would be accepted by thousands as veritable history. But even he could not have foreseen that this coinage of his brain would ever pass current as having been enstamped by the authority of heaven. The unconscious prophet of a new Islam, in all his imaginings he did not dream that his hand was outlining the Koran of a dark delusion, that the fables which beguiled his restless hours would be accepted by hundreds of thousands of his fellow-men as the oracles of God, and that in inglorious yet heroic martyrdom some of them would even seal with their blood their faith in the inspiration of his phantasies. Journeying to Pittsburgh in 1812, with the sanguine hope of soon seeing his romance in print, it never entered his mind that in threescore years and ten thereafter the shades of Laman and Nephi, of Mormon and Maroni, evoked by his magic wand from the sepulchral mounds of Conneaut,—the graves of a long-forgotten race,—would be stalking over two hemispheres, and would be leading through the very city of his sojourn their myriad victims of deception to distant homes of wretchedness and shame. Struggling to escape the burden of his debts, he little imagined how vast the burden he was about unwittingly to lay upon his country.
Sleep on, humble dreamer, in thy lowly bed Thy fond desire to win a public hearing for thy wondrous story was denied thee in thy toilsome life. Thou knowest not that a strange immortality awaited it and thee. Rest peacefully, for from thine eye, which sought to penetrate the past alone, this saddest of future visions was mercifully withheld. Surely never hitherto have passed such sorrowful processions near the grave of so innocent an author of their woe.¹
Higher Education in Washington County—Academies—Trinity Hall—Public Schools—Normal School.
Higher Education in Washington County.² Two conditions were imposed by me upon my consent to fulfill the request to which this article is due. The request itself simply covers the history of the colleges, seminaries, and academies of the county, leaving the wider but not less important field of the common schools to other hands. One of these conditions was, that instead of traversing anew ground over which I had thoroughly gone before, I should be at full liberty, so far as it might suit my present purpose, to draw at will from my article in the Presbyterian "Centenary Memorial," issued six years ago. That volume was designed to celebrate the "planting and growth of Presbyterianism in Western Pennsylvania and parts adjacent" during the century following the settlement of John McMillan, D.D., the first pastor
¹ Correction of errors or additional information will be gladly received. Address R. Patterson, 198 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh. 2
² By Rev. James I. Brownson, D.D., Washington, Pa.
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of his own or probably any other denomination west of the Alleghenies. My other condition was the cheerful agreement of my associate authors of the volume referred to that such an appropriation of a portion of its contents should be made for the present more general purpose. It is enough to say that both of the parties in question—the proprietors of the "Centenary Memorial" and those of the present "History of Washington County"—have heartily agreed to this method, the one permitting and the other accepting it. I shall, therefore, freely use parts of my own previous production, with such additions, subtractions, and modifications as may be demanded by the scope and objects of the present work.
To those readers who are not fully instructed in the early history now designed to be brought out, a word of explanation is due concerning the prominence which this sketch must necessarily assign to one of the religious denominations, and that my own. All of these have done in the succeeding years a noble work on this soil for evangelical religion, as well as for liberty, social culture, and education ; but the truth of history requires that to Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, who in large preponderance first occupied this soil, the credit should be given of chiefly moulding its society, of starting its religious influences, and, as truly, of planting and fostering its educational institutions. This last they did upon an elevated and comprehensive scale, not in the way of ecclesiastical control, but of efficient influence, and ever inviting the co-operation of others, whilst never failing to share the advantages with them on equal terms. The credit of such co-operation, so far as numerical strength and the state of theological controversies incident to the times allowed, is most due to the ministers and members of other branches of the Presbyterian family descending from the same general origin, especially to the Associate and Associate Reformed Churches, now by a happy union constituting the United Presbyterian Church. The same is true, in its measure, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. When these excellent churches came to the double crisis of their strength and their need, they did not fail to adopt and vigorously prosecute an educational policy of their own, though their excellent institutions are located outside of Washington County. Even yet, however, the college of our county receives a proportion of their patronage, for which a fair compensation is of course rendered to the institutions more immediately tinder their influence in the region of their location. Other denominations also, as the Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, etc.,which have come into strength since the early settlement of the country, have more or less strictly followed the same general rule of primary attention to own wants with the fullest liberty of benefits to all besides. Through the whole course of this history, but especially at the beginning, the ministers of the gospel were the true and efficient leaders in this as well as other forms of public enterprise. But they were nobly sustained by intelligent, sturdy, liberal, and pious laymen, who were not slow to appreciate their opportunities in behalf of their own and generations to come.
It would be unprofitable, as it would be unjust to the memories of the pioneer ministers of the gospel. the Rev. Messrs. John McMillan, Thaddeus Dodd, and Joseph Smith, to make invidious comparisons of their educational any more than of their ministerial work. Like their worthy associate, the Rev. James Power, of Westmoreland County, they were all valued sons of the College of New Jersey, and devoted friends of both scholarship and religion. The elevation of society furnished a general motive, whilst the demand for a competent supply of well-trained ministers of the gospel was a felt necessity; and neither history nor tradition has transmitted a whisper of jealousy between them. "From the outset," says Doddridge, in his "Notes," "they prudently resolved to create a ministry in the country, and accordingly established little grammar schools at their own houses or in their immediate neighborhoods." Each of the three above-named gentlemen established such a school for training in the higher branches of learning. The question of priority has enlisted much zeal among the friends as well as the descendants of these venerable men, but as yet without conclusive settlement. Limit of space, as well as propriety itself, must restrain us from entering that field with the hope of a decision in which all will concur. A brief statement of the case must suffice.
It is certain that the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd erected a building on his own farm, and opened in it a classical and mathematical school in 1782, three years after his settlement as pastor of Ten-Mile, and just as many years before his congregation erected a house of worship. That academy continued in operation three years and a half, until the sale of the farm led to its suspension. It numbered among its pupils James Hughes, John Brice, Daniel Lindley, Robert Marshall, John Hanna, and David Smith, the first fruits of a large native ministry gathered in the Western Church.
The suspension of Mr. Dodd's academy transferred Messrs. Hughes, Brice, and probably others to the school opened in the "study" at Buffalo in 1785 by the Rev. Joseph Smith, where they were joined by Joseph Patterson, James McGready, Samuel Porter, and others of like purpose. That school, claimed by the author of " Old Redstone," the grandson of Mr. Smith, to be "the first school opened with exclusive reference to the training of young men for the ministry," was successful for a few years, until the failing health of Mr. Smith compelled its abandonment, and then most of its students passed into the "Log Cabin" school of Dr. McMillan at Chartiers.
The date of the establishment of Dr. McMillan's academy is the central question of the. debate already
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referred to. It is likely to remain an open question ; but settle it as we may, his fame will abide as the conservative, thoughtful, resolute, and far-seeing leader of his brethren in the educational as well as ecclesiastical work of the church. On the one hand it is urged that, although Dr. McMillan must have given occasional and private instructions in the classics as early as any of his brethren, if not, indeed, before them all, yet that his school as such only in fact covered the common English branches until shortly before the cessation of Mr. Smith's school at Buffalo. But against this view it is forcibly argued, on the ground of popular tradition,—confirmed in probability, as we shall presently see, by Dr. McMillan's own words,—that his school as an academy must have originated as early as Mr. Dodd's, viz., in 1782, if not one or two years before it. The argument turns somewhat, though not conclusively, upon another question, viz.: whether James Ross, the first known teacher under Dr. McMillan, and afterwards so distinguished both as an advocate and statesman, having reached a seat in the United States Senate in 1794, gave instruction in the classics or simply taught English branches whilst receiving private instruction in Latin and Greek from Dr. McMillan himself. At least as early as 1786 he can be traced as an attorney in vigorous practice in the courts of Washington County.
After all might there not be a key of solution in the suggestion that Dr. McMillan's school was probably opened as early as 1780, and included Latin and Greek in its design, so far as the demand for them then existed, but that upon the beginning of Mr. Dodd's distinctively classical academy, two years later, such instruction may have been chiefly surrendered to him for a time in view of the sufficiency of one such school to meet the demand, and in view of Dr. McMillan's other abundant labors; to which, also, is to be added the fact that Mr. McMillan's charge, so prolific of candidates for the ministry afterwards, was at first less so than the congregations of some of his brethren. This supposition concedes priority to Dr. McMillan, which is probably the truth, whilst it brings other facts into harmony with it else very difficult of explanation. In that case the subsequent collection of the classical students at Chartiers was simply, in this respect, a resumption.
The curious reader may find the whole question ably argued, if not satisfactorily settled, in the appendix to Dr. Joseph Smith's "History of Jefferson College," on the one side by the author himself, and on the other by Prof. Robert Patterson, now associate editor of the Presbyterian Banner. But whatever may have been the origin of the " Log Cabin"
McMILLAN'S LOG CABIN ACADEMY.
academy, as compared with those of Messrs. Dodd and Smith, it survived them, and continued to supply the demands of English, classical, and even theological education until 1791, when its students were passed over to the Canonsburg Academy, shortly before erected. The spirit of McMillan in this whole enterprise, as well as his hearty co-operation with his brethren in the same direction, may be discovered in the modest statement of his letter to the Rev. Dr. James Carnahan, under date of March 26, 1832. "When I had determined," says he, "to come to this country, Dr. Smith [his theological instructor,—the Rev. Robert Smith, D.D., of Pequea] enjoined it upon me to look out for some pious young men and educate them for the ministry, for, said he, though some men of piety and talents may go to a new country at first, yet if they are not careful to raise up others the country will not be well supplied. Accordingly I
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collected a few who gave evidence of piety, and taught them the Latin and Greek languages, some of whom became useful, and others eminent ministers of the Gospel. I had still a few with me when the academy was opened at Canonsburg, and finding I could not teach and do justice to my congregation, I immediately gave it up and sent them there."
Such was the state of the case when the wants of the community rose above the supply of private enterprise and demanded associated effort. "It reflects the highest honor upon these illustrious men," says Prof. Patterson, the champion of Dr. McMillan's priority as an educator, " that scarce thirty years were suffered to elapse after the first daring adventurers had penetrated a hitherto pathless wilderness—thirty years not of prosperity but of painful vigilance and struggle, of unexampled hardship and heroic endurance---until the poetry and eloquence of Greece and Rome, the truths of modern science and of sacred learning had found three humble halls, three devoted instructors, and a score of assiduous pupils, though the war-whoop of the retreating savage still echoed within the surrounding valleys, and his council fires still blazed upon the hills." The combined movement referred to found embodiment in the charter of the Washington Academy by an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania dated Sept. 24, 1787. The same act devoted, for the uses of the academy, five thousand acres of public land north of the Ohio River, chiefly in what is now Beaver County. That charter was secured mainly through the influence of Dr. McMillan and his two elders, Judges Allison and McDowell, then members of the Legislature. The original list of trustees embraced all of the settled Presbyterian ministers west of the Monongahela, and not less than seven or eight ruling elders and some other leading members of the same denomination, as well as a goodly representation from other churches. It was not until 1789 that the academy went into operation under the Rev. Thaddeus Dodd, who was chosen principal, doubtless because, by common consent, he was the finest classical and mathematical scholar of these eminent fathers. His promise of continuance in this work covered only one year, though he gave an addition of three months, preaching one-third of this period in Washington and the remaining two-thirds in his own charge. He was succeeded by his associate, Mr. David Johnston. But the burning of the courthouse, in which the classes were heard, followed, and then a feeling of depression, if not of indifference, in the community, almost insuperable. The division of sentiment among friends abroad and division of their influence, and the suspension of operations which ensued, might probably have been avoided had the Hon. John Hoge, a trustee, and one of the proprietors of the town, met the proposal of the Rev. Messrs. John McMillan and Matthew Henderson, the latter of whom was father of the Associate (now United Presbyterian) Church in the West, for the donation of a lot for the erection of an academy. The prompt offer of such a lot in Canonsburg by Col. John Canon, together with the advance of funds for the erection, turned the scale. About this time, or in 1791, a consultation of ministers and citizens concerning the establishment of an institution on a larger scale was held, which, under like influence, resulted in favor of Canonsburg.
Mr. Johnson having resigned at Washington, his election as principal of the new institution was followed by its speedy opening and the famous first recitation " under the shade of some sassafras bushes," by Robert Patterson and William Riddle, the first pair of a long and worthy succession of students. The Rev. Messrs. McMillan, Smith, and Henderson were present, and consecrated the incipient enterprise in prayer. At the meeting of the Synod of Virginia, in October of the same year, another great impulse was given by the adoption of " a plan for the education of persons for the ministry of the gospel," which recommended that two institutions should be taken under the patronage of the Synod. One of these was to be located in Rockbridge County, Va., under the presidency of the Rev. William Graham, and special care of the Presbyteries of Lexington and Hanover, the same which grew into Washington College at Lexington. The other was to be established in Washington County, Pa., under the care of Rev. John McMillan, and to be "cherished" and "superintended" by the Presbytery of Redstone. The Synod also advised that in one or other of these institutions all the candidates for the ministry within its bounds should be instructed. The Presbytery of Redstone, at its meeting in Pigeon Creek, Oct. 18, 1792, unanimously agreed to make Canonsburg " the seat of that institution of learning which they were appointed to superintend," though, upon a reconsideration of the subject, in the following spring, the way was left open for a division of the funds, if in the future the good of the church should require the erection of another institution. Contributions were taken by active agents under the influence, first, a the Presbytery of Redstone, and then, after its organization, in 1793, of the Ohio Presbytery, in whose territory the academy was located. Aid was also rendered under the favor of the Associate Presbyterian Church, led by the Rev. Matthew Henderson and others. These funds were applied in part to reimburse Col. Canon for his outlay in the erection of the academy, and in part for current expenses.
In 1794, or seven years after the incorporation of the Washington Academy, a charter was obtained for the institution at Canonsburg from the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, under the name of "The Academy and Library Company." But at what precise time the "Log Cabin" school was merged into the academy, thus fully established, it is not easy to. determine. It is certain at least that, without being under direct ecclesiastical control, the institution had the zeal of the ministry and the church. in its favor. It was
442 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
happy, also, in its succession of principals and assistant instructors, such as Samuel Miller, James Mountain, James Carnahan, and John Watson. The last of these became the first president of Jefferson College under the charter of 180, while Mr. Carnahan reached afterwards the same high place in the College of New Jersey. Nor can such names among its pupils as those of Cephas Dodd, Elisha McCurdy, Thomas E. Hughes, Thomas Marques, Robert Johnston, James Hoge, Joseph Stockton, Samuel Tait, James Satterfield, Obadiah Jennings, William Neill, James Ramsey, Gilbert McMaster, and others fail to tell their own story of benefit in requital of the offerings of the church. At least one baptism of revival came down upon the institution, in 1797, in answer to the prayers of God's people, when of forty students there was not one who was not believed to be either an avowed Christian or "a subject of sharp awakening." It was not, however, until the year 1800 that the first legislative aid came in the form of a grant of one thousand dollars. And this in turn stimulated the renewal of a movement which had failed in 1796, but now found success in the charter of Jan. 15, 1802, which transformed the Canonsburg Academy into Jefferson College, the first and in its day the most useful college west of the Alleghenies. The two surviving fathers of the Redstone Presbytery, John McMillan and James Power, were among its trustees, Messrs. Smith and Dodd having meanwhile gone to their rest. With them, also, were associated Joseph Patterson, Thomas Marques, Samuel Ralston, John McPherrin, James Dunlap, and John Black, honored ministers, together with a list of laymen of corresponding prominence and worth. The officers of the institution were constituted by simply elevating the teachers of the academy into members of the faculty.
Returning now to the Washington Academy, which, as we have seen, was suspended in 1791, we find that it was shortly afterwards reopened and carried on with greater or less success until the spring of 1805, under James Dobbins and Benjamin Mills. Then a new era dawned upon it in the election to its management and instruction of the Rev. Matthew Brown, who had just then also been chosen as the first pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Washington. He was ably assisted, the first year, by his young friend, David Elliott, afterwards his distinguished successor both in the college and the church, and the second year by his honored pupil, George Baird. Success crowned the ability and energy of the new principal, and in due time the academy, which had led her sister at Canonsburg by seven years in the first charter, now followed her after the lapse of four years in the second, having received also an act of incorporation as a college dated March 28, 1806. Formal application was made for this charter to the Legislature by the trustees, but its success was due chiefly to the personal influence of the energetic principal, aided by the great force of Parker Campbell, Esq., the leading member
of the Washington bar. The trustees of the academy were made the incorporators of the college, and to their number, as in the Jefferson board, additions were made from time to time from the most prominent ministers and citizens of the surrounding country. The proportion of numbers in both cases was always, of course, in favor of that branch of the church which in fact gave the breath of life to both. It is worthy of remark that during the whole subsequent period from the charter, in 1806, until the union of the colleges, with the exception of two and a half years, the presidency of the board was filled by two venerable men, viz., the Rev. John Anderson, D.D., for twenty-four years, ending in 1831, and the Rev. David Elliott, D.D., LL.D., for thirty-three years, ending in 1865. Dr. Samuel Ralston. likewise presided over the Jefferson board nearly forty-four years.
The history of Jefferson and Washington Colleges has heretofore been given to the public with considerable fullness. In these published memorials, and in the general catalogue issued in 1872, an inquirer may partially trace the succession in each down to their union and their consolidation. Each struggled from first to last with poverty, and passed through various changes of fortune. Yet each, by a divine blessing upon indomitable energy, accomplished a work for the country and the church beyond computation. Rival contestants they were for public favor upon the same field of operation. Their movements were not always without contest and bitterness. Their separate existence was maintained for about threescore years against an unceasing protest of the public mind, which, together with the pressure of their own necessities, compelled frequent though unavailing efforts for their consolidation. And yet the history of this or any other country may be challenged for results in educated men as great in proportion to the means expended as their records will show.
John Watson, the first president of Jefferson College, grew up an orphan in Western Pennsylvania, almost without education, until his habits of reading and study were discovered by the distinguished Judge Addison. This gentleman encouraged him with books and counsel, and doubtless commended him to Dr. McMillan, who in turn elevated him from menial service to a place in the academy at Canonsburg, first as a pupil, and then as assistant teacher, and then secured for him the benefit of a fund in Princeton College, pledging other help besides. But his own energy won triumph over the need of further help, having secured for him the position of teacher of the grammar school, and thus enabling him to graduate with distinction. Recalled to Canonsburg, he became principal f the academy, and also, along with his patron and father-in-law, Dr. McMillan, an influential agent in procuring the college charter, and then, under it, by unanimous choice, the first in a long line f eminent presidents. Meanwhile he had entered the ministry, but his lamentable death, Nov.
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31, 1802, within the very year of the charter and only three months after his inauguration, was a baptism of affliction to the infant institution and the church.
With him was associated Samuel Miller, or "Master Miller," as he was called from his former service in the academy as Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. A loving pupil, Dr. Samuel C. Jennings, describes this gentleman as a man of low stature, with a penetrating eye, and in old age a smooth white head; a self-made scholar, kindly in disposition, and rebuking oftener with the pointing of his finger than with sharp words. He is also reported as a decided Christian, and an active ruling elder in Dr. McMillan's church, even after his voluntary retirement from the college in 1830, until his peaceful death a year later. Dr. McMillan himself, without actual change of the service he was wont to render, was made Professor of Divinity, to give instruction, as before, to candidates for the ministry. And the very year of the charter was signalized by the graduation of the first class,—trained in the academy, but crowned with college honors,—consisting of Reed Bracken, Johnston Eaton, William McMillan, John Rhea, and Israel Pickens, all afterwards ministers of the gospel but the last, who reached the distinction of Governor of Alabama and .United States senator. This beginning of the college was small, but it was the beginning of an enterprise which has accomplished mighty things, the end of which is still among the great promises of the future.
The administration of the second president, the Rev. James Dunlap, D.D., extended over a period of eight years, ending in 1811. He was a son of New Jersey College, of the class of 1773, received ordination in 1781 at the hands of the New Castle Presbytery, and after a pastorate of seven years over the united churches of Laurel Hill and Dunlap's Creek, near Brownsville, Pa., and of fourteen more of the latter church alone, accepted the presidency. His discharge of the trust was not marked with special interest, except in the way of financial struggle on the part of the institution to maintain its existence, and still harder struggle on the part of the president to defray the expenses of his family and pay his tutors on a salary of less than six hundred dollars, with a small addition from the church of Miller's Run, to which he ministered. Even his salary was larger by one-fourth than that of his predecessor. Such then were the country and the times. These causes, along with a spirit perhaps too easily wounded by the frank dealings of the board of trustees, led to the resignation of a man said to have possessed great excellence of character. The average number of his graduates was slightly over five, which was the size of the only class under his predecessor.
During the interval of a year which followed, Dr. McMillan, who had been made vice-president for this purpose, gave to the college his general supervision. At its close the Rev. Andrew Wylie was inducted into the presidency,—the same Dr. Wylie afterwards so noted in the administration of both the colleges and in their controversies. He had been a pupil of Dr. Matthew Brown in the Washington Academy, but was graduated with the class of 1810 in Jefferson College, the last year of Dr. Dunlap's presidency. His succession to this high place at the age of twenty-two years, and only eighteen months after his reception of a diploma, was a triumph of which any young man might be proud. Perhaps we may find here the swing of the pendulum. It was, at least, a very marked return to the first policy of having a young president after an intervening administration commenced at the age of sixty years. Nor was the new president, fine scholar and energetic executive as he was, remarkable for success during the five years of his incumbency, as the total of his eighteen graduates will show. But fairness demands that we look away from Canonsburg for at least a part of the explanation.
It must be remembered that during the ten years last under review Washington College had come into earnest operation under the Rev. Matthew Brown, its originator and first president, as we have seen. He was a graduate of Dickinson College in 1784. The eight classes which received the Bachelor's degree at his hands in these opening years numbered in all forty-eight, or an average of six. Like those of Jefferson, they embraced a fine proportion of names since high in the registry of church and State. Much of the favor of the church, which, as has appeared, had been transferred to Canonsburg, was won back. The foundations of a college were firmly laid, alike in scholarship and government, and a presidential reputation was made of which the alumni of both colleges are justly proud. And yet, let it be remembered, until the last year of his term the only regular professor associated with Dr. Brown was James Reed, who held the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy. Precisely the same was true of Jefferson, which did not add a second professor until 1818, or three years later still, when in like manner the ancient languages were detached from the presidency and formed into a distinct chair. So limited then were these foundations of learning in resources, so self-denying and laborious the agents who executed their work. And yet so bright is the record of the men year by year sent from them into the high places of the land.
The "College War" cannot be passed over in this history, though even yet the time has scarcely come for its impartial treatment. We will do no more than state some of its prominent facts. It came to its crisis in the transfer, by election in 1816, of Dr. Wylie from the presidency of Jefferson to that of Washington. It raged actively for at least two years, and then left animosities behind it which far outlived the busy actors themselves. Happy is the disposition of posterity to forget a strife which alienated good
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men, divided communities and families, filled the press with crimination, embarrassed the cause of education, and put the church of God itself under a heavy stress of trouble. Well has it been said that the survival of the colleges themselves, and of religion at the centres of the contest, was a signal proof of the power and grace of God.
True to human nature as it is, the immediate occasion of this strife was an earnest and almost successful negotiation for the consolidation of the institutions at one place. Committees of the boards met at Graham's tavern, midway between the two towns, on the 26th of October, 1815, and approximated but did not reach a satisfactory basis of union. The next day the following proposition was offered in the Jefferson board, viz.: "Resolved, That, provided the Board of Trustees of Washington College will not recede from their sine gua non, viz.: ' that the permanent site of the reunited college should be in the borough of Washington,' but will give five thousand dollars in addition to their present funds, half of the trustees, and the casting vote in the choice of the faculty, this board will agree to give up the site to them, and will unite with them in petitioning the Legislature to effect the object in view." Action, however, was suspended on this resolution in order to hold a consultation with the faculty, when President Wylie gave his consent, and stated his belief of Professor Miller's concurrence, founded on consultation with him. But a warm debate left the board a tie upon the resolution, whilst the president, Dr. Ralston, " hesitated" for a time, "but afterwards he did vote in the affirmative," though not until the negative side had claimed that the crisis was passed, and the secretary had recorded that the president had declined voting, under which ruling the motion was of course lost. And thus was postponed for just half a century a consummation often sought and surely devoutly wished by many friends of both colleges before and since. Without expression of opinion, we may see in these facts that it was not as yet the will of Providence that these streams should be joined until their separate benefits should have been more fully secured, and the channel of their union better prepared.
Negotiations to the same effect were soon renewed, though excited feeling rendered their success impossible. But other changes soon turned the current of events. The resignation of Dr. Brown as president at Washington, and the election of Dr. Wylie, with his transfer to the vacant place, were simultaneous. His election was secured amidst excitement by the casting vote of the president, Dr. John Anderson, and a like tumult prevailed at Canonsburg. In the hot strife thus engendered motives were of course assailed. Parties resorted to the public press for vindication. Sharp lines of division were drawn between former friends, extending even to ministers and churches. Dr. Brown, retiring from the college, continued in his pastoral relation for six years longer, with the warmest love of his church generally, as well as the sympathy of a portion of the public drawn to him as an injured man. During these six years, and for just the same period afterwards, Dr. Wylie presided at Washington, but neither his fine talents, scholarship, address, and energy, nor the warm devotion of friends and students could wholly raise him above the adverse influences growing out of the circumstances of his election. Men of the highest honor were enlisted on both sides of that controversy, in view of which fact the judgment even of this remote generation should be held in abeyance. Yet the evils of the warfare were clear and abundant. In such a condition of things it is not a little to the credit of Dr. Wylie that there was an average of nine graduates from the college during the twelve years of his administration. But his retirement in 1828 to take charge of the Indiana State University at Bloomington was soon followed by the suspension of the college itself. He died in 1851, having passed threescore years. Dr. Wylie's successor at Canonsburg was the Rev. William McMillan, A.M., a nephew of the venerable founder of the college and an alumnus of its first class. He was a man of rugged scholarship and force rather than of social and literary culture. He was measurably successful during his presidency of five years, adding fifty-nine names to the roll of alumni. He also supplied the church of Miller's Run. The chief reason of his resignation was the alleged failure of the board to sustain him in a controversy with certain students charged with mutiny, sedition, and rebellion. These charges, involving the reputation of the principal, as he claimed, the board on investigation did not regard as sufficiently proven. He was subsequently president of Franklin College, at New Athens, Ohio, and died in 1832.
The last Wednesday of September, 1822, marks the crisis and dawn of the true glory of Jefferson College.
The Rev. Matthew Brown, D.D., LL.D., who then held a call in his hand to the presidency of Centre College, at Danville, Ky., and was favorably considering it, was elected that night to the place made vacant by President McMillan's resignation. A prompt committee managed to have him brought from Washington to. Canonsburg before breakfast the next morning, ready to preside at the commencement, confer the degrees, and deliver the baccalaureate address, all on the same day. Confessing himself bewildered, as in a whirl of events, he could not resist what seemed to him and his brethren a clear call of the Lord. He carried into his new position the benefits of his official experience of ten years at Washington, and the fine reputation he had so fairly won. If his character was not the most symmetrical, he still had the elements of success in an eminent degree. Opposites blended in him most remarkably. Special eccentricities, a hasty temper, and the reactions of mirth and depression were all joined with a vigorous
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intellect, clear judgment, quick discernment, good sense, ardent piety, and untiring energy. If his impetuosity sometimes involved him in mistakes, his students loved him, even the wildest of them, for the depth of heart which never failed to make him a friend of all disposed to do right. His strong hold upon the public also, especially upon the church, gave him a power in behalf of the college only surpassed by his unrivaled skill in canvassing for patronage. Finding the institution with about eighty students, he soon greatly increased the number, and kept it at a high figure to the end of his service. In every other respect, also, the college was advanced. During the twenty-three years of his presidency the graduates numbered seven hundred and seventy-two, or an average for the whole period of thirty-five. In word and deed he was a promoter of revivals, and rejoiced in at least two of great extent through his ministry, both in the college and the church, of which for fifteen years he acted as pastor. It must have been grateful to his heart that, upon the occurrence of the first simultaneous vacancy in the college and church. at Washington, six years after leaving that place, he was cordially invited to resume his old position in each. He ever continued to love that community, and the church of which he had been the first pastor. And there, by his own request, his body was laid down to rest beside beloved dust, after his spirit had been
July 29, 1853, at the venerable age of seventy-seven years, to its glorious rest.
The Rev. Robert J. Breckenridge, D.D., LL.D., of Kentucky, succeeded Dr. Brown upon his resignation in 1845, and for two years gave to the college the benefit of his great name and brilliant talents. But the government of a college not proving congenial to his taste any more than suitable to his gifts, he returned to his beloved State in 1847, having graduated
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two classes, numbering in all ninety-six members. A portion of his remaining life was spent as a professor in the Presbyterian Theological Seminary at Danville.
Next in order comes an alumnus of 1825 in the person of that noble Christian gentleman, refined scholar, and eloquent preacher, the Rev. Alexander Blaine Brown, D.D., son of Dr. Matthew Brown. After serving for six years as Professor of Belles-Lettres and adjunct Professor of Languages, four of them before the retirement of his venerable father, —he was advanced to the presidency in 1847, and filled it with great credit and success for nine years, when failing health compelled the exchange of labor for rest. He was, however, able during the remainder of his life to minister to a loving people as pastor of the Centre Church. He died in 1863. He lives still in many hearts. Four hundred and fifty-three diplomas bear his signature, equal to fifty for each year.
In turn two eminent gentlemen succeeded in this important office, viz., the Rev. Joseph Alden, D.D., LL.D., author of standard works on mental philosophy and the science of government, and the Rev. David H. Riddle, D.D., LL.D., the former for five and the latter for three years, extending to the union of the colleges. Both of these presidents did honorable service in this office, sustaining well the prosperity of the college. Dr. Riddle is an alumnus of the class of 1823. He was a son-in-law of Dr. Matthew Brown.
JEFFERSON COLLEGE AT CANONSBURG IN 1842
In such a sketch of sixty-three years it would be impossible to do justice to the long line of professors so identified with its history. They were generally men of very creditable ability as well as fidelity, and their names shall not perish from the college records nor from the hearts of the alumni. Of such were Samuel Miller, Abraham Anderson, John H. Ken-
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nedy, Jacob Green, C. J. Hadermann, Washington McCartney, Richard S. McCulloh, Henry Snyder, Aaron Williams, Samuel R. Williams, Robert W. Orr, John Fraser among the dead, and Robert Patterson, Samuel Jones, and Alonzo Linn among the living, a majority of them being distinguished sons of the college. The Rev. Drs. James Ramsey, Abraham Anderson, and Thomas Beveridge, of the Associate Theological Seminary at Canonsburg, at different times also rendered important services as professors extraordinary, the two former in Hebrew and the latter in evidences of natural and revealed religion. But fidelity to truth as well as deference to the affectionate memories of forty-four classes must claim distinct mention of William Smith, D.D., a graduate of 1819, an honored Professor of Languages from 1821 until the union of 1865, who departed this life in the peace of the gospel July 17, 1878, at the venerable age of eighty-four years.
Returning once more to the other branch before brought down to the suspension of 1828, we may trace the new life of Washington College through a period of thirty-five years. The interval of suspension had brought to Washington as pastor of the Presbyterian Church just the man to reorganize the college, in the person of the Rev. David Elliott, D.D., LL.D., a graduate of Dickinson College in 1808, then in his forty-third year, having been a pastor at Mercersburg, Pa., for seventeen years. With the college as well as the church in view, he had been recommended by his admiring friend, Dr. Matthew Brown, upon the resignation of Dr. Obadiah Jennings to accept a call to the church of Nashville, Tenn. And the nobleness of both these eminent men, Drs. Brown and Elliott, is revealed in the fact that the most untiring devotion of each to these rival interests never cast a shadow over their confidential friendship. Dr. Elliott peremptorily declined the offered presidency, and only yielded at last as a temporary expedient, until a permanent successor could be obtained. He opened the college accordingly Nov. 2, 1830, with two professors and some twenty boys of the vicinity exalted into students. His own resolution, however, inspired confidence ; his vigorous administration and extensive correspondence soon made the college known, and the third session ended with a collegiate roll of one hundred and nineteen young men, each class being respectably filled. Meanwhile, by a visit to Harrisburg, he had secured an annual State appropriation of five hundred dollars for five years, to support a department for the special education of teachers. At that stage of progress he handed over the institution to the successor of his own nomination, the Rev. David McConaughy, D.D., LL.D., an alumnus of Dickinson of 1795, called from the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church at Gettysburg, Pa., in the spring of 1832.
Dr. McConaughy's administration partook of the moral dignity of his character, without sensational or spasmodic effort. His resignation, in September, 1849, was followed by his peaceful death at his home in Washington, Jan. 29, 1852, " in the seventy-seventh year of his life, and the fiftieth of his ministry." The
WASHINGTON COLLEGE IN 1842.
survivors of the three hundred and eighty-eight alumni who passed under his care can never forget the scholarly ability of his instructions nor the beauty of his life. Copying the portrait drawn of him after death by the hand of his discerning friend and immediate predecessor, we may well say that if indeed, " as it regarded direct personal activity abroad and tactical skill in meeting sudden emergencies connected with the government of a college, he may have lacked some of the qualities desirable in a president, it is equally certain that his commanding talents, his extensive and accurate scholarship, his unwavering integrity, his purity of motive, his paternal care and affectionate regard for his pupils, the dignity and uniformity of his deportment, and the captivating benevolence of his disposition, in a word, the concentrated force of the many and rare qualities which clustered around his character, gave him a power and control over the public mind and over the hearts of the young
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men against which these few incidental defects presented but slight resistance."
Dr. McConaughy's successor was the Rev. James Clark, D.D., (then) called from the pastorate of the Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, N. J. He brought to the college a high character and the accomplishments of a superior education. But he resigned, in July, 1852, after a service of two years, that he might accept a call to a church in Lewisburg, Pa. At the present writing he is a resident of Philadelphia, having the respect of his brethren, and doing the work of a gospel minister as occasion demands. Upon his retirement the writer of these pages, at the age of thirty-five years, and in the fourth year of his present pastoral charge, was pressed into the office of president by the trustees until a permanent successor could be procured. Then, as also afterwards in 1870, he declined to allow the use of his name by influential trustees as a candidate for the permanent office, ever preferring the direct work of the ministry. A son of the college, a pupil in former years of nearly every one of the professors, the youngest member of the faculty, and withal carrying the weight of a laborious pastorate, he felt the restraint of great embarrassment in undertaking this responsible trust. But, sustained by the trustees and the professors, and encouraged by the confidence of the students, his connection with the college in this capacity, anxious and laborious as it was, was far more satisfactory than he expected. It was, however, a welcome relief, upon the graduation of his. second class, the commencement of 1853, to surrender the reins to the successor of his preference and nomination.
The inauguration of the Rev. John W. Scott, D.D., of the Jefferson class of 1827, as president of Washington College, upon the occasion just named, marks a new era in its history. A special relation had just been formed with the Presbyterian Synod of Wheeling, the object of which was to bring collegiate education more directly under the influence of religion and the church. Under that system the management of the institution was still in the hands of the trustees, as before, but in consideration of the revenue derived from an endowment of sixty thousand dollars, as well as other funds raised also by the Synod, that body had also the nomination of members of the board of trustees and the faculty, and from the persons thus nominated the board elected. The arrangement was indeed denominational, in the sense of a more positive religious influence, coupled with systematic study of the Bible, and, in the case of Presbyterian students, a like study of the standards of the church. But from this last course all who so preferred were excused, and beyond this also the largest liberty and exemption from sectarian influences known in other colleges was allowed. Justice to truth demands the statement that, under the lead of a very efficient president and the instruction of a faculty of more than usual ability, the twelve years of this arrangement were not surpassed by any like period in thorough scholarship, and that, too, without the disadvantages of denominationalism, which so many feared. Two hundred and sixteen were added to the alumni, of whom one hundred and eighteen became ministers, including six foreign missionaries. During this period several revivals of religion extended their influence into the college as others had done before. Profs. E. C. Wines, D.D., William J. Martin, William H. Brewer, James Black, D.D., William J. Brough, D.D., and others of this period were worthy successors of William P. Aldrich, D.D., William K. McDonald, LL.D., Richard Henry Lee, LL.D., Robert Milligan, Nicholas Murray, James W. McKennan, and others of the preceding period
since the resuscitation. The last three named, as well as Prof. Black, were worthy sons of the college. The president, in his voluntary retirement preparatory to the union of the colleges, carried with him the high esteem of all connected with the institution.
The foregoing recital brings us down to a most interesting event, several times referred to, viz., the union of the colleges.
For this event there had been a long course of preparation. Away from the localities of these institutions there had always been a public sentiment averse to their separate existence. Attempts to unite them had been made at intervals through their whole history. We have before seen how near that of 1815 came to success. But many causes combined at length to force this result. Financial pressure was one of the chief. Each had been betrayed by bad example into the ruinous policy of endowment by cheap scholarships, Jefferson leading the way in 1851, and Washington following two years afterwards. In each case the revenue thus provided only rose to the lowest level of expenses in cheap times, with small salaries, without any provision for expansion or progress. The injury came in the almost total displacement of tuition fees, in the fastening of permanent responsibilities upon the colleges out of all proportion to their means, and in an evident lowering of the public estimate of the pecuniary value of collegiate education. -The cost of living, which was doubled if not trebled by the civil war of 1861-65, demanded as a necessity a reduction of the working force, or else a great increase of funds. The large benefactions to colleges in the East, as the fruit of fortunes accumulated during the war, produced a competition in buildings, appliances, and new professorships such as had never been known before. Unwonted facilities for travel and transportation also made access to all institutions easy, and reduced their cost to substantially the same level. Both Jefferson and Washington, in these circumstances, and with the experience of reduced finances, must be speedily lifted out of their perils, or look the question of life or death in the face.
In fact, by a process of depletion, the result of the
448 - HISTORY OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA.
change of financial condition in the country produced by the war of the Rebellion and continued ever since, all other assets had been sunk except the buildings, and an endowment of Jefferson to the net amount of $56,099.39, and of Washington to the amount of $42,689.33. The former of these endowments was fastened for a long term of years in a loan with interest at six per cent. The latter, being free, had been for the most part invested in government bonds, and was thus made more productive through the high premium then, and for some time afterwards, realized upon gold as compared with the value of currency. No important help coming to either, and that for the very reason of their hopeless condition, a donation of $50,000 was offered by the Rev. Charles C. Beatty, D.D., LL.D., on the sole condition of their union. It was followed with a proposition of surrender, on the same condition, of the ecclesiastical relation of Washington College by the Synod, and the tender of the perpetual use of its endowment to the united college, so long as it should continue to be Protestant and evangelical. Even then the two boards were reluctant, and only consented under the resistless force of public sentiment, concentrated by the joint action of the alumni at the last moment of the crisis.
The union thus effected under a legislative act, dated March 4, 1865, was a step forward, but it proved to be incomplete and unsatisfactory. The corporations were merged into one, the departments and classes were apportioned and separately conducted at the two former localities, but with the effect of undue expense, a want of unity, and the old rivalry more or less continued. The presidents of the old colleges, Drs. Scott and Riddle, gracefully retired, in order that the unity of the future might be represented fairly in the person of a new president, whose antecedents were identified with neither institution.
In due time the choice fell upon the Rev. Jonathan Edwards, D.D., LL.D., an alumnus of South Hanover College of the class of 1835, and twenty years afterwards its president, but then pastor of the West Arch Street Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, a gentleman of the finest talents and culture. His inauguration, April 4, 1866, was followed by an honest effort on his part, seconded by the faculty and trustees, to make the experiment a success, but the complicated system was inseparable from difficulties which could not be overcome. After three years of able service the president resigned, April 20, 1869, to accept a pastoral charge in the city of Baltimore, having introduced one hundred and thirty-four graduates into the goodly company of the alumni. Again, however, the clamor had arisen for further change, and neither patrons nor alumni would be satisfied without it. Nothing would answer the demand short of absolute consolidation at one place. The trustees again hesitated, but finally yielded to a necessity, and by care ful steps reached with singular unanimity a plan which found its expression in an amended charter of Feb. 26, 1869, which of itself settled every question except that of location. This question, after a competition opened to any place in the State of Pennsylvania, was to be settled by a two-thirds vote of the board within sixty days, or on their failure by the voice of four out of five disinterested arbitrators upon whom two-thirds of the board might agree. It was settled, however, by a two-thirds vote of the trustees on the 20th of April, 1869, in favor of Washington. Among the inducements offered by that community was a subscription of $50,000 to the funds of the institution. For a time litigation, attended with the restraint of an "injunction," arrested the progress of the consolidation, but in due time it was sanctioned by the highest courts of Pennsylvania and of the United States.
During the interval of legal contest Prof. Samuel J. Wilson, D.D., LL.D., of the Western Theological Seminary, Allegheny, Pa., exercised the office of president for one session at Canonsburg, and the present writer in like manner for the following year at Washington. But at the commencement in 1870, the way for permanent reorganization having been sufficiently opened, the Rev. George P. Hays, D.D., pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Allegheny, an alumnus of the Jefferson class of 1857, was elected president, and other corresponding changes were made. The inauguration took place in the town hall at Washington on the evening of Sept. 21, 1870, in the presence of a large assembly, composed of the trustees, faculty, students, citizens, and strangers. The oath of office was administered by the Hon. William McKennan, judge of the Third Circuit of the United States.
The administration of Dr. Hays, extending over a period of eleven years, was both energetic and successful. His resignation, previously offered chiefly from considerations of health, was accepted by the board at the time of the annual commencement, June 20, 1881, and he shortly afterwards entered upon his duties as pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church of Denver, Col. A portion of his time, during the first years of his presidency, was given to financial efforts in behalf of the college, in which his success was as great as could be reasonably expected, considering the monetary stringency then prevalent throughout the country. Besides the labor of teaching, he carried his habitual activity into the several branches of the college administration, the effect of which was felt in different directions. The litigation, however, which grew out of the consolidation of the two old colleges at one place, as previously related, still overhung the institution with its cloud of discouragement. And so it remained with more or less of hindrance until the final decision of the whole case by the Supreme Court of the United States at the December term, 1871, the second year of Dr. Hays'
EDUCATIONAL HISTORY - 449
official service, and nearly three years after the act of consolidation itself thus called in question before the several courts of the State and the nation. But even the clearing 'away of these legal strifes did not more than prepare the way for the restoration of the classes from the depression thus produced. The calm courage and perseverance, however, of a united faculty and board of trustees, under a divine blessing, proved equal to the emergency. It is enough to say that an administration commencing in 1870 in the heat of these conflicts, ended in 1881 with an institution established, a full faculty, and a catalogue of students numbering one hundred and eighty-five, together with every other token of stability and progress. Notwithstanding the disadvantages of the legal conflict, and especially the dissolution of the higher classes under the injunction of a court, the graduates of these eleven years reached the number of one hundred and seventy-seven, of whom twenty received the degree of B.S., whilst one hundred and fifty-seven, having completed the classical course, received that of A.B. It is proper to add that in 1871 the course of study in the scientific department was enlarged so as to cover the period of four years, the same as the classical, and, also, that since that time the Greek and Latin languages have been elective studies after the sophomore year.
Since the consolidation of 1869 important additions have been made to the endowment funds of the college. The Rev. Charles C. Beatty, D.D., LL.D., of Steubenville, Ohio, president of the board of trustees, besides the munificent donation of fifty thousand dollars in 1865 to secure the union of the two old colleges, added a further gift of twenty-five thousand dollars in 1874 for the endowment of the Greek chair, In like manner, Francis J. Le Moyne, M.D., of Washington, an alumnus of Washington College of the class of 1815, and for many years an efficient trustee of the same, gave the sum of twenty thousand dollars, March 22, 1871, to establish a professorship of agriculture and correlative branches, and in 1879 he gave a like amount for a chair of applied mathematics, adding also the further sum of one thousand dollars, to be divided equally between these two professorships for their equipment. To the five hundred dollars thus allotted to the chair of agriculture an amount was added sufficient to purchase a set of Prof. Henry A. Ward's casts of plants and animals, consisting of three hundred and twenty-seven pieces, at a cost of fourteen hundred dollars. Of this amount the sum of six hundred dollars was realized from a "loan exhibition" held in the college in 1879. Thus we have the noble examples of these benefactions—that of Dr. Beatty to the amount of seventy-five thousand dollars, and that Of Dr. Le Moyne to the amount of forty-one thousand dollars—as abiding and powerful appeals to men of means and public spirit so to devote a portion of their substance that after their decease it may be a blessing to coming generations. Other gifts, both by subscription and legacy, have also reached the treasury in smaller amounts. Among these it is proper to mention a memorial gift in 1871 of four hundred and sixty-nine dollars and seventy cents by the Sabbath-school of the First Presbyterian Church of Washington, for the improvement of the scientific apparatus of the college. That the college is able to keep its expenses within its income is largely due to the eminent skill and vigilance of its treasurer, Mr. A. T. Baird.
An additional token of progress, not less marked, is the fine improvement of the college buildings by reconstruction and enlargement, begun in 1873, and finished in time for dedication at the close of the exercises of the commencement, June 30, 1875, at a cost of seventy-nine thousand and fifty-three dollars and forty-five cents. The funds appropriated to this improvement were derived in part from the subscriptions of the citizens of Washington and vicinity in 1869 to secure the location of the consolidated college at this place, and in part from other resources in the hands of the board, including some special donations for this purpose. The halls of the Philo and Union and the Franklin and Washington literary societies were dedicated on the day preceding the commencement with appropriate exercises, in the presence of a large number of their respective alumni. But on the afternoon of commencement-day a vast assembly of citizens and strangers convened in the campus to witness the dedication of the capacious and elegant new college building. The Hon. Thomas Ewing, president judge of the Court of Common Pleas, No. 2, of Allegheny County, presided. On the platform were many distinguished gentlemen from several States. The dedicatory address was delivered by the Rev. James I. Brownson, D.D., vice-president of the board of trustees ; after which the prayer of dedication was opened by the venerable Charles C. Beatty, D.D., LL.D., president of the board. Stirring addresses followed from Governor Hartranft, of Pennsylvania, Governor Jacobs, of West Virginia, the Hon. Simon Cameron, the United States senator from Pennsylvania, Gen. H. H. Bingham, of Philadelphia, the Rev. William S. Plumer, D.D., LL.D., of South Carolina, and others. Each of these gentlemen, tracing the evidences of progress, offered the warmest congratulations to the authorities of the college and to its numerous friends, near and far away, upon the fine structure before them, and upon both the history and prospects of the honored institution.
Besides the present members of the faculty, the following gentlemen have been associated with it during the term of Dr. Hays, viz., Terence Jacobson, Professor of English Literature, 1870-72 ; George B. Vose, Professor of Mathematics and Engineering, 1865-74; Hiram Collier, Professor of Agriculture and Correlative branches, 1870 ; George Fraser, D.D., Professor of Mental and Moral Science, 1872-75; and William H. G. Adney, Professor of Agriculture, etc., 1873-80.