GENEALOGICAL INFORMATION FROM
THE WESTERN METHODIST 1833-1834
Compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2003
April 4, 1834
CALVIN THOMPSON wrote on March 24, 1834, from the Huntingdon Circuit, Tennessee that about fifty religious conversions had occurred in that circuit since last December
Notice that ROWLAND HILL, an English clergyman, had died April 11, 1834. [This clergyman was born in Shropshire, England, in 1744; graduate of Cambridge University; an ordained minister of the Church of England. THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY, Oxford University Press, 1919, volume 9, page 862 states that he died April 11, 1833 and was buried beneath Scony Chapel.]
April 11, 1834
REVEREND JOHN BLYTH
Departed this life, on the 4th day of march, the reverend John Blyth. Brother Blyth was born in North Carolina, February 12th, 1785, and educated under the old Presbyterian order. He was convinced of sin and the necessity of religion when very young but was never taught or instructed as to the nature and necessity of the new birth. In this situation he remained and under the influence of good desires he joined the church in which he was raised when about twenty-two years of age and remained there with no other religion than his good desires until the fortieth year of his age. In 1825 he was powerfully awakened to a sense of his lost condition and after five weeks hard struggling, he obtained the blessing, his soul was happily and powerfully converted. Having received this blessing among the Methodists he felt drawn toward them and examining their doctrine and discipline, he heartily approved of both and became sentimentally and practically a warm and confirmed Methodist. Soon after he found the blessing himself his spirit was stirred within him and he was regularly authorized to preach the gospel which he continued to do while he lived. Brother Blyth was a man of deep and solid piety, loved discipline, was mighty in the scriptures, a plain, practical, useful preacher. In his sickness he enjoyed as unshaken confidence in god and from the first, he said "the will of the Lord be done." The night before he died, his companion asked him how he felt, his answer was, "I will soon be home" and observed to some of his friends, who stood round him, that he would meet them in heaven; and requested them to sing "O when shall I see Jesus", soon after which he sweetly fell asleep as in the arms of his Saviour. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
T. L. Douglass
April 18, 1834
MISS SUSAN GRIFFITH
Miss Susan K. Griffith, the subject of this memoir, was the daughter of John and Sarah Griffith. She was born in Hickman County, Ten., on the 31st of March, 1809 and died the 21st of March, 1834. My dear cousin was awakened to a sense of her danger when young, at a camp-meeting held at Prewit's Lick, in July 1822; at which meeting she professed religion on the 26th and joined the M. E. Church. She was, in the fullest sense of the word, a Methodist; and I think it will be readily admitted by all who knew her, that she was a consistent Christian.
The disease of which she died was pulmonary. For the last two years she has been afflicted; and though her afflictions were extreme in her last hours, she bore all with great patience and fortitude and appeared to be entirely resigned to the will of heaven; in all things she was never heard to murmur. Being asked by her sister, some few weeks before her death, if she would rather live than die, she said she would like to live and if it is the Lord's will that I should suffer as much more as I have; I am resigned to it, till He pleases to call for me and so continued to the end. She was an obedient child and a loving and affectionate sister; and has left a father and stepmother, four sisters and one brother. Our church has lost a worthy member and the society in which she lived will feel the loss. Her relatives and friends have sustained a great loss but they do not mourn as those who have no hope. She is taken from the evil to come and is gone to receive her reward.
Some weeks before her exit, brother Wiley Ledbetter (the circuit preacher) visited her, and had meeting; and although she was very weak, she shouted aloud the praise of god and they had a gracious time, sinners were made to fear and tremble. Some days after, she said to her sister, she felt happier than ever she had before and was as she could be in the body. On Saturday, previous to her departure, brother William Mullins called to see her and prayed with and for her and the family; she was much pleased to see her preachers and friends. Her friends thought her dying and then she revived again and asked for her sister Frances and said to her, I must die, and we all must die; therefore don't grieve after me, for I am going to heaven. "Oh heaven, sweet heaven!" And then repeated these lines:
Sweetest sound in seraph's song,
Sweetest note on mortal's tongue.
And said sweet heaven, all was sweet there, and said she could not talk any more. After taking an affectionate farewell of all her friends and relatives that were present, she fell asleep in the arms of Jesus, without a struggle or groan.
N. E. Griffith
Dickson Circuit, Ten. April 7, 1834
MISS MARY JEFFREYS
Departed this life, in the 21st year of her age, Miss Mary Jeffreys, orphan daughter of Osborn and Jane Jeffreys (formerly of N. Carolina). In the course of a few years she was deprived by death of her pious father and mother, with a worthy brother, Dr. Jeffreys, all of whom were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church and died of consumption. She was made the subject of converting grace at Lebanon Camp Ground, Forked Deer Circuit, in the fall of 1828 and immediately connected herself with the Methodist E. Church and was truly an example of modesty and piety to the day of her death. In the early part of December last she was taken ill and soon after was removed to the house of Rev. Edumund Jones, where she received every possible attention. In her affliction she possessed her soul in patience and appeared to be wholly resigned to the will of god. Nevertheless, a few days prior to her death she was buffeted by Satan and in a degree lost her confidence; this, however, she soon regained. While the family, together with some other pious friends, were engaged in devotional exercises with her, she apparently rose above her afflictions and shouted aloud with the voice of triumph; in which state of mind she continued until welcome death came to her relief on the 18th of March. Then it was that heaven acquired a saint and the militant church lost one of its most lovely ornaments.
G. W. D. Harris
From THE MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE:
ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. GORDON HALL, MISSIONARY TO INDIA.
The healer droops; no more his skill
May ease the sufferer's groan.
The hand that sooth'd another's pang
Sinks powerless 'neath its own;
The teacher dies; he came to plant
Deep in heathen soil,
The germ of everlasting life
He faints amid the toil.
There came a vision of the sea,
That pain'd his dying strife,
Why stole that vision o'ere his soul
Thus 'mid the wreck of life!
A form* by holiest love endear'd
There rode the billowy crest,
And tenderly his pallid boys
Were folded to her breast.
Then rose the long remember'd scenes
Of his far, native bowers,
The white spir'd church, the mother's hymn,
And boyhood's clustering flowers,
And strong that country of his heart,
Our green and glorious West,
Shar'd in the parting trob of love,
That shock the dying breast.
Brief was the thought, the dream, the pang,
For high devotion came,
And brought the martyr's speechless joy,
And wing'd the prayer of flame,
And stamped upon the marble face
Heaven's smile serenely sweet,
And had the icy, quivering lip,
The praise of God repeat.
Strange olive brows with tears were wet,
As a lone grave was made,
And there 'mid Asia's torrid sands,
Salvation's herald laid,
But bright that shroudless clay shall burst,
From its uncoffined bed,
When the Archangel's awful trump,
Convenes the righteous dead.
L. H. S.
When the Rev. Mr. Hall died of a sudden attack of cholera, his wife was on the ocean making a voyage at his request, to her native clime, with their invalid boys. Two young Hindoo lads were with him at the time of his death, who reverently listened to his last instructions and laid him with tears in the grave.
April 25, 1834
COLONEL ANDREW ERWIN
Died. On the 19th inst. [April 19, 1834] at his residence in Bedford county (Tennessee), Col. Andrew Erwin, in the 61st year of his age. His complaint was cholic to which he had been occasionally subject for the past two years. [See, May 9 issue.]
REVEREND JOHN B. BROWN
Died. In Jackson, Madison County, Tennessee, on the 1st day of March, 1834, in the 72nd year of his age, the Rev. John B. Brown. He was a native of North Carolina from whence he emigrated to Wilson county, Tennessee, where he resided 34 or 35 years; he then removed to Madison county, Western District, where he finished his course as above. He was about 40 years in the profession of religion and about 30 years a preacher of the gospel. He was a plain, humble, uniform Methodist preacher; deeply pious and very exemplary in his conduct; he preached with great acceptability and usefulness. During his last illness, which was protracted about five months, he suffered much pain but his hope was full of immortality; he exalted, rejoiced in god till his voice began to fail in death; his sun of life set clear; he now rests in the bosom of his God. May my last moments be like his.
The last will and testament of JOHN B. BROWN is recorded in Madison County, Tennessee Will Book 1, pages 446-448.
I John B Brown of the County of Madison and State of Tennessee do make ordain and publish this my last will and testament hereby revoking all others.
1st I lend to my daughter Abigail Morgan Eckols during her natural life Emily and her child Alfred, Patsey and Henry, Delilah, Jeremiah & Susanna and at her death I give all the above named negroes to all the children of said Abigail may have and should any of the children of the said Abigail have died before the death of said Abigail and should have issue lawfully born or begotten of the body of said child to the issue of said child or children to them and their heirs forever together with the increase of said above named negroes equally.
It is my will and desire that the proceeds of or out of a bond I have on Kenneth Garrett for five hundred and thirty-four dollars or thereabouts due 7th January next that the same may be applied to the purchase of land for my said daughter Abigail and whereas it may be that I may be able to invest the same for the purposes above stated, but should I fail to do so it is my will and desire that my friend Mathias Deberry have the same put into his possession and that he apply the same to the purchase of a home and place of residence for said Abigail and her children and at her death the same to be the property of the heirs of said Abigail lawfully born of her body, in like manner of the negroes heretofore named, such purchases by the consent of said Abigail.
2nd I lend to my daughter Lucy Sewell & her husband Benjamin P. Sewell during their natural lives as a means of support and maintenance the following property to wit the lot of ground and house in the town of Jackson, the same that I purchased of Wyatt Epps and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging and the following negroes to wit Charles, Phillis & their increase should there be any and at the death of my said daughter Lucy & her husband Benjamin P. Sewell I give and the [sic] above named etate [estate] and negroes to the child of said Lucy named Luisa Mildred Sewell and if my said daughter should hereafter have other or more children to all such children equally with said Luisa Mildred the said state [estate] and negroes & their increase to them & their heirs forever.
3rd I give & bequeath to my grandchildren John Lucian Brown & Susan Ann Brown the children of my deceased son John F. Brown the following negroes to wit Rebecca & her children Caty and Melinda & their increase equally between them, to them & their heirs forever. It is my will and desire that the above named Rebecca & her children Caty & Melinda heretofore given to the children of my late son John F. Brown that so long as the mother of said John Lucian and Susan Ann to wit Margaret F. Brown the widow of [my] son John F. Brown that said Marga-
ret have the use and labor of said negroes and their increase during her said widowhood, in case she marry and in case she not marry during her natural life unless said Margaret chooses to give them up sooner.
4th there is due me from Benjamin P. Sewell two hundred dollars for money heretofore loaned him. It is my wish that should it not be not be continued by feeding and clothing me that whatever balance there may be should there be any that the same may be divided equally between my two daughters Abigail M. Eckols & Lucy H. Sewell, equally to them their heirs forever.
I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Richard A. Eckols [and] Benjamin P. Sewell & Mathias Deberry my executors to this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 21st day of October 1833
John B. Brown
Thomas Beveridge (his mark)
H. H. Seawell
(This will was proven in court, May 12, 1834 and ordered to be recorded. Madison county court minute book 4, page 132.)
From the TRIBUNE AND SUN (newspaper), Jackson, Tennessee, October 5, 1877, it is learned that John F. Brown, the son of John B. Brown, died in 1830, having come to Madison county in 1826. He married Margaret Freer Seawell (1794-1877), September 16, 1817 in Wilson county, Tennessee. Their children were John Lucian Brown (September 23, 1824-November 1907) and Susan Ann Brown, wife of Micajah Bullock. These people are buried in Riverside Cemetery in Jackson, Tennessee.
MRS. LUCY SEAWELL
Mrs. Lucy Seawell, the daughter of the Rev. John B. Brown, was born 1807, was married to Mr. Seawell 1826 she sought and obtained religion and lived piously and walked humbly before God till her death on March the 1st, 1834, just 16 hours after the death of her father. She had been afflicted 18 months with pulmonary consumption. She was patient and happy in God; just before her departure, she asked her sister if she was not dying: being answered in the affirmative, she lifted her eyes toward heaven and said, "Lord I am thine and thou art mine; I now commit my soul into thy hand" and fell asleep in Jesus.
May 2, 1834
MRS. HANNAH DAVY
Mrs. Hannah Davy was born in Botetourt county, Virginia, April 8, 1788; removed to Williamson county, Tennessee, 1805. She embraced religion and joined the M. E. C. [Methodist Episcopal Church] in the 15th year of her age and was in reality a pattern of piety. She was married to Mr. Joseph Davy, 28th October 1817 and lived an exemplary Christian life. She was a woman of fine sense; she talked fluently on the subject of religion; we have heard her in love feasts, tell her religious experience and the story of redeeming love.
She suffered much affliction: for many years her body was emaciated and her reason was impaired. She was, however, restored to her right mind and met death with calm composure requested singing tried to sing herself with glory three times and departed in peace, Feb. 27th, 1834.
N. G. E.
MRS. ELIZABETH SANDERLIN
Died, in Cairo, on Sunday evening, April the 20th, Mrs. Elizabeth Sanderlin, aged about 40 years. She was the wife of Rev. Lemuel Sanderlin. She was born in Norfolk county, Va.; embraced religion about twelve years ago, in Rutherford county, Ten. and was ten years an acceptable member of the M. E. Church.
In her last illness she suffered extremely, but while her frail body enabled her soul to converse with those around her, she bore testimony of God's power to save. She left a husband and eight children to lament her departure but their loss is her gain. Go, gentle spirit, rest from thy labors cease from thy sorrows repose on the bosom of thy Ssaviour.
THOMAS E. GREGORY
In Cairo, also, on Monday the 21st, Mr. Thomas E. Gregory, for whom a wife and children mourn. Mysterious are the way of providence but god cannot do wrong. Mr. Gregory, a few days before his death, lost an infant daughter. Death visits all ranks and stations.
Sweet innocent adieu.
When souls to bodies join;
Thousands on earth shall wish their race
Had been as short as thine.
G. T. H.
Note: Cairo was a village on the north bank of the Cumberland River in Sumner Co., Tenn.
May 9, 1834
REVEREND MOSES ANDREW
Died. At his late residence in Lounds [Llowndes] county, Alabama, on the 11th of April, 1834, the Reverend Moses Andrew, M.D., twenty-five years a minister of the gospel in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Summoned by the great head of the church, he has gone to that bourne from whence no traveler returns and doubtless to an eternal reward.
The doctor had long been a victim of severe disease which often threatened him with speedy dissolution and which he bore with Christian fortitude, waiting patiently until his change should come. As a husband, Doctor Andrew was a remarkably affectionate and kind; as a Christian, he was a pattern worthy of imitation. It was, however, in the character of a Christian minister that he most brightly shone. His manner in the pulpit was natural, mild and graceful; his language plain, well selected and sublime; his style easy and insinuating; he was indeed an able minister of the new testament. To the wayward, he was a warning voice; to the benighted, as the shining forth of a luminous sun; to the Christian pilgrim, a son of consolation; "to the world, an angel of mercy" "by faith on earth he lived, in hope he died, by love he lives in heaven."
T. J. E.
MRS. ROSANNA MARTIN
Died, in Lauderdale county, Alabama, on the 14th March, 1834, Rosanna Martin, wife of David Martin, in the 24th year of her age. She became a subject of converting grace, joined the M. E. Church and was strict in her religious duties. Her last illness was severe but her confidence in god unshaken and with her last breath crying glory, glory, she took her flight without a sigh or a groan.
COLONEL ANDREW ERWIN
Died. On the 19th ult. [April 19, 1834] at Pleasant Retreat in Bedford county [Tennessee], Colonel Andrew Erwin, in the 61st year of his age, from a severe and invincible obstruction of the bowels which terminated his life on the 4th day of his illness. During the progress of his disease, every anxious effort for his relief was made. But, alas! The king of terrors had received his commission and regardless of the unwearied diligence and exertions of the physician and the throbbing breasts of surrounding friends, the disease kept its steady pace until nature dissolved and the spirit returned to god who gave it.
The writer of this notice was acquainted with the deceased at an early age; has since lived on terms of the closest intimacy with him throughout the greater portion of his life and feels himself peculiarly blessed as one of his bosom friends. Col. Erwin had a mind which was evidently cast in no ordinary mould. Thrown pennyless and fatherless upon this world of chance and change, industrious, persevering and upright, he struggled manfully through the difficulties of life and bore its ills and misfortunes with the patience of a philosopher and the fortitude of a Christian. Without education, its place seems to have been more than supplied by the grasping powers of his intellect, the observing and practical turn of his mind, his devotion to reading, and his untiring and assiduous attention to all the concerns of life, whether private, social or public.
But it was the virtues of his heart which most interested his friends and which constrain them still to exclaim, in the fulness of their adulation, "an honest man's the noblest work of God!" He bore public testimony of the truth of the Christian religion by openly professing to have experienced its power and efficacy upon his own heart. An active friend of the church, always ready for every good word and work, and a sincere friend to mankind, in the true spirit of Christian philosophy, he stood forth among the earliest friends of the temperance reformation in this country and one of its most prominent and successful advocates. Indeed, the sacrifices which he found it in his heart to make for the promotion of this great work, the uniformly consistent example which he exhibited and the personal influence which he exerted, as well as the untiring zeal and unflinching perseverance with which he pleaded its interests, have gained for him the enviable appellation of the apostle of temperance; and mysterious indeed are his wise dispensations! It is ours to bow with humble resignation to the divine will.
In the death of this good man, society is deprived of one of its most valuable members, his country of one of its tried friends, a large and respectable family, of a kind and affectionate husband, a fond and watchful father and an indulgent master. A neat, industrious and successful planter, he was the polite Christian gentleman in all his deportment. A kind and obliging neighbor, devoted and firm in his friendships, he never forgot the hospitality due to the stranger within his gate, nor failed to meet the claims of the industrious poor. Peace to his memory! "Blessed are the dead which die in the lord, yea, saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labours and their works do follow them."
May 16, 1834
SAMUEL G. SMITH and fellow members of the Board of Directors of the Middle Tennessee Bible Society, H. L. DOUGLASS, NATHANIEL CROSS and JAMES HAMILTON, announced that at the society's meeting in Nashville, April 16, 1834, resolutions were passed for the membership to assist other state Bible societies to raise $10,000 for the benefit of the American Bible Society, distributors of the King James Version of the Bible, headquartered in New York City.
[SAMUEL GRANVILLE SMITH, born September 18, 1794, a Cumberland Presbyterian, had served as Secretary of State, Tennessee, since September 29, 1831; this distinguished Tennessean had a fine "head for business" and served the state well before his death in office, September 22, 1835. His remains were buried in the old city cemetery, Nashville. See, GENERAL SAMUEL G. SMITH by Jonathan K. T. Smith, 1968, summum.]
From the MAINE WESLEYAN JOURNAL
MRS. PHEBE W. WRIGHT
The melancholy intelligence of the death of this amiable lady will be found below.
It appears, by the note from her husband, that she breathed her last on the fourth of February, after an illness of only eight days and a very few weeks subsequent to her arrival in Africa.
From a personal acquaintance with Mrs. Wright for several years, we can bear record to her unusual loveliness of character and superior qualifications for the interesting and important station to which she was called and to which, we believe; she freely and voluntarily assigned herself. Her early death must throw over the infant mission at Monrovia, an additional gloom to that which already rested upon it and from which it was just beginning to recover. How dark and inscrutable seem the ways of god! Yet it is for the Christian to believe that the future developments of providence will show that even these dark events were intended to accomplish the very end in view. The graves of Ashmun, Holton, Cox, Savage and Mrs. Wright, must make the scene of their labors long a place of interest to Christians in America; and the light that they shed in Africa will not soon disappear to its inhabitants. While we sympathize with her friends of this mission and Christian in general and particularly with our dear brother Wright whose loss must be irreparable, we are conscious that we cannot assuage their grief; we can only point them to the martyr's God and to the martyr's home. If they lean on the arm of God, it will, it must sustain them. And we and they may recollect that Christianity has always been sustained, at what might seem at first, to be a great waste of life. Its author fell a sacrifice to its interest, as did eleven out of twelve of the disciples to whom its government was committed and even the last would have fallen in the same way but for a miracle. And although peace has been the object of the gospel and not the destruction of men's lives, yet its way down to these last days, has been through blood, disease, death and before death, sacrifice and toil. From this we may certainly draw our consolatory conclusion. Christianity must be of inestimable value to the heathen, to every one or god would never have sustained it at so much cost.
We think, however, that the great hopes of our mission in Africa must rest upon educated natives schools should be established there and sustained at any expense and so should be a superintendence over the mission until they can take care of themselves; but western Africa, we fear, must be cultivated by missionaries born upon its own sod. We speak, however, with diffidence.
Mrs. Wright was the daughter of Rev. E. Willey, formerly of this city where she made a profession of religion and to many of whose citizens she will long be remembered for her exemplary piety.
As everything must be interesting from Mrs. Wright, we subjoin an extract of a letter, written on the eve of her departure, to a young lady in this vicinity, which gives her own views of the noble enterprise.
"We have been at Norfolk a fortnight today and tonight we expect to leave the pleasant shores of America. The last letter I shall ever write, in my dear native land, is directed to you. The path of duty in the path of safety. I still feel there is an arm unseen that holds me up, an eye that kindly watches all my path and I humbly trust will to the end of my pilgrimage. My greatest anxiety at the present, is, on account of my own unfaithfulness. Oh my dear, do pray for me that I may enjoy constant and near communion with my heavenly father. I want a pure heart. A full supply of all the graces of the gospel. The enterprise appears more noble to me than ever. I do not regret my determination to devote myself in so peculiar a manner to the service of God in a heathen land. I rejoice that an opportunity was ever afforded me, of going on such an errand of love and mercy to the long neglected tribes of Africa. And if one so unworthy as I should be an instrument of some good to those poor degraded souls, I shall be amply repaid for a life of suffering. How sweet will it be on a dying bed that I have made any sacrifices for Jesus. While God has marked my way and I believe I am in the path of duty, shall I not feel happier to breathe out my life in a land of strangers than to die in my native
land, surrounded by my friends! Yes, I know I shall. O, may the Lord direct the wind and wave and we have a safe passage across the Atlantic to the distant wastes of Africa.
"When you see dear brother Cox and wife remember me affectionately to them. Ere long I hope to have the privilege of weeping over the grave of his dear brother Melville. Don't forget to remember me to all the friends in p___ and your dear parents.
"Though we meet not again on earth, shall we all meet in heaven! For this we will strive, for this we pray until "life's sun is set."
Again I will say adieu, farewell, perhaps until we meet around the throne of god.
Yours affectionately, Phebe W. Wright"
From ZION'S HERALD
Mrs. Phebe W. Wright, wife of Rev. S. O. Wright, missionary to Africa, has fallen an early martyr to the missionary cause; and her happy spirit has taken its triumphant flight from a world of toil and suffering to join with our beloved brother Cox [Mellville Cox], in participating a missionary's reward. We learn the mission family arrived at their scene of labor, Jan. 1st, 1834. On the 26th of the same month, Mrs. Wright was taken with the fever of the climate; her sickness was quite severe but no particular fear was apprehended until Sunday, Feb. 2. Her disease then assumed a more threatening form and the distress increased in her head till it produced a slight delirium. On Monday evening hopes of her recovery forsook the bleeding hearts of the mission family they saw she must die! Every effort was made to revive her and to prolong her stay but without success. She continued very restless until 12 o'clock at night, then dropped into a sleep. At 2 o'clock Tuesday morning she revived a little; opened her eyes but immediately closed them again and died without the least struggle or groan.
Thus the amiable and pious Mrs. Wright, the devoted lover of African mission, has left her labors for her reward! We understand that in her last moments she was unable to converse. One of the mission family remarks on this as follows, 'though in her last moments she was unable to converse at all with us, yet we are prepared to say, she counted not this sacrifice too great for Him who had done so much for her. Her example and conduct justify us in saying, that she was happy in the work in which she was engaged and even her life was not counted dear so that she might do the will of her heavenly father.'
Sister Wright was the oldest daughter of Rev. E. Wiley, a member of the N. E. Conference, who with her surviving brothers and sisters, will feel most sensibly their irreparable loss. We hope grace will be given them every way answerable to their needs and that this afflictive dispensation will be sanctified to them, to the mission, and to the church.
The whole family have been sick but were convalescent on the 14th of February. Heaven preserve them and yet prosper the mission.
May 23, 1834
ANOTHER VETERAN OF THE CROSS DISCHARGED
MRS. BEDEE ROBERTS
Died at her residence in Montgomery county, Ten., four miles south of Clarksville, on the 9th day of April, 1834, Mrs. Bedee Roberts widow of the late Samuel Roberts, dec'd., aged 66 years, 6 months and 3 days [October 6, 1767]. She was the mother of five children, 3 sons and 2 daughters; 3 of whom yet live, 2 daughters and 1 son. The subject of this memoir was born in Prince George county, Virginia, on the 6th day of October, 1767; was united in marriage to Samuel Roberts on the 23d day of March, 1786; emigrated to this state [Tennessee] in the year 1807; became a subject of converting grace in the year 1811; united herself to the Methodist E. Church and continued a zealous and untiring advocate of the Methodist doctrine and
discipline to the day of her death. She also became a member and warm advocate of the temperance reform.
Her deep piety and consistency of character, as a Christian and neighbor, endeared her to all within the sphere of her acquaintance (which was not very limited) especially among the youth of both sexes.
Her house was a home at all times for the preachers and her doors were open for preaching or prayer meetings. She was a subject of some affliction for the last 12 or 15 years of her life, principally confined to her room and bed, which she bore with exemplary fortitude and resignation. Many resorted to her hospitable roof, to see and converse with mother Roberts. She was fond of company, conversant and intelligent, especially on the subject of religion but her knowledge of the scriptures was surpassed, perhaps, by few; for whenever you saw her, you might see the good old Bible, either in her hand or near her side on the couch on which she usually sat or lay. And she possessed a happy talent, while seated around the social fireside, to commingle religious truths and scriptural instruction and illustration on all occasions and to all persons. She appeared to feel deeply interested for the salvation of all with whom she had any intercourse and frequent and repeated were her expostulations and entreaties, to her unconverted friends, to seek and obtain the great blessing of religion. Whilst on the other hand to those who were professors, her maternal reproof, advice and admonition was well calculated to strengthen and build them up in the most precious faith. From the time she was taken ill till she lost the power of speech, were but a few moments. When her children and friends came, she was as in profound sleep, her eyes closed and continued in that situation until she breathed her last on the following morning at 7 o'clock a.m. Without a struggle or a groan; and her happy spirit took its everlasting flight to the paradise of God.
May 30, 1834
MRS. SUSAN M. FARMER
Mrs. Susan M. Farmer wife of the Rev. Baily W. Farmer of this place departed from these mortal shores for a blessed immortality on Wednesday evening 14th inst. [May 14, 1834] Mrs. Farmer was the daughter of Mr. J. Fletcher and was early blessed with the godly example and wholesome advice of a pious mother; for both her parents are nor worthy members of the Presbyterian church of this place. In November, 1828, when in the 15th year of her age, she was made a happy subject of converting grace and immediately attached herself to the Methodist Episcopal Church; of which she continued a uniform and devoted member while she lived. She was one of the many that was converted during the session of the Tennessee conference here, in the fall of 1828; and perhaps she is among the first ripe fruit of that gracious revival that has been gathered from this lower harvest-field to the upper garner of god.
About five hours before she breathed her last, I was sent for to go and see a triumphant Christian in the agonies of death. For the last 12 years of my life, I have been greatly desirous so see a Christian leave the world, in the way I have so frequently heard of, shouting all along through the valley of death; and now truly, my desire was fully granted.
The strong arm of death had evidently grasped the tenderest vitals of life and she was rapidly hastening to the invisible world. The physicians said they could do no more for her; she was told she must die and was even then dying but her soul was not affrighted at the information. She commenced singing most delightfully; her soul was in a rapture and her tongue was constantly employed in exhorting her weeping friends and "shouting aloud to God with the voice of triumph." If her almost heavenly expressions could all be written down, they would make a small volume, the language of which, with a little modification, would well become the redeemed spirits in glory. She gave her dear husband, parents, brothers and sisters a farewell kiss and told them all to meet her in heaven. She committed her darling infant, only five days old, to the care of the almighty and waited with submissive anxiety for the chariot of salvation to convey her happy spirit
to the bright mansions of endless delight. But as long as she could speak, her language was "Glory, Glory" and when she lost the power of speech, in compliance with a promise she made us, she waved her hand as a token of continued victory. Between 3 and 4 o' clock p.m. the work of death was accomplished and her blood- washed soul dislodged from its dissolving tabernacle in the 21st year of her earthy existence.
I know I have, in this obituary notice, transcended the limits commonly fixed to this department in your paper but the subject of these remarks was no common Christian and hers was no common death; this is my apology. I can truly say my own faith was much strengthened by witnessing this complete triumph of Christianity over the fear and sting of death; and in her own dying words, I am more than ever prepared to say, "this is the way a Christian can die."
Yours respectfully, D. C. M'Leod
Murfreesboro, T. May 19, 1834
REVEREND JOHN GOSSETT
John Gossett, Senior, was born in the State of Pennsylvania and in his infancy his parents removed to and settled in Amherst county, Virginia, where he resided and grew up to manhood; he, after settling himself in Amherst, removed to N. Carolina where he remained a few years then returned to Amherst; thence he moved to Spartanburgh District, S. Carolina and lived there many years until he moved to west Tennessee [middle Tennessee] in the year 1798 and settled himself in Montgomery county, where he continued to live until his death on the 11th day of May, 1834, in the 94th year of his age. He was a preacher of the gospel in the Methodist Church nearly sixty years. He was a sincere and most exemplary pious Christian and was distinguished wherever he was known as being the noblest work of god, an honest man, exercising throughout life all the virtues and discountenancing every vice. A better neighbor, a firmer friend and a more charitable man, from good motives, free from selfishness, never lived or died.
He lived well and died beloved; all the tears shed over his grave at his interment show that his neighbors had lost a friend and the human family a benefactor of inestimable worth; they as well as his family mourn the loss of him more than language can express an idea of.
June 6, 1834
SOME FURTHER ACCOUNT OF REV. JOHN GOSSETT
Messrs. Editors. If you have no objection, you may publish the following as a tribute of respect and love which I owe to departed worth. [N. G. B. from Bowling-Green, Ky., May 28th 1834]
Died, recently, in Montgomery county, Tennessee, the rev. John Gossett who was born in Pennsylvania, Newcastle county, February 28th, 1743. At 13 years of age he was sent to an English school 20 miles from home, with an elder brother, where they boarded for the purpose of obtaining an education but receiving rough and cruel treatment from the proprietors of their boarding house, the little boys set out on foot; without a conductor and a great part of the way without a path to brook the difficulties of a wilderness country, filled with savage Indians and wild beasts, and that for a distance of 20 miles that they might again enjoy the embraces of fond parents. After a long and fruitless journey in search of home they arrived at a settlement on James River where they were treated kindly. The subject of this memoir had here the benefit of another school but such was the scarcity of teachers in those days that he only had the privilege of learning to spell and read. He afterwards learned to write, singularly, (viz.) finding an old manuscript (though unable to tell one letter from another) he proceeded to imitate what he saw in the manuscript till he finished it. This he carefully put away till he saw a person capable of reading writing and presenting it to him, was
astonished to hear it all read intelligibly. He then made some inquiries about it and from this circumstance learned to write without a teacher. He was often the subject of deep awakenings but did not yield to be saved by divine grace till he was 35 years of age. He had no advantage from religious instruction or any aid whatever in seeking religion except from the spirit of God and a careful perusal of the Bible; hence his doctrinal views were all original. The pious partner of his joys and sorrow (Emma Lemaster) died some years before him in the triumph of faith. They were married when the subject of this memoir was in the 24th year of his age and unto the day of her death they lived in harmony and love.
As soon as he was converted, though he had never heard a sermon, he commenced with burning zeal, warning sinners around him and many conversions crowned his labors. The first sermon he ever heard (by Thos. Hargate) he listened to with deep attention till the doctrine of "unconditional election and reprobation" was preached so plainly, that he left the house greatly discouraged. The second sermon he had the privilege of hearing was preached by Abram Rollins and was delighted with his doctrines and astonished to find a man so exactly agreed with him in sentiment. Two years after his conversion he was licensed to preach by Rev. Francis Asbury (Bishop of M. E. Church) and was a faithful and zealous gospel minister for the space of 56 years from the time he was licensed.
After 9 years past I became acquainted with this holy man. I have often listened to him in public and private with thrilling interest and the facts recorded here, I penned from his own lips some years before his death. As a minister, he often brooked the snow and rain, crossed the dangerous watercourse, climbed the mountain's height, slept in the open wood, with no shelter to cover him from the gathering storm, sometimes amidst the furious mob with brandished swords over his head and pistols pointed at his breast and all this without fee or reward, telling sinners the way to god. He had innumerable seals to his ministry; for many times his persecutors fell before him with their carnal weapons and cried for mercy and asked him to pray for them. He once was in good circumstances but spent almost all his substance and his constitution was completely broken in the work of God. His philanthropy knew no bounds but extreme poverty in himself. But he is gone. I am not favored with the exact time of his death but am happy to learn from the "Clarksville Chronicle" that his end was glorious indeed.
N. G. Berryman
June 13, 1834
MRS. MARGARET DAVIDSON
Believing it will be gratifying to her friends and being persuaded such a token of respect is due to her memory, I ask leave to record in the Western Methodist a brief memoir of Mrs. Margaret Davidson, consort of Mr. John Davidson who departed this life in Dyer county, Ten. on the 29th of Nov. 1833.
At the time when this should have been done, I was not in possession of the necessary information and I regret that even now I am not prepared to speak more circumstantially. Mrs. Davidson, about the year 1812, was awakened to a sense of her lost condition and soon after became a subject of converting grace and attached herself to the M. E. Church of which she continued an acceptable member, evincing by her piety, exemplary deportment and faithful observance of her religious duties, that she was seeking a country not seen by mortal eyes. During her last illness, which was protracted for some weeks, she bore her afflictions, though full of suffering, with patience and resignation to the divine will. In the immediate prospect of the approaching dissolution, her mind was peaceful and her language often that of holy triumph. She has finished her course. The calamities of life in her case are with the past. She rests from her labor; her works will follow her. May her friends imitate her example and meet her in heaven "where no farewell is ever heard."
A. F. Driskill
Madison co., Ten.
WILLIAM H. LISLE
Died, at the residence of his father in Green county, Kentucky, on the 14th of May, 1834, in the 22d year of his age, Wm. H. Lisle (son of Daniel Lisle) after along and lingering illness of some months.
This young man . . . [aware some months before he died . . .] of the necessity of a change and such was his anxiety on that subject that he often said he was afraid to go to sleep lest he might die unprepared. He prayed and prayed and would often say he was thankful that he was on praying ground. At length the lord came to his relief and from that time until his death (which was several days) he seemed all in raptures with the idea of heaven; he refused all nourishment, saying that it might detain him. He would watch the clock and in anxiety waited the summons. His whole soul seemed to be filled with heaven and from the hour of his change he verified the expression of the poet, when he says,
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a world to come.
MRS. LUCY W. GARNER
Mrs. Lucy W. Garner the subject of this brief notice was the wife of Mr. Lewis Garner of this county [Rutherford county, Tennessee], and the daughter of Mrs. Elizabeth Alexander, who for more than 30 years exemplified in her life the true Christian character and went up to receive her crown a few months past. About 11 years ago, sister Garner made a profession of the Christian religion and attached herself to the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was a uniform, devoted and exemplary Christian; uniting gospel simplicity with godly sincerity and the reservedness of humble piety with the sacred fervor of love-enkindled devotion. Her religion did not consist so much in words as in deeds; but very frequently the rapture of her religious feelings would break over the boundaries of what many good people call Christian moderation and then she would praise the Lord aloud with joyful lips and shout forth the honor of his name with a glad heart. The affliction which brought her to her grave was protracted and painful; but never was she heard to murmur "or wish her sufferings less." From the first of her confinement she seemed to have had some presentiment of her dissolution which she intimated to her faithful nurse but cautiously concealed it from her affectionate husband.
Perhaps no dying Christian ever showed more perfect resignation to the divine will or more unshaken confidence in the divine premises than did our beloved sister Garner. Although she was leaving as many of the endearments of this life both social and domestic, as almost any person ever did, yet she viewed heaven as her better home and glory as her richer inheritance. Consequently for her to die was gain and no wonder that she could so calmly resign her spirit to God and her body to corruption as she did on the third of this instant [June 3, 1834], at three o'clock, a.m. May the writer and reader of this obituary be prepared to share the glorious kingdom with her forever. Amen.
Yours, truly, D. C. McLeod
Murfreesborough, Ten. June 7, 1834
MRS. ELISA LISLE
Died, at her residence in Greensburg, Kentucky, on the 1st inst. [June 1, 1834], in the 25th year of her age, Mrs. Eliza Lisle wife of Thos. W. Lisle. Mrs. Lisle made a profession of religion about ten months before she died and had been about six or eight months a member of the Methodist Church. In her death a husband, three little infant children and a numerous connection mourn a loss which nothing earthly can repair society and the church one of their brightest ornaments.
The circumstances attending Mrs. Lisle's death were of an unusual, extraordinary and upon philosophical principles, unaccountable character. She had been complaining for about three months. She had a cough which it was thought was the result of cold and would soon pass off; it continued, however, until her lungs became diseased, as her physicians thought. She however was at all times, during her sickness, able to walk about the house and when the weather was good to ride out in a gig which she did nearly every day. On the day she died, she seemed clearer of fever, stronger and more cheerful than she had been for ten days. On that day she rode out and after riding walked from the gig over a style, through the yard into the house and complained very little of fatigue. She seemed to be cheerful all day and sat up a good part of it. In the evening, about three o'clock, four of her Methodist brethren came in to see her and among them Mr. Henry, a preacher. After they had sat a while and as Mrs. Lisle was known to be fond of hearing singing, praying &c., which she had often heard during her illness, her husband asked her if she wished her brethren to sing and pray; she said she did. A bible and hymn book were then handed Mr. Henry, who opened and read the 4th chapter of 2d Corinthians (see it) then seemed accidentally to open to the following memorable lines which were sung:
Life has a soft and silver thread,
Nor is it drawn too long;
Yet when my vaster hopes persuade,
I am willing to be gone.
Fast as you please roll down the hill,
And haste away my fears;
Or I can wait my father's will,
And dwell beneath the spheres.
Rise glorious every future sun,
Could my following days,
But make that last, dear moment known
By well distinguished rays.
He then prayed a very good prayer which was delivered in a cool, dispassionate manner. During the whole service, Mrs. Lisle shed not a tear and seemed not the least excited. After prayer, at the request of Mr. Porter, they commenced singing those words:
And let this feeble body fall,
And let is faint or die.
While singing those lines she was heard to mourn which attracted the attention of the company and behind she had fainted and died! All attempts to resuscitate her were in vain; her blessed spirit refused longer to be detained and took its departure for heaven and happiness. Thus ended the earthly career of one, who, in life, by her godly and pious walk, and her seeming indifference to this world and all its concerns, showed that she was a follower of the meek and lovely Savior and whose light afflictions here, which were but for a moment, had worked for her a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, of one who could and did, by her death, in triumph say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?" It is the belief of the writer of these lines, that during this service, Mrs. Lisle was sanctified and made perfectly holy and taken home that she might not feel another pang or anxious moment. She did not cough, strangle, or, that could be seen, move a limb or exert a muscle.
MRS. MARGARET A. HAYNES
With conflicting emotions I take up my pen to announce to you the death of our beloved sister Margaret A. Haynes, the wife of F. G. Haynes of Sumner county, and daughter of George Logan. Margaret was deprived by death of her parents when she was a child. She was married to F. G. Haynes Nov. 25, 1829. With her beloved husband she attended the camp-meeting held last fall near Cairo which meeting will be cherished by many in the recollections of eternity. One evening, towards the contemplated close of the meeting she and her husband were starting home when they were met by a friend who insisted on their return. They consented and that night god converted their souls and they joined the M. E. Church. She died the 20th of May, 1834 in, I think, the 21st year of her age and in the triumph of faith. She left one lovely child on earth, the other she met in heaven.
By those who visited and conversed with her she was always found sensible of her approaching strong in faith and willing to depart. I saw her a short time before her departure; her noble countenance was not robbed of its expression; her intelligent eye had no lost its lustre; her mind was as clear as a sunbeam and her evidence bright as noonday.
Just before she died she fell into a swoon; when she awoke she told those present that she had been surrounded by visions of glory. And assuring them that she was in her right mind, she would exclaim, "who ever saw the like before. Give God the glory."
This was the beginning of the triumph and the trance, the dawn of bliss, the morning dream of life's eternal day. She sank, as the morning star fades away, to living light. Her undying spirit now eyes the noon of heaven and sings hosannas to god. We hope to meet her at the resurrection of the just. Let thy will, O God, be done!
Let sickness blast, let death devour,
If heaven will recompense our pains;
Perish the grass and fade the flower,
If firm the word of God remains.
June 20, 1834
Departed this life on the 26th inst. [May. 16, 1834], the worthy Elmore Walker who was a citizen of this place and brother to the venerable Jesse Walker who has spent so much of his life in the service of western missions. Our departed friend was also the husband of an affectionate and aged companion who is yet living and the father of several children who are now scattered over the wide west, the most of whom, I am happy to say, have bright prospects of meeting their father where parting will be no more. The departed father and friend has been a member of the Methodist E. Church since an early period of his life. . . . Hence his examples have been many and wonderful to the rising generation. He appeared to be perfectly sensible of his death several weeks or months previous to his departure as he was gradually wasting down with a final consumptive disease though not entirely confined to house or bed until the last eleven or twelve days when strength and reason were entirely withdrawn; once, however, about three days previous to his departure, being raised in bed, in apparently tolerable good reason commenced one of the most beautiful songs of Zion; thus departed our friend, without leaving a remaining doubt concerning his future state.
Davidson county [Tennessee] May 30, 1834
MRS. ELIZABETH SHIELDS
Messrs. Editors. I send you an account of the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Shields. She was the consort of Mr. John Shields of Dallas county, Ala. and departed this life on the 16th instant [June 16, 1834]. Sister shields had been for several years an eminently pious member of the Methodist E. Church and continued to be such till she went up to join the church triumphant. As a mother she was mild and tender yet strict in the government of her children. As a Christian she never swerved from the narrow path but was emphatically an example of Christian excellence; so much so that she had the confidence of all her neighbors, religious or irrelgious. The complaint of which sister shields died was consumption; her sufferings were long and severe, yet she bore them almost with perfect patience and resignation.
The writer of this sketch visited her every week for the last four or five months and always found her in a happy frame of mind; for a month before her dissolution, her lungs were impaired that she could not speak above a whisper. On my remarking to her one day, that it would not be long until her sufferings in this life would be over, her eyes seemed to brighten up while the tear of joy started down her cheek. She replied, "Brother Smith that is what I have been longing for." A day or two before her death she told me that her faith was steadfastly fixed on Jesus and her hope in heaven and that it would not be long until she should have a new tongue and then she would talk and praise the lord. She seemed to sink gradually until the morning of the 16th inst., when she was taken worse and about 2 o'clock p.m. she fell asleep in Jesus. Doubtless her soul was conveyed to Abraham's bosom by a convoy of angels. She has left a family of children, a companion and numerous friends to mourn her loss but thy [they] sorrow not as those who have no hope. Blessed are the dead that die in the lord.
Wm. A. Smith
N. B. At the request of brother Smith, I have drawn the above from a sketch he left with me and send it to the Western Methodist for publication.
Centreville, Ala. May 28th, 1834
WILLIAM SPEARMAN BROWN
Departed this life on the 24th of March, 1834, William Spearman Brown. Brother Brown was born in Virginia in 1807. When very young his father and mother moved to Madison county, Alabama where they lived for several years; their house was a home for the preachers; they failed not to give them a call. bro. W. S. B. having the advantage of a pious and religious education became concerned about his soul's salvation at an early period; he joined the Methodist E. Church when very young. Shortly after his mother died of consumption and went to rest. Thence his father and family moved to the state of Louisiana, parish of Natchioches, where religion was almost unknown. Father B's house was resorted to as usual by the ministers of the gospel who found a friend and father in Israel during which time and the cause of Christ seemed to be of little repute. Brother W. S. B. was very serious in the meantime but without an evidence of his acceptance with his God; although he had such advantages and good desires, he lived without an experimental evidence of religion until about the 20th, year of his age when he visited a camp-meeting held in the parish of Natchioches, at Bayou Coothala camp-ground where he obtained a full and satisfactory evidence of his sins forgiven. From that time till his illness that ended his earthly scene, brother B. did not make so much sod about religion as some but made a worthy member of society and was uniform in his religious devotions; he often expressed great concern for his souls salvation which he sometimes feared he might trifle away. In 1830, brother B. lost his father whose loss was felt by every member of his then large family and particularly so to brother W. S. B., he being the youngest son of the old man; yet brother Brown was still determined to get to heaven where he had the strongest reasons to hope he would meet his
Father and mother who had gone just before. Early in march past brother W. S. B. was taken very violently with an inflammation of the breast, lungs and liver; attention was paid immediately to his case by the family but without the least appearance of good. [meaning that their efforts to help him did no good] Dr. J. W. Butler was called in on the second day of his illness who exerted his medical skill to the utmost; his friends soon despaired of brother B's recovering and sent for his brothers, Daniel H. and Thomas M. Brown, who lived forty miles from him. When they arrived brother Brown was very ill; although the physician sometimes hoped he would get the victory over the disease yet there was no change perceivable. Brother B. was of the opinion that he would get well for several days; his disease was of a stubborn tissue, his friends wished to know what his hopes were for heaven, if he should not recover which they very much feared; they asked him his hopes in regard to his condition in a future world or mode of existence, if he should die; he said he relied exclusively on the merits of Christ for salvation; he had some desire to live to take care of his sister and some orphan children that lived with him but if god was deposed to take him away, he could not object to his will; for he thought he had a right to dispose of him as seemed good to him. Until now brother B. expected to get well; he asked the doctor relative to his case, he also wished him to be candid; the doctor who is an amiable young man told him there were fears against him but he hoped he would recover although his case was a doubtful one; he then began to seek for present evidence of his acceptance with God; he did not seek long for the witness before he found it previous to his soul; his brothers and friends all united in prayer often for a happy exit as well hopes were cute off of his being restored to health. . . . He continued to pray for a stronger evidence; this evidence was not fully and powerfully obtained until the evening before he died, at 12 o'clock at night; he at length expressed strong confidence in his, savior and felt most powerfully his presence; there was a great deal of time spent in singing and prayer; he would join in broken sentences and sing with his friends and at times he would exclaim, "Glory, glory, victory, victory, I have gained the victory." His mind was at times interrupted with delirium (caused by sympathy of the bowels which were greatly inflamed) although at any time if he were addressed on the subject of his death or recovery he would collectively converse on the subject. The last six or eight hours of his life were spent in praise to God for his delivering grace; when he was asked about the terrors of death, he would exultingly say, death had lost its sting and exclaim, "Oh, victory, victory, I shall soon be in heaven"; he said it was the happiest night he ever spent or saw; his brothers and sisters were filled with the presence of God. Such a time or rejoicing at such a scene is almost unparalleled: the Christians rejoiced while sinners present trembled and wondered at the mighty sight to see a man in the bloom of life, surrounded with pecuniary prospects quite flattering, to see such an one leave the world rejoicing and exulting. Some of the wicked expressed great surprise to me that a man should thus die: laughing, conversing, talking about death in such indifferent terms. When he spoke of the dispositions of his property, he talked as one but little concerned in the matter; his spirit had taken its survey of heaven and immortal bliss; he was then enabled to say, farewell world, I leave you with your perplexities and sorrows for others to encounter. His soul was poured out in devotion and praise while he gazed on the joys of heaven. He often said death had lots its sting; he could not express his joy fully; his bodily powers failed, nature was diminishing and his happy spirit longed to fly away and be at rest. Thus lived and thus died W. S. Brown, aged 27 years. Who would not say, let me live the life of the righteous that my last end might be like his! Let me thus die is the cry of all men; may i, even so. Amen.
John P. Sprowl
Red River, May 17, 1834
June 27, 1834
Departed this life on the 13th inst. [June 13, 1834] Alexander C. Ewing in the 37th year of his age, after a short but painful illness. The deceased was a citizen of Williamson county, Ten. but died at the house of his brother in Davidson county; had been in the profession of religion about two years and met death with great composure and a confident hope of a happy immortality. His family and friends feel his loss but he has gained that rest that remains for the people of God.
Died, of scarlet fever, in Davidson county, on Saturday, 21st instant, MARTHA A., infant daughter of James D. MOORE, formerly of Nashville.
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