Compiled by Jonathan Kennon Thompson Smith
Copyright, Jonathan K. T. Smith, 2003


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Of this co-partner/editor of the Western Methodist, it was remarked in EARLY SETTLERS OF LAWRENCE CO., ALA., by James E. Saunders, The Moulton (Ala.) Advertiser, March 15, 1888:

        He was born in Pennsylvania 24th April, 1772. His father, Lewis Garrett, in a few years after moved to Botetourt County, Va. And in 1779 removed to Kentucky, then very thinly settled. . . . He however died before he reached the place of his destination and left a widow and eight children (the oldest about sixteen) in the wilderness. . . .
        Young Lewis when a boy had not the advantage of good schools but he was fortunate in having a mother who was well educated and under whose instruction he became a very accurate scholar. . . .
[He] was converted during a revival carried on by the Baptists who were the religious pioneers of Kentucky but he became a member of the Methodist church. In 1794 there was a conference held at a private house for there were but seven traveling preachers. At this conference he was admitted on trial and appointed to green circuit in what is now termed east Tennessee. The wilderness had to be passed through and they waited until sixty men all around were collected and passed through in safety. When he reached the circuit there was not yet an end of the danger. It mostly was a frontier and the Cherokees were in a state of hostility. The presiding elder rode up to a cabin one day and saw the family lying bleeding just butchered by the savages. Mr. Garrett in passing around his circuit frequently saw the dreary tenements from which the occupants had fled from fear and passed on alone and unattended to preach to the inhabitants. . . . In 1804 Mr. Garrett was made presiding elder of the Cumberland district which included several circuits in middle Tennessee. . . . After such a life of hardship and exposure the health of Mr. Garrett failed and he asked for a location. But he had laid up nothing for his family. . . . He opened a grammar school in the town of Franklin, Tennessee and never had a teacher better success in that line. He had at least forty pupils and perfect discipline. He believed in Solomon's doctrine [in effect, spare the rod and spoil the child]. . . .
        When his brother-in-law, Abram Maury Degaffenreid [he having married the latter's sister, Sarah], moved to Lawrence County, Ala., he [Garrett] moved with him and fixed his home just above Redbanks where he had the misfortune to lose his good wife. He then re-entered the traveling connection and in virtue of his ability he occupied Nashville and other important stations in the conference. Many years afterwards when the renowned John Newland Maffitt, the great orator and revivalist, friends effected a union between them for the purpose of publishing a religious newspaper called the Western Methodist which was the forerunner of the Christian Advocate at Nashville. Their paper was a very good one. Mr. Garrett a writer of great clearness and force furnished the logic and Mr. Maffitt furnished the rhetoric but it was financially a failure. And soon abandoned. Rev. Lewis Garrett died at the house of his son, Abram Maury Garrett, in Mississippi, April 28th, 1857, having labored as a Methodist preacher for sixty three years. In person he was rather under the usual size, had hazle eyes, a nose slightly Roman and fine features. With a clear full voice and a slow delivery, he could be heard in the open air by large congregations.



From APPLETON'S CYCLOPAEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, edited by James G. Wilson and John Fiske, New York, 1891, volume 4, page 172:

        MAFFITT, John Newland, clergyman, b. in Dublin, Ireland, 28 Dec., 1795; d. near Mobile, Ala., 28 May, 1850. He was destined for mercantile life by his parents, who belonged to the Established church; but embracing the Wesleyan doctrines in 1813, he determined to become a minister, and, meeting with opposition at home, emigrated to the United States in 1819, and in 1822 entered the New England conference of the Methodist Episcopal church. After preaching for twelve years as an itinerant in various cities of the eastern states, he became a local preacher in New York city in 1832, and there after traveled, preached, and lectured at his own discretion. In 1833, in conjunction with Rev. Lewis Garrett, he established in Nashville, Tenn., the "Western Methodist," which was subsequently transformed into the "Christian Advocate," and adopted as the central organ of the Methodist Episcopal church, south. Great numbers assembled to listen to his sermons in the south and southwest, and many converts were added to the church. He was agent for La Grange college, Ala., in 1836-7, and was subsequently for a short time professor of elocu-


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tion and belles-lettres in that institution, but resided chiefly in the Atlantic cities. In 1841 he was chaplain to the National house of representatives. In 1845-'6 he edited a literary and religious monthly, called the "Calvary Token," that he had established at Auburn, N.Y. In 1847, on the occasion of a second marriage, charges were brought against his moral character, in consequence of which he removed from New York to Arkansas.

He preached in various cities, but his popularity was affected and his mind troubled by the suspicions he had incurred, and his power as a pulpit orator was gone. Mr. Maffitt was the author of "Tears of Contrition," a recountal of his religious experiences (1821); "Pulpit Sketches" (Boston 1828); and a volume of " Poems" (1889). He left an "Oratorical Dictionary" and an "Autobiography."


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