GENEALOGICAL INFORMATION FROM
THE WESTERN METHODIST 1833-1834

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

NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 1833

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November 1, 1833

WILLIAM HARTNETT, a youth, was killed by accidental gunshot at Mr. Berry's, St. Charles Road, St. Louis, Missouri on a recent Sunday.

Dr. [ADAM] CLARKE died August 26, 1832 in the 72nd year of his age.

[Dr. Clarke was a Wesleyan preacher and theological writer, native of County Londonderry, Ireland; became a Methodist in 1778; university degrees from King's College; an astute Christian scholar; died from cholera, August 26, 1832. See, ADAM CLARKE, LLD, THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY, Oxford University Press, 1968, volume 4, pages 413-414.]

 

November 8, 1833

Reverend Professor JOHN M. SMITH, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, died in late 1832 aged 37 years; a Methodist preacher; "a ripe and industrious scholar; " earned master of arts degree; several years principal of White Plains Academy, West Chester County, New York; sometime in 1832 he became professor of ancient languages at Wesleyan University.

Reverend MELVILLE B. COX born on east coast of United States; twin brother of Rev. Gershom F. Cox, Methodist preacher, Maine Conference; married a Marylander; sometime editor and proprietor of THE ITINERANT, a Baltimore weekly journal; as a Methodist preacher he offered himself as a missionary to western Africa in which service he died [date, circumstances riot provided]

From the CYCLOPAEDIA OF METHODISM, edited by Matthew Simpson, 1880, page 264:

        Cox, Melville B., the first missionary of the M. E. Church to Africa, was born in Halle, Me., Nov. 9, 1799. He says, "In 1818 I found peace in believing, and joy in the Holy Ghost, while alone in the woods pleading for mercy in the lowest language of hope if not in despair. In a few weeks after I joined a small class of Methodists." In 1820 he took charge of a class, and at the close of a year preached his first sermon. In the following spring he commenced traveling under the presiding elder. In 1822 he was received on trial, but, in 1825, owing to failing health, he took a supernumerary relation, and removed to Virginia. In 1828 he located, and became editor of the Itinerant, a paper published in Baltimore to defend the polity of the church against the attacks of the Mutual Rights.
        In this place he remained two years; then he returned to Virginia, and entered the Conference, and was stationed in the city of Raleigh. In 1831 he volunteered to go as missionary to Liberia, and attended the General Conference of 1832 in Philadelphia. He was detained during the summer and fall in making arrangements for his journey to Africa, and did not arrive in Liberia until March 9, 1833. At once he commenced his labors, and finding a number of members and local preachers who had emigrated with the colonists from America, he organized them as members of the M. E. Church. He arranged the special interests of the mission, and took incipient measures to establish an academy at Monrovia. So zealous was he that in a few weeks after his landing he arranged for and held the first camp-meeting ever conducted in Africa. His ministry opened with great prospects of success, but in less than five months from his arrival he fell a victim to the fever of that climate, and died July 21, 1833. He desired for his epitaph, "Let a thousand fall before Africa be given up." He was a man of a remarkably sweet spirit, of deep devotion, of considerable culture, and of great though quiet energy.

 

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November 15, 1833

Reported from the Washington, Georgia NEWS that a Mr. ROSS was shot and killed by AUGUSTUS GLOVER in Monticello, Georgia, October 18, 1833.

On returning to his residence, on a recent Friday evening, GEORGE BOSWELL, Dover Road, about three miles from Frederica, Delaware, found one of his children crying due to having been "corrected" by its fourteen-year-old sister. Boswell knocked this daughter to the floor, stomped on her so viciously that she died within thirty minutes. The deceased had recently been a pupil at the Hines School in Wilmington, Delaware.

The London TIMES carried the obituary of Mrs. HANNAH MORE who died September 7, 1833 at her residence in Windsor-terrace, Clifton, England, in the 87th year of her age; an English novelist; among her novels, COELEBS IN SEARCH OF A WIFE. "Few persons have enjoyed a higher degree of public esteem and veneration than this excellent and distinguished lady." [See, THE DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY, Oxford University Press, 1968, volume 13, pages 861-867 for a long biographical sketch of Miss Moore.]

Communicated. Seldom has it fallen to the lot of man to witness a scene so sublime and beautiful as was displayed this morning from 2 a.m. until day light. The atmosphere was clear and the stars sparkled with unusual lustre while the whole heavens were illuminated by a continued shower of dazzling meteors. These were of various magnitudes and splendour, from that of the flitting glow-fly to the blazing torch. Their direction was directly from the zenith to the horizon but starting at all points between them. Some short off leaving no visible trace behind, while others left a long trail of remaining for a minute or more bright as a flame. Some flashed off with such brilliance as to produce the appearance of lightning. In short, for two hours (from 3 til 5) such was the surpassing magnificence of the scene that I feel totally inadequate to convey to the mind of one who did not see it, anything like a perfect idea of it. It was literally a shower of fire and so far surpassing in splendor any artificial fireworks that every attempt to equal it would prove utterly futile.

An observer
Nashville, 13th November, 1833

 

[During the "night hours" of November 12-13, 1833 an immense shower of meteors, originating in the Leo Galaxy, lit up the American skies. Several generations, alive at the time, commented in letters, diaries and in personal reminiscences about this natural event. Many persons thought that the world was "coming to an end."]

"A dwelling house and grocery store belonging to Daniel Williams, at Williamsville Post Office, Dickson County, Ten. was burnt on the night of the 5th of November. The estimated loss is six or eight hundred dollars."

* * * * *

WILLIAMS FAMILY, WILLIAMSVILLE

Capt. Daniel Williams was a native of Duplin Co., N.C.; during the Revolutionary War, he had fought on the American side as an officer in the 6 N. C. Regiment. He died at age 80, on July 16, 1831, on his Yellow Creek farm. (D. Williams Pension S BLWT 1624-30, National Archives; MEMBERSHIP ROSTER AND SOLDIERS, TENN., by D. A. R., 1961, p 1613)

Capt. Williams held a large acreage in the valley [Yellow Creek Valley, Dickson County], some 2285 acres of which came as a land grant for his war service. This tract was granted to him, Jan. 20, 1792, as "lying on both sides of Yellow Creek" above the Chickasaw Trace, when this was then considered as Tennessee County, N.C.: N.C. Grants, C-3, p 271, Tenn. State Archives) For centuries the Cumberland country was a vast game-park, claimed by the Chickasaws, and though this was rarely disputed by other Indians, several nations of the Redmen hunted in the open territory. The Chickasaws ceded the Cumberland region to N.C. in the summer of 1783, which was later ratified by other binding treaties. In July 1805, the

 

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Chickasaws made a sweeping, all-inclusive cession of Middle Tennessee to the government, after which the region rapidly filled with settlers, who could now feel that their land claims would be honored. Tennessee County was established in 1788 and continued in force when N.C. ceded what is now Tennessee to the Federal government, and which was then organized as the South-western Territory. When Tennessee became a state, June I, 1796, Tennessee County was divided into two counties, Montgomery and Robertson, parent counties of Dickson County. (HISTORY OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE, by A. W. Putnam, 1859 (Reprint, 1971), pp 194, 299, 533. 569) Dickson County was sparsely settled until after 1800, although numerous Revolutionary War land grants were made and filed for acreage within its subsequent borders. The early surveyors, working in the mid-1780s, gave names to the creeks, traces, etc. Yellow Creek was named as such early in the period of these surveys. The principal Indian trace, the Chickasaw Trace, ran near Yellow Creek and the earliest road laid-out just before the War of 1812, followed its path.

 The actual site of Williamsville may be seen on a "Ruskin Quadrangle Map. " It was just south of the Williams Cemetery in Yellow Creek Valley of Dickson Co., Tennessee.)

 

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November 22, 1833

Close to the publishing date of this issue, J. C. STEADMAN was killed when looking out a window of the passenger car he was riding, of the Camden and Amboy Railroad, northeast United States, when the train stopped very suddenly, lurching, causing him traumatic injury. Steadman had been a resident of Raleigh, North Carolina.

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STEPHEN PEARCE

Departed this life on Wednesday, fifth Oct. 1833, brother Stephen Pearce, after a protracted and most painful illness. He emigrated from the state of Georgia and settled upon the fertile banks of the Bayou Boeuf while its dense forests yet stood in all their native grandeur and wildness. Industrious and prudent, he prospered in temporal affairs and reared a numerous and respectable family, several of whom, through the happy influence of parental example, have become members of our connection [Methodist]. As a man of strict probity and generous feelings, brother Pearce enjoyed the confidence and esteem of his neighbors. As a Christian he walked consistently while in health and on the bed of death gave ample evidence that his faith was not in vain but that he had found him faithful who had promised. He conversed calmly on the subject of his approaching dissolution and frequently broke out in such exclamations as, "I long to depart and be with my savior." The consolation which remains to his bereaved friends, that having fought a good fight and finished his course in triumph, he is now raised above the clouds and tempests which surround us here and rests in peace. My earnest prayer is, that when my eyes are closed in the sleep of death, I may, like him, depart in peace and be a welcome guest where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.

James d. M'Coy
Cheneyville, La., Nov. 1st, 1833

 

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MRS. ANN B. CHENEY

        Departed this life on Tuesday morning, the 19th inst. [November], of a lingering pulmonary disease, Mrs. Ann B. Cheney, wife of Mr. Hampton J. Cheney of Rapides Parish, State of Louisiana. The deceased was a lady of fine sense and accomplished manners, as a friend, sincere and ardent; as a wife, fond and affectionate; as a mother, tender and kind; as a Christian, meek and humble, possessing all the graces that adorn the meek and quiet spirit. Her afflictions were great, but borne without a murmur. She lingered for several months, gradually wasting in flesh and strength; and, as her sufferings increased, her Christian evidence became brighter and brighter, until lost in perfect day. The Baptist church of which she was a member has lost one of its brightest ornaments; three little daughters, a most fond and tender mother; a husband, a prop and strong hold in the hour of affliction; but, amid the dreariness of bereavement, the sorrowful heart of her sorrowing companion, experiences some alleviation of its miseries by a contemplation of the Christian virtues that adorned the character of his departed bosom friend. To the truth of this solemn and melancholy sentiment, the inmost soul of the writer cordially responds and he who has lost feels that it is a balm to his wounded spirit to indulge in a retrospect of the many excellencies of her whom he so ardently loved and lost below. But, weep not, as those that weep not, as those that weep without hope, as her hours of greatest rejoicing were those that approached nearest the tomb.
        O happy day that breaks our iron chain; that manumits, that calls from exile home, that leads to nature's great metropolis; and readmits us, through the guardian band of elder brothers, to our father's throne.

Nashville, Nov. 20th, 1833
N. H.

 

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WILLIAM JENKINS

Died at his father's residence in Hickman County, Ten. on the 16th of September, 1833, Mr. William Jenkins, in the 22d year of his age. The subject of this memoir lived without an experimental knowledge of his sins forgiven until the first of September 1832, when at a camp-meeting held at Ebenezer, he saw that without an interest in the blood of Jesus he must be lost forever. He earnestly sought and found the peal of great price; and forthwith attached himself to the Methodist Episcopal church and ever afterwards declared to the world by his conduct and conversation the reality of the religion which he professed to enjoy. During his last illness, which lasted about two weeks, he appeared entirely resigned to the will of the almighty. When about to leave his friends and relatives, he told them that for more than twelve months he had enjoyed the inestimable comforts of religion; he told them he had often prayed for them; and then in the most affectionate manner exhorted them to meet him in heaven, where parting will be no more and then in triumph departed this life. While we mourn the loss of our beloved brother, we mourn not as those without hope; but rejoice in the belief that he has exchanged his station in the church militant for a more glorious seat in the church triumphant. O, let me die the death of the righteous and let my last end be like his.

Samuel Wilson

 

November 29, 1833

JOHN HOGAN married THIRMUTHIS [sic] GIST, both of Franklin County, Alabama, November 12, 1833 before the Reverend J. C. Hicks.

Colonel SAMUEL MEREDITH married LOUISA, daughter of John HOGAN, November 13, 1833, before the Reverend Bester.

 

December 6, 1833

WILLIAM MOORE announced that he would continue a manufactory of tin and sheet iron on College Street in Nashville, Tennessee.

 

December 13, 1833

It was noted that the Middle Tennessee Bible Society had distributed hundreds of Bibles in this section of the state, from the publisher, American Bible Society in New York City; 368 Bibles had been distributed in Lawrence County and 412 in Maury County. There were agents of the society in each middle Tennessee county. [Hundreds of these Bibles became the family Bibles of the time with family data entered on pages provided for that purpose in many of these old Bibles.]

 

December 20, 1833

Major JAMES HAMILTON, father of General Hamilton, "the oldest living officer of the old Continental Line of the [American] Revolution died Tuesday night (as of Nov. 28, 1833) in South Carolina." [This was November 26, 1833.]

[James Hamilton, Jr., 1786-1857, "congressman and governor of South Carolina, was born near Charleston, South Carolina, the son of James Hamilton [above], a rice planter and formerly an aide to George Washington, and [of] Elizabeth Lynch, whose brother, Thomas Lynch, had signed the Declaration of Independence." AMERICAN NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY, Oxford University Press, 1999, volume 9, page 921]

 

December 27, 1833

It was noted that the Reverend EZRA FISK, DD, professor-elect, Western Theological Seminary, died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. December 5, 1833.

 

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From APPLETON'S CYCLOPAEDIA OF AMERICAN BIOGRAPHY, edited by James G. Wilson and John Fiske, New York, 1891, volume 2, page 467:

FISK, Ezra, clergyman, b. in Shelburne, Mass., 10 J an., 1785; d. in Philadelphia, Pa., 5 Dec., 1833. He was graduated at Williams in 1809, studied theology, and was licensed to preach in the Presbyterian church on 19 April, 1818. He was then ordained as an evangelist, and entered on mission work in Georgia and Philadelphia. He became in 1813 pastor of the Presbyterian church in Goshen, N.Y., where he remained twenty years. In May, 1833, Dr. Fisk was elected to the professorship of ecclesiastical history and church government in the Western theological seminary, and was on his way to enter on the duties of the office when he died. He published an oration, delivered at Williams college in 1825; a lecture on the. "Inability of Sinners." (Philadelphia, 1832), etc.

 

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