F O U R T H    P E R I O D .




At the beginning of this period of eighteen years there were twelve Cumberland Presbyterian synods and fifty-three presbyteries; at its close there were twenty-seven synods and ninety-seven presbyteries. The average increase was not quite one synod each year; and considerably over two presbyteries a year, not quite three. When this period began the church had just emerged from great internal trials; at its close the whole country was just plunging into the fiery external ordeal which the civil war was bringing on. It was well that the church had this breathing spell of eighteen years between these two ordeals.

True, the bitter strifes of the third period projected their waning shadows into this fourth period. The Rev. James Smith remained a member of the church several years after his resignation of the office of stated clerk, and after the beginning of this period. He refused to hand over the Minutes of the General Assembly to his successor, but, after many calls and some threats of legal process, the Assembly finally got possession of its own records. The Minutes of three meetings of the General Synod, 1821, 1823,(1) and 1826, however, were lacking, also the Minutes [311] of the General Assembly for 1838. The Assembly called on all the ministers of the church to help find the lost records. The Minutes for 1838 were partially recovered through the newspaper reports. The others remain lost.

The opening sermon of the General Assembly of 1843 was preached by Milton Bird. The text was Acts 6:4. Two great evils had been crushing the very life out of the church: A secularized ministry and a secularized General Assembly--that is, an Assembly embarrassed by financial enterprises, all of which had proved disastrous. Various writers had been pointing out the evils arising from this secularization of preachers and church courts; but the most forcible and effective of all these protests was this opening sermon by Milton Bird. He argued first against a secularized clergy. He showed what was the voice of both history and Scripture on the subject, and dwelt with power on the high and holy nature of the minister's calling. He showed next that the mission of the church courts was like the mission of the ministry; exclusively spiritual; that both the Old and New Testament Scriptures laid down rigid laws excluding these courts from the management of secular affairs. Other and wholly separate organizations were required by Scripture for the transaction of financial business. Boards of experts could manage these things far better than any General Assembly, while the spiritual oversight of the churches far exceeded in importance all secular business, and was work enough to fill the hands of any Assembly. From that day onward Milton Bird's high rank among the ministers of the church was recognized. The Assembly passed resolutions declaring itself forever divorced from all management of financial affairs, whether connected with newspapers, colleges, the publication of books, or aught else.

Inasmuch as there were still found in the Assembly of 1843 men who kept alive the strife about the colleges and the papers, those who were for peace determined to have no Assembly in 1844. Their views prevailed, and the Assembly adjourned, requiring the next Assembly to meet in 1845, at Lebanon, Tennessee.

The General Assembly of 1845 was a most interesting convocation. The great speech of that occasion was made outside of [312] Assembly hours by the Rev. A.M. Bryan, D.D., of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. His theme was the great fire which had lately swept through Pittsburg. At the close of that speech Judge R.L. Caruthers gave Dr. Bryan a thousand dollars for the sufferers. Dr. Beard's address on education was also deeply impressive.

The missionary work of the church had almost entirely passed into the hands of presbyterial and synodical boards of missions. The Ladies' General Board at Russellville, Kentucky, had ceased to exist, and the church at that place had declined much in numbers and influence. The Assembly of 1845 proceeded to organize a Board of Domestic and Foreign Missions, and located it at Lebanon, Tennessee. For a few years it carried on its foreign work as an auxiliary to the American Board. The Rev. Thomas Calhoun was its first president. After his death the Rev. F.R. Cossitt was president.

A curious complication arose in connection with the church's mission work. The presbyterial and synodical boards had extended their operations far beyond their own boundaries. Some of them were slow to yield their independent work and become auxiliary to the general board. The men in charge of the general board had a hard struggle to get all this machinery adjusted; but through a wise and prudent administration of the board's affairs, harmony was secured.

The board at first had no paid officers. The whole receipts would not have paid one salary. When at last, in 1851, the Rev. Isaac Shook was employed as secretary, the receipts were only a little more than the salary. In 1853, after this secretary had held his office for two years, the entire receipts were $2,953. It was a curious view of this responsible work which allowed the only paid officer of the board to live on his farm fifty miles away from Lebanon. This state of things, however, was not permitted to continue long. Mr. Shook moved to Lebanon in 1852, and put forth all his strength in the work. In 1853, by the direction of the board, and with the approval of the General Assembly, he began the publication of a monthly missionary magazine. Shook was a holy, earnest man. His heart was in his work. He stirred up new interest for the Indians, and made some progress in enlisting [313] the whole church in the great work of missions. He was all his life an invalid.

After Mr. Shook's resignation, in 1854, there was an interval without a secretary. Then the Rev. T.P. Calhoun was elected. He was a young man just out of college, a son of Thomas Calhoun so often mentioned in the preceding chapters of this history, and a son-in-law of the Rev. David Lowry. In the collection of missionary funds he relied largely on traveling agents, but the results of this whole system were unsatisfactory. In 1857 Mr. Calhoun resigned, and there was considerable difficulty in securing another secretary.

The Rev. T.C. Blake was secured for this position in December, 1857, and to him the church is indebted for the first successful attempt to dispense with traveling agents in the work of collecting money for missions. When he announced that the preachers throughout the church would be solely relied on to do the work hitherto done by agents, many were the prophesies of disaster. But the secretary adhered strictly to his programme. In two years, without paid agents, the receipts of the board were increased from five thousand dollars to fourteen thousand dollars. Notes on hand were regularly reported by Mr. Blake, but these were notes taken under former secretaries. The cash receipts were fourteen thousand dollars. The receipts by States for 1860 were, in round numbers, as follows: Tennessee, $5,235; Alabama, $2,251; Arkansas, $1,595; Mississippi, $1,460; Kentucky, $1,135; Indiana, $925; Missouri, $562; Texas, $302; Kansas, $181; Louisiana, $106; Illinois, $90; Iowa, $75; Pennsylvania, $53; Ohio, $48. There were small contributions from several other States.

For several years each synod made its own arrangements about having the Confession of Faith and Catechism published. The propriety of having some general and central committee of publication had often been discussed, and at the Assembly of 1845 such a committee was appointed. The scheme contemplated proved impracticable. The members of the committee lived in different States at great distances from each other. A joint stock company was to be formed, and all the presbyteries were asked to become stockholders in the enterprise. Thus the mania for joint stock [314] companies which prevailed during the preceding period had not wholly disappeared. Speculation in Western lands, in gold mines, in insurance companies, in various other schemes, have all been tried by our boards, and have all left the marks of God's displeasure upon the past records of the church. Giving money for God's cause is an act of worship and a means of grace, and all schemes to supplant God's established method are theoretically false and practically disastrous. Under a new disguise the Assembly of 1845 fettered itself again with the halter from which the Assembly of 1843 had freed itself. Financial speculation was to be embarked in, not this time by the Assembly itself, but by the presbyteries. The Committee on Publication at the next two meetings of the Assembly reported nothing accomplished.

In 1847 the programme was changed. The General Assembly appointed a publishing committee whose members lived near Louisville, Kentucky. This committee was instructed to secure a charter, and to appoint financial agents to solicit donations, to keep clear of debt, and to make no sales on a credit. Like little boats, they were to keep near shore. The Rev. Milton Bird was at the head of this enterprise. It was on a sound basis, though its lack of capital was a great embarrassment. For several years it issued Confessions of Faith and hymn books, and seemed to be doing well. This board sent out traveling agents, and thus secured means to begin its business. Its books were published under contract, by the house of Morton & Griswold, which was then the best publishing house south of the Ohio River.

The administration of the board's financial affairs frequently changed hands, and there grew up at last general dissatisfaction with the management. In 1857 the General Assembly declared the report of the board both vague and unsatisfactory, and called for a final settlement of its affairs. The next year (1858) the board made no report, but A.F. Cox, financial agent, attended the Assembly, and answered the inquiries made by the committee appointed to investigate the case. The result of this investigation was that the Assembly appointed a new committee of publication, to be located at Nashville, Tennessee, and ordered the Louisville board to transfer all its assets to this Nashville committee. The Rev. W. [315] M. Reed was chairman of this committee. The Rev. W.S. Langdon was the first financial agent, and he began his services soon after the committee was organized, but resigned after a few months.

The Nashville committee obtained from the Louisville board a lot of badly damaged books, the manuscript for a hymn book, a number of old notes, and a few stereotype plates. Along with these it received another inheritance, the debts of the Louisville board. The books and old notes, however, paid off these debts, and furnished besides about nine hundred dollars capital. The committee then secured a regular charter. After the confusion attending the removal of the effects of the board from Louisville, the stereotype plates of "Infant philosophy," "Ewing's Lectures," "Donnell's Thoughts," and "Porter's Foreknowledge and Decrees," were found to be missing. The Louisville board in 1853 had reported all these plates except the last as assets, mentioning the recent purchase of the copyright of "Infant Philosophy." When the plates were missed, a man was sent from Nashville to search for them. He succeeded in tracing them from Louisville to Philadelphia, but failed to find them. They will probably never be recovered.

In the second year after the removal to Nashville this board secured the Rev. Isaac Shook as its general financial agent. The last year of this period it reported books and plates on hand amounting in value to thirty-seven hundred dollars. Ten thousand copies of the Hymn Book had been sold. The board owed one debt of one hundred and sixty dollars. The report to the General Assembly declared that no church could carry on its publication work on any other plan than strict conformity to sound business principles.

Cumberland Presbyterians have a curious hymn book history. Several small collections of camp-meeting hymns were published by individuals, but the church for a long time had no recognized book of its own. On the pulpits could be found the hymn books of Methodists, Baptists, and other churches. At a Sunday service in a church where a Methodist book was used a minister who had but lately preached a series of sermons on the final perseverance of [316] the saints hurriedly selected a hymn. Beginning without noticing the import of the words, he read:

"With shame of soul I do confess,

A real saint may fall from grace."

In 1845 a manuscript hymn book was adopted by the General Assembly, and afterward published by the Board of Publication. In 1858 this book was revised by a committee appointed by the Assembly, and then stereotyped under direction of the board at Nashville. This was that board's first work of this kind.

The Assembly of 1855 organized the Board of Education at Nashville, Tennessee. The Rev. M.H. Bone was its president, and the Rev. J.C. Provine, D.D., secretary and treasurer. This board's receipts averaged about one thousand dollars a year in cash, while the notes it annually took ranged from six hundred to five thousand dollars. It was interrupted by the war, but is still at work. The aid it has given annually to young men preparing for the ministry does not, however, equal the tenth part of what is done by the church, because many individuals and even some societies prefer to report only to the Lord what they give for this purpose. It is very important that the receipts of this board should be greatly increased.

The Board of Church Erection, organized by the Assembly of 1856, was located at Saint Louis, Missouri, with the Rev. J.B. Logan at its head. This board was instructed to secure donations, and to loan, not give, the money to weak churches for building purposes. At no time did its receipts amount to three hundred dollars per annum. One year it received only seven dollars; another year it reported no receipts at all. Let it not be supposed, however, that our people turned a deaf ear to all calls for help in building churches. At Philadelphia, Saint Louis, and Cincinnati, at Austin, Texas, Burlington, Iowa, and Murfreesboro and Jackson, Tennessee, and at other places, comfortable houses were erected with money given by distant congregations. It is not known why these handsome donations to church erection were not given through the board or reported to it.

From an early day the highest judicature of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church kept renewing its declarations of readiness for [317] friendly correspondence with other evangelical churches. The General Assembly appointed a standing Committee on Fraternal Correspondence. In 1845 several articles from members of the New School Presbyterian Church appeared in the papers, advocating closer union with Cumberland Presbyterians. One New School synod passed some resolutions calling for such union. The New School General Assembly of 1846 passed the following paper:

Whereas, there is a spirit abroad that seeks to unite in closer bonds the different divisions of the Christian Church; and whereas, there prevails extensively in some parts of our country an impression that a union between the Presbyterian Church and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church would be very desirable; and whereas, the General Assembly of that body did, at its session in May last, at Lebanon, Tennessee, appoint a committee of correspondence on the subject of Union; therefore,

Resolved, That this Assembly now appoint a committee to correspond with the aforesaid committee on the subject, to obtain all necessary information, and to present it to this Assembly at its next stated meeting.

Although this action was not known to the Cumberland Presbyterian Assembly of 1846, yet there had been so much written by members of the New School Church about union with our people, and so many friendly signals had been held out by synods and presbyteries, that this Assembly felt itself authorized to take some steps toward responding to these friendly expressions. It therefore appointed Dr. Richard Beard a corresponding delegate to the next New School Assembly. In 1847 our Assembly met at Lebanon, Ohio, while theirs met in Cincinnati. Their committee came to Lebanon, and there held a conference with our standing committee while the two Assemblies were in session. These two committees entered into an agreement not only for correspondence, but much more. The items of their agreement were in these words:

Resolved, Provided both Assemblies shall agree thereto, that the following plan of correspondence be adopted, viz: The General Assembly of each of these churches shall receive and appoint two delegates to each stated meeting of the General Assembly of the other church, who shall possess all the powers and privileges of other members of [318] such Assemblies, with the exception of the right of voting 2. It is hereby recommended that the synods and presbyteries of these churches which are contiguous, or which occupy the same territory, appoint and receive delegates to one another in like manner, and that they endeavor to cultivate a spirit of friendly correspondence and extended toleration, mutually to increase in courteous and fraternal feelings toward each other. 3. Vacant churches belonging to each denomination may at their own discretion, and under regulations to be provided by the presbyteries to which they belong, employ the ministers connected with the other body as temporary supplies for their pulpits, without a change in the ecclesiastical relations of such ministers or churches.

The Rev. Milton Bird, chairman of our standing committee, submitted this report to our Assembly immediately. The first item was unanimously agreed to. The second and third items were indefinitely postponed. The New School committee hastened to Cincinnati and submitted their report. There was considerable debate. The large slave-holding element in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church constituted the only objection. One prominent doctor said in his speech(2) that the Presbyterian Church owed the Cumberland Presbyterians an acknowledgement for the wrong which drove them into a separate organization. The chairman of the committee said that he had found no difference between the two churches in doctrine. Finally the whole matter was deferred till the next General Assembly.

Dr. Beard, as corresponding delegate to the Cincinnati Assembly, found himself in an awkward attitude. He was present and heard this discussion on the question of receiving corresponding delegates from the Cumberland Presbyterians. He declined to press his case on the attention of the Assembly; but after spending one day as a private spectator only, he returned to his home. He felt mortified and humiliated, and said he would never again allow himself to be placed in so embarrassing an attitude.

The New School Assembly of 1848, to which this report of the Committee on Fraternal Intercourse was referred, adopted the first item of this report, and appointed a delegate to the next Cumberland Presbyterian Assembly. Action on the second and third items was forestalled by what our Assembly had done the year [319] before. In spite of ecclesiastical marriages, fraternal correspondence has been kept up in some form between the two churches ever since. In 1850 the Rev. Edward McMillan, D.D., delegate from the New School church, closed his address to the Cumberland Presbyterian Assembly with these words:

The literary institutions of your church, with the divine blessing, will prove a most effective instrumentality for promoting that enlargement of mind and vigor of thought which, when united with evangelical piety, form such important qualifications for doing good on a large scale. We congratulate you most heartily in your success in securing the endowment of your university, and the encouraging prospects before you of establishing schools for your sons of the prophets. May Christ conduct your efforts in this undertaking to a prosperous termination. I would not fail to assure you that we rejoice much in the decidedly evangelical character of your religious periodicals.

Finally, brethren, I testify that I have with much happiness witnessed the excellent spirit with which you have conducted the business of your present sessions, and the tender regard continually shown by all your speakers for the feelings of their brethren. I shall long cherish the fondest recollections of this beginning of fraternal correspondence between these kindred branches of the church of Christ. May it be long continued, and, as it continues, may our mutual love, attachment, and cooperation in every good work be increased till the Master comes and finds us so doing.

It was not till 1860 that the Old School Assembly took steps toward an exchange of corresponding delegates with our Assembly. While Cumberland Presbyterians naturally waited for Presbyterians to move first in this matter, yet they hailed this movement with great joy.

At different times official efforts have been made to secure a complete history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The Assembly of 1847 appointed Dr. Cossitt to write such a history. This, like other similar appointments, came to nothing.

Two general fast-days were appointed in this period: one to pray for peace with England, in 1846, the Oregon difficulties being then portentous of war; and the other, in 1853, to pray that more preachers might be called and sent into the ministry. All through this period the Assembly kept up its efforts to secure full statistics, and a complete ministerial directory, but at no time were there full [320] reports from more than half the presbyteries. Not until after the war did all opposition to counting cease to show itself.

In 1855, while the General Assembly was in session at Lebanon, Tennessee, it received a letter from the Rev. Robert Donnell, written from his death-bed. It was a tender, fatherly letter, full of love and full of hope for the future of his church. He urged the importance of securing a full history of our church. He remonstrated against revising the Confession of Faith. He said of the Confession: "Though it is not perfect in phraseology, yet it has system and perfection enough to make us all think alike." The General Assembly appointed a committee to respond to this letter, and thus closed forever the church's earthly intercourse with one of the noblest of all its servants.

Memorials proposing to change the name of our church to American Presbyterian were voted down in 1850. Discussions about baptism were brought before the Assembly of 1857, and the traditional position of the church was steadfastly maintained.

In 1860 there were fifteen chartered Cumberland Presbyterian colleges, and thirteen academies and seminaries. Many other matters of vital importance which occupied the attention of the various Assemblies, having special chapters devoted to them, need not be now discussed. In 1855 the day of meeting for the General Assembly was changed to the third Thursday of May instead of the third Tuesday. In 1850 Milton Bird was elected stated clerk, C.G. McPherson having resigned. The synods that were formed in this period, or whose organization was ordered by the General Assembly, were: East Tennessee, 1843; Texas (recognized as existing), McAdow, Kentucky, Hernando, 1845; Cumberland (dissolved in 1852), 1848; Brazos, 1849; Ozark, Ouachita (incorrectly spelled Washita), 1852; Ohio, 1853; Colorado, 1854; Iowa (failed to organize), 1855; Mississippi, Second (name changed to Iowa afterward), 1856; White River, Central Illinois, 1859; Sacramento, 1860. The presbyteries named in the following list are mentioned for the first time in the Minutes of the Assembly at the dates here indicated:(3) Madison, Trinity, Yazoo, 1846; Allegheny, Springfield (Missouri), 1847; [321] Hodge,(4) Charlotte, Independence, 1848; Frazier, Ouachita, Marshall, 1849; Chillicothe, Ewing (Missouri), Harris, 1850; Ewing(5) (Arkansas), Union (Mississippi), Bartholomew, Brazos, Foster, and California, 1852; Oregon, Muskingum, 1853; Guadalupe, Little River, 1854; Tehuacana, Pacific, McMinnville, Waxahachie, West Iowa, 1855; Searcy, Kansas, White Rock, Greenville, 1856; Monroe, 1857; Frazier (reported dissolved), 1858; Mount Olive, Red Oak, Georgia, Davis, West Prairie, Decatur, Bacon, White Oak, Colesburg, Central Iowa, 1859; Kirksville, Sacramento, 1860.



MISSIONS--1843 TO 1860.


In all the territories which were opened to settlement during this period, as well as in all the new States mentioned in former chapters, Cumberland Presbyterian missions were planted, some under the general board, but a larger number under the care of presbyteries and synods. Church judicatures had long arms when it came to missionary work. A presbytery in Tennessee had a missionary in Texas. Most of this work by synods and presbyteries will have to be passed over in silence. However precious it may have been, it is only traceable now in the fruit which still abides. The special chapters devoted to the new States will bring to our notice some of these fruits, as well as some account of the general board's work in those States.

One feature of the home missionary work of this period was city missions. There were a great many of these, some under the general board and some under local boards. In Tennessee, missions were established at Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, and Jackson. These have all become self-sustaining churches, with good buildings finished and paid for.

In Kentucky the city missions of the period were Louisville and Paducah. At Louisville a good house was built and paid for, and a little congregation organized; but the house was lost during the war by processes which it is not now worth while to discuss. This mission has been revived, and now has a new house almost completed. Paducah became for a time self-sustaining.

In Missouri the city missions were at Saint Joseph and Saint Louis. [323] There were two at the latter city, one for the Germans and one for the Americans. These missions, especially the one for Americans, passed through many struggles and reverses, and will claim attention in another chapter of this history.

In Indiana our only city mission was at Evansville. It grew steadily, and is now one of the strongest congregations in the church.

In Illinois our people had missions at Peoria and Alton. At Peoria a church was built, but the mission failed to be sustained, and Cumberland Presbyterians have no congregation there. At Alton, after a long struggle, a self-sustaining church was established.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, our people attempted a mission, and succeeded in building a house. The Rev. F.G. Black, the missionary, spent one thousand dollars of his own money while struggling to establish this enterprise, but it was at last abandoned.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, there was a Cumberland Presbyterian mission. A good house was built and paid for. Over a hundred members were gathered into the congregation, but on account of its isolated condition the little church was peculiarly tried every year. As our people had no churches on that side of the Alleghenies, this congregation had no tributaries. Every member that moved out of its bounds to some distant part of the city was lost, and those who rented houses near the church could always find in the neighborhood a church of the same denomination to which they had before belonged. There was thus a constant drain on the membership. This forlorn outpost was finally abandoned.

In Texas there were missions at Austin, Jefferson, and San Antonio. The first two were in due time self-sustaining; the last, after being long abandoned, has in recent years been revived.

During this period there were successful missions at Little Rock, Arkansas; Corinth, Mississippi; Waukon, Iowa; and Shelbyville, Tennessee. All these are now self-sustaining churches. To the mission at Burlington, Iowa, the church paid more money than to any other city mission except Saint Louis. In spite of this large outlay the work there was an entire failure.

[324] There were missions in various smaller towns, which can not be enumerated here. City missions were a prominent feature of the work of the church in this period. During former periods towns and cities had generally, from the necessities of the case, been shunned. In spite of losses and failures the city mission work during this period yielded permanent results of good, far out-valuing the labor or the cost.

In 1834,(6) under what he considered divine leadings, the Rev. David Lowry undertook a mission to the Winnebago Indians. He had no church appointment, but he had pledges from the Indian agent that the usual aid from the United States government would be given him if he established a school among the Winnebagoes. Mr. Lowry first made his home at Prairie du Chien. On his arrival the Indians were celebrating a funeral with drunken orgies. Naked savages were lying prostrate on the ground and some of them howling like wolves. Their annuity had just been paid them and this enabled them to buy whisky. The missionary says he felt very much like he had undertaken to evangelize a herd of wild animals. The agent was absent. The promised school-buildings were not ready. It was a dark day. Mr. Lowry had his family with him, and they were filled with dismay.

The inhabitants of the town of Prairie du Chien were mostly French Catholics, but Mr. Lowry says they were but little better than the Winnebagoes. At first the Indians would not allow their children to attend Mr. Lowry's school. His first session was without a single pupil. But with unshaken courage and unyielding devotion the missionary persevered. In 1837, after three years of apparently fruitless struggle, the obstacles began to yield. That year the school had forty-two pupils. Mr. Lowry's preaching also bore good fruit. Doubtless many converts of this mission greeted him when he passed from earth to dwell by the side of the river of life.

In 1844 Mr. Lowry lost his appointment. He and others attributed this loss to the intrigues of Catholic priests. In 1846 his appointment was restored and he immediately returned to his mis [325] sion. An official report of the Indian sub-agent, J.E. Fletcher, after sketching the condition of the tribe, their crops, etc., speaks thus of the school:

The Winnebago school is in successful operation under the superintendence of the Rev. David Lowry. I have frequently visited the school and inspected the boarding and clothing departments. I find that the children in attendance are well supplied with wholesome food, and are suitably clothed. Neatness, order, and cheerfulness are apparent throughout the establishment. Mr. Lowry's management of the school is, I think, judicious. Patience and kindness are substituted for passion and severity. The general system of education adopted in the school is similar to the system ordinarily adopted in primary schools. The capacity of the scholars to learn is similar to that evinced by white children of the same age. The progress of the scholars attending the school is not equal to the progress usually made by white children. This difference on the part of the Indian is accounted for by his irregularity of attendance and the influences to which he is subject when not at school.

Believing that a practical knowledge of agriculture, and the formation of industrious habits is to the Indian youth of at least equal importance to the acquirement of literary knowledge, I recommended to the principal of the school that the boys of suitable age should be employed in manual labor a part of every day. The plan met his approbation, and was acted upon, and it is understood that manual labor, both in the field and in the shop, will be a part of the system of instruction in the school. There are at present three female and two male teachers employed. If it was considered probable that the Winnebagoes would long occupy their present home, I should deem it my duty respectfully to suggest to the department the expediency of establishing branches of this school or the establishment of additional schools at a point on the Iowa River, and also on the Red Cedar. Three bands of the Winnebagoes have concentrated on the east fork of the Red Cedar and built the best village in the nation, and have upward of one hundred children of a suitable age to attend school.

Mr. Lowry, in his official report to the United States Indian agent, dated Winnebago school, August 15, 1846, says:

I entered on the duties of superintendent of the Winnebago school on the first day of May last. Eighty-five children were found registered on the daily list; but as usual at all Indian schools, the whole number were not in constant attendance. Twenty new scholars have been added in the course of the summer, making one hundred and five now connected with the institution.

[326] This report goes on to state that some of the pupils had acquired "a respectable knowledge of figures, geography, etc.," and were learning to write. There were a few more girls than boys in attendance. The girls were taught to sew, and with the assistance of the lady in charge made all the clothes worn at the school, while the boys were "called out at regular periods to labor on the farm." Mr. Lowry stated that the condition of the Indians was greatly improved through the influence of the school. They owned more property, their physical sufferings were much diminished, there was a growing disposition to cultivate the soil, they employed horses to draw plows and wagons. The missionary adds: "They would live in houses, but have been discouraged by the government, owing to their unsettled state." He goes on to show that the great obstacle to the progress of the tribes was the want of a permanent home. This state of uncertainty prevented the erection of additional buildings needed by the school. The pupils returning to their houseless and homeless people, found their education of but little service. Mr. Lowry spoke of "whisky and intercourse with the whites" as "the stereotyped curse of the red man," and insisted that a people could not be raised from a savage to a civilized and happy state without religion. He suggested "the propriety of sending off, with the consent of their parents, a few of the most promising children of the school, to complete their education in some religious community." He also suggested the purchase of a printing-press for the use of the school.

In May, 1848, Mr. Lowry published in The Cumberland Presbyterian a brief history of this mission, allowing the evils of the liquor traffic among the Indians and the wrongs they suffered from the vices and greed of the whites. He says, "Sixteen years ago a government school was established among these Indians, under the care of a Cumberland Presbyterian minister. Buildings were erected on the west side of the Mississippi, in the interior of the country, teachers were employed, land plowed and fenced for them, and other advantages held out to induce them to settle in the vicinity. In 1837 they ceded all their country east of the Mississippi to the government, and in 1840, according to the stipulations of the treaty made at that time, new buildings were erected and [327] the school and agency removed fifty miles farther into the interior, that the Indians might be farther away from whisky and the contaminating vices of the frontier. It was not long, however, before the intervening forests and prairies began to be filled with rapidly growing settlements of whites. Whisky traders soon came with their red-stained barrels to engage in their murderous traffic." With whisky came drunkenness among the Indians--quarrels, fights and depredations. The people of Iowa soon began to clamor for the removal of the Indians from their boundaries. The government sent a commissioner, and the Winnebagoes were told that "the Great Father, the President," was pained to hear of their difficulties and depredations and thought his red children too near his white children, and wished them to go out farther, where game was plenty, and where they would be away from whisky and could live in peace. It was several years, however, before these negotiations were successful. At last, in 1846, the Indians ceded all their lands in Iowa to the government; but the government did not purchase for them the country promised, and they refused to move.

In 1848 the treaty was enforced, the government agreeing to obtain other lands for the Winnebagoes. The Indians were not satisfied with the treaty, and it took something like military force to induce them to accept its conditions. A letter written by Mr. Lowry from Fort Snelling, to his son, June 28, 1848, shows how reluctantly this treaty was complied with, and what embarrassments the missionary suffered on that account. This letter shows that Mr. Lowry's family, with other white families living among the Winnebagoes, foreseeing the trouble which was likely to result from an attempt to enforce the treaty, removed to Fort Snelling before the time appointed for the removal of the Indians. The result proved that this precaution was necessary. The Indians refused to move, and two hundred and fifty of their warriors armed themselves for battle. Sylvanus Lowry was sent for. He went immediately to the scene of trouble and threw himself between the Indians and the dragoons. The cry, "shoot him down," was heard, but he continued his appeal, and the Indians at last agreed to disperse. Some days of disputing followed, and then they took up their line of march. [328] But after they began their journey they held a council and a large majority declared against removing. All but about six hundred refused to proceed. The great majority did not remove until forced to do so.

Mr. Lowry and his son often interposed to prevent bloodshed. He followed the Indians to their new home in the far north-west. Here he again opened his school and had it well under way; but after a few years of successful labor he was again the victim.of intrigues, and lost his appointment.

Many of the older members of the church remember with what earnest words David Lowry used to plead in the pulpit for the perishing heathen. The years sweep on, Lowry has gone to his Father's house; a generation of heathen has also gone to eternity since those thrilling appeals were made, but still the church doles out its poor little pittance of men and money to Foreign Missions. And yet the thrilling interest at stake in the work which our King has commissioned us to do is far greater than all the earthly interests to which men are so ready to devote their money and their lives. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

Two noble young ladies, members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, went, in 1853, under the direction of the American Board of Missions, to work among the heathen. We know in a general way that they were successful missionaries, but we have no details of their work. They both belonged to that class of real Christians who give Christ the supremacy in all things. Their family name was Diamont, and their native State was New Jersey.

In 1854 David Lowry visited the Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Missions and appealed to its members for more help for the Indians. The board resolved to send him to the Indian country on a tour of inspection, clothing him with authority to appoint missionaries if he could find men suitable for the work. He made a very thorough investigation and submitted a report to the board. Some extracts from this report are here appended:

I traveled several hundred miles through the Choctaw Nation and preached wherever opportunity offered. The Rev. S. Corley, of Texas, was appointed to ride and preach in this country one half of his time. [329] His appointment and acceptance are herewith submitted. He is well known among the Indians, and no preacher could exert a stronger influence over them. He resides within thirty-miles of their country, and his Circuit will embrace a few congregations on the border of Texas, west of Red River. In preaching to the Indians he may have to employ occasionally an interpreter, and in view of such contingency his appointment permits him to draw on the board for a sum not exceeding fifty dollars. Two native Cumberland Presbyterian preachers, Israel Folsom and Payson Wiliston, have been appointed to ride and preach as extensively as their circumstances will permit, and report to the board quarterly. Their appointments are herewith submitted. Mr. Folsom is an ordained preacher, and his ministerial services among his people have been greatly blessed. Mr. Wiliston is a licentiate and full Indian. He is a man of much promise, and capable of doing great good; but he is poor and has a family depending on him, and can not preach extensively without aid from the board. He was in debt for a horse, and twenty dollars of missionary funds were appropriated to liquidate this debt.

Some preparatory steps were taken for the purpose of establishing schools and permanent missions in the Indian country, but no final action was taken. Although it is desirable to locate schools for the intellectual improvement of the Indians, yet my conviction is that itinerant preaching is more loudly called for now among the Choctaws than any other service the Cumberland Presbyterian Church can render. Many of their children have gone through the ordinary course of education at the schools and academies, and have returned to their homes without any deep religious impressions and are now entirely destitute of religious instruction. Their former teachers (though most of them ministers of the gospel) being confined to their schools, can not follow them with the word of life; therefore, unless itinerants can be introduced, it is difficult to see how they can be brought under the power of the gospel. They have abandoned the heathen religion, but they have not yet embraced Christianity, but it is believed that no people are more accessible to the truth than the educated Choctaws, could they be blessed with a zealous ministry.

Under the act of the late Choctaw legislature. ten boys were sent by me to Tennessee, to learn trades, and one came on his own responsibility to study law. Six of these boys have been bound as apprentices in Nashville and two in McMinnville. One is preparing for the ministry, and another has been put to school. I am happy to learn that thus far these boys are well pleased, and that they are receiving sympathy and encouragement in the communities where they reside. I shall confidently expect another company of boys to enter the university in the course of the winter.

[330] Mr. Lowry's report gives also a brief history of all the missions under other churches throughout the Indian country. The Cumberland Presbyterian Board pressed the work begun by Lowry. The Rev. R.W. Baker was added to the corps of itinerant preachers. He proved a faithful and successful missionary. Corley also was a true and noble Christian minister. They by their joint labors, aided by the Rev. Israel Folsom and other native preachers, brought into the church that year over six hundred members.

In 1855 Baker was placed by the board over Armstrong Academy, Choctaw Nation. In 1859 this school had one hundred pupils. Baker, while managing this mission school, still kept up his preaching, though within a smaller circle. The same year the board resolved to have a school for the Chickasaws. This was called Burney Academy. Its opening was delayed by the tardiness of the builder. The Chickasaw Nation furnished the buildings, and the board furnished the teachers. The Rev. F.D. Piner was appointed the first superintendent. In 1859 the Rev. R.S. Bell and his wife were sent by the board to teach the Chickasaw girls. Bell remained at his post all through the war, though all help from the board was cut off. All our Indian missionaries were exposed to hardships, but perhaps none of them suffered so much as R.S. Bell.

Israel Folsom was a strong man and a genuine Indian. He manifested a most touching devotion to the interests of his people. The writer of this history can never forget his last interview with him. If one could write an accent, or put the modulation and the emotional vibrations of the voice into a written sentence, then might the full meaning of Folsom's words about that portion of the Indian population which he, with flowing tears, said was rapidly lapsing back into barbarism be expressed on a printed page. One of his appeals to the board deserves a place here. The letter is addressed to the secretary of the Board of Missions.

Near Fort Washita, Choctaw Nation, December 30, 1852.

BROTHER ISAAC SHOOK:--I hope you will not become tired of me. Will you once more listen to my words as I speak? A child starving for want of bread can not be satisfied with any thing short of it. Here are people starving for the lack of the bread of life, and they will not [331] be satisfied with any thing else. I have been called upon again and again to go and preach to the people living twenty, forty, eighty, and one hundred and forty miles off. Not that I was any better than other preachers, but they hunger and thirst after the bread of life, and many of them tell me they want a Cumberland Presbyterian minister to preach to them. They reject no minister of any name. They would be glad to hear any preaching. I am speaking for those who spoke to me desiring to hear Cumberland Presbyterian preaching as their choice. It has been impossible for me to go and preach to them. We want help. We need it right now. Can you not send us one young minister, full of the Spirit of God, to preach to these people? By this way he could acquaint himself with the real wants of this Nation, and furnish your board with important information in reference to establishing a mission.

I have a complaint in my body which disables me from riding out and preaching. I also have a large family to provide for. It is out of my power to labor as much as I did formerly, and I do need help. Can you do any thing for us? I believe you can; I believe you are Willing. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much, and through your prayers we may expect help in due time. Send a missionary to my house, and let him make my house his home; he will be boarded and have his washing done for nothing, and his horse fed free. And I will also instruct him in acquiring the Choctaw language, that he may preach in the native tongue.

In going out to preach through different parts of the country where he is known as a preacher, the people will not charge him. But there are some who care very little for the gospel, that would no doubt charge. The missionary sent should have a good English education, at least ... Yours in Christ, ISRAEL FOLSOM.

Here is a letter from an Indian Chief to the Board of Missions:

Choctaw Nation, May 13, 1853.

BROTHER SHOOK:-I never saw you, but have often heard of you. It would give me much satisfaction to see and speak with you about the salvation of my people. I understand you have labored to send a man among my people to teach them the way of life. I thank you. I trust God will bless your labors. I once thought of going to the General Assembly, but have failed.

The word of God says, "The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." If any could be said to be lost whom the Son of man came to seek and to save, I think the poor red man may truly be placed among them. God did not reject us, but came to seek and save us. We hope that his friends will not reject us. I hope that [332] your board will soon send a man in the name of Christ to come, and seek and save the poor lost red man. Our foes are many and Powerful. Our woes are heavy on us. We are distressed on every side. We want friends and help. Shall we find them in the Cumberland church? It seems now that the last and only hope for aid to be relied upon is the church of Christ. Shall we hope that the Cumberland Presbyterian Church will send us help? Brother, pardon me for the liberty I take to write to you. I desire only the good of my people. Your brother in Christ,

GEORGE FOLSOM, Chief of Pushimataha District.

Besides the earnest old Choctaw, Israel Folsom, who was the first native Cumberland Presbyterian preacher, and to whom the Missionary Board gave some small salary, several other natives also entered the ministry during this period. Several Indians, both Chickasaws and Choctaws, came to our church schools in Tennessee. Among them there was occasionally found a young man preparing for the ministry.

Though these missions were more recent than Robert Bell's in Mississippi, yet none of the missionaries preserved for us journals or other data for a full history, as Robert Bell did. We see now only the fruits of their toil, in native preachers, churches, and Presbyteries.

Besides the regular native preachers who co-operated with Corley and Baker, they also called to their aid a considerable number of Christian laymen from the native churches. These traveled with them during " the camp-meeting season " each year. One of these whom they called Frazier, was especially valuable to the missionaries. He could interpret for them. Occasionally when translating the preacher's words he would break forth in an exhortation of his own. Mr. Corley, who was more dependent on the interpreter than any of the other missionaries, became greatly attached to Frazier. The board often called for more men for this work, but failed to get half the number called for. Still the work done and the results obtained were of great and lasting importance.

Though the voice of every General Assembly recommended co-operation with the American Board in foreign work, yet there was a growing feeling in favor of having our own foreign missionaries tender the Cumberland Presbyterian Board. It was argued that the [333] strength of the church could not be brought fully into service for the Master until our people engaged directly in the foreign work. It was said also that the church had no means of knowing what its congregations were doing for Foreign Missions, that it was not known whether our people were asleep or awake. It was urged, too, that the church and the ministry needed the inspiration and the training which nothing but work in the foreign field could give. These and many similar arguments finally prevailed. But the relations with the American Board were not at once severed. Our congregations were left free to contribute to that board. For many years our people continued to send help to the foreign work through that channel.

The first Cumberland Presbyterian missionary to a distant land was Edmond Weir, whose work was in Liberia, Africa. This mission was opened providentially. Weir was a young colored man, who was licensed to preach and afterward ordained by Anderson Presbytery, in Kentucky. Though a slave, he had succeeded in securing a good education. The American colonization movement was then enlisting many in all the Southern States. Many slaves were manumitted and sent to Liberia. Among these were two older brothers of Edmond Weir, who had secured a good education. They studied law, and on their arrival in Liberia entered the practice of this profession. Edmond Weir wanted to go to Africa as a preacher of the gospel. He was manumitted and sent to Liberia for that purpose. Through the influence of his brothers he was elected sheriff. From this office he secured a living and preached without salary. In 1857, five years after his removal to Africa, he came back to America in order to secure missionary help. He wanted money and men. The board commissioned him as missionary, and sent him out among the churches to raise funds to build a house of worship.

The Watchman and Evangelist, published at Louisville, Kentucky, mentions Weir's visit to that city, and says that a large audience greeted him at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and that his address was listened to with great attention, and that a liberal collection was taken up for the mission. The ladies of the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Louisville organized a society [334] "for the purpose of affording such aid as the Liberia Mission might need in the way of clothing and school books."

The Board of Missions, through its president, the Rev. F.R. Cossitt, published a stirring appeal to the ministers and members of the church in behalf of this mission. In this appeal the board urged upon our people the force of Christ's command, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel;" and pointed out the crying need for missionary work in Africa, declaring that no Church which neglected the Lord's great commission could long live and prosper. It called attention to the providential circumstances which led the board to undertake this mission. On going to Liberia, Mr. Weir had found a number of people who had been Cumberland Presbyterians before their removal from the United States. While some of these had joined other churches, there were many who had preferred to wait for the providence of God to open the way for them to unite with a church of their own faith. This mission seemed to be God's appointed means of opening the way. It was proposed to establish the mission at Cape Mount, a thriving sea-coast town, near which Weir had settled, and where there was no church. The board stated in its appeal that the missionary had already received six hundred dollars for his building, and that this was not quite half the sum needed.

He was finally successful in raising the money, but the board's call asking those who owned colored Cumberland Presbyterian preachers to set them free so that they might be sent with Weir to Liberia, was not successful. Weir returned alone, and amid many discouragements, carried on his solitary work in Africa. At one time he received a request from the king of a neighboring tribe to send Mrs. Weir to be governess for the king's daughters. The proposition was not according to Mr. Weir's fancies. Mrs. Weir had her heart set on other things, as an extract from a letter written by her to Mrs. Hunter will show. In this letter she describes the kind of clothing needed by the boys in the mission--"trousers and shirts made of any kind of cloth." She speaks of her desire to help the native girls as well as the boys, and of the pleasure she would take in making clothes for these poor heathen children if the material could be furnished her. She adds with touching simplicity:

[335] "You do not know how glad I am to help in the work of God among the heathen in this dark part of the world." Her letter continues:

My health is indifferent, and has been for some time. I need the prayers of all the praying friends in America. I expect to open a regular day school for the native children. All that I ask of my friends is a few common books. I beg the friends not to deny me these. I know that I can't do this work of myself, but I know that God can and will help me. He has helped me. About one year and six months ago we had a small boy given to us out of the Goler country. When he came, he had no clothing, and I gave him a piece of calico to fit around himself; he went so about a month. I could not bear that. Mr. Weir told me to take some of his garments and make clothes for the boy. I did so. We named him Willa. It was a long time before I could get him to understand. I tried and tried until I thought my work was in vain. But at last his stammering tongue was loosed. On the 26th of July was our day of celebration, and we also examined our Sabbath School. Willa was in the midst and recited some verses which he had committed to memory.

The voice of the board was in favor of China as a field in Which to begin work for the heathen. To this, however, there was one exception. Dr. Cossitt, while saying nothing against other fields, kept pleading the cause of Japan. Meantime four young men in Cumberland University offered themselves simultaneously to the board for the foreign work. The General Assembly was consulted, but there was unaccountable delay. These four young men made other engagements. Then the Rev. J.C. Armstrong, a graduate of the theological school at Lebanon, Tennessee, felt special impressions to go to Turkey as a missionary. In 1859 he offered himself to the Board of Missions for this special work. His offer was accepted, and the board sent him out as an agent to raise funds for his mission. He was quite successful in this agency and by the General Assembly in May, 1860, he was specially consecrated to his work as a missionary to Turkey. The story of this mission belongs to the next period of this history.






The beginnings of the work of Cumberland Presbyterians in Iowa before the close of the third period (1842) were so small that it has seemed best to reserve the history of the origin of the church in that State for this chapter.

When David Lowry, in 1834, planted his mission in Iowa, the whole of that country except some small settlements was occupied by Indians, though treaties for its cession had been agreed upon. There were no Protestant churches on Iowa soil. At the points where Indian agents were stationed there were United States troops and some French families.

Mr. Lowry organized the first church of our people, and the first Protestant church in Iowa, in 1834. It was composed of soldiers, officers of the United States army, government employees, and a few Indians. When the Indians and soldiers were removed that was the end of the organization.

Iowa was organized as a separate Territory with its own Territorial government in 1838. Three years before this a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, the Rev. Joseph Howard, settled among the emigrants in Iowa. The next year, May, 1836, the Rev. Cyrus Haynes traveled in this country and organized a church in Mr. Howard's house. Counting Mr. Lowry's organization at the mission, this church in Mr. Howard's house was the second Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in Iowa. At the organization of [337] this church Mr. Haynes baptized Mr. Howard's infant son. That son is now the Rev. J.S. Howard, of Oxford, Mississippi.

In 1853 the Rev. J.G. White was laboring in Iowa as an independent evangelist, that is independent of any salary from church boards. The first camp-meeting of which mention is made was held by him and B.B. Bonham, August 1843, at Mount Pleasant. Thirteen professions were reported.

Like all the pioneer congregations in the new Territories, each of these Iowa Cumberland Presbyterian Churches embraced a large area, requiring several preaching places. In 1844 the Sangamon Synod ordered J.G. White, B.B. Bonham, Joseph Howard, and J.M. Stockton to constitute the Iowa Presbytery. In 1846 there were nine congregations represented in this presbytery.

In 1848 the Rev. Neil Johnson rode the circuit in Iowa, and received from the settlers two hundred and fifteen dollars for his services. There were then six ordained ministers (one had been deposed), and twelve congregations in Iowa Presbytery.

All through this early period there were in Iowa many Mormons and Catholics. Ruffianism was everywhere. Whisky and pistols, outlaws and murderers, mingled with the heterogeneous mass of emigrants. It required preachers with sterling courage to make their way in the midst of such a population. Men like J.G. White seemed to enjoy such hardships and perils. The Rev. John Cameron and the Rev. Wm. Lynn are also mentioned among the pioneers of Iowa,(7) but no facts or incidents connected with their work have been secured. The Rev Benjamin Hall was among the successful laborers in that field.

It was a favorite scheme of David Lowry to concentrate in Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota a strong home missionary force. One of the warmest debates ever heard in the rooms of the Missionary Board at Lebanon, Tennessee, was on that question. That debate is mentioned in Dr. Richard Beard's diary, and he speaks in terms of the. deepest mortification and regret about the failure of Mr. Lowry's plans. Several of his letters, written to Lowry, on this subject are preserved.

[338] In 1856 the board commissioned the Rev. J.C. Armstrong to go as missionary to the North-west. It was Mr. Lowry s wish that the missionary should begin his work at Prairie du Chien. Taking letters of Introduction, this young man, just out of the theological school, set out for his first field of labor. The Rev. J.M.B. Roach, who was appointed to accompany him, failed in health, and Armstrong went alone. On his arrival at Prairie du Chien, he found little but ruins. The town and Fort Crawford were gone. The church where General Zachary Taylor had regularly attended Mr. Lowry's preaching was gone. Only a few settlers remained.

A citizen of Iowa, named P.C. Balsinger, was a sporting gentleman, who kept race-horses, and who was wealthy. Armstrong had a letter of introduction to C.C. Balsinger, and, supposing this person to be the one intended, he presented his letter. Mr. Balsinger read it with a look of scorn and wrath, then tossed it back to Armstrong, saying: "Sir, I am not the man; this man lives away down on Turkey River." Armstrong, after some further conversation with him, set out for Turkey River. He found the right Balsinger this time, and met a most cordial welcome. This man was the father of the horse-racer, and was a Pennsylvanian who had been converted at one of John Morgan's meetings.

The missionary appointed a camp-meeting at Mr. Balsinger's. When this meeting began the races at Colesburg were going on. Great crowds of people passed the encampment, going to the races. Armstrong, though without ministerial assistance, went bravely on with the daily services. Monday, the fourth day of the meeting, a strange scene was witnessed. Loaded wagons began coming in from Colesburg, and kept coming. All these wagons brought tents, provisions, and families, coming to attend the camp-meeting. Among others who came was the sporting gentleman, P.C. Balsinger, with his family. When the call for mourners was made, Mr. Balsinger, the horse-racer, rose and made a talk. He said he had been under conviction ever since he read Armstrong's letter of introduction, and was now determined to seek his soul's salvation. Then, turning to his seven sons who had come with him to the camp-meeting, he asked the people to pray for him and his boys. He found the Savior that day, and his conversion gave new life to [339] the meetings. A great revival followed. The converted horse-racer was a man of great liberality. Each day he would mount the pulpit and invite everybody to come and eat with him at his tent.

Out of this meeting grew the Hopewell church, which Armstrong organized, making P.C. Balsinger an elder therein. This elder made a large-hearted and faithful worker for Jesus. At this meeting the wife, daughter, and two sons of a Roman Catholic were converted. Almost at the risk of their lives by the enraged drunken husband and father, they joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

On an Indian pathway, at some springs in the prairie, there had grown up a little village called Waukon. Thither Armstrong next directed his steps. His work there was owned of Heaven, and many souls were converted. In September, 1856, he organized the Waukon church with thirty-one members. When the missionary left this field in 1859, Waukon congregation had built a house of worship, and paid for it.

In July, 1857, through Armstrong's importunities, the Rev. P.H. Crider was sent by the Missionary Board to his assistance, Armstrong guaranteeing missionary money enough from Iowa to meet the salary. In this arrangement his trust in the pioneers was not disappointed. The following letter gives a glimpse of Mr. Arm- strong's labors in this field:

Waukon, Iowa, September, 15th, 1856.

The prospects are still bright here. My strength failed after I wrote last, and I closed the meetings. But as the interest was still great in the town, I afterward resumed the work, and we had meetings four nights, resulting in five conversions, making in all twenty-nine. Our little band, organized the 21st of August, now numbers forty-four members. Owing to the want of a house, we have not had our meetings regularly, but will resume them again tonight.

On Thursday next I will start again for Colesburg, sixty miles distant, and will hold a meeting in that town. ...

Waukon is improving very rapidly. Our Sabbath School is ably conducted. The number in attendance yesterday was 114, with increasing interest. The Maine Law is enforced to the letter in town. The Temperance Association has 200 members. We have a joint stock of seven thousand dollars to enforce the Liquor Law. Nearly sixty houses were built in all in 1856.

[340] Colesburg is a larger town than Waukon, and much older, but Satan has had almost supreme dominion in that community. The Protestant churches there are not much mole than a name. They have been daubed with untempered mortar. The truth startles them, enraging some, and breaking down many. Members of the different churches were seen crowding to the anxious seat, and crying for mercy at our late revival. Pray for us, for we are a needy few, often assailed and persecuted.


In 1857, Armstrong and Crider, and the Rev. Joshua Loughran, of Wisconsin, organized the Colesburg Presbytery, extending from forty degrees north latitude to the North Pole. In 1858 the Rev. D.A. Houghton came into the Cumberland Presbyterian Church from the Congregationalists, and took charge of the upper Iowa mission.

In these missions the pioneer preachers suffered many privations, and were often exposed to danger. Once Armstrong was shot at while in the pulpit preaching. At a camp-meeting a mob came to kill him, but others gathered to his defense and he was unhurt. He says he often went where there was danger of being killed, but God took care of him. He was never harmed. The pioneers contributed liberally to his support.

In Iowa at this time (1886) there is one small Cumberland Presbyterian synod composed of three small Presbyteries, with an aggregate of seventeen ordained ministers and six licentiates, but no candidates. In that field, and everywhere, the perpetuation and growth of the church demand that the money and the prayers of our people be devoted to raising up a home supply of preachers.

There have been Cumberland Presbyterian missions in several other north-western States. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have all been visited by individual enterprise. In 1859 the Missionary Board reported that the Rev. A.H. Houghton had been commissioned to travel and preach in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota There is no record of the extent of his success in Minnesota. In 1860 the board's report again mentioned Houghton as missionary in this field and adds, "He is doing a good work." In 1857 the board resolved to establish a mission in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. Some money was raised for that purpose, but no missionary was sent. The work dragged along till the war put an end to [341] such enterprises. Good meetings were held in several of these north-western States, and some feeble churches were organized, but the population being made up of emigrants from States where there are no Cumberland Presbyterians, it was the more difficult for our people to gain a permanent foothold. Among the early settlers in Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Oregon, California, and Washington, there was a large Cumberland Presbyterian element, therefore these States and Territories offered more inviting fields for our ministers.

Our Church has sometimes tried to press its way into fields where there was no providential opening, but the results have never been satisfactory. There are fields where others are manifestly chosen of God to bear his name to the perishing, and where Cumberland Presbyterians are not so chosen; and there are other fields where our people have a high mission to fill simultaneously with others. Let us follow the divine leading.





California gold was not the precious stone, but the dust which encumbered it. God rules, and he has used even man's lust for riches as a means of carrying the gospel to multitudes of perishing immortals. The work of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on the Pacific coast began in Oregon, and extended from that field to California.

Oregon was disputed territory till 1846. The claimants had been Spain, England, and the United States, but in 1818 Spain relinquished all her claims in favor of the United States. Both Great Britain and America, knowing the great difficulties which beset this question, shrank for many years from attempting a settlement of boundaries. Fur companies with their employees were there from both nations, and with no kindly feeling toward each other. The first meetings of commissioners to settle the boundaries ended in nothing but an agreement to postpone the difficulty, and leave the pioneers to joint occupation of the country. While treaties in 1846 averted a war and settled the boundaries, yet it was not till 1848 that Oregon was organized as a Territory of the United States with regular territorial government.

The difficulties in the way of colonizing Oregon by the Americans were so great that prominent writers in British quarterlies prophesied that it would never be done.(8) The route by sea around Cape Horn, and the route overland across the great desert and the Rocky Mountains, were alike appalling. In spite of these difficul [343] ties two Methodist preachers (Lee and Shepherd) took a colony of Americans to Oregon in 1834, twelve years before the boundary question was settled. It was a daring thing, but it was done. This colony of Methodists went by sea, and settled in Willamette Valley.

Fur traders and government expeditions began to call attention to the overland route. Mr. Parker, the missionary, led a band over the dreadful desert and across the Rocky Mountains in 1835. Next year the ill-fated mission of Whitman, Gray, and Spaulding (American Board) was planted in Oregon.

All this time American settlers in Oregon had to encounter hostile Indians and unfriendly English fur traders. They settled, too, on soil whose ownership was still in dispute. They reached their destination through dangers, trials, and losses rarely paralleled. In 1839 the following list of prices on Green River was published for the information of emigrants. Whisky (of course this came first), three dollars a pint. Dogs (for food), fifteen dollars apiece. Tobacco, five dollars per pound. Flour, none to be had. Whisky, dogs, tobacco-that was the bill of fare!

The first Cumberland Presbyterian who undertook to plant a colony in Oregon was the Rev. J.A. Cornwall. He made his call for colonists in 1844, two years before the war-cloud which grew out of the boundary question passed away. It was 1846 when his colony reached Oregon. The Rev. J.E. Braly and his family went in 1847. Long afterward Mrs. Braly ("Aunt Sue ") often recited the story of this daring journey. They started in 1846, but halted on the Platte till the next year. Indians dogged their steps, and sometimes stole their cattle. One favorite method with the red men was to stampede these animals. Overland emigrants relied mainly on cattle. Every family took as many oxen as possible. Cows, too, were sometimes yoked to draw the wagons, or driven in herds. Cattle not only endured the journey better than horses, but they constituted the most desirable property after the journey was finished. For mutual Protection large numbers of families formed a company, elected a captain, gave him almost military authority, and traveled in one band or "train." Thus an army of cattle was brought together. These animals vast [344] herds, frightened and stampeded, became as destructive as a tornado. After they were thus scattered they could never all be gathered together again. A stampeded train meant the death of many an emigrant during the stampede, and starvation to many another afterward.

On his arrival in Oregon Mr. Braly stopped with his family at Whitman's mission. There he found a most welcome rest for himself and his family, and he felt disposed to remain till thoroughly recruited. To this, however, there arose an obstacle. Mrs. Braly told him one day that she felt an overwhelming presentiments of evil, and could not consent to remain at Whitman's any longer. Mr. Braly expostulated, but "Aunt Sue " said, "I'll die if I have to stay one day longer." The result was that Braly took up his line of march for other portions of Oregon. He was just in time, for soon after his departure the whole country was ringing with the tidings of the horrid massacre by the Indians of all the people at Whitman's Station.

It was generally believed by the Protestants that this deed was instigated by the Jesuit priests, who were exceedingly averse to having Protestant missions established in that country. There was an independent provisional government in the territory belonging to no nation, but watched by English and Americans alike. The militia under the control of this government went in pursuit of the murderers of the missionaries. Mr. Braly's horses were pressed into the service by these militia-men, but he afterward recovered them. There was an official investigation of the charges against the Jesuit priests, but the story of this massacre does not belong to this history.

Some facts concerning emigration to Oregon at this early period will be of service in explaining the work of the first Cumberland Presbyterian preachers in that country. Some statements about a body of eight hundred emigrants (1843) are quoted from the Overland Monthly:

Successful as the first large emigration was in safely reaching eastern Oregon, the emigrants found one of the most difficult portions of their journey would be the passage of tile Cascade Mountains with their families, household stuff, wagons, and stock. Upon arriving at [345] the Dalles, very few of these eight hundred people had any provisions left. Neither had the colonists made any preparations for theta. Many of them had left their exhausted cattle in the Walla Walla country to recruit until spring. Others expected to drive theirs into the Willamette Valley by a narrow pack-trail, over which it was impossible to take the wagons. In tilts extremity the very Corporation they had been taught t~o fear and dislike came to their assistance, with food for the starving families and boats for transportation (town the Columbia. Those who could not pay fared as well as those who could. The colonists had made no preparation for the reception of the eight handled new settlers; neither was there food nor shelter for all these people, nor teams to break up the sod, nor seed to put in the earth for the next year's provisions. Credit had to be extended to large numbers of these people? whose little all was exhausted by the long anal wasting journey from the Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean. The colonists themselves could not relieve such a number. The mission store had no authority to give credit; the few small traders already in the country would not. Dr. McLaughlin alone was both able and willing. Thus none of the immigrants suffered as they must have suffered without this assistance.

Dr. McLaughlin was the agent of the Hudson Bay Fur Company (British), and for this kindness to American emigrants he was deprived of his office.

One of the keen disappointments which immigrants encountered was that which they met after reaching Oregon. They reached the high mountains of Oregon with exhausted and starving teams. To their amazement and horror they often found it impossible to cross these mountains before another year. Thus the Rev. J.A. Cornwall and his party were forced to tarry through the winter of 1846. When spring came nearly all the cattle and other property belonging to these suffering immigrants was gone, and they made their way to the settlements under difficulties which no pen can describe.

The Rev. Neil Johnson went to Oregon in 1851, and the Rev. J.H.D. Henderson in 1852. Johnson lost nearly all his earthly possessions on the journey. Many emigrants in 1852 perished on the way. Johnson, while on his journey, writes thus to one of the church papers:

There are a few things connected with the journey that are far from being pleasant. The first is the weather. Scarcely a day passes [346] without a storm of rain and hail and thunder and lightning all combined, and sometimes these continue for many hours together. This, combined with a scarcity of fuel, often makes the emigrant feel any thing but comfortable. The scarcity of fuel is quite an inconvenience. What there is in the way of wood consists mainly of cottonwood and willow. These are generally found on islands in the river, and may be obtained by wading from fifty to one hundred yards. But for days together you will travel and not see so much as a riding switch. Then your alternative for fuel is "buffalo chips"--a very poor substitute, especially in wet weather. Or drift-wood may be found in some places along the margin of the river; or occasionally the remains of an emigrant's wagon. But little calculation can be made on the latter, from the fact that when a wagon is to be left it is nearly all burned by the company before leaving camp.... The abundance of alkali water has cause(l many a pool ox to leave his bones to bleach on the prairie. This extends at intervals for a thousand miles of the journey all along Platte River, all(I until you reach Big Sandy. Should you get along early in the season the danger is not so great; but when the dry season sets in, and the ravines cease to run, then look out for poison. The common remedy when cattle are poisoned is lard, fat bacon, or citric acid. These, if administered in time, generally give relief. ...

Another Cumberland Presbyterian emigrant while on this dreary journey writes about the cholera thus:

The dead are disposed of in a summary manner. The grave is dug as soon as the breath leaves the body. This occupies about half an hour; not that graves are dug so shallow, but the earth is so sandy and soft that the work is soon accomplished. The corpse is then borne upon a blanket, or some of the bed-clothes upon which the person died, and let down into its final abode, this blanket answering for winding sheet and coffin. The sand is then replaced, the name, residence, date of death, etc., inscribed upon a board placed at the head, and the train is all probably under way again in thirty minutes. In such graves hundreds are sleeping.

In 1852 the emigration was so large that the grass was exhausted, and the emigrants who started late not only lost all their cattle and other property, but a great many of the men and women perished on the journey. Through such difficulties as these the first Cumberland Presbyterian preachers made their way to Oregon. Our first congregation in Oregon was organized by Mr. Cornwall, aided by J. E, Braly. The Rev. Neil Johnson has published [347] a historical Sketch of our Church in that country, Which shows that the organization of the Oregon Presbytery was ordered in 1847, and this order was carried out November 3, 185 r. The members present were Neil Johnson, J.A. Cornwall, and Joseph Robertson. The Rev. A.W. Sweeney was present as a visitor. Licensed preachers present: B.F. Music and John Dillard. Four congregations were represented. A great revival was reported. Braly had gone to California, as had many private members.

In 1853 this frontier presbytery resolved to have a college. It raised the money and built a house. It secured a $20,000 scholarship endowment. It employed a graduate of Waynesburg College for president, and opened the institution. The infidels of Eugene City, where the school was located, were its bitter enemies. In a few weeks some Incendiary burl led down the buildings. A hall was rented for temporary use, and other buildings erected. The teaching force was enlarged, and the school had One hundred and fifty pupils when the buildings were again destroyed by fire. Then our people erected a fire-proof building, but unfortunately went in debt for a large part of the work. The infidels started a rival enterprise, and struggled to alienate those who had promised to contribute for the erection of the fire-proof buildings. By reason of accumulated disasters payments were not met, and the buildings were sold for debt. This ended the college enterprise. Private schools, however, were kept up by our people in different parts of Oregon with good results.

A manuscript sketch of the history of our church in Oregon, prepared by the venerable Jacob Gillespie, gives some additional particulars about the fire-proof college building. It seems that a storm came and swept away the roof after the building was nearly completed. Mr. Gillespie also mentions some other struggles of tile Oregon churches to secure educational facilities. Surely they have had to brave many difficulties. Gillespie gives a graphic picture of the scattered condition of our people in that country. Oregon included at first the whole of What is now Washington Territory, and was once thought to extend to 54° 40' north latitude. In a territory large enough for an empire a half dozen preachers and a few feeble churches were scattered here and there.

[348] The Rev. T.H. Small and the Rev. Jacob Gillespie were among these pioneer preachers in Oregon.

All these men had to earn their own bread. The immigrants were generally poor, and could not sustain pastors. There was no Cumberland Presbyterian minister in all the territory whose hands were freed from secular pursuits. Yet our preachers planted churches and worked patiently on. How valuable a consecrated minister, sustained by the missionary Board for a few years, might have been! The church did not have even one such helper on any part of the Pacific coast.

Gillespie-was one of the original members of Willamette Presbytery. He has been in the ministry over fifty-six years. He organized a congregation in Oregon thirty-seven years ago. He calls attention to the fact that the Cumberland Presbyterian ministers in Oregon are nearly all old men.

Our church has three Presbyteries in what once was Oregon Territory. The Oregon Presbytery has six ordained ministers and one licensed preacher. Wall a Walla Presbytery has twelve ordained ministers and no probationers. The Willamette Presbytery has nine ordained ministers and two licentiates. This lack of a home supply of rising ministers is startling, and ought to send all the surviving pioneers in that field to God in earnest prayer that their own sons may be called into the ministry.

It was not till 1859 that Oregon became a State in the American Union. It is still a new field with ample room for growth.

The acquisition of California by the United States, and the discovery of gold there immediately afterward (1848), produced a rush of population from all parts of the world, such as perhaps never had a parallel. All the tongues of the earth mingled in the jargon that babbled about the mines. All grades of scholarship and culture, as well as all grades of ignorance and vice, were represented among the gold diggers. A desert, waterless, treeless, foodless, stretching wider than Sahara, could not check the great rush from the States. The way was paved with skeletons, but the gold hunters pressed on. Men perished in the snows of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but other parties still kept coming with larger forces. California was peopled at once.

[349] The change from the sluggish progress under the padres, which had marked the last three hundred years of California life, was like waking from a vague dream and a quiet sleep in your own chamber to find yourself in the midst of a city which infuriated armies are sacking. Among these wild and motley masses at the mines, as well as among the dead who fell on the journey, were many members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Some of our ministers were also among these transient multitudes.

All was transient. A city of tents would spring up where gold abounded, and if "better diggings" were discovered elsewhere, the city would vanish in a week, leaving perhaps a dozen Chinamen to rewash "the tailings." Four hundred thousand letters were returned from California to the dead letter office in a single year. The soldiers in our great civil war were more permanent and far more readily found than were these mining populations.

Ruffians and Christian gentlemen, preachers and people, all alike went to California to dig gold. The scholarly clergyman girt himself with a revolver and shouldered his spade. Alas, too, that it should be necessary to add that some of these clergymen became notorious gamblers before they left the mines. A young minister was fitted out by the Rev. Hugh B. Hill and furnished money to go to California and preach to the miners. This was in the beginning of the great rush thither. This young man made his way to the Golden Gate, and there, after six months among the pioneers, set up a gambling saloon. Nor was his the only case of this kind. This unfortunate feature of the history of the church in California is mentioned that it may be known that our true men in that field had such traitors in their camp, and were crippled in their work for Jesus by their evil example.

But some true men went with their families to California in 1849, aiming to preach as much as was consistent with their circumstances. They all had their own families to support. Our board sent no missionary to California until ten years later. The only men who remained true to their calling among the first Cumberland Presbyterian preachers in that country were those who received no help from the Church.

The first of these to arrive in California was Rev. John E. [350] Braly.(9) He went from Oregon and settled first at Fremont. Putting up a canvas structure, he established a Christian boarding house for the miners. He was then without property, but tie soon made money. On the 4th of July, 1849, he began his ministry to the gold diggers, Indians, and heathen. Some say his was the first Protestant preaching in California.

Another true man and faithful minister in that field was the Rev. T.A. Ish. In a letter dated Sacramento City, March 25, 1850, which was published in The Cumberland Presbyterian, he says he "left the land of civilization" on the 5th of May, 1849, and arrived in California September 12. In the latter part of the journey the cattle grew so weak that they had to be abandoned, and were left to perish in the desert. The letter continues:

When I arrived here I was worn out with the fatigue of the journey and much debilitated by an attack of fever. In a short time, however, I recovered my health, and it has been unusually good ever since. For a time I stopped in the vicinity of Fort Sutter, a town of four or five thousand inhabitants, mostly intelligent and energetic men. I afterward came to Sacramento City, and will probably stay here during my residence in California. I, with many others, had something of the gold fever, yet I could not content myself to sit down as an idler in the Lord's vineyard. After consulting a few of the brethren and friends, I resolved to make an effort to have a house of worship erected. The house is now completed, in good order, and is a comfortable room, well furnished, where some three or four hundred persons may comfortably sit and hear the gospel of peace. The city has so enlarged that we want several churches. You can not imagine how much good it did us on last Sabbath week, and yesterday, to meet in our church to worship together. The Rev. J.M. Cameron and myself have both preached each Sabbath since the completion of our room. He came to this city a few weeks since with his family, but he is talking of leaving this place and going lower down in the country.

There are several substantial members of our church here, and I think we could after a while organize a tolerably respectable congregation. We have enough ordained preachers in this country to form a presbytery, but gold has such a distracting influence that I do not know whether they can be got together or not. The Rev. J.E. Braly is in the town of Fremont, twenty-five or thirty miles above Sacramento [351] City. Brothers Mansfield and Moore are in the mines. These, as far as I know, are the only Cumberland Presbyterian preachers in this country. Here are people from every nation under heaven who much need the gospel. The harvest is white, but the laborers are few. Strikingly was my mind impressed last night at our prayer-meeting by the petition offered in every prayer, "Lord, send more laborers into thy vineyard!" This was sanctioned by hearty amens from all the praying band. It is only now and then, amidst the busy throng, that I am permitted to see the face of a minister of the gospel. The Methodists have a good church here, and a faithful man to preach to them. The miners in many parts are said to be doing very well, obtaining from $16 to $50 per day.

The Rev. Cornelius Yager has long been a faithful Cumberland Presbyterian minister in California. With six motherless children he arrived in that country in 1850. He had a hard journey across the plains, and had to go immediately to work to earn bread. At first the only opportunity open to him for work and wages was to do hauling with his ox teams. From that day to this Mr. Yager has labored with his own hands for bread, preaching regularly on Sabbaths. Once, for the sake of sacred interests, he consented to represent his fellow-citizens in the legislature. A man of peace, a hard worker, a safe counselor, he has been of great service to our little churches in his adopted State.

In 1854, Linville Dooley, a married man, and a candidate for the ministry, arrived with his family in California. He had been there as a gold miner before he made up his mind to enter the ministry. This time he went to this country exclusively to preach Christ. He went at his own charges, with the deliberate purpose of bearing any and all privations that might come to him in the prosecution of his chosen life work. He has never swerved from this purpose. Receiving less than three hundred dollars annually for his labors, and supporting a large family in a land where meat was at first a dollar per pound, he has gone faithfully on in his work for thirty-two years. He has organized a number of congregations and received many converts into the church. Much of his time has been spent "on the circuit" among the miners. Through all these years he has faithfully kept a diary. He has preached on the streets, in drinking saloons, in dance-houses, in gambling dens, [352] in hotel dining-rooms, and in other strange places. Some idea of the character of communities in which he has held meetings may be gathered from the names of the towns mentioned in his diary. Samples of these are Humbug, Red Dog, You Bet, Poker Flat, and Gouge Eye.

Although Mr. Dooley is now old, and of course has accumulated no worldly wealth, he says he expects to pursue the same calling till the Master takes him home. He says he has no regrets over his long years of privation, but would bear it all over again if he had to start at the beginning with a full knowledge of all the hardships. Regrets? ah no! Let those have regrets who have been false to their Lord and their high calling.

A description of a California meeting held by the Rev. E.C. Latta, another faithful Cumberland Presbyterian pioneer on the Pacific coast, will give the reader an idea of the difficulties under which the first preachers in that country sometimes labored. Latta was earning his bread by hunting. A hotel at which he boarded bought his venison. He got permission from Jim, the hotel keeper, to have preaching in the bar-room. When Sabbath came the only two women in all the country came to the meeting. Gamblers, too, were there, busy at their cards. Latta interrupted their games, saying, "Boys, it's my put in now. Jim says I may preach in this room. Just mark your place and wait till I preach." And then, without preliminaries, he began his sermon. When the sermon was over the gamblers returned to their cards.

It was difficult to determine what synod had jurisdiction in California. The Cumberland Presbyterian preachers in this State wanted to form a presbytery, but no order had been passed authorizing such an organization. In this emergency they resolved to organize without any formal order, and to ask the General Assembly to recognize the new presbytery and attach it to some synod. In the house of J.E. Braly, on the 4th of April, 1851, Cornelius Yager, W. Gallimore, James M. Small, and John E. Braly, all ordained ministers, constituted the California Presbytery. The next General Assembly approved their action, and attached the presbytery to the Missouri Synod, whose jurisdiction extended also to Oregon.

[353] So long as the great mass of the population had less local permanency than a great army in the midst of war, church organizations were also without permanence. In traveling over this State one may hear the history of such mushroom churches in almost all the counties; and yet who shall dare say that the results were not permanent? "By Yuba's red waters" the grave of the miner who died three thousand miles from his mother's fireside is all unmarked and unknown; but amid the blessed spirits of light and glory who gather along the banks of the river of life, the immortal soul saved in the mushroom church now reigns in deathless glory. Not lost were those transient labors among those transient peoples.

One of the pioneer churches which did not melt away like morning mists was the Mountain View Church, in Santa Clara County. It was organized in 1852 by the Rev. J.E. Braly. Mr. Braly long ministered to that flock.

In the very beginning of our denominational work in this State the Rev. J.M. Small planted a church and built a house of worship in Napa City. In the neighborhood of one of Mr. Small's congregations, in 1852, some young unmarried men sustained a camp-meeting. The same year Mr. Small and others held a meeting in Sonoma, and secured money to build a house of worship.

The Pacific Presbytery was organized in 1854, in the house of the Rev. J.M. Cameron. This presbytery established an academy at Sonoma, which in 1860 was turned over to the synod and called Cumberland College. It had a short but useful career. It was the first Cumberland Presbyterian school in California. There was wrangling over the location, and this, according to Mr. Dooley, was ultimately the cause of its death. Another, or at least an auxiliary cause can be found in the flitting away of all the first population of Sonoma. German wine growers now own the principal part of the beautiful country around the old college buildings. That rivalry and divided counsels injured not only Cumberland College at Sonoma, but other church work in California, is however a painful fact. The history of these differences and disputes would make a long chapter, but it would be useless to record it here.

The Board of Missions was instructed by the General Assembly (1855) to send a man to California before opening any other new [354] mission. For years the board reported that all efforts to secure a man for that field had failed. Finally, in 1859, the Rev. W.N. Cunningham was sent to Stockton, California. Nothing more was done, however, than to pay the missionary's way to his field of labor, the board seeming to have the impression that he could live on what our people in Stockton could pay him. On his arrival he found in that city a few members of our church, but no organized congregation. He received such small compensation for his labors that he suffered for the actual necessities of life. He struggled alone and in destitution till he secured money to build a church, but was driven at last by sheer starvation to seek other work.

He next took charge of Sonoma College. This institution was overwhelmed in debts when he entered upon its management. He labored till these debts were paid off. He raised twelve thousand dollars to build a new college edifice, remaining twelve years in all at Sonoma. He has since combined some secular business for the support of his family with his work of preaching. This he did not do till he had been driven to it by the most pressing necessity. In this combined work he has built up and helped to build up several churches. Mr. Cunningham has suffered long from hope deferred. The church did just nothing to help the struggling few who went to California to preach the gospel. Had even one missionary been sustained in that field the case would not be so bad; but while other churches were paying salaries and building houses of worship in California, the pioneer preachers of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church had to earn their own bread and preach without pay.

Speaking of the paper started by Rev. T.M. Johnston in I~60, and of the college at Sonoma, the Rev. D.E. Bushnell, D.D., says in a published article:

Both of these enterprises have been connected with nearly all of our subsequent history, though both have ceased to exist in fact though not in influence. When the full history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church on the Pacific slope shall have been written, there will be found two enterprises inseparably connected with its record, and the forces that have contributed toward the results already achieved, viz.: Cumberland College and the Pacific Observer. And indissolubly connected with these invaluable agencies for Christ and his cause are the [355] names of the sainted Johnston, the founder and for ten years the proprietor and editor of our church journal, who has gone to reap the reward which was wholly denied him in this life, and the indefatigable and heroic Cunningham, whose indomitable will and lofty courage bore up the cherished college enterprise when the hearts of others failed them. ... Working in the same general direction, but resulting from an unfortunate and ever-to-be-regretted division and diversion of the energies of our little band of builders in the spiritual wilderness, so sadly common in such cases, were the Union Academy at Alamo, and the San Joaquin College near Stockton. After short careers of struggle, though at times well manned and liberally patronized, and accomplishing no little good for the communities in which they were located, these institutions lost all their property by accidental fires, and having no endowment, ceased. No well-defined effort has since been made to establish a church school in the name of the Cumberland Presbyterians of California.

What a pity that our people could not concentrate their college work even in that feeble frontier! They tried to have three colleges, and ended in having none at all.

The Rev. T.M. Johnston was an earnest preacher, a sound theologian, a safe counselor, and an indefatigable worker. When others wrangled, he wept. When others sought self, he toiled for Jesus. When it was attempted to involve him in these unfortunate disputes, he removed to another presbytery. He was a peacemaker, ready to bind up the wounds of those that had been wronged or injured, ready to pray with them and remind them of what Jesus suffered while achieving the world's redemption.

The fascinating opportunities to acquire wealth both in farming and in mining were a snare in which many a preacher became involved. Many of these opportunities bore a striking resemblance to gambling. One year a single crop would yield net profits sufficient to buy a ranch. Another year, in some parts of the State, the crop would not repay what the seed cost. There were many ministerial wrecks, caused in most cases by an undue haste to be rich.

The difficulties in the way of faithful Cumberland Presbyterian evangelists in this State were at first appalling. Besides the transient nature of the population, the mixture of nationalities and creeds was a serious obstacle. Educated infidels abounded. [356] As late as 1877 infidel lecturers were ready to confront the earnest advocates of the gospel in nearly all the California towns. But above all else, the mad rush for wealth was and is the thing most unfriendly to the development of spiritual life. Steady honest toil is mocked at by men who ride horseback eighty miles a day, who feed three hundred hands all through harvest, who talk only about hundreds of thousands when speaking of their future expectations.

But there are for Cumberland Presbyterians advantages of no mean character in that field. Of all the States, California is the most thoroughly national. It is neither Northern nor Southern; or rather it is both. So, too, is our church, and so was it even while the war was at its worst. California is constantly receiving emigration from our churches. Some of our best men go there. With a delightful climate, a wonderful soil, an invigorating atmosphere? and a world of natural wonders; with a grand system of free schools, and throngs of the world's ablest scholars and thinkers constantly pouring in among its motley society--it is by all odds the most fascinating as well as the most difficult field our church has ever undertaken to cultivate. They do nothing by halves in California--at least not in the financial world. Small, slow-going enterprises are not likely to live in that country. Other churches send large sums of money and strong missionaries; Cumberland Presbyterians send one man at a time for a whole State, and have but recently done that.

Our people have now in that State three presbyteries. The directory for 1886 shows that the California Presbytery has fourteen ordained preachers, three licentiates, and one candidate. The Sacramento Presbytery has seven ordained ministers, two licentiates, and no candidate. The Tulare Presbytery has twelve ordained ministers, one licentiate, and one candidate. A home supply of preachers is one of the great wants of our church in California and everywhere.

Some of the same men who planted the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in California also organized a few churches in Idaho, but our people never had strength enough in that Territory to call for any separate history.





The history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in North Carolina is soon written. Before 1842, under church direction, missionary tours were made through this State by Reuben Burrow and Robert Donnell. They held meetings for the revival party of the Presbyterian Church. They had gracious revivals, but they uniformly declined to organize churches. At a later day our church in East Tennessee began to extend a little into North Carolina, and a few zealous men thought the way was open to push the work far into that State. Young men pressed beyond the borders, organized some feeble churches, and published appeals for help; but the church did not respond, and these little picket stations were abandoned.

Cumberland Presbyterians have penetrated into West Virginia through the natural expansion of the church in western Pennsylvania, and mainly under the ministry of Pennsylvania pastors living near enough to give a part of their time to the work beyond the State line. One congregation in West Virginia has considerable strength, but our people have no presbytery in that State, and never had any missionary in that field.

It was by the natural expansion of the forces of the church that Cumberland Presbyterians extended their boundaries into Georgia. In East Tennessee and in Alabama, all along the Georgia border there are congregations of our people. Members of these churches were constantly moving to Georgia, and writing hack to their pas [358] tors to come and preach for them. Prominent among the ministers who responded to this call was the Rev. A. Templeton, then of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Finally one of our preachers settled in Georgia. This was the Rev. Z.M. McGhee. The war made Georgia the temporary home of many a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, the Rev. A. Templeton among the rest.

An anecdote of Templeton taken from the papers is here condensed. He was preaching at a Georgia meeting-house at a time when either blue coats or gray might be expected at church. Sure enough at one meeting the gray coats were there. The services began, and were progressing quietly, but with deep interest, when up rode a company of blue coats. Mr. Templeton turned to the Southern soldiers and said: "Keep your seats. If you really want to worship God, he will not allow you to be hurt." They remained in their seats. The Federal soldiers then entered. Mr. Templeton said to them "Please be seated, gentlemen, and let us all worship God a few moments together." They did as he requested. In a few moments the whole house was in tears. The petty contests of this little life were all forgotten. Eternal things pressed every heart. There were that day souls born of God. When the benediction was pronounced, each company of soldiers followed its own leader and went quietly away without any fighting.

Cumberland Presbyterians have in Georgia one little presbytery With nine ministers, four licentiates, and two candidates. We have no missionary in this field, though precious interests are at stake there. At Rome there are several valuable members, but they have no house of worship and no minister. In Atlanta our people once had a mission, but it was allowed to die! although the influx of members from Alabama and Tennessee might in a few years have made it self-sustaining.

Kansas was settled amid scenes of blood, not blood shed by Indians, but brothers butchering brothers. There were Cumberland Presbyterians in both the angry parties which struggled for supremacy in that State. The repeal of "the Missouri compromise" and the law leaving the first settlers to decide for themselves whether Kansas should be a free or a slave State opened the gates of civil war. No full history of that bloody struggle has ever been [359] written. It was crowded back into forgetfulness by the greater contest which so soon followed. Nevertheless it was really a war, with armies, battles, and campaigns--war to the knife between two parties coming to live in the same territory.

Kansas was opened to white settlers late in 1854, under an act that led slave and free States alike to send armed emigrants thither, each aiming to keep out the other party by force. The rush of emigrants was stimulated by the angry political strife of the day. To gain in Congress the votes of a new State was the aim of each party; to use force in keeping out emigrants from States unfavorable to the schemes of its partisans was the policy of each.

A peaceably disposed Cumberland Presbyterian emigrant, while on his way to Kansas in 1854 to preach Jesus to the settlers, wrote a letter which was published in the church paper. He thus describes the scene at the ferry across the Missouri River at Weston, Missouri:

The crowd of passengers wishing to cross had become so great that we were somewhat doubtful of the safety of embarking on so crazy a craft with so large a number of passengers. The ferry man assured us, however, that there was no danger, and that if we waited until the next trip we would only find matters worse, as the crowd would probably be greater than it now was. We, therefore, ventured on his boat, but such cramming and jamming of buggies, wagons, horses, mules, and footmen on a little crazy steam ferry boat we have never seen, and do not care to see again soon. We took the pains to count them and found that there were about eighty persons on board, most of whom were going over into the new Territory to stake out their claims and take possession of the soil. They were generally equipped according to border life, having a set of camping furniture, besides axes, hatchets, butcher and Bowie-knives, guns, pistols, and other weapons of the chase and of warfare, offensive and defensive. We began to feel as if we had got into the wrong crowd, being entirely unarmed, whilst every one about us seemed to be armed to the teeth. A more daring, resolute, reckless set of men we have scarcely ever looked upon. Each man seemed to say by his airs and gait, "I am able, single-handed and alone, to vindicate my rights against all intruders." Still we found that beneath this rough and forbidding exterior there was generally a current of warm and genial feeling.

The river once passed, they branched off in every direction, each in search of some spot on which to locate his claim. As we rode off [360] we saw on the other bank another company equally large awaiting the return of the boat. The ferry man assured us that he had been kept busily engaged from morning till night for the last two or three weeks in ferrying immigrants. Most of those whom we saw were from upper Missouri, but they were already beginning to arrive in considerable numbers from all the Western States, though but a single month had elapsed since the opening of the country.

Kansas did not become a State of the Union till 1861, but soldiers of the Cross were as ready to rush thither in the beginning as the soldiers of political parties. Early in 1855, under the ministry of the Rev. C.B. Hodges, the Round Prairie Church was formed. This, it is claimed, was the first Cumberland Presbyterian congregation organized on Kansas soil. According to an order of Missouri Synod, Kansas Presbytery was organized November 16, 1855.(10) The original members were W.W. Bell, Benjamin McCrary, C.B. Hodges, A.A. Moore, Thomas Allen, and O. Guthrie. The two last named were not present at the organization. The presbytery met in a school-house in Leavenworth County, near the dwelling of the Rev. B. McCrary.A.A. Moore was moderator. There were some licentiates and candidates from the first, and one of the licentiates, A.P. Searcy, was ordered to prepare for ordination at the next meeting.

This presbytery had all of Kansas for its field, though a large portion of the territory was without a single inhabitant. All of its ministers lived north of Kansas River, while settlements abounded south of the river, and earnest appeals came up from that region begging for the bread of life. The presbytery took the very best steps in its power toward responding to these appeals, urging all the churches and every member to contribute money to secure preachers. At its very first meeting it passed strong resolutions against whisky. Of the original members two still live, Moore and Hodges.

Leavenworth Presbytery was next organized, and then followed two others. The territory assigned to these new presbyteries was all carved out of the field first assigned to Kansas Presbytery. The [361] original Kansas Presbytery now has twenty-five congregations and nine hundred and eighteen communicants. There is still great need of more preachers in that country. There are Cumberland Presbyterian families scattered over all the State. The Rev. W. Spencer and the Rev. R. . Shearer are the only Cumberland Presbyterian ministers in Kansas who are natives of that State.

In 1857 the Missionary Board at Lebanon, Tennessee, commissioned the Rev. A.A. Moore to travel as missionary in Kansas. He spent several years in this work and had good success. In 1859 the board sent the Rev. J.B. Green (now the Rev. Dr. Green, of Nebraska) to travel as missionary in the country around Fort Leavenworth. He had some very fruitful revivals and did valuable service.

The Directory, 1886, shows that Kansas Presbytery has thirteen ministers, two licentiates, and one candidate; Leavenworth Presbytery five, and Republican Valley Presbytery eight ministers; and Wichita Presbytery, twelve ministers and one candidate. The members of the church in Kansas should ask the Lord to call their own sons to preach the gospel.




There has always been a party in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church opposed to concentration, and another party which has believed it necessary to combine the forces of the church in some of the greater enterprises, especially in our denominational schools. Milton Bird and F.R. Cossitt, as editors respectively of the two leading church papers, took opposite sides of this question. The policy advocated by Dr. Cossitt was concentration on one or two colleges, one or two papers, and one theological school. Though Robert Donnell and many other thoughtful men gave their voices on this side of the question, their views did not prevail. The church had to learn by experience, and this period, from 1842 to 1860, was full of lessons on this subject.

It was no uncommon thing for a single presbytery to resolve to have an endowed college of its own. Thus, Tennessee Presbytery, in 1850, resolved to establish and endow a college. Purdy College had a still smaller ecclesiastical backing. Such efforts showed clearly that many of our people had no correct idea of what constitutes a college. We had at one time in this period fifteen chartered colleges for young men, besides several similar institutions for young ladies. Fifteen does not exhaust the list for the whole period, but this is the largest number that simultaneously existed. Some of the schools did not live five years.

But, in the course of time, these evils began to correct themselves. Young men who went from these mushroom colleges to real ones had their eyes opened. The little school which suddenly sprung up as a rival of an older institution and called itself a college, soon found some other little college springing up in its field, [363] rivaling it, until, sooner or later, came the death agonies of both. Of the fifteen Cumberland Presbyterian colleges which, in 1859~ had a name to live, only three now survive. Each of these three had secured some little endowment, though by no means enough.

For more than twenty years the General Assembly tried to obtain harmonious reports from the presbyteries in reference to a theological school. Some of the presbyteries favored presbyterial, and some synodical, and some General Assembly schools. There was no harmony, and the Assembly waited, declaring meantime its opinion that it would be wisest to establish one school for the whole church. At different times this question was sent down to the presbyteries; but while the responses showed a steady increase in the number of voices in favor of giving the exclusive control of such schools to the General Assembly, there was still too much conflict to allow that body to establish such an institution.

The last reference of this question to the presbyteries was made in 1848, and when the response came back in 1849 with something like unanimity in favor of a theological school under the control of the General Assembly, there was great rejoicing. Steps were taken at once toward the establishment of such a school. At first the rival claims of two colleges made the Assembly agree that there should be two schools; but this matter was soon adjusted, and one school for the whole church, to be located at Lebanon, Tennessee, was undertaken.

There were some delays in getting this school into successful operation. Meantime the Assembly of 1852 was thrown into confusion by the action of Bethel College, in West Tennessee. Before the charter of this college was a year old it resolved to establish a theological school and send out agents for its endowment, appealing to the whole church for contributions. This had the appearance of an attempt to head off the General Assembly. West Tennessee Synod, under whose control Bethel College held its charter, had many members who opposed this measure. So, too, had even the Board of Trust and Faculty of Bethel College. There were, however, three controlling spirits who advanced the scheme and carried it through the synod. These were Reuben Burrow, J.N. Roach, and C.J. Bradley.

[364] Three years prior to this action Mr. Roach had been in charge of a flourishing school for young ladies at Lebanon, Tennessee. When the school was in its greatest prosperity grave charges were made against Mr. Roach, of which he was afterward fully acquitted; but although he was doubtless innocent of the things charged against him, yet the tide of public prejudice ran high enough to break up his school. Deeply hurt, he left Lebanon and went immediately to West Tennessee and set to work to establish a college there. As West Tennessee lay between Lebanon and the field from which the university at Lebanon drew its principal patronage, many questioned the wisdom of this course. Mr. Roach, though not a thorough scholar, was a man of splendid natural abilities, and he had an amazing capacity for hard work. He had, too, a commanding influence over the common people, and his plan for the establishment of a college was carried through the West Tennessee Synod mainly by his personal influence. He next planned a theological department, naming Dr. Burrow and the Rev. C.J. Bradley as prospective professors.

West Tennessee Synod was then in a sharp controversy with Lebanon men about the revision of the Confession of Faith. Dr. Burrow was not only a leader in advocating revision, but, on various points, he held doctrines which were not in strict harmony with the creed of the church, and he seemed to feel under solemn obligations to propagate his peculiar views. A theological school would enable him more effectually to do this, therefore Mr. Roach easily won him to his plans. Burrow's voice carried the measure through the synod.

When the General Assembly of 1852 met severe resolutions of condemnation against this project of Bethel College were offered, and after hot discussion were in a fair way to pass, when the Rev. C.J. Bradley rose in his place and warned the Assembly that the passage of these resolutions would be the signal for the secession of West Tennessee Synod. That was then the largest synod in the church. Mr. Bradley's announcement checked proceedings. The Assembly adopted pacific measures, simply entreating the lower judicatures to cooperate with the Assembly's school, and left Bethel College to pursue its course. For many years Dr. Burrow's [365] theological pupils adopted the Confession of Faith only in part, openly stating their partial adoption of the book at their ordination.

This case suggests a very different matter. One of the living questions now pressing on all the denominations is how to protect their theological schools from teachers who change their views after their appointment to professorships.

In the chapter on missions it was seen that it was with difficulty that cooperation with a general board was secured. There were fears by some that the general board would become a pope. But the danger in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church has never been in the direction of the pope, but in the other direction. Independence, which regards neither session, presbytery, assembly, nor the general welfare, has more frequently paralyzed our enterprises. There is a medium between the centralization which makes a pope and the private independence which makes anarchy. God in his providence is slowly leading the church to this medium ground.

One of the measures often proposed in the General Assembly in this period was the consolidation of the church papers. There were at one time seven of these weeklies. It cost a preacher not less than fourteen dollars to secure the news from all parts of the field, while a communication intended for the whole church had to be sent to seven editors. Each of the seven had a circulation mainly local, and the support of each was too meager to command first-class facilities. To have one paper owned by the church, or the presbyteries, was one of the plans proposed. It is a curious fact that the New York Observer took a special interest on the negative side of this discussion. Its objection was that the scheme put too much power into the hands of one editor.

A sample of the arguments used by those who favored this plan is found in the following extract from a communication published in the Watchman and Evangelist:

A change has come over me in regard to the church paper which has been so much talked of. The arguments in favor of one paper for the whole church preponderate in my judgment. A like change is discoverable in those who, in this region, take any of our papers.

"In union there is strength," is an indisputable maxim. Had the [366] church adhered to this in all its important undertakings, our spiritual momentum would have been greater than it now is. Had no more literary institutions been planted than the pecuniary ability of the church could have amply furnished and rendered potent, our educational facilities would have been far in advance of what they now are. Mere local interests have operated against the general good, and originated, here and there, schools of various grades until they have become so numerous as to be burdensome and meagerly supported. A similar error has been committed in our publishing enterprises. Local interests have been regarded as the sine qua non, until blindness to the general well-being of the whole body has come over our eyes.

One presbytery or synod conceives it to be important that a paper should be published within its bounds to advocate the cause in that quarter. Another, in another portion of the body, is actuated by a similar reason, and so on until the patronage of the church is cut up into small sectional divisions, and none of the papers sufficiently well supported to give us even one of the right character. By this division of our strength, our name and influence evidently suffer. The Cumberland Presbyterian Church has had experience of this kind to its sorrow. Why should we support this evil policy in regard to an enterprise which affects so directly the vital interests of the whole church? Or will we continue to disregard those lessons of wisdom to be learned from our past history?

Another evil growing out of the strenuous advocacy of these local publishing interests is strife. An attempt to originate a paper and support it in a body already too feeble to maintain well what it has, curtails the patronage of those of prior existence. But each watches its own interests with a jealous eye, and upon the first appearance of infringement upon its dominions takes up the sword, and the result not infrequently is the disturbance of the peace of the church by a newspaper war. Has there not been sad experience in this very thing?

This writer also pressed two other arguments: the cost to one person who desired to take all the papers and secure the news from the whole church, and the fact that all seven of the weeklies copied from one another, so that such a subscriber got much of the same matter in all of the seven papers.

On the negative I find all the arguments are capable of reduction to these: It was claimed that local interests in remote parts of the church would suffer under the one paper plan, and that more people can be induced to take a paper published in their own locality than one from a distant part of the church.

[367] One writer pressed another and a strong argument in these words:

Should controversy arise on important subjects, under the trammels of the "one paper" system the editorial authority would have the right to sit in judgment upon the propriety of admitting or not admitting articles on either side in controversy, which might unknowingly be productive of much ill-feeling, and do great injury to certain brethren and some portion of the church. Should the editorial authority come to the conclusion, as has once occurred, that nothing should be published until the judicature had taken action, then the whole church must abide the decisions for the time, or appear in the unenviable attitude of scattering church dissensions in secular newspapers.

The one paper scheme failed, but the Assembly appealed to the editors to combine and reduce the number of papers. In this way, and still more by the failure of several of the weaker publications, the number was considerably diminished. There was a deeper lesson from financial failure than from the voice of the Assembly.

The books published by Cumberland Presbyterians in this period were neither many nor large. It was a time of too great activity in planting churches and inaugurating new enterprises to allow much book making. One of the most valuable books ever published on the subject of training children was Dr. Lindley's Infant Philosophy. The stereotype plates for this book were lost in 1858, and it has never been republished. The copyright was bought by the Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication at Louisville in 1853. Dr. E.B. Crisman's little volume, "The Origin and Doctrines of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church," met a demand which was keenly felt prior to that time. The Rev. John L. Dillard published a little book in reply to Lewis A. Lowry, who left the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and bitterly attacked it in a volume which was brought out by the Presbyterian Publishing House. It was the general opinion among our people that Dillard gave the young man a well-deserved castigation. Various newspapers of other churches expressed the same opinion. Mr. Lowry's book was in the form of letters addressed to his father, the Rev. David Lowry. The latter, it is said, never read a line of these letters.

One of the most scholarly books of this period was, "The Life [368] and Times of Ewing," by Dr. Cossitt. The very nature of the subject made the book necessarily controversial. At the close of the book is a severe but able review of Davidson's History of the Presbyterian Church in Kentucky. But most of our people have grown tired of fighting over the old battles with the Presbyterian Church, and such is their lack of interest in this subject that they will not buy books devoted to that old contest. The writer of these pages has been entreated by many of the purest and best men in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church to pass over all that old bitterness just as lightly as the truth of history will permit. This he has done.(11)

President Anderson's Life of George Donnell was published in this period, and is generally regarded as the best biographical book in our church. It would be hard to find a better biography in any church.

Dr. Beard began the publication of his great work on systematic theology in this period. These lectures present the genuine original Cumberland Presbyterian system of doctrine. There is more Calvinism in the book than some of our modern theologians like, but not more than the whole of the first generation of our ministers preached. This book will stand as a landmark from which we can measure from age to age any drifting away of our theology from orthodoxy.

While Dr. Beard was never brilliant, and never relied on any extemporaneous afflatus, his profound and patient research always went to the bottom of any subject which he investigated, and then swept around all the adjacent field before he attempted to write his lecture. Loyalty to Scripture, without a particle of ambition for originality, marked all his work. From first to last there is in his book no harsh word about other theological systems or teachers. He labored simply, by prayer and severe study, to give God's system as it is found in the Bible. With a profound knowledge of the original Scripture, with a world-wide acquaintance with theological writers, he devoted the best years of his noble life to the preparation of his lectures. If his church ever fails to appreciate this [369] book, so much the worse for the church. There are so many original thinkers in modern times that it is hard to find among them one who is willing to draw all his theology from God's own revelation. Human philosophy must shape and square and trim and smooth the Scripture system, eliminating here, supplementing there, until with great truth the original thinker can at last say, This is my system.

About twenty other books were brought out by Cumberland Presbyterians in this period, but none of them call for any special notice in this history. There was not a single devotional book published by any of our people, nor has there been to this day and great amount of devotional literature among our publications. Controversial writings, usque ad nauseam, we have had, but very few works which would ever lead a soul to Christ. The second period in the history of the church presented better things in this respect than the fourth.

In this period there were long controversies on doctrinal questions. One of these questions was whether or not faith should ever be called the gift of God. On both sides in this controversy there seemed to be fears that the other party held doctrines which it not only did not avow but indignantly disclaimed. A patient study of all the long controversy has satisfied the writer that there was no difference at all between the parties about the real nature of faith. Both said that the sinner could not believe unto salvation without the Holy Spirit's aid, and that the act of believing was the act of the sinner thus aided, and not the act of the Holy Spirit. The disputants agreed, too, as to the manner in which the Holy Spirit aids the sinner--that he sheds light on the way of salvation, on the wonderful love and the gracious words of Christ to all who seek him, until the heart is won. to trust him. The real question was whether this assistance thus given by the Spirit justifies us in calling faith a grace--a gift of God. One party charged the other with holding that faith is created in the sinner's heart by a divine act. The other party retorted: "You hold to an unaided human faith, merely historical." Neither charge was just.

There was also a long controversy about sanctification. One party, led by Dr. Reuben Burrow, advocated the Zinzendorfian [370] view of sanctification. The other party, and by far the larger one, held to the doctrine of the confession, which is the same as the doctrine of the Westminster Confession. There were also sharp controversies between Dr. Burrow and his brethren generally on various doctrines wherein Burrow differed from the Confession of Faith. Infant justification was prominent among these subjects of controversy. Dr. Burrow held that infants are born in a justified state.

There were so many points in which Burrow departed from the traditional teachings of the church, and he pressed his views so persistently in the church papers, that one presbytery finally took official action, warning its young preachers against these doctrines. This warning was published in the papers. Then came a sharp controversy about the rights of presbyteries. Burrow said that though he was not a member of this presbytery, nor amenable to it, yet it had assumed to try and condemn him. In answer to this it was said that the presbytery did not try men, but doctrines; that the Book of Discipline made it the duty of presbyteries to condemn erroneous doctrines which were injuring the peace of the church. Burrow's friends then pleaded his noble service as an evangelist on our frontiers as proof of his soundness in doctrine, and with that the controversy closed.

Another controversy was about abolishing the synod.S.G. Burney, D.D., led the affirmative in this discussion. Many of the old men of the church took the other side. The synod was not abolished. A proposition to revise the Confession of Faith was also discussed. Some of the papers declined to publish any thing on this subject. Others opened their columns, but men hesitated to discuss general questions in local papers.

The tone of church controversies has greatly improved since 1842. The Rev. W.S. Langdon, while editor, announced this as his rule: "No writer shall publish in these columns any thing about his brethren which I would be unwilling to have him publish about me."

In this fourth period camp-meetings in all the older portions of the church died a lingering death. Of the later meetings of this kind only a few were equal in results to those of earlier times. At [371] Bethel church, Carroll County, Tennessee, there were three camp-meetings between 1846 and 1850, all of them like the old gatherings of other days. John Barnett attended one of these meetings. Besides preaching with holy power, he went from camp to camp, and from person to person, preaching Christ in private interviews as well as from the pulpit. At one of these meetings two hundred mourners bowed simultaneously in the great congregation. The mighty power of God was present.

An unusually large number of church trials occurred during this period. Some men of the highest standing were arraigned on the gravest charges before their presbyteries. The verdict in most cases, not all, was "not guilty," and after years approved these verdicts.

A long and profitless controversy over the restoration of J.A. Dewoody to the ministry by one presbytery after he had been deposed by another, though always decided against, this restoration kept finding new methods of getting before the General Assembly and annoying that body.

There was a fierce controversy between Hopewell Presbytery and a Methodist presiding elder over the reception by the presbytery of a minister who had been deposed by the Methodists. The members of the presbytery claimed that they had evidence that it was personal spite in the elder which caused this man to be deposed. There have been sundry instances of preachers coming to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church from other denominations to escape some difficulty with their own churches, but no such accession to our ranks has ever proved valuable.

There were long newspaper debates during this period between our people and the Baptists. These discussions were not always conducted in a Christian spirit, and were injurious to both churches. Dr. Burrow published a book on baptism full of hard sayings against the Baptists. This book was fiercely assailed by Dr. J.R. Graves, of the Baptist church. Then there were oral debates between him and Dr. Burrow, and between Burrow and the Rev. James Hurt. Bitter personal charges and a long and acrid newspaper controversy followed. All through West Tennessee Cumberland Presbyterians and Baptists became like Jews and [372] Samaritans. The cause of the Master suffered in both churches. May no such unseemly strife ever occur again!

There was also a protracted controversy on doctrines between Dr. Cossitt and the Presbyterians. It was conducted with ability and in a Christian spirit on both sides, but there is no proof that the doctrinal views of any one were changed by this discussion. However, one good thing at least came of it. People saw that two strong men could differ and discuss their differences without transgressing the rules of Christian courtesy, or departing from the spirit of the Master. Such a lesson was needed.




The church at Memphis, Tennessee, was organized in 1830, in the house of the Rev. Mr. Whitsett. For ten years preaching was kept up by Mr. Whitsett, W.A. Bryan, Robert Baker, H.A. Morgan, and Samuel Dennis. In 1840, Mr. Dennis was assisted by Reuben Burrow in a meeting held in the Methodist church. At this time elders were chosen and the organization perfected. Mr. Dennis was commissioned to travel and obtain funds to build a church. Robert Donnell, who afterward was pastor for a time, aided in raising money to complete this work. This house stood till about 1860, when the building now in use was erected.

Matthew H. Bone and Hugh B. Hill were boys together. Their associations were of the most intimate character. They were converted about the same time. One day Hill said to his clear young friend: "If you will never tell any one I will communicate to you a secret." Bone promised not to betray this confidence, whereupon Hill said: " I believe God is calling me to preach the gospel." Bone replied: " I believe he is calling me to the same work." The two boys were alone together in the woods, and they wept and prayed together there. Months passed away, and Hill had another confidence to repose in his friend. It was that he had concluded that it was all a mistake about God calling him to preach. To his surprise he found his friend had also reached a similar conclusion. So they both agreed to abandon all thoughts of preaching and turn their attention to something else. It happened that they went together soon afterward to a camp-meeting. The leading preachers [374] of Kentucky were present. Barnett preached, Chapman preached, Delany preached. God's spirit was poured out. Again Hill sought his friend and told him that all his old impressions had come back stronger than ever. Bone made similar statements about his impressions. Before the meeting closed one of the ministers asked the two Young men to go with him to the woods. It was the daily custom at the camp-meetings to go to the woods for secret prayer. The two young men were surprised on reaching the retreat in the grove to find all the preachers there together. It was a pre-concerted arrangement. The old Men wanted to talk to these two young men about preaching. The result was that Hill and Bone were advised to attend the next meeting of the presbytery and become candidates for the ministry. After that these two friends traveled together on the circuit. All their lives they worked together at camp-meetings. Once they went together on a Voluntary mission to Ohio, and the origin of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Lebanon, Ohio, is due to that mission. In Bone's manuscript he says that Hill in his riper years bitterly regretted that the old men forced him away from school and put him on the circuit before his education was completed.

An aged minister, the Rev. Benjamin Watson, who began life as a Methodist, but joined the Cumberland Presbyterian Church afterward, gives at the close of his manuscript autobiography some interesting reflections. He says his long experience has taught him that the church's best members and most of its converts come from the Sabbath-school; that giving to the poor is lending to the Lord, and that only out-and-out consecration to the ministry has any right to claim the gracious promises Which God makes about the preacher's temporal necessities. He tried teaching and preaching, but could not claim these promises and did not realize their fulfillment. ~or sixteen years he tested the other plan. He cast himself upon God to Preach even if he starved. Then he did claim the promises and did realize their fulfillment.

Mr. Watson's history is interesting in many particulars. His father bitterly opposed his entering the ministry, and to prevent his riding the circuit attempted to shoot his horse, but, just as he fired, the gun was thrown up and the ball passed over the animal. [375] Then the enraged father took his knife and cut his son's saddle, bridle, and saddle-bags to pieces. Not content with that, he gathered up all the young man's Sunday clothing, books and money, and burned them. Then he struck his son with a walking-stick, and seized his watch chain, and jerking the watch out of his pocket broke it against a post. The boy was then told to choose between giving up circuit riding and leaving his home forever. Benjamin took his final choice then and there. He bade mother and sister good-bye, and went to a neighbor's house. Next morning a merchant called and invited him to go home with him. On his arrival he found a number of ladies assembled for the purpose of making him a suit of clothes. Bridle, saddle, clothing, and money were all furnished him, and his own horse was brought from his father's, and the young man went on his way preaching the gospel.

The Rev. P.G. Rea, in his manuscript history of the New Lebanon Presbytery of Missouri (organized 1832) gives some interesting facts. He says: "Since its organization to 1885 this presbytery has ordained thirty-two ministers, licensed forty-eight, and has had under its care eighty-six candidates. Eight thousand one hundred and eighty-eight accessions, and over eleven thousand conversions have been reported." Some samples will show how the preachers of this presbytery were compensated for their services: "John Reed and W.B. Wear, as missionaries for six months, each received four dollars and twenty-eight cents, and A. McCorkle, twenty-three dollars and ninety-five cents.J.M. Foster, for six months, received thirty-three dollars and twelve cents, and F.E. Foster the same amount.P.G. Rea, for six months, received fifteen dollars and forty-three cents, and W.F. Lawrence, fifteen dollars and twelve cents. M. Neal, for one month, received two dollars and thirty-seven cents, and Moses Allen, for three months, twelve dollars and twelve cents."

In 1853 this presbytery indorsed "the Maine law." In Mr. Rea's manuscript is a melancholy notice of the last days of the Rev. Daniel Buie. He became insane while presiding as moderator of the presbytery, in 1834, and died years afterward in the Fulton asylum. Mr. Rea corrects a few of R.C. Ewing's dates.(12) In making [376] these corrections, which have been adopted in this work, he had before him the records of the presbytery. Mr. Rea is now an aged man, and looks back upon a long life of usefulness as he lingers waiting the signal to call him home.

From a manuscript autobiography of the Rev. James Johnson (who was born in 1803) we learn that after he began the ministry in Ocoee Presbytery, Tennessee, he attended a protracted meeting held in connection with the meeting of East Tennessee Synod. The leading preachers of the synod all seemed to fail in the pulpit. A Presbyterian minister said: "You will have no revival so long as you rely on your big preachers. Pick out the least and humblest man you have and let him do the preaching, and let your big men go to praying." Johnson naively tells us that they selected him. He replied that he would preach if they would have Hiram Douglass follow with an exhortation. He said: "Let Douglass follow a poor sermon, and he has never been known to fail." The arrangement was made. Johnson preached, Douglass exhorted, and when the call was made crowds pressed to the mourner's bench. A great revival with scores of conversions followed. Johnson's humorous estimate of Douglass's talent is correct. Douglass excelled in tact, in ability to meet emergencies, to lead forlorn hopes, and turn defeats into victories.

Ten years ago there lived in the Choctaw Nation an aged Indian named Durant. He was an elder in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He wrote for Dr. Crisman a sketch of his life, which contains some interesting facts. He says he was born in Mississippi, in 1798. In his childhood there were neither schools nor books, neither churches nor preaching anywhere in his country. He never heard of such things till he was fifteen years old, and when at last a missionary school was established near his home, he was afraid of it. He did not understand what kind of a thing it was, and the mere thought of going to it frightened him. He says his people wore no hats, and instead of shoes wore moccasins. Very little was said or thought about any Supreme Being, though they did believe in a Great Spirit. Finally, however, he heard the gospel in his own language and became a Christian. He claims Cyrus Kingsbury as his spiritual father.

[377] In West Tennessee there was, in 1845, near the home of a pious Cumberland Presbyterian mother an extensive neighborhood in which there was neither church nor Sunday School. This was a source of great grief to this dear lady. Finally she found au earnest Christian man, Wm. Moore, who was willing to join her in an effort to establish a Sunday School in the neglected neighborhood. Engaging the little log school-house, they published their appointment for a Sabbath School. Neither of them had any knowledge of modern methods of Sunday School work, but they both had a deep love for souls. The school at first was composed mostly of grown people, some of them gray headed. Their method was to read a chapter, talk about it a little while, then pray. After the first prayer came personal conversation with the unconverted about their souls, then another prayer. It was not long before a most gracious revival began in the log school-house, and it continued for months, until many of the married people, as well as a number of the young people, were counted among the converts. This incident, taken along with another now to be related, may serve to encourage some earnest worker in the Sabbath School. The other instance was at Bowling Green, Kentucky. One of the teachers in the Cumberland Presbyterian Sabbath School at that place went to her pastor and said, "I want to give up my class." He asked her why, and she answered: "I am no scholar. I can't understand all these new methods. I can't keep up with all these learned teachers or with my class. Everybody has got so far ahead of me. I am not fit to teach." He asked her how many of her large class of boys were Christians when she took charge of it. She replied, "None of them." "How many do you believe have been converted since you took charge of them?" "All but one." The pastor then asked her if she thought she had learning enough to pray earnestly for the conversion of that one. With tears she said, "Yes, with my whole heart." He then said to her, "I would not give you for fifty learned teachers who never led a pupil to Jesus."

The following incident is found in the manuscript of the Rev. M.H. Bone: The Missionary Board desired to secure the services of the Rev. F.G. Black, of Ohio, to take charge of a new mission in the city of Cincinnati; but the members of his congregation [378] were not willing to let him go, and he would not leave them without their full consent. The board employed Mr. Bone to visit Black's congregation with a view to persuading them to yield their interests to the demands of the general cause. He made the visit, and on Sabbath he delivered an address on the great claims of Christ's kingdom, and showed how we ought to yield our local interests to larger general interests. Seeing the whole congregation in tears, he thought the time had come to have the question decided. Turning to the elders, he asked them if they would consent to give up their pastor. The elders asked: "What does Brother Black say? Does he want to go?" Mr. Black replied: "I believe it is my duty to go." Then Mr. Bone asked: "How many elders and members are there who are willing to let Mr. Black go where he feels that the Lord is calling him?" To this the only answer was increased weeping throughout the congregation. Still the agent of the board persevered in private till he accomplished his mission. Mr. Bone, when he was an old man, and long after

Mr. Black had lost his wife and another member of his family by the cholera in Cincinnati, and after the Cincinnati mission had been for many years abandoned, put on record, concerning his visit to Mr. Black's church and his efforts to sever that holy pastoral relation, these words, "It was not of God."

The Rev. R.A.A. Moorman, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, stammers badly; yet, strange to say, he has no impediment in his utterance while praying. In the beginning of his sermons this infirmity is often very embarrassing, but when he advances and becomes absorbed in his discourse, all traces of it vanish. Once at a large camp-meeting Mr. Moorman was to preach at eleven o'clock Sunday morning. He tried hard to begin his sermon, but his stammering was worse than usual. He sang a stanza, then tried again to preach, but he could not finish a single sentence. Falling upon his knees he poured forth a touching prayer for divine help. He asked the Lord that he might be rid of all concern about himself, and have grace that day to preach the simple gospel. He confessed before God and the people that his heart had been set on preaching a great sermon. He prayed God to forgive him and enable him to preach a little sermon that should lead [379] souls to Christ. Long before he rose from his knees the whole congregation was melted to tears, While many earnest Christian hearts were joining in the preacher's earnest prayer. When he rose at last and began his discourse there was no more stammering. The sermon was soul-stirring and convincing, full of the power of the gospel. One who heard it testifies that it was the most powerful presentation of the truth he ever listened to. Scores owe their salvation, under God, to that prayer and sermon.

1. I have found the Records for 1823, since I began to write this History.

2. The Texas Presbyterian, July 17, 1847, quotes these speeches at some length.

3. Several of these presbyteries were doubtless organized at earlier dates than those here assigned.

4. Name changed to Springfield (1849).

5. The other Ewing Presbytery (McAdow Synod) was dissolved in 1852.

6. The arrangements for the school were made in 1832. and a Cumberland Presbyterian elder, General Street, appointed agent.

7. The Rev. R.A. Ferguson's MS. Ferguson himself has spent most of his life in that field.

8. See Edinburgh Review, 1843.

9. Some say the Rev. J.M. Small was first, but give no dates. I believe Braly was first.

10. Valuable extracts from the Minutes and other items were furnished me by the stated clerk, the Rev. William Spencer.

11. It is necessary to know something of the number of false charges made against our people before the extent of my forbearance in this matter can be appreciated.

12. Ewing's Memoirs.

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