Monday, March 27, 2017

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: List of His Publications

Continued from the Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Some of His Death Bed Exercises

This is from Chapter XVII of the memoirs of Rev. David Rice, which were included in An Outline of the History of the Church in the State of Kentucky, During a Period of Forty Years by Robert Hamilton Bishop and published in 1824.

To do good to the souls of men, and to do good by bringing plain practical truth before the mind, was the great object of Mr. Rice's life. This is peculiarly the character of his writings. The state of society in which his lot was cast did not afford him much time or many opportunities for study -- yet the opportunities which he had were improved, and when he considered himself called upon by Providence to speak for his Master through the Press, he was ready.

His publications were:
  1. An Essay on Baptism, 1789 -- This was probably the first pamphlet which was written in Kentucky. It was printed in Baltimore.
  2. A Lecture on Divine Decrees, 1791.
  3. Slavery inconsistent with Justice and Policy, 1792.
  4. A Sermon at the opening of the Synod of Kentucky, 1803.
  5. An Epistle to the Citizens of Kentucky professing Christianity, especially those that are or have been denominated Presbyterians, 1805.
  6. A Second Epistle, &tc. &tc. 1808, And,
  7. Letters on the evidences, nature, and effects of Christianity -- composed for the use of his sons, in 1812, in the 79th year of his age -- and published in the Weekly Recorder for 1814.
Mr. Rice was born in 1733, and died in 1816, aged 83 years.

He was licensed in 1762, aged 29 years. He labored in Virginia 21 years. He lived in Kentucky 32 years, and labored there 30 years.

When in health he preached not only once, and twice, and sometimes three ties, on every Sabbath, but also frequently on week days -- say, at an average, thrice every week.

The whole of his active ministry may be said to have been fifty years, and fifty Sabbaths in every year make two thousand five hundred. This number doubled will probably give nearly the number of sermons or set discourses delivered by him on the great concerns of eternity.

Say that for two thousand Sabbaths of his life, five heard him each time for the last time, and you have ten thousand immortals, who heard the message of salvation for the last time from the mouth of father Rice. Gospel hearer, and preacher of the gospel, it is an awful thought, that in every worshipping assembly, however small, there is probably some one hearing the message of salvation for the last time -- and that very few assemblies on the Sabbath will ever again all meet in any one place, till they meet before the judgment seat!

Making the average number of hearers for two thousand Sabbaths only fifyy, and you have the number of one hundred thousand. And taking into view the extent of country over which Mr. Rice's stated labors were spread, the fluctuating state of society, and the journeys of fifty years, one hundred thousand will not be too large a number for the amount of the different individuals to who he made a tender of salvation. And to every one of these this gospel was, without a single exception, the savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. And a very large portion of these had departed and rendered their account before the departure of father Rice.

Reader, whosoever thou art, they account is also soon to be rendered -- and the account of thy Sabbath days will be particularly required.

This is the last chapter of Rev. David Rice's memoirs except for several appendices.

Rev. David Rice (1733-1816) was my fifth great grandfather.

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Some of His Death Bed Excercises
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: The Part He Took in National and State Affairs
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Last Years of His Life
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Resigns His Pastoral Charge and Retires
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: A Little Reviving in the Midst of Bondage
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Secret Exercises
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Character of Some of the First Preachers in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: State of Religion in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: He Moves to Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: His Comfort and Success among the Peaks of Otter
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Scene of His First Labors
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Devotes of Himself to the Ministry
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Introduction of the Gospel into Virginia
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Relief Obtained
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Further Convictions
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Birth, Parentage, and First Convictions 
Preparing for the Revolutionary War
Pray Together, Stay Together
Apostle of Kentucky

Friday, March 24, 2017

Slave Name Roll Project Contribution: Hanover County, Virginia

Leigh does not blog about her family's history but among her genealogy papers is the document below, which lists the names of several people who were born into slavery and belonged to Henry H. Wood of Hanover County, Virginia. The birth dates were recorded between 1832 to 1863 and appear to be written by at least two different people.

Document listing people who were born into slavery and belonged to Henry
H. Wood; personal collection of Leigh

Henry H. Wood

Names of servants when born belonging to H. H. Wood:

MARY was born August 9, 1832
RICHARD was born August 17, 1834
LEVENIA was born August 20, 1839
PETER was born September 15, 1851
JAMES TRUMAN was born May 15, 1858
GEORGE FRANKLIN was born of Sep 1, 1858
CORA ANN was born Dec 11, 1860
WILLIAM COALMAN was born of July 15, 1860 [or 1861]
CORAH AN was born 11th of December 1861
WALTER was born 19th of July 1863
JOHN was born 8th of August 1863

If you would like to contribute to the Slave Name Roll Project, email me at psd11719 @ gmail . com (no spaces), leave a comment on the Slave Name Roll Project page, or post or message my genealogy Facebook page, Tangled Roots and Trees.

Slave Name Roll Project

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Slave Name Roll Contributions: Oglethorpe and Washington Counties, Georgia

Kristi doesn't blog about her family history, but she left a comment on the Slave Name Roll Project with information about the will of her three times great grandfather, John Williams (1796-1864), whose estate was probated after his death on 12 February 1864.

John Williams (1796-1864) lived in Washington County, Georgia. Cynthia Williams, his wife, and the rest of the people listed in the will are his children. It is an exact transcription.

"The following is a list of the Division of negroes property of the Estate of John Williams deceased this Feby 12th 1864.

Cheryl Sellers drew PAUL valued at 4500.00
Elizabeth Rogers drew SAM valued at 4300.00
Cyntha Williams drew BELL valued at 4300.00
Cyntha Smith drew ABRAM valued at 4300.00
Martha Williams drew LITTLE MIKE valued at 2500.00
Amanda Williams drew FORTUNE valued at 2500.00
Mrs. Mary Hitchcock drew OLD LEWY valued at 1500.00 and LITTLE LEWIS valued at 1200.00
Thomas Williams drew ROSE valued at 1600.00 and LIZZY valued at 1700 and 100.00 [this entry is unclear]
Grace Miller drew CHARLOTTE & child valued at 1500.00
John Williams drew SEANY ANN valued at 1450.00 and OLD MIKE valued at 200.00 and 1400.00 [this entry is unclear]

The foregoing is a statement and Division of the negroes of the Estate of John Williams deceased under oath."

This is another contribution from Kristi; it is an excerpt from the will of my six times great grandfather, Samuel Patton (1755-1822) in Oglethorpe County, Georgia.

Samuel Patton dated 15 February 1817, recorded 10 May 1822.

"I lend to my beloved wife Mary Patton until my youngest child comes of age, should she continue a widow, the land and plantation whereon I now live, with all my negroes ... And when my youngest child comes of age, I lend to my wife during her natural life, one negro of her own having one bed and furniture ... I give to my son, Samuel one negro boy named BOB in lieu of all and every part of my estate.


And an except of a will that was on the same page as the will above. This is the will of Martha Whitsell, also in Oglethorpe County, Georgia:

Martha Whitsell, dated 16 January 1822, recorded 10 May 1822.

Having given to my brother James Whitsell two negroez (viz) IRIS and CYNTHIA, one horse, named Ball, and two cows, one sow and five pigs...

Slave Name Roll Project

Monday, March 20, 2017

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Some of His Death Bed Exercises

Continued from the Rev. David Rice: The Part He Took in National and State Affairs

This is from Chapter XVI of the memoirs of Rev. David Rice, which were included in An Outline of the History of the Church in the State of Kentucky, During a Period of Forty Years by Robert Hamilton Bishop and published in 1824.

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course." -- Paul

During the last three years of father Rice's life, he was able to preach but very little. He had no complaints but the weakness arising from a regular decay of nature, until about the beginning of the year 1815; when he had a slight apoplectic stroke, which confined him chiefly to his room the remainder of his day. On the day of his arrival to the age of fourscore, he preached, at his own house, his last sermon, on Psalms xc. 12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. The natural division of his subject, embracing so correctly the matter contained in the test -- the judicious collection of proofs -- the copious illustrations of each proposition -- and the practical improvement of the subject, appeared to be the work of a younger* and more active mind; and all joined to convince that his outward man only had failed.

About the first of the February preceding his death a difficulty of breathing, occasioned by a callous state of the Diaphragm, aided by Hydro-Thorax, gradually accumulating, made him sensible that his end was at hand, and also rendered that end extremely painful. Early in May he was attacked with something like Influenza, accompanied with considerable fever and acute pain; which, added to the difficulty of breathing, confined him to his chair for nearly a week, without sleep; except what, as soon as commenced, was interrupted by distressing Incubus.

After this period he could occasionally take some sleep, but seldom more than and hour at a time; but the difficulty of breathing continued to increase till a constant act of volition was required to enable the organs of respiration to perform their functions at all. Bowed down with age, a general Hydropic Diathesis, and extreme debility, this distressing symptom, though not so painful, became more and more frequent, until a day or two he lay calm and speechless to his last.

During this period, from the first of February to his last moments, he had death in daily expectation, and viewed it with composure, and with patience waited till his change should come. The divine manifestations to him were not of the most lively kind, such as he had at times enjoyed through life, but a calm, uninterrupted view of the complete plan of redemption proposed in the gospel, and his interest in the atoning blood and righteousness of Christ, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Cor. i. 30. Having through life defended the superiority of the work of God to feelings, frames, and exercises of an ordinary or extraordinary kind; so in death he derived his chief consolation from the same rich fountain. The precious promises he would often repeat with feeling emphasis, saying, that the precious book abounds in them if we only had faith to appropriate them, accompanied with pertinent and connect comments upon them.

The glory of God is the salvation of sinners had ever been in him "the ruling passion," and this was eminently "strong in death." His greatest fear was, that he should dishonor the cause of Christ by a fretted, impatient temper, which he would remark was too apt to be indulged by old age even in health. In his most painful moments he would often say, when writhing in anguish, "shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and not evil: my life has been crowned with mercies -- I have had a good constitution, capable of relishing the bounties of heaven -- have enjoyed plenty -- have been blessed with an agreeable companion, long preserved to me -- I have a numerous family of children, in whom I have much comfort -- when I was a boy God took me into covenant with himself, and I took him to be my God, and why should I murmur now when he is chastising me for my sin. If the blessed Jesus, who had no sin of his own, bore the wrath of his heavenly Father for a world of sinners, how willingly ought I to endure all the pain I suffer if my dying example might be but the means of the salvation of one soul." When expressing his jealousy of himself on this head, he would frequently accommodate the petition of the Savior to his heavenly Father, in the near prospect of his suffering: "Father, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee -- Father, glorify thy unworthy servant, that thy unworthy servant may also glorify thee." When using this language, he did not, he said, mean a glorious exaltation in heaven, but the same as when he spake of the glory of God, not the innate glory of Jehovah, but the declarative glory of God among mankind; which we ought to promote by living in the christian temper, walking as Christ walked, living soberly, righteously, and Godly, in this present world.

He lamented his incapacity for conversation, and seemed disposed to reflect on himself for not having improved his time with more diligence while he had strength for usefulness.

Ever fond of society, but especially that of his brothers in the ministry, he manifested an increasing anxiety to have frequent interviews with them, and at every such interview he would dwell principally on the necessity of ministerial diligence and zeal. This was not done as if flowing from passions recently harrowed up by the alarms of approaching death, but in a firm and rational way, like a man getting a clearer view of the object the nearer he approached it. He endeavored much to impress the minds of his brethren with just ideas of the unpromising state of religion and morals in our country -- of the worth of souls -- the comparative littleness of the world -- its profits, and its honors, and its pleasures -- the importance of family religion, and family instruction, to both civil and religious society -- that without a reformation in these things the American government will degenerate into anarchy and consequent despotism; and the civil, and perhaps the religious liberty of the nation be lost in the ruins of the republic.

Good will to man appeared to be the fountain from whence all his conversation flowed: not like a torrent foaming by the inundation of a sudden shower, but as an equal stream from some never-failing spring; according to the promise, it shall be in him a well of water springing up unto life eternal.

His efforts were not confined to the ministry. He improved every opportunity during the period of his confinement, to urge upon all who visited him the excellency, the importance, and the necessity of true religion, and the danger of neglecting it. All his conversation was, as ever, aimed at the great object of benefiting mankind. When light-minded persons would enter his room, he would even condescend to some little humorous detail, that he might make his company agreeable to them, and put them in a good humor to receive some useful lesson which he had in view to give them -- to teach them something important -- something calculated to promote their present and future happiness. At one time a servant came into his room while he was in a hard struggle: calling him by name, he said, "This is hard work: you had better even now be engaged to obtain a preparation for such a period, or it may go much harder with you. You will find when you come to die, that to struggle with death will be as much as you can bear; with the load of all your crimes upon you un-repented of, unforgiven, you will find this is no time to secure your soul's salvation. Don't put it off any longer."

The low estate of Zion in our country -- the prevalence of vice, ignorance, bigotry, superstition, enthusiasm, error and schism, for years before his death, cost him many painful hours. He was frequently heard to express it as his opinion, that without a miracle of divine grace, the next generation would become heathens or infidels -- that he hardly ever met with a company of young persons, but it excited a kind of gloom on his state of the church, when the present generation was gone. He always considered them as the hope of the church; therefore; therefore, in his addresses to youth, he was ever pathetically tender and affectionate. He had the heart of a father, -- he wept over them in life and in death, and his last advice to them was, to weep for themselves. This state of mind was so impressive in his last illness, that for many months before he left us, that of a mourner appeared to be a leading feature in his in his character. Often, when reflecting upon the deplorable condition of the youth among us, he felt an ardent desire to have them collected around him, that he might once more weep over them, and warn them of the danger which awaited them. When about to take anything agreeably to the doctor's direction, to mitigate his pain, he would be apt to observe that the best cordial for him would be to hear of the prosperity of Zion -- that his careless neighbors were attending to the one thing needful -- if it would not remove, it would enable him to bear his burden. He often spake of his own deficiencies in the most humbling terms: not so much his want of faithfulness in publicly preaching the word, as his not improving every opportunity in families and with individuals to promote their spiritual interests, and in laboring to do good to the souls of his fellow creatures by recommending the religion of Jesus. He was afraid his brethren in the ministry were criminal in the same way; and would lament that private christians did not appear to consider it their duty, by every prudent method in their private capacity, to recommend religion; and in that way to be preaching the gospel. He deeply lamented the folly and madness of multitudes in paying no regard to the authority and commands of God, and neglecting the only way of salvation. He would sometimes observe, "that as he saw a propriety in it, so he felt an inclination to go mourning to his grave."

This was a common theme with him, and he was apt to close his observations in the words of the prophet, "Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people." This he would express with emphatic fervor. Having imbibed much of the spirit of his divine master, at a time when it appeared natural that every other thought should be swallowed up in his own sufferings, like Him, they did not make him forget the church, his country, or his fellow creatures through the world, but appeared to quicken his ardor for the prosperity of the one and the happiness of the other.

His anxiety for the promotion of religion, and his seeing or hearing of little or nothing that appeared favorable, at least in this country, gave a coloring to the state of his mind, while the uncommonly distressing nature of his disorder made him fond of repeating and commenting on such passages as these: -- "A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall not quench" -- "Though he slay me, het will I trust in him," etc.

As in all his sufferings his own bodily pain was less distressing than the fear that he might dishonor God and religion by manifesting an unbecoming temper; so, to obviate the effects of such example, frequently would he tell his family and his neighbors that he had great jealousies of himself on this head, and that if, in his long affliction, he should become peevish, he wished them to take notice that he entered his solemn protest against himself for it. When he would be reminded with how much patience and firmness he suffered, he would observe, "You know nothing about me, I know I shall fail if God withdraw the kind supports of his grace from me." Speaking to his much esteemed friend, the Rev. Mr. Abell, he said, "Tell my friends, in their prayers for me, I wish this to be their petition, -- that I may not dishonor God before I die." Patience and resignation were the subjects of his prayers; his prayers were answered -- he never to the last moment discovered that weakness of mind which utters the impatient sigh.

So far from being in a terror at approaching death, he had full command of all his reasoning powers, like a man about to die in perfect health, with all his senses about him. He frequently directed his family to give him water often, should he become speechless, (which took place about two days and a half before his death) because many, he believed, often suffered greatly for water after they became incapable of calling for it. In attending to this direction, which was done about every ten minutes when asked if he would receive it, he generally intimated his assent.

He meditated with much pleasure on the dealings of God with him in his youth, in bringing him to an early knowledge of the gospel plan of salvation through a divine Redeemer; particularly on the exercise of covenanting with God, in which exercise he was engaged during the space of about two weeks not long after he received the first manifestation of God's love to his soul. But he said, he feared that he fed too much on past experiences. His present exercises, however, were often very comfortable. On one of his wearisome nights, sitting in his chair, and not able to hold up his head without having it held up for him, "I have been sitting here," said he, "hanging down my head, and meditating upon these words: When he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; and I trust I was brought to his banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." He dwelt much on the faithfulness of God. "He hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure," was the theme of his soul. He would often add, "This is all my salvation and all my desire." -- About the last words he was heard to utter were, "O when shall I be free from sin and sorrow." And on the 18th day of June, 1816, and in the 83rd year of his age, the weary wheels of life stood still at last.

The foregoing gives some imperfect account of the last days of this ancient and faithful servant of Jesus Christ, and of the exercises of his mind at a time when he had a clear, calm, and deliberate expectation every day of receiving the summons to appear before his Creator. The relation is made from memory after his departure, but care has been taken to guard against any incorrect statement; of several who were with him great part of the time embraced in this narration, none have discovered any inaccuracies. It was very desirable to preserve a more detailed account, by committing to writing his observations and remarks as they occurred. Something of this kind was attempted -- but, his great distress requiring so interruptedly the attention of all about him, it was found it would be difficult, perhaps impracticable, to have affected it.

Could this have been done, such extracts might have been made as would have shown to the world an instance of age, under an enormous weight of distress, rising, by the supports of divine grace, superior to its infirmities and pains. It would be seen how precious Jesus is to those who put their trust in him -- it would be seen how rich a treasure the divine word is to those who thence deduce the rules of their life, and all their hopes of comfort in time, of support in death, and of peace and joy in eternity -- it would have seen that in his most distressing moments he often almost forgot his pains while repeating over the precious promises of God's word, and commenting upon them with a perspicuity, diffusiveness and pertinency, which was surprising to all who viewed his age, his weakness, and his sufferings -- that this exercise appeared to afford more relief than any thing else -- it would be seen that "the kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" -- it would be seen that there is a reality in religion which is even tangible -- in fine, it would be seen why he esteemed the reasons urged in his letters on the evidences of Christianity, as more convincing than all the arguments of the school-men. It was an every way interesting scene to those who witnessed it, and must have dissipated every skeptical doubt in the mind of any who would draw near and take a close view of it.

"He is dead -- he is departed." Shall we lament his death? Shall we weep over his urn? Shall not our tears at the same time be mingled with a mournful pleasure, that his warfare is accomplished -- that he is free from sin and sorrow -- that he is now in the full enjoyment of all the blessings of the everlasting covenant which were in reversion for him?

His was a long life of painful disinterested devotedness to the service of his generation. He was without contemporaries; and remarked, when he heard of the death of the Rev. Mr. Sutton, whom he much respected, that he was now left without a contemporary, but that it made not much difference, for he should soon follow, and did.**

In his official addresses he was tender, affectionate, and solemn. Having devoted himself to the service of the sanctuary, his was not a life of idleness. He ever considered that his duty as a preacher of the gospel was not confined to the pulpit -- it was a maxim with him, that preaching, in ordinary cases, was not likely to be blessed, unless the hearer had been prepared by a previous course of catechetical instructions. To this duty he set himself as often as circumstances and the state of society would permit. It was his custom before, and some years after he removed to Kentucky, to divide his church into two catechetical districts, for the convenience of collecting the children, and to attend each at stated times when not interrupted by other duties.

These pious labors were not confined to his own immediate charge, but were frequently extended to vacant churches, as often as he could avail himself of a suitable person to act as catechist under his superintendence; and in such cases he recommended, as the best preservative against disputation with any of the catechumens, to close the exercises of the day with a serious address, suited to the occasion, and by prayer.

The happy effects of this course he witnessed in the great improvement in religious knowledge, and an increased attention to public ordinance; and the neglect of it in this country he very much regretted. It was a common remark with him, "The people are starving the ministers, and the ministers are starving the people for it."

In dealing with those under distress of soul, the way in which he had himself been brought eminently qualified him -- and it was a duty which he always performed with sympathetic delight.

In public he was faithful, in private he was exemplary. In his commerce with mankind he was upright -- in his domestic circle he moved with majestic evenness; perhaps the oldest of children never saw him manifest irritation or passion in a single instance.

He was a tender, cordial, kind husband -- an affectionate father, a humane master. He knew well how to order his house -- in administering religious instruction to his household, his manner was calculated to impress the mind with the idea that the truths taught bore a relation to eternity. He knew how to command obedience without austerity. Never under the influence of a blind partiality, he was quick to discern the foibles of his own, and with steady hand corrected them.

In his neighborhood he was always kind and obliging. His conversation was seasoned with the precepts of wisdom. In all his deportment he displayed the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

Much of his time was spent in prayer; he delighted to draw near to his heavenly Father, and hold converse with his God and Redeemer -- and in his prayers he always bore the church on his heart. Kentucky! many tears has he shed for you and your children.

The following is extracted from a letter of friendship of one of his brothers in the ministry.

"It is with pleasure I embrace the opportunity now presented to communicate to you my impressions and reflections on visiting and viewing alone the grave of our reverend and dear father. I was struck with the simplicity and decency of the place, which seemed rather formed to excite serious pleasure than melancholy. The western breeze gave an undulatory motion to the pendent branches of the weeping willow which shaded the memorable spot that gives repose to that heart which has felt more for the distressed -- that head which has thought and studied more for the purpose of benefitting his countrymen -- those limbs which have been longer and more constantly employed to promote these ends, than probably any other grave in America contains.

The paled enclosure was large enough to contain the happy pair who had become companions again after nine years separation. Here, said I, he has found his long lost Maria at last -- here they lie in the same position in which they stood at the altar when they first pledged their vows to each other; they are now joined to be parted no more forever -- and together shall they rise triumphant at the general doom, to be joined in more perfect union.

A little gate gave admittance to the solitary visitant, while a willow at each southern corner afforded him a shade. The rich carpeting of blue grass which covered the surrounding glebe, seemed to add to the tranquil appearance of the place. The peaceful forest at respectful distance on one side, and a row of fruit trees at equal distance on the other, seemed to secure this venerable repository from the approach of all idle curiosity. O what, like the manifestation of affection to its corresponding object, so calculated to warm the heart and enliven the pleasing sensations of fancy. I need not tell you how the christian doctrine of future glory charmed me, when I viewed it as the place of rest from so many years of labor, and the reward of so many years of suffering. I have seldom been so fully pleased with death. O let us try to emulate those whose graves we view with such delight, and whose memory shall be blessed forever."

*He preached from the same passage, Jan. 1st, 1765, and regretted, after preaching his last sermon, that he had not recollected his having notes on the same passage.

** At his birth the population of this country was half a million, at his death it was eight million.

To be continued...

I am publishing a chapter of Rev. David Rice's memoirs every Monday.

Rev. David Rice (1733-1816) was my fifth great grandfather.

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: The Part He Took in National and State Affairs
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Last Years of His Life
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Resigns His Pastoral Charge and Retires
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: A Little Reviving in the Midst of Bondage
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Secret Exercises
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Character of Some of the First Preachers in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: State of Religion in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: He Moves to Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: His Comfort and Success among the Peaks of Otter
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Scene of His First Labors
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Devotes of Himself to the Ministry
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Introduction of the Gospel into Virginia
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Relief Obtained
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Further Convictions
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Birth, Parentage, and First Convictions 
Preparing for the Revolutionary War
Pray Together, Stay Together
Apostle of Kentucky

Friday, March 17, 2017

Slave Name Roll Project Contribution: Slaves in Rockingham County, Virginia

Last July a woman left a link on my genealogy Facebook page, Tangled Roots and Trees, about a series of source documents that mentioned slaves by name. They had been added to the website of Binns Genealogy, a company that sells Virginia county tax lists on CD. The company had made the pages for the 1782 Rockingham County, Virginia, free for some period of time. The Library of Virginia also has the lists for some counties on microfilm.

After the Revolutionary War, the counties in Virginia, began taxing land and personal property beginning in 1782. Any white male over the age of 21 was required to pay. The records include some information about real estate holdings, personal property, and slave holdings. There were 979 tithable white people and 576 blacks in the county in 1782.

Slave Owners and Slaves, Rockingham County, Virginia, 1782

Slaves of Robert [?]
PEG, DOT, HARRIS, SIGN and child

Slaves of George Baswell

Slaves of George Baxter

Slaves of James Beard

Slave of Thomas Bryant

Slaves of Amos Carpenter

Slaves of John Cathera

Slaves of George Chrisman

Slaves of [?] Collins

Slaves of John Craig
FRANK, FERN, DEMIA?ILSA and children

Slaves of John and James Davies

Slaves of Hugh Devier

Slaves of James Devier

Slaves of William Devier

Slaves of Joseph Dickson

Slaves of John Diniston

Slaves of Nathaniel Douglas

Slaves of James Dyer

Slave of Roger Dyer

Slaves of Felix Gilberts

Slaves of Philip Gilberts

Slave of John Gordon

Slaves of Thomas Gordonston

Slaves of Gavin Hamilton

Slaves of [?] Harrison

Slave of Benjamin Harrison

Slaves of Jeremiah Harrison

Slaves of Ruben and Robert Harrison

Slaves of Thomas Harrison

Slaves of Silas Hart

Slaves of John Henderson

Slave of Thom Hewitt

Slaves of Ebenezer Hinton

Slaves of Jeffy Hoover

Slave of John Hopkins

Slave of Coonrod Humble

Slaves of Archibald Johnston

Slaves of Gabriel Jones, Esq. and John Finks

Slaves of David Laird

Slaves of Henry Laird

Slaves of William Lamb

Slaves of Dennis Lorehorn

Slaves of Daniel Love

Slaves of Ephraim Love

Slaves of John Nicholas

Slaves of Matthias Patton

Slaves of Jacob Perkey

Slave of Thomas Reed

Slaves of John Rice

Slave of John Riddle

Slaves of David Robinson

Slave of Joseph Rutherford

Slave of Nathaniel Scott

Slave of Isiah Shipman

Slaves of George Siles

Slaves of John Smith

Slaves of Joseph Smith

Slaves of William Smith and son

Slaves of George Spears

Slave of Peter Vaniman

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Slave Name Roll Contribution: Slaves of William Bennett: Sumner County, Tennessee

This is a contribution to the Slave Name Roll Project from Dave:

"I William Bennett of Sumner County & State of Tennessee being of sound mind and memory but knowing the uncertainty of my time in this world have thought proper to make the following distribution of such worldly goods as a gratious God has given me between my beloved wife & ten children. 1st, It is my will that all my just debts & funeral expenses be paid out of the whole of my estate. 2nd, It is my will that my wife have the house and plantation with its appuntenances one negro woman by the name of SUCKING and a boy by the name of BOB and one good gentle horse one cow & calf one cupboard & one desk to possess during her natural life. 3rd, It is also my will that my wife have one certain bed, bedstead & furniture & twenty five dollars in silver to dispose of as she thinks proper. 4th, It is my will that my three sons have the tract of land where on we now live containing two hundred acres to be divided as follows, Elisha to have at her Mothers death the house and eighty acres of land to be laid off so as to include the house & the north west corner of said track the balance to be equally divided between Richard & William agreeable to their situation. 5th It is my will that the value of the above land be fixed at ten dollars pr. acre and the negroes which I gave my seven daughters at the time of their marriage be fixed at three hundred and twenty five dollars each and that each of my daughters receive as much of my other property was will make their portions equal to that of my son & the balance of any to be equally divided between my ten children I do hereby constitute & appoint my three sons Elsiha Bennett Richard Bennett & William Bennett my Executor of this my last will and testiment. In witness whereof I have here unto set my this twenty fourth of March one thousand eight hundred & twenty three. Signed sealed in the presence of William Bennett, Joel Parrish, David Wilson, Wm Wherry Sr.
William Bennett Seal.

State of Tennesee, Sumner County Court May Term 1823. The last will and testiment of William Bennett dec'd was exhibited in open court for probate & was there upon duly proved by the oaths of Joel Parrish one of the subscribing witnesses thereto & ordered to be recorded where upon Elisha Bennett, Richard Bennett & William Bennett the Executors therein named insaid last will appeared in court & took the oath of Executors prescribed by law & together with Phillip Chapman, Wiliw Vinson & William McElrath their securities extend into & scknowledge their bond to the Governor in the penalty of four thousand dollars conditioned as the law directs. A copy test.
A.H.Douglas Clerk."


Monday, March 13, 2017

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: The Part He Took in National and State Affairs

Continued from the Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Last Years of His Life.

This is from Chapter XV of the memoirs of Rev. David Rice, which were included in An Outline of the History of the Church in the State of Kentucky, During a Period of Forty Years by Robert Hamilton Bishop and published in 1824.

Mr. Rice was naturally of a modest and retiring disposition, yet when duty evidently called, he could come forth, from the humble walk of a country parson, and take a part in the public concerns of the nation. At the commencement of the Revolutionary struggle he took a decided stand, and let slip no opportunity of warning the people among whom he labored, or the danger to which their civil rights were exposed. He indeed, like many others at first supposed that the grievances of which the colonies complained might have been redressed, and complete security given for the enjoyment of all these privileges, without a dismemberment of the British Empire. But when the attainment of the object in this way was found to be utterly hopeless, he was prepared to make every sacrifice, and to exhort his countrymen to make every sacrifice, rather than submit to arbitrary power, in any form or in any degree. He knew the force and the spirit of the apostolic injunction -- "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well." See Sec 1 Pet. ii 13 & 14. But he knew also that he who had made of one blood all the nations of the earth, never authorized any one class of men, or any one nation, to exercise authority over another class, or over another nation, any farther than it was consistent with the general good. He knew also, that in the case of British subjects there were a solemn compact between the rulers and the ruled, and thus obedience was only a duty when protection and justice were afforded.

An illustration of these remarks, the following extracts are given from a discourse when appears to have been delivered at a county meeting, at an early period of the Revolution. Having given a brief statement of the grievances complained of, he proceeded thus:

"These high proceedings could not fail of giving a general alarm. Every sensible man saw, that the same power that seized private property in one colony might do it in another: that the same power that altered one charter might alter or take away another: that the by jury in one colony, might take it from the subject the right of trial by every colony: that the same power that established popery and tyranny in one place might establish it in another. Which weighty and important considerations excited every colony from New Hampshire to Georgia to oppose these unrightious proceedings. They evidently saw that it was a common cause, in which every American was deeply interested, and were sensible of the necessity of being united to a man. The mode of opposition they adopted was the best, the most pacific, their circumstances would admit of. It was calculated to bring about an accommodation without the effusion of human blood.

Should our king attempt to extend the royal prerogative beyond its proper limits, and thereby deprive us of our liberties, we should not even in that case be bound by the oaths we have taken to submit. The compact between the king and the people would then be broken; he would cease to be our king; resistance would not only be lawful, but an indispensable duty; it would be resisting a tyrant, not a king. And he who maintains the opposite doctrine, except through ignorance, is a traitor at heart; he is a Jacobite in principle, unfriendly to the English constitution, an enemy to his king and his country. Should the Pretender again attempt the throne of Britain, this doctrine would be universally received by every loyal subject: the doctrine is as sound now as it would be in that case: it is upon this principle of the lawfulness of resistance that king George III sits upon the British throne.

But this is not the case. His Majesty, as I know of, has made no attempt to extend the prerogative, but has rather suffered a diminution of it. The dispute is not between us and the parliament. The king has the same authority here he has in Great Britain: the Americans never denied it, they always submitted to it; and have, particularly in the late war with France, and are still willing to hazard fortunes in its support.

The question is this: Has the parliament of Great Britain authority to make laws to bind the Americans in all cases whatsoever? or in other words, have they a right to take our money out of our pockets without our consent, and apply it to what purposes they please? They assert they have; we maintain they have not."

And again,

"All the rights of free born British subjects have been made over to us, ratified and confirmed by royal charter, and can never be taken from us but by a flagrant breach of faith. And what we are not contending for is an undoubted, and indisputable right of a British subject. We have then as good a patent for this as we have on our lands; and if this can be taken from us,  by the same authority and with equal justice may our lands and all we possess be taken. This assumed right of taxation is contrary to every idea of liberty, and to the spirit of the English constitution of government, according to which no man can be bound by any law but those of his own making; he cannot be obliged to pay any tax but by his own consent. It is a blow at the root of the English constitution, it saps the foundation of English government.

The house of Stewart attempted to destroy these constitutional rights of the people; for which one lost his head and another his crown. The Revolution succeeded, and the present royal family were placed on the throne on the principles of liberty; in the principles of liberty their title is founded: destroy these, and you destroy the claim of the house of Hanover to the crown."

The closing paragraph is in these words:

"I do not, gentlemen, exhort you to rebellion: rebellion is opposition to lawful authority and our rightful sovereign. The king and not the parliament is our sovereign; the power we resist is not lawful but usurped; it is an attempt of part of his Majesty's subjects to tyrannize over the rest, in violation of the most sacred rights. I acknowledge the power of Great Britain: she has fleets and armies at her command, she has skillful generals; but she has not justice on her side. Her forces cannot act against us without an expensive voyage of near three thousand miles: when here, they are in a strange land. We are at home, in our own land, a woodland country, with which we are well acquainted, and of which we knew how to make an advantage. We have provisions in our own houses, and we have justice on our side. We contend for our estates, for our liberties, for our lives, for our posterity, for the rights of our king and our country; they to gratify the ambition and avarice of a few. They are destroying their country; we are endeavoring to save it from ruin. This some in Great Britain already see; and I hope a vigorous and manly opposition on our part will soon open the eyes of ethers, rouse up the ancient generous spirit of Britain, bring just vengeance on the authors of these wicked counsels, and restore the chartered rights of America: should not this be the case, I fear the glory and prosperity of Britain is at an end, which may God of his great goodness forbid."

These were Mr. Rice's political principles from the beginning, and to the close of his life he acted upon them. Hence, when the Declaration of Independence was made, it met with his hearty approbation and support, and though he never was, so far as it it is known, in the field of battle, yet the services which he rendered in his sphere of action were by no means without their influence on the final results.

He was, in 1792, a member of the convention which formed the first constitution for the state of Kentucky, and from the same principles which made him a decided friend to the political independence of his country, he exerted himself on that occasion, both before that meeting of the convention in his place as a member, that an article in the constitution should have provided for the gradual abolition of slavery. He was born and raised in a slave state. He lived, and labored, and died, in a slave state. Yet he never was reconciled to slavery. He uniformly considered it as a great moral and political evil, and he was also decidedly of opinion that a remedy for this evil might have been obtained at the formation of the different state constitution.

Pamphlet printed of speech given by Rev. David
Rice at the Kentucky Constitutional Convention;
Mr. Rice was very active, and succeeded against considerable opposition in obtaining the establishment of Hampden and Sidney college, Virginia, and was the means of bring the two first distinguished Presidents, Rev. Samuel S. Smith, and his brother John Blair Smith, who succeeded on his removal to the college of New Jersey.

The late Hon. Caleb Wallace was the year before Mr. Rice's removal to Kentucky, but after his determination to remove, the representative from Lincoln county in the legislature of Virginia. On his application he obtained the grant of certain escheated lands within the district of Kentucky for the purpose of establishing a public school, and a charter for the establishment of a college to be called The Transylvania Seminary. Mr. Rice was one of the first appointed Trustees, and upon the organization of the Board, was appointed chairman. The first meeting of the Board was a Lincoln, Nov. 10, 1783. Mr. Rice continued chairman till July 1787, when he begged leave to resign, and Harry Innis, who was afterwards judge of the federal court for the district of Kentucky, was appointed in his place.

The first Grammar School in Kentucky was opened and taught at the house of Mr. Rice, in Lincoln county. The order for the opening of it was passed by the Board, Nov. 4th, 1784. It was opened the February following; and this was the beginning of Transylvania University. The school continued there, and the Board continued to meet there, or in the neighborhood, till Oct. 13th, 1788, when they met for the first time in Lexington.

The Kentucky Academy was incorporated by the legislature of Kentucky in 1784. The Board of Trustees had their first meeting for business in Lexington, March 11th, 1795. The Board having, at several subsequent meetings, received proposals from Paris, Harrodsburg, and Pisgah in Woodford county, for the location of the academy at these places, and having also by subscriptions and donations obtained a fund of upwards of one thousand pounds, finally determined to locate the institution at Pisgah, and entered into engagements for the erection of the necessary buildings.

Mr. Rice continued an active member of this Board from March 11th, 1795, until Oct. 11th, 1796, when he resigned; the infirmities of age, and the distance of his residence, rendering it inconvenient for him to attend. Among other services which he rendered during the period of his membership, he, in company with another member of the Board, visited several parts of Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, etc., etc., for the purpose of soliciting donations to the institution. While on this tour, his friends connected with New Jersey college proposed obtaining for him the degree of D.D. This he rejected with a considerable degree of determination, and said that there was professional standing implied in that honorary degree to which he had not attained, and that consequently he would be ashamed to wear the title.

The last meeting of the Trustees of the Kentucky Academy was in Oct. 1798, when they passed a resolution to unite with the Transylvania Seminary. The two Boards were accordingly, at the subsequent meeting of the Assembly, united, and styled, The Trustees of Transylvania University. The history of the transactions of these two institutions, which were at that period legally united, would make a volume of itself, and the subject is worthy the attention of all who wish well to the honor and prosperity of the state.

To be continued...

I am publishing a chapter of Rev. David Rice's memoirs every Monday.

Rev. David Rice (1733-1816) was my fifth great grandfather.

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Last Years of His Life
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Resigns His Pastoral Charge and Retires
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: A Little Reviving in the Midst of Bondage
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Secret Exercises
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Character of Some of the First Preachers in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: State of Religion in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: He Moves to Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: His Comfort and Success among the Peaks of Otter
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Scene of His First Labors
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Devotes of Himself to the Ministry
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Introduction of the Gospel into Virginia
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Relief Obtained
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Further Convictions
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Birth, Parentage, and First Convictions 
Preparing for the Revolutionary War
Pray Together, Stay Together
Apostle of Kentucky

Friday, March 10, 2017

Slave Name Roll Project Contribution: Slaves of William Lyon: Nelson County, Virginia

This contribution was left as comment on my blog and left by Wendy. Thank you!

Will: William Lyon, 1811
Source: Nelson County Will Book A, p. 110-?
Contributor: Sharon Barrett Kennedy

The Will of William Lyon
Written March 10, 1811; Probated April 22, 1811
Nelson County Will Book A, p. 110-?

In the Name of God, Amen; I William Lyon of the County of Nelson being weak of body but of sound mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and from following, to wit:

Item my will and desire is that all my just debts be paid, and after funeral expences & other necessary charges attending the same, I devise and divide my estate in the following manner that is to say, I lend to my loving wife during her natural life the land and planation with all its appurtenances whereon I now live (in lieu of Dower) and after her decease I give and devise the same, to be equally divided between my two sons James Lyon and Gutridge Lyon, both as to quantity and quality which said land I then give in a manner aforesaid to them and their heirs forever; my will also is that my daughter Sally Lyon shall be at full liberty to remain on my lands above devised and at my dwelling house thereon, as at home until she marries or otherwise chooses to leave the same.

Item I give to my loving wife Sally Lyon during her natural life my following slaves, ALEXANDER, KNELLY, JUDE, MARY, DANIEL, MATT, SALLEY, ABRAHAM, PETER, and ALEXANDER JR. together with all my stock of every kind, plantation utensils, tools, household and kitchen furniture in short all my goods and chattells, not hereafter specially given and after her decease I give and devise the same to be equally divided among my following nine children, to wite, Elizabeth Gentry, John Lyon, Frances Boyd, Salley Lyon, William Lyon, James Lyon, Mary Thurmond Anderson, Gutridge Lyon, and Nancy Boyd in such manner as my executors hereinafter mention, shall think the most proper, so as to make the same equal to each and every of them.

Item, having given my daughter Elizabeth Gentry, a negroe woman BECK which is now in her possession, which slave was at the time given thought to be worth one hundred and twenty pounds, and was then agreed on and intended to be only half her value, that my will and desire is that sixty pounds be retained for the use of my other children out of her equal proportion (after my wife's decease) mentioned in the preceding cause.

Item, I give to my daughter Salley my negro girl CATEY and her future increase, together with my black mare, and one cow and calf, which I give to her & heirs forever.

Item, I give to my son James Lyon my negroe boy DICK, and his heirs forever.

Item I give to my daughter Mary Thurmond Anderson my Negro girl ROSE and her future increase which I give to her and her heirs forever, under this special condition, that she is to possess her not subject to the countroul or paiment of debts of her husband John Anderson, and I do hereby appoint my son Gutridge Thurmond a thrustee under this clause of my will to carry it into effect.

Item, having given my son William a negroe boy named LEWIS, which he has sold to my son James his Bequest and sale is confirmed by this my will to my said two sons to their heirs forever.

Item, I give to my son Gutridge, my negroe boy SQUIRE, to him and his heirs forever.

Item, I give to my daughter Nancy Boyd my Negroe girl FANNY and her future increase, which negroe girl is now in her possession, which said Negroe Fanny and her future increase I give to her and her heirs forever.

Item my son John Lyon and Frances Boyd (my daughter) having received my Negroe fellow Nathan, which they divided between themselves my will is that the said Negroe be vested between them as divided to them and their heirs forever.

Lastly I appoint my loving wife Salley Lyon executrix and my two sons James Lyon and Gutridge Lyon, executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other wills by me theretofore made, acknowledging this to be my last.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seals this 10th day of March one thousand eight hundred and eleven.

his mark
William (X) Lyon (SEAL)

Signed sealed published and declared in presence of
Thomas Ewers
Jesse Gentry
Harmon Gentry
Hudson Martin

At a Court held for Nelson county at the Court house on Monday the 22nd day of April 1811. This last Will & Testament of William Lyon dec'd. was produced in court and proved by the oaths of Thomas Ewers, Jesse Gentry, Harmon Gentry and Hudson Martin four subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded. And Sally Lyon the Extrx. and James Lyon and Guttridge Lyon the Exors. In said will named appeared in court and qualified thereto according to law who together entered into and acknowledged their bond in the penalty of $8000 current money and conditioned as the Law directs. A Probat thereof is granted them according to Law.

Spotswood Garland Clk.

Will Book A, p. 112

Know all men by these presents, that we Sally Lyon, James Lyon, Guttridge Lyon, Hudson Martin, Thos. Ewers, Nelson Crawford, Michael Woods are held and firmly bound unto Nation Crawford, Jos. Shelton, James Montgomery, Jno. Mosby Gentlemen Justices of the Court of Nelso nCounty now sitting in the sum of eight Thousand Dollars, to the payment whereof, well and truly to be made to the said Justices and their successors, we bind ourselves and each of us our and each of our heirs, executors, and administrators, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents. Seals with our seals, this 22nd day of April in the year of our Lord 1811 and in the 35th year of the Commonwealth. The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bound Sally Lyon, James Lyon and Guttridge Lyon executrix & executors of the last will and testament of William Lyon deceased, do make or cause to be made, a true and perfect inventory of all, and singular the goods, chattels, and credits of the said deceased, which have or shall come to the hands, possession or knowledge of them the said Exex. & Exors. Or in the hands and possession of any other person or persons for them, and the same so made do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited into the County Court of Nelson at such time as they shall be thereunto required by the said Court, and the same goods, chattels and credits, and all other the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, which at any time shall come to the hands, possession or knowledge of them the said Exes. & Exors. Or in the hands and possession of any other person or persons for them, and the same so made do exhibit, or cause to be exhibited into the County Court of Nelson at such time as they shall be thereunto required by the said Court, and the same goods, chattels and credits, and all other the goods, chattels and credits of the said deceased, which at any time after shall come to the hands , possession or knowledge of the said Exes. & Exors. Or into the hands or possession of any other person or person for them do well and truly administer according to Law, and after, do make a just and true account of their acting and doing therein, when thereto required by the said Court, and also shall well and truly pay and deliver all the legacies contained and specified in the said testament, as far as the said goods, chattels & credits, will thereunto be extend, and the Law shall charge, then this obligation to be void and of no effect or else to remain in full force and virtue.

Signed, Sealed and delivered in the presence of
Sally Lyon
James Lyon
Gutridge Lyon
Hudson Martin
Mich. Woods
Thomas Ewers
Nelson Crawford, Jr.

Cas. Perrow DC

At a court held for Nelson County the 22nd day of April 1811.

This Bond was acknowledged in Court by Sally Lyon, James Lyon, Guttridge Lyon, Hudson Martin, Michael Woods, Thomas Ewers and Nelson Crawford parties thereto and order to be recorded.


Spotswood Garland CK

Slave Name Roll Project

Monday, March 6, 2017

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Last Years of His Life

Continues from the Memoirs: Rev. David Rice: Resigns His Pastoral Charge and Retires

This is from Chapter XIV of the memoirs of Rev. David Rice, which were included in An Outline of the History of the Church in the State of Kentucky, During a Period of Forty Years by Robert Hamilton Bishop and published in 1824.

Better wear out than rust out, appears to have been Mr. Rices motto. In 1798 he ceased to the be pastor of a congregation, and ceased in a great measure to take any share in directing the judicatories of the church -- yet neither his labors nor his usefulness were at an end. He moved to the county of Green, a new and frontier county, and resolved to spend his last days in visiting the vacancies, and assisting his brethren as opportunities offered. The state of religion in general, in this new county, first attract his notice. "I found, says he, "that there were but few of reputable characters as Christians. There were a few presbyterians, a few Baptists, and a few Methodists, and but few upon the whole. These all united would make but a feeble band to carry on a war against the devil, the world and the flesh. Yet if a union, a good understanding, could be accomplished, something might be done -- whereas, should we divide, we should weaken each other's hands and injure the good cause in which we professed to be engaged." All the brethren of the the different denominations appeared to coincide with father Rice in these sentiments, but there were all too ignorant of human nature, or too much tinctured with party spirit, and likely also possessed too little piety, to act as these sentiments demanded.

In the summers and falls of 1805 and 6, under the appointment of the General Assembly, father Rice made a tour through the churches of Kentucky and lower parts of Ohio, comforting the saints, and trying to gather in some of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Two small pamphlets, entitled a first and second epistle to those who are called, or who have been called Presbyterians, will be monuments to generations of his affections and faithfulness on these occasions.

The year 1812 or 1813 may be said to have closed the public administrations of father Rice. He was at home from that time till the day of his death, by the mere decay of nature, continued to his own house. He had been often applied to by his brethren in the ministry, and others, for a short account of his life. In the winter of 1814 and spring of 1815, when he was incapable of writing with his own hand, and could only walk when assisted, he considered it his duty to comply with their request. A neighboring brother attended as often as he could conveniently, and acted as his amanuensis. From the account thus received all the facts respecting his private exercises and private conduct in the preceding narrative are selected; and whenever he is introduced as speaking, the very words are retained which be then uttered.

The narrative closes with these words: -- "During these two years I have spent a good deal of time in reflection. When I look back as far as my joining myself to the church in full communion, I do not accuse myself of much outward vicious conduct. I do not recollect ever wronging a man out of a shilling, either by cheating him in a bargain, or by withholding from him his due when in my power to pay. When I had money which I owed, I always viewed it not as my own property, but as my creditors. I never indulged myself in lying -- never was a profane swearer -- was never drunk but once, and that was occasioned by my following an injudicious advice to assist the operations of medicine. I never gambled with any man. I never invented and spread false reports of others, though I have too often ignorantly propagated them when told by others. I do not remember that I ever envied a minister of the gospel for his talents and usefulness, or wished to bring him down on a level with myself. But on reflection conclude, that a man may experience as much and perhaps much more than I have done, and yet be a great sinner. Hence I feel a great reluctance that any thing that might appear amiable, in me, or in my character, should  be set off partially, lest some ministers or private christians should think if they are just as good as I have been, then may rest satisfied. See Phil. iii. 4-14, and Titus iii, 3-7.

In this season of serious reflection, I recollect much sinful deficiency, much highly aggravated guilt in my intercourses with God and in my dealings with my fellow men. I lament my want of deep humility, reverences, and holy love, in my most fervent acts of devotion. My addresses to my fellow creatures have also lacked that tenderness, that compassion, that love to their souls, which are proper. I lament also my backwardness to introduce spiritual conversation among my fellow men, or to turn common conversation into a spiritual channel. I have too often neglected addressing families where I have lodged, or which I have visited, on the solemn things which make for their everlasting peace, and on those relative duties of life on which the honor of God and the prosperity of religion greatly depend. I have too often neglected to instruct the children and youth, and to urge upon them the necessity of early piety; which neglect in ministers and heads of families is very pernicious to both religious and civil society. I have too much participated in the criminal and great neglect of the souls of slaves. Though we live at the expense of these unfortunate creatures, yet we withhold from them a great part of the means of instruction and grace. -- Many indeed deprive them of all, so far as they can. This, added to that of depriving them of their inalienable rights of liberty, is the crying sin of our country; and for this I believe our country is now bleeding at a thousand veins.

I have too often neglected to visit the fatherless and the widow in their affliction, and to relieve and comfort my fellow creatures under the various calamities of life. Much of practical christianity consists in exercises of this kind. See James i. 27.

I will here mention, as a warning to youth, a matter which as often distressed me, in advanced life. My father, in his last sickness, had a bottle of mouth water, which some days before his death got broken by accident. He requested me to provide more, -- but, either through forgetfulness or want of time, it was neglected. This may appear a small thing to others, as it did to me at the time -- yet it has been to me since a matter of the most painful reflection. It was a want of filial duty, a sin base in its nature and highly offensive to God, and which is often punished in this life. I lament the great degree of self-seeking and self-sufficiency which have often prevailed in my performance of religious duties. This is making self the object of our worship, and is as contemptible and as criminal a species of idolatry as any practiced by the ancient Syrians, or Grecians, or Romans, or is now practiced by any Pagan nation on the earth. I lament my frequently making my feelings, instead of the word of God, my rule of duty, to the neglect in a good degree of the duties of my station. I lament also my being too much under the influence of partyism and bigotry, though long since convinced in any judgment of its impropriety.

This things often oppress my mind, and thicken the gloom of the valley of the shadow of death. They often make me think of the propriety of going mourning to the grave, and excite a kind of desire to do so. They do not, however, sink me into despair. I hope to land in the regions of glory, through the free grace and mercy of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Yet I often think I shall be ashamed to show my head there. I shall be particularly ashamed that it should be known there that ever I was a minister of the gospel of Christ. Amongst all the mansions of our Father's house, I cannot imagine one suitable to the reception of so unworthy a guest. But worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing.

Come, let us join our cheerful songs
with angels round the throne:
Ten thousand are their tongues,
But all their joys are one.

Worthy the Lamb that died, they cry,
To be exalted thus;
Worthy the Lamb, our lips reply,
For he was slain for us.

Jesus is worthy to receive
Honor and pow'r divine:
And blessings more than we can give,
Be, Lord, forever thine.

Let all that dwell above the sky,
And air, and earth, and seas,
Conspire to lift thy glories high,
And speak thine endless praise.

The whole creation join in one,
To bless the sacred name
Of him that sits upon the throne,
And to adore the Lamb.
Watt's Hymns, Book I. 62.

In this time of mournful reflection I often feel myself disposed to set myself up as a beacon to warn my fellow professors and brethren in the ministerial office, particularly of the rocks against which I have dashed, and of the quicksands in which I have sunk. I am often thinking what it is which has brought us into such a wretched state, and conclude, on the whole, that we have lost the true spirit of christianity, and mingled it with the spirit of the world. We have taken up religion by scraps and fragments. Some making it consist in one thing, and some in another, when it is a uniform connected system. We have done with religion what the heathens did with the object of worship. We have formed and molded it so as to suit our own depraved natures. Some of us have made it to consist chiefly in an orthodox creed -- some in a regular external behavior -- some in a certain set of religious experiences -- some in a flaming zeal for certain sentiments or particular practices -- some in a very punctual observance of the external forms of worship -- some in an unbounded charity, which entertains hopes of all, let their sentiments and conduct be what they may. Thus our ideas of religion being broken into fragments, they never lend us into uniformity and consistency of conduct -- and scarcely one is to be found who even professes to observe all God's commandments.

I often feel an earnest desire to address my fellow creatures on these subjects. But I find my day is past, that I have neither strength of body nor strength of mind to perform it. Hence I can only lament over myself and others, and, as standing on the verge of the grave, earnestly entreat that we should consider whether it is probably that we shall live useful lives, enjoy the comforts of religion in our day, or die a comfortable death, unless the fallow ground of our hearts be broken up, and we cease to sow among thorns.

I know nothing short of the Almighty power of divine grace which can produce this change. Yet God ordinarily works by the use of means; and these means be hath put into our power. We should then guard against every thing in our hearts and lives that opposes the work of God's grace, and be diligent in the use of all appointed means, with resolution to persevere therein to the end. Especially we should be careful to search the sacred scriptures, and form our notions of religion from them, and not from any man or set of men, or sect of christians whatever. We often attend more to human authors, and to our fellow creatures, though they be ignorant, than to the oracles of God. This is a great and God-dishonoring error. Thus it is that the divine life languishes in our souls, we live unprofitable lives, and prove a real injury to the cause of Christ, and a stumbling block to the unbelieving and profane. I have often thought that the professors and members of the present day, instead of being burning and shining lights to animate and enlighten all around them, are like rocks of ice that chill the air and freeze every thing which comes in contact with them.

While we consider these things, let us humble ourselves before God our Maker. But let us not despair either of our own particular religious prosperity, or of the prosperity of the cause of religion in general. -- There is a fountain opened in our world for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sins and for uncleanness. There are many great and precious and absolute promises made in God's word, to which the most needy may look, whether in a converted or in an unconverted state. Who is there among you that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his servant, and walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy upon thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. Ho every one that thirsteth, com ye to the waters, and he that hath no money, come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Incline your ear and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting covenant with you even the sure mercies of David. Behold I have refined thee but not with silver, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. Then will I sprinkle clean waters upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you: a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you, and I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and yet shall keep my judgments and do them. Be not afraid, it is I. Reach hither they finger and put it into the print of the nails, and thrust thy hand into my side, and be not faithless but believing. I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more, amen, and have the keys of hell and of death. Come all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Look unto me all ye ends of the earth, and be ye saved, for I am God, and besides me there is none else. Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. The bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench, till he bring forth judgment unto victory, and the isles shall wait for his law. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool. Thy dead men shall live together, with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for my dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead."

Here father Rice concluded, saying, "When I began this little history, I designed a lengthy address on some particular subjects, but find I must conclude for want of ability to proceed. The watchman," says his amanuensis, "hath once more told us what of the night. It was indeed a last effort. Like Jacob of old, his weak state required to be strengthened when he sate upon his bed, and gave his last blessing to his children. He had been a father to the scattered churches in this country and he still had the feelings of a parent, though his tongue was deprived of its eloquence, his voice had lost its harmony, and the powers of articulation sometimes failed. While dictating these Memoirs, he had often to take rest before he could proceed, yet his mind was firm. He was an old man among a thousand. Amidst all the infirmities of nature, he was Mr. Rice still. His memory with respect to recent occurrences had failed greatly, but his understanding was the same that ever it had been. He was still cheeful, still instructive. He talked about the grave with serious composure, and with as little alarm as a man talks of his bed when undressing. His mortal clothing was worn out, and he was about to lay it off without a murmur. I could not help wishing him another suit, that he might go on preaching again, but it was an unjust wish. He had endured the storms of half a century. Why should not the relief come at last? We knew not his value while he was with us in full vigor. May we profit by his character, and example, and writings, which are now all that we have left of him.

To be continued...

I am publishing a chapter of Rev. David Rice's memoirs every Monday.

Rev. David Rice (1733-1816) was my fifth great grandfather.

Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Resigns His Pastoral Charge and Retires
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: A Little Reviving in the Midst of Bondage
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Secret Exercises
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Character of Some of the First Preachers in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: State of Religion in Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: He Moves to Kentucky
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: His Comfort and Success among the Peaks of Otter
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Scene of His First Labors
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Devotes of Himself to the Ministry
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Introduction of the Gospel into Virginia
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Relief Obtained
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Further Convictions
Memoirs of Rev. David Rice: Birth, Parentage, and First Convictions 
Preparing for the Revolutionary War
Pray Together, Stay Together
Apostle of Kentucky