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Makemie Memorial
Presbyterian Church



Two OoDies Received
OCT 11 1904
^CoDyrteht Entry





CopyriKlit 19(»4
Mrs. Marv M. North

Alessengfr Piiiit, Snow Hill, Ahl

AKEMIH Memorial Presbyterian Church, in
Snow Hill, Maryland, holds a unique position
among the churches of the United States, for it
will in a few years celebrate the quarter mil-
lennial of its organization. The town in which
the church is located is in that section know^n
as the "Eastern Shore," and has an ideal cli-
mate, the air being tempered with salt enough
to make it exhilarating. Snow Hill is situated
upon the Pocomoke river, which flows through
cypress swamps, that dye the waters a rich mahogany color.
The river is very crooked, and is noted for its great depth, as
well as for being very narrow. To the west, lies the Chesa-
peake Bay. Only seven miles to the east, is that long
narrow body of salt water, Synepuxent Bay, (the home of
the oyster), which is separated from the Atlantic ocean by
the narrowest possible strip of sandy beach .

Before 1686 Snow Hill was a growing town, but in that
year the law-makers recognized its importance, and that it
should be classed as a town, and so it was laid out as such by
an act of the General Assembly. The act prescribed that the

houses were to cover four hundred feet of ground, and the
chimneys were to be built of brick. At this time the town
was still in Somerset County, that county not being divided
until 1742, when Thomas Bladen was Governor of Maryland.
At that time an act was pas.sed for laying out anew the town
of Snow Hill.

And .so, forty-six years before the A.ssembly passed a
similar act for any other town^in that great territory, Snow
Hill was a town of some importance, and already a port of
entry and export. Even Baltimore came forty-three years
after Snow Hill.

There is no doubt that the people who .settled here were
Protestants, for the Sheriff of Somerset reports: "Here are
neither Priests, lay brothers, nor any of their chapels.
As to Quakers and other di.ssenters, to the first, none as I
know of particularly; and the other hath a in Snow
Hill, one on the road going up along the seaside, one at
Manokin, about thirty feet long — plain country buildings all
of them . ' '

All Hallows Protestant Episcopal Church was established
here prior to 1709, for it is spoken of at that date in a commu-
nication now in the possession of the of Eondon. In

MAKEMiE Memorial Presbyterian Church

the same manuscript a dissenting minister is metitioned. He
probably was the Presbyterian organizer, or the minister in
charge of the church at that place.

In 1681, Presbyterians in Somerset were writing to the
mother country for a minister. Francis Makemie, a licentiate
of the Presbytery of Laggan, in Ireland, was sent them. In
Bible days when St. Paul reached a new country he went in-
to the cities and towns, and it is probable that Makemie did
the same, and as there were Presbyterians in Snow Hill, it is
reasonable to suppose that he organized them into a church
and then continued his labors in nearby localities. In the
absence of documentary proof that any other church was
organized first, Presbyterians of Snow Hill claim this, and if
this church were not the first, the fact remains that the
"Eastern Shore" of Maryland was the birth-place of Presby-
terianism in America.

Craighead, in "Scotch and Irish Seed in American Soil,"
says about Makemie that, "arriving in this country in 1682
or 1683, he organized a church in vSnow Hill, Md., in 1684,
which was, so far as now known, the first regularly organized
Presbyterian Church in America."

About that time, Makemie organized five churches — Snow

Hill, Rehoboth, Manokin, Pitt's Creek, and Wicomico in
Somerset county, which then included the present counties of
Somerset, Worcester and Wicomico. To celebrate the two
hundredth anniversary of the fouiiding of their church, the
Presbyterians of Snow Hill began the erection of the present
handsome structure, which is a memorial to the man who
organized the first churches in America, Rev. Francis

The present building (Makemie Memorial) is of red brick,
with red sandstone trimmings. There are five beautiful
memorial windows in the church. Three of them very large,
and two of medium size. The one in front is The Sowers, and
is a splendid work of art. It is a memorial to John Richard-
son, who was for many years an Elder in the church; and the
money was furnished by his daughter, I,ady Martha Kort-
right, of England.

The large window on the north with a design of a lily-en-
twined cross is a memorial to Mrs. Henrietta E. W. Smith,
and was the gift of the Sabbath School.

On the same side is a smaller window embellished with two
angels, a memorial to Elizabeth S. Townsend, from her sons.

The large window on the south is embellished with the

The Manse

figures representing, Faith, Hope and Charity. It is a memor-
ial to Mrs. Elleanora Richardson and was given by her
husband, the late George S. Richardson. Near this window is
one of smaller size with the figure of the paralytic on it. The
descendants of Dr. John Selby Martin gave it in memory of
him and his wife, Rebecca Grace Martin. Dr. Martin was for
a third of a century a Ruling Elder of the church. The pulpit
was given by Mrs. Jane M. Kelso, in memory of her brothers,
Revs. Elkanah D. and William D. Mackey, who were suc-
cessive pastors of the church, A. D. 1857 — 68.

The font, a superb piece of workmanship, is of sandstone,
and represents an open water lily, springing from a cluster of
leaves. It stands about three feet high. It is a memorial to
Edward Smith Handy, of Philadelphia.

In the grave yard adjoining the church among many others
of sainted memory, lie the remains of two members of Gen-
eral Washington's staff, Lieutenant Colonel Eevin Handy and
Major James Handy; also Judge Ara Spence, Irving Spence,
Hon. Ephraim King Wilson, Mr. George S. Richardson, Rev.
Elkanah Dare Mackey, Mr. J. P. Duffield, Hon. John R.
Franklin, Mrs. Sally W. Hutchinson, daughter of Col. John
Gunby, of the Revolutionary Army; Matthew Hopkins, born



1776, and for many years Register of Wills of Worcester Co-
Mrs. Margaret Ann P. Robins, daughter of Rev. John P.
Robins; Mrs. Elizabeth Whittington, daughter of Col. Samuel
Handy; Mrs. Zipporah William.son, wife of the Rev. Stuart

The early records state that the first edifice was a "plain
country building, " so it is presumed that it was built of logs.
This gave place in 1751 to a frame building, which in 1795 was
superseded by a brick structure, which cost ;^142-5s— 4d ex-
clusive of pews, and the pastor's salarv at that time was
/44— 13s-2d.

Some interesting items are gleaned from old records. The
committee of the Presbyterian Church consisting of Jame^
Martin, John Stevenson, James Nairn, Moses Nelson, Levi
Hudson, Thomas Martin, Robert Smith, George Rice, William
Stevenson, Joseph Stevenson, Ezekiel Wise and Johii Rock,
was incorporated December 19th, 1800.

VrJnJn'^'* ''^^^^ ^,7- J'""' '^'fction of the committee the following were choseu : John R
u'^'m^HI ' ; '• \; ^^i'-'?"' I-emuel P. Collins. E. K. Richardson George S. Richardson
R. 1. Waters Hugh M. Stevenson, Thomas F.Stevenson, Irving Spence, Samuel H
Jarman. John R. P Moore, and L.. R. Bishop. Forty years late? the comnait "e 00.":
piises: J. Samuel I'rice, Oscar M. Purnell, Clarence 1,. Vincent John I- Moore
Marion V. Hargi.s, Wiliinm I. Rounds, Dr. John S. Aydelotte, Adial P Harnes Dr'
Paul Jones, hiduey F. Nel.son, Sidney T. Selby, and I.. Hasting.s. '


In August 1923, it was decided that collections should be
taken up in the church on Sabbaths to defray the contingent
expenses. In 1824, Mr. Andrew White, of Philadelphia,
presented the church with "a set of cups for the communion
service." Prior to January 1826, the services of the pastor
were shared with Pitts' Creek and Rehoboth churches, for
about that time the Committee received a letter "containing a
resolution on the dissolution of Rehoboth and the two other

Until 1834 there had been a high pulpit in the church for
the minister, and one below this, in which the "clerk" stood
and raised the hymns, but in that year it was decided that
"the pulpit in this church is not such an one, either in its
appearance or construction, as to impart comfort and conven-
ience to the pastor," and a new one should be built. In 1846
a resolution was adopted to be sent to the General Assembly
then about to convene, depreciating all discussion of the
slavery question by that body. In 1850 we find that the
ladies have a sewing society, for to them permission is given
to repair the churchyard enclo-Hires, and in 1855, some money
is turned over to them to be expended for window shutters.
In 1857 a parsonage was purchased.


It is to be deplored that tlie earliest records of this church
were destroyed by fire many years ago, for much valuable
historical data was lost to the church at large. A complete
list of those who have served the church as pastors is not to
be obtained, but after much research the following incomplete
list has been compiled. It is not known positively how long
Rev. Francis Makemie served, but it is presumed until just
before his death, which occured in 170S.
1683orl684 — 1708. Rev. Francis Makemie. Pastor.

1708 — Rev. John Hampton. Pastor.

1757— Rev. David Purviance. Supply.

1776—1779. Rev. Samuel McMaster. Supplv.

1779—1810. Rev. Samuel McMaster, Pastor.

1811 — 1812. Rev. Stuart Williamson, Supplv.

1812—1814. Rev. Stuart Williamson, Pastor.

1814—1818. Pulpit vacant; services conducted by Mr. J. P. Duftield.

1818 — Rev. Stephen Saunders. Pastor.

1820—1829. Rev. Thomas B. Ballch. Pa.stor.

1831— Rev. Alexander Campbell, Supplv.

1831—1839. Rev. Cornelius H. Mustard. Supplv.

1840—1848. Rev. James J. Graff. Pastor.
Nov. 1848— to March. 1849. Rev. Mr. Munnis. Supply.

1849— May to November. Rev. John Atkinson, Supply.

1850 — 1857. Rev. Benjamin Grigsbv McPhail, Pastor.
Oct. 1857 — 1859. Rev. Elkanah D. Mackey, Pastor.


1859—1868.- Rev. William D. Mackev, Pastor.
1869—1870. Rev. Charles Beach.
1872—1876. Rev. Benjamin F. Mvers, Pastor.
1879—1883. Rev. David Conwav, Pastor.
1885—1891. Rev. James Campbell. Supply.
1890—1893. Rev. David Bruce Fitzgerald. Pastor.
1894—1898. Rev. William Swan, Pastor.
1899— Re\-. Joseph B. North, LL. D., Pastor.


OCT 11 1904


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