Richard Gentry.

The Gentry family in America, 1676 to 1909, including notes on the following families related to the Gentrys: Claiborne, Harris, Hawkins, Robinson, Smith, Wyatt, Sharp, Fulkerson, Butler, Bush, Blythe, Pabody, Noble, Haggard, and Tindall online

. (page 21 of 31)
Online LibraryRichard GentryThe Gentry family in America, 1676 to 1909, including notes on the following families related to the Gentrys: Claiborne, Harris, Hawkins, Robinson, Smith, Wyatt, Sharp, Fulkerson, Butler, Bush, Blythe, Pabody, Noble, Haggard, and Tindall → online text (page 21 of 31)
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(242) David, Richard.

Born Dec. 12, 1819; died Sept., 1891 ; married Fanny Price,
Feby. 22, 1844.

Children :

1. Henry Clay, born Feby. 23, 1845; married Rebecca
Tyree, Dec. 14, 1865; resides at Mt. Vernon, Ky.

Children :

a. Meshack.

b. George W., b. Nov. 25, 1871 ; m. Eliza Putnam and had :

Richard W., Encit R., and Fred L.

c. J. W.

d. Jesse Tyree, b. Dec. 23, 1878.

e. J. B.

f. Jacob W.

g. Henry Clay, b. June 2, 1886.

2. George Washington, born March 27, 1854; married

Sarah Tylre.

Children :
a. Andrew J., b. July 2, 1876. <


b. Fannie B., b. May 6, 1878.

c. Rosa J., b. March 26, 1880.

d. Lucy V., b. Oct. 9, 1882.

e. Celia V., b. Nov. 15, 1884.
/. Thomas G., b. Aug. 15, 1886.
g. Charles D., b. June 21, 1894.

244. GADDIS GENTRY, of Hanover Co., Va.

Born in Hanover Co., Va., about 1762; died July 29, 1827.
In an application for a pension on file in Washington, D. C,
marked Widow's file No. 7512 it is alleged that Gaddis Gentry-
was a resident of Hanover Co., when he enlisted and that he
served three terms as a private shortly before the siege of York-
town, as follows: under Maj. McGill, two months; under Dekla-
wan, two months ; and under Col. John Taylor, three months.

He married March 29, 1786, Martha or Patsey Thatcher. His
widow was allowed pension on an application executed May 7,
1843, at which time she was about J J years of age and a resi-
dent of Hanover Co., Va.

Children :
Robert (245), born May 8, 1787.

245. ROBERT GENTRY, of Hanover Co., Va.

(244) Gaddis IV.

Born in Hanover Co., Va., May 8, 1787; died November,
185 1 ; married Polly Marks, born April 12, 1791. John T. Chap-
pell of Richmond, Va., a grandson of Robert Gentry, furnished
this data from the old family Bible.

Children :
1. Robert Harvey, born June 26, 1814.


2. Martha Ann, born Nov. i, 1815; married William Car-

ter and still lived at Meltons, Va., in 1904. Their
son, Charles Carter, born June 15, 1842, married Jen-
nie O'Neal and had: Nora, Ormand, Harriet, Eu-
gene, John, Charles and James.

3. Addison Franklin, born June 5, 1813; was living at

Frederick's Hall, Va., in 1900. He left no living

4. Eliza Buckner, born June 20, 1820; married Chappell.

Their son, John T. Chappell, lives in Richmond, Va.

5. Elisha, born Oct. 20, 1822 ; died young.

6. Mary Elizabeth, born June 4, 1825.

7. Uriah Wilkinson, born July 29, 1827.

8. Charles Dabney, born Sept. 16, 1829.

9. Caroline, born Oct. 20, 1831 ; died young.

10. Harriet Frances, born Aug. 17, 1833 ; married Tomas-
son, and was still living at Bumpass, Va., in 1904.

Polly Marks, wife of Robert Gentry, was a daughter of
Thomas Marks of Louisa, who was a first cousin of Thomas
Jefferson, their mothers being sisters.

Robert Gentry's second wife was mentioned in his will as
Jane, and one of his daughters as Mary E. West.

246. GEORGE GENTRY, of Louisa Co., Va.

He died in Louisa Co., Va., when a young man, leaving one
son, Edmund (247), who was reared by an uncle, who lived in
Hanover Co. George Gentry's wife's name was Susan Gentry.

247. EDMUND GENTRY, of Richmond, Va.

(246) George.

Born in Louisa Co. about 1791 ; reared by an uncle in Han-
over Co., after the death of his father; married Rebecca Ford
of Henrico Co. and came to Richmond to live. He and all his


sons were carpenters by trade. He was a private soldier in the
War of 1812 and was stationed at Camp Holly.

Children :

1. Pleasant Edward, born in Richmond, Va., Aug. 6, 1816;

was a tobacconist ; married Mary Miller, and had :
William J., Sr., who has 4 children:

(1) Pleasant.

(2) Mary Ann.

(3) Maud Lee.

(4) W. J., Jr.

2. Watson. Resided in Petersburg, Va. He had : Pleas-

ant, Virginia and Rebecca.

3. James. Resided in Petersburg, Va. He and his brother

Watson were in the tobacco business. He had: Alice,
Watson and Ardenia.

4. Mary ; married Mr. Radford ; she lives in Petersburg,

Va. Their child is: Edmund.

This old lady, Mrs. Mary Radford, a daughter of Edmund Gentry,
(241), wrote in 1899 that her grandfather, whom she thought was named
George Gentry, died as a young man, leaving one child, Edmund ; that
her grandfather had five or six brothers, four of whom went West when
young men. Their names as she remembered them were : Oby, Gaddis,
Nicholas, Watson and one other, whom she thought was named Mordacia.

The writer, after a study of all the data thinks it is very
probable that Gaddis Gentry (244), of Hanover, George (246)
and John (248), of Louisa Co., Va., Watson (251), who set-
tled in Rockingham Co., N. C, and afterwards moved to Wil-
liamson Co., Tenn., Nicholas (231), of Ashe Co., N. C, and
William Gentry, of Chattanooga (who is known to be a brother
of Nicholas of Ashe Co.), are all brothers. Watson, Nicholas
and William all lived at one time in North Carolina and the name
Watson occurs in the descendants of both George and John.
Their ages admit of this supposition.


248. JOHN GENTRY, of Louisa Co., Va.

Born about 1750. On May 25, 1821, one John Gentry con-
veys by deed to John Gentry, Jr., yj\ acres of land on Locust
Creek, in Louisa Co., Va.

Children :

1. Patrick (249).

2. John (250), born about 1775.

3. Samuel, born in Virginia ; moved to Kentucky ; mar-

ried Miss Runkle and moved to Randolph Co., Mo.,
in 1830; died in 1867.

4. Wilson, born in Virginia in 1783 ; married Miss Runkle

in Kentucky in 1820; settled in Howard Co., Mo., in
1830; lived also in Scotland Co., Mo.; moved to Cali-
fornia in 185 1 where he died in 1877.

5. Susan; married Basil Duke. A daughter, Louisa Jane

Renfro, lives near Alturas, Cal.

6. Anna, married John Gafney and lived in Kentucky.

249. PATRICK GENTRY, of Henrico Co., Va.

(248) John.

Born in Louisa Co. ; died in 1848. His wife was named Mary
Ann. He names the following children in his will which was
probated in 1848:

Children :

1. Harmon Anderson.

2. Fleming Paine ; had son, Patrick Henry.

3. Moulton Woodson.

4. Arena White, married Blackburn and had: Anna, Ma-

ria and Marietta.

5. Washington Hawley.

He also mentions his granddaughter, Eliza Ann O'Conor,
and Harmon-Anderson O'Conor, his grandson.

250. JOHN GENTRY, of Louisa Co., Va.

(248) John.

Born in Louisa Co., Va., about 1775; died in 1854; married


Barbara Haggard, June 14, 1799, in Orange Co., Va. She died
and he married second, Lucy King, who had no children. David
Richardson was appointed curator of John Gentry, Feb. 14,
1854, during contest over his will, which was probated Feb.
*3> 1854.

Children :

1. Claybourne Watson, married Polly Johnson and had:

William Claybourne, Marcellius and Frank.

2. Owen, lived in Tennessee.

3. Austin, lived in Virginia and had seven children by first


Children :

a. Amanda; m. Overton Harris and had six children.

b. Abner; m. Bettie Davis.

c. Ben ; m. Ellen Dodd and had six sons and two daughters.

d. Sallie; m. Lelburn Davis; had one daughter and 3 sons.

e. Evaline; m. Pleasant Henshaw.

/. Delila; m. John Sharp; had 2 sons and 2 daughters.
g. Uriah M. ; m. Ella Mitchel.

4. Theodosia, married Thomas Armstrong.

5. William N., died without issue in 1866.

251. WATSON GENTRY, of Rockingham Co., N. C.

Born in Hanover Co., Va., in 1761 ; died in Williamson Co.,
Tenn., in 1845 ; married Theodosia Poindexter, a daughter of
David Poindexter and Miss Chisholm. about the year 1780;
lived in Rockingham Co., N. C, for about twenty-five years
and about 1805 moved to Williamson Co., Tenn. He was a man
of the " old Southern planter type," well off in lands and ne-
groes, proud, dignified and cultured — a Southern gentleman.

Theodosia Poindexter Gentry was a remarkable woman ; she
was descended from the Chisholms of Scotland and the Poin-
dexters were French Huguenots. They settled in Albemarle
and Louisa Counties, Va., at an early date. The vestry books
of those counties show that in 1742 John Poindexter and five
others took the " Oath of Allegiance " to King Charles.

Theodosia was born in 1764; and died in Williamson Co.,


Term., in 1850. She was a typical French woman of a dainty
figure, wonderful vivacity and a great gift of conversational
powers. Her voice possessed the same remarkable quality that
was so noted in her distinguished son, Colonel Meredith P. Gen-
try. She was noted far and wide for her wit, mimicry and rare
conversational gifts.

Children :

1. Joseph, born in Rockingham Co., N. C, about 1783;

married a widow Galloway. He never came to Ten-
nessee with the rest of his father's family, although
his children did. He represented Rockingham Co.,
N. C, in the House of Commons in that State in the
years 1804, 1810 and 181 1. {See Wheeler's History
of North Carolina.)

Children :

a. Samuel Watson.

b. Dr. Reuben.

c. Tabitha ; m. a Mr. Harding.

d. May; m. a Mr. Childress.

2. Thomas, married Elizabeth Campbell and had: Joseph,

Campbell and Nanny.

3. James, died at 18 years of age.

4. William, married a sister of Elizabeth Campbell of Vir-


Children :

a. Susanna.

b. Mary.

c. Watson.

d. Samuel.

e. Cammilla.
/. Jemima.
g. James.

5. Charles Pinckney, died single at 20 years of age.

6. Elizabeth, married John Dalton.

Dr. Reuben Gentry became a noted physician of Williamson Co., Tenn. ;
he had the first and finest carriage in the county and one of the hand-
somest and finest plantations. He married his cousin, Ruth Rogers and
had two children: Elizabeth, who died at about twenty years of age and
Dr. Robert, a prominent physician, who married and had heirs.


Children :

a. Madison.

b. Theodosia.

c. Tabitha.

d. Mary.

7. Jemima, married Joseph Henry Scales and lived in Ten-


Children :

a. Elsworth.

b. Poindexter; had son, Mr. D. C. Scales now of Nashville,


c. Ann ; m. William Clark.

d. Robert W.

e. Sarah; m. Benj. Seward.

/. Theodosia; m. Mr. Henderson.

g. Mary; m. several times; her last husband, Mr. Brooks.

h. James H.

i. Jemima ; m. twice ; second husband, Mr. Ratcliff.

j. Dr. Joseph W.

8. Nancy, married a Mr. Lovell of Mississippi.

9. Mary, married Robert Rogers and had one child, Ruth,

who married her cousin, Dr. Reuben Gentry.

10. Tabitha, married Dr. John M. Watson of Nashville, a

very noted man of his day.

11. Theophilus Lacy (252), born March 29, 1802.

12. Meredith Poindexter (253), born in Williamson Co.,

Tenn., in 1809.

252. THEOPHILUS LACY GENTRY, of Marshall Co.,


(251) Watson.

Born March 29, 1802 ; died near Chapel Hill, Marshall Co.,
Tenn. He was an intelligent and remarkably good man ; a
devout " Primitive Baptist " ; one who knew how to govern his
family well ; was kind and affectionate and owned a handsome
home in his neighborhood ; a colonial mansion with Doric col-
umns where congenial companionship and genuine hospitality
were always found.

He married first, Rebecca Boyce Sappington, in 1825. She


died in 1838, and in 1839 he married Mrs. William Dabney,
who was Miss Mary Edwards. She died in 1848 and he mar-
ried the third time in 1849, Miss Mary Susan Pugh of the
Louisiana family of Pughs. She died March 21, 1867. There
were no children by second marriage.

Children, by first wife:

1. Watson, born Nov. 17, 1825 ; died in infancy.

2. Joseph Stocket, born Jan. 22, 1827; married Elizabeth

Buckner ; died in 1898. They had : Mary and Ida.

3. Elizabeth Tabitha, born Feb. 20, 1829; married Dr.

Frank Pugh of Louisiana. They had: David, James
and Theophilus.

4. Dr. Watson Meredith (254), born Jan. 31, 1831.

5. Theodosia Poindexter, born March 17, 1833.

6. Susan Thomas, born June 20, 1835 ; married Thomas


7. Thomas Sappington, born March 12, 1838; died in 1866;

married Tennessee Holt. They had a son: William.

Children, by third wife:

8. Esla Edward, born May 12, 1849; died single in 1875.

9. Sally Pugh, born June 19, 185 1.

10. Emily M., born Feb. 23 ; died May, 1857.

11. James Pugh, born July 3, 1856; married Suei Wil-

liams and lives in Memphis, Tenn.

Children :

a. Earl.

b. Maud.

c. James.

d. Ruth.

12. William Frank, born July 7, 1858; married Molly Wil-

liams and had: Mary and Beulah.

13. Maggie P., born Oct. 2, i860; married Adolphus Plun-

ket of Lynchburg, Va., and had eight children.

Rebecca Boyce Sappington was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Sappington,
one of the three sons of Dr. Mark Brown Sappington from Havre De
Grass, Maryland, who was the first physician of the Capitol of Tennessee.

Hon. Meredith Poindexter Gentry


He and three of his sons were all students of medicine at the same time
in Philadelphia under Dr. Benjamin Rush. His son, Dr. John Sappington
was one of Missouri's first and most famous physicians ; he introduced
the drug, quinine, and its use in America and made a large fortune in
that day from his celebrated Sappington Pills, one of the first proprietary
prescriptions. He was also the founder of the public school system of

son Co., Tenn.

(251) Watson.

Born in 1809 on the old Gentry place near College Grove,
Williamson Co., Tenn. ; died in 1866 at the residence of his
sister-in-law in Davidson Co., Tenn. He married the first time,
Emily Saunders ; the second time, Caledonia Brown. ,

Tribute to his memory by his niece, Miss Susie Gentry, of
Tennessee :

Meredith P. Gentry was probably the best known and most distin-
guished of the Gentry name in America. He was raised in the country on
a farm and had meager opportunities for an education, but was fond of
reading and interested in the great political questions of the day. His po-
litical career commenced when he was twenty years old, when he was
elected a member of the Tennessee legislature. He was a member of Con-
gress for ten years and refused three nominations ; he was elected to Con-
gress at the age of thirty years. He also served as a member of the con-
federate Congress in 1862 and 1863. He was defeated by Andrew John-
son for Governor of Tennessee in 1853 by only a few votes. Johnson
proved himself a great man but he was untried at that time and Gentry
felt very sorely his defeat by such a man as he regarded Andrew Johnson
to be.

An amusing incident occurred shortly after Johnson's victory over
Gentry. Johnson had been elected and E. G. Eastman his supporter,
was then editor of the leading democratic organ of the State. Parson
Wm. C. Brownlow and Col. Mat Martin visited Gentry's home, " Hill-
side " ; after spending several days and on the eve of their departure
Gentry took down the Bible from the bookcase and said, " I will never per-
mit a distinguished divine to honor me with a visit and leave without say-
ing prayers for the family and neighborhood. Brownlow, you must
pray." They all seated themselves and after reading a chapter, Mr.
Brownlow kneeled down to pray, during which he prayed that the Lord
might send beams of grace upon the hearts of Johnson and his man
Eastman. " Stop, Brownlow, stop ! " exclaimed Gentry, " if that petition


is answered the plan of salvation will be exhausted and the rest of us

He was a devoted Whig in politics and said to have been the finest
orator in America, by such capable men as Daniel Webster, Alexander
Stevens, G. P. R. James, and Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, who had heard
all the great orators of England. While in Congress he was regarded
the handsomest man in the country, and was of that " galaxy of Giants,"
of which James G. Blaine wrote so interestingly and graphically. His
political career was phenomenal, one continued oration. When he spoke
in the halls of congress, standing room was in demand. Again he was
heard in the confederate congress. He was a man, clean and pure, of the
noblest ambition and true to every trust.

It is claimed that Daniel Webster said of Gentry, that he was the
finest natural orator of the race, and had the best voice ever given to
man. Even his once hated rival, Andrew Johnson, said of him : " He
is the most eloquent and popular of men." Mr. Stevens says : " He
was one of the truest and noblest gentlemen the writer had ever met in
his eventful life. No profounder philanthropist, no one more devoted to
constitutional liberty, ever lived in this or any other country than Mere-
dith P. Gentry."

One of his most distinguished characteristics was his remarkable
voice. It was music in harmony from the highest to the lowest pitch.
It was simply perfect, possessed of magic and power seldom heard in
any other man. Alexander Stevens said of his voice : " His voice was
full volumned and rounded with a silver tone which penetrated all parts of
that old hall in which it was so difficult for even Prentiss or Wise or
Tom Marshall to be heard.

Mrs. John B. Bond, the accomplished daughter of the illustrious Gen.
Felix K. Zollicoffer, pays this beautiful tribute to him in her grand
poem, " Tennessee."

" 'Tis well to praise fair Tennessee,

And countless hero-worthy deeds
Of her great sons, who'll ever be

The world's great men, while virtue needs
True hearts and valiant arms, to fight
'Gainst powerful wrong for timid right.

Though silent now, her leaders still

Are Grundy, Campbell, Polk and Bell ;
Still Gentry's silvery periods fill

Her memory's ear, as murmuring shell
Is full of ocean's music roar
Though it imbibes sea tones no more."

When the secession came on he entered heart and soul into the cause
of his beloved Southland and mother-state of Tennessee. He sold his


fine plantation, " Hillside," in Bedford County for $100,000 in gold, and
put the money in confederate bonds to aid the cause. When the war
closed his estate was gone and he came home without lands and without
money, as did many of the South's best, noblest and wealthiest sons.
After the war was over the last great speech he made was in Fanueil
Hall, Boston, which he delivered to an immense audience. In it he
depicted in glowing terms his love for the Union and how loth he was to
give it up. He said friend after friend had deserted him until he was
almost left alone. Presently the ship of secession hove in sight, gathered
up the stray passengers and the captain gave the order, " All aboard."
He said the little knot of Unionists that stood with him one by one
stepped aboard, leaving him solitary and alone upon the shore, and look-
ing back at the old flag he still hesitated. Then the order to " haul in
the gang plank," was given, and as the order was about to be obeyed, he
could stand it no longer, and cried out, " Hold on, boys, I will go with
you, if you go to hell."

Children, by first wife:

1. Mary, married Daniel Hillman and had: Daniel, Mere-

dith P., and James H.

2. Emily S., married Thomas T. Hillman, a wealthy man

of Birmingham, Ala. ; president of the Pratt Coal Co.
of that city. They were both wealthy; she inherited
from a maternal aunt a fortune and Mr. Hillman
was the son of Daniel Hillman, who married her sis-
ter Mary. Mr. Hillman and his wife are noted for
their charities and generosity. They have no children.

Children, by second wife:

3. Albert, married and lived in Clarrendon, Texas. He

was killed by an accident in 1900 and left the fol-
lowing: Emily, Philip Brooks and William Berkley.

4. Charles. It is not known what has become of him.

The following letter was taken from the home of Jefferson
Davis in 1865 by Federal soldiers and was presented to the
author in 190 1, by Major Samuel W. Smith of Kansas City,
Mo., now deceased.

Private, Triune, March 23d, 1853.

Hon. Jefferson Davis,
Secretary of War,
Sir. — Upon my recommendation and that of my colleagues, C. H. Will-
iams and Albert G. Watkins, the Reverend W. G. Brownlow, Editor of


the Knoxville Whig, was appointed Local Agent, to superintend the
improvement of Tennessee River, with an appropriation made for that
purpose, by the last congress. Though previously an Ultra Whig, he stood
in the last Presidential contest with those Whigs who refused to support
Gen. Scott ; and he now wages effective war against the Scott-Whig-
party, predominant in the politics of Tenn. I have seen proofs that
leading men belonging to that faction expect to reappropriate his services
to themselves in consequence of his removal from the appointment re-
ferred to. Not claiming to be entitled to favor from the present executive,
I nevertheless venture to express the hope that he may not be removed.
Doubtless it will occur that representations emanating from persons de-
sirous to procure the appointment for themselves or friends, will seek
to make the impression upon you that party-policy requires his removal.
Claiming to comprehend the posture of party politics, I assure you can-
didly that I believe you would violate every suggestion of sound policy
by removing him.

I hope I will not be considered as disregarding any sound law of
delicacy by adding that there are reasons which relate to me personally,
that would make it a gratification to me for him to be permitted to
retain his appointment.


M. P. Gentry.

254. DR. WATSON MEREDITH GENTRY, Franklin, Tenn.

(252) Theophilus V, Watson IV.

Born Jan. 31, 1831, in Williamson Co., Tenn. He was mar-
ried just before the Civil War to Martha A. Jones at Nashville,
Tenn. She is a woman of talent and culture and of a noted
and creditable ancestry, both as Christian martyrs and colonial
patriots. Dr. Gentry was educated at Owens Hall and Triune
Academies, two noted schools of Tennessee. He taught math-
ematics, Latin and Greek for two terms after graduation. He
began the study of medicine in 1852 ; attended lectures at the
University of New York, where he was graduated with honors in
March, 1855. He then went to Europe and visited the cele-
brated colleges of the continent. On his return he was house
surgeon of Bellevue Hospital, New York City, for two years,
after which he located at Shelbyville, Tenn., and practiced medi-
cine in partnership with Dr. Thomas Lipscomb. When the
Civil War broke out he was appointed a surgeon in the Pro-


visional Army of Tennessee, and in June, 1861 he was com-
missioned a surgeon of the 13th Regiment, Confederate Volun-
teers. In 1862 he was made chief surgeon of General George
B. Crittenden's division. In 1863 he was made chief surgeon of
the hospitals at Montgomery, Ala., with 40 surgeons under him,
and in charge of nine large hospitals. Dr. Gentry lives at " Ma-
plehurst," Franklin, Tenn., and has been for many years one
of Tennessee's most famous surgeons and physicians.

His daughter:
I. Miss Susie Gentry of Franklin, Tenn., is one of Ten-
nessee's best known women and is very prominent in all
patriotic societies, charities and religious work. She
has been first in many things pertaining to her state's
history. Through her efforts the first " Flag Day "
in the South was celebrated at her home at " Maple-
hurst " in 1895. She participated in the first " Tree
Planting " in her state under patriotic auspices in 1895.
She was first to locate the graves of Revolutionary
soldiers buried in Tennessee soil and through her ef-
forts 234 were located.

She was made State Historian of the Daughters of
American Revolution in 1901, which office she still
holds. She has been prominent in all movements of
the D. A. R. and the " Daughters of the Confederacy."
She is also a leading Colonial Dame in her state.
She was the organizer and regent for five years of
Old Glory Chapter of the D. A. R. She has repre-
sented her state in various conventions and celebra-
tions. By appointment she awarded the silver medals
to several companies of Tennessee's soldiers for gal-
lantry on their return from the Philippines in 1900.
Active, intelligent, literary and fond of historical re-
search, she has been a leader in every branch of
woman's work. The writer is indebted to her for
most of the data in this book regarding Watson Gen-
try and his descendants.


255. WILLIAM GENTRY, of Gloucester Co., N. J.

He lived and reared his family in Gloucester Co., N. J. He is
said to have been a Revolutionary soldier. There was a Wil-
liam Gentry, private in 3d Battalion, Gloucester Co., who served
also in Colonel Somer's Battalion State troops (New Jersey)

Online LibraryRichard GentryThe Gentry family in America, 1676 to 1909, including notes on the following families related to the Gentrys: Claiborne, Harris, Hawkins, Robinson, Smith, Wyatt, Sharp, Fulkerson, Butler, Bush, Blythe, Pabody, Noble, Haggard, and Tindall → online text (page 21 of 31)