Fernandez C. Holliday.

Indiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s online

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Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 5 of 27)
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which list is headed by the venerable Alfred Brunson,
who is still in the front of the battle, and doing valiant
service in his Master's cause in Wisconsin. Havens will
hereafter figure largely in the struggles and triumphs of
Methodism in Indiana. Few men have entered the
itinerant ministry under greater discouragements than
James Havens, and few have achieved more signal suc-
cess, all things considered. His education was so lim-
ited that he could barely read. He had a large family
of young children ; he was poor, and the Church could
only promise a meager support. Havens was endowed
with remarkable force of character. Though of medium
size, he possessed remarkable physical strength, and his
courage often deterred the lawless, and served as a pro-
tection to those who wished to worship God in quiet-
ness. His strength of will was only equaled by his
energy in executing. Having consecrated all his powers
to the service of God, his labors were greatly blessed.
He not only succeeded in gathering multitudes into the
Church, but he succeeded equally in the work of per-
sonal culture. He made himself familiar with science
and general literature. As a theologian, he was an able
defender of the doctrines of Christianity, and of all that
was peculiar in the doctrines of his own Church, and
was better read in both medicine and law than many
who follow those professions exclusively.



The same year, William Cravens entered the itiner-
ancy, in connection with the Missouri Conference, and
was appointed to Charlestown Circuit, as junior preacher,
with Calvin W. Ruter. Cravens spent his ministry in
Indiana. He, too, was a man of remarkable physical
strength, and undaunted courage. A Virginian by birth,
he Avas an uncompromising enemy of human slavery.
He had sought a home in the North-western Territory
that he might be free from the blight and curse of the
peculiar institution. Mr. Cravens had been a local
preacher for several years in Virginia, previous to his
emigration to Indiana, and had acquired great notoriety
from the faithful and fearless manner in which he de-
nounced vice in all its forms. He had a special abhor-
rence to sins of drunkenness and negro slavery. Against
these he was accustomed to declaim with a directness
and force that made the guilty quail before him, even
on slave territory, and in the aristocratic parts of old
Virginia. While residing in Virginia, Mr. Cravens had
an infidel neighbor by the name of " T.," who was a
slaveholder. Cravens had labored in vain to convert
him, either to anti-slavery principles or to the truths
of Christianity. At length Mr. T. was taken seriously
ill, and it soon became apparent that he would likely
die. The near approach to death shook his faith in his
infidel principles, and he became deeply concerned for
his soul's salvation; and, as his convictions increased,
he desired some one to instruct him in the way of sal->
vation. At length he sent a servant, with a request that
Mr. Cravens would call and see him. Judging correctly
as to the cause of the invitation, he hastened immedi-
ately to the home of the sick man, whom he found dan-
gerously ill, and deeply distressed on account of his sins.

" !" said the sick man, " I am glad to see you. I


want you to pray for me, and tell me what I must do
to be saved."

"Ah, Mr. T., I thought it would come to this. What
have you done with your negroes ?"

"I have provided for them in my will," said Mr.
T. " I have divided them among my children, as I wish
them to remain in the family."

"I can not pray for you," said Cravens. "God will
never have mercy on you until you are willing to do
justly. You will never get religion until you set your
negroes free."

So saying, Cravens returned home. But in a short
time another messenger came for him.

" Massa wants to see you immediately," was the sub-
stance of the request.

The sick man felt that his condition was a perilous
one. Death was rapidly approaching, and the preacher
in whose honesty and faithfulness he had full confidence,
had refused to pray for him. He needed mercy, and
yet he had failed to exercise it. The will was called
for and altered, and the minister again sent for. On
his arrival he said :

"Well, Mr. T., how is it now?"

"' Mr. Cravens, I want you to pray for me, and tell
me how I can be saved."

"What have you done with your slaves?" said

"I have altered my will," said Mr. T., "and have
provided for their emancipation."

"I will pray for you now," said Cravens. "And,
more than that, God will have mercy on you too."

In answer to their united prayers, God did bless
him with an assurance of pardon and a bright hope of


Christian civilization is deeply indebted to the chiv-
alrous and indefatigable labors of such moral heroes as
James Havens and William Cravens. They were born
leaders ; and, having that sort of magnetism that at-
tached others to them, they were a tower of strength
in any. cause. They were just the men to lay the foun-
dations of Christian society in a new country; they
were men of comprehensive views; they occupied no
doubtful positions, and gave no uncertain utterances on
questions of doctrine or morals. Their style was per-
spicuous, if not polished, and their dauntless courage,
and cheerful self-sacrifice exerted an inspiring effect
upon their co-laborers, especially upon their junior
brethren. Cravens continued his denunciations of
slavery after his arrival in Indiana ; for he found some
here who had hired out their slaves, and had removed
with their families to a free state, that they might
raise their children free from the corrupting influences
of slavery, but who were, nevertheless, drawing the
wages of their slaves, and living by their unrequited
toil. Others had sold their slaves, and, with their
prices, had purchased homes in a free state. These he
was accustomed to denounce as blood-stained hypocrites,
and worse than those who retained their slaves and
treated them kindly. He rarely preached a sermon
without making those who made, sold, or drank intox-
icating drinks, feel uneasy. On one of his circuits a
brother was accused of " unnecessarily drinking ardent
spirits." He was cited to trial, and found guilty. The
committee was anxious to save him to the Church,
if possible, and Avished to know if he would not quit his
habit of dram-drinking. After some reflection, he said
he would try to quit. It was evident, however, that he
did not feel that any particular guilt attached to his


conduct, and that the action of the Church was rather an
interference with his personal rights; but rather than
leave the Church, he would promise to try to quit ; and
on that promise the committee retained hira. But said
Cravens, " Brother, you must quit." That was more than
the brother would promise, and Cravens carried the case
up to the next session of the quarterly conference ; and
the brother was required either to give up his drams or
give up the Church. He concluded to give up the former;
and doubtless owed his salvation from a drunkard's grave
to the uncompromising integrity of his pastor.

In 1821, the Ohio Conference met in Lebanon, and
the Missouri Conference at Cape Girardeau. From the
Ohio Conference there were sent to circuits in Indiana :

Whitewater — Allen Wiley and James T. Wells.

Lawrencebnrg — Henry Baker.

Madison — James Jones and James Murray.

And from the Missouri Conference :

Charlestown — James Armstrong.
Flat-rock — George K. Hester.
Blue-river — John Wallace and Joseph Kincaid.
Bloomington — John Cord.
Honey-creek — David Chamberlin.
Vincennes — John Stewart.
Patoka — James L. Thompson.
Mount Sterling — Ebenezer Webster.
Corydon — Job M. Baker.
Indianapolis — William Cravens.

There were but few settlements in Central Indiana
when William Cravens came to organize Indianapolis
circuit, in the Fall of 1821. A few families had settled
at Indianapolis as early as 1819; but it was the policy
of the Church to keep even pace with the tide of popu-
lation, and Cravens was just the man for this -pioneer
work. He made an impression in favor of Methodism,


and against slavery and intemperance, that has never
faded out.

Indianapolis had been selected by the Commissioners
as the seat of Government for the state in 1820, and
emigration was beginning to set in to the new capital of
the state.

Connersville Circuit was organized in 1822, under
the presiding eldership of Alexander Cummins, who was
in charge of Miami District, and who employed John
Havens to travel Connersville Circuit. I have before
me a transcript copy of the Journals of the quarterly
conferences of Connersville Circuit, from its organization,
in 1822, down to 1843. The following extract, for 1822,
shows the meager support received by the early pioneer
preachers, and the efforts put forth by the people to fur-
nish even that meager support :

The Stewards of Connersville Circuit, Dr.

To Cash received from Lewis's Class $ 50

To " " " Curtiss's " 50

To " " " Connersville Class 2 50

To " " " Abbott's " 1 00

To " " " Hardy's " 87J

To Bridle-leathers 62J

To Cash from Fuller's 1 25

To Shoe-leather and Corn 1 75

To Cash from Lowers's 1 25

To 12 yards Linen from Bridges's 3 00

To 9 " " " J. Lowers's 2 56-^

To 1 pair Shoe-soles 50

To Cash from Roberts's 4 65

To " " Hardy's 75

To 2^ yards Linsey 1 12J

To Cash from E. Abbott's 1 32

To " " Cortiss's 50

To 7 yards Linen, " 1 75

To 1 small pair Shoes 1 00

To 7f yards Linen from Alley's 1 93f

To2i " Linsey" " 125

To8f " " " Lewis's 3 27

To 1 pair Socks " " 43f

To Cash from Gregg's 2 12^

Total $36 12|



By Cash to A. Cummins, Esq $ 50

By " " J. Havens, expenses 1 50

By " " A. Cummins, allowance 3 75

By " " J. Havens, " 30 37^

^ $36 \2\

NATHAN LEWIS, Recording Steward.

CoNNERSTiLLE, April 27, 1822.

in September, 1823, the Ohio Conference met in
Urbana, and the following appointments were made in
Indiana :

Whitewater — John Everheart and Levi White.
Lawrencehurg — W. H. Raper and John Janes.
Madison — John F. Wright and Thomas Hewson.

Connersville — A. Wood.

Dr. Wood gives the following account of his journey
to his new circuit, on the eastern border of Indiana:
"On the 12th of September, 1823, I left my Mher's
for the circuit to which I had been appointed. I met
brother Bigelow in Springfield, and we rode on to Father
Moses', who lived twelve miles from Dayton. Saturday,
we started early, and rode to Dayton for breakfast, went
on to Eaton, and after tea rode on to Centerville, where
we arrived about midnight, sixty miles from where Ave
started in the morning. Here I remained during Sun-
day, and preached in the court-house. On Monday, the
15th, I arrived in Connersville, which was a new circuit."

During the year, Mr. Wood traveled, according to
his diary, now before me, two thousand, two hundred and
ftfty miles, preached two hundred and eight-eight times,
and received for his year's salary fifty dollars. The
preaching-places established on the circuit that year were
as follows : Connersville, Hawkins's, Hinston's, Hardy's,
Conn ell's, Crist's, Alley's, Lewis's, Miller's, Imley's,
Short's, Gregg's Meeting-house, Young's, Taylor's, Grove's,
Patterson's, Jacob Lowden's, Morris's, Newcastle, Sand-


ford's, Joseph Lower's, and Briggs's. Here was a circuit
of twenty-one appointments, extending from Pipe Creek,
in Franklin County, to Newcastle, the present county-
seat of -Henry County. At the close of this year Mr.
Wood was admitted into full connection in the Ohio Con-
ference, which met for that year in Zanesville, and was
ordained deacon by Bishop Roberts. At the General
Conference, in 1824, the Missouri Annual Conference
was divided, and Illinois Conference constituted, includ-
ing the States of Illinois and Indiana. The appoint-
ments for that year, in Indiana, were as follows :


Madison Circuit — Allen Wiley and A. Wood.
Lawrenceburg — James Jones and Thomas Hitt.
Whitewater — Peter Stevens and Nehemiah B. Griffith.
Connersville — James Havens.
Busliville — Thomas Rice.
Indianapolis — John Miller.
Flat-rock — Thomas Hewson and James Garner.
Eel-river — John Fish.


Charlestown — James L. Thompson and Jacob Varner.
Corydon — George K. Hester and Dennis Willey.
Salem — Samuel Low and Richard Hargrave.
Paoli — Edward Smith.
Booneville — Orsenith Fisher.
Patoka — W. H. Smith and George Randle.
Vince7ines — Edwin Ray.
Honey-creek — Samuel Hull.
Bloomingion — Daniel Anderson and John Cord.
Vermilion — Hackaliah Vredenburg and Robert Delap.

As a sample of the better class of circuits in the
older settled portions of Indiana, in that day, we give
the appointments on Madison Circuit, which were filled
by Allen Wiley and A. Wood: Ptising Sun, Buell's Mill,
Green's, Davis's, Spoon's, Campbell's, Vevay, Mount
Sterling, Slawson's, Alfray's, Bellamy's, Brook's, Crooked-


creek Meeting-house, Simper's, Hyatt's, Overturf's,
Brown's, Herkul's, Versailles, Wiley's, Allensville, Down-
ey's, Dexter's, including all of Switzerland and Ohio
Counties, and the larger portions of Jefferson and Ripley



First Session of the Illinois Conference — Charges in Indiana in 1825 —
Appointments made at the Illinois Conference for Indiana — Preach-
ing-places in Vincennes District in 1825 — Remarks on Circuits and
Stations — Sketch of Rev. William Beauchamp — His Eloquence —
Incident — Second Session of the Illinois Conference in 1826 — Num-
ber of Members returned for Indiana — Appointments made in In-
diana — Preaching-places in Indianapolis Circuit in 1825 — Honey-
creek Church in 1825 — Paoli Circuit in 1826 — Appointments for
Indiana at the third Illinois Conference — Radical Controversy at
Madison — Indiana Members reported at the Illinois Conference in
Madison in 1828 — Extent of Madison District — Revival in Law-
renceburg District — J. V. Watson — Indianapolis Station — Fall-
creek — Camp-meeting at Pendleton — Incident connected with the
Meeting — Illinois Conference at Edwardsville, Illinois, in 1829 —
Incidents concerning John Strange — Illinois Conference at Vin-
cennes in 1830 — Number of Members reported — Incident of Allen
Wiley — Meeting Held in Fort Wayne.

TLLINOIS CONFERENCE convened in session, for
-L the first time, in Charles town, Clark County, Indiana,
August 25, 1825. There were present two bishops —
M'Kendree and Roberts — and forty-four traveling preach-
ers, gathered from the various charges in Indiana and
Illinois. The charges in Indiana stood numerically as
follows :


Madison Circuit VOO

Madison Station 139

Lawrenceburg Circuit 707

Whitewater 942

Connersville 412

Rushville 268

IndianapoHs B04

Flat-rock 642

Eel-river 365

Making for Madison District, members 4,481



Charlestown 9Y5

Corydon 648

Salem 455

Paoli 422

Booneville 439

Patoka 335

Vincennes 532

Honey-creek 385

Bloomington 601

Vermilion 200

Total on Indiana District 4,992

While there was but one presiding elder's district in
Illinois, with a membership of only 3,505. Why the
Conference was named Illinois is not apparent, any more
than why, previous to this time, the charges included in
Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, were named Missouri
Conference, when a large majority of the charges were
in Indiana, and but a small fraction of them in Missouri.
The appointments made at the first session of the Illi-
nois Conference, held at Charlestown, Indiana, August
25, 1825, for the work in Indiana, were as follows :


Madison Station — Samuel Bassett.
3Iadison Circuit — George K. Hester.
Lawrenceburg — James L. Thompson.
Whitetoater — James Havens.
Connersville — N. B. Griffith.
Hushville — Stephen R. Beggs.
Flat-rock — James Jones and Thomas S. Hitt.
Indianapolis — Thomas Hewson.


Charlestown Circuit — A. Wiley and G. Randle.
Corydon — Samuel Low and George Locke.
Paoli — John Miller.
Bloomfeld—EW P. Farmer.
Crawfordsville — H. Vredenburg.
Bloomington — Edwin Ray.
Salem Station — William Shanks.
Salem Circuit — John Cord.



Vermilion — James Hadley.
Money-creek — Richard Hargrave.

Vincennes — A. Wood.

Fatoka — James Garner and J. Tarkington.
Booneville — William H. Smith.

We have given Connersville and Madison as speci-
mens of the size of the circuits of that day in the
eastern part of the state. Take Vincennes as a speci-
men of the size of the circuits in the south-western part
of the state. In 1825, Vincennes included the follow-
ing preaching-places : In the county of Knox : Vin-
cennes, Cane's, Thomas's, Snyder's, Terebaugh's, Nichol-
son's, Hawkins's ; in the county of Davis : Bethel
Meeting-house, Stuckey's, Thomas Ilavell's, Widow
Stone's, T. Stafford's, Ballon's ; in the county of Mar-
tin: Hammond's, Clark's, Mount Pleasant, Love's
Maner's, in Green County; and back again, in Davis
County, to Bratton's, Williams's, Osmon's, and Florer's.

It will be seen from the appointments for this year
that there were two stations in Indiana — Madison and
Salem. While the circuit system is admirably adapted
to a new country, and a sparse population, enabling a
number of congregations to unite in one pastoral charge,
and thereby secure, at regular intervals, the preaching
of the Word of God and the administration of the
sacraments of the Church, yet, as soon as any com-
munity feel that they can support a pastor of their own,
there is a natural and universal desire to have one ; and
thus stations grow up in our towns and cities in answer
to a demand from the people. In older communities a
minister's influence depends largely upon his personal ac-
quaintance, and not simply upon his ministerial character.
This is especially true in cities; and hence a growing
desire for lengthening the term of the pastoral relations.



During the preceding year, the Church in Indiana
liad suffered the loss of one of her ablest ministers,
Rev. William Beauchamp, Presiding Elder of Indiana
District, Missouri Conference, which event took place
at Paoli, Orange County, Indiana, October, 1824, in the
fifty-third year of his age. Mr. Beauchamp was a native
of Delaware; was converted in early life, and, in 1794,
joined the itinerancy. His first appointments were
Alleghany Circuit, Pittsburg, New York, and Boston.
He located in 1811. In 1815, he removed to Chilli-
cothe, Ohio, and took the editorial charge of the Western
Christian Monitor — the only periodical at that time in
our Church. He discharged his editorial duties with
conspicuous ability. Mr. Beauchamp had previously
published a volume of " Essays on the Truth of Chris-
tianity," a work of considerable merit. In 1817, he
removed to Mt. Carmel, Illinois, and superintended the
formation of a new settlement. In 1822, he again
entered the traveling connection, and was stationed in
the city of St. Louis. In 1823, he was appointed pre-
siding elder of Indiana District, which included Charles-
town, Flat-rock, Blue-river, Bloomington, Honey-creek,
Vincennes, Patoka, Mount Sterling, Corydon, Indian-
apolis, and Eel-river — eleven large circuits — embracing
one-third of the territory of the state of Indiana. He
was the same year elected a delegate to the General
Conference, which met in Baltimore ; and such was the
impression made by him upon the members of that body
that he lacked but two Azotes of being elected to the
episcopal office. Had it not been for the fact that so
large a portion of his ministerial life had been spent
out of the itineranc}^, his name would doubtless have
honored the history of our episcopacy. On his return
to his district he was seized with an affection of the


liver, and, after suffering for about six weeks, fell asleep
in Jesus, in the full prospect of a glorious immortality.

Mr. Beauchamp was one of nature's noblemen, a
man of true greatness. He was often styled the "De-
mosthenes of the West." His manner was plain, and
his style easy and natural. His sermons made a lasting
impression. His standard of Christian character was
high. Holiness was his favorite theme. When holding
forth the promises and invitations of the Gospel, there
was a gentleness and tenderness in his manner and in
the tones of his voice, that was sure to touch the sym-
pathies of his hearers ; but when he became argument-
ative, and discussed doctrinal points, and especially
when he denounced dangerous errors, his voice would
become elevated, his whole system nerved, and the
tones of his voice and the flash of his keen eye would
startle his hearers like peals of thunder. On one occa-
sion the force of his eloquence was fully demonstrated.
It was on a subject of controversy. His antagonist,
who had sat and listened for some time to his argu-
ments, too powerful for him to answer, began to look as
if the voice which he now heard came from another
world through the shadow of a man. He rose, appar-
ently with a view to leave the house; but, being over-
come, he staggered, caught by the altar-railing, and fell
into his seat, and there sat overwhelmed and con-
founded until the discourse closed, when he quietly left
the house. The death of such a minister is deeply felt;
but God watches over his Church, and "the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it."

The second session of the Illinois Conference was
held in Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana, begin-
ning September 28, 1826. There were returned to this
Conference members as follows : In Madison District,


4,352; in Charlestown District, 4,443; and in those
portions of the Wabash and Illinois Districts lying in
Indiana, 2,045 ; making a total membership in Indiana
of 10,840; while that portion of the Illinois Confer-
ence lying within the state of Illinois only included a
membership of 2,595. The appointments to the work
in Indiana, made at this Conference, were as follows :


Madison Station — C. W. Ruter.

Madison Circuit — James Scott and Daniel Newton.

Lawrencehurg — James L. Thompson and George Randle.

Whitewater — James Havens and John F. Johnson.

Connersville — Robert Burns.

Eushville—E. B Griffith.

Flat-rock — Abner H. Cheever.

Indianapolis — Edwin Ray.

- Charlestown — Allen Wiley and James Garner.

Corydon — George Locke and Samuel Low.

Paoli — W. H. Smith and Smith L. Robinson.

Eel-river — Daniel Anderson and Stith M. Otwell.

Crawfordsville — Henry Buell.

Bloomington — A. Wood.

Salem — Wm. Shanks and John Hogan.

Washington — William Moore.


Vincennes — Stephen R. Beggs.
Paioka— Asa D. West.
Booneville — Thomas Davis.
Mount Vernon — Thomas Files.

The tide of emigration was extending northward,
and as the Church kept even pace with the population the
names of the charges indicate very clearly what portions
of the state were being settled J^y white men, and the
plans of these early circuits give a clearer idea, of the
physical toil and personal hardships of the itinerancy of
that day, than any mere verbal description, however


graphic it might be. Indianapolis Circuit, in 1825, com-
prised the following preaching-places : In the county of
Marion : Indianapolis, Headley's, M'Laughlin's, and La-
master's ; in the county of Madison : Pendleton, Shet-
terle^^'s, and Smith's ; in Hamilton County : Danville,
Wilson's, and Claypool's ; in Hendricks County and in the
county of Morgan : Matlock's, Barlow's, Booker's, Martins-
ville, Culton's, and Ladd's; at Hough's, in Johnson County,
and Bay's and Rector's, in Shelby County. In 1825
Honey-creek Circuit included the following appoint-

Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 5 of 27)