Moses Waddel.

Memoirs of Miss Caroline E. Smelt online

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Pattor of the United Churches of Wdlington and n^ypcwell, in the District
of Abbeville, South Cirulina.

They that seek me early shall find me. — Prov. viii. 17.
The righteous hath hope in his death.— Prov. xiv. 32.




Entered according to the act of Congress, in the year 1835,

By Henry Perkins,

ill the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern Dis

trict of Pennsylvania.

Stereotyped by L. Johnson,


To Mr

I have read, with lively interest, the manuscript
Memoirs of the amiable and pious Miss Smelt, and can
feel no hesitation in the expression of an opinion fa-
vourable to their publication. I believe the narrative
calculated to do much good, especially among the
young of her own sex.

Yours, &c.

James Milnor,
Rector of St. George's Church.
New York, 15th Aug. 1818.

To Jllrs. Elizabeth Jones.

I concur, with much pleasure, in recommending the
publication of the Memoirs of the late excellent Miss
Smelt ; being convinced that they are, under God, cal-
culated to be eminently useful. Her well-cultivated
youthful mind, her truly amiable disposition, and abovo
all, her being so evidently a subject of divine grace,
give the narrative much interest and value. Who,
that himself loves the Redeemer, can peruse such an



account of a departed saint, without feeling his heart
warmed with holy affections, and edified 1
I am, most respectfully,

Yours sincerely in Christ,

Benjamin Mortimer,
Pastor of the Church of the United Brethren.
New York, 17th Aug. 1818.

To JMrs. Elizabeth Jones.

I have perused the manuscript copy of the Memoirs
of Miss. C. E. Smelt with peculiar pleasure, and shall
be highly gratified to see the work in print. I feel a
confidence that the publication will be calculated to be
useful, not only among her relations and the friends
who knew her, but also among strangers. It is calcu-
lated to be useful wherever it may be read. Accept my
thanks that I have been favoured with the perusal.
With respect, I am, madam, yours, &c.

John M'Dowell,
Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Elizabelhlotcn.
Elizabethtown, 29th Aug. 1818.

To J\Tvs. Elizabeth Jones.

Expressions of mercy, so distinguished as that ex-
hibited in the Memoirs of Miss Smelt, ought not to be
withheld from the world. They appear to honour God,


and to be adapted to do good to the gouls of men. The
impression has delightfully rested on my mind, while
perusing the manuscript, that mothers who love their
daughters, and daughters who love their mothers, and
all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, will find much in
this brief narrative which they will wish to cherish and
wish to remember. It is with pleasure, madam, that T
commit this testimony of my approbation of the work
to your disposal.

With earnest prayers for the divine blessing upon
this little volume, and with sentiments of personal re-
spect and kindness,

I am, madam,

Your obedient servant,

Gardiner Spring,
Pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church.
New York, 6th Sept. 1818.

To «\frs. Elizabeth Jones*

I have read the Memoirs of your late niece, Miss
Smelt, with much interest. They form a piece of bio-
graphy which promises to be profitable, and cannot
f ail to be interesting to both old and young. We have
here " the words of truth and soberness" uttered under
circumstances the most solemn and impressive : and I
would gladly hone, that while those who are encom-
passed with the temptations peculiar to youth, read the
warnings and exhortations of the dying Miss Smelt,
A 2


they will be led to feel the vanity of all earthly things,
and the infinite importance of death and eternity. And
what parent can survey her triumphs over " the last
enemy," and compare them with her previous history,
without seeing how rich a blessing attends parental
fidelity in bringing up a child " in the nurture and ad-
monition of the Lord."

Permit me to express my sincere sympathy for her
bereaved parents, and believe me,

Your obedient servant,

J. M. Mathews,
Pastor of the Reformed Dutch Church in Garden-street.
New York, 15th Sept. 1818.


The following narrative is presented
to the public at the earnest request of a
number of friends of the deceased Miss
Smelt. She had endeared herself to a
numerous circle by her many virtues and
affable deportment. Her mind was culti-
vated, and her manners highly polished.
The easy circumstances in which she was
born and lived, together with the circle
of society in which she was wont to
move, afforded her advantages which but
few enjoy. It was, therefore, thought by
many who witnessed the last scenes of
her life, that such a testimony as she gave
to the truth of vital Christianity, if made
public, might be useful in promoting the
best interests of many who had no per-
sonal acquaintance with her.

Accordingly, the whole of the follow-
ing information concerning her was drawn


up by several persons who knew her well,
and witnessed the most interesting facts
hereafter recorded. The papers contain-
ing this information were presented to the
editor, with a request that he would re-
vise, arrange, and prepare them for publi-
cation. With this request he endeavoured
to comply. The distance at which he re-
sides from Augusta deprived him of any
personal knowledge of Miss Smelt from
the period of her infancy, when he bap-
tized her. This want of a later personal
knowledge he much regrets ; yet from the
concurrent testimony of many pious and
worthy characters, he does not entertain
the smallest doubt of the truth of a single
fact recorded in the following narrative.
The probity and piety of the persons con-
cerned in furnishing its materials are too
well known to admit any dread of suspi-
cion or contradiction. Besides, the most
interesting facts related were witnessed
by many respectable persons, who can
attest their authenticity ; for " this thing
was not done in a corner."


The editor has not enlarged any part of
the narrative, nor added any comments
of his own, in the course of it. He has
only compiled the information communi-
cated by others. Some words he has
changed, and some alterations have been
made in the arrangement : but in no in-
stance has there been any alteration made
in the sense of a single paragraph. The
concluding remarks he has added, and a
part of the genealogy in the beginning he
has given from his own knowledge.

Perspicuity has been his object through
the whole of the narrative. To attain this
has been found difficult in some places,
where a conversation is related between
two persons of the same sex. However,
he hopes that, in general, the whole will
be found intelligible by those who peruse

Moses Waddell.

Willington, South Carolina, ~)
24th June, 1818. 5



Miss Caroline Elizabeth Smelt, the
subject of the following - narrative, was born
in the city of Augusta, in the state of Geor-
gia, on Lord's-day morning, December 28th,
1800. Her ancestors, so far as is known,
were respectable. Her father, Doctor Den-
nis Smelt, was born in Essex county, in the
state of Virginia, on the 23d day of Novem-
ber, 1763. His father, the Rev. John Smelt,
was a clergyman of the Episcopal church ;
he was born in England, educated at Oxford,
and emigrated to America in early life, where
he married a lady of Virginia.

Doctor Smelt was educated at William
and Mary College, in his native state. In
the year 1786, he went to England, for the



purpose of completing his medical studies.
There he remained three years, and then
returned to his native land. The state of
Georgia at that time offered many attrac-
tions to young men of talents and enterprise.
Accordingly, the doctor determined on re-
moving thither, and selected Augusta as the
place of his future residence, where he set-
tled in 1789. Here his medical skill and in-
dustrious attention to the duties of his pro-
fession, soon procured him a large share of
public confidence, as well as an extensive and
lucrative practice.

In the year 180G, he was elected, by his
fellow citizens, as a member to represent
them in the Congress of the United States.
After acting five years in this capacity, he
retired from the service of his country, to re-
pose in the bosom of his family.

In the year 1798, he received in marriage
the hand of Miss Mary Cooper, an amiable
and accomplished young lady of Augusta.
She was the daughter of Mr. Ananias Coop-
er, a respectable merchant, then living in the
city, but since dead. Mr. Cooper's parents
were both natives of Amsterdam, from which
place they emigrated to New York, but at
what period is not known to the writer of
this narrative. Shortly after Mr. Cooper's
birth, he lost his father. His mother lived
sixty-three years. She died in the city of
New York. She was of exemplary piety,


and considered, by good judges, an intelligent
and accomplished lady. She spoke and wrote
the English, and several other languages,
with correctness. It was observed by the
minister who preached the funeral sermon,
that " she had been a member of the church
more than thirty years, during all which time
she had been a * shining light,' and had never
brought a blush upon her children's cheeks,
nor the slightest blemish on the cause of re-
ligion." Mrs. Cooper, the mother of Mrs.
Smelt, was a native of Ireland. She emi-
grated to Philadelphia when young, where
she was married to Mr. Cooper, by whom
she had live daughters ; of these Mrs. Smelt
was the third. In January, 1778, while the
British army were in the city of Philadel-
phia, and great disorder was prevalent there,
Mrs. Cooper, expecting shortly to be the
mother of a third child, retired to Bethle-
hem, a quiet village in the interior of the
state ; within a few miles of which place Mrs.
Smelt was born, on the 31st of January,

Mrs. Cooper survived her husband some
years, and died near Augusta, in the year
181.3, in the 70th year of her age. She had
long been a professor of religion, and left an
unquestionable testimony of her faith in Jesus.
She died a most triumphant death. With a
heavenly countenance she exclaimed, "Lord


Jesus, receive my spirit !" and immediately
expired without a struggle.

The preceding imperfect sketch of Ca-
roline's ancestors is prefixed to gratify the
innocent curiosity which may be felt by her
friends, or any of those who may read her

Caroline was not the first child of her
parents. A son, named John, was the
first pledge of their wedded love. He afford-
ed his parents all that happiness, in pros-
pect, which a promising infant could pos-
sibly furnish during thirteen months, when it
pleased Him who "blessed little children,"
to take him from his earthly parents, at that
early age, to be with himself.

About four months after this bereavement,
the hearts of these parents were gladdened
by the birth of a daughter ; and this daughter
was Caroline Elizabeth. From early child-
hood she discovered strong marks of an in-
telligent mind, blended with much meekness,
modesty, and benevolence of disposition.
At the age of eighteen months, she was un-
commonly engaging and interesting. She
could, even then, repeat many little prayers
with such a distinct articulation as is not
usual at that tender age. When only two
years old, she could repeat a number of short
instructive lessons which she had committed
to memory, and deliver them with such pa-


thos, property of emphasis, ami expression
of countenance, as to surprise and gratify all
who heard her.

Many circumstances occurred in the dawn
of her life, calculated to delight and increase
parental affection, which are so far effaced by
time and succeeding events as only to leave
on the memory a general impression that
they gave rise to pleasing hopes of future ex-
cellence. A few little anecdotes are still
recollected ; some of which shall be here
inserted, as they may tend, in some mea-
sure, to show the sensibility of heart which
she possessed while she was yet a babe.

When she was not more than three years old,
on a very cold, wet, and stormy winter night,
she was seated by her mother in a little chair,
amusing her with her innocent prattle. Her
mother, feeling desirous to improve the even-
ing as profitably as possible, called the atten-
tion of her little daughter to the comforts
which they then enjoyed, and contrasted
them with the situation of the indigent. She
then related to Caroline the circumstances of
a poor, afflicted, little female orphan, without
clothes, food, or a permanent home. This
recital soon drew tears from the eyes of the
little hearer, accompanied with sobs. After
sitting some time, she wiped off her tears, and
appeared to be engaged in deep thought.
At length she rose from her chair, and ap-
proached her mother, saying, " My dear


mamma, I have been thinking how I could
relieve this poor little girl. Will you please
to let our good old servant, Nancy, take me
directly to her ? I wish to bring her home
with me to-night ; she shall sleep in my bed,
and I will give her some of my frocks, and
a pair of my red shoes." On being told that
it was dark and rainy, and that she had
better defer her intended charity until the
morning, she replied, " O no, mamma, please
to let me go to-night, for you said site had
nothing to eat." Her mother then observed,
that it was too late, and she would get wet,
perhaps take a cold, and be sick. " O no,
mamma, I shall feel better ; I wish to bring
her here to-night, and you will be her mam-
ma too ; won't you ?" To see how far her
feelings would carry her, her mother had the
servant called, her little bonnet and mantle
tied on, and she actually proceeded, with
firm intention, to the street. But here her
natural timidity discovered itself, by her
cleaving to the servant, and kindly asking her
to take her little hand in hers, and hold the
umbrella over her head. They had not been
allowed to proceed many steps, before her
mother called them back ; being fully satisfied
as to the motives which influenced her child.
Little Caroline expressed much disappoint-
ment, and could not be consoled until she
received every assurance from her mother,
that the little sufferer had been provided for.


The next day the subject was renewed, and
the frocks and shoes were tendered.

At the age of four years, she was sent to
school, and made such proficiency as to give
general satisfaction to all concerned. By
her docility, amiable disposition, and obedient
behaviour, she also gained the friendship
and affection of her intelligent preceptress,
which continued unimpaired to the end of
her life. Very many, if not all, of her
school-mates loved her, and were beloved
by her. As soon as she could read, she
evinced great delicacy of taste in the se-
lection of little books, to occupy her leisure
hours ; and would comment on what she had
read, with unusual correctness.

When she was between five and six years
old, she had been one evening engaged in
reading a little book, descriptive of the cha-
racters of two little girls. The one was very
rich, an only child, but exceedingly bold,
passionate, obstinate, and uncharitable: the
other was poor, and in a state of great bodily
sufferings, but very amiable. She appeared
much disgusted with the bad girl, and won-
dered that the wealth had not been given to
the good child. A moralizing dialogue then
ensued between her and her mother. Short-
ly af. er wards, Caroline retired to bed, and
her mother thought she had fallen asleep, as
she had lain perfectly quiet for some time ;
when, lo the surprise of Mrs. Smelt, her little


daughter rose up in the bed, and with great
feeling said, " My dear mamma, I hope I shall
never be such a vain boaster, and such an un-
dutiful child as that bad girl was. I would
much rather be as poor and as afflicted as that
other, if I could be as good." She seemed
much affected, and as if she had been engaged
in deep reflection on the subject. Her mother
then gave her such advice as she thought
would assist her to see her duty ; and to rea-
lize the good wishes she had formed. This ap-
peared to console her youthful mind, and soon
after she fell asleep.

About this period she became much en-
gaged with her catechism. In questioning
her one day, as to her comprehension of the
ten commandments, her mother was much
gratified by the correctness of many of her
answers. One of them is distinctly remem-
bered ; and although it be infantile in the
manner of expression, yet it is strong, and
shows her views on the subject. Her mother
asked her if she understood the meaning of
that command which requires us to " love
our neighbour as ourselves ?" She replied,
with great modesty, " I believe I do. You
know," said she, " when my dear old grand-
mamma comes to see us, she always brings
some little token of her remembrance to
cousin Cornelia and myself; and she always
says, ' Come here, my little Caroline, take
this, and divide it with Cornelia.' She gives


it to me first, because she says I am your
only little pet. Well, I take it (perhaps it
is only a biscuit, perhaps a single apple)
and I divide it, taking 1 care always to give
cousin the biggest part. Now, is it not this
loving my neighbour as myself?"

When she was about six years old, it was
thought expedient to send her to a dancing
school. Nearly all her little school-males
had already entered. It was proposed to
her ; she evinced disapprobation ; but, with
her usual submission, yielded to the wishes
of those whom she loved. She was taken
by her mother, who supposed, that as soon
as Caroline should see her young friends, and
hear the music, she would be reconciled to
remain. But on entering the school, she
discovered great agitation and terror, entreat-
ed her mother not to leave her, and burst
into tears. Mrs. Smelt, much surprised and
disconcerted, returned home with her, and
inquired the cause of her agitation. Still
trembling, she replied, " My dear mamma,
I cannot tell you, but I felt so much alarm,
I could not stay. I hope you will never de-
sire me to go to that school again. I can hop
and jump about enough at home, without
jjoing to that school to learn." Her mother
then told her, that she had mortified her ex-
ceedingly by exposing her weakness before
so many persons ; many of whom would pro-
bably call her a spoiled baby, and charge


the fault to her. Caroline then replied, "I
do not regard any reproaches my conduct, on
this occasion, may bring upon me, if you
will forgive me, and not desire me to go

No farther attempt was made to have her
taught dancing, until she was ten years old.
She then showed the same disapprobation
and the same submission. She was told, that
it was an accomplishment which her friends
wished her to acquire ; that it would qualify
her better for appearing in that society in
which she was intended to move ; and would
contribute much to render her easy and grace-
ful in her deportment. She smiled, and ob-
served, " it was strange reasoning; and that
any thing so light and trifling in its nature,
should qualify her better for the society of
rational beings, was surprising." She entered,
and soon became what the world calls an ele-
gant and graceful dancer. Before the expi-
ration of the last quarter, she requested leave
to retire ; observing, that her friends had
complimented her on the proficiency she had
made ; and as she had answered their wishes,
she begged leave to give up farther attend-
ance on the school. She was persuaded to
finish the quarter; but frequently, when pre-
paring for the dance, would shed tears, and
say that she " felt great repugnance to be-
stow so much time on a thing, of which she
should never be fond." For this her friends


were unable to account, as there was not the
least tincture of melancholy in her disposi-
tion. On the contrary, she was extremely
cheerful and happy, but never volatile ;
sprightly and animated in conversation, but
never countenanced or descended to levity.

In her eighth year, she was called to expe-
rience a most aillictive dispensation of Di-
vine Providence, in the death of a darling
little sister, who was three years younger
than herself. She was greatly grieved, but
displayed much resignation to the will of
God ; and directed her sympathy and affec-
tionate condolence to the consolation of her
afflicted mother. Mrs. Smelt had enjoyed
but feeble health for several years, and her
mind had been deeply exercised in seeking
to secure the best interests of her own soul.
This bereavement laid her low in the valley
of humiliation. She was visited by many
pious friends and ministers of the gospel.
When her mother was engaged in conversa-
tion with them, reading the Scriptures, or
other religious works, little Caroline would
ijive her whole attention to the subject; and
she has since told her mother, that from that
period, she dated the first perceptible opera-
tions of divine grace upon her heart. For,
said she, •* so clear was my comprehension
of the plan of salvation through a Redeemer,
that I understood it as well, and believed in
it as firmly, at eight years of age, as 1 do now


on my death-bed." She also observed, '"'that
it often had been a matter of astonishment to
her, even at that early period, that she should
have such clear conceptions of a subject
which caused so much investigation and
doubt in the minds of older persons." She
was always attentive to religious instruction,
and at the age just mentioned, particularly
so. Her mother never asked her to retire
with her, for the purpose of private prayer,
without rinding her ready, and immediately
willing to attend, let her little engagements
be what they might. She would bow on
her little knees, with so much sweet humi-
lity, and so silently and patiently engage
in this solemn duty, as to afford her affec-
tionate mother the greatest delight, particu-
larly when she could see her, at the close of
the duty, wiping the precious tears from her
infantile cheeks.

When Caroline was a little more than eight
years old, her curiosity was considerably ex-
cited to see the Augusta races. As a num-
ber of her little friends were going, she asked
permission to attend also. Her mother, feel-
ing confident that her little daughter did not
understand the nature of this amusement, did
not hesitate to indulge her. She was accord-
ingly placed under the care of a particular
friend, and went ; but before the race was
over, she was brought home as pale as a
little corpse. On inquiring the cause of her


returning in that manner, she said, she had
been very much disappointed in the amuse-
ment ; that she had seen nothing but a fright-
ful confusion, and the poor horses whipped
and run almost to dcatli ; that she had con-
cealed her terror as much as possible, for
fear of interrupting the friends with whom
she was ; but at length two men got to fight-
ing near the carriage in which she was seated,
and she heard a loud exclamation of " War'
war !" which alarmed her so exceedingly that
she was near fainting ; when her friend, see-
ing her situation, brought her away imme-
diately. She ever afterwards evinced a
great abhorrence of this amusement.

Perhaps a more happy, meek, or affection-
ate disposition than that which she possessed
has rarely ever been known. Always de-
sirous of making every one around her par-
take, as much as possible, of the blessings she
enjoyed, she extended this principle to friends,
strangers, servants, and even to animals. It
is well recollected, that soon after the races
before mentioned, a young friend presented
her with a beautiful little ring-dove in a cage.
At first Caroline was much delighted with
the present ; but after a short time she ex-
pressed great sympathy for the poor bird ;
and said she should feel more pleasure in

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Online LibraryMoses WaddelMemoirs of Miss Caroline E. Smelt → online text (page 1 of 9)