William Evans.

The Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds online

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sidered great ; several robberies and murders
having been recently committed.

In the evening we came to a neat cottage,
where we found plenty, but got little sleep. —
Our landlady stepping out after dark to a ne-
gro hut close by, was bitten by some poison-
ous reptile, supposed to be a rattle-snake — her
foot and ancle swelled, and the severity of
the pain caused her to groan; — feelings of
sympathy for her prevented my sleeping
much, and in the morning we were obliged
to leave them, without knowing what the re-
sult might be.

In passing through the lands reserved for
the Indians, our compassion was excited by
the situation of several families of squatters,
whose houses and other improvements had
been burned a few days before, by a party
of light-horsemen sent out for the purpose of
dispossessing them, in order to appease the

When we reached the settlements in Ken-
tucky, we* put up at the house of General
Kennedy, who possesses a large number of
slaves. Many of his neighbours hearing of
our arrival, called to see us, with whom we
had much free conversation on the practice
of holding slaves, and the pernicious conse-
quences of the free use of ardent spirits. It
was introduced by my offering them tracts on
these subjects, which I had brought from
Philadelphia for the purpose of distribution.
Some readily accepted them, but others re*
fused, we however read them to the company,
at intervals, offfering to their consideration.

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such answers to their objections as we were
enabled to make. The General was the prin-
cipal objector, and would not adroit that the
practice of slave-holding was wrong. He,
however, treated us with hospitality and kind-
ness, and when we led his house, pressingly
invited us to call again before we led the
country. We then Went to see the widow
Timberlake, whose husband had been a
Friend — she received our visit in a friendly
manner. The following day we had a meet-
ing in a private house at Richmond, Madison
county ; though therQ were but six or seven
houses in the place, yet the people assembled
from the country around, so that we had a
large meeting, which proved satisfactory. Af-
ter it closed, a Baptist professor offered us the
use of their meeting house at Dreaming-creek,
where we had a meeting the day following.
At both these meetings we had the company
of a Methodist minister, who was a stranger
to Friends and their principles, but appeared
to be a sensible man. He assented to our
doctrine on baptism as then held forth ; say-
ing, he had for some time been persuaded
that the baptism essential to salvation was a
spiritual l>aptism.

It being the first-day of the week, we at-
tended another meeting in the aflernoon, held
in the house belonging to ihe Methodists. The
people were very kind to us, and several of
them disputed who should entertain us; so
we divided and were lodged at the houses of
two of them. In the morning we crossed the
Kentucky river at Boonsborough, the place
where the first white settler pitched his tent.
A few miles north of the river we came to
the house of Judge Clark, of Clark county,
who being related to two of our company, re-
ceived us very cordially, and paid great at-
tention to spread notice of a meeting to be
held the day following in the Baptist meeting
house. A large number of people assembled,
and their minister among the rest, who in a
hasty manner objected to the doctrines de-
livered, as soon as I took my seat, charging
me with discarding the doctrines of Jesus
Christ; a charge which he fell far short of
substantiating, even in the opinion of his own
hearers. Wljen speaking upon the doctrine
of baptism, I had confined myself to giving
the reasons which occurred to my remem-
brance, why the Society of Friends does not
use water baptism; and several of his hearers
expressed thei;* dissatisfaction with his inter-
rupting the quiet of the meeting, in which
they had been edified with what they heard.
One of them added, that he could perceive
no need of urging those into the water who
did not see the necessity of it, but who were
pressing afler the baptism of the one eternal

spirit. On our way back to the house of
Judge Clark, his wife remarked to me, that
she hoped now to be released from that dis-
tress of mind she had been under, respecting
this subject, for some time past, and which at
times was so great, that she feared she should
lose her reason ; for she could not see her
way to be baptized with water, and the
preacher was continually urging on her the
necessity of it or she would be eternally lost ;
but now, said she, I am satisfied, and hope I
shall no more be troubled about it.

In the evening we had a meeting at the
Judge's house, where this preacher again at-
tended, but he made no further opposition.
Many persons were present, and it was truly
a solid season, in which Gospel truths were
freely opened, and reasons given for the sim«
plicity of our profession and practices — par-
ticularly our not singing in the customary and
formal manner of most other professors, die.
The necessity of seeking afler weightioess of
spirit in our devotions, was set forth ; that as
God is a Spirit, they who perform the solemn
act of devotion aright, must worship him in
spirit and in truth. We had a pressing invi-
tation to have a meeting next day at the house
of a person who lived nearly ten miles off,
and who was at our morning meeting. I ac-
cordingly accepted it, and Judge Clark, his
wife and daughters, accompani^ us thither.
We were favoured with the fresh extendings
of Divine love, for which humble thanksgiv-
ings were offered unto Him, who is forever
worthy. This interesting family continued
with us next day, and attended a meeting held
in the court-house in Winchester, where many
Gospel truths opened on my mind, and were
delivered with clearness — ability being gra-
ciously afforded, beyond what I ever experi-
enced before, to contend for them, in oppo-
sition to the superficial notions of formal
professors. When the meeting closed, the
people appeared unwilling to leave the house,
and much brokenness of spirit and weeping
were manifest, particularly among those who
had become most acquainted with us. The
wife of Judge Clark remarked, that she hoped
the Lord would enable her to be resigned to
the reproach that might be cast upon her, for
ceasing to depend upon her former teachers,
as she was now desirous to be inwardly at-
tentive to the Teacher that could not be re-
moved into a corner. Others assentmg to the
doctrines they had heard, joined in the ex-
pression of desires and prayers, that God
would bless and preserve us in his work,
among whom were some of the first charac-
ters in the country. He who knoweth all
hearts, knows that I do not pen these things
m a boasting way, but do ascribe all praise to

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him; for had he not vouchsafed his help, I
should Dot have dared to labour as I did, nei-
ther could L May his preserving power con-
tinue to be with me, and afford me strength
to move forward in bis fear, for hitherto he
hath helped me in this untrodden land, where
I have been earnestly desirous not to move
too fast, or in any way contrary to his holy
will, so that I have at times been unable to
sleep or take my natural food. But feeling
my confidence in my holy Helper renewed at
this season, I once more surrender myself
iato his blessed keeping. Thou k newest, O
Lord, I am willing to follow thee whitherso-
ever thou art pleased to lead me. Be thou
with my dear family and keep us all in thy

We rode to the widow Smith's, in Scott
county, where we had a .meeting at four
o'clock in the aflernoon, which was not so
satisfactory as some others. In the evening
we bad a tendering and baptizing season with
the family; and the following day being the
first of the week, we had meetings, both
morning and afternoon, in the court-house at
Lexington, which were satisfactory opportuni-
ties. We lodged at Thomas Steele's, formerly
a school teacher in New York, and from whom
I received part of the little schooling I had.

The following day went to Frankfort, and
ID the evening had a good meeting in the
state-house. The governor and most of the
respectable inhabitants were present, and be-
haved solidly; they were very attentive and
manifested their satisfaction with the meeting.
We then rode into Shelby county, and had a
meeting in the court-house, but the people ap-
peared very shy, and were unwilling to sit
down until some men of note in the place
came in ; when they became more settled, and
we had a comfortable time, much to the sat-
isfaction of some hungering and thirsting
souls present. After distributing some pam-
phlets, we proceeded on our way to Harrods-
burg, through a wilderness country, and on
reaching the house of John Thomas, who had
his education among Friends, we were cour-
teously received by him, and he gave notice
of a meeting to be held in the court-house.
We then went to Augustus Passmore's, whose
wife had been brought up a Friend, and had
an encouraging and satisfactory opportunity
in their family. He and John Thomas, with
several others, had formed a society for as-
sisting coloured people who were held in
slavery, but who had a legal right to their
liberty. After visiting several tender minded
people hereaway, we led the neighbourhood,
and proceeded through Danville to Knoxville,
in Tennessee. On our way, we entered a
wilderness part of the road one morning, and
Vol. IV.— No. 7.

having rode about seventeen miles, called at
a spacious looking house for the purpose of
getting breakfast, supposing from its appear-
ance we should be furnished with a good
meal ; but we were disappointed, for on ap-
plying to the landlord, he said they should
have to kill and dress a pig before we could
have breakfast. I told him we could not
wait so long, and would do without meat;
upon which his daughter replied, they had
neither bread nor meal, and must grind the
corn before they could serve us. To this I
objected, on account of the detention, and told
her, I saw they had sweet potatoes growing,
and if they would boil some of them for us,
and give us some milk, we would nrmke out a
meal ; upon which the black girl said, there
was no milk in the house. We then con-
cluded to go to the next inn, where we broke
our fast, between twelve and one o'clock.
Proceeding on our journey, we met a roan
well mounted, who on coming up to us, im-
mediately turned his horse and rode with us,
conversing first with one and then another of
us, on the danger of riding through the wil-
derness, when it was known that robbers had
attacked and murdered several persons, and
pretending much uneasiness for fear we should
meet them. He offered our friend John Lynch
his pistols to defend us; but John let him know,
that he did not depend upon such weapons for
protection; and after riding several hours with
us, directly back from the inhabited part of
the country, we saw several men about half a
mile from the road, at a newly erected cot-
tage, and our mysterious companion, without
taking leave of us, rode off to them ; we
thought it well to get rid of him, and hasten-
ing our pace saw him no more. In the even-
ing we reached a poor inn, but so many had
arrived l)efore us, that we had to sleep on the
floor. We left the place before day, choosing
rather to ride alone than with a rude and un-
civil company, who seemed glad that we were
going the same way, saying, our numbers
would be likely to deter the robbers from fall-
ing upon us. We had to travel a dreary
road, so narrow at times that we were obliged
to follow one another. It was after night when
we reached an inn, where we found room
enough, and good entertainment for a new
country. The landlady cheerfully got up
from her bed to wait upon us. In the morn-
ing we pursued our route toward KnoxvHle,
mostly through a wilderness, though the set-
tlements l)ecame more frequent as we ap-
proached that place. It rained hard, and we
put up before night — our beds, as was fre-
quently the case, were spread on the floor,
and in the morning, were thrown together, in
one corner of the room, where they remained

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in a pile until the next night, when they are
brought forth again for other travellers who
may arrive. Our horses generally fared
pretty well — we sometimes carried a bag of
grain with us, stripping the bark from an old
tree for a manner. About three o'clock on
the following day we arrived at our kind
friend Thomas Marshall's. Few, if any, who
have never been circumstanced as we were,
during this wearisome journey through the
wilderness, can realize the satisfaction and
comfort there is in a welcome reception from
friends of the same religious profession. We
did not indeed meet with sumptuous fare, but
a cordiality which compensated for the want
of it, and the keenness of our appetites ren-
dered their humble board and simple provision
truly grateful to us, and thankfulness was
raised in our hearts to Him who united our
spirits together.

On the following day we had a meeting in
the new court-house at Knoxville, which the
governor and both houses of the legislature
attended, having given up the room to accom*
modate us. Here I found several letters from
home, the contents of which were satisfactory
Returning home with Thomas Marshall, we
had a meeting in the evening in their.newlog
house, and next day were at the Monthly
Meeting at Lost-creek, where we met a con
siderable number of Friends, who made a
commendable appearance, but evinced much
rawness in the management of the discipline.
We were, however, comforted together through
the condescending goodness of the Giver of
every good and ])erfect gifl. Afler this we
had large meetings at several places, with
Friends and others, one of which was on the
south side of the river French Broad, at the
house of W. Williams, where a meeting of
Friends had never before been held. At New-
hope we put up at John Kennedy's, and at-
tended the Monthly Meeting at that place,
where we found our friends Joseph Cloud and
Jacob Hunt, on their way to Kentucky, on a
religious visit ; and as I felt much for the in-
habrtants of that state, it was cause of joy to
me, to find that the Lord of the harvest was
sending more labourers there. Joseph and
myself, unknown to each other, having ap-
pointed a meeting at Limestone, to be held at
the same hour, we accordingly attended it to
good satisfaction.

Leaving Tennessee, we rode toward North
Carolina, and on sixth-day the 4th of tenth
month, got to Bryan Ballard's, on Chesnut-
creek, in Virginia. In our way we had to
ford many large rivers; the water in the Hol-
stein came up to the skirts of my saddle, and
wet my feet, although the horse I rode was
uncommonly tall; and having to ride after-

ward in the rain, I took cold and was laid up,
being unable to travel. After getting better,
I attended meetings at Chesnut, Reedy Island,
Fruit-hill, and Ward's gap, which were to
pretty good satisfaction. Whilst crossing the
mountains, we had an opportunity of seeing
some of the difficulties which the emigrants
to the western country have to encounter ;—
the women and children, unable to 6nd shelter
from the falling rain, were dragging their wea-
ry limbs up the rocky steeps, whilst the men
were engaged in getting the wagons up, by
doubling their teams and frequently blocking
the wheels, ta give the poor horses breath.

On the 12th we attended the first meeting
in Carolina, held at Dan river, and then one
at Westfield, where we put up at the house of
a kind Friend, who with his wife and family
had joined the Society a short time before.
From thence we proceeded to Deep-creek, and
Muddy-creek, and bad meetings at each, when
I found it necessary for me to rest a few days,
having been poorly since crossing the moun-
tains, so much so as to make travelling difficult,
and I was often very near being discouraged;
but the renewed evidences of Divine conde-
scension and goodness with which I was fa-
voured, stayed my mind ftrom sinking too
low — at times I was raised up in humble
grateful acknowledgment, that I had been fa-
voured beyond any thing t had merited, and
I humbly petitioned the Lord Most High, that
I might be strengthened to walk more up-
rightly before him, and carefully watch over
my thoughts, that my mind might not be dis-
engaged from the work to which I was called.
Although I felt the loss of the society and
tender care of my dear wife in this trying
time, yet the language of my heart was, "I
desire to be at thy disposal, O Thou who
knowest what is best for me 1"

The following first-day I was at favouied
meetings, at Muddy and Blue-creeks, then at
Dover and Hopewell, where the notice having
failed, we had the company of but few per-
sons. Among these were a man and his wife,
not members of our Society, for whom I was
much interested in the love of the Oospel; and
I think they were sensible of a heavenly vis-
itation being renewedly extended to their

When I reflected on the distance I bad
come to attend this meeting, and that a Friend
belonging to it, should be so little interested
as to neglect to spread notice of the invitation
to his neighbours, my mind was depressed,
and I felt sorrow for him ; and although but
few of the members had attended the meeting,
I felt most easy to proceed without having an-
other opportunity with them.

Our companion, John Lynch and other

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Friends who came with us from Virginia,
having returned home^ Joshua Lord and my-
self attended the Yearly Meeting for North
Carolina, ^c, held at New Garden. The meet-
ing of ministers and elders commenced the
26th of tenth month; and to some of us, was
a time of renewing covenant, and I was rev-
erently thankful for the opportunity of being
with Friends in this meeting. Richard Jor-
dan opened his prospect of visiting Friends in
Europe, and received certificates of the unity
and concurrence of the meeting with his pro-
ceeding therein. The meeting for Divine wor-
ship, on first-day, was much crowded, but
rather a low time, and during the severaJ sit-
tings of that for business, when the state of
society was under consideration. Friends were
comfortably united in spirit, with desires for
the welfare one of another— 4ind the meeting
closed under an encouraging evidence of the
renewings of heavenly love.

Eleventh month 2nd. In New Garden
Monthly Meeting, I had to bear testimony
against Friends receiving and holding the
office of magistrate, or joining in political dis-
putes — party spirit being generally excited,
which disqualified for usefulness, as well as
for choosing suitable persons for rulers and
law-makers; entreating Friends to consider
the superior excellency of the Messiah's
peaceable kingdom, into which our Society is
called, as a sort of first fruits ; and it behoves
us to prove our allegiance to the Prince of
peace, by coming out of all contentions, strife,
and that which leads to bloodshed.

First-day attended a favoured meeting at
New Garden, and on second-day was at Deep-
nver Monthly Meeting, where self-righteous-
ness was shown to be a fruitful source of dis-
eouragement and stumbling to the youth,
many of whom had strayed from the Society,
ibr the want of a timely care, on the part of
parents and care-takers, to cultivate their
minds, and imbue them with a just estimate
of the excellency of piety and virtue ; whilst
austere commands had failed to keep them in
a conformity to the simplicity of our profes-
sion, as respected their outward appearance.
The humble followers of the Lord Jesus, were
encouraged to hold on their way. I had been
at this meeting before the Yearly Meeting,
and had to sufier in silence, but now my
mouth was opened to my own relief; may the
humble praise Him who opens and none can
shut, and shuts and none can open. After
this we had satisfactory meetings at Sher-
burne, Springfield, Piney-woods, and were at
the Quarterly Meeting at Cane-creek, on the
10th, where the roincb of Friends were united
in desire, for the preservation of the members
of the church in right order. We then took

meetings at Spring, Eno, Rocky river. Cane-
creek, the Ridge, Piney-grove, Holly-spring,
Providence, Centre, Hickory-creek and Marl-
borough ; most of which were largely attended
by Friends and others, and several of them
were favoured seasons. Having been closely
engaged since the Yearly Meeting, I rode
home with John Winslow from Marlborough
meeting, and rested a few days. I was often
seriously thoughtful lest I should get into the
habit 'of preaching, but upon a humble and
reverent appeal to the Searcher of hearts, to
know how to conduct before him and his peo«
pie, I was answered with the precious incomes
of sweet peace and inward holy consolation,
far overbalancing my doubts and fears— and
an evidence was given me, that these fears
were permitted to keep me watchful. 01 that
I may more and more reverence and obey the
holy One of Israel, for he hath dealt bounti-
fully with me.

On the 24th we set out for South Carolina,
and got but a few miles, before we had to re«
turn, the horse I rode being so unwell as to
render his answering for the journey doubtful.
We went back to our friend John Winslow's,
where I procured another horse, and on the
29th we set out again, and after four days
travel got to James Hawkins\on Broad river.
The dd of twelfth month, wo had a meeting
at the house of the widow Hawkins, and the
following day one at Cane-creek meeting-
house—then one at Paget's-creek ; all which
were favoured seasons. We then rode to
Rocky-spring, in Newbury county, and at-
tended their meeting to good satisfaction.
Having left notice at the last mentioned
place of our intention to return, we went
there on fourth-day, where the doctrines of
Truth flowed freely to a large auditory. Next
morning, accompanied by our dear friend
Samuel Miles, we set out to attend Bush river
meeting, but had to return, as the rain had
raised the waters so high that we dare not
attempt to ford the creek. We succeeded in
getting over the next morning, and spent the
time at the house of Joseph Thompson, until
first-day, when we were at their meeting, and
had one in the evening at the house of Henry
Stedham, who accompanied us next day to
Mudlick meeting. We then rode to Isaac
Cook's, whose wife. Charity Cook, was ab-
sent on a visit to Friends in Europe. The
weather being stormy, we staid and attended
their meeting on fifth-day. During this time
our horses strayed away, and my companion,
Joshua Lord, accompanied by another Friend,
set out in search of them. The rivers and
creeks being much swollen by the long con-
tinued rains, we were very thoughtful how
our friends would fare in the pursuit, and in

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looking toward Georgia, it seemed very un-
likely that I should be able to fulfil my pros-
pect of a visit to Friends there. My mind
was a good deal depressed, as 1 found I could
not comfortably give up the prospect ; but on
the morning of the 21st, He whom my soul
loves, and whom I delight to serve, conde-.
scended to open my way with clearness to
proceed, although my companion was absent
and our horses not found. I felt my mind
deeply bowed in reverence, and gave up
cheerfully, in the full belief, that He who had
thus far been with me, would still go with me;
and although nothing but discouragement pre-
vails as to the outward, yet blessed be his
holy name, in his adorable mercy he never
fails to help the humble. O thou who givest
me this faith ! I pray thee, keep me in the
way I should go, and thou shalt be my God ;
I will not love another, nay, nor any thing
this world affords, like unto thee, for thou
hast dealt bountifully with me in this trying
time 9 thy love shed abroad in my heart has
been life unto me ; and the discouragements,
which as a thick cloud, hung round about me,
are dispelled by the brightness of thy appear-
ing — good is thy will, O ! Lord.

First-day morning, the sun arose with great
splendour, and the day continued bright, as
to the outward as well as to my mind ; —
Truth's testimony flowed freely in the meet-
ing at RaymondVcreek, with thanksgivings
and praise to the Lord Most High, who is

Online LibraryWilliam EvansThe Friends' library: comprising journals, doctrinal treatieses, & other writings of members of the religious Society of Freinds → online text (page 58 of 104)