William Taylor Stott.

Indiana Baptist history, 1798-1908 online

. (page 1 of 25)
Online LibraryWilliam Taylor StottIndiana Baptist history, 1798-1908 → online text (page 1 of 25)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook




3 1833 02413 0707

Gc 977.2 St7i

Stott, William

Indiana Baptist history,





Elx-President Fianklin College
Franklin, Indiana

Copyright. 1908, by
W. T. Stott


Dedicated to


To which are flowing in increasing volume the
interest, the sympathy, the gifts and the prayers
of the Baptists of Indiana; and from which is
going out a growing multitude of symmetrically
trained young men and young women to be the
bearers of social, moral and spiritual health and
blessing to the churches, the commonwealth, the
country and the world.


state Convention Monument 4

Elder Isaac McCoy 52

The Rev. Albert A. Ogle 316

The Rev. R. E. Neighbor 320

The Rev. S. H. Huffman 322

Mrs. Mary E. Jeflerey 325

The Rev. S. M. Stimson 328

Mrs. S. M. Stimson 328

Mr. E. C. Cravfford 345

Mrs. E. C. Crawford 345

Franklin College Presidents 352

The Rev. Norman Carr 356

Dr. B. Wallace 360

Franklin College Buildings 364



General Conditions 1-36

Silver Creek and Maria Creek Churches 37-60

Associations 61-300


Indiana Baptist Convention —

1. Organization 301-312

2. Missions 312-331

3. Education . 331-369


The author having through many years interested
himself in gathering data for a history of the Baptists
of Indiana, had the impression that he owed it to his
brethren to undertake the work. He has found them
willing and glad to assist in the undertaking, and he is
under obligation to many ; he would particularly men-
tion the help rendered by the Rev. J. K. Howard, of
Indianapolis, and the Rev. L. S. Sanders, of Franklin,
in gaining a knowledge of the Associations of south-
western Indiana; and the Rev. Charles Herring, of
Lima, in securing statistics of the Free Baptists of
northern Indiana. Certain facts are found here which
may also be found in Dr. William Cathcart's Baptist
Encyclopaedia, and in Dr. J. A. Smith's Baptists of
the Western States east of the Mississippi — but the
author furnished the Indiana notes for both these

As to the statistics of numbers and finances, only
approximate accuracy can be claimed, because of the
imperfect records and reports of the churches and be-
cause of the fact that the church year, the Association
year, the Convention year and the year of the different
national denominational organizations do not coincide
with the calendar year, nor with each other. The sta-
tistics given are substantially correct. The biographi-
cal sketches have been given in connection with the
Association or Society in which the person did most of
his denominational work. It is believed that the Index
is sufficiently full for the guidance of the reader ; and

the cuts inserted will afford pleasure to the thousands
in the State who personally know the men and women
thus brought to remembrance.

If the reader shall find as much interest and profit in
a review of the high Christian character and heroic
deeds of the early Indiana Baptists, as the author has
found, the volume will not have been written in vain.
He wishes to record his indebtedness to his sons, Wil-
fred T. Stott and Roscoe G. Stott, for valuable assist-
ance as the work was being carried through the press.

Franklin, Indiana, 1908. W. T. STOTT.


General Conditions in that Part of Northwest

Territory, Now Called Indiana, at the

Close of the Seventeenth Century,

AND THE Beginning of the

Eighteenth Century.

The general surface of Indiana is well drained ex-
cept at the north where there is a good deal of low
swampy ground, and also a large number of small
lakes. The principal streams are the Ohio river on the
south, the Wabash river on the west, White Water on
the east, the Kankakee river on the northwest and the
Maumee on the northeast.

The highest point of land is near the present city of
Fort Wayne, from which there is a gradual descent
towards the southwest. Along the streams there is a
heavy growth of timber consisting of a great variety
of trees, prominent among which are the beech, oak,
poplar, maple, walnut, elm, ash and sycamore. The
surface is rich alluvial soil, but more fertile in the
north and center than at the south. In the northwest
there are several extensive stretches of prairie.

This much of the geography is given for the more
ready location of the centers of population, and also
the centers towards which the white immigrants would
tend; for it is well known that the first settlements


were made on or near the principal lakes and streams.
Accordingly we find the larger number of Indiana vil-
lages on the Wabash river and its tributaries, and on
the Maumee and Illinois rivers. The present site of
Fort Wayne more than any other locality, was the
headquarters of the Miamis (a branch of the Algon-
quins), a principal tribe of the territory. The principal
highways used by immigrants in coming to this new
territory were the rivers and lakes — especially such
rivers as take their rise in the localities whence the
immigrants came.

A study of the geography of the country will also
make clear the natural location of the so-called "por-
tages." Those, for instance, who came by the way of
the northern lakes — as Lake Erie — would find their
way up the Maumee, and then if they desired to reach
the Mississippi river they must carry their boats across
the land to the headwaters of the^Wabash; hence the
term portage was given to the carrying place. The
one just now mentioned was probably the principal
one; others were those connecting St. Josephs of the
Lake with the headwaters of the Kankakee, and Lake
Michigan with the headwaters of the Tippecanoe
which empties into the Wabash. Another overland
route much used, although it cannot be called a port-
age was that from The Falls (Louisville, Ky.), to the
Post at St. Vincents (Vincennes). The direct dis-
tance between these two points is about eighty-five
miles, while that by way of the Ohio and Wabash
rivers is more than three times as great.

The first settlements of white men in the territory


now called Indiana were made by the French who came
by the way of the St. Lawrence river and the lakes;
they were not only discoverers but also settlers and
missionaries. Among these were some who established
a trading post at Vincennes as early as 1710 ; and fol-
lowing these came a colony in 1735. These were all
on terms of friendship with the Indians, for they were
engaged in trade with each other, the Indians furnish-
ing furs, for the most part, and the French such arti-
cles of manufacture as they found to be most accept-
able to the Indians.

Following the Treaty of Paris, made in 1763, by
which the French relinquished Canada and the terri-
tory east of the Mississippi river, except New Orleans,
the English began to occupy trading posts formerly in
possession of the French. Vincennes was one of the
points in what is now Indiana to come under the con-
trol of the English; and it remained under their con-
trol till 1779 when it was captured by General
George C. Clark. Those who came into the state
from the south came either down the Ohio river, stop-
ping at The Falls, or at some point on the northern
bank farther up ; or, coming through Kentucky, crossed
the Ohio at The Falls. Some followed the Ohio down
to the mouth of the Wabash and ascended that river.

Another means of access to the state at that early
time was from the east. Immigrants would enter the
mouth of the Miami river, below Cincinnati, and as-
cending that stream for a few miles would enter White
Water river and thus reach the White Water valley,
far-famed for its beauty and fertility. Immigrants


came to the new west in large and increasing numbers,
as rapidly as the main difficulties were gotten out of
the way. Reports of the fertility of soil and salubrity
of climate in the Mississippi valley had spread far and
wide, and thousands were ready to come, willing to
endure the privations of pioneer life, but could not
overcome their dread of the savage Indians.

The wave of immigration would ebb or flow as the
prospect for conquering the savages would grow dim
or bright. There was a strong and general conviction
that so rich a territory ought not to be abandoned to
men who had none of the elements of progress in their
nature and habits; and yet it was acknowledged that
their lands should not be taken from them without
their consent, and without remuneration. But the ini-
tiative must lie not with the Indians who were satis-
fied with their wild, idle and savage mode of living,
but with the white men who were anxious to conquer
the natural difficulties, develop the vast possibilities of
the country, and "make the wilderness to blossom as
the rose." In addition to the attractiveness of the soil
and other material resources the white men clearly
foresaw the bright political and religious future made
sure by the famous Ordinance of 1787. This ordinance
will be referred to at length further on.

The depredations of the Indians were frequent, made
sometimes because of real or fancied ill treatment, and
sometimes without any apparent reason except the gen-
eral one that the white man was determined by fair
means or foul, to rob them of their lands and the
home of their fathers. Kindly treatment sometimes


had a salutary effect, but usually the Indians were will-
ing to sue for peace and enter into treaty only after
they had been severely chastised in battle. The depre-
dations on the white settlements in Ohio, along the
Miami river and in adjacent parts of the country be-
came so numerous and dastardly in 1789 that General
Washington determined to send an army under Gen-
eral Josiah Harmar to administer a merited and severe

The expedition started out from Fort Washington,
Cincinnati. The Indians — mainly Miamis — under
their leader, Little Turtle, met General Harmar's men,
and using tactics unknown to civilized warfare, de-
feated them ; not, however, till they had destroyed sev-
eral Indian villages, and burned the corn that was
stored in them. This defeat greatly retarded immigra-
tion, and carried consternation to the families already
settled in that part of the country adjoining the Miami
and Ohio rivers, for the Indians became the more bold
and cruel.

So great was the fear and inconvenience that Gen-
eral Washington decided to gather, equip and send
another army into the Indian country. General Arthur
St. Clair was chosen to lead the campaign. It started
from Fort Washington also, and invaded the Indian
country in 1791. It met with a sorer defeat, if pos-
sible, than did General Harmar's army two years be-
fore. As a consequence immigration greatly declined,
in fact came to a standstill.

But the Mississippi valley was too tempting to allow
the white man to give up all efforts to gain control of


it; and in 1794 another campaign was organized with
a larger number of soldiers and in command of a gen-
eral (Anthony Wayne), as to whose success there
could hardly be a rational doubt. It was believed that
a general who had accomplished so many daring feats
during the Revolutionary war, would be equal to any
military tactics that Little Turtle might see fit to bring
to bear.

General Wayne's military fame had preceded him to
the place of conflict. In the Indian council of war,
Little Turtle somewhat discouraged undertaking the
engagement saying: "We gained the victory in two
battles under different leaders, and it is hardly pos-
sible that we shall gain a third." He also reminded
his warriors that "General Wayne is a blacksnake, a
soldier who never sleeps."

True to his past record General Wayne achieved a
great victory and made the savages v/illing and glad
to sue for peace. Accordingly there was effected that
great treaty called the treaty of Greenville, by which
a large area of the Indian lands was ceded to the
United States. With these further obstructions re-
moved the tide of immigration again set in. In 1800
Indiana had a sufficient population to be erected into
a territory of the United States, and General William
Henry Harrison, who had been a very efficient officer
under General Wayne, was made governor with head-
quarters, for the time, at Vincennes. The work of
organization and improvement went on at a fair rate,
except for the occasional raids of the Indians on the
white settlements. It was known to Governor Harri-


son that Tecumseh, an Indian chief, and his brother
"the prophet," were quietly at work to form a north-
west Indian Confederacy — the ultimate purpose being
the extermination of the whites and again controlling
the lands once occupied by their own fathers. These
leaders pretended great friendship for the whites and
especially for Governor Harrison. Tecumseh proposed
a friendly visit, and the governor promptly consented ;
the latter however knew Indian treachery too well to
be deceived, and went to the council prepared for any

It soon became known that at a given signal the
Indian warriors were to fall upon the whites, including
the governor, and dispatch them ; but they found that
the white soldiers who were with the governor were
ready for whatever might come, and the purpose was
abandoned. However, preparations went on and at
length the governor gathered an army and marched
north to meet the Indian warriors. The result was the
well known battle of Tippecanoe, in which the Indians
were completely routed, and peace was once more in

The next account that we have of Tecumseh is that
he was killed in the battle of Thames, in which Gov-
ernor Harrison led the Americans against the allied
English and Indians, and gained as complete a victory
as he had previously in the battle of Tippecanoe.

With the principal hindrances now out of the way,
the tide of immigration again set in, so that by 1816
the population of Indiana Territory was sufficient for it
to be formed into a State.


The State was organized December 11th, 1816, with
the capital at Corydon, where the capital of the terri-
tory had been located in 1813 ; Jonathan Jennings was
elected first governor. The population of the State
was 4,875 in 1800; 24,520 in 1810, and 147,178 in

Among the principal causes that invited immigration
to the west was the great Ordinance of 1787. Various
states had ceded their western territory to the United
States and these lands composed the Northwest Ter-
ritory formed in 1787 and an ordinance was passed for
its government on July 13th of the same year. For
breadth of view and catholicity of spirit this ordinance
is scarcely less important than the Declaration of Inde-
pendence itself. The men who v/ere foremost in the
construction and enactment of this ordinance will be
held in grateful remembrance as long as the people
of this northwest shall live and prosper.

Worthy of particular mention among these men are
President Jefferson, who insisted upon the clause ex-
cluding slavery; Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts, who
wrote the ordinance, and Manasseh Cutler, of Con-
necticut, whose interest was doubtless due in part to
the fact that he was one of a company to buy a large
tract of land in the territory. Others doubtless had a
share in the final passage of the act, as Rufus King, of
Maine ; Richard Henry Lee, of Virginia, and William
Grayson, of Virginia.

We can scarcely conceive the importance of this or-
dinance, except in the light of the results. Today the
five states into which this territory was divided — Ohio,


Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin — contain a
population of 15,895,581 (census of 1900), and a total
assessed valuation of $7,101,690,993 (valuation of
1900). Their annual expenditure for education and
religion is many millions of dollars, and the modern
means of communication, travel, transportation and
manufacture find their fullest use within the boundary
of these states.

But the sections of the ordinance that had most in-
fluence in directing the home-seekers to the North-
west Territory were Article 1st:

"No person demeaning himself in a peaceable and
orderly manner shall ever be molested on account ot
his mode of worship, or religious sentiments in said
Territory" ; and Article 3d :

"Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary
to good government and the happiness of mankind,
schools and the means of education shall forever be
encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be
observed towards the Indians ; their lands and prop-
erty shall never be taken from them without their con-
sent; and in their property, rights, and liberty they
shall never be invaded nor disturbed, unless in just and
lawful wars authorized by Congress, but laws founded
in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be
made for preventing wrong being done them, and for
preserving peace and friendship with them."

The most powerful of the statements, however, was
found in the first part of Article 6th:

"There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servi-
tude, in the said territory, otherwise than in the pun-


ishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been
duly convicted "

The immigrants came from both south and east;
those from the south were in the main from Virginia
and North Carolina, and many of them first settled in
Tennessee and Kentucky. Hoping to escape the in-
stitution of slavery they made their way north, cross-
ing the Ohio river, for the most part at "The Falls,"
Louisville, Ky., and finding homes in southern Indiana,
were soon active in labors for the building up of the
new country. Others came down the Ohio river, and
found homes either near the river on the bottom lands,
or farther back on the up-lands, or they followed up
the Big Miami river and crossed overland to the White
Water valley. Still others came from New England
through New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and found
homes in the middle and northern parts of Indiana, Of
course a few came from other directions; for instance
some followed the Ohio river to the mouth of the
Wabash river and then followed up that stream, and
entered the state from the west. As has already been
said some came by the way of the lakes and entered the
state from the north; these latter were mostly from
New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Among those who came to this new country it is fair
to suppose that not a few were Baptists ; for the states
from which they came were well represented by Bap-
tists who had made a long and heroic struggle for their
religious beliefs. This was especially true as to Vir-
ginia and New England. Will it not be well there-
fore for us to inquire somewhat carefully into the Bap-


tist conditions prevailing in the localities from which
the pioneers came to early Indiana?

For this purpose I have selected a well known docu-
ment, believing that it will give as full and accurate a
notion of Baptist principles as anything that could be
placed in evidence ; it is a memorial and remonstrance
presented to the General Assembly of Virginia at the
session for 1775.

"To THE Honorable, the General Assembly of
THE Commonwealth of Virginia:

"We, the subscribers, citizens of the said common-
wealth, having taken into serious consideration a bill,
printed by order of the last session of the General As-
sembly, entitled, 'A bill establishing a provision for
teachers of the christian religion, and conceiving that
the same, if finally armed with the sanction of the law,
will be a dangerous abuse of power ; are bound as faith-
ful members of a free state, to remonstrate against it
and to declare the reasons by which we are deter-

"We remonstrate against said bill :

"Because we hold it for a fundamental and unalien-
able truth 'that religion, or the duty which we owe to
the Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be
directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or
violence.'- The religion, then, of every man must be
left to the conviction and conscience of every man ; and
it is the right of every man to exercise it, as these may
dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.
It is unalienable because the opinions of men depending
only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds.


cannot follow the dictates of other men. It is unalien-
able also because what is here right towards men is
duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man
to render to the Creator such homage, and such only,
as he believes acceptable to him. The duty is prece-
dent both in order of time and in degree of obligation
to the claims of civil society. Before any man can be
considered as a member of civil society he must be
considered as a subject of the governor of the universe.
And if a member of civil society, who enters into any
subordinate association must always do it with a reser-
vation of his duty to the general authority; much more
must every man who becomes a member of any par-
ticular civil society do it with a saving allegiance to the
universal Sovereign. We maintain therefore that in
matters of religion no man's right is abridged by the
institution of civil society; and that religion is wholly
exempt from its cognizance. True it is that no other
rule exists, by which any question that may divide so-
ciety can be ultimately determined, but by the will of
the majority. But it is also true that the majority may
trespass on the rights of the minority.

"Because if religion be exempt from the authority
of the society at large, still less can it be subject to that
of the legislative body. The latter are but the creatures
and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is
both derivative and limited. It is limited with regard
to the co-ordinate departments; more necessarily it is
limited with reference to the constituents. The preser-
vation of a free government requires, not that merely
the metes and bounds which separate each department


of power, be invariably maintained ; but more espe-
cially that neither of them be permitted to overleap the
great barrier which defends the rights of the people.
The rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, ex-
ceed the commission from which they derive their au-
thority, and they are tyrants. The people who submit
to it, are governed by laws made neither by themselves,
nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves,

"Because it is proper to take alarm at the first ex-
periment on our liberties we hold this prudent jealousy
to be the first duty of citizens and one of the noblest
characteristics of the late revolution. The freemen of
America did not wait until usurped power had
strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the
question in precedents. They saw all the consequences
in the principle, and avoided the consequences by deny-
ing the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon
to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority
which can establish Christianity in exclusion of all
other religions, may establish with the same ease, any
particular sect of christians to the exclusion of all
other sects ? The same authority that can force a citi-
zen to contribute three pence only of his property for
the support of any one establishment may force him to
contribute to any other establishment, in all cases

"Because the bill violates that equality which ought
to be the basis of every law ; and which is more indis-
pensable in proportion as the validity or expediency of
any law is more liable to be impeached. If 'all men are,
by nature equally free and independent,' all men are to


be considered as entering into society on equal condi-
tions, are relinquishing no more, and therefore retain-
ing no less, one than another of their natural rights ;
above all they are to be considered as retaining an
equal title to the free exercise of religion according to
the dictates of conscience. While we assert for our-
selves a freedom to embrace, to profess and observe
the religion which we believe to be of divine origin ; we
cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds

Online LibraryWilliam Taylor StottIndiana Baptist history, 1798-1908 → online text (page 1 of 25)