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Alexander W. Wayman
(title page image)
WITH AN INTRODUCTION
REV. B. T. TANNER, D.D.
I HAVE been requested by some of the ministers of the Church, and also by the Editor of the Christian Recorder, to write out and give to the public, my Early Recollections of African M. E. Ministers, and also my forty years' experiences in the African M. E. Church. Being blessed with a vivid recollection of past events, I have ventured to comply with these requests, and shall present to the readers facts such as I can relate from memory, and such as I have had related to me by others.
HISTORY is defined: a) A written statement of what is known. b) An account of that which is known to exist.
Accepting either of these definitions, what a rare book of history is the one for which these brief words are to serve as an Introduction. Nor in making this declaration are we forgetful that the definitions above are supposed to recognize the well-known distinction between biography and history, biography being "the record of an individual's life." But "My Recollections" is in no sense the record of an individual's life, and therefore cannot be a biography, or rather an autobiography. Survey the production as we will, we still affirm it to be a rare book of history; a written statement of what is known; an account of that which is known to exist. And it is pre-eminently meritorious, from the fact that the good Bishop knows what he writes. No one enjoying his acquaintance can for
a moment doubt what he says in the prefatory words: "Being blessed with a vivid recollection of past events." For years we have at times been startled by hearing him give the minutest details of incidents that happened a score of years before; and it is just possible that our words to him upon one of these occasions,--words that approached even to rudeness--may have stirred him up to this blessed work as he himself intimates. "Stop," said we, "Bishop, stop; if you are not going to put on paper what you are telling us now, don't tell us any more; for if you die without doing it, and we should live, we cannot respect your memory as we would like."
With no ordinary pleasure, then, do we greet this history. It is such as our Church needs, and has needed for years. It is such as the Church has demanded. Nor can any regard this demand as arbitrary or unreasonable. The Church, by an intuition born from above, knows she has a history. From the high standing ground of to-day she looks back and around, and, lo! Israel is seen to be abiding in his tents according to his tribes: "As valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of the lignaloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters." And with this vision of the Almighty upon her, with her eyes open, she has demanded of the men who led her--men like
unto Moses and Aaron--that they teach these things diligently unto the children, and that they write them upon the posts of the house and upon the gates.
We not only justify the Church in this demand-- as must the world justify her--but we applaud her. With her we say these fathers have no right to die till they shall have unburdened themselves. The burdened camel, they must know, cannot pass through the needle's eye. The judgment is even more narrow than that small eye. The store of history these fathers have locked up in their minds is the common property of the Church they have served with such a show of heroism. Unwittingly this fact seems not to be sufficiently appreciated, and therefore too many of them are willing to pass away and take with them the story of the glorious things God has done for and in His Zion. The main object of writing this Introduction is not to commend this work, for it really needs no commendation; but it is to stir up the pure minds of our venerable sires to a duty they owe the generations to come. It is in the province of each of the older Bishops to do African Methodism similar service. The senior, the venerable historiographer of the Church, is already at work, and from his pen much is expected. But should we not have something from the pen of the equally venerable Bishops J. P. Campbell, D. D., and J. A. Shorter, and T. M.
D. Ward, D. D., and J. M. Brown, D. D.? All these are the possessors of the richest possible Methodist experience, and of quite a half century in duration. One of them, at least, saw the Apostolic Allen, and if too youthful to draw inspiration from his lips, was brought up in the circle of his immediate friends and followers. What a symposium of African Methodist literature would we have if each of these fatherly episcopates would only give his recollections! None can ever write of us what Milton wrote:
"He wished, but not with hope."
Nor is it the senior Bishops alone who could write history as the author of "My Recollections" has written it. The junior Bishops, Revs. Dr. H. M. Turner, Wm. F. Dickerson, and R. H. Cain, could write quite as readily; for, though living fewer years, they have been years surfeited with great events,--events in which two of them, at least, played no unimportant part. The history of the first decade of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia is scarcely more than the history of what Dr. Turner did; and a similar history of South Carolina is but the history of what Dr. Cain did. And in the ranks of the Elders are brethren not a few who could keep their memories forever
green by simply leaving behind them the story of their lives.
Let the interrogation, Will they? float out upon the kindly breeze, and let it be wafted to the fathers of the Conferences North and South. And all to the end that the African Methodist Episcopal Church may be acquainted with herself, and being thus acquainted, acquaint the world.
With wishes for the greater glory of the Church and the race and the world, I remain, my dear Bishop, your friend.
B. T. TANNER
(table of contents)
John"--The last dollar--Repaid--Off for General Conference
of '56--In the Queen city--Doings--Rev. J. P. Campbell
elected Editor and General Book Steward--The Canada
question--Return of Rev. A. S. Driver--Death of Rev. Charles
Sawyer--Corner-stone of Ebenezer, Georgetown, D. C., laid . . . . . 56
in Prince George, Md.--Death of the writer's mother--"Then
began loads"--Virginia Conference of '72--Baltimore
Conference of '72--Off for General Conference at Nashville--Doings
--W. H. Hunter elected Business Manager--B. T. Tanner
made Editor by acclamation--J. H. W. Burley Financial
Secretary--W. J. Gaines, Temporary Secretary . . . . . 179
--Henry Braddicks the sweet singer--His death--Tour through
the West--Baltimore Conference of '78--Camp-meetings
attended--The two sermons--In Tennessee--C. O. H. Thomas--
In the South--Rev. D. W. Moore--Not afraid to die--The
Pittsburg Conference at Salem, Ohio--President B. F. Lee--In
Tennessee--The yellow fever . . . . . 228
The first A. M. E. Minister, that I heard of, who visited the Eastern Shore of Maryland, was Rev. Shadrack Bassett. He came over from Baltimore and went to the town of Easton, in Talbot County, and preached under some trees, selecting for his pulpit a cart. He read for his opening hymn,
"Oh! tell me no more of this world's vain store."
And when he came to that verse:
"To dwell I'm determined on that happy ground,"
he pointed in a certain direction. The people thought that he intended to say, there was the place for him to build his Church. And upon that very spot the first A. M. E. Church of that region was built.
From Easton Rev. Shadrack Bassett passed up to Caroline County, and stopped at my father's house. Learning that there was a certain local preacher by
the name of Samuel Todd, living in another part of the County, and if he could get him (Todd) to join his Church, he would have a strong man, my father gave him the direction where to find him. Mr. Bassett started, and after walking some miles he reached Todd's house, and inquired for him. His wife suspected what Mr. Bassett wanted with her husband. She reluctantly told him he was out in the field ploughing, and he moved off in that direction. When he drew near to Mr. Todd, he said, "Turn out those oxen;" and by the time he was up to where Mr. Todd was the oxen were unharnessed, and he was ready to go to the house.
Samuel Todd then and there agreed to unite with the African M. E. Church. He subsequently filled Baltimore City station, Washington, D. C., and New York.
When stationed in Baltimore City, on one New Year's Eve, while singing
"My soul would leave this heavy clay,
At that transporting word,"
I heard the late Rev. Robert Collins, of Philadelphia, say he was converted.
In the autumn of 1837 he died in Philadelphia. My father was on a visit to that city at the time, and when he returned home was speaking of being present at the funeral of his old friend and brother, Rev. Samuel Todd. How long Rev. Shadrack Bassett remained in that part of Maryland I have no means of knowing.
The next minister that I recollect hearing them speak of was Rev. J. G. Bulaugh. How long he remained there I do not know. The first minister that I recollect seeing was Rev. William Richardson. He was very kind to children, and therefore they all loved him. During his stay he held a camp-meeting at a place called Dick's Old Field. Miss Anna Murray, now Mrs. Frederick Douglass, came and kept house for my mother while she was attending this camp-meeting.
There was one thing about this meeting that was very disagreeable, as I heard those who were there speaking of it. Several attempts were made to kidnap colored men; one man was seized by them, but he cut his way out.
This must have been about 1824 or 1825; for I recollect hearing the old people speaking about persons going to Hayti. There occurred one circumstance that makes me think it was about that date. A white man named George Calahan owned a slave who was called Moses. On account of bad treatment he ran away and went to the free country. After he was gone some time a colored woman went to Philadelphia, and when she returned home, Bamberry Murray, Mrs. Frederick Douglass' father, told Mr. Calahan that this woman was just from Philadelphia, and perhaps she had seen Moses. He made haste and rode up to her house and called to her, and said, "I hear you have been to Philadelphia?" She answered, "Yes, sir." Then she said, "I had a boy by the name of Moses, that went away for no cause
Did you see him?" "Yes, sir, I saw him, and he had just gone on board of a ship to go to .Hayti!" "Well," said he, "I will light alongside of him in Hayti before he knows it."
The colored people composed a song about that circumstance, and I have heard them sing it often. It went thus:--
"Poor Moses, poor Moses,
Sailing on the ocean.
Bless the Lord,
I am on my way,
Farewell to Georgia.
Moses is gone to Hayti."
IN 1826 or 1827, Rev. Peter D. W. Schureman, the father of Rev. W. D. W. Schureman, of the Virginia Conference, came to Eastern Shore of Maryland.
It had been announced that he was the greatest orator of any colored man that ever visited that part of Maryland. The people were much excited when they heard of his coming. Great preparations were made for his reception. I recollect hearing the people say, there was one peculiarity about him; and that was, he would not eat corn-bread.
The day before he was expected at our house, I heard my father say to mother, "Brother Schureman will be here to-morrow, and I must go to
Nichol's Mill and get some flour" (for it was rather a scarce article in colored people's houses in those days). Early in the morning my father went to the mill, about two miles, and returned with his little sack of flour.
Some time in the afternoon, Rev. P. D. W. Schureman came. I think it must have been in the month of May, for when he came my father was away from the house shearing his sheep. I was there with him. When he returned to the house Mr. Schureman was sitting down smoking his pipe. It was rather a strange sight to me to see a man smoke a pipe, for I had never seen such a thing before in my life. Old ladies used to do it. The minister's horse was properly taken care of for the night. I do not remember anything else occurring of special interest until the next morning.
My father went away to work. Mother got the breakfast, and then invited the minister to take a seat. After standing up and saying grace, in which he used very eloquent language, he sat down. Mother had made some nice Maryland biscuit, out of the flour that father had brought from the mill. After they were seated at the table a younger brother who was called Bennie, went up by the side of mother's chair, as though he desired she would give him a piece of biscuit. She said to him, "Bennie, you had better go away; don't you see this gentleman looking at you?" The little fellow said, "I don't care for him." Then said Mr. Schureman, "Come, sir, none of your impudence."
During that summer he appointed a camp-meeting to be held not very far from our house. The fame of Mr. Schureman had gone abroad, and it was said that he was the most eloquent speaker, white or colored, that ever preached in that county.
I heard the crowd was tremendous. When the hour arrived for preaching he read for his text Habakkuk ii. II: "For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it."
A white gentleman by the name of Nimrod Barwick rose up in the congregation and said, "Mr. Schureman, you will please announce your text again." He did so. And from what I heard those say who were there he astonished every person who heard him that day.
I remember that he was at my father's once more. It was in the winter. The white people were going to have prayer-meeting at a house in the neighborhood. Mr. Schureman and my father were getting ready to go. Father said to him, "You had better not go too soon, for they may want to put you to work." His answer, was, "I will keep in the dark, so they shall not see me."
From that part of the State of Maryland he went to Georgetown, Delaware, where he was arrested and put in jail. Rev. Moses Robinson and others went his bail. Bishop Morris Brown went there and took him up to Philadelphia. I never saw him any more until 1845, when I traveled West Chester Circuit, Pa. He came there and preached in the A. M. E. Church.
He was then a minister in the Baptist Church. The next and last time I saw him was in the city of New York in 1852. He came in the General Conference to see his son, Rev. W. D. W. Schureman.
THE next minister that came on our Circuit was Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon. I think he came from Baltimore to Easton, for my father went to Easton in his carriage and brought his trunk to our house. On his way home, some one asked him whose trunk that was he had, and my father answered, "It is Rev. N. C. W. Cannon's." They said, "He is rather a dangerous man." Brother Cannon came on the Circuit and commenced work, and was admired by all who heard him. He preached at Denton on Sunday, and was to preach at my father's out in the country during the ensuing week.
After preaching on Sunday night be retired to his stopping-place. There soon was a knock at the door, and when it was opened there was the constable of the town and several others who had come to arrest him. They inquired for Mr. Cannon, who answered, "I am he." They said, "Come and go with us." He got up and dressed, and went with them on their way to the Justice of the Peace. One of them asked him where he was from. His answer was, "I am from that place where the mare folded the fiddler."
(This was said in order that he might not commit himself.) The man replied, "That is a strange answer to give." Cannon referred him to what Solomon said, which was, "to answer a fool according to his folly."
On reaching the office of the Justice of the Peace, Rev. Cannon inquired what was the charge against him. One man stated that "a few days ago there were several women and children assassinated at Cambridge, Md. The man who committed the deed was a bright mulatto, and he rode upon a bald-face horse, and that he (Cannon) must be the man." After the man was through with his statement, Cannon said to the Justice, "Look at me, sir; you will see I am no mulatto (for he was a very dark man), and the beast I ride is not a bald-face horse, for it is a mare." The Justice then dismissed him, and he returned to his lodging. But he did not rest well that night.
The next morning he thought it was about time for him to get out of that place (Denton, Md.). He saddled his beautiful animal and mounted her. After riding a few miles he saw before him in the woods several horses hitched to the trees, which made Cannon suspect that the riders were waiting for him. He was overtaken by a white man riding in the same direction. Cannon halted his horse and asked the man "if he saw a red silk handkerchief lying in the road;" his answer was "No." Then said Cannon, "I must go back and look for it." He turned his horse around and rode back.
On coming to a swamp he plunged in and took the saddle from his horse. Then taking his saddle-bags for a pillow he laid down to await future events. He let his horse eat grass. After she had gone some distance from him she held up her head and neighed, and then came up to where her master was lying down and smelled him. He patted her on the side of the head and called her by name. She then left him and went to grazing.
Then said he to himself "This is the last of Noah C. W. Cannon, for the neighing of my horse is a sign that something is to befall me." He began to pray that the Lord would send rain to drive his pursuers in the house. Late in the afternoon it began to thunder, and soon the rain commenced to fall. He caught his horse, and putting the saddle on her he mounted; then hoisting his umbrella there he sat until the rain was over, when he would move on.
By this time the sun was down, and it was getting dark; he rode out of the swamp into the road and started on his journey. He had to cross over a mill-dam, where he feared they might meet him. He rode along slowly, and when he came in sight of the house he saw through the windows a large number of men moving around. They knew there was no other way for him but by that mill. A thought struck him to take down the fence, go behind the mill, and cross over the race, which he accordingly did. Just as he was about mounting his beast the dogs heard him and started out. He spoke to his horse, when she jumped into the water and soon bore her rider across.
The dogs attempted to follow, but were carried down by the stream.
By the time the sun rose next morning he was at Rev. Moses Robinson's, in Georgetown, Delaware, feeling that the God whom he served had delivered him out of the hands of his enemies.
After Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon was gone, the officers came to my father's house and broke open his (Cannon's) trunk, thinking that as they failed to get him they might find something in it that would throw some light on the movements they supposed were going on among the colored people. They found nothing but some Masonic books and papers, which they could hardly read. They went away satisfied that they had not found as much as they expected. My father sent the trunk to Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon at Philadelphia.
Subsequently Cannon was appointed to the city of Washington, where he was arrested and went before the Justice, and on inquiring what he was going to do with him, the Justice said, "I am going to send you to jail." "What then?" "You will be sold out." Then said Cannon, "A Georgia man will buy me." The justice said, "I can't help that." Then Cannon burst out in a great laugh and said, "God never made a Georgia man that was fool enough to buy me." He sent a note to his lawyer, and he had him soon released. Rev. Noah C. W. Cannon died in Canada, September, 1850. He published a book called the "Rock of Wisdom."
The next minister I heard of was Rev. Jeremiah
Miller. He went to Easton, Maryland, and was put in jail. He predicted that if he remained there the Lord would shake the town that day. It is said that a great storm arose that afternoon; the citizens became alarmed; the County Court was in session; the Judge ordered the Sheriff to let him out; it was done, and he left as quickly as Lot left Sodom. Rev. Jeremiah Miller died at Albany, New York, and was brought to Philadelphia and buried.
During these times of trouble Rev. Anthony Campbell, father of Bishop Campbell, was preaching at a place then called Cecil Cross Roads, but now Cecilton, Md., when the church was surrounded by some men who came to take him. He secured a lady's shawl and bonnet, and got out at the back window and walked away.
AFTER the ministers were driven away, the A. M. E. Church went down in that part of Maryland. Some that belonged to it joined other churches, and others went back to the world. From 1830 to 1868, about thirty-eight years, the A. M. E. Church had no existence in that part of the State of Maryland.
In 1868, at my request, Rev. A. L. Stanford organized the A. M. E. Church in Denton, Caroline county, Maryland, and it is now the leading Church among the colored people in the county.
On the 19th day of March, 1837, I united with the M. E. Church, and remained in it until May 1st, 1840, when I left home for Baltimore city. It was a beautiful May morning. The birds were singing very sweetly, and nature appeared to rejoice at the return of another spring. I felt rather sad, for it was the first time in my life that I had ever left home to stay any length of time. When the time came for morning prayer, my father knelt down and gave out the hymn, commencing
"Once more before we part,
We'll bless the Saviour's name,"
and then offered prayer, in which he asked the Lord to go with his son that was about leaving home.
After breakfast my mother packed up what few pieces of clothing I had, and then I bade adieu to home, singing as I went through the woods and across the fields. Many were the tears I shed that day as friends and home were left behind. I went past the little log-house where I was born; but before reaching there I called to say farewell to an aged mother in Zion by the name of Murray. She knew my object for leaving home, and she gave me words of cheer. I reached the place of my birth; my oldest sister was living there, and was very ill; she died before I reached the end of that day's journey.
Late in the afternoon of that day I reached Easton, where I expected to rest that night; but meeting a gentleman, whose father-in-law I once lived with, I was invited to go a mile in the country and spend the
night. Next morning I started for the steamboat "Maryland," that ran from Easton to Baltimore; but just as I got within a few feet of the wharf the steamer moved off. That taught me an important lesson, which I have never forgotten, and that is, always be in time.
Being disappointed, I returned to Easton and spent the day with some acquaintances. Late in the afternoon I walked two miles to another ferry, and spent the night with Rev. Thomas M. Cole, now a member of the Baltimore Conference. Sunday morning I took the packet for Baltimore, and reached there a little after sundown. I was anxious to go to church that night, for I had learned there was a Conference to commence in the city on Monday morning, and I wanted to see some of the A. M. E. Church ministers. As no one offered to accompany me I had to remain on board of the packet all night.
Monday morning, May 2, 1840, was a great day in Baltimore. The Whig Convention that nominated Gen. Harrison for the Presidency met that day. They had log-cabins and barrels of hard cider; the procession was very large, attracting a great deal of attention; but I wanted to see the ministers of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. I waited patiently until night, and then went to Union Bethel Church and heard Rev. G. W. Johnson, then from the West, preach. In order that the reader may know how much I was interested in the preaching of that week, I shall give the names of the ministers that preached and their texts. Monday night, Rev. G. W. Johnson; text, "The wages of sin is death,"
Romans vi. 23. Tuesday night, Rev. Samuel Edwards, of New York; text, "Keep yourself in the love of God," Jude 21. Wednesday night, Rev. E. N. Hall, New York; text, "As you go preach," Matt. x. 7. Thursday night, Rev. J. G. Bulaugh; text, "Prepare you victuals, for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan," Joshua i. II. Friday night, Rev. Thos. W. Henry; text, "Ephraim, he has mixed himself among the people," Hosea vii. 8. This ended the first week in Baltimore.
I thought those were the greatest men I had ever seen. When Sunday arrived a new force was expected; and there came a large number of ministers. Rev. D. F. Davis from the West was the preacher; his text was, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," John i. 14.
It was Communion that morning, and it was administered by Bishop Morris Brown. It was the first time in my life that I ever took the Sacrament from the hands of A. M. E. Church ministers. The impression made on my mind was lasting.
Afternoon Rev. Richard Robinson preached; his text was, "What think ye of Christ?" Matt. xxii. 42. At night I visited Old Bethel. It was not quite dark when I went in, and when the time came to light up the church, there was one thing that attracted my attention, and that was the sexton appeared to be lighting iron rods, for I saw no lamps. I learned afterward that it was gas. Rev. N. C. W. Cannon preached; his text was, "Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven," Malachi iv. 1.
The General Conference met on Monday, May 2, 1840, as I learned from reading the minutes. Revs. George Hogarth, of Brooklyn, and David Ware, of Philadelphia, were the Secretaries. They were both local preachers. This Conference ordered the publication of a monthly magazine, which was published by Rev. George Hogarth. The General Conference of the M. E. Church met in Baltimore at the same time, but there were no delegates appointed to bear fraternal greeting then, as in these days. I heard Rev. M. J. Wilkerson preach at this Conference.
I understood that before the General Conference adjourned Rev. Richard Robinson was appointed to Bethel Church, Baltimore, and Rev. Wm. Moore to Israel Church, Washington, D. C. This may be considered rather strange for ministers to be appointed from a General Conference to stations.
I spent a few weeks in Baltimore, and then left for Philadelphia to see another Conference, and when I reached there went to old Bethel Church and heard Rev. Edmund Crosby preach; his text was, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the rightous are bold as a lion."
When the Conference adjourned the Rev. Richard Williams was appointed to Bethel Church, Philadelphia.
In June, 1840, I joined Bethel Church, and was assigned to Levin Tillman's class; and October 16, 1840, I was licensed to exhort by Rev. Richard Williams.
April, 1841, the Philadelphia Conference met, for
the last time in old Bethel Church, as it was soon to be torn down, and therefore Conference met a month sooner. When the builder commenced tearing down the old church the walls fell, and several persons were killed. The foundation was soon dug out, and the corner-stone was laid; there was a great congregation present. Rev. Joseph Cox preached the sermon. Rev. Wm. Douglass of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Rev. Andrew Harris of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Perry Tillman of the M. E. Church, and Rev. D. A. Payne, now Bishop Payne, were present and took part in the exercises.
Bishop Morris Brown was detained from the New York Conference several days, waiting for the corner-stone laying in Philadelphia. Rev. John Boggs presided at the Conference until Bishop Brown arrived.
In June, 1841, I went to live with a Quaker family in the city of Philadelphia, and was very much assisted by the old gentleman when he found out that I was trying to improve in a literary direction. I had a great desire to write compositions. At night I would sit and write over several sheets of paper, leaving my manuscript on the table, not supposing any one would see it. The old gentleman had been a little indisposed one day, and leaving his room to look out into the lot (for we were then at his country seat), he had to pass through my room. The large manuscript attracted his attention, and he took it up and began to read it. He sent the waiting-girl to the stable for me, and when I went up into the room he said, "Alexander, I was passing through thy room, and seeing thy writing
I thought it was no harm to read it. Now if thee will sit down I will give thee a lesson." He then read over my great manuscript, and marked the misspelled words and the grammatical errors; and there were a great many of those.
In the autumn of 1841 the basement of Bethel Church was ready for worship. Rev. Richard Williams preached the opening sermon in the morning, Rev. Joseph Cox preached in the afternoon, and Rev. Jeremiah Durham at night. It was a grand day. On December 25th (Christmas day) the new Bethel Church was dedicated; Rev. -- -- preached the sermon. The next Sunday after the dedication was a great day. Bishop Morris Brown preached in the morning, Rev. Richard Williams afternoon, and at night Rev. D. A. Payne.
Among the ministerial recruits this year in Bethel Church were Rev. Stephen Smith, from Columbia, Pa., and Rev. D. A. Payne. New Bethel Church became the centre of attraction. White and colored flocked there.
IN the early part of 1842 there was organized in Bethel Church, Philadelphia, a Theological Society for the improvement of the local ministry. It awakened in the hearts of a good many of the local preachers a desire to improve.
In April, 1842, I took leave of my good old Quaker
benefactor, and thought I would visit Baltimore city, and then go to Washington, D. C., to attend the Baltimore Annual Conference. I spent one Sunday in Baltimore, and then on Monday morning left for Washington, in company with Revs. W. H. Waters, Henry Brightman, and William Gaines. I was treated as kindly as if I had been a regular minister the whole time I was in Washington, D. C.
Bishops Morris Brown and Edward Waters were present. Elders: Richard Robinson, Wm. Moore, Thomas W. Henry, Levin Lee, Jeffrey Goulding, Clayton Durham, and S. Peters. Deacons: Willis Nazrey, Adam Herless and John L. Armstrong.
When they came to examine the characters of the members they retired. Rev. Clayton Durham had been appointed to Long Island, New York, but did not go, therefore he expected that some one would complain against him; and he said to some of the ministers as he was coming out, "Go in and help me, for that Brother is there who came from where people eat one another." He referred to Richard Robinson, who had been to Hayti.
There was but one ordination at this conference, and that was Henry Brightman; and one admitted on trial, and that was W. H. Waters.
There were only a few appointments made at this Conference. The Bishop said he could make no more until he got to Philadelphia.
After the Conference adjourned the Bishop and the ministers came to Baltimore, and spent a week, having preaching every afternoon and night.
Then we left for Philadelphia. Some went by the cars, while Revs. Levin Lee and Willis Nazrey rode on horseback. The new Church in the city of Philadelphia brought a large number of laymen and preachers to see it, as well as attend the Conference.
The Conference opened on Saturday morning. There was nothing more done than to make the appointments for Sunday. Rev. Richard Robinson preached at 10 o'clock, A. M. Text: "What think ye of Christ?" Matt. xxii. 42. Rev. H. C. Turner preached at 3 o'clock, P. M. Text: "Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel," Amos iv. 12, and Rev. William Moore preached at night. Text: "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light," Matt. xi. 30.
There was one amusing incident occurred at this Conference. Rev. J. Goulding preached one afternoon. Rev. J. P. Campbell was called to give an exhortation, in which he said that religion did not consist in feeling. Next morning, after the reading of the journal, Rev. Richard Robinson rose and said that he had vowed to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's word. He then referred to the remarks made by Brother Campbell the day previous. After some considerable discussion it was agreed that he, Campbell, should have an appointment and explain what he had said previously.
Subsequently Bishop Brown gave him an appointment, at which time he delivered an eloquent sermon, and then explained what he had said a few days before. Next morning Rev. N. C. W. Cannon offered
a resolution that the explanation given by Rev. J. P. Campbell be regarded as satisfactory. Some objection was raised to the resolution, simply because there was nothing in the action of the Conference requiring him to give satisfaction, but to explain. There the whole matter ended.
At this Conference Rev. D. A. Payne was admitted a local member of the Annual Conference. There were two deacons ordained, viz.: George Greenly and Thomas W. Jackson. A. S. Driver was admitted on trial and appointed to Columbia Circuit.
When this Conference adjourned, I was assigned by Bishop Morris Brown to Princeton, N. J., as an assistant to Rev. Henry C. Turner. I accordingly left Philadelphia, and went to New York, and spent a day or two there, and then went to New Jersey. There I met my Elder. He took me around and introduced me to the people.
The arrangements were, that I was to teach a little school in New Brunswick for three months, and then to take a part of his circuit. I gathered up a few children and went to work. At the end of the three months I was given a part of the work. Rev. H. C. Turner was a very hard student, and a laborious circuit rider. He would often preach every night in the week. One night he was preaching at a place called "The Mountain," a few miles from Princeton, New Jersey, from the text, "Escape for thy Life;" Gen. xix. 17, and while describing the dangerous condition of the wicked, a white man became so alarmed that he jumped out of the back window,
which was several feet high; and what was remarkable he never injured himself in the least.
At the close of this Conference year, I was recommended by the quarterly Conference of Princeton, N. J., to the Philadelphia Conference.
MAY, 1843, the Philadelphia Conference met in Philadelphia. Bishop Waters not being present, Rev. J. G. Bulaugh was chosen to assist Bishop Brown. At this Conference I was received on trial, and Rev. Willis Nazrey was elected and ordained an Elder. At a later stage of the Conference Rev. D. A. Payne was admitted into the Conference. This being the Annual Conference previous to the General Conference, the local delegates were elected; and as Philadelphia city had more local preachers than any other charge, the most of them were elected therefrom. They consisted of Rev. Joseph Cox, Shadrach Bassett, D. Ware, Jeremiah Durham, Stephen Smith, Robert Collins. Rev. Joseph Cox died before the General Conference met.
When this Conference closed, Rev. H. C. Turner was transferred to the Baltimore Conference, and stationed at Bethel Church; Rev. D. A. Payne to the same Conference, and stationed at Washington, D. C., and I was appointed to West Chester, Pa., as the colleague of Rev. Israel Scott. I found him a father in the Gospel.
Rev. H. C. Turner sold me his horse and sulky, and with this outfit I left Philadelphia for my new field of labor. Our Circuit commenced at West Philadelphia and ended at Pottsville. We had a pleasant Conference year; and as my Elder was a great man for camp-meeting, it was agreed to hold one at Chichester, Delaware county, Pa. It was a very large camp-meeting, and people came from Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware. There were only a few itinerant ministers present, and four sermons were delivered. On Sunday, at 8 o'clock, Levin Tillman preached; text, "Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh," Genesis ii. 23. At 10 o'clock Alexander Davis preached; text, "Behold how he loved him," John xi. 36. At night A. S. Driver preached; text, "And to reserve the unjust until the day of judgment to be punished," 2 Peter ii. 9. This camp-meeting was considered a grand success. There were a good many who professed to find peace with God.
During this year Bethel Church in Philadelphia sustained a great loss in the death of Rev. Joseph Cox, a local Elder. He was in my judgment one of the most intelligent local preachers I ever listened to. His funeral took place from Bethel Church in Philadelphia, and was attended by a large congregation. Revs. Stephen Smith, Walter Procter, and others attended the services. Bishop Brown was away at the time attending the Western Conference.
This year there was a great deal of excitement throughout the country on account of the doctrine of the Millerites; many people made their robes and went out to meet the Lord.
April, 1844, the delegates from New York met those of Philadelphia in the latter city to start to General Conference, which was to meet in Pittsburg, Pa. Rev. Albert Barnes delivered a lecture in Bethel Church the night before the delegates left. His subject was "The Bible."
A large crowd of people went up to Market and Eleventh Streets to see them leave. They went in the cars to Harrisburg, and there took the canal boat to Johnstown and Pittsburg.
On the first Monday in May the General Conference assembled. Revs. M. M. Clark, George Hogarth, and David Ware were elected Secretaries. At this Conference a course of studies was prepared for candidates for the ministry. Rev. Wm. Paul Quinn was elected Bishop; Rev. Geo. Hogarth was elected General Book Steward, and Rev. M. M. Clark, traveling Agent.
The first part of June, 1844, my mother visited Philadelphia, and I concluded to go home with her and visit the scenes of my childhood. We took the steamboat at Philadelphia and went down the Delaware river until we reached Smyrna creek, then up that creek to Short's Landing, and there took the stage for Smyrna, Delaware. When we arrived at that place father met us, and after riding all night I reached home about sunrise on Sunday morning.
I saw that four years had made some few changes. My little brothers and sisters had grown larger, while grandmother had grown older. It was quite an unexpected visit, for no one was looking for me. After
resting a while I concluded to visit the members of the old class, at the little school-house, which seven years previously I had joined. Some had died, while others had been sold South. The good, old Christian gentleman, James B. Hicks, the leader, was still at his post, leading on his little class.
I spent the week visiting my relatives and friends. On the next Sunday nearly the whole of our people came out to hear the young Eastern Shore man. I addressed them from Deut. vii. 12, "Then beware lest thou forget the Lord," etc. The next week I returned to Philadelphia to meet the Conference. This year Rev. Richard Williams died.
The Conference met in Bethel Church. Bishops Brown and Quinn were present. Rev. John L. Armstrong was transferred from the Baltimore to the Philadelphia Conference, and Rev. Henry Davis was admitted on trial. There were no ordinations this Conference. On the second Sunday of the Conference Rev. Clayton Durham preached a funeral discourse on the death of Rev. Joseph Cox, taking for his text, "Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him." Isa. iii. 10. On the afternoon of the same day a funeral discourse was delivered on the death of Rev. Richard Williams by Rev. R. Robinson.
When the appointments were announced I was reappointed to West Chester Circuit, having for my Elder Rev. Clayton Durham. This year political excitement ran high. It was Polk and Dallas in the morning, and Clay and Frelinghuysen at night.
This summer Bishop Morris Brown was paralyzed
while attending the Conference in Canada, and was brought home to Philadelphia by Rev. N. C. W. Cannon. Rev. Samson Peters was granted a superannuate relation, and he died before the next Conference closed.
APRIL, 1845, I visited the Baltimore Annual Conference, which met in old Bethel Church, Baltimore city. Bishops Brown and Quinn were present. Rev. Levin Lee was the Secretary. I arrived there on Monday afternoon, just about the closing of the service. At night Rev. John Boggs preached; his text was, "And Joseph opened all the store-houses," Genesis xli. 56. The Conference was well attended. Rev. M. M. Clark paid his first visit to Baltimore. He did not preach during his stay, having received a severe wound from the kick of his horse. The first missionary meeting I ever attended was held during the session of this Conference. Bishop Quinn presided, and speeches were made by Revs. D. A. Payne, H. C. Turner, and J. Goulding.
This Conference ordered the calling of an Educational Convention to meet in Philadelphia in October, 1845. When the appointments were read, H. C. Turner was appointed to Israel Church, Washington, D. C., and Rev. D. A. Payne to Baltimore city.
After Conference adjourned I returned to Philadelphia
in company with Revs. John Boggs, A. S. Driver and others.
May, 1845, the Philadelphia Conference met in Philadelphia. On the first Sunday morning, at 10 o'clock, Rev. M. M. Clark preached an excellent sermon from the text, "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men." 1 Tim. ii. 5. His sermon was spoken of as being very able. At this Conference I was elected Assistant Secretary, and also admitted into full connection and elected to deacon's orders, after being examined by Revs. N. C. W. Cannon, Levin Lee, and Eli N. Hall. Rev. Henry Davis was examined by the same committee, and elected to deacon's orders.
On the second Sunday morning of the Conference, Rev. Henry Davis and myself were ordained Deacons. Rev. M. M. Clark preached the sermon; text, 1 Tim. iii. 10, "And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless."
The Union Church on Coates Street, Philadelphia, was connected with Bethel Church, being under the same incorporation and the same Board of Trustees. The members petitioned the Conference to send them a separate minister; their request was granted by the Conference. When the appointments were read I was appointed to the Union and Little Wesley Churches. This greatly surprised me.
The Conference did not finally adjourn until next day. The Trustees of Bethel Church held a meeting that night, and next morning presented a request that
the Conference would reconsider its action in granting the request of the members of Union Church, and asked the Bishops to change my appointment from there. The Conference refused to reconsider its action, and the Bishops did not change the appointment then. The Conference agreed, on account of Bishop Morris Brown's affliction, to relieve him from the duties of traveling. After Conference adjourned, Bishop Brown told me to go to Wesley Church, and he would see the Trustees of Bethel Church in reference to the matter; but Bishop Quinn told me to go there and take charge.
I went to West Chester and closed up my affairs, and returned to Philadelphia on Saturday to take the appointment on Sunday morning. Several persons inquired of me what I intended to do in the matter. I refused to answer them directly. When Sunday morning came I was on hand. The Trustees of Bethel Church came up to see and hear what I would say and do. I opened the service and then read for my text 1 Peter iv. 16, "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
When I was through with my discourse, the Clerk read a notice requesting all of the official members to meet at Bethel Church on the next Tuesday night. I never said a word about my appointment there, but gave out that there would be communion that afternoon administered by Rev. J. G. Bulaugh. The Trustees went home, and there was nothing more said then.
After the close of the sacrament in the afternoon, when the people all appeared to be happy, I told them that I had been appointed there, but the Trustees were opposed to it; then, said I, if the Bishop does not change the appointment I shall stay. Now what say you to it? The people answered, "Stay."
Some persons called on Bishop Brown, and he said he did not send me there. Others called on Bishop Quinn, and he said he did not appoint me there. They were both correct, for Bishop Brown appointed me, while Bishop Quinn sent me there. There the matter rested until Bishop Quinn returned to the city the ensuing week.
The two Bishops met at the Book-store to consider the change. Bishop Quinn would not consent to the change, but said that Bishop Brown might do as he pleased. The appointment was changed, and I was assigned to Little Wesley, and had a pleasant year.
During the summer of this year, my first colleague, Rev. H. C. Turner, came to Philadelphia. I was holding an extra meeting, and he preached for me. His text was, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found." Isaiah 1v. 6. At the close of his sermon a young man in the congregation cried out, "What must I do to be saved?"
Rev. H. C. Turner returned to Washington, D. C., and the next time I heard of him he was no more. He sent word to his brethren by Rev. A. S. Driver, that he was about to lay aside the Gospel trumpet, to blow it no more. He died in great peace, and was buried from Old Israel Church, Washington, D. C.
Rev. M. M. Clark was appointed to succeed Rev. H. C. Turner.
The first of October the great Educational Convention met in Philadelphia. There were delegates from New York, New Jersey, Baltimore city, and Pennsylvania. It was a grand affair. Bishop Brown was the presiding officer, and I the secretary.
By request I used to go twice a week to assist Bishop Morris Brown to walk out to the Book-store and other places he wanted to go. One day he said to me he would like me to go to Washington next spring to the Conference, saying at the same time that he wanted a lively man for Union Bethel Church.
APRIL, 1846. By special request I accompanied Bishop Morris Brown to the City of Washington, D. C., and as he was paralyzed, he was dependent on me for assistance to enable him to walk. We were accompanied by Revs. Jacob Matthews and John M. Brown. We reached Baltimore in the night, and found comfortable quarters, where we rested until morning.
Rev. D. A. Payne went with us next morning to the Washington Depot. After getting some gentleman to give bonds for us (such being required of free colored persons departing this city), we entered the train and moved on to Washington, D. C.
On Saturday morning the Conference met. Bishops Morris Brown, Edward Waters and Wm. Paul Quinn were present. Revs. M. M. Clark and Levin Lee were elected Secretaries. James A. Shorter and John H. Thomas were admitted on trial. A. S. Driver, James Evans, and W. H. Waters were elected Elders.
Revs. H. C. Turner and William Gaines died during the Conference year. Rev. D. A. Payne preached a funeral discourse on the life and death of H. C. Turner. Text, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." Num. xxiii. 10.
The impression made on my mind by Bishop Morris Brown was that he wanted me to go to Union Bethel Church, as the successor of Rev. A. S. Driver. But I learned that the older members of the Church thought I was entirely too young a man for that charge, and therefore an older man was appointed. After Conference adjourned, most of the members came to Baltimore City, and spent several days.
I returned to Philadelphia to get ready for the approaching Conference, which met in Philadelphia, May, 1846. Bishops Brown, Waters and Quinn were present. Rev. D. Ware and myself were the Secretaries. Revs. A. Massey and George Greenly were elected and ordained Elders. A. C. Crippin and H. J. Young were admitted into the traveling connection, and Dr. J.J. Gould Bias as a local member. When the appointments were read out I was assigned to Salem Circuit, New Jersey. A. C. Crippin was appointed my colleague.
I soon bade farewell to my former church, and
started for the sands of New Jersey. The first place I reached was Woodbury. Stopped at the house of Rev. Henry Dickerson, the father of the present Bishop Dickerson. From there I went to Dutchtown, Bushtown, Salem, Springtown, Gouldtown, Bridgeton, Millville, Port Elizabeth, Eggharbor and Sea Shore, and then returned to Philadelphia for my colleague, A. C. Crippin; we then commenced our year's work.
Rev. Willis Nazrey was this year appointed to Bethel Church, Philadelphia. Then and there the great trouble commenced about the incorporation and the Discipline, which finally was settled by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in favor of the Discipline.
My stay on Salem Circuit was very pleasant, for there I met many warm-hearted Christian friends; some of them from Maryland, who had sought shelter among the pines of New Jersey. Among the many I may name Daniel Coker, a brother of the Daniel Coker who was a leading man in the organization of the A. M. E. Church. The Coker of whom I am now speaking, was known as Philip Wright, when he was a slave in Maryland. But when he reached New Jersey he changed his name and called himself Daniel Coker, after his brother Daniel. This father in Israel was one among the first pioneers of the A. M. E. Church on the Eastern Shore.
In the autumn of 1846 I was attending a quarterly meeting at Gouldtown, New Jersey. On Sunday morning I addressed a large congregation from the
text, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark." Gen. vii. 1.
After closing my sermon I came into the altar and said, There is a deluge gathering, the Ark is prepared, who will be the first to come in this morning? I waited a moment or two, and there came a little flaxen-headed boy up the aisle, and said he desired to come in. I laid my hands upon his head and said, God bless this little boy. That little boy is now Rev. Theodore Gould, the very efficient Business Manager of the Publication Department of the A. M. E. Church. Rev. J. V. Pearce came in the same morning.
April, 1847. I visited Baltimore Conference, which met in Bethel Church, Baltimore City. Bishop Quinn was the only Bishop present. Bishop Brown was too feeble to leave his home in Philadelphia, and Bishop Waters had been severely injured by being run over by a carriage driven by some reckless young men.
He had been to his appointment on Sunday, and was returning late in the afternoon, and as he was walking along apparently meditating, those young men were racing, and either accidentally or intentionally ran against him. He was prostrated to the ground. How he reached his home I do not know.
There was a committee appointed by the Conference to go and see him, and inquire after the state of his health, and to ascertain whether he would be able to take an appointment the ensuing year; although a
Bishop, he received his appointments every Conference, just as any other traveling preacher.
The committee reported through their chairman, Rev. Thomas W. Henry, that the old hero's work was almost done on earth, but that he enjoyed a brilliant hope of immortality beyond the grave. The Conference had not adjourned many days before the sad news reached them that Bishop Waters was no more. His funeral took place from old Bethel Church in Baltimore. His funeral sermon was preached by his long and tried friend, Rev. Nathaniel Peck.
At this session of the Baltimore Conference, Rev. J. M. Moore and his Church united with the Conference. After several days of excited discussion, led on by Rev. Darius Stokes on the one side, and Dr. Bias, of Philadelphia, on the other, the Conference finally accepted Rev. J. M. Moore and his Church. He had formerly belonged to the Zion Connection. Rev. Levin Lee was appointed at the close of the Conference to Zion Chapel, South Howard street. Rev. D. A. Payne was returned to Bethel Church, Baltimore, and Rev. W. H. Jones to Ebenezer Church.
After the adjournment of this Conference I returned to Philadelphia, and then to Salem, N. J., to wind up for Conference, which was to meet in Philadelphia, May, 1847. At this Conference Bishop Quinn presided, and I was elected the Secretary, with Rev. David Ware assistant.
Rev. Henry Davis and I were elected and ordained
Elders. Rev. N. C. W. Cannon preached the sermon. Text, "Endure hardness, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ." 2 Tim. vi. 3. The delegates to the General Conference for 1848, were elected at this annual Conference.
A committee had been appointed by the Baltimore Conference to prepare an Episcopal Seal; and a similar one had been appointed by the Philadelphia Conference to get a gold-headed Episcopal staff to present to Bishop Quinn, with the understanding that the staff was to be handed down to his successor in office. The day appointed for the presentation was the time when a funeral sermon was preached on the death of Bishop Waters, by Rev. Levin Lee of Baltimore, in which I recollect that he gave one or two Latin and Greek words. He said Deus and Theus. It was an able sermon, just such as he could deliver. After which Rev. D. A. Payne presented the gold seal to Bishop Quinn, making an eloquent speech. Then Dr. Bias presented the gold-headed cane. This was a grand effort. Rev. D. Stokes of Baltimore was requested to respond to the speeches of Drs. Payne and Bias, and his speech was an able one. He referred to the time of the organization of the Connection, when the waters of the Delaware met those of the Chesapeake, and when the foundation of the Connection was laid. Then he said those waters meet again to-day. While Philadelphia presented a gold-headed staff to the Bishop, Baltimore presented a gold-seal. To me it was a grand day. Dr. Bias and D. Stokes are both gone to their reward.
My appointment this year was to the city of Trenton, the capital of New Jersey. After spending a few days in my station I visited New York Conference, where I had not been for some time. Bishop Quinn presided; Rev. George Hogarth and E. C. Africanus were the Secretaries. The Conference elected their local delegates to the ensuing General Conference. There were several ministers ordained elders, and deacons. The Elders were Levin Tillman and E. C. Africanus, and Deacon T. M. D. Ward. The cornerstone of the new church was laid at Weeksville during this Conference. Rev. Jacob Matthews preached the sermon.
IN 1848, Rev. M. M. Clark returned from England, where he went to attend the Evangelical Alliance. Rev. D. A. Payne started to go also, but something happened to the ship and he returned. In April I visited the Baltimore Annual Conference, which met in Israel Church, Washington, D. C. At this Conference Rev. Thomas W. Henry preached the funeral sermon of Bishop Waters; text, "For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost." Acts vi. 5. Rev.W.A. Cornish, an able superannuated minister, died during the Conference year. Rev. A. S. Driver delivered the funeral discourse. The Conference was visited by Revs. A. R. Green and John M. Brown on their way from the West to the General Conference. James A. Shorter and John F. Thomas were ordained deacons.
W. D. W. Schureman and J. J. Herbert were admitted on trial. Rev. Wm. Moore was appointed to Israel Church, Washington, D. C., and I was read out for the Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., and D. A. Payne to Baltimore.
After the Conference adjourned in Washington we came to Baltimore to see the new Bethel Church that was about finished, and then went to meet the General Conference in Philadelphia.
On the first Monday in May, 1848, the General Conference met in Philadelphia. There was a large number of ministers. The West was strongly represented by such men as W. R. Revels, Byrd Parker, A. R. Green, Baker Brown, A. McIntosh and others. Revs. M. M. Clark, A. W. Wayman, and E. D. Davis were elected Secretaries. Revs. R. Robinson and L. Lee were elected Assistants to the Bishop. Bishop Quinn presented for the first time a written Quadrennial Address, which was read by one of the Secretaries, and each recommendation referred to the appropriate committee.
The introduction of a resolution recommending the creation of the office of Presiding Elder produced a great deal of discussion. The friends of the measure were D. A. Payne, Dr. Bias, D. Stokes, J. M. Moore, A. S. Driver, W. Nazrey, and others. Those who opposed it were Richard Robinson, W. Moore, A. R. Green, and W. R. Revels. The motion was finally voted down. I heard a Presiding Elder of the M. E. Church say the ablest speech he ever heard delivered on any Conference floor was by Rev. Darius Stokes on
that occasion. The General Conference ordered the publication of a weekly paper called the "Christian Herald." The Book Concern was removed from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Pittsburg, Pa., and Rev. A. R. Green was appointed Editor and General Book Steward.
The subject of the election of another Bishop was presented to the Conference, and the time was set to go into an election on Thursday at 11 o'clock. On Tuesday morning the death of Rev. John Boggs, one of the members of the General Conference, was announced. The Conference agreed to adjourn from Tuesday to Thursday. The funeral of Rev. John Boggs took place on Thursday afternoon from Bethel Church in Philadelphia. The sermon was preached by Rev. N. C. W. Cannon; text, "My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest," Exodus xxxiii. 14.
The question was discussed among a few of the delegates how the election of another Bishop could be prevented. A local delegate of Philadelphia, who professed to be a great parliamentarian, said there was one way by which the election could be defeated, and that was to meet early the next morning and pass a resolution to indefinitely postpone the election. He stated at the same time that Mr. Cushing said a matter indefinitely postponed could not be brought up any more that session. As good a parliamentarian as he was he made this mistake, for when a body agrees to do a thing at a certain time and place, that motion must be reconsidered first, and then the original motion
may be indefinitely postponed. That was not so in this case. However, the Conference so understood it, and there was no more of it. Rev. D. A. Payne was appointed to write the history of the Church.
The Conference adjourned, and from Philadelphia a good many Eastern men were called to Trenton; and as I was still the pastor of that charge, it was my duty to get there as soon as possible and make ready for the Conference.
The number was large; yet every brother was well cared for. R. Barney, J. R. V. Morgan, John H. Henson, and A. Till were admitted on trial. A. C. Crippin, T. C. Oliver, W. T. Catto, and Dr. Bias were ordained deacons. E. E. Ganey was admitted into the Conference and transferred to Ohio Conference, and stationed at Cincinnati. Rev. John Cornish was stationed at Bethel Church, Philadelphia; and W. Nazrey at the Union Church.
Having been transferred to the Baltimore Conference, I bade the brethren of Philadelphia farewell, and left for Washington, D. C. On reaching there the people had almost given me up. The Baltimore Conference adjourned in April, and then the General Conference lasted nearly the month of May, and as the Philadelphia Conference lasted ten days, I did not get to Washington until about July 4th. But I went to work in earnest, and the Lord blessed my labors abundantly. Our increase was about two hundred. Among the number of the recent converts was a young woman who belonged to Hon. John Y. Mason, Secretary of the Navy. Some evil-disposed person
reported that Mr. Mason had become displeased because his servant had professed religion, and he was going to the Mayor of the city and have our meeting closed. I confess that at first it made me feel a little uneasy, for in those days in Washington they would do just what they pleased with us.
On the next Sunday morning I received a note from Mr. Mason, saying that he believed his servant was converted, and that I had his permission to take her in Church. I read the note in the Church, and that put the report at rest.
This year Bishop Quinn was stabbed at a camp-meeting and nearly killed.
In the month of October I concluded to go home to Eastern Shore and see my father and mother. Accordingly I left Washington for Baltimore; then took the steamboat for Easton, and reached there about 5 P. M. It was said to be about sixteen miles from Easton to my father's. There was no way to ride, so I took the same road that I traveled eight years before when I first left home, and by ten o'clock I was at father's. Before knocking at the door I went to the barn-yard to look at the cattle and see if I could recognize any of those that were there when I left, when I saw the ox that the boys called "Noble" Then I knocked at the door and said, "Who lives here?" Father answered by saying, "Who is that?" I said,
"Me." Then mother said, "That's Alexander"-- showing a mother never forgets her child. On the following Sunday I was invited to fill the pulpit of the M. E. Church in Denton, the very town from
which eighteen years before Rev. N. C. W. Cannon had to run. As I rode along to and from Denton I looked for the old A. M. E. Church, but it was gone.
After spending a few days with my relatives I returned to Washington, D. C., and commenced my work. The winter was exceedingly pleasant.
MARCH 4th, 1849, General Taylor took his seat as President of the United States, and there was a general breaking up. Several of my members that belonged to the cabinet officers of Mr. Polk, left and went home with their owners.
April, 1849, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Bethel Church. Bishop Quinn presided. The session was rather an exciting one. A local elder and several laymen had seceded from Bethel Church, and had formed a new organization; Rev. A. S. Driver was suspended for one year for disloyalty to the African M. E. Church. He withdrew from the connection before the term of his suspension expired. At this Conference I was removed from Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., and appointed to Israel Church in the same city. This was something that had not happened in our Church before that time; a minister going from one church to another in the same city. Rev. W. Moore succeeded me at Union
Bethel Church. I went to my new charge resolved to do the best I could in the name of the Lord.
After spending some few weeks at my new post, I went to Baltimore, and from there took the old Union line to Philadelphia, in company with Rev. D. A. Payne and others. When we reached New Castle, Delaware, we received the sad news that Bishop Morris Brown was no more, and when we got to Philadelphia we found it was so. Next day the Philadelphia Conference met, the death of Bishop Brown was announced and a committee was appointed to arrange for his funeral. Rev. D. A. Payne was appointed chairman. At the appointed time the funeral procession left the Bishop's late residence, Bainbridge street, above Eighth, and moved up to Ninth, then up Ninth to Spruce, then down Spruce to Sixth to Bethel Church. The Zion Conference was in session in Philadelphia at that time, and it adjourned to attend the funeral. The casket containing the remains of the Bishop was borne on the bier by a certain number of ministers. Bishops Quinn, Rush and Galbreath, of Zion Church, led the procession. The members of the two Annual Conferences followed, then came the Daughters of Conference. Bishop Quinn preached the sermon from the text, 2 Tim. iv. 7: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." The remains of Bishop Brown were deposited in a vault in front of Bethel Church, with those of Richard Allen, to await the resurrection morning. When the Philadelphia
Conference adjourned I left for Washington, D. C., to resume my work at old Israel Church.
During the summer the country was visited with the cholera, and a great many people died. The President of the United States, General Taylor, issued a proclamation calling upon all Christians to meet on a certain day in all their churches to pray to the Lord to remove the scourge.
All the departments of the government were closed. We had a meeting at Israel Church all day, and the result was a gracious revival commenced, and many were added to the church.
In August of this year I was invited by Rev. D. Stokes, of Baltimore, to deliver a memorial sermon on the death of Bishop Morris Brown at Rider's Grove, nine miles from Baltimore, on the Northern Central Railroad. I accepted the invitation and went. For the sermon see Bishop Payne's Semi-Centenary and Retrospection, page --.
This was rather a pleasant year to me; for old Israel Church did a good part by me, and I tried to do the same by her. We lost several of our old members this year.
APRIL, 1850, the Baltimore Conference met in Israel Church, Washington, D. C. Bishop Quinn presided. I asked Bishop Quinn to give Rev. Jeffrey Goulding the appointment the first Sunday morning.
The good old man said he had been a member of the Conference nearly twenty years, and never had an appointment to open the Conference before. (The sermon preached on the first Sunday morning was then the opening sermon). Rev. Bazil Simms, a local member of the Conference, died this Conference year. E. Chambers and E. T. Williams were admitted on trial; J. A. Shorter and John F. Thomas were elected and ordained elders.
When the Conference closed I was returned to
Israel Church, Rev. W. Moore to Union Bethel, W.
H. Jones to Bethel, Baltimore, D. A. Payne to Ebenezer. *
* D. A. Payne had requested Bishop Quinn to leave him without
appointment, in order that he might be able to travel through the connection and gather material for the history, which the General Conference of 1848 had appointed him to write. Bishop Quinn believing that D.A. Payne could be pastor of Ebenezer and travel through the connection at the same time, appointed him to that station. But before D. A. Payne reached Ebenezer, a meeting of its members were called, and he was by them rejected, and, that too, for very frivolous reasons. Three weeks after this Bishop Quinn returned to Baltimore, and urged D. A. Payne to go and take the charge; whereupon D. A. Payne told the Bishop, that while he respected his authority to appoint, he felt in conscience bound not to force himself upon any people who had deliberately and formally rejected his services; therefore, Rev. J. R. V. Morgan was transferred, etc.
D. A. Payne declined to go to Ebenezer, and therefore Rev. J. R. V. Morgan was transferred from the Philadelphia Conference and stationed at Ebenezer.
* D. A. Payne had requested Bishop Quinn to leave him without appointment, in order that he might be able to travel through the connection and gather material for the history, which the General Conference of 1848 had appointed him to write. Bishop Quinn believing that D.A. Payne could be pastor of Ebenezer and travel through the connection at the same time, appointed him to that station. But before D. A. Payne reached Ebenezer, a meeting of its members were called, and he was by them rejected, and, that too, for very frivolous reasons. Three weeks after this Bishop Quinn returned to Baltimore, and urged D. A. Payne to go and take the charge; whereupon D. A. Payne told the Bishop, that while he respected his authority to appoint, he felt in conscience bound not to force himself upon any people who had deliberately and formally rejected his services; therefore, Rev. J. R. V. Morgan was transferred, etc.
This year the Philadelphia Conference met in Philadelphia. Rev. John Cornish had just come out of the great battle victorious. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania had decided in favor of the Discipline
of the African M. E. Church. The loyal people were so much pleased with the way he (Cornish) had conducted the great battle that they asked for his return the third year. He was acccordingly returned, much to the gratification of the entire Church.
July, 1850. Washington City was one scene of mourning. General Taylor, the President of the United States, died. Every house from the White-house to the Capitol, was hung in mourning. And as the funeral procession moved down Pennsylvania Avenue, behind the hearse was the General's old war horse (Old Whitey, as he was called). He was draped in mourning also. Every man, woman and child appeared sad.
But as the dead are soon forgotten, the President was soon forgotten. After thirty days the city took off her mourning and put on her fashionable garments. This summer the M. E. Churches (colored) of this district held a camp-meeting; Rev. Wm. Moore and I attended, and it was the first time that ever the white ministers of that Church recognized us as ministers. When Brother Moore was about to preach one day, a certain white minister said to him, "Don't be alarmed, for the greatest preacher is the man that does the most good." His text was, "Turn ye to the stronghold ye prisoner of hope," Zech. ix. 12.
When this camp-meeting was over our churches were very much refreshed, and several were added thereto in Washington, D. C.
APRIL, 1851, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Baltimore City. Bishop Quinn presided. There was a large number of ministers from the Philadelphia Conference, viz.: Stephen Smith, W. T. Catto, Thos. C. Oliver, J. P. B. Eddy and W. Nazrey. The secretary offered a resolution that a funeral sermon be preached on the death of Rev. N. C. W. Cannon. Rev. J. G. Bulaugh was appointed, and preached the sermon. At this Conference Bishop Quinn chose Rev. W. Nazrey as his assistant, and next morning he was conducted to the chair, and installed as the Bishop's assistant. Rev. D. A. Payne was left without an appointment, and went west to gather up material for the history of the Church. Rev. W. H. Jones and W. Moore were stationed in Baltimore. I was removed from Israel Church to Union Bethel, to build a new church. Rev. J. A. Shorter succeeded me at Israel Church. W. D. W. Schureman and John R. V. Morgan were ordained elders, and Charles Sawyer a deacon. A few days after the Conference adjourned, Bishop Quinn, with several other ministers, visited Washington, D. C., and on Sunday morning Rev. John J. Herbert was ordained deacon. On the afternoon of that day the
corner-stone for the new Union Bethel Church was laid, after an able discourse delivered by Rev. D. A. Payne, from Isaiah xxviii. 16. "I lay in Zion, for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste."
Most of the ministers of the Baltimore Annual Conference visited the Philadelphia Conference. It was a very pleasant visit to us. Rev. Henry J. Young was ordained an elder. Bishop Quinn removed Rev. W. Nazrey from Trenton to Philadelphia. At this Annual Conference the local delegates were elected to the ensuing General Conference, which was to meet in New York City.
After the adjournment of the Philadelphia Conference I returned to Washington, D. C., and bent all my energies toward the new church. During the summer the foundation was dug out, and then the walls began to go up. One sister, by the name of Abigail Nugent, was so much delighted that she took a hod of bricks and carried them to the building. This sister went to California, and the last time I was out there I saw her. But since then she has gone to her reward.
The members and friends were so much inspired, that every month I raised a hundred dollars for the new church. I was surrounded by an able set of officers. No grander men could be found in any church. The most of them have gone to sleep in death. The only two that are now living are S. E. Green and John Shorter, of Washington, D. C.
In the autumn of this year the trustees sent me away to try and raise some means to help them. I raised twenty dollars in Baltimore, and some in Philadelphia, Trenton and Camden, New Jersey: how much in all I do not know. I think if I had remained at my post more might have been accomplished. When the winter began the work had to cease, for it was a very hard winter indeed.
Rev. Jeffrey Goulding died this year, and his funeral sermon was preached in Israel Church by Rev. W. Moore.
APRIL, 1852, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in the Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C. Rev. John L. Armstrong, formerly of the Baltimore Conference, died this year in Philadelphia.
The Conference in Washington, D. C., was very largely attended. We were disappointed, for we had hoped to have our new church ready. Bishop Quinn presided, assisted by Rev. W. Nazrey. As the General Conference was fast approaching, there was some preparation being made. At the close of the Conference the question arose as to whether Rev. W. H. Jones should be returned to Bethel Church, Baltimore, or not. There was a long petition presented for his return, while there were other influences brought to bear against his return.
A certain lawyer in Baltimore was employed to come
to Washington to see Bishop Quinn, and while he and Rev. W. Nazrey were in council, and I was acting as their secretary, this gentleman drove up to the house and inquired for Mr. Quinn. The bishop went down to see him, and after talking awhile together the Bishop called us down to hear what the gentleman had to say. He said a great many fine things, and left. The result was Rev. W. H. Jones was returned to Bethel Church for four months. There were several deacons and elders elected and ordained at this Conference.
I was returned to Union Bethel Church to finish it. I went to work to have it done by the middle of June. Revs. Wm. Moore and John R. V. Morgan were transferred to the Philadelphia Conference. Saturday morning, before the first Monday in May, 1852, all the Baltimore delegates left for Philadelphia, to spend the Sunday there and then go on to New York.
There was one amusing incident occurred. There was a man in Baltimore who was opposed to Rev. W. H. Jones, and he was resolved that Jones should not accompany us to Philadelphia, so he engaged an officer to come down to the boat and arrest him. Jones saw the officer coming, and suspected what was the matter, so he went into a closet and remained until the boat got out in the stream, and then he came out laughing that they could not beat him.
We reached Philadelphia in good season. Sunday morning I was requested by the Pastor to address the congregation of Bethel Church, in the morning at 10 o'clock. I consented, and read for a text, "As
the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." Isa. xxxii. 2. It was Sacrament day. While in Philadelphia I formed the acquaintance of Doctor, now Major Delaney. He was on a visit to his old friend, Dr. Bias.
After the close of the afternoon service we left Philadelphia for New York, so as to be there on Monday at the opening of the General Conference. We all reached the end of our journey about 10 o'clock at night, and were assigned to our respective quarters.
Monday morning the delegates began to assemble, and by 9 o'clock more than two-thirds were present. M. M. Clark, A. W. Wayman and E. C. Africanus were elected secretaries, and Revs. John Cornish and Levin Lee were chosen the Bishops' assistants. The committees were appointed. The Quadrennial address of the Bishop was read by me to the Conference, and the several suggestions made therein were referred to the proper committees. Near the close of the morning session Bishop Quinn asked me if there was not something said at the last Conference about having a special sermon preached to this Conference? I said, "Yes." "Well," said he, "Dr. Payne would be a good one to preach it, would he not?" I said, "Certainly." "Then," said he, "put him down for 4 o'clock this afternoon;" and then he said, "Put down Nazrey for to-night." I wrote as I was instructed, and then read out the names of the appointees.
The delegates had already commenced to take up the candidates for the Episcopal office. The most intellectual men had fixed upon D. A. Payne and A.
R. Green. The former was recognized as a scholar and an educator, and the latter as an Editor and a legislator. The older men had settled upon W. Nazrey and Richard Robinson, believing them to be good, honest Christian men.
At 4 o'clock there was a large gathering of delegates, as well as the laymen of the Church, to hear the Quadrennial sermon. Rev. D. A. Payne read for his text, "Who is sufficient for these things?" 2 Corinthians ii. 16. In his remarks he said, "I wish I was the most ignorant man in this General Conference knowing at the same time what I do." When he closed his sermon some of the young men who believed in educational advancement said, that sermon will elect him Bishop.
I sat in the pew with another candidate, and from what he said to me at the close of the sermon I think he felt that his stock had gone down a little. The delegates heard one of the candidates in the afternoon with a great deal of pleasure, and they were getting ready to hear another one at night. Rev. W. H. Jones, who was taking a very active part in the canvass, went to Rev. W. Nazrey and said, "You must not preach to-night." And he asked, why? Said Jones, "Never mind, I and others are your friends. Don't you preach." Rev. W. Nazrey took his advice and excused himself. The Rev. W. Johnson was substituted in his place.
The day was finally fixed for the election of Bishops. Some of the delegates were almost ceaseless in their efforts to elect certain candidates. The hour arrived
for the election. Revs. Stephen Smith, E. N. Hall and John M. Brown were chosen the tellers. The Clerks reported that W. Nazrey and D. A. Payne were elected. The former smiled, while the latter cried.
The ordination sermon was preached by Rev. M. M. Clark. Revs. W. R. Revels and Levin Lee read the lessons. Bishop Quinn and five Elders laid hands on the newly elected Bishops' heads.
The Book Concern was removed from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. The name of the weekly paper was changed from Christian Herald to Christian Recorder. Rev. M. M. Clark was elected the Editor, Rev. W. T. Catto General Book Steward, and Rev. W. H. Jones Traveling Agent. W. T. Catto resigned in two weeks, and took a Circuit; and M. M. Clark in two years, saying in his letter of resignation, that he was going to leave East to go West, to secure a cage in which to place a bird to sing and cheer him in his declining years.
The General Conference adjourned; and the new Bishops went to their Districts and the delegates to their charges. I went home to Washington City to get the new church ready for the dedication, which took place on Sunday, June 7, 1852. Bishop Nazrey preached the dedication sermon. This year was a pleasant one with us in Washington. Rev. W. H. Jones being elected Traveling Agent, Rev. J. R. V. Morgan was sent to Bethel Church, Baltimore.
This year I organized the Ebenezer Church in Georgetown, D. C.
APRIL, 1853. I finished up my second year at Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., and went to meet the Baltimore Annual Conference, which met in Baltimore City. Bishop Nazrey presided for the first time over the Baltimore Conference. The members received him very cordially. The session was not a protracted one. J. R. Sterrett and John H. Gaines were admitted on trial. D. W. Moore, Jacob Brooks, M. F. Sluby, and Thomas H. Manning were ordained Deacons. Edward Chambers and John H. Henson were ordained Elders. At the close of this Conference I was appointed to Port Deposit Circuit. It went a little hard with me after having spent five years in succession in Washington City to take a country circuit. But as I had promised years before to obey as a son in the Gospel, I went and had a very pleasant year.
I was told by the authorities that the laws of the State were against my remaining there, as I came from the District of Columbia. I had four appointments, which I visited every two weeks. The present Bishop Dizney of the B. M. E. Church was my Steward at Port Deposit, and was one of the best I ever had in any church. The B. M. E. Church made a
wise selection when they voted for him to fill the place of Bishop Nazrey.
I found the people on this circuit very kind indeed, which made me think that after all, in some respects, a country life is more to be desired than a city one.
During this winter there was a very deep snow, and I was bound up for several weeks at the house of Rev. Stephen P. Bayard. Having purchased two books on phonography, I resolved to learn how to write short-hand. On Monday morning I commenced, and Saturday night I was able to read the first lesson in the book without a teacher. I have never since doubted the capacity of a man to learn whatever he wishes to.
APRIL, 1854. The Baltimore Conference met this year in Israel Church, Washington City. Bishops Nazrey and Quinn were present. I had been appointed by Bishop Nazrey to preach the annual sermon at the opening of this Conference, which I tried to do from the text, "I am set for the defence of the Gospel." Phil. i. 17. At this Conference Rev. S. L. Hammond was admitted for Ebenezer Church, Baltimore, as the successor of Rev. Levin Lee. This being the first time I was ever stationed in Baltimore, I went to work earnestly to see what could be done in the name of the Lord. Rev. J. A. Shorter was at Bethel, and M. F. Sluby at the Union Bethel, on the Points.
This year Bishop Nazrey took leave of the Baltimore Conference; for then Bishops only remained
two years on a district. Bishop Quinn then took charge of the district.
Several of the ministers of the Baltimore Conference visited the Philadelphia Conference. Then and there Rev. M. M. Clark resigned the editorship of the Christian Recorder, and he was succeeded by Rev. J. P. Campbell, who was transferred from the New York Conference and was also appointed to Union Church in Philadelphia. He commenced his work very energetically, visiting all the Conferences, lecturing, preaching, and presenting the claims of the Book Concern to the people. It is said that his editorials were very able.
Rev. J. A. Shorter succeeded in paying off the entire debt of Bethel Church, Baltimore, and in the autumn of the same year had a grand jubilee. Bishops Nazrey and Payne were both present on the occasion and preached during the day.
I attended the Baltimore Conference of the M. E. Church to hear an appeal case tried, so that I might have some idea in reference to such cases. A local deacon had been tried for some small offence by a Quarterly Conference, presided over by Rev. Dr. T. B. S. The deacon was expelled, and he took an appeal to the Annual Conference. He conducted his own case, making the opening speech; he was replied to by Dr. B--, now Bishop B. Then the appellant closed by saying, "Brethren, I once read of a party who started out on a pleasure excursion on the waters of a beautiful stream. They had not advanced far before their vessel began to sink. They
called to their friends on the shore to come and save them, for they were sinking. But their friends thought they were merely jesting, and therefore made no efforts to save them. When, however, they saw the party were in real danger they desired to save them. But alas! they were beyond their reach." Then said he, "Brethren, I am within your reach. You may save me if you will; but if you let me go I am gone for ever." He then took up his hat and left the Conference-room. Then the members commenced filibustering. Some one moved the action of the Quarterly Conference be affirmed; it was seconded. As soon as the motion was stated another member rose and asked the Bishop what were the powers of the Annual Conference over an appeal case. The Bishop stated, "Three. 1st, to affirm; 2d, to reverse; 3d, to send back for a new trial." "Then," said this member," I move that the motion to affirm the action of the Quarterly Conference lie on the table." It was seconded, put and carried. Then that same member moved that the action of the Quarterly Conference be reversed. It was put and carried. This was the first appeal case that I had ever heard tried in that Church, and it was information to me.
APRIL, 1855, the Baltimore Conference met in Bethel Church in Baltimore, Bishop Quinn presiding. The Conference had the pleasure of seeing Rev. John Turner, who came with Bishop Quinn from Indiana. Brother Turner is a Marylander by birth, but left when he was a boy. While in Maryland he visited his old acquaintances in Frederick, whom he had not seen for many years. It was a happy meeting indeed.
At this Conference for the first time the proceedings were published in the daily papers, and it gave a publicity to the Conference such as it never had before. Several young men of promise were admitted on trial, viz., W. W. Gaines, L. C. Speaks, and S. P. Byard. James R. Sterrett and some others were ordained deacons. The sermon was preached by Rev. Levin Lee; text, "Let your light so shine before men." Matt. v. 16. The Committee on Missions recommended the preaching of a missionary sermon, and a collection was taken for that purpose. The Conference organized the mission on Tessier Street, Baltimore. Rev. J. R. Sterrett was appointed to it.
At the close of this session I was read out for Bethel Church, Baltimore, as the successor of Rev. J.
A. Shorter. I entered upon my duties feeling the responsibilities to be great. About this time Rev. Dr. Revels visited Baltimore soliciting aid for his Church at Louisville, Ky.
This year the Connection was informed by the Editor and General Book Steward, Rev. J. P. Campbell, that he had secured an Act of Incorporation for the Book Concern, and desired to celebrate the event by holding a Convention in Philadelphia during the Fall. Invitations were sent out to the different pastors throughout the Connection. At the appointed time the Convention met in Philadelphia. Rev. J. G. Bulaugh was elected President, and James Young, a layman, was elected Secretary. For several days the Convention was in session, and the interest of the Book Concern was discussed at great length. Rev. Charles Burch, then of New England, was also present. Isaiah C. Wears was the leading spirit among the laymen.
I was appointed to deliver the celebration sermon, which I did to the best of my humble ability. Text, Isaiah ix. 2, "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined." For the sermon see Christian Recorder, 1855.
During this summer I received a letter from Rev. George W. Johnson, then in charge of Burlington Circuit, New Jersey, inviting me to lay the corner-stone of his new church. I complied with his request, and left Baltimore on the morning of the same day,
and reached Philadelphia in time to take the boat for Burlington at four o'clock. We laid the corner-stone. Rev. Joshua Woodlin and several ministers were present, and the collection was good.
When the old corner-stone was taken up they found an old Discipline, deposited many years before by Rev. N. C. W. Cannon.
This Conference year the church in Tessier street, Baltimore, Md., was dedicated. I was assisted by Rev. J. A. Shorter, M. F. Sluby and James R. Sterrett. Text, Gen. xxviii. 17, "How dreadful is this place; this is none other than the house of God, this is the gate of heaven."
Since then a very handsome church has been built on that street called St. John's Chapel. The winter of 1855-6 was a severe one. There was a great deal of suffering among the poor. I started to Frederick city to spend a Sunday with Rev. John J. Herbert. The train got snow-bound, and the passengers had to sleep in the cars all night. Next morning I started for the city, and after walking about two miles through the snow, I reached the end of my journey, and soon found my old friend, "honest John." I spent several days with him, and assisted in an extra meeting. When I returned home I received a letter from a brother who had been compelled to leave his circuit, Lewes, Delaware, on account of those oppressive laws. He returned to Baltimore, and obtained a school at Port Deposit, Md. In this letter he requested me to go and see his wife, and give her a dollar. I examined my pocket-book, and there was but one single
dollar in it. I said this cannot be spared, for I shall want this before the end of the week, for in those days Bethel Church only gave her pastor three dollars a week for his board. After thinking over the matter for some time I thought if that brother was in my place I would like him to go and give my wife a dollar. I made haste and went and gave her the dollar; when I returned home a brother called and said, " I want you to come around to my house to-night, there is a friend of mine that wants to get married." I went and attended to it, and the gentleman gave me a three dollar gold piece, the first and last one that I ever saw. I have often said if I had not given that poor brother's wife that dollar I would not have received that amount.
When I saw that brother he said to me, "I owe you a dollar." I said, "No, I have been paid;" and then I related the circumstance of my getting three dollars. This year closed rather pleasantly.
April, 1856. The Baltimore Annual Conference met this year in the Union Bethel church, Washington, D. C. As this was General Conference year, the local delegates were elected, and some resolutions were offered and referred to the General Conference. Bishop Quinn presided. Rev. J. P. Campbell visited the Conference in his capacity as Editor and General Book Steward; he was making up his report for the General Conference.
The Conference received information from Rev. Stephen Smith that an agreement had been made by which all the delegates could go to the General Conference
at Cincinnati and return at excursion prices. Rev. W. D. W. Schureman was chairman of the committee. I was returned to Bethel Church again at the close of the conference.
The Baltimore delegation left for Philadelphia to join those from the east, and go in a special train. When we reached Philadelphia we met the other delegates. We reached Pittsburg about midnight, and we all went to our brother Norris' barber-shop, and there we rested for the night. Next morning we perambulated the streets of the Smoky City. Late in the afternoon, our party left for the Queen City of the West. There was nothing serious or amusing occurred during our journey, only when we were about having our baggage checked at Pittsburg one of our party was rather lighter than the baggage master thought he ought to be to belong to us, and therefore he refused to check his baggage. I spoke up and said, "Sir, he is one of us; check his baggage," and it was done.
Then we moved off westward; about sundown the locomotive broke loose from our car and left us some distance behind before it was discovered. But the engineer came back, fastened on to us, and then we moved on. About the rising of the sun we reached the Queen City of the West. Bishop Quinn met us at the depot and conducted us to the church. There we met the pastor, Rev. John Tibbs, and others. Soon every one of us were at our several stopping-places. After resting awhile we called again at the church to meet the other delegates who had arrived.
Sunday morning came; all was excitement; the crowd was great. Rev. R. Robinson preached. Text, "It is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room." Luke xiv. 22. Rev. W. Moore preached in the afternoon, and Rev. Peter Gardner at night.
Monday morning came, and with it came the crowd. There was no roll of members and delegates made out previously, as there is in these days. After the Conference was opened there was a motion made to proceed to elect secretaries by ballot. I was elected, with Rev. J. A. Shorter and George W. Brodie, assistants. The committees were appointed. Then bishop Payne read the Quadrennial address. Such parts as recommended changes were referred to the committees.
On Monday night, Dr. Revels preached the Quadrennial Sermon. Text, 1 Kings vii. 25, "One sea and twelve oxen under it." It was considered an able effort. There were no efforts to increase the number of the Bishops. Rev. John F. Wright and Mansfield French, of the M. E. Church, visited the General Conference, to lay before it the claims of the Wilberforce University, which they had organized for the benefit of colored youth. The Conference gave it their endorsement. The University has since come into the hands of the A. M. E. Church.
There was a heated discussion over the admission of Rev. G. H. Graham and N. H. Turpin, who had come from the Zion Connection. Their admission was favored by Dr. Bias of Philadelphia, and opposed by Rev. J. P. Campbell. The motion to admit them
finally prevailed. Rev. J. P. Campbell was elected Editor and General Book Steward, which office he resigned after two years, and took charge of a church. As the General Conference came to a close, there was a desire upon the part of some of the delegates that the status of Bishop Nazrey should be known, as he had moved to Canada. It was thought by some that the fact of his living in Canada, would materially affect the church in the southern portion of the work, and, therefore, I gave notice one afternoon, that next morning I should offer something in relation to the Episcopacy, saying at the same time to the Conference not to be alarmed; I should not offer a resolution to elect any more Bishops, but regulate those that we had. The Conference adjourned, and the delegates went to their homes for the time being.
That night, after I had written up my journal, I prepared a preamble and resolution to present to the Conference next morning. As I was coming to the church, a brother, now no more, met me, and said, "It is reported you are going to offer a resolution this morning to elect another Bishop." I said, "Wait, and hear for yourself!"
After the reading of the journal, I offered the following: Whereas, Rev. Willis Nazrey, one of the Bishops of the African M. E. Church, has removed to Canada, Therefore, resolved, that he be requested to answer the following questions: 1st. Have you taken up your permanent residence in Canada? 2d. Do you intend to make Canada your future home? 3d. Have you by reason of your oath or otherwise become a
citizen of that country? Rev. M. M. Clark moved to lay it on the table, but it did not prevail. Rev. W. H. Jones offered a substitute for mine. That inasmuch as the Conference has set off Canada as a separate connection, therefore resolved, that Bishop Nazrey be allowed to withdraw from the A. M. E. Church (if it be his pleasure), to superintend the church in Canada.
Rev. M. M. Clark moved an amendment to the Jones resolution, that when the church in Canada should request one of the Bishops, then all the Bishops should meet, and three Elders selected by them, and they shall decide which of the Bishops shall serve in Canada. Clark's amendment passed.
The General Conference selected Pittsburgh as the next place of meeting, and then adjourned. I was requested to prepare the minutes of the General Conference for publication.
The Eastern delegation left Cincinnati on a beautiful morning. Coming homeward every thing went off pleasantly. When we reached Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we rested for the night, and then went on to Philadelphia, where we separated. Some of them have not met since on earth.
I returned to Baltimore and rested a few days, and then went to Philadelphia to prepare the minutes of the General Conference for publication.
This year the Philadelphia Conference met in Philadelphia. Bishop Nazrey presided. Revs. Wm. Moore and A. C. Crippin were transferred to the New York Conference.
At this session of the Philadelphia Conference,
Rev. A. S. Driver asked to be received back into the A. M. E. Church. His request was granted. A committee was sent for him. They found him presiding over his Conference. He vacated his chair and went with the committee to Bethel Church. His reception was so great that he shed tears. And what is a little remarkable, he never returned to his chair nor the Conference over which he was presiding. While this Conference was in Session, Rev. Robert Collins died. Rev. A. S. Driver preached his funeral sermon.
We all went to our work for another year, working to carry out the laws of the General Conference. The Bishops had changed their districts. Bishop Payne was assigned to the Baltimore Conference for the first time since his election to the Episcopal office.
In the spring of 1857, I visited Washington, D. C., to attend the anniversary of a society which was held in Israel Church; and while in the city, the news of the death of Rev. Charles Sawyer reached me; and his family and friends were notified that the remains would be sent on from Philadelphia to Washington to be buried. Rev. W. H. Waters, who was then stationed at Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., requested me to remain over and attend the funeral, and deliver the sermon. I agreed, for Brother Sawyer was a minister for whom I entertained the highest respect.
At the appointed hour a very large congregation assembled in the Union Bethel Church. The Zion
Conference was in session in the city at the time, and they attended the funeral. Rev. Charles Sawyer was a member of the Union Bethel for some years; led the choir and a class; was licensed to preach, was ordained a deacon for that church, and also went into the itineracy from there.
I selected for a text these words, "A great man has fallen this day in Israel." 2 Sam. iii. 38.
In the autumn of 1856, I laid the corner-stone for the new church in Georgetown, D. C.
APRIL, 1857, the Baltimore Annual Conference met in Ebenezer Church, Baltimore. It was the first time that ever a Conference met in that part of Baltimore city. Bishop Payne was officially introduced to the Conference. Rev. M. F. Sluby was elected Secretary. Rev. J. P. Campbell was introduced, and also the oldest colored Methodist minister now living, viz: Rev. David Smith, who had not been in Baltimore for many years. The old members of the church rejoiced to see him. At this Conference Rev. James A. Shorter took a transfer from the Baltimore to the Ohio Conference. The Baltimore Conference gave him up very reluctantly. At the close of this Conference I was assigned to old Israel Church, Washington, D. C., where I had spent two years before very pleasantly.
I commenced my year's work joyfully, anticipating
an agreeable Conference year. After visiting my charge and spending one Sunday, I went to visit the Philadelphia Conference, which met this year in Columbia, Pa. Bishop Quinn presided. The session was an agreeable one. Rev. John Cornish was sent to Bethel Church, Philadelphia.
This was a year of general prosperity in the Baltimore Conference. Rev. Levin Lee succeeded me at Bethel Church, Baltimore. Rev. John J. Herbert and I were in Washington, D. C. In the summer of 1857, by the request of Bishop Payne, I dedicated the new Ebenezer Church, in Georgetown, D. C. Text, Song of Solomon, vi. 10: "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" It was a grand day for African Methodism in Georgetown, D. C.
(In April, 1846, while the Baltimore Conference was in session in Washington, D. C., I was appointed one Sunday to Mount Zion M. E. Church, and on that occasion I read for my text, Numbers, x. 29: "Come, thou, with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel." Some persons said that when I organized the A. M. E. church years after that was what I meant by that text, for the people to come with me.)
Some time during the summer Rev. John Butler, of the Philadelphia Conference, died and was brought to Washington, D. C., to be buried. His remains were interred in Israel Church, and funeral services were held there.
This year I organized the St. Paul's A. M. E.
Church Washington, D. C. It was small then, but the society has increased, and it is now a very fine station.
During the winter of this year Miss Greenfield (the Black Swan) gave us a concert. The justice of the peace of our ward told me that it was necessary for us to get a permit from the mayor of the city. I did so. When the concert came off there was a considerable amount realized. This justice of the peace found out then that we ought to have obtained license from the mayor of the city. He therefore sent the officers after me with a warrant, and arrested me as a trustee. I was summoned to meet at four o'clock. I was there at the time, and inquired what was the charge against me. He said I had a concert without getting license." I answered by saying, "You have arrested me as a trustee. I am no trustee, you have got the wrong man." "Then," said he, "I dismiss you." I said, "Thank you."
We sat down and began to talk about matters and things. Then he said to me, "I think I shall have to proceed against you." I told him, "No, sir, you have dismissed me, and you cannot try me without another warrant; and then having dismissed me you cannot try me twice for the same offence." He was an Irishman, and said to me, "You study law as well as Gospel;" and there the case ended.
In February, 1859, I suggested to the Official Board of Israel Church that we ought to purchase a beautiful silver-headed cane and present it to Hon. Joshua R. Giddings, M. C., from Ohio, as a token of our high
appreciation of his labors in behalf of our race during the time he had been a member of Congress.
The entire Board agreed to my suggestion, and I was requested to make the purchase; so I went down on Pennsylvania Avenue to a store and made a selection of a fine, large cane, and brought it to the Board for examination. They approved of it, and requested me to have the proper inscription placed on it. I did so, and then took the cane to Dr. Bailey, editor of the National Era, and got him to have it lettered for us, for we were rather afraid to have it done ourselves.
We then got some of Mr. Giddings' friends to fix the time when we should call on him and make the presentation.
The time and place were arranged. Several of Mr. Giddings' political friends were present. My committee and I appeared, and after spending a short time talking to the ladies and gentlemen present, I arose and made a few remarks, and then presented the cane, asking him to accept of it to steady his steps as he went the down-hill of time, and at last when life's pendulum should cease to vibrate, that his sun might set without a cloud. His response was eloquent. He told us the time would come when the last slave upon the American soil would be free. The whole account was printed by Dr. Bailey, and under Mr. Giddings' direction I sent it to many friends. The committee consisted of James Reed, Charles Hicks, Benjamin Newton, John T. Coston and Richard Middleton.
THE Baltimore Annual Conference met April, 1858, in Israel Church, Washington, D. C. Bishop Payne presided. Rev. Samuel Watts was elected secretary. A great many distinguished ministers visited the Conference. Among them was Hon. James Pike, M. C. He had been a minister of the M. E. Church for several years, and was also a member of Congress. Rev. John M. Brown was transferred this year to the Baltimore Conference. We had a visit from our old colleague, Rev. James A. Shorter, who came from the west to see us. Also Revs. J. P. Campbell and Peter Gardner. The Conference was a most pleasant one. When the Conference adjourned I was read out for Israel Church again. Rev. J. M. Brown was appointed to Bethel Church, Baltimore.
The Conference received the sad news that Bishop Quinn, who had been assaulted by some desperadoes the winter previous, was still unable to attend to his official duties. Bishop Nazrey wrote to Bishop Payne requesting him to attend the Philadelphia Conference for Bishop Quinn, which request he complied with.
Several of the members of the Baltimore Conference visited the Philadelphia Conference. Bishop Quinn came after the Conference had been in session a few
days. He looked very bad. Rev. Elisha Weaver accompanied him from the west, and volunteered to come with him. At this Conference Revs. A. S. Driver and John Butler were reported as having died. It fell to my lot to deliver the memorial discourses, in which I said that it was my humble opinion that Rev. A. S. Driver would not have died in peace had he not returned to the A. M. E. Church. This remark gave great offence to some of the members of the church that he had been identified with for some years. I certainly did not mean to reflect on them, and should any of those good friends read these lines I hope they will accept this as my apology.
By the request of Bishop Payne, I visited Slaughter Neck, Delaware, to dedicate a new church. I took the train at Baltimore, went to Wilmington, Delaware, and then down the railroad to Milford Junction, there taking the stage to Milford; reaching there I footed it to Slaughter Neck. When I got there, some of the relations of Rev. J. P. Campbell were expecting him also, for he had not been there since 1828, when he left to visit his grandmother.
The congregation was large on Sunday. Revs. Moses Robinson and Andrew Massey, who held the churches in that State for several years, were present. My text on that occasion was Hag. ii. 9; "And in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." After winding up my work I came to Milford, and spent the night. And on Monday I started homeward; came by my old home on Eastern Shore, then to Baltimore and Washington, D. C.
This year Rev. Levin Lee died in Baltimore, Md. I attended his funeral, which took place from Bethel Church, Baltimore. As I had known him for many years, the pastor of the church, Rev. J. M. Brown, requested me to deliver the funeral address. Text, Genesis xv. 15; "Thou shalt be buried in a good old age." His son, Joseph, placed in my hand to-day, a copy of his first license, dated February 27, 1824, signed by William Miller, Minister.
One day during this year a hack drove up to my door. I saw a young-looking man, who had the appearance of a South Carolinian, get out and walk upon the front porch. I went to meet him. He asked if my name was Wayman? I said, "Yes, sir. Come in." Then he said he was from Missouri, and was on his way to Baltimore, where he had been appointed. He had his wife with him. I invited them in and made them welcome, remembering the advice of the good apostle, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers." That young South Carolinian was H. M. Turner, now Bishop Turner. He spent several days with me, and on Sunday night he preached a consoling sermon to a very large congregation. The impression made was lasting.
I suggested that he had better leave Mrs. Turner with us until he should go to his charge in Baltimore. He did, and in a few days he sent for her.
I gave him the name of "Plutarch," and he is known throughout the country by that name. As a historian he is worthy of it.
Baltimore Conference lost four of her members this
year, viz: Revs. Levin Lee, James R. Sterrett, Jacob Brooks and Stephen Clark.
I had been appointed by Bishop Payne to deliver the annual discourse at the next Annual Conference, and write for the prize essay. Subject, "Hugh Miller."
APRIL, 1859. The Baltimore Annual Conference met this year in Baltimore city. Bishop Payne presided. Rev. J. M. Brown was elected secretary. As I had been appointed to deliver the annual discourse at 4 o'clock, a large congregation assembled. Text, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord." Isaiah xliii. 10. By request that sermon was published.
Rev. Stephen Clark died while the Conference was in session, and his remains were laid in the church. I tried to preach the funeral sermon.
I was on the committee of 4th year class. The late D. W. Moore was a member of that class, and he came into the room to be examined. Knowing him as I did, and believing that he was far in the advance of some of us on the committee, so far as his knowledge of theology extended, I asked him what he came there for? He said, "To be examined." I said to him, "Go out."
This Conference we read essays for prizes, and I had the good fortune to take the first prize. Rev. Thos. W. Henry preached before the Conference a
funeral sermon on the death of his old friend and brother, Rev. Levin Lee.
At the close of this Conference, I was read out for Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., as the successor of Rev. M. F. Sluby; and as this was the third time I had been appointed to this charge, I thought on the first Sunday morning it would be a good thing to read for a text, 2 Cor. xiii. 1. "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
The summer was a pleasant one. There was a glorious revival at Union Bethel. Meetings were held day and night for several weeks. Some that were converted then have gone to join the sanctified in heaven.
While I was in the State of Delaware this Fall, the John Brown raid took place at Harper's Ferry, Va., which produced great excitement in Western Maryland and the District of Columbia. Among John Brown's papers was found the name of Rev. Thomas W. Henry. The state authorities concluded that Bro. Henry knew something about the affair. An attempt was made to arrest him, but he had the good fortune to avoid the officer, and reached Philadelphia safe and sound.
The trustees of Union Bethel concluded to renovate the church by having it frescoed and painted; and as Rev. Waiter Proctor was a great favorite among the people in Washington, I invited him to preach the opening sermon. But on coming from Philadelphia through Baltimore to the Washington depot, the train being late, there was no connection
made for Washington. We made the best of the disappointment under the circumstances. Politics ran high this winter in Washington. It took the House of Representatives from December until February to elect a speaker. They finally had to drop all of the first-named candidates, and elect some one else.
The 1st day of April, 1860, was a sad day to me; for on that day my wife died after several years of affliction, and left me with four children to look after. My old friend, Mr. Francis Datcher, senior, offered me a grave in his lot in the Harmony Cemetery. Bishop Payne preached her funeral sermon in Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C.
Up to this date, April 1st, 1860, twenty years of my life have been spent in the A. M. E. Church, during which I have not lost more than two Sundays on account of indisposition. I forgot to mention that in 1859, an attempt was made by a dissatisfied local preacher to take Allen Chapel at Good Hope, over the Eastern Branch, out of the connection. I rallied the hosts of Israel together and went over there, and preached to them, taking the text: "Will ye also go away?" John vi. 67. The responses came up from all parts of the church, "No, no!"
With the Conference year which closed April 1860, I had spent eight years in the city of Washington; four years at Israel, and four at Union Bethel. The Lord had blest my humble efforts. I had succeeded in organizing the Ebenezer Church in Georgetown, D. C., St. Paul's, South Washington, and Allen Chapel, at Good Hope.
APRIL, 1860. The Baltimore Annual Conference met this year at Union Bethel Church, Washington, D.C. Bishop Payne presided. Rev. John M. Brown was elected secretary. Rev. James Lynch was transferred from one of the western conferences to the Baltimore Conference. Rev. John M. Brown preached the annual sermon. There were several distinguished clergymen who visited the Conference. Among them was Rt. Rev. Bishop Payne, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of Liberia, Africa.
Daniel Ridout was elected an elder. H. M. Turner, W. H. Hunter, G. T. Watkins and Dennis Davis were elected deacons.
The Conference agreed to sustain W. H. Hunter for two years at Wilberforce University.
The Conference elected their local delegates to the General Conference. When the Conference adjourned I was read out for Union Bethel Church, Washington, D. C., to stay two months only.
Arrangements were made in Philadelphia for the delegates to go to Pittsburg to the General Conference. The New England, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore delegates all met in Philadelphia, and went in a special car to the Smoky City. We had a
very agreeable company, and reached the end of our journey without any accident. On Saturday morning we arrived. Revs. John Tibbs and N. H. Turpin were on hand, and conducted us to Wylie street church. We were all assigned to our quarters. After noon we visited the church to meet the other delegates, and to learn what was the programme for Sunday. The pastor, N. H. Turpin, informed me that I was to hold forth on Sunday morning at ten o'clock.
Sunday morning came, and with it great crowds. I selected for a text, Acts xxvi. 22: "Having, therefore, obtained help from God I have continued until this day." Rev. A. McIntosh preached at three o'clock, and Rev. J. P. Campbell at night. Text, "Behold the man." John xix. 5.
Monday morning the General Conference met. Bishops Quinn, Nazrey and Payne were present. As I was the secretary of the previous General Conference I had written to all the secretaries of the several annual conferences to ascertain who were the itinerant as well as the local delegates to the General Conference, and received a correct list, and made out the roll; and when I was elected secretary I called the roll. It was the first time in the history of the connection that the roll of the General Conference was made out previous to its meeting. Rev. A. McIntosh was elected assistant secretary. The usual standing committees were appointed, and the Conference was ready to proceed to business.
For several days the Conference waited for the address of the Bishops, but none was forthcoming.
I rose one day and said that the United States Congress never proceeded to business until it heard the President's message; and the General Conference could not proceed to its legitimate business until it heard from the Bishops. It was suggested that each Bishop would make a short statement of the condition of the work in his own Episcopal District. Objections were raised upon the part of some of the delegates that that would be a step backward. A short address was finally presented and read.
The committee on Episcopacy reported that the report respecting Bishop Nazrey having resigned from the A. M. E. Church came before them, and also Bishop Nazrey, and he stated that he was with the church as formerly. The adoption of that part of the report was opposed by Revs. J. A. Shorter, Stephen Smith, Dr. Revels and myself. A. R. Green contended that there was an effort being made to depose an honorable Bishop, and said, in referring to me, that it was those aspirants who wanted to depose an honorable Bishop. I asked permission of the chair to say to my friend Green that if I was an aspirant I was not a defeated one.
The whole matter was referred to a committee of twelve, who reported that Bishop Nazrey was as much a Bishop of the B. M. E. Church as Quinn and Payne were of the A. M. E. Church, and they recommended that he, Bishop Nazrey, be requested to resign whatever relation he sustained to the A. M. E. Church. Rev. Elisha Weaver was elected General Book Steward.
Rev. C. H. Pearce, the delegate from Canada, rose and gave notice that on behalf of the B. M. E. Church he entered his protest against the action of this General Conference, in requesting their Bishop to resign.
On a certain day Bishop Nazrey presented his resignation to take effect in September, 1860, at the close of the General Conference of the A. M. E. Church. The General Conference closed.
I was ordered to Philadelphia to superintend the printing of the minutes of the General Conference. As I had only been returned to Washington, D. C., for two months, when that time was out I was appointed to Frederick City as the successor of the late Rev. D. W. Moore, and had a very pleasant year. This year Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States; and then the war clouds began to gather dark and heavy. The colored people were watched almost with sleepless vigilance. This year Rev. John Cornish died, and was buried from Bethel Church, Philadelphia.
In September, 1860, the General Conference of the B. M. E. Church met in Canada. Bishop Nazrey presented his resignation, but the Conference peremptorily refused to accept of it, and laid it on the table and elected an assistant. A. R. Green, and several others were displeased at the action of the Conference, and believing that it had transcended its bounds called a convention, and elected A. R. Green Bishop. Here this matter rested for a while.
APRIL, 1861. The Baltimore Conference was to meet in Baltimore city. The police authorities notified the ministers of our Church that we could hold no Conference this year in Baltimore.
I happened to be in Baltimore one day, and at the request of Rev. J. M. Brown I went with him to see the police commission respecting our Conference. He said our Bishop lived in Ohio, and therefore he could not come here. I told him we could hold Conference without Bishop Payne, for there were provisions made for that; then he said of course there could be nothing to prevent us doing so.
The President elect of the United States had to pass through Baltimore in disguise. It was thought to be unsafe for a Conference of African M. E. Church ministers to hold an annual conference. I went from Frederick City to Carlisle, Pa., to see the Bishop respecting the matter, and he said that "after examining the Discipline he found there was no law authorizing an annual conference in the absence of the Bishop to elect an Elder to hold the conference, and furthermore he said, the Discipline required two Bishops to be present at an annual conference, and therefore he could not see how an Elder could be
trusted, when one Bishop could not be." I told him we must have a conference.
When the time arrived, a majority of the members were present. There were two of the Elders who were figuring to be the President of the Conference. However after the members had voted, I was declared elected President of the Conference. The committees were appointed. Rev. John J. Herbert was appointed reporter for the papers, and then the Conference requested him not to publish the proceedings of the Conference for fear that it might excite the city authorities. Brother Herbert said if I would write out the report and send it to the papers, he would bear the blame, so I wrote it, and sent it to the Baltimore Sun. Next morning there was a glowing account of the meeting of the Conference, and in the absence of Bishop Payne, who was elected President, pro tem.
We had a very pleasant session. There had been for several weeks a gracious revival in progress in Bethel Church, Baltimore, and it continued all the Conference. By request I wrote an address to the bishops, ministers, and members of the A. M. E. Church, stating our surroundings, and asking the prayers of the whole church for us; and then assuring them that, whatever might be the future of our State we should hold on to the good old ship of African Methodism. For the address, see Christian Recorder, for May, 1861. When Conference adjourned we all went back to our former charges to await further orders.
In May, 1861, several of the ministers of the Baltimore Conference visited the Philadelphia Conference, and there met Bishop Payne; and I reported to him what the Baltimore Conference had done, and that we were waiting further orders.
We attended the New York Conference, where the men elected at the Baltimore Conference were ordained. I was assigned to Bethel Church, Baltimore, and Rev. John M. Brown to Ebenezer. Our city presented a sad aspect. The northern soldiers had been assaulted on their way to Washington, and everything looked dark.
General Butler came in one night and took possession of the city, and in a few hours quiet was restored. Then we began to feel that there was a brighter future for us.
Some time in the summer of 1861, there appeared an article in the Christian Recorder, from the pen of the late Rev. H. J. Young, giving an account of affairs in Canada. The appearance of this article produced quite an excitement in the mind of some of the conferences as to the real status of Bishop Nazrey.
In October, 1861, all the members of the Philadelphia Conference were requested to meet Bishop Nazrey in Philadelphia, so that he might then and there set himself right before the church. The ministers assembled. Rev. Richard Robinson was elected chairman; the Bishop gave an account of the whole affair, and then there was a committee appointed to consider the matter and report to a subsequent meeting in November.
When this meeting met I was in Philadelphia and attended the meeting; and when the committee reported I asked permission to say a word or two. It was granted. I begged them not to publish that report to the world, for it would do more harm than good; but they insisted on it, and it was published, and that did not quiet things as it was hoped. This year Rev. Walter Proctor died. Several of the members of the Baltimore Conference attended his funeral.
THE Baltimore Conference met April, 1862, in Israel Church, Washington, D. C. Rev. James Lynch was elected secretary. Rev. John J. Herbert preached the annual sermon. It gave general satisfaction to the Conference. The A. M. E. Church was organized in Annapolis, Feb., 1862, by Rev. John F. Lane.
Rev. B. T. Tanner, (who at the suggestion of Bishop Payne had entered the Presbyterian Church and was ordained), was received at this Conference as an Elder; and also J. A. Handy was admitted. He was recommended from Bethel Church. Rev. R. A. Hall and Jacob Nicholson from the M. E. Church were received.
The Baltimore Conference received a strong reinforcement this year in the persons of these four named brethren. H. M. Turner, George E. Boyer and Richard P. Gibbs were ordained Elders. There were several distinguished visitors at the Conference.
Among them was the Hon. Owen Lovejoy, M. C., from Illinois. He had delivered a lecture in Israel Church a short time before the Conference. The trustees had got a permit from the mayor to have the lecture, and when it was shown to Mr. Lovejoy he burnt it up, saying that they did not want a permit for him to lecture.
At this Conference a request came from the preachers' meeting, of Philadelphia,to Bishop Payne to come to Philadelphia Conference, and to decide Bishop Nazrey's Episcopal status. The Baltimore Conference passed a resolution asking him to go. And then the question was asked, who will go along? The answer was from several. We will go also, but when the time came they were non sunt.
When the time arrived for Bishop Payne to decide this great question the whole thing took a different turn. Rev. J. A. Shorter from Ohio Conference, M. F. Sluby and myself from the Baltimore Conference, were waiting anxiously for the decision of Bishop Payne. Rev. W. H. Jones came into Conference. He was introduced by Rev. J. P. Campbell as the accredited minister from the B. M. E. Church. Then Bishop Nazrey rose and said "that he had been charged with not resigning according to promise." He produced W. H. Jones to prove that he had resigned. Jones said, "Yes." Bishop Nazrey presented his resignation to the B. M. E. Church General Conference." And there he stopped. Then I asked him if the Conference accepted of it? He said, "No." Then I asked him, why they did not accept of it?
He said, "Because he is our Bishop, and not yours, and we want the world to know that." I said to the brethren, "That is enough; our point is proven." A compromise was made that the matter should rest until the ensuing General Conference.
The Conference adjourned, and we returned home to resume our work. There was nothing heard from morning until night but the tramp of the soldiers. Our religious meetings were not very interesting because of the excitement throughout the country.
Bethel Church, Baltimore, this year lost that sweet singer, Rev. Charles Dunn. During his illness Rev. James Lynch and I called to see him, and he requested Brother Lynch to read the 35th Chap. of Isaiah, for it was a favorite chapter of his: and when Brother Lynch closed the old warrior said: "That is enough." He died almost without a struggle. His funeral took place from Bethel Church, and was attended by a large congregation. I tried to deliver the funeral sermon from the text, "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace." Psa. xxxvii. 37. No man was more missed in Bethel Church than Rev. Charles Dunn. His place has not been filled since. His chair in the altar is yet vacant.
This conference year passed away amidst excitement; for all over our conference there was nothing heard and seen but the rattling of the drum, and the boys in blue. This Fall the news reached us that Rev. Richard Robinson, of the Philadelphia Conference, while riding on the front of a street car from Philadelphia to Frankford, had met with a serious accident.
The car ran against a hay wagon which upset the car, throwing him off and falling upon him, by which he was mashed dreadfully, from the effects of which he died.
I had a church to dedicate in York, Pa., and therefore could not attend his funeral. There were friends and acquaintances from New York on to attend his funeral. There was no minister in his day that was more popular than Rev. Richard Robinson. When he spoke on the Conference floor every one heard him.
April 16, 1863, Bishop Burns,of the Liberia Conference of the M. E. Church,came to Baltimore ill. I visited him. He died in peace on the 18th of the month. His funeral took place from Sharp Street M. E. Church. Dr. Durbin preached the sermon.
THE Baltimore Conference met April, 1863, in Baltimore City. There was no talk of police commissioners prohibiting the meeting of the Conference, for we had commenced to be rather an important part of the citizens of the city and State. Bishop Payne presided. The Wilberforce University had just come into our possession. A committee was appointed to consider that matter, and the Conference agreed to stand by the bishop in his great undertaking. Rev. W. H. Hunter, J. R. Henry and James Lynch were elected and ordained Elders.
Rev. Mr. Lee, of New York, a member of the M. E. Church, visited Baltimore with a view of securing some colored ministers to go as missionaries to that part of South Carolina that had been taken by the Union forces. He called upon Bishop Payne to talk about the matter. The Bishop informed him that the A. M. E. Church once had worked in South Carolina. Then said Mr. Lee, the field is yours; go and occupy it. Rev. James Lynch was the first man that volunteered to go. He was accompanied by Rev. J. D. S. Hall.
April, 1863, the debt was paid off, and the members had a jubilee in Bethel, Baltimore.
The Conference was an interesting one for several reasons; the dawning of the day of freedom was appearing. When Conference adjourned I was returned to Bethel Church for the third year. This was the first time in twenty years that I was returned to the same charge the third year.
This year Baltimore was threatened to be invaded by the Confederate soldiers. Every able-bodied colored man was arrested by the police and taken out on the works. I went down one day to the station to tell one of my sons that they had arrested to go like a man. The officer told me to "fall in." I stepped in, when the captain said, "We don't want him."
I made a short speech at the door, in which I said, "Gentlemen, there is no need of the police officers running after us down this way. All that was necessary was to let us know that we were wanted, and you could have had five thousand of us before sun-down.
All I want is some one to preach for my people to-morrow morning, and here am I."
Next day was Sunday, and our people were very scarce on the streets of Baltimore. I walked out in the morning to see how my brethren were faring, for they had been working all night. I said to them, "Be brave, it will all come right." The first thing I knew an officer told me to "fall in." I fell in, but when I got up to the place where the captain was he said we don't want him. So I was discharged, and then I came home and went to headquarters and obtained a pass. Rev. W. H. Hunter was among those arrested.
I went to church at 11 o'clock that Sunday morning, and Bethel presented the saddest aspect I had seen for many a year. There were only two men in the church, and they were too old to work. I had not enough men to lift the collection. It was so throughout the entire day.
I called a general class for Monday night, so that all the members could meet together; and they were all women, for men were non sunt. About this time Rev. W. H. Gilliard died, and we hardly had men enough to bury him.
The Captain of the Watch said to me one day that I should tell the men to come and go out on the works, and they should have a dollar a day and rations, but I could not see any of them to tell.
The men would go out and come in singing some of the prayer-meeting songs. The white boys used to throw stones at them whenever they could get a chance.
One morning when they were getting ready to start from the watch-house to the works, one brother said, "We ought to have a flag to carry as we go out." He had not thought of its significance. So he raised a collection, and soon had his flag, and when they got ready to start, it was thrown to the breeze. Information had reached the provost-marshal that these colored men were assaulted every morning and evening by young white boys and men. He sent word to the officer who had them in charge, that these men must be protected. "They were working for the Government, and they were carrying the American flag, and an assault on them was an assault on the flag." They were instructed to prepare for defense, and every man did so, and there was no more assaulting them, either going or coming.
About the commencement of the war, some of our members who were slaves, were placed in the traders' slave-pen for safe keeping. The officer who was recruiting colored soldiers heard of it, and one day sent one of his deputies down to the pen with orders to open it, and take all the able-bodied men out to the camp, and put them in the army. So the officer went down, rang the bell, and the door was opened, and inquiry made for the proprietor. It was said he was out. Then said the officer, "I understand that you have some able-bodied men in here, and the Government wants them for soldiers. I want you to let them out." He answered, "I cannot do it. But here is the key, you may do it." So he gave him the key, and he opened the door, and said, "Boys, don't
you want to be free, and be soldiers;" and the answer came, "We do." "Then follow me." They came out like sheep, and went straightway to the camp.
Some of our good women were there to look after the women and children; for there were as many of them as there were of the men. One day the colored soldiers turned out in Baltimore for the first time. It was the grandest sight I ever saw. After marching around, some of the soldiers gave out, and as the street-cars ran in the direction of the camp, they wanted to get in; the conductor objected to it, but they rushed in. The driver refused to go ahead; the Colonel,seeing there was something the matter, rode up and asked. He was told that colored people were not allowed to ride in the street-cars. The Colonel said, "United States soldiers have a right to ride any where." Then he said, "Get in, boys." They fell in. Then he said to the driver, "Drive on," and away he went.
IN the summer of 1863, Rev. W. H. Hunter was elected Chaplain of the First Maryland Colored troops. He was told that as he was the first chaplain of color in the State, he had better get some of the M. E. Church ministers to sign his recommendation. He came to me. I wrote his recommendation, and then went with him and got Drs. Tippett, Morgan, Wilson, Snyder and others to sign it, and the Chaplain was all right; in a few days his commission
came. I went with him to the office, and he got his transportation. I bade him adieu, not knowing that I should ever see him again.
In some of our Conferences we had often been discussing the propriety of sending missionaries to Hayti and Africa. I said never would I consent to go or assist in sending any one there, until I could go all over the South to see my brethren. I had for some years selected the text to preach from when I went there. "I seek my brethren," Gen. xxxvii. 16. In the autumn of 1863, I received information that the colored members of the Bute Street M. E. Church, South, in Norfolk, Va., were left as sheep without a shepherd, and they desired to unite with the Baltimore Conference of the A. M. E. Church, if I would come down and see them. I said, "Here is an opportunity to preach my text, 'I seek my brethren."' I went to the provost-marshal for a pass to Norfolk. He said that military affairs never interfered with religious affairs, and therefore I should have to write to Norfolk what I wanted. I told him that the military had us hemmed in on every side. We could not go nor come without their permission. He finally said to his clerk, "Give this man a pass for Norfolk, Va."
Saturday afternoon came. I was off to old Virginia. The night was very pleasant indeed, and I was treated very kindly by the steward and waiters; for some of them were members of our church.
Brother Peter Shepherd, now a member of the Virginia Conference, met me at the boat, and took me
to the church to see the Sunday-school in operation. In the afternoon, Rev. Mr. Greely, who had been temporarily serving them, administered the Lord's Supper. At night I was permitted to take my text, "I seek my brethren." They announced preaching for Monday afternoon, and a meeting of all the official members for Monday night. Monday afternoon I addressed the congregation from the text, "We are journeying to the place of which the Lord said I will give it thee: come thou with us and we will do thee good." Numb. x. 29. At night the Board met. I had prepared an instrument of writing for them to sign if they agreed to unite with us. After it was read, one man said, "I move we adopt it." And while they were discussing, another brother said, "Let us vote, for I am all on fire for it." The vote was taken and carried unanimously. I spoke again on Wednesday night: text, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." Zach. viii. 23.
The secretary read to the congregation what the official Board had done, and they took a vote and endorsed it. I returned to Baltimore rejoicing that I had preached my text in old Virginia, "I seek my brethren," and had taken a church of eight hundred members and the following named ministers, R. H. Parker, James Tynes, Peter Shepherd, Americus Woodhouse and Amos Wilson. The two first have gone on to the better land.
During the summer of 1863, an officer was ordered to go down to Eastern Shore, to a certain plantation where there were a great many slaves. He got
a steamboat, and moved down the bay, and then steered up a small river, and soon at the wharf the gang-board was thrown out, and he led his horse ashore, then mounted and went across the fields; and every colored man he came to he asked. "If he did not want to be free and be a soldier." They answered, "Yes." He said, "Go down to the wharf, and wait till I come." There was a regular stampede, and by the time the officer got back to the boat there was a large number there, and among them was the county constable, who came down to forbid the captain "to take them slaves away." The captain's reply was, "I have nothing to do with it; I only do as I am ordered." By this time the officer came riding up, and the constable said, "Sir, I forbid you taking these slaves away." The officer answered, "I have orders from the Secretary of War to do what I am doing, and if you wish any redress go to him;" and then said, "Boys, go on board." There was a general rush, and soon they were off to Baltimore. Then they began to sing,
"Fare you well, fare you well,
I am going away to leave you, fare you well."
On reaching Baltimore they had blue put on them, and went to the front. Some of their bones are bleaching in the soil of old Virginia.
Late in the autumn of 1863 several companies went out of Bethel Church. It was a sad sight to see so many leaving the old citadel of African Methodism, but as they were going to obey their country's call, we gave them up. There were three class-leaders
who gave up their classes and took leave of them the same night; two of them returned, but the other never returned.
After I had succeeded at Norfolk, Va., I promised the people when I returned I would bring Bishop Payne with me. Accordingly I wrote to Bishop Payne, and he came to Baltimore, and we arranged to take a trip down the bay to see Norfolk. In company with Bishop Payne and Rev. John M. Brown I started for Norfolk, Va. The kind steward, Mr. Brice, gave us very comfortable quarters during the night. About the rising of the sun we were near Fortress Monroe, and then on to Norfolk, where we were met by the official board of the church, headed by Rev. R. H. Parker, and as we were marching up one of the principal streets, one man said, "Here comes the Bishop and his staff." We visited the Sunday-school in the morning. Bishop Payne preached at three o'clock, P. M., and Rev. J. M. Brown at night. I went over to Portsmouth to "seek my brethren" there.
A few days afterward Rev. John M. Brown and I left for Baltimore, while Bishop Payne remained to meet the official members of the church at Portsmouth, Va. He met them, and they agreed to unite with the A. M. E. Church. Bishop Payne thought it wise to send to Norfolk a good disciplinarian as well as a sound theologian, and, therefore, he made choice of Rev. John M. Brown. Rev. J. P. Campbell, who had been appointed to Waters Chapel, Baltimore, to succeed Rev. W. H. Hunter, was also appointed to Ebenezer Church, as the successor of Rev. John M. Brown.
IN January, 1864, Rev. Dennis Davis, who had been stationed at Hagerstown, Md., was brought home to Baltimore by two of his brethren to die. He had stood at his post as long as he had strength, and then said to brothers Darks and Reeder, "Take me home that I may die among my relatives and friends, and then be taken to old Bethel, and from there to the place where I shall rest until the archangel's trumpet shall sound." His death was a triumphant one. His funeral took place from Bethel church, according to his request. I delivered the funeral sermon, from the text, "A man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." Acts vi. 5.
The next week after we had taken Rev. Dennis Davis to the house appointed for all the living, we were called upon to follow Rev. John Jordan to the same place. I visited brother Jordan during his illness, and the last word I heard him say was, in answer to a question of mine. I said, "How are you, brother Jordan?" "I am on the verge." I was assisted in the funeral services by Revs. J. P. Campbell and Henry Elberts, of the M. E. Church. The death of brothers Dunn and Jordan left Bethel with only one ordained minister.
In April, 1864, by special request, I addressed the colored soldiers in Bethel Church. They marched in from the camp. I selected as a text, "And he shouted for the battle." 1 Sam. xvii. 20. For the sermon, see Christian Recorder.
In this month I closed my labors at Bethel Church. On the Sunday before Conference I occupied the pulpit three times; in the morning, taking for my text, Acts xx. 32, 'And, now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace." Afternoon, Acts xx. 26, "Wherefore, I take you to record this day that I am pure from the blood of all men." At night Phil. iii. 18, "For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you, even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ." That day closed up my career as a stationed pastor.
Rev. M. M. Clark wrote several articles for the Christian Recorder in which he constructed what he called an "Episcopal mould," and started out to find the man for it. He said he must not be too young nor too old, a man of fair literary attainments, and of pure antecedents. He came out at last, and said he had found the man for the mould (in the person of the writer).
The Baltimore Annual Conference met in April, 1864, in Union Bethel, Washington, D. C. Bishop Payne presided, and Rev. B. T. Tanner was elected secretary. Rev. J. P. Campbell preached the annual sermon, which was published by request. The Conference was reinforced by the transfer of Rev. J. P. Campbell from the Philadelphia Conference, J. R. V. Thomas, and J. D. S. Hall, from the New York. R.
A. Hall, Jacob Nicholson, J. R. V. Thomas and G. T. Watkins were elected and ordained elders, and J. A. Handy, a deacon. Rev. B. T. Tanner preached the sermon. At the close of this Conference all the other members received an appointment but me. It was the first time from 1843 to 1864 that I had not received an appointment at the close of the Conference.
Baltimore city had all new pastors this year assigned to them, and they began with a bright prospect before them, anticipating a year of great success. On Saturday morning before the first Monday in May, all of the Baltimore delegation left for Philadelphia to attend the General Conference. When we reached Philadelphia, Rev. W. D. W. Schureman, the pastor of Bethel Church, had made ample arrangements for the accommodation of all the delegates.
Sunday morning Rev. J. A. Shorter preached; afternoon Rev. Charles Burch; at night Rev. John Tibbs. This closed the first Sunday. Monday morning came, and with it came also the delegates representing the A. M. E. Church. One very remarkable father who was present at the General Conference four years previous was not present at the roll-call, and that was Rev. Richard Robinson. Bishops Quinn, Nazrey and Payne were present, and conducted the opening exercises. And as I was the secretary of the previous General Conference I was requested to call the roll, which duty I performed with pleasure, for it was always one of the grandest things to me to call the roll of the General Conference on the first day of its meeting.
I was elected secretary, with Rev. A. McIntosh assistant. The several committees were appointed, and then the Quadrennial address was read by Bishop Payne, in which they recommended the election of two additional Bishops This was referred to the Committee on Episcopacy.
There were two sets of delegates representing the B. M. E. Church of Canada; one was headed by Rev. W. H. Jones and the other by Rev. A. R. Green. One of the most amusing things about that was Rev. W. H. Jones presented his address, which was read by the secretary; then Green presented his. The time for adjournment having arrived Green's address could not be read. He laid it on the secretary's table; Jones slipped up to the table and took it off, and it has never been seen since by the secretary nor Rev. A. R. Green.
The whole matter was referred to a committee, and when they reported they were equally divided. One part was in favor of admitting the delegation that Jones represented, and the other those represented by Green. The Conference finally agreed to admit the Jones delegation, and, that settled the question for that time.
For the first time in the history of the M. E. Church and the A. M. E. Church, fraternal delegates were sent from one to the other. The M. E. Church sent Drs. Wise, Cunningham and Hill. They brought to us words of fraternal greeting, such as we had not received from her before.
As the M. E. Church sent three, our Conference
concluded to send five; and therefore, Revs. M. M. Clark, W. R. Revels, J. P. Campbell, John M. Brown and myself were appointed. When the committee met to arrange the programme, I moved that Drs. Clark, Revels and Campbell should speak. It was agreed to.
On the day when we went up, there was a great crowd at the Conference, waiting anxiously to see the African M. E. Church delegation. Bishop Morris was presiding, who introduced Drs. Clark, Revels and Campbell; and as I listened to their words of eloquence I felt proud that I belonged to the African M. E. Church.
A great many letters that were sent to the delegates of our General Conference used to go to the M. E. General Conference, and as I was secretary of our Conference, there was a request made that I should go to that Conference room and obtain the letters for our delegations. One morning I met a certain Rev. T. M., who said to me: "Bro. Wayman, we are going to turn over all our colored members to you." He was from the Baltimore Conference, but was not a delegate to the General Conference.
While we were talking, a delegate from the East Baltimore Conference, by the name of Rev. T. M. R., said: "Brother M., you are mistaken. I am a member of the committee on colored people, and we are going to recommend to the General Conference that the colored ministers be formed into separate annual Conferences." Then he said, "There is a committee of colored local preachers from Baltimore who are praying not to be turned over to the A. M. E. Church."
THE Episcopal Committee, reported through their secretary, Rev. John M. Brown, that the Bishops had been examined and their characters stood fair; and they recommended that the General Conference elect two additional Bishops, as suggested by the Bishops in their addresses. The report was received and adopted, and Monday, May 16th, 1864, was set as the day for election.
The previous Sunday passed away quietly. The brethren who preached gave general satisfaction to all who heard them. When the hour arrived for the election Bishop Payne read the third Chapter of 1st Timothy, and commented extensively upon it. Revs. Stephen Smith, John Turner and W. R. Revels were appointed tellers, and Rev. J. R. V. Thomas was appointed secretary. I called the roll. Each delegate came and deposited his ballot, and when they were counted I received 84 votes, and was declared elected. Revs. J. A. Shorter and J. P. Campbell received the next highest vote, but neither of them received enough to elect them. A recess was taken for some time and then the Conference resumed voting. When the ballots were counted Rev. J. P. Campbell was declared elected.
Monday morning, May 22d, 1864. A large congregation assembled in old Bethel Church to witness the ordination. The services were commenced by Rev. John Tibbs of the Ohio Conference, then the sermon of Bishop Nazrey, after which Bishop Payne read the lesson, assisted by some elder. Then we were ordained by Bishop Quinn, assisted by five elders. We received the warm congratulations of many friends.
When the General Conference met on Thursday previous to May 22d, I tendered my resignation as the secretary of the Conference. I felt under many obligations to the delegates for having elected me as their secretary for sixteen years.
On Tuesday morning, May 23d, I was introduced to the General Conference as the presiding officer, and they demanded of me a speech. I simply said I did not think I was elected by the General Conference because they thought I was the most competent man, for there were others equally competent, if not more so. I then said if God intended me for the place I should succeed, and if not I should never succeed. Bishop Campbell made a more elaborate speech than I did. Rev. John M. Brown was elected editor of the Christian Recorder, but resigned. Rev. John A. Warren was elected General Book Steward, but he also declined to serve. Finally, Rev. Elisha Weaver was continued editor and General Book Steward.
A committee from A. M. E. Zion General Conference met a committee of ours, and arrangements were made to hold a meeting before the final adjournment
of the Zion General Conference, looking to a permanent union. The committee was appointed.
Bishop Nazrey took leave of the General Conference. He was to hold the Philadelphia and New England Conferences, and then he was to go back to Canada, and lead on that wing of the grand army. The General Conference adjourned to meet the next time in Washington, D. C. The Bishops selected districts for another four years.
I returned to Baltimore City, and on the first Sunday ordained Rev. Wm. H. G. Brown an elder. He had been elected by the Baltimore Annual Conference, but preferred being ordained at home in Baltimore.
The next week I visited the Philadelphia Conference, which met at Salem, New Jersey. Bishops Quinn and Nazrey were present. I spent a few days and then left for the New York Conference, which met in the Fleet Street Church. Bishops Payne and Campbell were present.
When the Conference adjourned I came to Philadelphia to attend the convention of the two African M. E. Connections, which met in the Wesley Church on Lombard Street. Before leaving for the convention we met at Bethel Church to arrange our course of procedure, and then marched round to the General Conference of the A. M. E. Zion Church. A committee was then appointed to nominate officers for the convention. They reported me for President, Rev. J. J. Clinton, W. H. Bishop, and Bishop Campbell Vice-Presidents, with a secretary from each Connection.
As President I stated the object of the meeting, which was that we had come as a gentleman courting a lady--we had proposals to make, and if they were accepted we would get married. Our secretary, Rev. R. H. Cain, read ours. After a long discussion the Zion committee asked for time to consider our proposals.
The convention adjourned until the afternoon, and their committee met to prepare their report. When the convention reassembled they reported through their chairman, Rev. S. T. Jones, and recommended the name of the "United A. M. E. Church," and that the Bishops should be elected for life, but without the third ordination. Over this there was a lengthy discussion, which lasted up to the time of adjournment. I was compelled to leave for home that night, and did not return. They finally agreed, I was told, to adopt the Episcopal form of government, and that the platform should be submitted first to all the quarterly and annual Conferences, and if a majority of them agreed to it, then it was to be sent up to the next General Conference.
I started out on my district, the Philadelphia and New York Conferences, commencing at New York City, through New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania. And as Bishop Payne's engagements at Wilberforce were such that a great deal of his time was taken up there, I visited his work in the Baltimore Conference.
In September, 1864, I laid the corner-stone for the new St. Paul's Chapel, South Washington, D. C
There was a large turn-out of the people, and the collection was good.
The Constitutional Convention that met this year in Annapolis, Md., had passed an emancipation act, which was to be submitted to a vote of the people. The election came off, and there were scarcely enough votes cast in favor of it; but the soldiers were allowed to cast theirs, and thereby secured the adoption of the Constitution, which forever did away with slavery in old Maryland.
An effort was made to restrain the Governor of the State from issuing his proclamation declaring the State free. Two of the ablest lawyers in the State were employed to go and argue the case before the Court of Appeals. The decision was in favor of freedom.
The Governor accordingly issued his proclamation that on a certain day Maryland was to be free, and ordered guns to be fired from the fort at the rising of the sun on that day.
There was a great deal of excitement all over the city. Our people who had been slaves went out from their old homes to come back no more. The Churches were opened on a certain day for religious services, and they were well attended.
All colored persons heretofore leaving the city on any of the trains had stamped upon their tickets the word "colored." On that day the presidents of the roads sent word to their agents there was to be no more stamped tickets with the word "colored" upon them.
In November, 1864, while in New York, I received information that I had been drafted in Baltimore, and was wanted for Uncle Sam's service. I made haste home to Baltimore to report at headquarters. When I reached there, it was announced that the ward in which I was drafted had filled its numbers, and therefore no more were required.
Subsequently a notice appeared in the papers that all persons claiming exemption for any cause should be present at the office and have their names stricken off. I went up and presented my parchment, with the county seal on it, and that was enough. My name was removed from the list of enrolled men.
IN the winter of 1865, Rev. James Lynch, our missionary in South Carolina, began to call for some of the Bishops to come South and help him. In March I made ready to go. I went to Washington, and obtained a pass from Secretary Stanton, to Charleston, South Carolina.
I left Baltimore for New York, and there spent a few days with Bros. Gibbs, Cain and Williams. Then on Wednesday, March 15, 1865, I sailed from New York. I was accompanied by the late Rev. Elisha Weaver. We were not out of sight of New York before my traveling companion became sea-sick, and continued so nearly all night. Next morning we
were at sea. The weather was rather pleasant for March. On Saturday morning we saw land in the distance.
Late Saturday afternoon the pilot came aboard to take us across the shoals. He was but a small boy, and our captain would not have him; so he had to return and send his father. He came and took the helm, and soon we were near Hilton Head Island. We laid out in the stream all night, and next morning, Sunday, went ashore and inquired for Rev. James Lynch. We were informed that he had gone to Savannah, Georgia.
As our passes were from New York to Savannah, Georgia, we took another steamer and went there, but for some cause we had to anchor out in the stream and remain all night. Next morning we reached Savannah.
Then we started out to look for our friend, Rev. James Lynch, but before doing so we reported to the Provost-Marshal. After walking some few squares looking at the destruction produced by Sherman's men, we came to the house of a good Christian Baptist minister, who took us in and gave us a good breakfast, and then went on our way; and soon we were at the house of Rev. Charles L. Bradwell, and there we found Rev. James Lynch, and spent a few days in Savannah visiting the families, and then went out to see some of the colored regiments stationed there, and we had the pleasure of seeing one or two of the boys from Wilberforce University.
Rev. James Lynch had already raised the A. M. E.
flag in Savannah, Georgia, around which hundreds had rallied. On one night I visited the church and gave them a word from the text, "And he said, My presence shall go with you, and I will give thee rest." Exodus xxxiii. 14.
In company with Revs. James Lynch and Elisha Weaver, I attended a large educational meeting at one of the Baptist Churches.
One day I visited one of the day-schools that was held in what used to be a slave-pen. I found in one of the table-drawers a bill of sale for human beings. Those who once occupied it had to beat such a hasty retreat when Sherman's men entered there, that they left the relics behind them.
I left Savannah, Georgia, for Hilton Head, South Carolina, accompanied by Bros. Weaver and Lynch. On reaching the end of our journey we called on General Littlefield, who was commanding the Post there. We found him very talkative, indeed. He told us that there had been an election of a mayor for the town of Mitchellsville. It was a town built by General Mitchell, exclusively for the colored people who had come into their lines, and therefore it was called Mitchellsville after the General.
He also informed us who was elected mayor of the city, and urged upon me to call and make my respects to him, telling me at the same time, that he was a colored man who had escaped from Georgia, and came there representing himself as a Baptist minister from the North, and they built him a church and installed him pastor.
I accordingly called upon him, and said, "Sir, I am a stranger in your town, and come to pay my respects to you." "Yes, sar," he said, "I is the mar of this town." Then I asked him when he was elected. He said, "A few days ago." And then he gave me a very graphic description of how the election was conducted, and the majority he received. He thought he was a de facto mayor.
The day we first arrived at Hilton Head, South Carolina, there was a party of Senators and Congressmen visited that place; and taking a Sunday morning drive out in the country they returned. The general invited them to go down and hear Mr. Mercherson preach, for that was the name of the mayor. They all agreed to go, and for fear that some one else would preach, the general sent word that he must preach himself, for there were sixty coming to hear him.
So away they went, headed by General Littlefield and Senator Wade of Ohio. Mr. Mercherson preached to the amusement of all present; and when he had concluded, Senator Wade expressed a desire to hear them sing, and then they commenced some of their singular songs, which pleased Mr. Wade so, he rose up and said, "It was the grandest menagerie he ever saw."
The pastor said that was their collection day, and he wanted to raise one hundred and sixty dollars that day. Senator Wade said to his company, "Gentlemen, I move we raise it for him. I will give twenty dollars." And it was soon raised. General Littlefield
gave me this information before I had called upon the mayor.
And when I called to see him he related in substance what the general had told me, only he said, "That all the Congressmen from Washington heard of me, and came down there to hear me." I asked what was his text, and he said, "It was something about the lamb."
WHEN our visit was out there (Hilton Head), we started for Charleston, S. C. Steering eastward, we passed Sumter, then on to Charleston. On reaching there, I saw what I never saw before, and that was colored men examining white men whether they had passes or not. We passed up into the city and rested with a Christian family. Then, next day, we called to see a son of Bishop Morris Brown. His speech was so much like his father, that one who ever heard the old gentleman talk could not help knowing that he was his son.
Brother Lynch arranged the appointments for Sunday. At sunrise I was to visit the early prayer-meeting, and address them. I did so, and at three o'clock in the largest brick building known as the Zion Presbyterian Church, I took that text which I had selected years before: "I seek my brethren." On Monday night a meeting was called to see who would go with us. Rev. Mr. L., of the M. E. Church was there. He spoke also, and I took the vote, and a majority
said they would go with us. Less than a hundred yards from where I stood that Sunday afternoon and said, "I seek my brethren," stands now Emanuel A. M. E. Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, with a membership of over three thousand. Rev. James Lynch organized the A. M. E. Church in a few days afterward.
From Charleston I came back and spent Sunday at Hilton Head, and while there Major M. R. Delaney arrived. The Mayor of Mitchellsville, Mr. Mercherson, told me one day there was a colored general at the fort.
I was at the wharf when the Major arrived, and went down to the steamer to welcome him to the soil of the Palmetto state; and as we were coming from the wharf going to the Quarter Master's office, one of the guards attempted to stop him, and asked where was his pass. The Major paid no attention to him. One of the gentlemen that was with us said to the guard, "he is an officer," and that was enough. In a moment he saluted the Major.
On reaching the Quarter Master's office the Major drew out his papers, and presenting those said, "Mr. Quarter Master I want transportation for myself and two servants to Beaufort." The officer's Clerk commenced writing, then paused a moment and said, "Major, what Regiment are you attached to?" "None," said the major, "I am on General Saxton's staff." The Clerk then said, "Major I think you will have to get a permit from the Provost Marshal for your servants." The Major said, "Is that so ?"
The Major ascertained that there was no steamer for Beaufort until next afternoon, so he had to retire to the ship, and I went to my quarters at Mitchellsville, and spent the night with my old friend, Brother Dennegal.
Next morning I started down to see how the Major was faring, and he invited me to go up to the Provost-Marshal's office with him to get passes for his two servants, to go from Hilton Head to Mitchellsville. On our way we met a gentleman from Pittsburgh, Pa., who recognized the Major, and addressed him as Mr. Delaney. The Major said to him, "Don't you know better than to address an officer as Mr.?" The gentleman said "I beg your pardon. What shall I call you?" "Major Delaney." "Oh!" said he, "Major Delaney, how are you, sir?"
We entered the Provost Marshal's office. The Major said, "Mr. Provost Marshal, I want passes for two servants to go Mitchellsville." He wrote the passes and gave them to the Major.
In the afternoon I went down to the steamer to see the major and servants leave for Beaufort; and when I reached the wharf, there was Captain O. S. B. Walls sick with the chills, and the Major and his two servants. The guard at the steamboat refused to let the Major's servants pass, which rather excited him, and he turned around and asked some one where was General Littlefield's Headquarters, saying he knew that the General was above any Provost Marshal, and started in that direction, but had not gone far before he met the General coming, and he said to him that
the guards at the steamer refused to let his Servants pass.
The General then spoke to the guard, saying, "Let Major Delaney's servants pass." It was all right then. I bid the Major and Captain Walls farewell, and returned back to my resting place, and waited with patience for the departure of the next steamer for New York.
On Saturday morning my traveling companion, Rev. Elisha Weaver, and I took the steamer for New York. Brother W. had obtained several subscribers for the Christian Recorder, which was the height of his ambition then.
The weather was pleasant, and very soon we were at sea, making our way toward New York, which we expected to reach by Monday.
Sunday morning came, and it was a beautiful day; the air was so balmy. There were a great many passengers on board. A gentleman that was a member of Dr. Thompson's Church, New York, said, "We ought to have services to-day, because it did not look right to let this day pass without religious service."
He came to me and asked if I would conduct the services for them if they obtained permission from the Captain? I said, "Certainly, I will do the best I can under the circumstances."
Permission was obtained from the Captain, and a notice was written and placed in a conspicuous place where every person might see it. The notice said, "Bishop Wayman of Baltimore will preach in the cabin this afternoon at 4 o'clock. All are invited."
The inquiry went around, "Who was this Bishop Wayman that was to preach at 4 o'clock?" After they found out I was the one, a Jew came to me and said, "I hope you will make out a good case for your Jesus to-day." I said, "Come and hear for yourself."
At 4 o'clock the gong rang, and almost every passenger was making for the cabin. There was an aged Presbyterian minister from North Carolina on board. I requested him to read a chapter and pray. Afterward we sang a familiar hymn, and then I read for a Text 1 Cor. vii. 29: "But this I say, brethren, the time is short."
I tried to show that the journey from the cradle to the grave was short, and would be traveled by all in a short time. I spoke of the great men of the past who occupied conspicuous positions in the world. How soon their careers ended. I closed by saying in a few years all the living would be gone. The General from the army, the President from the White House, the Senator from the Senate Chamber, the Congressman from the House of Representatives, the Judge from the bench, and Counsellors from the bar. Then I asked my congregation, where they expected to spend eternity when time was no more? My friend Weaver prayed, and then we closed. Afterward wherever I went in any part of the ship I heard the passengers saying, "Time is short! "--"Time is short!"
Monday morning early I heard some one say, "There is Cape May lighthouse." I felt as if New York was drawing near, and by daylight we could see the banks of New Jersey.
ABOUT 12 M., our ship was in sight of New York, and we saw flags flying from almost every housetop. I said to some one that I thought Richmond had fallen. Everything was excitement on board the steamer. The Pilot came on board and told us the good news that Richmond had fallen, and that was why the flags were flying. On reaching the City of New York almost every person we met appeared to be excited.
As I had never taken such a long ride on the sea before, it had its effect on me, for I felt as if I was ready to stagger and fall. I spent one or two days in New York before I returned to Baltimore.
While in New York I visited the New York East Conference of the M. E. Church, and while the Bishops and Presiding Elders were out arranging their appointments they called on me for a speech. I told them that having just come off from a ship I felt like I suppose a drinking man feels when he has taken too much.
I then gave them a short account of my visit to Savannah and Charleston, South Carolina, that I visited the grave of the distinguished ex-senator, John C. Calhoun; then I exhibited a few relics which I
had procured there; among those was something they had never seen before, and that was a bill of sale for human beings; they cried out, Let the secretary read. Dr. Woodruff then read. The next article exhibited was a pair of gold spectacles that used to be owned by some of the Southern aristocracy, who in their flight had left them behind. Some good friend made me a present of those. I said, "I am not old enough to wear spectacles yet." They said, "Put them on, put them on." To please those good brethren I put those gold spectacles on.
Next morning I left for Baltimore to meet the Conference. I reached home on Wednesday, and the Baltimore Conference met on Thursday. The Bishop and members all appeared to be in good spirits. Rev. B. T. Tanner was elected Secretary, and the committees were all appointed.
Friday came. It was Good Friday. Rev. D. W. Moore preached a sermon on the Crucifixion of the Saviour. Every person went home feeling delighted with the sermon.
Saturday morning early, news came that President Lincoln was shot the night before at the theatre in Washington, D. C. It was a sad day. The city was in mourning. The Conference met on Saturday morning at 9 o'clock. Bishop Payne announced to the Conference the death of the President of the United States. A committee was appointed to draft some resolutions, and then the Conference adjourned. We had scarcely time to dry up the tears shed for the noble President, before the sad news reached us that our Wilberforce
University, near Xenia, Ohio, was in ashes. We were compelled to say that the "Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away."
The whole Baltimore Conference went to Washington, D. C., to attend the funeral of the assassinated President. There was also a large number of the colored citizens of Baltimore that attended the funeral.
We all returned home to Baltimore, and were prepared to join the procession when it reached Baltimore. The late Captain George A. Hackett was our marshal, and he managed the procession admirably.
The mortal remains of the President were viewed by thousands of persons, while they laid in state at the Exchange, and then they were borne homeward to rest until the archangel shall bid him rise.
The Conference closed its sessions, and the brethren took their departure to their new fields of labor. At this Conference Rev. J. H. A. Johnson was admitted and transferred to the South Carolina Conference.
In a few days I left Baltimore to attend the Philadelphia Conference. Bishop Quinn was also present. The Conference met at the Union Church in Philadelphia. Rev. Henry Davis preached the annual sermon, and Rev. Joshua Woodlin preached the missionary sermon. Both of these ministers have fallen in death, and are gone on to await the arrival of the rest of the ship's company.
Before the Conference closed Bishop Campbell returned from California and was present at the Conference.
There were several ministers of the M. E. Church that visited Conference and spoke; among them was that sainted man, Rev. Alfred Cookman.
I made the following transfers this year; to the New York Conference, Revs. Henry Davis, Joshua Woodlin, W. H. W. Winder and Wm. Rodgers, which was hailed by the New York Conference with pleasure, and to the South Carolina Conference Rev. A. L. Stanford.
After Philadelphia Conference was over I returned to Baltimore and spent a few days; then went to Washington, D. C., and dedicated the new St. Paul Chapel. Rev. John F. Lane was the pastor.
My next Conference was the New York Conference, which met in the Bridge Street Church, Brooklyn, New York. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. Leonard Patterson. This was the first time that I had the charge of this Conference, and therefore my new mode of procedure was a little strange to them at first. But they soon understood it and went on. At the close of this Conference I transferred Rev. R. H. Cain to the South Carolina Conference, and Revs. J. B. Hamilton, D. P. Seaton, R. P. Gibbs, W. M. Watson and Jacob M. Mitchell to the Philadelphia Conference, which was considered a very fair exchange.
I received an invitation from Rev. J. H. W. Burley to visit Providence, R. I., and lay the corner-stone for the new church; as I had never been to Providence I accepted the invitation and left for New Haven, and then went on to Providence, where I met
a grand congregation. At 3 o'clock services were begun by singing; then the address and the laying of the stone. The finances were managed by Brother Burley, which he did admirably. After spending a few days in "little Rhodie," I returned to New York, then to Philadelphia, and home to Baltimore; and then took an extensive tour through the state of Delaware.
I visited the Delaware Conference of the M. E. Church, which met in Wilmington, Delaware, and from there I went to Cape May, New Jersey, and spent a few days, and then left for home.
This summer I was called to dedicate the new church at Clear Spring, Washington county, Maryland. Rev. Daniel Draper was the pastor in charge.
IN the autumn of 1865, Rev. D. P. Seaton purchased a fine church in Wilmington, Del., and at the dedication I was assisted by Rev. Stephen Smith and Elisha Weaver, and the financial success was grand. Wilmington turned out in her strength. This was the day when African Methodism took a rise in that city.
January, 1866, Bishop Quinn called an Episcopal meeting in the city of Pittsburg, Pa. I was in New York when the information reached me, and therefore I had to postpone my appointment I had made for
New York, and moved westward. Accordingly I left Brooklyn, New York, at 9 o'clock, A. M., and reached Pittsburg at 12 o'clock, midnight. It was cold and dark. I inquired for Wylie street, and when I found that street I soon found the church, and after some time succeeded in awaking the sexton who very kindly took me in, and made a fire in the pastor's office. I soon got warm, and then the good sexton made me a bed where I rested well until the morning, when Rev. J. P. Underwood came and took me to my stopping-place.
At 10 o'clock the Bishops' Board met in Wylie street Church, Pittsburg. There were present Bishops Quinn, Payne and Campbell. I was chosen the secretary of the Board.
The first thing the Board considered was the religious status of the several districts, and then the educational work, which was represented as being in rather a good condition.
Arrangements were made for the holding of a semi-centenary of African Methodism during the year. Committees were appointed in the several annual conferences to take the matter in hand.
Bishop Campbell was appointed to write an address to the colored people in the United States. It was to be submitted to the other Bishops for approval and then to be published in the Recorder. We spent the Sunday in Pittsburg, and the day was a high one.
The Board adjourned to meet in Philadelphia to examine the affairs of the Book Concern, and make
such suggestions as they might think best for the good of the Concern.
Rev. Elisha Weaver, the then acting editor, asked for some assistance in editing the paper. This request was presented to the Board of Bishops, and they thought it best to appoint Rev. James Lynch editor of the Christian Recorder.
April, 1866, I visited the Ohio Conference for the first time. It met in Chillicothe, Ohio. I left Baltimore, and spent one Sunday in Cumberland, Maryland, with Rev. R. A. Hall, and then left for the Conference.
I took the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to Grafton, and then changed for Parkersburg, West Virginia. At that place I crossed the Ohio river, and reached Chillicothe about 1 o'clock at night.
Next morning the Ohio Conference met. Although I was a stranger in that part of the work, I was not a stranger to many of the members; for I had been associated with some of them in other days. There were H. J. Young, John A. Warren, J. A. Shorter and Samuel Watts, whom I had known for years.
Rev. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary, and the Conference business progressed finely. Rev. John Tibbs had died during the past Conference year, and his funeral sermon was preached by Rev. G. H. Graham. Text: "A man, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." Acts vi. 5.
Rev. David Smith, the oldest living African M. E. minister, had been sent into Kentucky as a missionary. He returned to this Conference, bringing
his sheaves with him, for he brought in several large churches, members and ministers. They were received into the Ohio Conference, for there was no Kentucky Conference then. The most of the aged members of the Ohio Conference that were at this Conference are nearly all gone, except Father Smith, who still lives. At this Conference Rev. J. A. Shorter was appointed agent for Wilberforce University.
At the close of the Conference I left for home, as I wanted to be present in Philadelphia at the semi-centenary meeting, at which we wanted to raise a thousand dollars.
When the day came all Philadelphia was ablaze with excitement, for I had told them that my district would lead all the other districts in their collections; and so we did. Philadelphia Conference raised sixteen hundred dollars on that day. I thought that was glory enough for one day in that direction. I returned to Baltimore rejoicing over what my district had done.
A few days afterward, the Baltimore Conference met in Israel Church, Washington, D. C. Rev. B. T. Tanner and J. H. A. Johnson were the secretaries. Bishops Quinn, Payne and Campbell were present. The Conference was large then, for it embraced all of Virginia. Rev. J. A. Shorter was present, representing the interests of Wilberforce University. The Bishop was requested to leave Rev. John M. Brown without a charge, so that he might give all his attention to the missionary work, as he
had been elected the missionary secretary by the previous General Conference.
Rev. Wm. H. Brown was admitted on trial in the Conference, and transferred to the South Carolina Conference.
The address written by Bishop Campbell to be presented to the colored people of the United States, was read to the Bishops, and approved of, and then sent to the Christian Recorder and published therein.
When the Baltimore Conference closed I went on to Philadelphia and then to Millville, New Jersey; and on Sunday dedicated the new church there. I was assisted by Rev. Stephen Smith, of Philadelphia. The New Jersey people came out in power that day in the sands--for that is the greatest place for sand anywhere in the State of New Jersey.
This year the Philadelphia Conference met in Princeton, New Jersey. Rev. J. B. Hamilton was the pastor of the church, and made ample provision for the Conference. Before I went to Princeton Conference I visited Orange, New Jersey, and laid the corner-stone for the new A. M. E. church.
The Conference met at Princeton. Rev. Wm. Moore preached the annual sermon, and Rev. Joseph H. Smith preached the semi-centennial sermon. They were both able efforts. I had Bishop Campbell to assist me in the duties of the Conference, and he very kindly consented to preach the annual missionary sermon for us. The Conference made a fine impression on the minds of the public. Rev. J. M. Brown, the then missionary secretary, and also Rev. J. A.
Shorter, the agent of Wilberforce, were present, as welcome visitors. After the Conference adjourned the most of the members went to Philadelphia, and spent a Sunday. One of the brethren elected to Elder's orders was ordained then.
After the extra meeting of the Conference was over in Philadelphia, by special request, I accompanied Bishop Quinn to New Bedford, Mass., to dedicate the new church that had been built there through the energetic efforts of Rev. Joseph P. Shreeves. We left New York on Saturday morning and reached Newport Saturday afternoon, and remained there all night, and then left for New Bedford on Sunday; and although it was in June, we found some frost.
It was a beautiful day, and we had a glorious time. I tried to deliver the sermon from the text: "And in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." Hab. ii. 9. I spent several days in New Bedford, and had the pleasure of meeting the New England Conference for the first time. Bishop Quinn presided.
There were two Johnsons in the Conference, and Bishop Quinn used to call one Boston and the other one Bedford Johnson. The late Rev. John H. Burley was the secretary. Before the Conference closed Bishop Payne arrived and gave the Conference some information respecting the work in the South.
I left the New England for the New York Conference, which met in the Sullivan Street church. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. James M Williams. It was a very able effort. The morning
sermon was preached by Rev. F. J. Peck. The semi-centennial sermon was preached by the president of the conference. Text: "By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small." Amos vii. 2. There was a delegation from the Preachers' Meeting of the M. E. Church, consisting of Revs. Drs. Curry, Inskip and Woodruff. They bore to us words of cheer.
At this Conference Rev. Wm. T. Catto was readmitted into the Conference. He had been in the Presbyterian church for several years. Bishop Payne paid the New York Conference a visit at this session, and he met with a warm reception.
When the Conference closed I hastened on to Baltimore and spent a few days, and then got ready to go to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend a convention that had been called by Bishop Campbell, to consider the condition of the work in Kentucky.
I took the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and went as far as Cumberland, and spent the night, and next morning moved on to Parkersburg, West Virginia, where I spent the night and visited the M. E. church.
The next day I reached Cincinnati, and called to spend the night with my old friend, Rev. Edward D. Davis, but he was at home sick unto death, for he never returned again to his charge, but left for the better land.
Rev. Philip Toliver was in charge of the church at Cincinnati. After spending the night with friend Clark, I left for my next, which was Louisville, Kentucky. On reaching Seymour, Indiana, I changed cars for Louisville. Crossing the Ohio
river, I mounted a bus, and was driven to Quinn Chapel. Rev. Dr. Revels was preaching a semi-centennial sermon, in which he said he had gone home once or twice to die, but he found out that the church was not going on right, and he had to come out again.
This was the first time I had ever been in the city of Louisville, and I was much pleased with the appearance of the people. I had the pleasure of meeting Bishops Quinn and Campbell. Among the ministers were Drs. Clark, Revels, H. J. Young and John Turner The meeting was well attended by ministers.
From Louisville I went to Indianapolis, Ind., stopped there one night, and then went to Richmond, Indiana, the residence of Bishop Quinn. From there 0to Columbus, Ohio, to visit my old friend, Rev. Samuel Watts, and spent one night, then called at Zanesville, Ohio, to see Rev. John A. Warren. I found him very much indisposed; I addressed his congregation at night.
Saturday morning I left Zanesville for Pittsburg, Pa., and spent the next day with the brethren in Allegheny and Pittsburg. After leaving there I called at Lewistown and Harrisburg, and then came home.
In the summer of 1866 I visited the State of Delaware. There was a camp-meeting in progress near Camden, Delaware, held by the ministers of the M. E. Church; and as it was near the town I thought I would go out to see what was going on and hear some of the able divines preach. The presiding elder, Rev. Henry Colclazer, asked me to give them a sermon. I said
to him, "You know the feelings of the Delaware white people toward men of my color." He said that whatever he said was the law there.
The managers held a meeting, and concluded to invite me to preach. It was accordingly announced that on such an afternoon Bishop Wayman, of the African M. E. Church, would preach.
The outlaws threatened if I went into the stand the next day they would take me out. When the managers heard of it they called a meeting and resolved to sustain their action, saying they were not to be frightened by a few hot-headed rebels.
Next morning I walked out to the camp-ground to hear Rev. Charles Hill preach. Rev. James Flanery met me, and asked "If I was ready to die?" I said, "I hope so." "Then," said he, "We have received word that the rebel element around here have said that if you go in the stand to-day they will take you out." Then he said, "The managers have held a meeting, and they have concluded to sustain their action; and now," said he, "I want you to show yourself a man to-day." I said, "None of these things move me."
There was a regiment of soldiers encamped near by, and those fellows went and asked the soldiers to join them. But the soldiers said, "No, gentlemen, we did not come here to raise riots, but put them down; therefore, we cannot assist you."
When the time came I was on hand. A soldier touched me on the shoulder and said to me as I was going toward the stand, "Don't be alarmed, the boys
in blue are here." Then the constable said to me, putting his hand in his pocket, "I have a little dog that speaks seven times; if there is any attempt made to-day to interrupt you, it will speak."
I went in the stand and gave out, "Blow ye the trumpet, blow." After prayer I read for my text, Rev. vii. 17: "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them and lead them unto living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes"--and I never was so inspired to speak since I have been born. While I was speaking there was a little noise created by some boys running across the boards. Every person started up. I said, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here."
I finished my discourse without any further interruption. The congregation was dismissed and we retired. It was our intention to have meeting at our church that night, but a white lady sent word to us not to have any meeting. She heard those fellows say what they were going to do.
So the brethren concluded it was best to have no meeting, but to get ready for them. So "Captain" Caldwell got his boys together out in the high corn around the church, and waited for them until ten o'clock, and they did not come. He dismissed them with the understanding if there was any need the man on picket would give the alarm.
The moon was shining very brightly. Captain Caldwell and his family and I were sitting on the porch at the door, and the road passed along in front of that door. I saw six or seven white men pass along.
One of them asked Captain Caldwell, "Where is your preacher?" The captain said, "What do you want with him?" He said, "We want to know what his reasons were for preaching on our camp-ground." Captain Caldwell's wife said, "He is gone up the road; did you see him?"
Captain Caldwell called to the picket, saying, "George." The fellow said, "If you speak I will shoot you." By that time George, the picket, had given the alarm, and Captain Caldwell's men came in the rear and were making ready for a charge. The fellows out in the street began to think there was danger, and they beat a hasty retreat.
It was well they did, for if they had remained ten minutes longer, Captain Caldwell's men would have fired upon them, and some person might have been killed.
The news went out to the camp-meeting that there was a riot in that part of the town, and soon the managers came in with a few soldiers, but all of the would-be assassins were gone. But Captain Caldwell's men slept upon their arms all night.
Captain Caldwell is Prince Caldwell of Camden, Delaware, a prominent member of the A. M. E. Church, and a man of some means. And he has had to fight many a battle for his people in other days.
The news of the riot went down to Caroline county, Maryland, where my father and mother lived, that I was shot and killed at this camp-meeting.
The next year when the camp-meeting was going on there, I went again just to see if any one would say
anything to me about the matter. Not a word. The leader of the party denied knowing any thing about it, though he was known to Captain Caldwell.
During the summer I received an invitation from Rev. J. H. W. Burley to attend the dedication of the new church at Providence, R. I. The invitation was accepted by me, and I then left home for that purpose. I called to see my old companion, Rev. E. T. Williams, at New Haven, Connecticut; and while we were walking out in the afternoon, brother Williams said to me, "I wish you would suggest to me how I can raise the amount of four hundred dollars to pay off the debt on my church."
I said to him, "That is not a breakfast spell, four hundred dollars. When we get to church to-night I will tell you and your people how to raise it."
When the exercises were over, I said to the pastor and congregation, "Now let me tell you how to raise the amount needed. If there is in the congregation one hundred persons who can raise in two months four dollars, take their names." In a very short time the number of names were obtained.
"Then," said I, "on the first Sunday in December, the Lord willing, I shall try and be here again, and the person out of the number of names you have that raises the largest amount, I will bring him a silver cup from Baltimore, Md."
The next day I left for Providence, R. I. There I met Revs. D. Dorrell and Joshua Woodlin, who had come on from New York to assist in the dedication of the new church there.
Thursday, at 2 o'clock, a very large congregation assembled to witness the exercises; among them were some of the most wealthy white citizens of that city.
I read for a text, Gen. xxviii. 17; "And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate heaven." The collection on that occasion was a grand one; a gentleman preached at night that used to be a member of Congress.
The pastor and trustees were much delighted at the great success (financially), that attended the labors of that day. That church is an honor to the pastor, now sleeping in his grave, and all the members.
The next day, in company with Bros. Dorrell and Woodlin, I left Providence for New York. We spent the night on the water.
True to my promise, on the first Sunday in December, I was in New Haven with the silver cup. The Sunday morning was pleasant, and the congregation was large. The secretary called the roll, and those who had collected any thing returned the envelopes with the amounts.
The call was continued all day. No one was to know the amount given in until Monday night, when the clerk was to announce it publicly. There was some anxiety in the minds of the people as to who would be the successful lady or gentleman to bear away the Baltimore silver cup.
Monday night came, and with it came the crowd to hear the report. There was almost breathless silence
while the secretary read the list of names and the amounts. Finally, it was announced that a gentleman by the name of Beauregard, from Baltimore, had returned the largest amount of money, and was entitled to the silver cup.
I made a short speech, and presented him the cup, saying, "I was glad that a Baltimorean was the successful competitor." They raised the amount needed, and several dollars over. I then went into winter quarters.
DURING the winter of 1867, I was considering the propriety of taking a Southern tour through Virginia, North and South Carolina and Georgia. I left Baltimore for Washington; then on to Richmond, Virginia. There were a great many strange sights to be seen there, such as Libby Prison and Castle Thunder. I spent one Sunday there with Rev. W. D. Harris.
Monday morning bright and early, I was on my way to Petersburg, and had a minute or two to look out upon the old war scenes around there; and as I went on to Weldon the effects of the war could be seen.
I changed cars at Weldon, and took the Gaston and Raleigh Railroad for Warrenton, and when I reached the station I ascertained that the town was some two miles from there; yet there was a stage running into
town. The driver asked me where I wished to stop at in town. I said, "I will tell you when you reach there."
When we got into the town I inquired for Rev. W. H. Bishop, the pastor, and was told that he was absent. But I was directed to the place where he made his head-quarters. On reaching there I made known my mission; I was referred to Brother Cook, who received me very kindly, and went out and drummed up a good congregation for night. I found them a warm-hearted Christian people.
From there I went to Raleigh, the capital of the state. I had some time to wait at the depot for the train. I thought I would walk out and call on some of the families around the country. I found one aged brother out in the field burning brush. I spoke to him, and said, "I was a stranger, and while waiting for the train, I came out to see some of the friends." He expressed great pleasure at meeting with me.
He soon began to tell me about his former condition, and what he had passed through, and among the many things he told me was that he had been married to his present wife three times. I asked him to explain it. He said in slave times some man read the marriage ceremony to him,--for any man who read could marry. "But," said he, "when the Yankees came they said that was not right; and then he married her again. Then, after the emancipation, I was told that it was right to have license, and therefore went and obtained license, and was married the third time."
I admired the old gentleman's honesty, for he appeared to be anxious to do what he was told was right. He invited me home with him to take tea. I accepted his invitation. The fare was rather hard, but I made the best of it.
His children went with me to the depot, but when I was leaving, the old gentleman said to me, "When you get to Raleigh, if you see my son give my love to him." Said I, "What is your name?" He said, "My name is Jim!" I said, "Very well."
After an all-night's ride, I reached the capital of North Carolina, and found very comfortable quarters at the house of Brother Handy Lockett. I learned from him that he was serving on the United States Grand Jury; and it was rather a curiosity to me to see a colored Grand Jury.
At night I met Brother Brodie's congregation, and it was an overwhelming one. Every person was anxious to see the man that was called Bishop.
The next morning I moved out for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and after an all-day's ride, I reached there about 10 o'clock, and being recommended by Brother Brodie to a gentleman in that city, I went there and spent the night. The next day the minister of the Zion Church gathered up a congregation at night, and I addressed them.
The next morning, bright and early, I was on the train for the capital of South Carolina, and when I reached the city it presented a sad appearance; for it had nearly been burned down during the war.
I soon found Rev. W. H. Brown, the pastor, who
very kindly consented to go with me to Augusta, Georgia. He, (Brown), had been elected to Elder's orders, but had not been ordained, and I thought it might have a good effect to ordain him in Augusta, Georgia.
We took the train in the afternoon for Augusta, and reached there about 12 o'clock at night. Having telegraphed from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Augusta, that I would be there, I expected some one would meet us. But lo! and behold, no one was there.
We started out, supposing that some one would give us the information needed. Meeting the watchman, inquiry was made for the colored Methodists. He told us which way to go, and when we reached there it was all dark. Then we inquired of another watchman where some colored people lived. He showed us a house. My friend Brown knocked at the door. A lady opened the window, when Brother Brown asked if she could tell us where Brother Vanderhorst lived? "Yes," said she, "he lives over in Canaan." Brown said, "And where is Canaan?" The lady put the window down, and left us out in the cold. We finally found the National boarding house, where we rested the remainder of the night.
Next morning was Sunday, and our good landlord, who was an officer in Brother Vanderhorst's church, very kindly consented to go with us over to Canaan.
We ascertained subsequently that there was a part of the city known as Dublin, where all the Irish lived,
and that there was a small stream running along there. On the other side, where all the colored people lived, was called Canaan; and that was what the lady meant the night before, when she said the pastor that we were inquiring for lived in Canaan.
The Sunday was spent by us in Canaan. Brother Brown was ordained an elder over there. May he always keep that land in view. Monday morning I left Brother Brown in Canaan, and went on to Macon to see Rev. H. M. Turner.
Macon, Georgia, I found, was a very fine city. The congregation was large. Rev. H. M. Turner was organizing the church all over the state. If he found a brother that could sing and pray well, he would send him to take charge of that point. In this way he captured all the state. From Macon I went to Columbus, Georgia, and spent a most delightful time in that city. The people looked cheerful and happy where-ever I went. The church was as full as it could be, and the congregations neat in their appearance. When my time was out in Columbus, I returned to Macon and spent a few days with the friends, for they were exceedingly kind.
I was out to dinner one day, and after dinner was over, we were all sitting out in the yard. I asked the lady of the house where she was from. She said, "Maryland." I then asked her what part of Maryland, and she said she did not know, but she lived on some road leading to Baltimore.
One day her mother was washing at the spring beside the road. After washing out a certain portion
of the clothes she hung them up to dry, and then went to the house to get dinner for her father, and requested her to remain at the spring.
Soon after her mother left for the house a white man came along on horseback and said to her, "Little girl give me a drink of water." She ran, and with the gourd brought him some water and handed it up to him, and when he was done drinking she reached up to get the gourd. He took her by the hand and lifted her upon his horse and rode off with her; she cried until she fell asleep, and when she woke she was in the slave pen in Baltimore, where she remained until she was taken down to Georgia, with a number of others, where she still lives.
On my return I made inquiry around Baltimore to ascertain if there was any one who ever heard of a little girl being lost or stolen from some road leading into Baltimore. But up to the present time I have not heard anything definite.
About this time Rev. James Reed, a local preacher belonging to Israel Church, Washington, D. C, heard from his mother that had been sold forty years ago. There were some colored soldiers from Washington, D. C., at Jacksonville, Florida, who told the old lady that they were from Washington, D. C. She asked them "if they knew James Reed there?" and they said "Yes!"
Then she instructed her daughter that was sold with her to write to her brother in Washington. The letter came, and was received by him, and when he opened it and read, "Dear brother, I hear you are
alive. I am well and so is mother, and she wants to come home to see you." Reed said, "This letter can't be for me, because surely my mother is dead;" he then read it again; then he said "The name to it is the name of my sister. If mother is alive I will go and see her and bring her home to die with me."
James Reed was a laborer in the General Post-office Department, and he concluded to show the letter to the Postmaster-General; and when he saw it he was surprised, and said, "Has your mother been gone that long?" "Yes, sir." "Would you like to go after her?" said the Postmaster General. "Yes, sir," said Reed, "if I could get there."
"If you wish to go," said the Postmaster-General, "I will give you a letter to Mr. Stanton, the Secretary of War, and he can give you transportation there and back."
Reed accepted his offer, and he gave him the letter to Mr. Stanton, and he looked at it and said, "Is that your mother that has been gone for forty years?" "Yes, sir." Then he said to his clerk, "Make out the transportation for this man to Jacksonville, Florida, and back."
Brother Reed thanked him, and went home to get ready for his journey, and, as the travel by railroad had been interrupted by the war he was compelled to go to New York and take a steamer to Florida.
On reaching New York he was not long in finding a steamer bound to Jacksonville. He went on board, and for a day and a night he could think of
nothing but mother. "What will she say to me and how will she look?"
After several nights and days upon the ocean he reached Jacksonville, and as soon as the steamer was made fast to the wharf he was out, and the first colored man he saw he inquired for his mother. The answer was, "Yes, we know her." He said, "Can you tell me where I can find her?" The brother answered, "I think she moved out in the country a few days ago, and if you will stay with us all night we will go out with you to see her."
"I thank you very kindly," said brother Reed, "but I must see my mother to-night." "Then," said his strange friend, "if you will go, I will go with you." So they started through the woods and over the fields, and finally they reached a little town of small houses.
"There is the house," said his guide. Brother Reed gave him something for his trouble, and bade him good-night, and he left. Then he rapped at the door, and heard a voice say, "Come in." He walked in and said, "how do you do, madam?" "Very well, take a seat, sir." He took a seat. He said, "Madam, could I stay all night with you?" She said, "I have no place to accommodate strangers." He said, "I will be satisfied to sit up in the chair."
The old lady said, "Stranger, where are you from?" He said, "I am from the city of Washington." "Ah," said she, "I was sold from there a great many years ago. When I left I had two sons, Richard and James Reed. Do you know them boys?" "Yes, madam, I think so." "Oh, were they living when you left?"
"Yes, madam, I think they were." "Oh, what would I give if I could see my poor boys!"
She had a little light wood fire in the fire-place, and she was moving around attending to some little matters. He continued to keep his eyes on her to see if he could see that she looked anything like mother; and when he got a good look in her face, he said, "That is mother." Now how to make himself known to her was the question. Finally he said, "Madam, suppose I should tell you I am your son James. What would you say?"
The old lady, who was bent down under the weight of years, straightened up and said, "What did you say, stranger?" He said, "Suppose I tell you I am your son James, what would you say?" She went to her light wood-pile and took a piece and stuck it in the fire, and it blazed up, and she held it to his face, and she saw the likeness of his father in him. She dropped her light, and caught hold on him, and cried out, "My son, my son." It overcame him, and down he fell; and the mother was still holding on to him and crying, "My son, my son." The neighbors hearing the noise came in to see what was the matter; and they ascertained that a mother and child, who had been separated for forty years, had met.
They spent the remainder of the night in singing, praying and talking over events of the past. They continued until the rising of the sun next morning. Then he said, "Mother, I want you to go home with me."
A few days after he took her home with him. It
was in December, and the weather was getting cold. Before reaching the end of her journey she was prostrated; and the next April she died, and her son buried her. Now he says he feels satisfied, for he knows where she sleeps.
From Macon, Georgia, I went to Savannah, which I had visited in 1865, soon after it was taken by the Union army. Rev. A. L. Stanford was the pastor in charge then. I spent one night with him in that city.
The next morning I took the steamer for Charleston, South Carolina, and it took all day to go from Savannah to Charleston. I reached the end of my journey about night, and found Dr. R. H. Cain, and spent the night with him.
The next day being Sunday, the congregations at Emanuel and Morris Brown chapel were very large. Dr. R. H. Cain had the charge of Emanuel and Rev. T. G. Steward of Morris Brown chapel. On Monday I left Charleston for Columbia, then went to Charlotte, Hillsboro', Greensboro' and Raleigh, calling at Portsmouth and Norfolk, Va., then home.
AFTER resting a few days, I was getting ready to commence a spring visit to my work in the Philadelphia Conference when I received a letter from Bishop Payne requesting me to attend the South Carolina Conference, which embraced South and North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. I complied with
that request and reached Wilmington, N. C., about night, and went to the unfinished church. Revs. John M. Brown and Elisha Weaver visited the Conference. Rev. S. B. Williams, the pastor, reported there were one hundred and eighty ministers in attendance. At first he felt a little alarmed, for fear he could not find places enough to accommodate them all.
It was the largest Annual Conference I had ever presided over before, but as that Conference had adopted practically the presiding elder's office, I found no trouble in arranging the work for such a large number of preachers.
At one of the meetings I said to the Conference that there were a hundred and eighty ministers of Christ in attendance on the Conference; why should we not expect the Lord in His goodness to give us a hundred and eighty souls before the adjournment? The brethren went to work in earnest; and they had a most precious time. Before the Conference closed the pastor had received into the church over a hundred, and the good work was still going on.
I had not reached home but a few days when I received a letter from the pastor, Rev. S. B. Williams, informing me that the meeting was still going on, and he had received into church the one hundred and eighty souls that the Conference had been praying for during the session.
When the Conference was in session the pastor and officers requested me to lay the corner-stone for their church, as it had never been done. I agreed to do so, and Rev. John M. Brown preached the sermon.
Then the whole Conference marched around the building, and after depositing certain articles in the stone it was walled up.
The Conference adjourned, and then I was accompanied to Baltimore by Revs. John M. Brown, H. M. Turner, A. T. Carr, and W. H. Brown. They were going on to meet the Baltimore Conference.
A few days after reaching home the Baltimore Conference met. Bishop Payne presided. Rev. B T. Tanner was elected secretary. At this Conference Bishop Payne took leave of the brethren for England, turning over his work to me to superintend in his absence. Rev. J. A. Handy was appointed to go as far as Boston, Mass., to see the Bishop off.
Soon after the Baltimore Conference Rev. B. T. Tanner resigned the charge of Bethel Church, Baltimore, to take charge of the educational work in Western Maryland. I then appointed Rev. W. H. Russell there, but on account of his health being so poor he could not take the charge; then I appointed Rev. W. D. W. Schureman.
I saw the necessity of organizing a Virginia Conference, and therefore notified all the members of the Baltimore Conference who had work in Virginia to meet in Richmond, Va., on a certain day, to organize a Conference. Revs. W. H. Hunter, R. A. Hall and W. H. Brown were also present, and rendered efficient service.
Rev. R. H. Parker, then the father of the Virginia Conference, told us he had been praying to live long enough to go to Richmond to Conference. When
he was leaving Norfolk he sent a "dispatch to heaven saying he was going to Richmond to Conference."
While the Conference was in session, the United States Court was also in session in Richmond. One day a panel of the petty jury came to the Conference. There were six white and six colored men. The foreman made a speech welcoming us to the soil of old Virginia.
Judge Underwood of the United States Court sent me word that if I would send him a list of all the members of Conference, he would send them tickets to go into the court on Monday morning to be present to witness the hearing of Jefferson Davis. I accordingly sent the list. But the messenger was behind time, and when we reached the court-house the hearing was over. He was bailed and discharged. We saw him as he was coming down the steps being cheered by his friends.
We returned to the church and resumed our Conference work, and in a few days closed, and the members took their departure to their several fields of labor.
From Richmond, Va., I came to Baltimore, Md., and then went to Philadelphia to attend the Conference, which met in Philadelphia in the mother church. Rev. James Lynch was elected secretary, and we had a harmonious session. None of the Bishops were present. Rev. A. T. Carr of the South Carolina Conference visited the Philadelphia Conference for the first time, and his sermons made a grand impression upon the ministers and people. I appointed
Rev. James Lynch to Bethel Church, Philadelphia, but he soon resigned, and joined the M. E. Church, and went to the State of Mississippi. In a few years he died.
THE night after the Conference adjourned, I left for Georgia to organize that Conference. Revs. A. T. Carr and R. P. Gibbs went with me. We had a long ride from Philadelphia to Macon, Georgia. Yet "we thanked God and took courage."
We reached Macon, Georgia, in time to organize the Conference on Thursday morning. It was rather a large number to be organized into Conference, for really there was enough present to have been a Conference sooner.
The whole town appeared to be in a state of excitement over the meeting of the Conference, for such a thing had never been seen before in the state of Georgia.
There was a father and a son both elected to deacon's orders. They lived in Savannah, and I was requested on my way to Florida to call at Savannah and set them apart. To me it was rather an impressive sight to see a father and his son both kneeling at the altar at the same time to be ordained.
I left my traveling companion, Rev. R. P. Gibbs, in Savannah as the pastor, and took my departure for the land of flowers (Florida). I rode all night in
rather an uncomfortable car; yet I endured the pain till morning, when I found myself at Live Oak station, out in the pine woods.
There I changed cars for the capital of the state of Florida. I left Philadelphia on the 27th of May. The farmers were planting corn as I passed through Pennsylvania. I reached Florida on the 9th of June, and the corn was as high as a man's head and all tasseled out.
The next morning at 9 o'clock the members met for the organization of the Conference. There I met my old friends Rev. Charles H. Pearce and Allen Jones from Queen Ann's county, Maryland. Rev. Benjamin W. Quinn was elected secretary, and we had a most agreeable session.
When Conference closed I left for the North, passed by Live Oak where I had to remain until night, and then took my uncomfortable car for Savannah, Georgia, and there spent a little time with my friend, Rev. R. P. Gibbs, and then left for Augusta, Ga., where I had been requested by the Georgia Conference to call and set apart a brother as a local deacon.
Rev. Joseph J. Clinton, one of the superintendents of the A. M. E. Zion Church, was there trying to organize a church, and he had taken some of his ministers from some other place there to hold Conference. But when he thought that he had the preachers and people they were non est.
My next appointment was Columbia, South Carolina, where I was to lay the corner-stone for the new
church. When the time arrived there was a wonderful turnout of the people. There was a great deal of money placed in the corner-stone. As a matter of course the officers of the church removed all the money before the masons walled it up. But everybody did not know that fact.
Some persons who saw the money being placed in the corner-stone supposing it was left there, went that night and pried out the stone and opened the box, and found a few papers only. Oh! what a disappointment to those would-be church corner-stone robbers!
I reached Baltimore on Saturday, three days later than I expected, for I ought to have been at Brooklyn, New York, at the opening of the Conference. But fearing I might be detained, I wrote to the late Rev. Henry Davis to open Conference for me, which he did.
ON leaving the depot in Baltimore, there was a lady who had a valise just like mine, and as I started out for the car I took her's and left mine sitting there, and never discovered the mistake until we reached Elkton; and then she got out, and she said to me, "I will take my valise now." I said, "I have not got it." She said, "Yes, you have; you took it up out of the depot." Then I discovered the mistake. Why she did not tell me when she saw me taking it I cannot tell, for I was not traveling with her, but just
happened to meet her there. I lost all my baggage for I never heard of it again.
I reached Brooklyn on Sunday morning. The members of the Conference all looked fine, but I felt a little bad at the loss of my entire outfit.
Monday morning I met the Conference, and learned that Rev. Henry Davis, the Bishop Pro Tem., had given general satisfaction. At 4 o'clock the Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. Joshua Woodlin. It was one of his best efforts, and now that he is no more, the principles of the Gospel that he preached to others afforded him solace in death.
I transferred to the New York Conference, Revs. N. H. Turpin and R. F. Wayman, and at the close of the Conference, transferred to the Philadelphia Conference, Revs. D. Dorrell and J. M. Williams, and to the Baltimore Conference, Rev. Alexander Posey. He remained only a short time. He withdrew and joined the M. E. Church, and soon passed away to the spirit land.
The Conference closed, and the ministers returned to their work, and began to talk about the approaching General Conference, and how many more Bishops ought to be elected, who should be the General Book Steward, and who would be the Editor.
During the summer I visited Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, and laid the corner-stone for the new church. Then went to Binghampton, Owego, and Buffalo, New York, and called and spent a night with my friend Douglass, at Rochester. There I found a brother of Mr. Douglass's, who was a class-mate of mine when I
first joined the church in 1837. He and his wife were sold South long before the war. When they got free they found their way to Rochester, New York.
Mr. Douglass built them a house on his land. There this brother and his family were living; they soon got tired of that cold country, and returned home to Maryland. Soon his wife died, and his own health became poor. Mr. Douglass went down to Eastern Shore, and brought his brother to Washington, D. C., where he now resides.
Rev. E. T. Williams, to whom reference is made in another chapter, removed from New Haven to Boston. When he got there he found a debt on the church there. He wrote me to come to Boston and help him again. So I left, and went and said to his people, "I have come to help my old friend Williams out of another scrape." I told them to get a hundred persons who would agree to raise$10 each in three months, at which time I would try and come and see them; and the lady raising the largest amount should have a gold watch, and also the gentleman raising the largest amount should have a gold watch.
Soon they obtained the number, and every lady and gentleman went to work. There was one gentleman who was not a member of the church. He went at it with all his heart, and soon he had a hundred dollars. He would say to the young men when meeting them on the street, "This time next week you will see me pulling out my gold watch."
The officers had a meeting, when all persons who
were engaged in the race made their returns. It was ascertained that there was one brother who had raised more than a hundred dollars. I suggested to him that inasmuch as this other gentleman was not a member of the church, and he was, to let him have the honor of getting the gold watch. They then and there agreed that he should give the amount over a hundred dollars to some one else, so as to reduce his to less than a hundred.
When the meeting was called at night, all were on hand. The announcement was made a lady from Baltimore raised the largest amount of any lady; and therefore I presented her the ladies' gold watch. The gentleman who was not a member, brought in the largest amount of any gentleman, and therefore he received the gentleman's gold watch. At this effort they raised about eleven hundred dollars. After paying all the expenses they had a thousand left.
A few years since, Rev. W. H. Hunter was appointed to that same church, and he soon found out that he would have to get out of that place; so he left the little building, and bought another fine brick; the finest church of color in the city. It is on Charles Street, Boston, Mass.
It was about time for me to go into winter quarters; and, therefore, I returned to Baltimore, feeling through the assistance of the Lord I did the best I could during the year 1867. And as it passed away to make its reports to eternity, I asked, have I accomplished any thing for God the past year? Has any one been brought from darkness to light by my
labors? Have I lived and preached in view of the judgment of the great day? I felt in my poor heart that some little had been done to the glory of His name, and with this thought 1867 closed.
JANUARY, 1868, the year commenced rather pleasantly. As I was in winter quarters, there was nothing of interest that claimed my attention. Before the close of the winter I began to think about leaving for the South.
Rev. B. T. Tanner, having resigned his position as teacher of the school in Frederick, Md., volunteered to accompany me. All things being ready, we left for Norfolk and Portsmouth, Va.
There we were joined by Rev. Elisha Weaver, from Portsmouth. We journeyed to Weldon and Wilmington, North Carolina, tarrying there a little while, and then moved on to Charleston, South Carolina. There we spent Sunday with Dr. R. H. Cain and B. H. Williams.
The Constitutional Convention was in session. Bros. Weaver and Tanner went with me to visit it. They were a fine-looking set of gentlemen. They were about equally divided between the two races. We received an introduction to the President, and then to the Convention.
On Monday night we left Charleston, South Carolina, for Savannah. The steamer was not fast, and we
were on the water all night and next day, and reached the end of our journey in time for church. Rev. R. P. Gibbs having died, Rev. J. B. Hamilton was transferrred from the Philadelphia Conference to fill the vacancy. On arriving at the church, we gave a short exhortation and then closed and retired for the night.
Next morning, the man that had been engaged to come for us disappointed us, and Brother Hamilton ran out and got an express wagon and a mule, and started for the depot. The animal was so slow I feared we would be too late, but we got there in time 00for the train.
Brother Weaver concluded to stay over, as he wanted to see the Superintendent of the railroad, for he and they were always friends. Brother Tanner and I went on our way, and reached the end of our journey about night.
Next morning the Conference met, and as my traveling companion was an excellent secretary, I asked the Conference to elect him, and they did so. The Conference was in its infancy, yet it presented considerable promise. We had not a very protracted session, but closed up in a few days.
On the day when we were about leaving, a great many persons came down to the train to see us off. The lady teacher dismissed her school, and all the children marched down to the depot. It was not very pleasant to me, for I have always had an objection to great crowds of people going to the depot when persons are leaving.
When we reached Live Oak the supper-bell was ringing, and Brother Weaver was anxious to go in and get us a cup of tea, but he said "he would not go into the kitchen."
When the landlady came he asked for tea, and she gave us a side-table. I got through first, and stepped to the landlady and asked what was her bill? She said, "One dollar." I gave it to her. Then came Brother Weaver, and he asked what was his? She said, "A dollar." Brother Weaver said, "A dollar?" "Yes," she said, "you put yourselves on an equality with white people, and you must pay what they pay." My friend got very tired paying a dollar for supper. Brother Tanner enjoyed it very much indeed.
We boarded the train and were off toward Savannah, which we reached next morning in time to take the train to Macon, Ga., where we arrived about night. Several ministers met us and conducted us to our quarters.
Next morning, the Georgia Conference met. Rev. T. G. Steward was elected secretary, assisted by my traveling companion, Rev. B. T. Tanner. The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. T. G. Steward. It was a grand effort.
The Conference closed, and we left for Augusta, Georgia, then went to Columbia to meet the South Carolina Conference. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. A. T. Carr, from the Text: "What wilt thou have me to do?" Acts ix. 6. It was one of his best efforts. Rev. W. H. Brown, the pastor, made ample arrangements for the Conference. The session was not
protracted. We were anxious to get through, so that the delegates to the General Conference might have time to get to their work before leaving for the General Conference.
From South Carolina Conference I and my two traveling companions, Bros. Weaver and Tanner, made our way toward Richmond, Va., to meet the Virginia Conference. We found Richmond all right. The visitors were: Rev. Stephen Smith, of Philadelphia; J. M. Brown, James A. Handy, of Baltimore W. D. W. Schureman, and my two traveling companions, Revs. B. T. Tanner and Elisha Weaver. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. G. T. Watkins. Rev. J. R. V. Thomas was elected secretary. The Conference was visited by Rev. Bishop Dogget, and Dr. Lee, of the M. E. Church South; and both of them made speeches, in which they gave the Church that we represented a hearty welcome to the soil of old Virginia, as well as to her capital. I announced the transfer of J. D. S. Hall to Baltimore, and W. D. W. Schureman to the Virginia Conference. Rev. G. T. Thornton was reported dead. He was a native of Virginia, and left with General Banks' retreat. He was ordained in Philadelphia, and returned to his native state to preach the Gospel and then die. Rev. Lewis H. Wayne died also this year. He was originally from Israel Church, Washington, D. C. He also went home to die. He was buried from Israel Church. I was called on to deliver the funeral addresss. Text: "Well done, good and faithful servant." Matt. xxv: 21. The Virginia Conference was
also favored with a visit from another one of her sons, in the person of Rev. Joseph A. Nelson.
April, 1868. The new Ebenezer Church in Baltimore was dedicated. I selected for a text the 10th chapter and 6th verse of the Song of Solomon: "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners?" I was assisted by Rev. J. M. Brown, W. D. W. Schureman, A. L. Stanford and others. They realized on that day one thousand dollars in cash.
The next week after the dedication of the new church, the Baltimore Annual Conference met there. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. A. L. Stanford, from the text: "Watchman, what of the night?" Isa. xxi: 6.
The missionary sermon was preached by Rev. John M. Brown. Text: "In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom." Dan. ii: 44. Rev. A. R. Green was recommended from the Union Bethel Church Quarterly Conference, and was readmitted into the Conference.
Rev. W. H. Bishop, superintendent of the A. M. E. Zion Church, was holding Conference in Baltimore at the same time. He and the Conference paid us a fraternal visit, and a speech was made to our Conference by a member of theirs, and it was responded to by Rev. John M. Brown.
On the next day our Conference paid them a visit, when an address was delivered by a member of our body and responded to by Rev. S. T. Jones. Then
we bid them God-speed, and returned and resumed our business, and in a few days adjourned to meet in Frederick City, Md.
Baltimore Conference elected their local delegate to the General Conference. D. W. Moore was appointed to Bethel Church; J. R. V. Thomas was transferred from Virginia to the Baltimore Conference.
MAY, 1868. The General Conference met in Israel Church, Washington, D. C., Rev. J. A. Handy, pastor. Bishops Quinn and Campbell, were present. Bishop Payne had not returned from England. Rev. John M. Brown, who was secretary of the last General Conference, called the roll. On motion of Rev. Elisha Weaver, Revs. B. T. Tanner, W. S. Lankford, and A. McIntosh were elected secretaries. A. McIntosh declined serving, and J. Woodlin was elected in his stead.
I wrote the quadrennial address and read it to the General Conference. The Episcopal committee was appointed by the Conference, and the other standing committees were appointed by the Bishops.
In the address of the Bishops they stated that a majority of the quarterly and annual Conferences had not voted in favor of the proposed union of the A. M. E. Church and the A. M. E. Zion Church according to the platform laid down at the convention held in Philadelphia June, 1864.
A committee from the Zion General Conference visited our General Conference, and informed us that the question had been submitted to all their quarterly and annual Conferences, and that a majority had agreed to the union.
Inasmuch as a majority of the quarterly and annual Conferences of the A. M. E. Church had not agreed to the union.according to the platform of 1864, therefore Rev. R. H. Cain offered a resolution that there be another convention of both bodies to lay a new basis for union. To this the Zion General Conference refused to accede, and therefore no further steps were taken in that direction.
One day our General Conference received from the General Conference of the M. E. Church, then in session in the city of Chicago, Illinois, a telegram, informing us that the General Conference was ready and willing to enter into ways and means to form a union with the A. M. E. Church.
A committee of our ablest men were appointed by the bishops, to consider this great question of union, and while the bishops and committee were discussing the proposals coming from the General Conference of the M. E. Church, we ascertained that the telegram was not for our General Conference, but for the Zion General Conference.
The reception of this telegram explained or revealed these facts to us--that while the two General Conferences in Washington were discussing the subject of union, the Zion General Conference were negotiating terms of union with the M. E. Church.
There was a question in the minds of many of the delegates comprising our General Conference as to whether the superintendents of the Zion Church, in the event of a union, would have accepted ordination at the hands of our bishops, or not. I had it from the lips of a brother now in the better land, that the superintendents of Zion were willing to be ordained by one of the bishops of the A M. E. Church. All they desired was that they be allowed to select the bishop who should ordain them; and I further understood from that brother that they had made choice of the bishop to do it.
At this General Conference the bishops recommended the election of one more bishop. The General Conference, after considerable discussion, agreed to elect three bishops.
There was a very large number of ministers brought into the Church during the two or three past years. They were from South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina and Alabama. These Conferences elected a certain number of ministers, and sent them up as representatives to the General Conference. They were admitted by vote. Then they were called in front of the altar, and introduced to the General Conference as the representatives of the work in the South,
A day was fixed when the election of bishops should take place. On the first ballot Rev. James A. Shorter and Thos. M. D. Ward were elected. Revs. J. M. Brown and John Turner received the next highest votes. As neither of them had received a
majority of all the votes, a second ballot was ordered, when Rev. John M. Brown was declared elected.
Rev. J. A. Handy was elected secretary of the missionary society; Rev. Joshua Woodlin was elected General Book-steward, while B. T. Tanner was elected editor of the Christian Recorder.
On Monday morning, May--, 1864, Bishop Payne preached the ordination sermon. The bishops elect were presented; James A. Shorter, by John Turner; Thomas M. D. Ward, by Joshua Woodlin, and John M. Brown, by W. D. W. Schureman. They were then ordained jointly by the four bishops present. Thus the number of bishops was increased to seven.
The Bishops selected their districts. Philadelphia, New York and New England, Bishop Campbell; Baltimore, Virginia and North Carolina, Bishop Wayman; Pittsburg, Ohio and Kentucky, Bishop Payne; Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, Bishop Quinn. Bishop Shorter took the South-West, and organized the Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas Conferences; Bishop Ward the Pacific coast; Bishop Brown South Carolina, Georgia, Florida; and he organized the Alabama Conference.
We all started out for another four years' campaign, expecting success to attend our labors.
I HAD to hold the Philadelphia Conference this year, which met in the city of Wilmington, Delaware. As this was the first time that our annual Conference had ever met there, the members were anxious that a good impression should be made.
The annual sermon was preached by Rev. Joseph H. Smith. Text, Romans, i. 16: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel." It was an able effort. The only thing that I ever heard anyone say against that sainted man (Joseph H. Smith) was that he always kept his eyes shut while preaching.
The pastor and trustees secured the large hall to hold our meetings. On Sunday there was one deacon and several elders ordained. Bishop Campbell preached at eleven o'clock, A. M., Bishop Ward preached at three o'clock, and the late J. M. Williams at night.
The A. M. E. Church had hardly been known in Wilmington, Delaware, before this, but she came to the front that day. After Bishop Ward was through with his sermon, the pastor of the Grace M. E. church came upon the platform and asked Bishop Ward to preach for him at night. The Bishop declined, saying he was afraid his throat would not stand it.
I then suggested that he invite Bishop Campbell to preach, and he did so; and although the Bishop had an appointment at six o'clock at another church, he
accepted this appointment at eight o'clock. Bishop Brown preached for the Unitarians.
Monday morning we had a visit from that great friend of human freedom, William Lloyd Garrison. He was brought to the Conference by Rev. F. Israel. Mr. Garrison was introduced to the Conference, and was asked to say a word or two. He delivered an eloquent address, referring to the past history of our race, and what had been done for us; and now that we were men, we should stand on our feet.
Rev. B. T. Tanner, by request, responded to him. After which he and Mr. Israel retired, feeling highly gratified at meeting such a large and intelligent body of Christian ministers.
At the close of this Conference I transferred Dr. D. P. Seaton to Wilmington, North Carolina, and Rev. Daniel Draper to Annapolis, Md., and then turned over the good old Philadelphia Conference into the hands of Bishop Campbell, and bade the brethren adieu.
I had to hold the New York Conference, which met at Newark, New Jersey. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. W. T. Catto. Bishops Campbell and Ward were present, and also Rev. J. A. Handy. The new Church was dedicated during the Conference. Rev. R. F. Wayman was the pastor. A committee, consisting of Rev. Drs. Crane, Porter and Freeman, of the Newark preachers' meeting of the M. E. Church, paid the Conference a fraternal visit, and we were addressed by Dr. Crane. Rev. J. A. Handy, by request, responded to the doctor.
Rev. Theodore Gould was transferred to the New York Conference this year, to succeed Rev. Joshua Woodlin, at Fleet street, Brooklyn. At the close of this Conference, for the first time, the Conference concluded to present me with a purse of twenty-five dollars; and I placed it in my vest pocket, and I have not seen it since. Some kind friend relieved me of it.
I had always opposed the Conference taking the money out of their contingent fund to make up purses for me, and when I lost that amount of money I thought perhaps the members of the Conference took it out of that fund, and that was the reason I lost it.
After winding up the business of this session, which was a most interesting one to me, I gave all into the hands of my successor, Bishop Campbell, and returned to Baltimore to commence the work in my own district.
During the summer I was engaged with the brethren in bush and camp-meetings in Maryland and eastern Virginia.
In the autumn of 1868 I was called to Carlisle, Pa., to dedicate the new church that had been erected by Rev. Amos Wilson. The building was a beautiful brick. Such as was needed in that city.
Rev. Jacklin Strange, of the Virginia Conference, had erected a new church in Staunton, Va., and sent for me to dedicate it. I was pleased to receive the information; and when the time came I was on my
way there. The Sunday was pleasant, and the turnout was large.
When I was on my way there on Saturday I met a brother on the car, and he asked me which way I was going. Said I, "To Staunton." Said he, "I hear that there is a new church built there, the members of which are called Bethelites. What do you think of them?" I said, "Well, I don't know, I reckon they are all right." "What do they believe in?" "Well," I said, "They believe in freedom." "In freedom?" said he. "Oh, yes," said I, "That is what I have been told." Well," said he, "When I go to Staunton again I will call and see them."
My strange friend and I parted at the next station, and we did not meet any more until my next visit to Staunton. There I found him, and to my surprise, he was a member of the A. M. E. Church. My next journey was toward North Carolina by the way of Richmond; Danville to Greensboro', then on to Salem. I then went as far as Morgantown, where I spent one Sunday with Rev. Joseph Nichols.
From there I returned to Saulsbury, and then to Charlotte, from which place I went to Wilmington, North Carolina. Dr. D. P. Seaton was the Presiding Elder, and with him I went over his district. Sometimes riding in an ox-cart, and sometimes on foot; yet I enjoyed that kind of missionary life.
After visiting all the work in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, I went into winter quarters. This winter the Bishops held their meeting in Philadelphia, and also the meeting of the Missionary Board. This was a very large meeting.
On the fourth of March, 1869, General Grant took his seat as President of the United States. The day before the inauguration I received a despatch from Washington, D. C., calling me there on important business. I went in haste, and when I reached there I was told by the brethren that during the winter Bishop Campbell was in the city of Washington and obtained a ticket to go into the Senate Chamber on that day to witness the swearing in of the Vice President, and as he (Bishop Campbell) was not there, they wanted me to go in his place.
I obtained the ticket and went to the door of the Senate Chamber and was admitted; and as the Chamber was very much crowded I had to stand up. Dr. Haven, since Bishop Haven, was in the gallery and saw me standing. He threw a card down to Senator Wilson, who requested one of the pages to get me a seat, and I sat just in the rear of the late Bishop Ames, of the M. E. Church.
The scene was solemn. It was the closing of that session of Congress. Old Senators were going out and new ones were coming in. About half-past eleven o'clock there was a committee appointed to wait on the President of the United States to ascertain if he had any further communication to make to the Senate. The committee reported that he had no further communication to make.
The Senate sat in silence, waiting for the arrival of twelve o'clock. Soon General Grant came in, resting on the arm of Senator McDonald, of Kentucky. Next came Mr. Colfax, resting on the arm of a Senator.
At twelve o'clock the President of the Senate, Mr. Wade, of Ohio, rapped with his gavel and said, "The Vice President of the United States will now be inaugurated." Mr. Colfax stepped upon the platform and read a short address, and then Senator Wade swore him in, and declared that Congress adjourned. The Vice President requested the Secretary to call the names of the Senators-elect. He called four at a time, and they were sworn in by the Vice President. He at the same time shook their hands.
He then announced that the Senate would adjourn and go out and witness the inauguration of the President of the United States. The crowd all went out to look upon the sight; but before I got out it was all over.
I had the pleasure to see the President and Vice-President riding up the Avenue together in a carriage, escorted by colored as well as white soldiers.
The Baltimore Annual Conference of the M. E. Church was in session in Washington. Revs. J. A. Handy, James M. Williams and R. A. Hall went with me, and it was the first time that we were ever introduced to the old Baltimore Conference. The late Bishop Clark presided.
About this time I was called upon by white gentlemen to go with a committee to call upon the President of the United States, to secure places for them; and not being acquainted with the tricks of politicians, they got me to go to Washington once; and then I was represented as urging the claims of two gentlemen for the same place.
What a change in a few years! Once colored men could not go on the train unless some one else said so, and now there are gentlemen who once occupied high positions, such as Judges of the Court and members of Congress, begging colored men to go and see the President for them. Both of these gentlemen succeeded in getting positions.
About the last of March, I left for North Carolina, stopping at Portsmouth, then down to Deep Creek, giving Dr. Watkins a call at Norfolk; then on to Weldon, where I changed cars for Warrenton. This was the charge of Rev. W. H. Bishop. I found his congregation out in power at night.
From Warrenton I went to Raleigh, and then on to Greensboro, where the North Carolina Conference was organized. Rev. S. B. Williams was elected secretary. Rev. W. H. Bishop preached the Annual Sermon. There was a large number admitted on trial. Rev. Joshua Woodlin, General Book Steward, visited the Conference; and his presence was hailed with delight by the members. He gave a grand lecture on the Origin of the A. M. E. Church. Brother Woodlin was so large and powerful that some lady named him the "Swamp Angel" of the A. M. E. Church. This closed the first session of the Annual Conference of North Carolina.
From Greensboro I went to Raleigh, where I was ordered by the Conference to ordain Nelson Farrow a deacon. From Raleigh I went to Wilmington to ordain Lewis Williams and John Epps; and as the train was nearing Rocky Point, it ran over and killed a man. I spent the Sunday in Wilmington.
Monday morning, April 21, 1869, I left for Norfolk to meet the Virginia Conference, which opened on Wednesday morning. Rev. W. D. W. Schureman was elected secretary, and W. B. Derrick assistant. R. J. Gasaway, J. E. W. Moore and G. W. Pinchard were admitted on trial; R. Armstead, John Lewis and Cato L. Dailey were continued on trial, and W. H. Smith, Thos. Moore, W. F. Williams, Matthew Marshall, Aaron Pindel and Jacklin Strange were admitted into full connection.
Rev. Joshua Woodlin, General Book Steward, and Rev. J. A. Handy, the Missionary Secretary, were introduced to the Conference. George Williams, W. F. Williams, Americus Woodhouse and Peter Shepherd were ordained elders. The Conference then adjourned. Rev. G. T. Watkins was transferred to the Baltimore Conference.
In company with the "Swamp Angel," Rev. Joshua Woodlin, I left for Baltimore, and reached there next morning, and remained at home until 3 o'clock, then left for Frederick City, Md.
THURSDAY morning, April 29, 1869. The Baltimore Conference met for the first time in this part of the state, and it was a real curiosity. It was said by one man that he never saw such a fine-looking set of colored men. Then he went so far as to say, surely they must be white men with black skins. Rev. J. A. Handy preached the Annual Sermon.
Richard Govens, P. M. Onley, Shadrack Jones and Josiah H. Hughes were admitted on trial. N. B. Sterrett, A. Jones, L. Benson and J. H. Sliner were continued on trial.
The City Hall was obtained for service on Sunday. It was a grand day for African Methodism in that city. A. L. Stanford and J. A. Handy preached able sermons. The Missionary Sermon was preached by J. R. V. Thomas. Text, "The world lieth in wickedness." 1 John v: 19. It was one of his ablest efforts.
The Conference adjourned, and the members returned to Baltimore, and held a grand Missionary meeting in Bethel Church. Rev. J. R. V. Thomas and several others addressed the meeting.
Friday afternoon there was a meeting of the Sunday Schools in Bethel Church. Revs. G. M. Witten, M. F. Sluby and Daniel Draper spoke. There was a grand turnout of the little folks. The singing was excellent. Rev. J. H. Spriggs was transferred to the North Carolina Conference.
At this Conference, Rev. Joshua Woodlin resigned his office as General Book Steward, and A. L. Stanford was elected in his place. Rev. Jacob Mitchell went to Baltimore in A. L. Stanford's place.
May, 1869, I visited Philadelphia Conference, which met in Bethel Church in the city. Bishops Campbell and Shorter were present. Ex-President Roberts of Liberia, Africa, and E. D. Bassett, Minister to Hayti, were introduced to the Conference. Both of them made fine speeches. Revs. J. H. A. Johnson and Frisby J. Cooper responded to them.
The Sunday School Anniversary was a grand affair. Dr. Watts and M. F. Sluby addressed the school and gave general satisfaction. Ex-President Roberts also said a word or two to the school.
Sunday, May 10, 1869, by request of Bishop Campbell, I dedicated the new church at Media, Pa. Text, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee." Ps. cxxii: 6. The collection was extraordinary for that small city.
I was invited by Bishop Campbell to go with him to New York Conference, which met this year at Albany, the capital of the state. The ride along the North River was very pleasant. Our company consisted of Bishop Campbell, Elders Wayman, Gould, Davis and Sluby. We reached the end of our journey about 4 o'clock.
The next morning the New York Conference met at 9 o'clock. Bishop Campbell presided, and the late Rev. Elisha Weaver was elected secretary. At 4 o'clock the Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. N. H. Turpin. Text, "They watch for your souls." Heb. xiii: 17. I transferred Rev. M. F. Sluby to the New York Conference, and Bishop Campbell gave him an appointment. But he was in Baltimore almost as soon as I was. He could not stand the New York winds. He was re-appointed to the Union Bethel Church, Baltimore.
Wednesday morning, June 2, 1869. There was a large congregation assembled in Bethel Church, Baltimore, at 8 o'clock, to witness the marriage of Rev. James A. Handy and Mrs. Rachel S. Trives.
This summer we entered Queen Ann's county, Maryland, for the first time as a church. Sunday, June 6, 1869, I laid the corner-stone of the new church at Roseville, Queen Ann's county. This year there was a church built at Church Hill, in the same county.
The Macedonian cry reached me from Snow Hill, Come over and help us, for we want the A. M. E. Church flag raised here. I obeyed the call and started, leaving Baltimore on the steamer for Georgetown, Cecil county, Md.; then to Cecilton, resting there all night. Next morning took the stage to Middletown, Delaware, down the railroad to Saulsbury, thence to Snow Hill.
Sunday, June 13, 1869. The flag of African Methodism was raised in Snow Hill, Md., for the first time, and may it never be trailed in the dust. I appointed Rev. G. H. Jones to that mission. He also organized at Newtown.
Sunday, June 20, 1869, I assisted Bishop Campbell in the dedication of a splendid new church at Pottsville, Pa. Dr. D. P. Seaton was also with us. It was a day long to be remembered. The late Rev. H. J. Rhoads was the pastor.
In company with Bishop Campbell, I attended the commencement at Wilberforce University, Xenia, Ohio. All the Bishops except Bishop Ward were present. The Bishops held a meeting at the University, and then adjourned to meet in Cincinnati, where we remained a few days, and then adjourned.
July 17, 1869. I visited Eastern Virginia to attend
a bush meeting for Brother William F. Williams. The meeting was held near Savageville, and there was a grand turn-out of the good old Eastern Virginians.
This year Rev. J. H. A. Johnson felt especially called to go to that part of Eastern Virginia to labor, as he organized nearly all the work there. But one year was enough for him. He was transferred to the Baltimore Conference.
The A. M. E. Church having been re-organized at Denton, my native home, I went there in July, 1869, to hold a bush meeting. I was accompanied by Rev. James A. Handy on Sunday, who gave the A. M. E. Church a great lift. He was then the Secretary of the Missionary Society.
SUNDAY morning, August 1st, 1869, I dedicated the new Pisgah chapel in Washington City. Rev. Wm. H. Waters, now the oldest traveling preacher in Baltimore Conference, was pastor. The church was well filled. Text, "My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest." Ex. xxxiii: 14. Afternoon, the late Rev. W. D. Harris preached. The financial effort was a good one.
Saturday morning, August 7th, 1869, I started for the camp-meeting at Cambridge, Md. I had a very strong and powerful staff with me in the persons of Revs. J. A. Handy, R. Squirrell Charles H. Wayman,
John E. Wright, and J. R. V. Thomas. These brethren did good work that day.
What was a little remarkable, Rev. J. R. V. Thomas's mother and father took him away from Cambridge about thirty years before this, on a sail-boat. They were seated on the deck of the boat, and then the cord-wood was piled up around and over them, and in that way they reached Philadelphia safely.
Some of my readers may remember having read of a man who made his escape in a box, and he was afterward called Box Brown. My friend Thomas can be called Cord-wood Thomas.
After closing my camp-meeting tours, I prepared to pay south-western Virginia a visit, where I had never been before. Leaving Baltimore for Washington, D. C., then to Gordonsville, from there to Lynchburg, Va. There was no A. M. E. Church there then, but now there is a fine little church and congregation.
I met Rev. Thomas Thomas from Circleville, Ohio, there. That was his home years ago, and he had returned again. I rested with a Christian family that belongs to the Baptist Church, and was treated well.
The next morning I moved out toward Salem, Va., and found the pastor, Rev. John W. Diggs, at his post. I found at this point a good church and congregation. Rev. J. W. Diggs was the first minister of our church that visited that part of Virginia. The ministers of the M. E. Church, South, told me in Baltimore that if I would send some one there as a minister, they would turn over their colored members
to us. So they did. The A. M. E. Church planted by Rev. John W. Diggs is doing well.
My next point was Cave Spring. This place takes its name from a large spring running out of a large rock. In order to reach that place we had to cross over the Roanoke river. The water was not deep. Some of our party rode in wagons, but Diggs and I got on the back of a large mule and rode across. Rev. J. E. W. Moore was the pastor at this place.
When my time was out at Salem I left for Christiansburg. There Rev. W. B. Derrick met me with Col. Preston's two-horse carriage, and took me to Blackburg, Va., where I spent a Sunday and several days. Blackburg is situated on the top of the Alleghany Mountains.
While in Blackburg the post-master of the town told Brother Derrick that the pastor and members desired me to fill their pulpit on a certain night. Brother Derrick said, "when he received an invitation like any Bishop, then he would preach." The invitation came, but Brother Derrick would not allow his people to go, because they were asked to go in the gallery.
I next visited Wytheville, where Rev. John H. Offer had the charge, and there spent a Sunday very pleasantly indeed. I returned home to Baltimore at the end of this visit.
Sunday, October 4th, 1869, I attended the re-opening of the A. M. E. Church at Hagerstown, Md. I was assisted by Rev. James A. Handy. This church was built by Rev. Thomas W. Henry, and re-modeled
by Rev. John F. Lane. The appearance of the church was greatly improved.
Sunday afternoon, October 11th, 1869, I laid the corner-stone for the new St. John's Chapel on Tessier street, Baltimore. There was a large congregation in attendance, and the collection amounted to one hundred and fifty dollars. Rev. John J. Herbert, the pastor, was much pleased with the great success that attended his efforts that day.
Sunday morning, November 28th, 1869, I dedicated the new Union Bethel Church in Baltimore City. Rev. M. F. Sluby, who had been transferred to New York, returned to Baltimore Conference, and went to work and built the new Union Bethel Church. By bad management it has since got out of our hands.
Sunday, December 26th, 1869, I was called to Norfolk, Va., to dedicate the St. John's Chapel, on Bute Street, which had been re-modeled by Rev. J. D. S. Hall. I was accompanied by Rev. W. H. Waters. I was then preparing to go into winter quarters, but was called out by Rev. Jacklin Strange, to go to Greenville, Virginia, to dedicate a new church; and then went for a few days only.
Sunday, January 9th, 1870, I dedicated the new chapel, Washington, D, C. It is located in the eastern part of the city, and was known as East Washington Mission.
About the time I was resting in my winter quarters, there came an invitation from Rev. J. H. Hughes to come to Havre de Grace, Maryland, to dedicate a new church for him, a few miles out of that town.
Accordingly I went, and on Sunday, January 16, 1870, the new church at Stewardsville, Harford county, Maryland, was dedicated.
I remained at my winter quarters until February 15, 1870, when I left for the North Carolina Conference, which met in Raleigh, North Carolina. S. B. Williams was elected secretary. Dr. D. P. Seaton preached the annual Missionary sermon. Text, "He went about doing good." Acts x: 38. The Conference had a visit from Bishop Brown, Revs. James A. Handy and W. H. Brown.
The missionary meeting was a grand affair. It was addressed by Bishop Brown, J. A. Handy and W. H. Brown. The Conference adjourned, and we all had plenty of snow to leave in, but we made our way on from Raleigh to Weldon and Portsmouth, Va.
FEBRUARY 25, 1870, I visited the Senate of the United States to hear the discussion about admitting H. R. Revels as a Senator of the United States. There was considerable excitement over it for one or two days. Those who were opposed to him offered a resolution to refer his credentials to the Committee on the Judiciary, with instructions to inquire whether he had been a citizen of the United States long enough to entitle him to be a Senator. That motion failed. "Then," said Senator Wilson, of Massachusetts, "they had the opposition in the last ditch, and now
they could hear the last wail of the dying swan." But continued he, "The crowning act will be to-day, before the sun goes down, a colored man will be sworn in a Senator on this floor." And then he moved that Mr. Revels be sworn in. Senator Trumbull of Illinois said, "That was unnecessary, for it always followed, when the Senate refused to send a Senator elect's credentials to the Committee he was sworn in."
Vice-President Colfax said, "Mr. Revels will now be sworn in, unless there is objection, and if there be objection it will have to be taken by ayes and noes. Mr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, objected. "Secretary will call the roll." And as their names were called all answered, and when the result was announced there were forty-eight for him and eight against him.
Senator Wilson took Mr. Revels by the arm and led him up in front of the vice-president, Colfax, who swore him in.
Mr. Revels showed signs of great nervousness during all the proceedings. It was a grand sight to me to see an A. M. E. Church minister sworn in as a Senator of the United States.
On Monday night, March 7, 1870, by invitation, Senator Revels came to Baltimore and delivered a lecture in Bethel Church, to a large congregation. Judge Bond and many other distinguished citizens were out to hear him. The lecture gave general satisfaction.
The Virginia Conference met this year at Portsmouth, Virginia. Rev. W. D. W. Schureman was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached
by Rev. John H. Offer. J. M. Morris, L. W. Lee, Robert Davis and John H. Reddick were admitted on trial; Robert Armsteed, C. L. Dailey, Shadrach Jones and John B. Lewis were admitted into full connection.
The missionary sermon was preached by Rev. I. J. Hill. Text: "Woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel." 1 Cor. ix: 16. The congregation was large, and the missionary collection was good. At the close of this Conference Rev. J. H. A. Johnson was transferred to the Baltimore Conference. Sunday, April 3, 1870, I dedicated the new church at Petersville, Md., Rev. L. Benson, pastor.
The pastor and members of Bethel Church, Baltimore, concluded to have a religious celebration of the Fifteenth Amendment in their church, on Thursday, April 14, 1870. Bishop Payne was invited to preach at 11 o'clock on that day. He was present at the appointed time, and gave to the congregation a most eloquent sermon. I was requested to follow on in the afternoon. Text: "The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad." Ps. cxxvi: 3. Rev. J. R. V. Thomas preached at night. This wound up the religious celebration for that day.
The Baltimore Annual Conference met this year, for the first time, in Hagerstown, Md. There were about fifty ministers left Baltimore on a special train, and when the cars reached Hagerstown the members marched in a body to the church, and as they were passing along the street the attention of every person was attracted. One German man cried, "Vat, vat does all dis mean?"
On reaching the church, the pastor, Rev. J. F. Lane, sent every man to his head-quarters. Among the number was that aged sire, Rev. T. W. Henry, who had to fly from the state some years ago, because his name was found among John Brown's papers. But he came back to his native town again, and was respected by all who knew him in other days.
Rev. J. R. V. Thomas was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. D. W. Moore, and it was one of his best efforts. Rev. Jacob Mitchell was another one who had left the state years before, and returned back to see his friends.
Bishop Campbell paid the Baltimore Conference a visit this year. Dr. D. P. Seaton was transferred to the Baltimore Conference. Rev. J. C. Waters was received and elected to deacon's orders, and transferred to the Kentucky Conference.
On Sunday our meeting was held in the large Hall. Bishop Campbell preached in the morning, Dr. Watkins at 3 o'clock, P. M., and A. L. Stanford at night. This was the grandest day for African Methodism that Hagerstown ever witnessed. The impression made upon the minds of the citizens was lasting.
Monday morning Bishop Campbell took leave of the Conference, making a short speech. He was responded to by Rev. J. A. Handy. Rev. Thomas W. Henry informed the Conference that Bishop Campbell's father, Rev. Anthony Campbell, was among the first African M. E. ministers that had charge of the Church in Hagerstown. When the Conference adjourned we left in a special train for Baltimore.
This year Bishop Payne transferred Rev. John A. Warren from the Ohio to the Baltimore Conference. He was appointed to Bethel Church. But he was not able to preach once. He came to the parsonage very feeble, and spent several days. One day he was looking out at the back window; there was a cloud rising. He had said to his wife, who was speaking about taking him out riding, "I must be back by five o'clock." There was a sudden clap of thunder. He left the window and laid down on the sofa, and in a few minutes was no more.
Bishop Shorter was good enough to give me Dr. Revels to fill Rev. John A. Warren's place at Bethel Church, Baltimore. His arrival was hailed with delight by all the members of the church.
May 10, 1870. I visited the Philadelphia Conference, which met at Trenton, New Jersey. Bishops Campbell and Brown were present. They had rather a protracted session. Rev. C. Woodyard, who had left and joined the Baptist Church, returned to the Conference again. The brethren had made up their minds to oppose him; but when he came, asking the members to give him an humble place among them, all their opposition fled away, and he was admitted.
May 19, 1870. The grand celebration of the Fifteenth Amendment took place in Baltimore. There were more than ten thousand persons in the procession. I have never seen a finer turnout in all my life. They marched through the principal streets of the Monumental City. Wm. U. Saunders was the chief-marshal, and he performed his part admirably.
May, 1870, I visited the New York Conference, which met in the Bridge Street Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. Bishop Campbell presided. Rev. A. C. Crippin was the secretary and W. H. W. Winder was assistant. On May 25 the committee on Memoirs presented an elaborate report on the death of Rev. Edmund Crosby. Revs. Stephen Smith, of Philadelphia, Wm. Moore, N. C. B. Thomas and Willis Jones--old and tried friends of the deceased--delivered addresses. After the Conference adjourned I returned to Baltimore. On Sunday, June 5, laid the corner-stone for the new church at Cambridge, Md. Rev. Jacob W. Bowser was the pastor in charge.
Sunday, June 12, 1870, I was called to Savageville in Eastern Virginia to dedicate a new church. It was a fine little church. The late Wm. F. Williams was the pastor. I had scarcely reached home before another call came to go to another part of old Virginia to dedicate a new church. This church is situated at Suffolk, Va., on the railroad leading from Portsmouth to Weldon, North Carolina.
Rev. Richard Govens, the pastor, labored hard to erect his church. He succeeded through God in getting up. On Sunday, June 19th, 1870, assisted by Rev. W. D. W. Schureman, I dedicated this church and named her Macedonia. That name was selected by Brother Govens.
On the 28th of June, 1870, I attended the commencement at Wilberforce University. Rev. G. T. Watkins delivered the address to the Literary Society. It was a masterly effort. Thomas H. Jackson, John T. Jenifer, and Isaiah H. Welsh graduated.
The Board of Bishops met this year at Columbus. Present, Bishops Quinn, Payne, Campbell, Shorter and Brown. We spent a Sunday in that city.
On the 8th of July, I lost the last and only sister I had in the world. She died in Philadelphia. Her funeral took place from Bethel Church in Philadelphia. Rev. J. M. Williams preached the funeral discourse.
THURSDAY, July 14, Dr. Revels reached Baltimore, and on Sunday, July 17, he opened in Bethel Church. It had been previously announced, through the papers, that he had been transferred to the Baltimore Conference, and appointed to Bethel Church. This announcement called out a large crowd of people. The Doctor was very successful during the two years he was in Bethel Church.
August 5th, the first national camp-meeting was held at Oakington, Harford county, in the state of Maryland. There was the largest number of ministers that was known at any of our camp-meetings. They were there from South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York.
On Sunday, August 7, 1870, at 8 o'clock, D. E. Asbury preached. At 10 o'clock, Bishop Campbell. At 3 o'clock, Dr. Revels, and at night Joseph H. Smith.
Sunday, November 13, 1870, I dedicated a new church in my native town, Denton, where forty years
before Rev. N. C. W. Cannon was chased from, simply because he was a minister of the A. M. E. Church.
Leaving Denton, I passed into the State of Delaware as far as Smyrna, where there was a Methodist Convention being held. I called in to see them, and hear what they were doing. Some historical accounts were given of the introduction of Methodism into various parts of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Sunday, November 20, 1870, I dedicated a new church for Rev. Americus Woodhouse, near Owing's Mills, Baltimore county, Maryland. The collection was very good during the day. The pastor was much pleased with the success which attended our efforts that day.
December 15, 1870. The North Carolina Conference met at Newbern, North Carolina. Rev. S. B. Williams was elected secretary. Rev. M. F. Sluby's transfer from the Baltimore Conference was announced. Rev. G. W. Brodie preached the Annual Sermon. On Friday night, Rev. M. F. Sluby delivered an address on education. It was considered by those who heard it to be very able. The Conference had the pleasure of a visit from Rev. H. J. Young, then of the Kentucky Conference. At the close of the Conference I was contemplating going into winter quarters, when I received a request from Bishop Payne to visit some of his work in Ohio and Kentucky.
I left Baltimore for that purpose; passed through
Frederick and Cumberland. Sunday, January 1st, 1871, dedicated a new church at Frostburg, Md. From Frostburg to Wheeling, West Virginia, then on to Bellaire. At both of these places I found interesting congregations. My next place was Cincinnati, then on to Lexington and Frankfort, Kentucky, and Louisville, where I spent Sunday with Brothers Graham and Waters. I returned by the way of Nicholsville, Kentucky; crossed over to Cincinnati, to Xenia, Columbus, Steubenville, Pittsburg; then to Baltimore.
The colored ministers of Baltimore called a convention to meet in Bethel Church. Rev. J. A. Handy was elected president, and Rev. John H. Brice vice-president, They discussed a great many subjects relating to the interests of our people. The convention was largely attended by ministers and laymen.
April, 1871. The Baltimore Conference met for the first time east of the Chesapeake Bay. It met at Easton, and arrangements were made by the Steamboat Company to take the whoIe Conference down and return at a certain price, and provide breakfast for all the ministers.
And as the steamboat landed about two miles from the town, stages had been engaged to convey the members. And when they reached there the whole town was up in arms to see the members of this Conference.
The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. John F. Lane. It was considered a very able effort indeed.
Rev. J. H. A. Johnson was elected secretary. The City Hall was secured for Sunday. Dr. Revels and Bishop Brown preached to the great satisfaction of all who heard them. Rev. James H. A. Johnson preached the Annual Missionary Sermon in the City Hall on Monday afternoon, to a large congregation. It was an intellectual treat.
At the close of the Conference I transferred Rev. J. R. V. Thomas to Louisiana and Rev. John F. Lane to Virginia Conferences. Dr. Revels was re-appointed to Bethel Church, and James A. Handy to Ebenezer Church, Baltimore. The Virginia Conference met this spring at Staunton, Virginia. Rev. W. D. W. Schureman was transferred to Baltimore, and was appointed to Georgetown, D. C.
I visited the Philadelphia Conference this year. It was held at the Union Church. Bishop Campbell presided. The session was pleasant. Bishop Quinn was also present.
At this Conference they elected their delegates to the General Conference. It was rather a strong delegation. I also visited New York Conference. Bishops Campbell and Brown were present. Just about the time the Conference adjourned the sad news reached us that Rev. Wm. Moore was no more.
Arrangements were made, and the most of the members came on to Philadelphia to attend the funeral of our brother, Wm. Moore. There was a large congregation assembled in Bethel Church, of which he had been the acceptable pastor for four years in his life.
Bishops Campbell, Brown and myself spoke, and then removed his mortal remains to the house appointed for all the living, there to rest until the archangel's trumpet shall call him to arise. Rev. Wm. Moore was among the last that were ordained by Bishop Allen.
This being the year previous to General Conference, a great deal was said as to what ought to be done for the better regulation of the church.
This year, Rev. W. H. G. Brown, a local elder in Bethel Church, Baltimore, died at a good old age. His funeral took place from the church of which he was a member and a minister. Dr. Revels preached the funeral sermon.
In the autumn of this year, Rev. A. L. Stanford, who was the General Book Steward, left the book concern without any notice, and went to Mississippi, and joined the M. E. Church. His admission into that church was hailed with delight. But when they found him out, his dismissal was hailed with more delight.
The year 1871 closed very pleasantly. The most of the ministers had enjoyed good health. Rev. John F. Lane at Portsmouth, Va., gained a grand victory in the court in favor of the A. M. E. Church, when an attempt was made to oust him therefrom. The people will long remember John F. Lane.
December, 1870, I went into winter quarters, and remained a little while, and then came out. So I continued until the dawning of the spring. In March there were two Annual Conferences in session at the
same time in Baltimore. One was the Baltimore Conference of the M. E. Church, presided over by Bishop Simpson, and the other the Washington Conference of the M. E. Church, colored, presided over by Bishop Janes. I visited both of them. Bishop Janes and his presiding elders took tea with us one evening by invitation.
Some of our brethren had gone down in that hard county in Maryland, called Prince George, and organized our church, and I wanted to visit them. I took the steamer to Benedic, and then had a fine time walking in the mud, yet I reached the places and filled all of my appointments, and returned home. When I reached home I received the sad news that my mother was no more. She was only sick a few minutes, and then died.
She raised twelve children, and lived to see them all grow up; and all but three died, and then she passed away at a good old age. Some one asked her once, how many grandchildren she had? Her answer was, "Three wagon loads."
This Spring the Virginia Conference met in Richmond, Va. Rev. W. B. Derrick was elected secretary. The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. J. B. Hamilton. The Conference had the pleasure of a visit from Revs. B. T. Tanner and H. J. Young. The former was representing the Book Concern and the latter Wilberforce University. The Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference. This being my last Conference previous to the General Conference, I took leave of the Virginia Conference
and returned home, and made ready for the Baltimore Conference.
The Baltimore Conference met this year at Union Bethel church, Washington, D. C. Rev. James H. A. Johnson and J. H. W. Burley were secretaries. The annual sermon was preached by Dr. Revels, and the missionary sermon by Rev. R. A. Hall. Rev. M. F. Sluby was transferred to the Baltimore Conference from the North Carolina, and also W. H. Brown from the South Carolina.
The Conference fixed on a day to visit the President of the United States. When the day came the Conference marched in a body to the White House. President Grant was introduced by Mr. James L. Thomas to Rev. J. A. Handy, and then J. A. Handy introduced the Bishop and Conference to the President. Rev. James H. A. Johnson read the address, which was an admirable one.
The Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference, which was a strong one. The Conference adjourned. Dr. Revels was transferred to the Kentucky Conference, and George T. Watkins appointed his successor at Bethel church, Baltimore.
On Wednesday night, May 1st, the Baltimore and Virginia delegates left Baltimore for Harrisburg, Pa. There we met the Philadelphia, New York and New England delegation, and proceeded on to Pittsburg, then to Cincinnati, where we changed cars for Louisville, Kentucky, reaching there about two o'clock. One of our members, brother Robert Jackson, a lay delegate, was taken sick there, and we had to leave
him behind. On his way home to Brooklyn, New York, he died.
At eleven o'clock, Friday night, May 3d, 1872, we left Louisville, Kentucky, for Nashville, Tennessee, and reached there about eight o'clock on Saturday morning, May 4th. Our arrival there produced a great deal of excitement among the people, for they had never seen such a large number of colored ministers together before.
The pastors had made ample provision for the accommodation of the delegates. Sunday morning Rev. Theodore Gould, of the Philadelphia Conference, preached at St. Paul's, Rev. J. M. Wilkerson at three o'clock, and Rev. I. H. Welsh at night.
Monday morning, May 6th, 1872, the General Conference met and was called to order by Bishop Quinn. The religious services were conducted by the other Bishops. The roll was called by Rev. B. T. Tanner, secretary of the last General Conference. Rev. J. H. A. Johnson, of the Baltimore Conference, was chosen secretary.
As I had been appointed by the Bishop to deliver the Quadrennial sermon, at four o'clock the General Conference assembled with a large congregation to hear what I had to say. Text, Acts xxvi. 22, and Psalm cxxvi. 6. For the sermon see the Minutes of the General Conference. Bishop Brown wrote the Quadrennial and delivered it.
The General Conference changed our whole financial system, and changed the name from Book Concern to Publication Department. Rev. W. H. Hunter was
elected Business Manager, Rev. B. T. Tanner, Editor of the Christian Recorder, Rev. John H. W. Burley Secretary and Treasurer of the Church Treasury. Rev. W. J. Gaines was elected Missionary Secretary.
WHEN the Bishops came to select their Districts, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and California fell to me. I hastened home and made ready for the Pacific coast. I was soon on the way. Leaving Baltimore, I called at Harrisburg, then Pittsburg, on to Richmond, Indiana, Indianapolis, Terre Haute and St. Louis, Missouri, where I spent one Sunday.
Monday morning I traveled westward. Reaching Kansas City, I changed cars for Denver city, which I reached. After an all night and all day and another night's ride I came in sight of Denver city. There I changed cars for Cheyenne, then changed again. Friday at one o'clock I reached Sacramento city, California. Rev. W. H. Offer was at the Depot to meet me, and conveyed me to the house of an old acquaintance from Washington, D. C., where I spent the time.
I went to the city of Stockton and spent a few days, and then returned to Sacramento and spent the second Sunday with brother Offer. Then went to San Francisco, and spent one Sunday and one night at Oakland, and then turned around and started homeward.
I called at Omaha, then went on to Chicago, and spent one Sunday; then to Milwaukee, from there to
Detroit, Michigan, back to Chicago, Illinois, to Springfield and Alton, then to St. Louis.
Sunday, 4th, 1872, I dedicated the new St. Paul's Chapel, in St. Louis, Missouri. I was assisted by Rev. Drs. Revels, John Turner and J. C. Embry. This was regarded as a great day in St. Louis. Dr. Revels preached at three o'clock, and J. C. Embry at night. The collection was large.
I returned to Baltimore after the dedication, and then went to Philadelphia to attend a meeting of the financial board to arrange for our new system of finance. After several days conversation the board reached the end, and adjourned.
On Thursday, August 15th, I started out on my first Episcopal tour to the Conferences. The first place I visited on the tour was Connersville, the next was Knightstown, then to Indianapolis. Thursday, August 22d, 1872, for the first time, I met the Indiana Conference. I was introduced by Bishop Quinn. Rev. W. S. Lankford was elected secretary. I never felt such warm weather in my life, I think, as I found at Evansville, Indiana. Rev. J. H. W. Burley visited this Conference for the first time. He presented the claims of the financial board. There was a pleasant session of the Conference. When it closed I went to New Albany, and on Sunday, September 1st, 1872, dedicated the new church in that city. I was assisted by Revs. R. Bridges, N. Mitchem and G. H. Graham of the Kentucky Conference, and the pastor, brother Crosby. The collection amounted to$125.00. From New Albany I went to Charleston, and met the congregation at night.
I came back to Indianapolis, and started for the seat of the Illinois Conference at Bloomington, Illinois. On Thursday morning, September 5th, 1872, the Illinois Conference met. Bishop Quinn was there, and introduced me to the Conference. Revs. R. Knight and A. McIntosh were elected secretaries.
The annual sermon was preached by Rev. E. C. Joiner. "The Little Giant," as he is called, did himself credit that day.
Bishop Quinn preached for us Sunday morning. When I asked him to preach he said he had been to the General and several Conferences, and he had not been asked to sing nor pray. I prevailed on him, and he consented. I saw that his strength had begun to fail him. Afternoon I dedicated the church, as it had been re-modeled.
On Sunday, September 15th, 1872, I dedicated a new church in Pontiac, Illinois, Rev. A. McIntosh, pastor. Then to Jacksonville, from there to Quincy, Illinois; there spent one night, and then went over to Hannibal. Rev. John H. W. Burley went with me.
Thursday, September 19th, 1872. The Missouri Conference met this morning. Rev. T. W. Henderson was elected secretary. Bishop Quinn was present. One morning, as I was going to Conference, I saw several men standing in front of the church smoking pipes. After Conference had opened I said, "Brethren, as I was coming to the church this morning, I saw several persons smoking in front of the church. Were they ministers or not? If they were ministers," I said, "I would suggest when they want to smoke to
find some other place beside in front of the church." I never saw any more smoking while I remained in Hannibal.
On Sunday our meeting was held in the city hall. Brothers Wilkerson and Burley preached, and the impression made was good. Monday afternoon Rev. I. N. Triplet preached the missionary sermon. Rev. John M. Wilkerson delivered a sermon on the death of Rev. Thomas Strother. The Conference then adjourned. I left for Baltimore, and arrived safe and sound.
After resting a few weeks, I prepared for my Fall labor, and visited the following-named places: Detroit, Chicago, Aurora, Princeton, Galesburg, Davenport, Muscatine, Mount Pleasant, Burlington, Keokuk, Canton, Quincy, Palmyra, Macon City, Mo., Chillicothe, Mo., Brunswick, Salsbury, Glasgow, Columbia, Rocheport, Brownsville, Jefferson City, Independence, Kansas City, Wyandotte, Lawrence, Topeka, Leavenworth, Atchison, St. Joseph, Lexington, St. Charles, Carondelet, St. Louis, Brooklyn, Ill., Bellville, Sparta, Cairo, Mattoon, Champaign, Decatur, Lafayette, Crawford, Indianapolis, Cambridge, Franklin, Muncietown, Greensburg and Richmond. Here I found Bishop Quinn very ill. I spent one or two days with him, and then left for home and went into winter quarters, and remained at home most of the winter, with the exception of attending a few grand rallies for the brethren.
Feb. 22, 1873, received a dispatch announcing the death of Bishop Quinn, at Richmond, Indiana, Monday,
February 24. The preachers of Baltimore held a meeting and took action in reference to the death of Bishop Quinn.
SATURDAY, April 5, 1873, I visited Wilmington by invitation from Rev. T. G. Steward, to assist in a grand rally. There I met Bishop Shorter, and we spent Sunday, April 6th, in that city.
On Monday we left Wilmington for Baltimore. At Perryville we met Bishop Campbell, and we all went to Baltimore together. Tuesday, April 8th, Bishops Campbell, Shorter and myself left Baltimore for Portsmouth, Va., to attend the Virginia Conference, which opened on Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock. As I held the previous Annual Conference, Bishop Campbell asked me to occupy the chair until the Conference was opened and prepared for business. Rev. W. D. W. Schureman was elected secretary.
After the Conference was ready to proceed to business I introduced Bishop Campbell as the presiding officer of the Virginia Conference; he made a very eloquent speech, and then took the chair and proceeded with the business of the Conference.
Friday afternoon, April 11, 1873, Bishop Campbell preached a sermon on the death of Bishop Quinn. At 7 o'clock I left Portsmouth, Va., for Baltimore.
Sunday, April 13, dedicated the new church at York, Pa.
Friday, April 25, 1873, I left Baltimore for a tour West as far as California, passing through Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago, Galesburg, Burlington, Keokuk, Ottumwa and Des Moines to Omaha. I spent Sunday, May 4, 1873, in Omaha. Monday at 12 M., I took the train for California, called at Cheyenne and spent a night; held meeting in the M. E. church. Tuesday morning I moved on westward. All night it snowed fearfully, and was very cold. I reached a place called Truckee. Saturday morning, May 10, the snow was about two feet deep, and when I reached Sacramento City, at 10 o'clock, it was very warm. I spent Sunday in Sacramento, and then went to Stockton, from there to San Francisco.
On Thursday morning, May 15th, 1873, the California Conference met in the Powell Street Church. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. J. B. Sanderson. The Conference continued in session a few days.
Tuesday afternoon, by request, I delivered a memorial sermon on the death of Bishop Quinn, to a very large congregation. The Conference then adjourned. I left San Francisco for Maysville, then to Grass Valley; spent Sunday, May 25, in Grass Valley, Nevada, California.
From Grass Valley I went to Colfax, then to Reno, from there to Carson City, Nevada, and reached Virginia City at about 6 o'clock, A.M. After spending the day there, I spoke in the church at night, then left for Reno, and took the Central Pacific railroad to Ogden, from there to Salt Lake City, where I spent
one night. It is a fine city. I stopped at the Salt Lake City Hotel. After dinner I walked out, and the first colored woman I saw recognized me. She was from the City of Washington. She told me where I could find a Bro. Gale, from Philadelphia, the son-in-law of Rev. David Smith of Ohio.
After I found Bro. Gale, his son took me around to see the Mormon Temple and the mansion of Brigham Young. I then left for Ogden.
I there took the train eastward, and reached Denver City on Saturday afternoon, May 31, 1873. Sunday, June 1, I spent in Denver City. At 11 o'clock I held forth in our church, and in the afternoon met the Sunday-school; at night filled the pulpit of the M. E. church. I found several persons in Denver City from Washington and Baltimore. In that city Rev. J. R. V. Morgan died.
Monday, May 2, 1873, I left Denver City for Topeka, Kansas. It was a long ride, yet there were some sights to be seen that were pleasant, such as wild-buffalos, antelopes and wild-horses.
Wednesday, May 4, found me at the end of my journey for that time. Rev. B. F. Watson was the pastor at Topeka, Kansas. I left for Achison. Rev. B. F. Bates was the pastor at that place.
Sunday, June 8, 1873, dedicated the new church in St. Joseph, Mo.. I was assisted by Revs. J. M. Wilkerson, T. W. Henderson and B. F. Watson. It was a grand day in St. Joseph. From there I went to Leavenworth, Kansas, then to Lawrence, to Kansas City and to Liberty. There I took the cars for Miami,
crossed the river, and held forth at night in the M. E. Church South.
Sunday, June 15, 1873, I dedicated the new church in St. Charles, Missouri. I was assisted by Revs. Isaac N. Triplet and B. W. Steward. The collection was good throughout the day. Leaving St. Charles, I went to St. Louis, to Carondelet, to Kerwood and to Washington.
Friday,June 20, I crossed the Mississippi river into Illinois, and Sunday, June 22, dedicated the new church in Mattoon Ill.; at night held forth in the M. E. church, and they gave our church a collection.
Monday, June 23, I went to Tuscola, and dedicated another church at 11 o'clock, then called at Rockville, Bloomington, Indiana, and went to Indianapolis. When the financial board was in session, Bishops Payne, Campbell, Shorter and Ward were present.
Sunday, June 28, I dedicated a new church at Muncietown, Indiana. I had the assistance of Revs. W. J. Davis and J. H. A. Johnson, of Baltimore. Brother Johnson preached in the Universalist church in the morning, and for the Presbyterians at night, and I filled the pulpit of the M. E. church. Each church gave our church a collection. Monday I returned to Indianapolis. The board finally adjourned, and I returned home.
This was the most remarkable tour that I ever made. I was gone from home three months and three days. I had made a list of appointments from Baltimore to California and back, and never missed one.
Saturday, July 5, I received a dispatch from Elkton, Md., calling me there to dedicate a new chapel. I obeyed. On Sunday, July 6, the dedication took place. Rev. Daniel Ridout was the pastor.
July 15, 1873, Rev. J. H. Sliner, of the Baltimore Conference, was buried from the Bethel Church, Baltimore. He was on the Potomac circuit when he died; Rev. G. T. Watkins preached his funeral sermon.
Sunday, August 17, 1873, I dedicated a new church at South Chester, Pa., Rev. G. T. Waters, pastor. The Indiana Conference met this year at Richmond, Indiana, and the Illinois Conference met at Keokuk, Iowa. I was requested to deliver a memorial sermon on the death of Bishop Quinn. For the sermon see the minutes of the Illinois Conference for 1873.
THIS year Revs. Lewis S. Lewis died at Vincennes, A. McIntosh at Bloomington, Ill., and Elisha Weaver at Richmond, Indiana. The Missouri Conference met at St. Louis, Mo. this year. Bishop Payne paid us a welcome visit at the Conference. Rev. T. G. Steward from Hayti, also visited the Conference and gave us a lecture on his mission to that country.
Monday night, September 15, Bishop Payne delivered a lecture on education to the Conference and congregation. After the Conference adjourned I left for Indiana; and Sunday, September 21, 1873,
dedicated a new church at Mitchell, Indiana. Sunday, September 28, dedicated a new church at Noblesville, Indiana; from there returned home to Baltimore.
Thursday, October 2, I visited New York to attend the meeting of the Evangelical Alliance. There I met Bishop Campbell, Dr. Young, W. B. Derrick and J. H. W. Burley. We were invited to seats on the platform. I spent one or two days there and then left for home.
Wednesday, October 8, Rev. Wm. F. Williams of the Virginia Conference was brought home from his charge, where he had died in great peace, and was buried from Bethel Church, Baltimore.
This Fall I took another western tour as far west as Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. I was called to Philadelphia on Wednesday, November 5,1873, to attend the Financial Board. After the Board adjourned I returned home to Baltimore and rested a day or two, and then left for the West, and went as far as St. Louis, calling at several places as I went and returned. On Tuesday, December 23, 1873, I reached home. This year, Rev. Stephen Smith of Philadelphia died. This closed the year 1873. It bore its report to eternity.
January 1, 1874. I am in winter quarters waiting for special calls. Saturday, January 17, 1874, I received a dispatch from Mrs. Eliza Davis, of Burlington, New Jersey, informing me of the death of her husband, Rev. Henry Davis, and as I had promised him while living, should I live the longest, to preach his funeral sermon, I hastened on to Philadelphia.
On Monday morning, January 19, 1874, I reached Burlington, New Jersey, to see the last of my old friend; as he and I had been ordained twice together we felt near to each other.
The funeral took place from the A. M. E. Church; Bishop Campbell, elders Tanner, Gould and others were present. Text, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." Luke xix:17. Brother Davis had requested Dr. Tanner to say a word when he was dead; he complied with that request and spoke also. I returned to Baltimore after spending one or two days in Philadelphia.
Sunday, February 1, 1874, I dedicated a new church at Cannonsburg, Pa. This was in Rev. C. O. H. Thomas's charge.
March 28, 1874, by request I accompanied Bishop Campbell to my native town, Denton, Md., where he preached to a large congregation; from there I went with him to Easton, where he preached to another large congregation, and the people were much pleased with him and his preaching.
The colored citizens of Baltimore requested me to deliver a memorial sermon on the death of Hon. Charles Summer. On Monday afternoon a large congregation assembled in Bethel Church. Text, "A great man has fallen this day in Israel." 2 Samuel iii: 38. I then left for the West. Sunday, April 12, 1874, I dedicated a new church at Spencer, Indiana, Rev. Morris Lewis, pastor.
From here I started toward California, going by the way of St. Louis, Kansas City, Denver City and
reached Sacramento City on Thursday, May 14, 1874. The Conference met at 4 o'clock; the Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. I. N. Triplet. The Conference continued in session a few days. We held our meeting on Sunday in the hall.
On Monday afternoon, J. R. Dorsey was ordained an elder.
From Sacramento I visited Stockton, Oakland, San Francisco, Marysville, Virginia City, and Carson City, Nevada, and started Eastward by the way of Omaha and Ottumwa, Iowa, Burlington, Galesburg and Peoria.
Sunday, June 14, dedicated the church at Jacksonville, Illinois. Afternoon I held forth in the city park, and raised a fine collection for our church; one Judge gave the first ten dollars.
I had drilled our people in the morning at church; they were all to rush up to the stand at the first call and contribute, and then fall back when they were ordered, and I was to call on the public. Rev. P. C. Cooper was the pastor.
From Jacksonville I passed through Springfield, Lincoln, Decatur, Mattoon and Champaign, and Sunday, June 21, 1874, I dedicated a new church in Crawfordsville, Indiana. I had the assistance of Revs. W. J. Davis and W. S. Lankford. Leaving Crawfordsville I passed through Rockville and Terre Haute on to Indianapolis.
Sunday, June 28, 1874, I dedicated the new church in Peru, Indiana. I had Brother John McSmith and Andrew Furgurson to assist me; leaving there I
called at Marion on Monday, June 29, and had a good congregation out morning and night.
Sunday, July 5, dedicated the church in Richmond, Indiana, Rev. J. M. Townsend pastor. From there I returned home to rest a little.
July 13, I received the news that Rev. Richard Bridges, of Indianapolis, was dead. Before I left that city in June, I called to see him and found him very weak, but his hopes of immortality were bright.
July 17th, 1874, the Financial Board met in Washington, D. C. The meeting was largely attended by the members. After the Financial Board adjourned the Bishops held a meeting in Bethel church, Baltimore, and then adjourned. I remained in Baltimore until August 26th.
Leaving Baltimore I passed through Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Columbus on to Richmond, Ind., then to Indianapolis, from there to Terre Haute.
Sunday, August 30th, I dedicated the new church in Terre Haute, Rev. J. Mitchem, pastor.
The Indiana Conference met this year in the new church in Terre Haute on Wednesday, September 2d, 1874. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. A. T. Hall. Dr. D. P. Seaton was transferred from the Baltimore to Indiana Conference. The Conference having lost two of its members during the year, held memorial services. They were Revs. R. Bridges and Theodore Crosby; the latter was a giant of a young man, and his place was hard to supply. Brothers Patterson, Smith, Hall and Trevan spoke. Rev. N. Mitchem was transferred to Tennessee Conference.
At the close of this Conference I left for the Illinois Conference, which met at Springfield, Ill, This is the place where the martyred President Lincoln used to live.
The Illinois Conference met on Thursday, September 10, 1878. Rev. W. J. Davis preached the Annual Sermon. The Conference had a visit from the Governor of the state. It was a most delightful session. There was quite a spirit of revival attended all the meeting.
When this Conference adjourned, I left for the Missouri Conference which met at Kansas city,--calling by Hannibal and Macon city. On reaching there I found the place alive, awaiting the arrival of the Conference.
The Conference met on Wednesday morning, September 23, 1874. Rev. T. W. Henderson was elected secretary, and Rev. J. H. Hubbard assistant. Rev. John Turner preached the Missionary Sermon. And on Sunday our meeting was held in the Opera House. The congregation was large. Revs. John Turner and W. A. Dove preached during the day, and there was a favorable impression made.
When the Conference closed, I turned homeward by the way of St. Louis, Cincinnati and Parkersburg; then home to Baltimore.
Sunday, October 4, found me near the place where I was born, "Tuckahoe," and then and there I dedicated a new church called "Deep Branch Chapel."
Monday, October 12, 1874, I received a dispatch
from ex Governor Palmer of Illinois, informing me that I had been selected the chaplain for the occasion of the unveiling of Lincoln Monument at Springfield, Illinois, and must be there. I hastened and got off.
Leaving Baltimore, I passed through Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Indianapolis, on to Springfield, Illinois. Thursday morning at 10 o'clock the procession moved, and passed by the house where Mr. Lincoln used to live, and then out to the cemetery, Generals Grant, Sherman, Vice-President Wilson and ex-Vice-President Colfax leading the way. Our carriage had rather a conspicuous place in the procession. Revs. T. W. Roberts and Henry Brown were in with me. Almost at every corner the reporters of the papers would ask "who are those in this carriage?"
Reaching the spot, the statue was unveiled, and I was introduced to make the opening prayer, which was short. There were several speeches made on the occasion. We then returned to the city.
I received an invitation from the pastor of Sullivan Street Church, New York, Dr. Young, to be present with Bishop Shorter at the reopening of the church that had been remodeled.
Saturday, October 31, I left Baltimore for New York; reached there about 11 o'clock, P. M. I found Dr. Young very sick, but very cheerful and happy.
Sunday morning, November 1, 1874, the church in New York was reopened. Bishop Shorter read the dedicatory prayer, and I delivered the sermon. Drs. Garnet, Williams, Tanner and Hunter were present and assisted in the services of the day.
Monday morning I left my Brother Young and the good friends of New York; went to Albany, and then on across the suspension bridge in Canada to Detroit, Michigan, and then took a tour through Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, and then returned home, and went into winter quarters. But before I reached home I heard that Rev. H. J. Young was no more.
March 1, 1875, I visited the Virginia Conference at Richmond, Va. Bishop Campbell presided. Revs. J. A. Handy and W. H. Hunter visited the Conference. The session was rather an interesting one. Several young men of promise were admitted on trial. Wilson Beard was transferred by me to the Virginia Conference. Bishop Campbell sent him to a place in Virginia, but he did not remain long. When the Conference adjourned I returned home to Baltimore.
Thursday, April 22, I visited the New Jersey Conference for the first time since its organization. It met at Camden, New Jersey; Bishop Shorter presided, and the Conference made a fine appearance. I remained two days, and then returned home to Baltimore.
Saturday morning, April 24, 1875, I visited the Baltimore Conference, which met at the city of Annapolis. Bishop Campbell presided. The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. J. Nicholson. Text, "Lord, increase our faith," Luke xvii: 5, and it was a fine effort. Rev. J. S. Thompson preached the Missionary Sermon. Text, "I must do the will of him that sent me." John iv: 34. It was also a good effort.
As this was the first time that our Conference ever
met in the capital of the State of Maryland, I suggested to the Conference the propriety of calling and paying our respects to the Governor. A committee was appointed to wait on him to know when it would be convenient for him to receive the Conference. He fixed on Tuesday morning, April 26. The Conference marched in a body to the Executive Hall. Bishop Campbell introduced the Conference, and then Rev. John H. W. Burley delivered the address. The Governor appeared to be very much embarrassed when he saw what he had never before beheld; such a set of colored men. I was told by a member of our church in Elkton, where the Governor now lives, and who washes for his family, that he said to her that it was so unexpected to him that he could not say what he wanted to.
I left Annapolis for Baltimore, and then made ready to take another tour to California. I went west by the way of Pittsburgh, Youngtown, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Peoria, Galesburg, Burlington, Mount Pleasant to Omaha, spending Sunday, then Monday, moved on toward my journey's end. Friday, May 14, 1875, I am at Sacramento City.
I spent Sunday, May 16, in Sacramento. I found the church well attended morning and night; from Sacramento I went to Marysville and spent one night, and then returned to Sacramento, and then on to Stockton; there spent one night, and next day went to Oakland.
The California Conference met on Thursday, May 20, in the Shiloh Church, Oakland. The Annual Sermon
was preached by Rev. J. Fletcher Jordan. The session was short but rather pleasant. After Conference I spent one Sunday in San Francisco and then left for the East, called at Cheyenne and spent one night.
Next day, left for Denver city, there spent one night, then on to Colorado Spring and spent Sunday, June 6; occupied the pulpit of the M. E. Church as our own was not finished; the congregation large all day.
Monday morning, June 7, I returned to Denver city, and spent another night, and then left for Topeka, Kansas, where I arrived on Wednesday, June 9, continuing my journey to Lawrence, Leavenworth, Kansas city, St. Joseph.
Sunday, June 20, I dedicated a new church in Fort Scott, Kansas, Rev. P. A. Hubbard pastor; from Fort Scott I called at Jefferson city, and held forth in the Court House.
Sunday, June 27, dedicated the new church at Chillicothe, Missouri, then passed on through Hannibal to Quincy, Illinois. Then Sunday, July 4th, dedicated a new church at Cedar Rapids; the collection was grand; from Cedar Rapids I went to Clinton, Iowa.
Sunday, July 11, dedicated a new church at Lost Creek settlement, Indiana, then left for home. After spending a few days, went to Wilmington, Delaware, to attend the Financial Board, then went to West Chester, Pa., and attended brother Wilson's jubilee on Sunday, July 18th.
The Indiana Conference met this year in Detroit, Michigan, on Wednesday, August 26th. Rev. James M. Townsend was elected secretary. Dr. D. P. Seaton preached the annual sermon. Text, "Let us have grace." Heb. xii: 28. Dr. Revels preached the missionary sermon. Bishop Shorter visited the Conference. He was introduced and rendered me great assistance in the business of the Conference.
On Friday, August 27th, the Conference received a despatch from Canada that Bishop Nazrey was dead. It was unexpected news to me, for I was rather expecting him at this Conference, having sent him an invitation to come.
The Conference appointed a committee to draft some resolutions respecting the death of Rev. Bishop Nazrey, of the B. M. E. Church, which were read by Dr. Seaton.
Revs. R. R. Disney and Walter Hawkins were sent from Canada as a committee to extend an invitation to the Bishop and Conference to attend the funeral of Bishop Nazrey at Chatham, on Thursday, September 2d, at one o'clock. The invitation was accepted. Arrangements were made to have an excursion train.
At eight o'clock the entire Conference and about two hundred left Detroit, Michigan, for Chatham. At one o'clock the funeral took place from the church. By request I delivered the funeral discourse. Text, Acts, vi. 5, "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith." I was assisted in the services by Drs. Seaton and Revels. After the sermon the procession marched to the cemetery, and the body was
committed by Bishop Shorter. We all returned to Detroit at night. For the sermon see Christian Recorder.
Leaving Detroit, I passed through Chicago, on to St. Louis. On Sunday, September 5th, I dedicated the new church at Bellville, Illinois.
On Wednesday morning, September 8th, 1875, the Illinois Conference met at Sparta, Illinois. Rev. G. C. Booth was elected secretary. The pastors and the officers of the M. E. Church gave us the use of their church for all of our meetings. Rev. John W. Malone preached the Annual sermon, and Rev. G. C. Booth preached the Missionary Sermon. They were both able discourses. The Conference closed its session after electing their delegates to the General Conference. I then visited the following places in Illinois: Chester, Grand Tower and Carbondale.
Sunday, September 19th, I dedicated the new church at Cairo, Illinois, Rev. F. Myers, pastor. I had Revs. W. J. Davis, C. L. Jacobs and S. Nichols to assist me. After the dedication, the mayor of the city presented a fine library to the Sunday-school.
I left Cairo for St. Louis on my way to the Missouri Conference, which was to meet at Glasgow, Missouri. On the train from St. Louis I met several of the brethren en route to Conference.
On Wednesday morning, September 22d, the Missouri Annual Conference met in Glasgow. Rev. T. W. Henderson was elected secretary. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. B. W. Steward. Text, "But thanks be to God that giveth us the victory."
1 Cor. xv: 57. The Missionary sermon was preached by Rev. James H. Hubbard; both efforts were very highly spoken of.
I found a white minister in Glasgow named Wayman. He was the pastor of the M. E. Church. He was no relation of mine, for he came from England. On Sunday we occupied the M. E. church South, and had a most pleasant day. I had good help during the day in the persons of Revs. W. A. Dove and J. M. Wilkerson. The Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference, and then adjourned.
I left for the East, called at Hannibal, and then on to Quincy and Springfield, called in to the M. E. Annual Conference and was introduced. Bishop Ames was presiding. The secretary of the Freedman's Aid Society made his report, telling what had been collected during the year. The Bishop said, "The Africans were the nation's invited guests, and, therefore, the American people must look out for them."
Sunday, October 3d, 1875, I dedicated the new church at Champaign, Illinois. Afternoon held forth in the city hall, and raised a collection for the new church. From there returned to Baltimore, and spent October at home.
Sunday, November 7th, 1875, dedicated the new Allen Chapel, Stockton street, Baltimore city, Rev. Daniel Draper, pastor. The financial effort was grand. The amount raised was seven hundred and twenty-four dollars.
Tuesday, November 9th, I left Baltimore for Canada, calling by Harrisburg, Pittsburg and Cleveland to
Detroit, where, on Sunday, November 14th, I dedicated the new Ebenezer church.
Tuesday morning, November 16th, 1875, I left Detroit, Michigan, for Hamilton, Canada, to attend the extra General Conference of the B. M. E. Church to elect a Bishop in the place of Bishop Nazrey, deceased. On reaching Hamilton the brethren gave me a warm reception.
Wednesday morning, November 17th, 1875, the extra General Conference met at ten o'clock, and was called to order by Rev. R. R. Disney,and on his motion I was invited to take the chair and preside over the session. Brothers Miller and Dorsey were elected secretaries.
I then asked that the call for the General Conference be read; and the law governing the case was also read. I then announced that under the law there could only be but one Bishop elected at that extra session, and that they fix upon a day for that election. They fixed upon Thursday morning at eleven o'clock.
The Conference met, spent some time in devotional services, and then the delegates voted, and Rev. R. R. Disney received all the votes except five. B. Steward, one; J. O'Banyoun, three; Walter Hawkins, one.
The large M. E. Church was obtained for the ordination of the Bishop-elect. On Sunday afternoon, November 21st, 1875, Rev. Richard Randolph Disney was set apart as the Bishop of B. M. E. Church, and as I was in Canada I had to put on the Episcopal gown. For the sermon see Christian Recorder.
Monday, November 22d, I left Hamilton for Detroit,
and then went through my work. On Sunday, December 5th, I dedicated the new church at Kokomo, Indiana, Rev. Johnson Burden, pastor. I moved on homeward, stopped at Princeton, Indiana, and on Sunday, December 12th, I dedicated the new church there. Sunday, December 19th, I dedicated another new church at Seymour, Indiana, H. H. Thompson, pastor. I then left for winter quarters, and remained until January 1st, 1876. Then visited Annapolis, Md., and Cumberland.
SUNDAY, January 30th, I was called to dedicate the new church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I found the weather very cold out there, yet we had a very pleasant time. Rev. R. Jeffries, pastor. From there I came home, and remained until March 28th, when I took a tour West, visiting several places in my district. I went as far as Kansas.
On my return I called to see the Ohio Conference, which met at Xenia, Ohio. Bishop Payne presided. I had not visited that Conference for ten years. There were some changes; Warren, Tibb, Davis, Gross and Hogans were gone. By request of the Conference I delivered a lecture on the Bishop's Galaxy, and then returned home to Baltimore.
On Thursday morning, April 27th, 1876, the Philadelphia, New York and New England Conferences' delegates to the General Conference arrived in Baltimore, where they were joined by the Baltimore and
Virginia Conferences, and proceeded in a special train toward Atlanta, Georgia. It had been announced in the papers that we would reach Lynchburg, Va., on Thursday afternoon, en route to the General Conference. There was a tremendous crowd at the depot to see us when we arrived.
Rev. John F. Thomas was the leader of our choir, for he did nearly all the good singing for us on our journey. It was sometimes, "Pull for the shore," and then, "Take the name of Jesus with,you."
Rev. W. B. Derrick was sub-conductor, and we had a joyful time. The only one in our company who was sick was my brother, R. F. Wayman. When we reached Dalton, Georgia, there we met Bishop Payne and the Ohio delegation, and we all moved on to Atlanta, Ga., and received a warm reception.
The most of the delegation met at the church, and then Dr. Peck sent us to our places, and we were all received gladly and treated kindly.
Sunday morning, April 30th, 1876, it fell to my lot to hold forth. Text, Hebrews xiii: 5, "For He hath said I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." Bishop Shorter preached in the afternoon.
Monday morning, May 1st, 1876, the General Conference met at nine o'clock, the Bishop in the chair. Revs. B. W. Arnett, James M. Townsend, W. C. Banton and W. F. Dickerson were elected secretaries.
Bishop Shorter read the Quadrennial address, and Bishop Campbell preached the sermon. The committees were appointed, and the General Conference went
into its business. Dr. H. M. Turner was elected Business Manager, Dr. Tanner editor of the Christian Recorder, Dr. Cain, Missionary Secretary, Rev. C. L. Bradwell Traveling Agent, Rev. J. H. W. Burley Financial Secretary, and Rev. J. C. Embry Educational Secretary. With this corps we started out for another four years. I was assigned to Pittsburg, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Tennessee Conferences. The M. E. Church sent two fraternal delegates to our General Conference, Dr. Sherman and Rev. Mr. Tate, and we sent three to them, Drs. Johnson, Tanner and Dickerson.
On my return home to Baltimore I intended to go out on my district, but Bishop Payne requested me to hold the New York and New England Conferences for him. I did so, and then attended the great Round Lake camp-meeting in New York state. I then came home, and remained round about until July 25th, when I started for my new district.
The first place I called at was Bellair, Ohio, Rev. Isaac Dillon, pastor. Then on to Columbus, the capital of the state. There I met Rev. J. P. Underwood. Spending one night with him, I moved on to Wilmington, Ohio, to the charge of Rev. C. H. Green. Sunday, July 30th, dedicated the new church at Washington Court House, Ohio, from there to Xenia, Ohio, thence to Springfield. Rev. B. F. Lee was the pastor. From there to Urbana, where Rev. B. W. Arnett was pastor; then to Newark, from which place I visited the great camp-meeting at Cambridge, Ohio, and spent several days with Rev. E. Cumberland.
From Ohio I passed on to Pennsylvania, and spent some time at the camp-meeting near Pittsburg, then to Titusville, and Oil City, and with these visits I worked up my first rounds on my new district, returned home and remained until August 25th. I then left for Washington, Pa., passing through Pittsburg. On Sunday, August 27th, dedicated the church in Washington, Pa. This was the charge of Rev. A. J. Philips.
Sunday, September 3d, I dedicated the church at Urbana, Ohio. Revs. B. F. Lee and J. H. Cole assisted me in the exercises of the day. The collection was good.
Leaving Urbana I went to Cincinnati, there crossed over the Ohio river, and took the train to Lexington, Kentucky, where I held forth at night, then to Frankfort.
THURSDAY morning, September 1st, the Kentucky Conference met in the Asbury church, Louisville. Revs. J. W. Asbury and J. W. Gasaway were elected secretaries. Rev. R. G. Mortimor, who had presented his resignation to Bishop Payne in the interval of the Annual Conference, asked that he might withdraw it, and as the Conference had taken no action on it, this request was granted, and his name was allowed to remain on the roll.
I found this a very interesting Conference. The most of the members were young men, possessing
very good mind and high Christian character. The session was an interesting one. The Conference gave up brother Henry A. Knight very reluctantly. There were six deacons and five elders ordained.
When this Conference adjourned I left Louisville in company with Rev. C. L. Bradwell for Bowling Green, Kentucky. Here we found that great church builder, Rev. B. Taylor. There I spent the night, and held forth to a crowded house.
Saturday morning I went to Nashville, Tennessee, and lodged in the house of another great church builder and money raiser, Rev. N. Mitchem. Sunday I visited three churches in Nashville, Little Bethel, St. John and St. Paul, and found large congregations at all of these churches.
Monday, Sept. 18, I started for the town of Franklin, Tenn. The congregation was good. I gave them a few words at night; then retired.
Tuesday morning, when the minister went to the train with me, there was a large delegation of ladies went down to the train to see him off. The minister seemed to think that it added to his popularity to have a large number of ladies to see him off. I called at Columbia, and spent one night.
Thursday morning, September 21. The Tennessee Conference met in Pulaski, Tenn. Rev. M. R. Johnson was elected Secretary, and C. O. H. Thomas, assistant. The committees were appointed. The Presiding Elders represented the work to be in good condition.
Rev. J. W. Early, the father of the Conference,
was leading it on to victory, and Rev. L N. Merry standing as the anvil to the bellows, and many others I might name, who are great workers for the Lord. The Conference, by a strong vote, abolished the office of Presiding Elder.
On Sunday it was a sight to see such a large crowd of people coming into town from all the roads leading in that direction, some in wagons, others on horses and mules. By 10 o'clock the town was full of our people.
The town hall was secured for meeting on Sunday; but it would not hold the people, and therefore meetings were held at the hall and church.
The day before the Conference adjourned, I made one request of the good ladies, and that was, when the Conference adjourned next, not to go down to the depot in great crowds, like I had seen them at other places, but take leave of them at home; and this put an end to those large delegations of ladies going down to the train when the ministers are leaving.
From Pulaski, Tennessee, I went to Memphis, and there I spent one Sunday; visited three of the principal churches, and found the pastors and people all in high spirits. I remained in that city a few days, and then left for the West Tennessee Conference.
On Wednesday morning, October 4th, the West Tennessee Conference met in Clarksville, Tennessee. Rev. D. E. Asbury was elected Secretary, and B. L. Brook Assistant, and the business progressed very smoothly. The Presiding Elders made good representation
of their respective districts. Rev. George H. Jackson, a very scholarly man, was admitted from the Protestant Episcopal Church, and he has ever since shown himself a man. The Conference adjourned on Monday night. This wound up all my conferences for this year. I returned home to Baltimore.
On Wednesday, October 25th, 1876, the financial board met in Bethel Church, Baltimore, and continued in session several days, and then adjourned.
On Thursday, October 26th, I left for a tour through Pennsylvania and Ohio, commencing at the City of Scranton, Pa., Waverly, Wilkesbarre, Williamsport, Bellefonte, Altoona, Pittsburg to Lancaster, Ohio.
At Circleville, Ohio, I found that father in Israel, Rev. Wm. Davison. He and his good wife were watching by the bed-side of their oldest daughter. She was ill, but very happy, and died a few days after I left.
As I was leaving Circleville on Wednesday morning, November 8th, the news of the presidential election was read by almost every person at the train. One man who thought his party was defeated was singing: "Hark from the tombs a doleful sound." It was excitement along the railroad. I visited Greenfield, Ohio; all was excitement there. On reaching Cincinnati it was worse and worse. I went to Oxford and Hamilton, Rev. P. Toliver pastor.
I called at Troy, Lima, Toledo, and on Sunday, November 19th, dedicated a new church at Delphos; Rev. A. March, pastor. Then called at Kenton and
Bellefontaine. Sunday, November 26th, dedicated a new church at Mount Vernon, Ohio; and on my homeward-bound tour, I called at Newark, Cadiz, Steubenville, Wheeling, Barnesville and Cambridge.
On Sunday, December 3rd, I dedicated the new church in Zanesville, Ohio. After this I faced toward winter-quarters, stopping at Bridgewater, East Liberty, Monongahela, Brownsville. Crossing the river at Elizabethtown, the boat stuck fast in the ice, and remained there several hours. Finally we got through. I called at Uniontown, Pa., and then came home. This wound up the labors of 1876.
Monday, December 18th, I was summoned to serve on the United States Grand Jury. This was rather a change from my episcopal visits to sitting in the grand jury room. Yet I went there as a man, and stood up. On Monday, December 25th, I assisted Bishop Brown in the dedication at Frederick, Md. Then went into winter-quarters. I served on the United States grand jury thirteen days, and was then finally discharged.
I remained at home until Saturday, February 3rd, when I left for Philadelphia to spend a Sunday with my brother, Rev. R. F. Wayman, then pastor of Bethel Church. I filled his pulpit three times on Sunday, Feb. 4th, and the old mother of African Methodism was crowded; and as I looked over the congregation, there were many gone that used to be there.
Monday night, February 5th, I called out to see the pastor and congregation at Allen Chapel, 19th
and Lombard Streets, Philadelphia, and gave them a short discourse.
Tuesday morning, February 6th, I attended the Book Committee at the Book Room, No. 631 Pine Street, and heard the monthly report of the Manager, which I considered rather an encouraging one. In the afternoon I attended the funeral of Joshua P. B. Eddy, Jr., grandson of Bishop Allen.
On Wednesday I returned home to Baltimore, Maryland, to remain in winter-quarters a few days longer. I visited the Annual Conference of the United Brethren, which met in Baltimore, and was highly pleased with their proceedings.
Wednesday, February 28th, I left Baltimore for Boston, to spend a Sunday with Rev. W. H. Hunter. I called and spent one night in Philadelphia, and then on to New York. On reaching there I held forth for Rev. J. M. Williams at night in Bethel Church.
After I was through with my sermon, I came down in the altar, and asked if there was a man or woman in the congregation that would like to have religion before they died, to come and give me their hands.
The pastor counted them, and he said there were a hundred and fifty men and women who came and gave me their hands, and when I heard from New York again fifty of those young men were converted to God.
A year or two afterward I met a young man on the street in Baltimore who spoke to me and said, "Do you recognize me?" I said "No." Then he said, "I am one of those young men who gave you their hand in New York some time ago;" and then said he, "I
have also given God my heart, and I belong to the army of the Lord."
From New York I went to Providence, R. I., and spent a night with one of my spiritual sons, Rev. W. J. Laws, but it rained so hard there was no congregation out.
Saturday afternoon, March 3d, I left Providence, R. I., for Boston, and reached there about four o'clock, and met Revs. W. H. Hunter and the lamented James H. Madison, who fell at his post in New Orleans since.
Rev. W. H. Hunter took me to see his new church, and I was so much surprised, that when he was unlocking the basement door to go in his office, I asked him, "What are you going in here for?" He said "This is my church."
On Sunday, March 4th, I held forth three times for brother Hunter in his fine church. At the close of my sermon at night, I made the same request that I made in New York on Thursday night before, and the first one that came up was an old lady about sixty-five. She was the mother of the distinguished John S. Rock, Esq. After she came there were nearly a hundred more. This ended my labors in Boston for that time.
Monday morning, March 5th, I left Boston for home, passing through New York and Philadelphia, calling at the latter city and spending a night, then home.
On Thursday, March 22d, I started for a tour down the Ohio river, where I had not been. The first place I reached in my work was Parkersburg, W. Va. There
I held forth in the M. E. church, South, to a large congregation.
Saturday morning, March 24th, I left Parkersburg, W. Va., for Middleport, Ohio. I rode on a packet, and the treatment was so different to what I had received on other steamboats I was delighted. I reached my journey's end about nine, P. M.
Sunday morning I preached in Pomeroy, and afternoon in Middleport. This was the charge of Rev. Jesse Asbury. He was building a new church large enough for his congregation.
Monday, March 26th, I went to Gallipolis, Ohio. Rev. Michael M. Smith was the pastor at this point. I was accompanied by Rev. J. Asbury. I found this a more interesting place than it had been represented to be. Brother Smith was completing a new brick church.
Tuesday morning I moved down the Ohio river toward Ironton and reached there about three o'clock, P. M. Brother Smith went with me to that place. At this place I found Rev. T. E. Knox, who is represented as being a great worker. Our services were held in the M. E. church at night. I was very favorably impressed with the appearance of that town, and especially the people.
Portsmouth, Ohio, was my next place. So Wednesday morning, bright and early, I, took the steamer Fannie Dugans. She was little but very pleasant, and by two o'clock, P. M., I was there. At that place Rev. Joseph A. Nelson has been pastor, but he had been sick and gone home to Cleveland to die.
After the services were over I left on the steamer Ohio for New Richmond. After riding all night, about eight o'clock I was at the end of my journey. From there I took the stage to Felicity. Here Rev. W. H. Coleman was the very successful pastor, and was much admired by all who knew him.
Saturday morning I left for the Queen city of the West (Cincinnati.) On account of the continued illness of Rev. Joseph A. Nelson I was compelled to supply Portsmouth with another pastor, Rev. J. H. Bell, and supplied New Richmond with Rev. S. H. Thompson.
Sunday, April 1st, I spent in Cincinnati and Walnut Hill, with Dr. Jackson and the pastor at Walnut Hill.
From Cincinnati I passed through Lockland, Middletown, Xenia out to Wilberforce, and spent the night at Evergreen Cottage, with Bishop Payne. Then on to Springfield and Urbana--giving the pastors and congregations of each of these places a word and then passed on.
Friday, April 6th, found me at North Lewisburg. There I met a white gentleman that I had not seen for forty-seven years. He left my native county, June, 1829. He was about eighteen, and I was about eight. He had seen my name in some of the notices given of camp-meetings, and he sent me word by Bishop Shorter to know if I was a son of Francis Wayman, of Caroline county, Maryland.
I wrote him a letter, giving him all the information asked for, and when I got to his town he said he had two hundred questions to ask me. I tried to answer them all, and when he was through I commenced to
ask him questions about his brothers and sisters. And then I wanted to know if they brought to Ohio "Charlie" and "Button;" these were the names of their horses; for every person that went to Ohio in those days traveled in wagons.
I took tea with him, and then he went to church with me, and I took him into the pulpit with me, for he was a Christian when he left home, and I found him one then.
My next point was Cleveland, Ohio, where I spent Sunday, April 8th. Rev. R. A. Johnson was the pastor. I found his church in good condition.
Monday I called to see Rev. Joseph A. Nelson and found him very ill, indeed; but was hopeful of getting up again. Then on to Oberlin. Brother R. A. Johnson went with me. On reaching there we stopped at the house of Mrs. Edmund Crosby, the widow of the late Rev. Edmund Crosby, of New York. There was an interesting congregation out at night. I returned to Baltimore by the way of Erie, Pittsburg and Harrisburg.
Tuesday morning, April 17th, 1877, I left home for the Pittsburg Conference, which met at Williamsport, Pa. The ride from Baltimore was a pleasant one.
On Wednesday morning the Conference opened. Rev. C. Asbury was elected secretary, and the Conference proceeded to its business. The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. C. Asbury. The Missionary Sermon was preached by Rev. John G. Mitchell, and in some respects it was as able a sermon as ever I heard.
The committee's report showed some depth of thought as well as a careful study of the different subjects referred to them. The Conference had a visit from two of the General Officers, Dr. H. M Turner and Rev. J. C. Embry. Rev. J. H. Madison was transferred to the Pittsburg Conference, but did not remain long enough to become acquainted with the members. Bishop Ward asked for him to go to New Orleans.
I received a dispatch from Rev. John R. Henry of the Baltimore Conference, that his father, Rev. Thomas W. Henry, was dead and desired me to attend the funeral at Hagerstown, Md., on Tuesday, April 24.
The Conference closed on Monday night, and I left at 12 o'clock for Harrisburg and on to Chambersburg, then to Hagerstown, and at 4 o'clock the funeral of Rev. Thomas W. Henry took place from Bethel Church in Hagerstown.
The Baltimore Conference, of which he was a member, was in session at Cambridge, Maryland, when he died; sent two of its members to Washington, D. C., to accompany the remains to Hagerstown. They were Revs. W. H. Waters and James A. Handy.
The exercises at the church were commenced by Brothers Waters and Handy. Bishop Brown delivered the address, and I said a few words, and then the mortal remains of the then oldest member of the Baltimore Annual Conference of the A. M. E. Church were deposited in the grave.
By request of Bishop Brown I remained in Hagerstown
at night and ordained Charles C. Reeder an elder; next morning returned home to Baltimore.
Thursday morning, April 26, left for Philadelphia; on reaching there met the Financial Board. At night delivered a lecture on the Galaxy of the Bishops, in the Union Church, and then presented a book to Bishop Payne.
On Sunday, at 10 o'clock, I held forth in Hancock M. E. Church; afternoon Allen Chapel, and night in Bethel. Monday night went to see Bishop Ward, who had arrived in the city and was sick; found him better.
I returned home to Baltimore on Wednesday, May 4; then on Sunday, May 6, was present at the laying of the corner-stone of the new Centennial Church on Caroline Street, Baltimore. Bishop Ames laid the stone.
On Tuesday, May 8, I attended the great Temperance Convention which met in the Academy of Music and made the opening prayer. During the day I introduced Mrs. Frances E. W. Harper to the convention, and she made one of the finest speeches that was made during the convention.
Friday, May 11, I went to Wilmington, Delaware, to attend the Philadelphia Conference; Bishop Payne presiding. It was at Wilmington nine years before I turned over the Philadelphia Conference into the hands of Bishop Campbell. I saw that death had thinned the ranks a little; Moore, Smith, Woodlin, Rhoads and Winder were gone.
On Sunday, Bishop Campbell, Rev. J. C. Embry
and Dr. Cain held forth in the large hall, while it fell to my lot to go to the citadel of Methodism in Wilmington, the Asbury M. E. Church.
A committee from the preachers' meeting of the M. E. Church paid the Conference a fraternal visit, and the president made a speech which was responded to by Dr. Cain. I remained in Wilmington until Tuesday, and then left for Baltimore.
Thursday, May 17, I left on a tour through Middle Tennessee. From Baltimore to Washington, to Alexandria, Gordonsville, Lynchburg, Bristol, Chattanooga, Tenn., where I spent Sunday, May 20. At 9-30 P. M., I left for Fayetteville, laying over at a station on the railroad until next morning, arriving at the end of my journey. At this point Rev. L. N. Merry was stationed; he had a fine congregation out at night.
Next morning found me on my way to Tullahoma, Rev. D. Rankins pastor. His congregation was an interesting one. I moved on toward Nashville, passing through Wartrace, Shelbyville, Murfreesboro; at the latter place we had our meeting in the Baptist church.
Saturday morning I reached Nashville and spent the night. Sunday morning at 10 o'clock visited St. John's Chapel, and found it in mourning for their pastor, Rev. M. R. Johnston, who had recently been called away. The Board desired to see me and I stepped in the office a few moments, and they said to me, please give us another Moses R. Johnston; and I tried to do so in the person of Rev. G. H. Shaffer.
From Nashville I passed on to Franklin, Ky., to Bowling Green, to Elizabethtown, then to Mayfield.
Sunday, June 4, I dedicated the church in Paducah, Kentucky. There was a grand turnout of the friends of religion in this fine city situated on the south side of the Ohio river. Rev. S. Straws pastor.
Monday morning I left again for my next point, passing through Elizabethtown, to Lebanon junction, there changed for Mitchellsburg; held forth in the school-house at night. Bro. Barbee pastor.
Next morning I was conveyed to Danville to see Rev. D. S. Bentley, and at night my congregation was so large that the young people crowded the old ones out. I suggested that in order to accommodate the old people, there would be preaching next morning (which was Thursday), at 11 o'clock, and there was almost a church full at that hour.
My next was Richmond, Kentucky, the charge of Rev. D. Armstrong. I found a fine church and congregation. From there to Lancaster, and then on to Louisville, Kentucky. Sunday morning, June 9th, went into the country, returned in the afternoon, addressed the congregation at Asbury Church, and at night went to Quinn Chapel.
Monday I called at Shelbyville, Ky., Rev. L. Evans pastor. Tuesday night Frankfort, G. H. Steemer. Wednesday night Midway, Rev. M. Burk pastor. Thursday night Lexington, Rev. J. W. Asbury pastor, then to Cynthiana. Sunday, June 17, I dedicated the church in Covington Kentucky, Rev. George Parker pastor.
Monday I crossed over the river to Cincinnati and spent one night, and moved on to Xenia, and then out to Wilberforce. Bishop Ward preached the Annual Sermon.
The Commencement exercises were of a most interesting character. Two young gentlemen graduated. I went to Dayton at night but returned next morning in time for the exercises at the University. Bishop Ward and several others spoke. This closed the exercises of the Commencement.
I then left for the East, passing through Zanesville, Steubenville, Pittsburg, Allegheny City, Altoona, Lewistown, Harrisburg, then home, which I reached Tuesday, June 26, 1877. I remained in Baltimore until Friday, June 29, and then left for Meadville, Pa.
Sunday, July 1, 1877, was dedication day in Meadville, Pa. Our people had the misfortune to lose their church there by fire, but they went to work in earnest and rebuilt, and Sunday, July 1, I was there for dedication. Rev. W. A. J. Phillips, the pastor, had things admirably arranged. Afternoon the dedication took place, and at the close of the services every dollar of the indebtedness was provided for.
The pastor of the first M. E. Church invited Rev. W. A. J. Phillips' congregation and myself to his church at night, and he provided for the other expenses handsomely.
From Meadville, Pa., I made a short tour through a part of Ohio that I had not visited, making a short call at Cleveland. While there I called to see Rev.
Joseph A. Nelson, and found him fast sinking in death. He died in a few days afterward, and was buried from the St. John A. M. E. Church. His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. Dr. Brook, who was his pastor in Winchester, Virginia, years before.
I next called at Marion, Ohio, where Bro. Rich had charge. Spent one night, then on to Mechanicsburg, to Piqua, and I don't think I ever saw it rain harder than it did that night; I next called at Yellow Spring. Sunday, July 8, dedicated the new church at Hamilton, Ohio. I had the assistance of Revs. P. Toliver, G. H. Graham and T. E. Knox.
From Hamilton I moved eastward, calling and spending a few hours in Cincinnati, and to Wilmington, Circleville, Newark, then to the camp-meeting at Zanesville, spending Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and then left for home.
Sunday morning, July 22, I rode out as far as Quaker Bottom, Md., to attend the bush-meeting of Rev. B. F. Lee. There was a good turnout of the people; it looked more like a camp than a bush-meeting.
Friday, August 3, I left Baltimore for Easton, spending the night there. Next morning I went to Tuckahoe and took a long walk; looked at some things that I used to see in my boyhood days, such as old houses and barns.
Saturday morning found me in sight of my brother, Charles H. Wayman's, and soon as his children saw me they started out to the road to meet me. Sunday I attended a small camp-meeting. Rev. A. M. Green
met there by my invitation, and he gave us a grand sermon in the morning. Rev. T. M. Cole was the pastor. I left for home on Monday.
SUNDAY, August 12, laid the corner-stone for the new Union Bethel Church, at Canton, Baltimore. I was assisted by Rev. J. A. Handy and others. This church has been finished, and is a flourishing mission.
Tuesday, August 14, I attended the M. E. Church camp-meeting at Emory Grove, and had the pleasure of hearing Rev. C. H. Fowler, D. D., preach. It was the ablest sermon in some respects that I had heard for some time. Text, "But now we see through a glass darkly." 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
Sunday, August 19, I attended the camp-meeting of Rev. Dr. Watkins at West River, and there was a remarkable gathering that day. I remained in Baltimore until August 27.
On Monday, August 27, started out to attend the Ohio Conference at Urbana, Ohio. At Cumberland, Md., Rev. J. B. Hamilton joined me, and we went out together. He had been transferred to Ohio Conference by Bishop Brown.
On reaching Urbana I found that Rev. B. W. Arnett had made ample arrangements for the Conference. Wednesday morning at 9 o'clock, the Ohio Conference met. Rev. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary.
At 4 o'clock, the Spurgeon of the A. M. E. Church as he is called, Rev. P. Toliver, preached the Annual Sermon. Thursday afternoon at 4 o'clock Rev. J. P. Underwood preached the Missionary Sermon. The Conference had the pleasure of a visit from the Commissioner of Education, Rev. J. C. Embry, and also the Traveling Agent, Rev. C. L. Bradwell. I found a good many bright stars in the Ohio Conference. Some of them from Wilberforce University.
When the Ohio Conference closed I left for Indianapolis, to look in on Bishop Shorter and the Indiana Conference. Reaching there I found them in session; among the older members I recognized Dr. Revels and others. I spent two days and nights, and then left for the Kentucky Conference, passing through New Albany and Louisville.
Thursday morning the Kentucky Conference met in the town of Midway. It being something new in that part of the state, there was a grand turnout. Rev. John W. Asbury was elected secretary, and J. W. Gasaway assistant. The Annual Sermon was preached by Rev. John W. Asbury. It was a grand effort. Monday afternoon there was a grand turnout of the Sunday School children; they came from other towns besides Midway. Revs. J. C. Embry and C. L. Bradwell paid the Conference a visit.
From Kentucky Conference I went to the Tennessee, by the way of Louisville, Bowling Green, then to Nashville.
Sunday, September 23d, the basement of the new
St. Paul's Chapel was opened. Rev. N. Mitchem, the great financier of the Tennessee Conference, had made grand arrangements for the occasion. The congregation all met in the old church at two o'clock, and a quarter before three they took up the line of march for the new.
The ministers were all in front, and one brother was selected to sing, "Blow ye the trumpet, blow." All persons were requested to deposit their contribution in a box as they entered the door. This modus operandi worked well; there were more than five hundred dollars raised that afternoon. The collection was continued at night.
Wednesday, September 26th, the Tennessee Conference met in Nashville, Tennessee. Rev. C. O. H. Thomas was elected secretary, and Rev. G. H. Shaffer assistant. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. Bedford Green, and it was a very fine sermon. This was a very pleasant session, and it was largely attended by ministers of other churches.
When the Tennessee Conference was over, I left for Union City to attend the West Tennessee Conference, which met there. It was an all night's ride from Nashville.
Thursday, October 4th, the West Tennessee Conference met. Rev. D. E. Asbury was elected secretary, and Rev. B. L. Brooks asssistant. Rev. R. F. Hurley preached the annual sermon, which attracted a great deal of attention.
The pastor of our church made application to the pastors of one or two of the white churches for the
use of their churches for Sunday, but his request was refused, and, in order to accommodate the crowd, we went to the fair ground, and after Rev. D. E. Asbury fired off one of his big guns, and those pastors heard him, we had as many applications to other churches as we could fill.
The Conference by vote did away with the Presiding Elder's office, which they tried for one year, and then established it again.
When the Conference closed I left for Clinton, Kentucky; spent one night there, then on to Columbus, Kentucky; called to see the Mountain Angel, (Rev. Major Nelson); from there I crossed the Ohio river to Cairo, and spent one night with my old friend and brother, Rev. W. J. Davis, then toward home, calling at Indianapolis.
After reaching home in Baltimore, I spent a few days and rested a little. The Pittsburg Conference having changed their time from Spring to Fall, it met this year at Oil City, Pa., on Thursday, October 25th. Rev. C. Asbury was elected secretary, and T. A. Thompson assistant. The annual sermon was preached by Rev. T. A. Thompson, His effort was a brilliant one. This being a short year, the session was a short one.
Leaving Oil City I started for Middleport, Ohio, but when I reached the wharf at Parkersburg, W. Va., the Packet was gone, and there was no boat until Monday. I spent the Sunday in Parkersburg very uncomfortably, for I always feel bad when I meet with disappointment.
I called at Chillicothe, Ohio, to see Rev. J. B. Hamilton, and found him looking bad; he died in a few days after I left him. I made a few calls in Ohio, and then passed over as far as Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and returned by the way of Nicholasville and Georgetown, Kentucky.
As winter was coming on, I made a short tour through Ohio as far as Toledo, and then home. This closed up another year, and I went into winter quarters.
January 12th I was called by Rev. J. W. Stevenson to leave my winter quarters to attend his grand jubilee at Trenton, New Jersey. I left Baltimore on Saturday morning for Philadelphia, and then on to Trenton, New Jersey. There I met Bishops Payne and Brown.
Sunday morning Bishop Payne preached in the Trinity M. E. church, Bishop Brown in Mount Zion A. M. E. church, and I in the Central M. E. church. Afternoon and night I held forth in the Mount Zion A. M. E. church, and Bishop Brown in the Central M. E. church. This wound up the jubilee exercises for that day.
On Monday I visited the day schools, in company with Bishop Payne. Trenton has changed greatly since I was stationed there in 1847-8.
Tuesday, January 15th, the Missionary Board met in the Episcopal rooms. Bishops Payne and Shorter, and Drs. Tanner and Cain were present. At night there was a grand missionary meeting held in Bethel church. Bishop Brown and Dr. Cain spoke. Wednesday the Board was in session all day, and at night
there was a missionary meeting at the Union church. Bishop Payne and Dr. Cain spoke. I then went home.
Saturday morning, January 26th, I left for New York to attend the tin wedding of Rev. W. F. Dickerson, reaching there about ten o'clock. Sunday morning, January 27th, I was at Sullivan street. Afternoon I called over to see Rev. J. F. Thomas, at Bridge street, and then returned to Sullivan street at night.
Monday night, January 28th, Sullivan street was crowded; and as I had said a word or two to William and Isabella ten years ago I was presented first with one of those new-style Bibles. Dr. Garnett and several other ministers spoke that evening, and Bro. Dickerson and wife received tin enough to last them for years.
It is a little remarkable that two of the elders that I have married have been elected bishops, viz., Shorter and Dickerson. There are a few more that I can remember just now, whose chances are yet good, viz., Schureman, Handy, Embry and Derrick. On Tuesday morning I left the bride and groom of ten years.
On Wednesday morning, Feb. 13, I accompanied a large delegation of gentlemen to Annapolis to call on the Legislature and to present the temperance petition; and spending some time returned home. This winter I commenced to write my Manual on the Discipline.
Saturday morning, February 16, 1878, I called to
see that sweet singer of Bethel Church, Baltimore (Henry Braddicks), breathe his last. On Sunday afternoon a large congregation assembled in Bethel to view the remains of the late Henry Braddicks. Rev. James A. Handy preached his funeral sermon. Bethel then bade her once sweet singer farewell.
I remained in winter quarters until Thursday, March 21, when I was called out by Rev. R. A. Johnson to come to Cleveland, Ohio, to the dedication of their church. I was soon on the wing. Sunday morning, March 24, the congregation took leave of the old church, and 3 o'clock the new St. John's A. M. E. Church was dedicated.
I made an extensive tour this spring through Ohio, Kentucky, to Tennessee as far down as Memphis, returning by way of Nashville back to Kentucky, calling at Danville. Then on Sunday, April 21, 1878, dedicated the church at Harrodsburg, Rev. O. P. Ross, pastor. Leaving Harrodsburg I passed through Nicholasville, Lexington, Cynthiana, and crossed to Cincinnati and Lebanon, Ohio. Sunday, April 28, dedicated a new church at Bainbridge, Ohio; then returned home to Baltimore.
Tuesday, April 30, met the bishops at Washington, D. C.
May 1. The Financial Board met in Washington, D. C., and continued in session for several days,
Saturday morning, May 4. The Baltimore Annual Conference met; Bishop Brown presided. This Conference continued in session for several days. I also visited the Philadelphia Conference, and remained
there a few days, and then left to attend the dedication of a new church at Erie, Pa.
Sunday, May 19, was a grand day in Erie, Pa. The new A. M. E. Church was dedicated. I was assisted by Revs. W. A. J. Phillips, T. B. Caldwell, and W. P. Ross.
Monday, May 20. I left for the city of Buffalo, New York, and reaching there called to see my old colleague, Rev. A. C. Crippin, and spent a night with him. Next day left for Albany, New York, and there spent one night; and then to the new Conference; Bishop Payne presided.
June 20. I attended the Commencement at Wilberforce University. On that day the dedication took place; the prayer was offered by Bishop Payne. From Wilberforce I went to Dayton, Hamilton, Cincinnati, Wilmington, Zanesville, Cambridge, Marietta.
On Sunday, June 30, dedicated the new church at Belpre, Ohio; then to Parkersburg, W. Va.; from there to Cumberland, Md.
This summer I attended camp-meeting at the following places: Franklin, Pa., Cadiz, Ohio, Circleville, Chillicothe, Springfield, Delaware, Lima, Monongahela, Newark, and Delphos.
This year the Ohio Conference met at Circleville. Rev. J. P. Underwood was elected secretary; Rev. R. A. Johnson preached the Annual sermon, and Rev. B. W. Arnett the Missionary sermon. When the Conference adjourned I went to Hamilton, Ohio, to attend Bro. Toliver's camp meeting; and on Sunday I
had the greatest treat I had enjoyed for several years, and that was to hear two of the ablest pulpit orators in the Ohio Conference, viz., G. H. Graham and P. Toliver. It had been a question among the people as to which of these two was the greater preacher. And to satisfy the public, Bro. Arnett, who conducted the religious services of the camp-meeting, arranged it so that both should preach on Sunday afternoon-- Bro. Toliver at 2 and Bro. Graham at 4 o'clock. Of course it was unknown to both of them. Bro. Toliver's text was, "We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard," etc. Heb. ii. 1; Bro. Graham's, "Awake thou that sleepest." Eph. v. 14.
From there I attended the Kentucky Conference at Lexington, Kentucky, and had a fine session. Rev. John W. Gasaway preached the Annual sermon, and Rev. John Coleman the Missionary sermon. After the Conference closed I left for Nashville, Tennessee, and Sunday, September 22, dedicated the St. Paul's Church in Nashville, Tenn., and raised about one thousand dollars. This was one of the finest churches in the connection before it was destroyed by the storms.
On Thursday, September 26, 1878, the Tennessee Conference met in Fayetteville. Rev. G. H. Shaffer was elected secretary; the Annual sermon was preached by Rev. C. O. H. Thomas, and G. H. Shaffer preached the Missionary sermon.
When the Conference adjourned I came home to Baltimore, passing through Chattanooga, then to
Atlanta, Macon, Savannah, Wilmington, N. C., and then to Portsmouth, Norfolk, Va., then home to Baltimore.
Saturday, October 12, I left Baltimore for Wilmington, Delaware, and Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock I laid the corner-stone for the new church in Wilmington, Delaware, Rev. C. C. Felts, pastor. I returned home on Monday.
Thursday, October 17. I went out to Catonville to see my old friend and brother, Rev. Daniel W. Moore, and found him very feeble. He said to me, "I am going to die, and I am no more afraid to die than I am to go out at that door."
I left Baltimore Friday, October 18, for the West, and on Sunday afternoon I dedicated the new church at New Brighton, Pa. I was assisted by Rev. Dr. Tanner and the pastor, Rev. T. A. Thompson.
Thursday morning, October 24. The Pittsburg Conference met at Salem, Ohio. Rev. C. Asbury was elected secretary; the Annual sermon was preached by Rev. J. M. Morris.
The meeting for Sunday was held in the M. E. Church. The Conference had a visit from Rev. B. F. Lee, President of Wilberforce University, and Dr. Jackson of the Ohio Conference.
When the Conference adjourned I left for Lexington, Kentucky.
Sunday, November 3. I dedicated the church at Lexington, Kentucky. I was assisted by President Lee, Rev. J. W. Gasaway, and Rev. John W. Asbury.
Sunday, November 10. Dedicated the new church
at Paris, Tenn. I had the assistance of Revs. R. F. Hurley and D. E. Asbury. The congregation was large and the collection rather good.
Thursday morning, November 14. The West Tennessee Conference met in Paris. Rev. D. E. Asbury was elected secretary. Rev. B. L. Brooks preached the Annual Sermon, and Rev. H. E. Brant the Missionary Sermon. The past Conference year had been one of great suffering in that part of Tennessee. The yellow fever prevailed to a fearful extent.
The Conference voted to re-establish the office of presiding elders in the Conference; Jacob Shields, Solomon McReynolds and G. Williams were appointed. The Conference then adjourned.
Sunday, November 24, I dedicated the new church at Clarksville, Tennessee, Rev. B. L. Brooks pastor; the collection was good. I then started homeward, calling at Shepherdstown, Kentucky, at Louisville, Shelbyville and Christianburgh, then over into Ohio.
Thursday, November 28, held a union thanksgiving meeting, Quinn Chapel, Louisville, Ky.
Sunday, December 1, I spent in Covington, Kentucky and Cincinnati; there was not much of a congregation out on account of the rain. Monday, December 2, I moved on to Walnut Hill, to Middletown, Dayton, Springfield, Delaware, Columbus, Pittsburg, and then home to winter quarters.
JANUARY 1, 1879. This commenced another year I did not attend watch meeting last night at church; watched the old year out and the new one in, in the sick chamber of my aged mother-in-law.
March 6, I went with the members of the preachers' meeting of Baltimore, belonging to the A. M. E. Church, to the Baltimore Conference of the M. E. Church. After being introduced by Bishop Harris, I introduced by name all of our delegation, and then delivered the following address:
Mr. President and members of the good Baltimore Conference of the M. E. Church, for the last quarter of a century I have had the extreme pleasure to look in occasionally on the members of your body, but as I look to-day I fail to see many that I used to see, and whose words I always admired in other days. Among them let me mention the name of that man of God, Rev. Alfred Griffith, that great parliamentarian, John A. Collins; those sons of thunder, S. Asbury Rozell and William Hurst; those sons of consolation, N. J. B. Morgan, William Hamilton, C. B. Tippit and R. S. Vinton; the beloved John Miller and Baer, and that man of almost superhuman eloquence, Thomas Sewell, and last but not least the
Methodist war-horse, Henry Slicer. Sir, as the oldest daughter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, we have called to pay her a fraternal visit this morning. I therefore present to you our spokesman, Rev. James Henry Andrew Johnson, D. D. Brother Johnson made a short speech. Bishop Harris responded.
The next day the members of the preachers' meeting of Baltimore paid the Washington Conference of the M. E. Church a visit, and after being introduced, Rev. John W. Beckett delivered a very eloquent address.
March 11, I went to Washington, D. C., to see President Hayes in relation to the appointment of R. Stockett Matthews, Esq., Judge of the United States Court in Baltimore. The interview was very pleasant indeed. I returned to Baltimore.
March 14, I crossed the Chesapeake Bay to Easton, Md., and then on up to Tuckahoe to spend one day with my brother. Saturday afternoon I took a ride along the country road, and passed by the little log-house where I was born fifty-eight years ago. There I could look upon the graves of father and mother. I passed on to Denton.
Sunday, March 16, I returned to Denton and spent the day with Rev. Jeremiah Young, the pastor, and spent a very pleasant one.
Wednesday, March 19, I left for a tour to the West, passing through Pittsburg to Oil City, and there spent one night, and then to Meadville, Pa., and spent a night.
Sunday, March 23, the first Anniversary of the St.
John's A. M. E. Church took place in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Jackson pastor. It was a high day; the congregation was overwhelming.
On Monday night, March 24, I delivered my lecture in answer to Mr. Ingersoll's attack on the Bible, in St. John's Church, to a large congregation.
Leaving Cleveland I called at Columbus to see Rev. B. W. Arnett, who had me going around the capitol building and then calling to see the Governor, and into the State Senate. At night I gave him a lecture in the church; then went to Belpre.
Tuesday I moved down the Ohio river to Middleport to see Rev. J. Asbury; there spent one night, and then to Gallipolis and spent one night with Brother Bell, who had one of the greatest revivals ever known in that town.
Sunday, March 30, I visited Catletsburg, Kentucky, for the first time. There was a contest between the ministers of the M. E. Church and the M. E. Church South, which church I should occupy on Sunday, as our church was too small to accommodate the congregation. Our minister, Rev. Andrew Jackson Crawford, decided in favor of the M. E. Church.
Monday night, March 31, I lectured in Ironton, the charge of Rev. R. C. Clark, to a large congregation. Tuesday, April 1, I called at Greenup, Kentucky, and held forth in the court-house, and nearly all the town were out, and Wednesday night I spent with Rev. J. H. Cole, at Portsmouth, Ohio.
Thursday, April 3, I reached Cincinnati, and there
took Cincinnati and Southern Railroad for Georgetown, Kentucky, to Nicholasville and Danville.
On Sunday morning, April 6, held forth in the court-house in Danville, Kentucky, and in the afternoon laid the corner-stone for the new church. I then called at Harrodsburg, Parksville, Tannersville, Stanford and Lancaster. Sunday, April 13, dedicated the new church at Richmond, Kentucky. Monday, lectured in Lexington, Kentucky.
Tuesday, returned to Cincinnati, lectured there, then to Hamilton and Dayton, from there returned to Baltimore.
Tuesday, April 22, I paid a visit to the New Jersey Conference at Trenton. Bishop Payne presided.
Sunday, April 27, all the Bishops were in Baltimore. I was too sick to be out at all. Monday, April 28, at three o'clock all the Bishops attended the funeral of Rev. Bishop Ames, of the M. E. Church. It was a large funeral; it took place from the Madison Avenue M. E. Church. Bishop Simpson delivered the address.
Monday, May 5, I visited the Baltimore Conference in Washington, D. C.; present Bishops Brown, Payne, Campbell, Shorter and Ward. I spent a few days and returned to Baltimore, and then left for the West, visiting Brownsville, Monongahela, Elizabethtown and Sewickly.
Sunday, May 25, I dedicated the new chapel in West Cincinnati, Rev. J. Shaw pastor. Sunday, June 1, I dedicated the new church in Hillsboro, Ohio, with Rev. P. Toliver and B. W. Arnett. There was a grand turnout of the people. Monday, June
2, I delivered my lecture on Ingersoll at the Wilberforce University.
Sunday, June 8, visited Wilmington, Delaware, to attend the dedication of the basement of the new church.
At ten o'clock the members met in the hall, where they had been worshipping for some time, and marched down to the new church, where the services commenced. I addressed the congregation three times during the day. I returned home to Baltimore on Monday.
Tuesday morning, June 15, I started West to attend the commencement at Wilberforce University; called at Springfield.
After the Commencement I left for a tour South, calling at Louisville, Nashville, Franklin, Columbia, Humboldt to Memphis, Tenn.
Sunday, June 29, I spent visiting the churches in Nashville. Leaving there I moved westward to Paris and Clarksville, from there to Clinton, Murray, Paducah and Mayfield, Kentucky.
Sunday, July 6, I spent in Columbus, Kentucky, with Rev. T. A. Smith, and found a delightful congregation out. Monday morning I crossed over the Mississippi river into Missouri, and there took the train for St. Louis, Mo., and reached there about 5 o'clock, P. M., and lectured for the benefit of Rev. John Turner's church. The congregation was large, and he realized something for his church.
Thursday morning, July 8, I left for Detroit, Michigan, to attend the Missionary meeting. I called
at Hannibal, Quincy, Chicago and Kalamazoo, and lectured at three of the places for the benefit of the churches. When I reached Kalamazoo, Rev. R. Jefferies' wife was brought there to be buried. I remained to attend her funeral.
Friday night at ten o'clock, left for Detroit, Michigan, and reached there about 4 o'clock in the morning of Saturday. At 10 o'clock, Bishop Shorter called what few of the members of the Board there were together, and they exchanged views respecting the great cause of missions.
Sunday, July 13, Bishop Shorter, Bros. Lee and Townsend preached in Detroit. Bishop Disney and Rev. W. Hawkins from B. M. E. Church visited the meeting.
Tuesday, I left Detroit, Michigan, for Toledo, and spent a day or two with Dr. Mitchell at his Camp Meeting.
I left Toledo for Fort Wayne, Indiana, and on Sunday, July 20, I dedicated the new church at Logansport, Indiana, Rev. H. H. Thompson, pastor. I was assisted by Rev. W. L. Lankford. Leaving Logansport, I returned home by the way of Springfield, Ohio.
Sunday, August 31, attended the opening of the basement of the new church at Wheeling, W. Va.
The Ohio Annual Conference met this year in Cleveland, Ohio, and was largely attended. Rev. J. C. Embry and Dr. H. M. Turner visited the Conference at this session, and preached very acceptably. The Conference elected their delegates. Rev. John
G. Mitchell was transferred from Pittsburg to the Ohio Conference.
The Pittsburg Conference met this year at Erie, Pa., and was very handsomely entertained by the citizens of that city; the other churches of the city opened their pulpits to our ministers. This Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference. From there I returned home to Baltimore, and on Thursday afternoon, by special request, I dedicated the new chapel in the Laurel Cemetery, Baltimore.
Sunday, September 28, I dedicated the new church at Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is the largest church we have in the State of Kentucky.
Wednesday, October 1, the Kentucky Conference met in Bowling Green, and it was largely attended.
On Monday afternoon, I invited all the Sunday Schools belonging to the colored churches in the city, to unite with us in the Sunday School Anniversary. At three o'clock the schools marched, headed by their pastors. The Baptist, Presbyterian, M. E. and A. M. E. Churches; each school was introduced to the Conference by the pastor.
There were several short addresses delivered by the members of the Conference, and then the school marched around the church and departed.
This Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference, and then adjourned.
The Tennessee Conference met this year at Shelbyville, Tennessee, and there was ample accommodation made for all the visitors. On Sunday we held service in the Court House as well as in the church, and
both places were full. This Conference elected their delegates to the General Conference.
When the Conference adjourned I returned home by the way of Chattanooga, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Lynchburg, Va.
The West Tennessee Conference met this year at Huntingdon, Tennessee. The new church was not finished, but we made out the best we could. The Conference elected their delegates.
Sunday, November 16. I dedicated the new church at Altoona, Pa., Rev. N. W. Evans, pastor.
Sunday, December 7. I dedicated the new church at Wheeling, W. Va., Rev. G. T. Prosser, pastor, and Sunday, December 14, I dedicated the new church at Martin's Ferry, Ohio. With this wound up the labors of 1879, and I returned home to winter quarters.
After resting a few days I went to New York and delivered my lecture for Dr. Dickerson in Sullivan Street, New York. After spending one Sunday I returned home to Baltimore.
Sunday, January 4, 1880. I dedicated the new church at Williamsport, Maryland, Bro. Miller, pastor.
Sunday, February 1. I dedicated the new church at Marysville, Ohio, Rev. N. Mitchell, pastor. This was one of the finest little churches that I have had the pleasure of dedicating in Ohio. There was a grand union-meeting of all the churches in that town at night, and I was invited to hold forth for them, and they made up the amount that was needed.
I received an invitation from Rev. J. Alexander to
lecture for the benefit of his new church at Lansing, Michigan, and went. They had the Opera House, and they cleared fifty dollars.
Sunday, February 8. I dedicated the new church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and on Monday night lectured in the First M. E. Church; the proceeds were for the benefit of the A. M. E. Church, and enough was realized during Sunday and from the lecture to pay off all the debts on the church at Fort Wayne.
I then left for home by the way of Oberlin, Cleveland and Pittsburg.
Monday, February 16. I attended the celebration of Bishop Allen's birthday in Bethel Church, Philadelphia, and there was a fine gathering. Old Brother Tate represented Father Allen, and Mother Todd Mother Allen. I returned from Philadelphia, and then went to Columbia, Pa., and lectured in the Opera House for Rev. M. F. Sluby.
Sunday, March 14, I spent in Boston, assisting Rev. W. H. Hunter with his rally. On Monday morning I visited the preachers' meeting of the M. E. Church; at night lectured for Brother Hunter's Church, and cleared for him about fifty-five dollars.
Wednesday, March 31. I visited the Virginia Conference, which met in Norfolk, Va. Bishop Brown presided, I spent one or two days at that Conference and then came home.
Wednesday night I lectured in the St. George's M. E. Church, Philadelphia, and the choir of Bethel Church sang for me. This is the church ninety-three
years ago Richard Allen was compelled to leave. I, one of his sons, returned back to deliver a lecture.
The Baltimore Conference met this year in Bethel Church, Baltimore; Bishop Brown presided. I spent Sunday, April 25, at Wilmington, Delaware, with Rev. C. C. Felts, and then returned home, and made ready to start for St. Louis, Missouri, to the General Conference.
We left Baltimore Thursday night, April 29, for St. Louis, met the Philadelphians at Harrisburg, Pa., and proceeded on to St. Louis, reaching there about 8 o'clock on Saturday morning.
Monday morning, May 3, 1880, the General Conference met; present, Bishops Payne, Campbell, Shorter, Ward, and Brown. Rev. B. W. Arnett was elected secretary, and selected as his assistants Revs. J. H. A. Johnson and C. Asbury.
Bishop Campbell read the Quadrennial address, and Bishop Ward preached the sermon.
Revs. H. M. Turner, W. F. Dickerson, and R. H. Cain were elected Bishops.
There were some objections offered to Dr. Turner's election. The Bishops called a meeting to consult on what course was best to be pursued. I suggested that the Bishops call a Council of Elders, one from each Episcopal District, and let the brother who offered the objections to Dr. Turner appear and state what those objections were. My suggestions were agreed to, and the Council was called. The parties all appeared; the objections were heard.
The Bishops and the Council of Elders became
satisfied that there was not sufficient foundation for these summons to prevent Dr. Turner from being ordained a bishop.
I was requested to prepare a programme for the ordination of bishops-elect, and the programme was that Dr. Turner should be ordained by Bishops Payne and Shorter, with five elders; that W. F. Dickerson should be ordained by Bishops Wayman and Ward, with five elders; and R. H. Cain should be ordained by Bishops Campbell and Brown, with five elders. This programme was carried out.
With the close of this General Conference closes my forty years in the A. M. E. Church. Two years an exhorter, three years a licensed preacher, two years a deacon, seventeen years an elder, and sixteen years a bishop.
Oh! what has God wrought for the African Methodist Episcopal Church! Forty years ago she had only five Annual Conferences in the entire Connection; two bishops, not more than one hundred traveling preachers, and less than ten thousand members.
In 1880 she has thirty-six Annual Conferences, nine bishops, one thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight traveling preachers (1,738), three thousand seven hundred and nineteen local preachers (3,719); members and probationers, three hundred and eighty-seven thousand five hundred and sixty (387,560).
In preparing these pages I have tried to avoid any and every thing that had the appearance of ostentation, and have presented the simple and plain facts as they occurred and as I could remember.
I possibly may have failed to mention the name of some good brother that has been identified with me and aided in my work: I have not done so intentionally.
I have tried to speak kindly of all and harshly of none. And now, kind readers, I take leave of you, hoping that when I shall have travelled my last District, held my last Annual Conference, preached my last sermon, and then when I am sleeping in the silent grave you will be able to say of me as was said of Barnabas, "He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and faith."
Oh! ministers of Christ go on,
This voyage will soon be o'er,
The land of rest is just ahead,
And soon you'll reach the shore.
Then standing on that sea of glass,
With golden harp in hand,
To sing through all eternity,
Song, Moses and the Lamb.