1723PICTORIALANDHISTORICALNEW HANOVER COUNTYANDWILMINGTON, N.C.1938
The twilight of Liberty in America first showed its brilliancy when the Colonists of the Lower Cape Fear denounced the tyrannical Acts of the British Crown upon her subjects, imposing an unjust tax, without representation, known as The Stamp Act of 1765.
With “Blood and Death” was the answer:—Heroism and determination upon the part of the Colonist crowned their glorious efforts, enhanced by the signal defeat of the British at the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge.
The facts are indisputable as true records of events! As the first who defied British Power, more than ten years before the Declaration of Independence, were the people of the Lower Cape Fear.1861 — 1865
The Southern people, weary of discord, exercised every means to remain in the Union of States; North Carolina was the last of the States to secede, using every honorable recourse to remain, finally accepting war and rightly joined her Sister States in forming The Confederate States of America.
“The triumphs of MIGHT are transient—they pass and are forgotten—the Sufferings of RIGHT are graven deepest in the chronicles of Nations.”
Their righteous cause, their deeds and valor, shall ever go down to posterity, without varying, their righteousness shall ever be—“A Just Cause.”
No sting is left in the heart of Southern Soldiers for the brave men who fought them, as they have proven their loyalty to their United Country in their response to the call of their chief (the President) in defense of his domain, when the Blue and the Grey met upon the fields of Foreign soils, under One Flag—“The Stars and Stripes” “Indissoluble, United We Stand.”“The story born of Truth is Eternal,His words become the symbol of Truth.”
WILLIAM LORD DEROSSET.
Wilmington, N. C.
To those heroic Patriots, defenders of Liberty,
To those who suffered the trials and devastations of our beloved Southland,
To the Leaders who rescued our honor and country,
To all—we constitute a community of religious and educational environments.
WILLIAM LORD DEROSSETVERBA MEMORIA DIGNA
A wise philosophical historian has justly said that “A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of a remote Ancestry, will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered by remote decendants.”COLONIAL HISTORY OF
THE Lower Cape Fear region of North Carolina is justly recognized by historians and designated as the most romantic section of our state. What follows constitutes largely the beginning of events that led up to the Revolutionary war or conflict against the British empire and its tyrannical policies, as chronicled by various historians. We omit the early settlement of our section, and begin with the year 1723, which was in reality the starting of a Parliamentary Government.
The first settlement in New Hanover County was called Charlestown, but it existed only about six years—then was abandoned—the colonists returning to Charleston, South Carolina, from whence they came.
The second attempt to establish a settlement was in 1725, a site being selected fifteen miles below the present city of Wilmington, upon the west bank of the Cape Fear River. In that year Maurice Moore, a grandson of Sir John Yeamans, received from the Lords Proprietors a grant of fifteen hundred acres of land, upon which a town site was laid off upon three hundred and fifty acres and was named Brunswick, in honor of the reigning family of Great Britain.
Many obstacles prevented Old Brunswick from assuming great proportions, hence the hopes of the founder were never realized, yet it became a place of stirring events which spread throughout the Nation. It became the chief seaport of North Carolina, and for a while its Capital.
Too much cannot be said of the many distinguished men Old Brunswick gave to our country at large; men who were in the councils of State and Nation: Maj. General Robert Howe, Cornelius Harnett, General John Ashe, General James Moore, Judge Maurice Moore and Alfred Moore, Attorney-General Archibald MacLaine, Chief Justices Allen, Hassell and Smith and others.
Brunswick was for a while the home of Colonial Governors Johnston, Arthur Dobbs and William Tryon. Its citizens figured largely in the affairs of the American Colonies. Governor Tryon's residence was north of the town, known as Russelborough, and was established in 1751 by Captain John Russell of the British Sloop of War “Scorpion.” Russell died in 1752.
In the year 1761 a fearful hurricane visited the Lower Cape Fear, resulting in great damage and creating a new inlet. This inlet remained for one hundred years until after the War Between the States, 1861-65, when it was closed by a great engineering feat of the United States Government. It was the chief entrance for ships to and from Wilmington. At this entrance stood the celebrated Fort Fisher.
A few years after Brunswick was settled and then abandoned, a little settlement was begun on the East side of the Cape Fear River, opposite the junction of the two rivers, and which was called New Liverpool. In 1730 its name was changed to Newtown or Newton. The town's site was upon lands granted to John Watson and consisted of six hundred and forty acres, adjoining the settlement on the South. James Wimble, Joshua Grainger, Michel Dyer and others obtained grants and these persons laid out the town of Wilmington, named in honor of Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington.
Governor Gabriel Johnston and other high officials located in Wilmington in 1734. In May 1735 the Colonial Council and Courts were held here. The town was incorporated in 1739 and given a representative in the General Assembly.
In this connection we must credit these pioneers with wisdom and far-sighted vision for future growth. The streets are of a uniform width, sixty feet wide, excepting Market, Third and Fifth Streets which are ninety-nine feet wide. Streets running East and West are designated by names, those running North and South by numbers beginning at Front as First, and continuing to corporate limits.
February 1761, at Brunswick, George III was proclaimed King in the presence of Governor Dobbs. 1764 the County of Brunswick was established out of the territory of New Hanover and Bladen. In October of the same year, because of the continual complaints against the irritable old Governor, the British Ministry sent over Lieut. Colonel William Tryon of the Queen's Guards to be Lieutenant Governor. Tryon took the oath of office at Wilmington.
March 1765 Governor Dobbs retired with Governor Tryon as his successor. He qualified April 3rd. For him it was an unfortunate time to take charge of the government as many serious troubles were brewing in the Province. The upheaval of the Stamp Act, resulting in the Regulators War, had its beginning at this period.THE STAMP ACT
(Preceding the Boston Tea Party by Seven Years)
Although preserved only in tradition, until the official records were obtained, it had been the custom to doubt or deny certain events in North Carolina's History, especially that part pertaining to the people of the Lower Cape Fear section, of which Wilmington was the most important part.
The stamp Act was passed by the British Parliament in March 1765. The event had been anticipated by Tryon who knew the popular sentiment. We have his traditional reply through his interview with the Speaker of the Assembly, Col. John Ashe, that the Act would be resisted with arms in his flaming words “to blood and death.”
Thereupon Tryon on the 18th of May prorogued the Assembly to meet in New Bern, November 30th. Resolutions were passed denouncing the Act with expressions of determination to resist it. Again Tryon endeavored to have the Assembly meet in March, but he failed in his
efforts in the election of delegates by the Assembly to the Stamp Act Congress, as it was called. Then the pot began to boil. Meetings were held and again resolutions denouncing the Act with expressions to resist were adopted.
At this junction Dr. William Houston was appointed to the position as Stamp Master by the Governor and Council.
On the 16th November the people went to Tryon's house in Wilmington and demanded Dr. Houston, the Stamp Master, and upon Tryon's refusal to surrender him they prepared to burn his house. Tryon then requested Col. Ashe to come and talk with Houston, which he did. Houston realized his danger and agreed to accompany Ashe to the street. Then escorted by a large crowd, they went to the court house, situated at the intersection of Front and Market Streets, and there in the presence of the Mayor (Moses John deRosset), the Public Officer, took and subscribed an oath that he would never apply for, or receive any stamp paper or exercise the duties of the office. On November 20th, four days after this affair about fifty merchants of New Hanover and Brunswick Counties, upon invitation from Governor Tryon, dined with him. He strenuously urged them to permit the circulation of the stamps, but received very little comfort.
On the 20th Tryon opened and proclaimed his commission at Wilmington, and consulted the Council if any means could be proposed to induce the people to receive the Stamps. They were unanimously of the opinion that nothing could be done. He wrote to the Secretary of State in England—the Courts had been regularly opened—“no business was done and all civil government was at a standstill after an effort at reconciliation.”—There was no doubt that Tryon regarded the Act as outrageously oppressive on the people of the Colonies, and would have gladly escaped any connection with it.
On the 28th November the Sloop of War “Diligence” arrived at Brunswick with the Stamps, and was greeted by an assemblage of citizens with guns in their hands. The Stamps were not landed; Tryon's excuse, after Houston resigned, was that there was no distributor or other officer of the Stamps in the country. They remained aboard the warship. The “Diligence” was joined by the Sloop of War “Viper” and both remained at anchor awaiting developments. The organization of defense plans among the people continued until the 14th January 1766 when two merchant vessels arrived—“Dobbs” and “Patience”—without Stamps on their clearance papers. They were immediately seized, regardless of the assurance of their captains that in the absence of Stamps being issued at the ports of clearance, it was impossible to obtain them. Tryon realized the situation was serious when he was confronted with five hundred and eighty men with arms and one hundred without, led by that gallant Patriot of their choice, Col. Hugh Waddell, as their commander. On the 16th February Col. William Dry, Collector of the Port of Brunswick received a letter dated as of the 15th from Wilmington, demanding his presence there. He answered, promising to be there but the weather prevented his going.
“The next intelligence I received,” says Tryon, “was at dusk on the 19th, by letter delivered me by Mr. George Moore and Mr. Cornelius Harnett bearing date 19th and signed John Ashe, Thomas Lloyd and Alexander Lillington.”
This letter stirred Tryon to an interview with the captain of the men-of-war. The people were marching to Brunswick, in hope of obtaining in a peaceful manner a redress of their grievances from the commanding officer of his Majesty's ships. They assured the Governor of protection from insult to his person and property, in that a guard of gentlemen would be immediately detached for such purpose if agreeable to him.
Tryon, who was a fearless soldier declined the guard, stating the gentlemen need not come as it was not necessary, and that he would answer them in writing next morning.
When Moore and Harnett left the house it was surrounded by about one hundred and fifty armed men, who informed Tryon that they were looking for Captain Lobb of the “Viper.” Upon discovery that he was not there, a majority of the men went towards the town (Tryon's residence being a short distance) leaving a number of men to watch the avenues to it.
Armed men continued to come into Brunswick from different counties as the whole Cape Fear section was aroused.
On the 20th Pennington, the Comptroller, was next sought. The morning of the 21st Col. James Moore went for Pennington and was informed by Tryon that “he could not part with him.” Col. Moore went away. “Five minutes afterwards,” says Tryon, “I found the avenue to my house again shut up by different parties of armed men.” Soon afterwards a large body of armed men was observed surrounding his house. A detachment of men advanced down the avenue headed by Harnett who sent a message that he wished to speak to Pennington. Tryon's statement was that Pennington had sought refuge in his house, and that he would give him all the protection he could. Harnett told him the people were determined to take him out, although they did not intend to harm him. Thereupon Pennington concluded to go with him, but resigned his office to Tryon first. They, and the armed citizens returned to town where Pennington was required to take an oath similar to the one administered to Houston in Wilmington.
On the evening of the 19th when the note of Ashe, Lloyd and Lillington was delivered, Lieutenant Calder of the “Viper” informed the commander of that ship “a party of men consisting of three or four hundred under the command of Col. Waddell were on their march to Fort Johnston under orders to take possession of it.” Thereupon Calder was sent in a boat with orders to spike the guns of the fort, which he did, having reached it before Waddell's column arrived.
The people of Wilmington seized the boat of the contractor for supplies to the men of war at Brunswick and were put in jail. The men of war had only one day's supply of provisions on hand. The source of supply being thus cut off, Tryon had to yield, and the vessels which had been seized for want of stamps on their clearances were released.
The facts developed by the indisputable records prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the only people in America who resisted with arms the landing of the stamps on their soil, and the first who defied British power with guns in their hands more than ten years before the Declaration of Independence, were the people of the Lower Cape Fear.
Hence the editor of this book proclaims at the mast head on its cover “The Cradle of Liberty in America, etc.”ARRIVAL OF BRITISH WAR SHIPS
May 5, 1776, while the British fleet was lying off Fort Johnston, General Clinton, the British Commander in Chief, issued a proclamation to the people of North Carolina offering pardons to those who would return to their allegiance to the British Crown, except Cornelius Harnett, and General Robert Howe of the American Army, both of whom had been objects of special dislike on the part of Governor Martin, as General Howe was the Brigadier General of the American troops and the other the chief civil officer of the State.
Lord Cornwallis himself on May 12th led a body of about 900 men to ransack the town of Brunswick, many of the plantations, including Orton plantation and others, to gather supplies for his soldiers. The guns of the ships fired several shots at old St. Philip's Church. Indentations from the shells can be seen today.
As a part of an extensive campaign covering the Carolinas, Cornwallis sent Major James H. Craig with several hundred men and a small naval force under Capt. Barkley with instructions to take possession of Wilmington. The defeat of the British at Moore's Creek Bridge doomed the Royalists in their plans more especially the late arrival of the British fleet April 18 with a large contingent of men, yet there were little opposing forces of the Colonists as Gen'l James Moore in command of the District of Wilmington was gathering forces to meet the foe. At least they made their appearance before the town Jany. 18, 1781, but finding little force to resist them, it was the 29th before the surrender of the town occurred.
Cornwallis arrived in Wilmington April 7, 1781, with the intent of establishing a source of supplies. His headquarters was the best residence to be found in Wilmington. It was the home of Mr. George Burgwin, a leading business man, situated on the Southwest corner of Market and Third Streets, where today it stands as a memorial of those stirring old days where “Liberty or Death” was the determination of the Colonists.
So determined was Cornwallis and Craig to capture that zealous leader and statesman, Cornelius Harnett, that every effort was exercised to this end by treacherous enemies of the Cause of Liberty. Under another chapter we read of his (Harnett's) noble deeds, his leadership, his majestic power in the Halls of Legislature, and finally as a signer of America's Declaration of Independence.
Thus ended this gallant episode of the early history of the Lower Cape Fear and the signal defeat of the British contingents. They vacated Wilmington, marched on to Virginia where at Yorktown, Cornwallis and his army met their final defeat. Continuing the history of the Revolution read the story as written by famous historians, but always bear in mind the Colonists of the Lower Cape Fear were heroes led by heroes—for “Liberty or Death.”
To do justice to this wonderful leader and patriot would require more space than this publication would permit.
To honor his heroic actions, his unselfish characteristics, his magnanimity as a leader, we present a few of his exploits.
Cornelius Harnett was born in Chowan County in 1723. In June 1721(?) his father purchased from Maurice Moore two lots in the town of Brunswick upon condition that within eight months he should build on them good habitable houses. This condition was fulfilled, thus the younger Harnett became a resident of the Cape Fear. With little educational advantages, tradition relates that “he could boast a fine taste for letters, and a genious for music a lover of books, and an inquisitive mind.” He soon became identified with affairs of Wilmington. An industrial leader growing up with the Cape Fear Society he became imbude with the spirit of the country, of which the dominant note has been, as it is now high standards of personal integrity and honor, particularly devoted to the ideal of industrial liberty which calls every man's house his castle; their customs, their thoughts, their feelings, even their faults and virtues, all became his own.
Harnett's Residence at Hilton
Of Cornelius Harnett as a political leader, Archibald Maclaine Hooper says: “In his private transactions he was guided by a spirit of pronity, honor and liberality; and he had no tinge of the visionary in the complexion of his politics. ‘He read the volume of human nature, and understood it.’ His general course of action in public life was marked by boldness and decision.”
His public career extended over a period of thirty years continuously in the service of his town, his county, his province, and his country. April 1750 Gov. Gabriel Johnston appointed Harnett a Justice of the Peace in New Hanover County. In August he was chosen a Commissioner of the town of Wilmington, serving for eleven years. In 1754 he became a member of the General Assembly as the representative of the town of Wilmington. Twelve other assemblies were chosen in North Carolina under authority of the British Crown, in all of which Harnett represented Wilmington. His legislative career covered a period of twenty-seven years’ service in the Colonial Assembly, in the Provincial Congress, and in the Continental Congress. He did not possess the oratorial powers such as Hooper, nor the genius to influence the imagination by brilliant military feats, yet he was a careful and scholarly student. Historians proclaim his the mightiest single force in North Carolina history during the entire Revolutionary period.
To Harnett, and Ashe, Moore and Waddell and the men who followed them, North Carolina owes its liberty. The resistance was made with no effort at disguise, it was a moral if not a legal right, with no attempt of concealment, only a duty as they believed in their minds.
The records show that Cornelius Harnett was a most prominent leader, the head of the Sons of Liberty, and shared in the early movements against the Stamp Act. At its climax he and Tryon stand face to face the acknowledged leaders of their respective causes. After his defiance of Tryon in 1766—an act performed ten years before the Declaration of Independence and seven years before the Boston Tea Party Harnett was the leader of his people and the target of British malevolence and denunciation.
North Carolina was the first colony to vote explicit sanction to independence.THE TRAGIC DEATH OF HARNETT
Mr. Harnett was ill and suffering great pain at the home of Col. Spicer about thirty miles from Wilmington, where he was compelled to stop on his way to the interior of the State. Craig having learned through a spy (of which there were many) where he was, sent a detachment to arrest him; although a citizen, and not a soldier he was the most obnoxious individual to the British in this country.
Captured he was compelled to walk beside the mounted man, fell exhausted, and then according to an eye witness brought into Wilmington “thrown across a horse like a sack of meal.” Thrown in prison with brutal treatment, released upon the intercession of Loyalist friends, he soon died.
This episode was followed by other outrageous acts of brutality and murder. Harnett was buried in the old graveyard of St. James Church where may be seen at this day his tomb.
A more enduring memorial to his honor and other loyal Colonists now stands engraved in enduring granite—a handsome shaft with beautiful epitaph of their virtues of loyalty to their country—to be seen at the intersection of Market and Fourth Streets, and erected by the Colonial Dames of America.
EXTERIOR VIEW OLD ST. PHILIP'S CHURCH
THE records of this old church are meagre, yet some authentic facts are known. Upon consecrated grounds remains the ruins of St. Philip's Church, where on Whit Tuesday over one hundred and fifty years ago, the first assembling of the Colonists gathered together for the dedication of this church to the glory and service of God. Some twenty years passed before its final completion, after many trials and difficulties. Many of its promoters had by then passed to a Temple not made by man. It was situated in a little town of about four hundred white inhabitants called Brunswick, and adjoining several Colonial plantations. They were people of refinement, cultured manners, and educated taste, descendants of Yeamans and Collenton. It was a British Colony—Subjects of His Majesty, King George of England.
Along the quiet streets of Brunswick Town the people wended their way, together with those from the neighboring plantations of Orton, Kendal, and Lilliput, and others from Wilmington and neighboring settlements. From Russelborough mansion came the Royal Governor, William Tryon, with his official staff. This distinguished layman, says Dr. Battle: “Had qualities more brilliant than any of our Provincial Governors, in the prime of his life and vigor, ambitious and energetic, accustomed to the best society, stylish in his taste, courteous in his demeanor, a good soldier and statesman were his aspirations.”
His venerable predecessor, Governor Dobbs, with the assistance of Richard Quince, labored for years for the completion of the church; but his infirmities denied his presence at the dedication.
Within the sacred walls assembled his Councillors of State, Hon. John Hassell, John Rutherford, Louis Henry deRosset, Benj. Heron, and Samuel Strudwick; and among the worshippers were many distinguished Colonists, who in later years, were made famous as leaders in the cause of Liberty: Judge Maurice Moore, William Lord and John London, Thos. Davis, William Hill, Col. Robert Howe who became Genl. Howe, John Wilkins, John Ashe, called the most chivalrous hero of the Revolution, Col. John Simpson, Genl. Lillington, Genl. Hugh Waddell, Attorney General Robert Lane, Benj. Smith who became Governor, William Moore of Orton, George Moore, of Kendal, sons of “King Roger” Moore, and that great statesman and hero of Liberty, Cornelius Harnett.
Construction of the church began in 1751 and after twenty-three years the long deferred hopes of this little congregation were fulfilled. A solemn silence reigned throughout the building, while thankful prayers were said by the Rev. John Barrett and his co-laborer, Rev. Mr. Willis, rector of St. James, Wilmington. TheINTERIOR VIEW OLD ST. PHILIP'S CHURCH
solemn service was broken by the sonorious voice of the preacher: “The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Thus was the consecration of the Holy Temple to the Glory of God.
The communion plate, surplice, furniture for the communion table, a Bible, common prayer book were the gifts of King George II. In the absence of the rector services were regularly conducted by the Honorable William Hill, the licensed Lay Reader whose tomb is one of the few remaining of those who were laid to rest in these consecrated grounds.
Beneath the chancel, tradition says, in 1763 were laid the mortal remains of St. Philip's faithful minister, Reverend John McDonald, who served the Parish from 1754. Governor Dobbs, his co-laborer, went to rest from his labors as the work went on to completion. Buried here, too, are Governor Dudley, North Carolina's first Governor; Christopher Dudley, the grandfather of Governor Edward P. Dudley, who built the Sprunt home in Wilmington where have been entertained distinguished personages of the State and Nation; John Lord and his wife, Eliza, and his sister, Mary Bacot. Vandalism and the ravages of time have obscured the names of many other important men of that period.
In the year 1761 George III was proclaimed King, upon the site of St. Philip's Church, in the presence of Governor Dobbs and his provincial council, the inhabitants and neighboring planters. The Governor reported February 9th, 1761.
The misfortunes of old St. Philip's were many. First it was unroofed by a fearful hurricane, then struck by lightning, followed by continuous rains, causing the roof to fall within. The walls are at this date still standing, of massive design. The care and preservation of the old ruins are sacredly conducted under the custody of the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America.
Regrettable as is the fact, until the last few years, many of the most notable events in Colonial and Revolutionary history of North Carolina were entirely unheard of by the people of the country generally, and as a rule have been questioned and denied. The heroic act done on this spot—the refusal to allow the landing of the stamps in 1765 has been persistently ignored by historians of the North. We ourselves are to blame in our neglect in preserving the evidence, but the evidence is now obtainable and indisputable.
Now, refreshing as it is, the credit belongs to the Society of Colonial Dames of America. Especially does credit belong to the North Carolina branch of the Society. Its president says in her annual report: “The North Carolina Society has been a generous contributor to the National Chapter. Now comes the time when we owe to ourselves the privilege and pleasure of possessing for our Society, as its State Headquarters, one of the State's few remaining historical homes in the achievement, by purchase, of the Colonial home of the Burgwin and Wright families. This is better known as the Lord Cornwallis Headquarters in the city of Wilmington, having been occupied by him in 1781, and from which tremendous possibilities and interest center as the Headquarters of the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America.”
Annually the Dames of North Carolina gather at the ruins of old St. Philip's in prayer and sacred remembrance of those stirring days of the 1760's, and listen to addresses delivered by historians and preservers of Colonial Records.
“ECCE HOMO” (BEHOLD THE MAN)
This painting, “Ecce Homo” (Behold The Man), showing the head of Christ, hangs on the walls of St. James Episcopal Church in Wilmington. It has a glamorous and historic background, having been taken from one of three pirate ships that attacked the Colonial town of Brunswick on the west bank of the Cape Fear river, 14 miles from Wilmington, about 1745.
The pirates were driven off and one of the ships was sunk. When the salvage was removed, the painting was found in the Captain's cabin. In the year 1751 the painting was given to the Parish of St. James, in Wilmington, by the General Assembly, and it has been on the walls of St. James Church since.
This painting has become celebrated and is viewed each year by hundreds of tourists and visitors. It is of the Spanish school and experts say it was painted 400 to 600 years ago. In spite of its age the colors in the painting are as vivid as if the work had been done only a few years ago.
Fort Fisher, Commanding the New Inlet Entrance to Cape Fear River. The British Steamer Hansa Running the Blockade Under the
Guns of the Fort. From the Illustrated London News, January 3rd, 1864.
CONFEDERATE BLOCKADE FLEET OFF WILMINGTON, N. C.—NEW INLET.
—From Harper's Weekly, December 3, 1864.
The official report filed by General Whiting is simple, yet effective. The narrative tells the story of the capture after an onslaught of unprecedented fury. Of the assault both by sea and land which started Friday morning and continued without cessation until Sunday night, he stated:
“On Thursday night the enemy's fleet was reported off the fort. On Friday morning the fleet opened very heavily. On Friday and Saturday, during the furious bombardment of the fort, the enemy was allowed to land without molestation and to throw up a line of field works from Battery Ramseur to the river, thus securing his position from molestation and making the fate of Fort Fisher, under the circumstances but a question of time.
“On Sunday the fire on the fort reached a pitch of fury to which no language can do justice. It was concentrated on the land face and on the front. In a short time nearly every gun was dismounted or disabled, and the garrison suffered severely by the fire. At three o'clock the enemy's land force, which had been gradually and slowly advancing, formed in two columns for assault. The garrison, during the fierce bombardment was not able to stand to the parapets, and many of the reinforcements were obliged to be kept at a great distance from the fort. As the enemy slackened his fire to allow the assault to take place, the men hastily manned the ramparts and gallantly repulsed the right column of assault. A portion of the troops on the left had also repulsed the first rush to the left of the work. The greater portion of the garrison, being, however, engaged on the right, and not being able to man the entire work, the enemy succeeded in making a lodgment on the left flank, planting two of his regimental flags in the traverse. From this point we could not dislodge him, though we forced him to take down his flag from the fire of our most distant guns, our own traverses protecting him from much fire. From this time it was a succession of fighting from traverse to traverse and from line to line until nine o'clock that night, when we were overpowered and all resistance ceased.
“The fall of the General and the Colonel commanding the Fort—one about four and the other about four-thirty P. M., had a perceptible effect upon the men, and no doubt hastened greatly the result; but we were overpowered, and no skill or gallantry could have saved the place after he effected a lodgment except an attack in the rear. The enemy's loss was very heavy, and so, also, was our own. Of the latter, as a prisoner, I have not been able to ascertain.
“At nine o'clock P. M. the gallant Major James Reilly (Note—a Wilmington man), who had commanded the fort after the fall of his superiors, reported the enemy in possession of the sally-port. The brave Captain Van Benthuysen, of marines, though himself badly wounded, with a squad of his men, picked up the General and Colonel and endeavored to make way to Battery Buchanan, followed by Reilly, with the remnant of the forces. On reaching there it was found to be evacuated, by whose order and by what authority, I know not; no boats were there. The garrison of Fort Fisher had been coolly abandoned to its fate. Thus fell Fort Fisher, after three days battle unparalleled in the annals of war. Nothing was left but to await the approach of the enemy, who took us about 10 P. M. The fleet surpassed its tremendous effort in the previous attack. The fort had fallen in precisely the manner so often indicated by myself, and to which your attention has been so frequently called, and in the presence of the ample force provided by you to meet the contingency.”
In Colonel Lamb's report it was indicated that he had half a mile of land face and one mile of sea face to defend with 1,000 men. With these faced by an army of 10,000 men, supported with 58 warships and more than 600 guns, it can easily be seen that the odds were insuperable.
In the final assaults on Fort Fisher the records showed that the Federal forces lost by their own statement 1,445 killed, wounded and missing. Less than two thousand Confederates, with only 44 guns at their command, killed, and wounded of the enemy almost as many as there were in the entire Confederate force. It was a fact that the Confederates did not capitulate until the last shot which they had was expended.
General Whiting had been assigned no particular duty by General Bragg and he decided to go to the Fort and share its fate. Colonel William Lamb, the Commander of the Fort, offered to surrender control but General Whiting declined to take away from him the defense. He elected to remain and fight as a volunteer. Those who were present have recalled that General Whiting, during the fight when one hundred immense projectiles were being fired every minute, was seen “standing with folded arms, smiling upon a 400 pound shell, as it stood smoking and spinning like a billiard ball on the sand not twenty feet away until it burst, and then moved quietly away.”
No. 1—Mound Battery or Battery Lamb. No. 2—Fort Fisher. No. 3—Battery Buchanan. No. 4—Camp Union Troops. No. 5—Cape
Fear River. No. 6—Gen. Terry's Headquarters. No. 7—Conder Blockade Runner. No. 8—Fleet Gunboats protecting Union entrenchments.
No. 9—Flagship Melvern. No. 10—Wilmington, N. C. No. 11—Torpedoes.
BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF FORT FISHER, N. C., WITH THE MOUND BATTERY, FORT BUCHANAN AND A
PART OF THE U. S. FLEET.—From Frank Leslie's, February 18, 1865.
While the fighting was in progress, General Whiting chanced to notice that the Federals had planted their flags on the traverses. He called to the Confederates to follow him. A hand to hand conflict ensued, with clubbed muskets wielded, and one traverse was taken. Just as General Whiting attempted to climb the second traverse and had his hand on the Federal flag ready to tear it down, he was stricken, receiving two wounds. Within less than a half hour, Colonel Lamb, in command, also fell, desperately wounded in the hip. The troops fought on. A short distance away, Colonel Lamb in a temporary hospital although near death, murmured “I will not surrender.” General Whiting, who was lying near him heard the remark and replied, “Lamb, if you die, I will assume command, and I will never surrender.” It was men such as this that the Confederacy furnished and their immortal deeds will never be forgotten.
General Whiting was made prisoner and was taken to Fort Columbus on Governor's Island where he died March 10th, 1865.
Major James Reilly, a gallant Wilmingtonian, who was in command when the Fort surrendered spent his declining years in Wilmington where he was loved and honored. He died Nov. 5th, 1894. Colonel William Lamb, who commanded the Fort, was from Norfolk, Va., where he engaged in business following the war, until his death a few years ago.
Colonel Alfred Moore Waddell, a former Congressman from the Wilmington section, and a profound student of North Carolina history, was a peculiarly gifted orator. On May 3rd, 1878, Colonel Waddell was invited to deliver an address in Steinway Hall, New York City, before 5,000 former Union soldiers. Referring to the awfulness of the Bombardment which Fort Fisher underwent before surrender, Colonel Waddell spoke to his auditors (many of whom were at Fort Fisher) in the following language:
“While it may be difficult to determine in what engagement of the war the severest concentrated fire of small arms occurred, there can be no doubt as to the place where the power of heavy artillery was exhibited in its most terrific form. The bombardment of Fort Fisher was by far the most frightful that has ever happened since the invention of gun powder. All the testimony taken before the ‘Committee of the Conduct of the War’ goes to establish this fact; but, in addition to this, and to the universal admission on the Confederate side, there was still stronger evidence given in my presence the day after the capture of the Fort by a competent and disinterested witness. The siege of Sebastopol is admitted to have been the greatest bombardment in history up to that time. An English officer, however, who had run the blockade, and who was present at Fort Fisher under an assumed name, was giving an account of it after his escape, and, as a preliminary to his remarks, he said that he had been at Sebastopol and thought there could never be anything like it again. ‘But’, said he, ‘Sebastopol was the merest child's play compared to what I have witnessed in the last two days. It was simply inconceivable and indescribable in its awful grandeur. I had no conception until now of what artillery fire could be!’ You remember, perhaps, that there was no cessation for more than forty-eight hours, and there were, besides other projectiles, as many as twenty-five 11-inch shells in the air at the same instant throughout the whole time. Fifty thousand shells were expended by the fleet. During the continuance of the fire it would have been impossible for any living thing to remain on the parapets which faced the sea for a mile, and when the assaulting column was formed there was, along that front, but a single gun remaining and that only could be fired once before the fort was reached.”
As Fort Fisher marks the scene of the world's greatest naval bombardment, future students of history should bear in mind that the plans were Colonel Lamb's, and as the work progressed were approved by Generals French, Raines, Longstreet, Beauregard and Whiting. It was styled by Federal engineers “The Malakoff of the South.” It was built solely with the idea of resisting the fire of a fleet, and it stood practically uninjured, except as to armament, walls, etc., in two of the world's fiercest bombardments. The two faces to the works were 2,580 yards long, the land face 682 and the sea face 1,898.
There was no moat with scarp and counter scarp, so essential for defense against storming parties, the shifting sands rendering such a construction impossible with the material available. The outer slope was twenty feet high and was sodded with marsh grass, which grew luxuriantly. The parapet was not less than 25 feet thick, with an inclination of only one foot. The revetment was five feet nine inches high from the floor of the gun chambers and there were some twelve feet or more from the interior plane. The guns were all mounted in barbette on Columbiad carriages, there being no casemated gun in the fort. There were 20 heavy guns on the land face, each gun chamber containing one or more guns. There were heavy traverses exceeding in size any known to engineers, to protect an enfilading fire. They extended out some twelve feet or more in height above the parapet, running back thirty feet or more. The gun chambers were reached from the rear by steps. In each traverse was an alternate magazine or bombproof, the latter ventilated by an air chamber.
As a defense against infantry, there was a system of subterranean torpedoes extending across the peninsula, five to six hundred feet from the land face, and so disconnected that explosion of one would not affect the others; inside the torpedoes, about fifty feet from the berm of the work, extending from river bank to seashore, was a heavy palisade of sharpened logs nine feet high, pierced for musketry, and so laid out as to have an enfilading fire on the centre, where there was a redoubt guarding a sally-port, from which two Napoleons were run out as occasion required. At the river end of the palisade was a deep and muddy slough, across which was a bridge, the entrance of the river road into the fort; commanding this bridge was a Napoleon gun. There were three mortars in the rear of the land face, which completed the defenses of the Fort.
CONFEDERATE BLOCKADE FLEET OFF WILMINGTON, N. C., OLD INLET. —From Harper's Weekly, December 3, 1864.
INTERIOR OF THE BOMB-PROOF AT FORT FISHER. USED AS
A HOSPITAL FOR REBEL WOUNDED.
—From Frank Leslie's, February 18, 1865.
EXPLOSION OF POWDER MAGAZINE AT FORT FISHER AFTER
ITS CAPTURE BY THE FEDERAL FORCES
—From Frank Leslie's, February 11, 1865.
Map showing the entire coast from Frying Pan Shoals and the headline in the Herald. Wilmington, Fort Fisher Ours. Its capture by assault. What a Soldier can do. Dispatches of Gen'l Terry, Admiral Porter, Col. Comstock and Commander Nichols. The Rebel Official account. Its effect in Richmond. The Rebel General Whiting, Col. Lamb and 2,500 prisoners captured. 72 guns taken. Our loss reported at 500. The Union General Curtis and Colonels Pennypacker and Bell wounded. Lieuts. S. W. Preston and B. H. Porter of the Navy killed. Wilmington closed to Blockade Runners, etc.
The various reports of the Union officers are too extended for this publication, but a few extracts from the Northern papers follow:THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE, JANUARY 20, 1865:
A description of Fort Fisher by a Yankee correspondent of the New York Tribune, January 26, 1865:
The work of exhuming the dead who were killed by the magazine explosion * * * most of them were recognized as belonging to one Company of the 203rd Pennsylvania. They were asleep at the instant of the explosion, and knew no waking * * * * the total loss of the 169th New York, in the assault and the explosion is but 139, the largest loss sustained by any regiment.
No description can convey an adequate idea of stupendous strength and almost Titanic proportions of the combined works of Fort Fisher, Mound Fort—the redan of the main line—and Fort Buchanan the crowning work of the whole. The latter is pronounced by competent officers who have inspected it, the completest specimen of engineering skill to which the present war has given birth. The name is given in honor of Commodore Buchanan, who it will be remembered, fought and blew up the Merrimac and was finally captured by the heroic Farragut with the loss of one leg at Mobile. Fort Buchanan is about 350 feet from North to South and 200 from East to West at the base with a shelf 50 feet in length on the ends, half the height of the center. Near the East front sunk in the top of the works, is a trench, with steps to descend at each end, a banquette on each side for infantry. The first is 30 feet in length and 5 feet deep. On the Northwest angle of the shelf, sunk and mounted on a circular track, on a pivot, is an eleven inch Brooks gun of handsome finish. It is mounted as to sweep in any desired direction. It was this gun which did such execution upon our men after they had mounted the Northwest angle of Fort Fisher. In a straight line from Fort Fisher it is about one and a half miles. Next to it is precisely another of the same pattern, similarly mounted, and two 10 inch Columbiads all commanding the channel at half a mile west of the Fort. A broad howitzer makes up the armament. There are entrances from the gun beds to covered wings which face right angles with each other throughout every portion of the fort at least fifteen feet below the surface * * * * besides there is a bomb-proof in which the wounded men were placed during the fight. The main passage way opens towards the East, and forms a sally port for entry and egress, but it can be closed at pleasure. This work excites the admiration of everyone who visits it. It was here that about six hundred of the Rebels who escaped from work took refuge, awaiting around for boats to take them off. Here General Whiting and Col. Lamb were carried on stretchers after they were wounded.
English gunners were employed in this battery. The chief one contrived a plan of blowing up the fort, the magazines to be fired by opening the door of the bomb-proof. The surgeon protested against the sacrifice of the wounded men and the fort was saved.
The Mound Fort forms the extreme Southwest end of the sea face of the fort, and as its name indicates, is a vast mound, higher than any other part of the extensive works. It is ascended by a long flight of steps up the West slope, through a sally port out in a sloping gorge into the crest of the mound. There are two 10 inch Columbiads mounted here, one of which is literally covered by the blood of the gunners who stood by it during the naval bombardment.
Some nineteen hundred prisoners were to-day put on board of steamers to be sent North to Point Lookout, including about 250 wounded, sick and dead; we captured 2,300 prisoners; their Rebel commanders, Genl. Whiting and Col. Lamb being badly wounded, remained here in hospital for treatment. Genl. Whiting has been heard to express his great regret at the sacrifice of “life of brave men” by the accidental explosion of the magazine, Col. Lamb admits that there were torpedoes planted in the front of the sea face of the Fort, around the palisades, connected by a congeries of inundated wires, with a galvanized battery inside the fort to blow up our men when we charged in at that point. The fire of the navy severed the wires and defeated the Christian and benevolent designs of the Rebel commanders. As this is recognized as legitimate warfare no one seems to find fault with it. The explosion of a magazine which buries at one full swoop a whole regiment of men, however, is regarded as unchristian, after the enemy have surrendered the place. The Rebel officers very properly disavow any knowledge of the cause of the accident, and by common consent it is attributed to the carelessness of our own men.LETTER OF FEBY. 25, 1865, NEW YORK TRIBUNE:
During the day a flag of truce was received borne by a party bringing some packages of clothing and delicacies for Genl. Whiting and Col. Lamb, with letters from the Colonel's wife. In the language of Major Jones—“They feel very sore of their defeat.”
There are in Wilmington a large number of churches considering the population—about 11,000 in the most prosperous period of its history for the last five years. There are 3 Episcopalian, 2 Presbyterian, 3 Baptist (one African), 2 Methodist, 1 Lutheran, 1 Roman Catholic. It has been a place of great liberality, so far as sustaining religious, missionary and benevolent operations are concerned.
THE ASSAULT AND CAPTURE OF FORT FISHER, JANUARY 15, 1865.
Marines and Troops Were Landed Through the Surf About Three Miles North of the Fort. Showing Warships in the Offing.
—From Harper's Weekly February 4, 1865.
EARTHWORKS AND POSITION OF GENL. TERRY'S ARMY ON THE EAST BANK OF THE CAPE FEAR
RIVER ABOUT THREE MILES ABOVE FORT FISHER
Three hundred poor, sick, emaciated and almost naked men fell into our hands upon the occupation of this town—Union soldiers (captured by the Rebels at various points) awaiting slow death by starvation and disease. Their joy knew no bounds, when they found themselves once more in the hands of friends * * * * three thousand or more were expected tomorrow * * * * every means will be strained to make them as comfortable as possible.
The Rebel authorities are evidently eager to get these prisoners off their hands for more reasons than one. The growing scarcity of supplies, which the concentration of the Rebel forces at points Northward makes indispensable to feed their own army.
There is undoubtedly a strong Union sentiment prevailing in Wilmington. One or two Union flags that have been held hidden for years were brought out and displayed before the troops as they marched in the town.
In the interval of a little more than a month between the fall of Fort Fisher and the occupation of Wilmington, the people of the place seem to have been somewhat in the condition of Wilkins Macauber, “Waiting for something to turn up.” They appear to have become satisfied after the fall of that “impregnable” stronghold that the evacuation of Wilmington must necessarily follow.SKETCH OF GENERAL WHITING FROM NEW YORK HERALD,
The Rebel Major-Genl. William H. C. Whiting has borne for many years the reputation of being one of the best engineers ever connected with the U. S. Army. He is a Mississippian by birth, and is in the prime of life, having been born about the year 1825. He was one of the special appointments to West Point by President Tyler. He entered West Point in 1841 and graduated June 30, 1845, a Second Lieutenant of Engineers and immediately assigned to duty, but received no promotion during his service.
A short time before the rebellion broke out into actual fighting, he resigned his command Feb. 20, 1861, and joined the cause of the Rebels. He returned to Georgia of which state he was then a citizen and was soon appointed a Brigadier (the 24th in line of promotion) of the Rebel army and assigned to duty in the Army of the Potomac. At the Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861) he commanded the Third of Beauregard's Corps. Participated in the seven days fight around Richmond, promoted to Major General. In 1863 he was sent to Wilmington to construct the defenses of the Cape Fear River.
He was looked upon by the Rebels as the ablest engineer, with the exception of Beauregard, in their army. Immediately after the failure of the first movement against Fort Fisher, the Rebel press praised the engineering skill of Whiting very highly and declared his works impregnable. The last word we have from them declared the “Yankees could not take Fort Fisher.”
Federal Transport in Front of Custom House, Unloading Supplies
Market Street Looking West From Second Showing Market House Between
Front and Water Streets
WILMINGTON'S FRONT STREET, 1865
This scene shows South Front Street, 1865. Today no living being can be found who can identify any of the buildings. Unquestionably
the scene starts at the corner of South Front and Orange Streets.
It will be observed at that date there existed no Water Street, but in later years much fill was resorted to, in order to make a street,
together with the dock. Water Street was created at this point.
THE PORT CITY OF NORTH CAROLINA. ITS EVOLUTION SINCE 1853.
Looking from Point Peter.
Vessels Loading Cotton 1875
Ocean Steamers Traveling the Seven Seas With Every Kind of Merchandise 1907
GENERAL ROBERT EDWARD LEE
“In the hearts of the vanquished there is no bitterness,
no humiliation. Let us have peace.”
GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT
“In the hearts of the victors no exaltation of glory.”
A noble soldier and humanitarian
THE usual biographical sketch of his life and service is omitted and presented is a simple outline of his active duties, for he was known by all, and to know him, was to love him.
Mr. Huggins was a true Southern gentleman of the old school. History tells us of his loyalty to his State and his friends. A man of unusual characteristics, he won friends and held their confidence. A successful merchant, honored by everyone; his word was his bond.
His devotion to his Southland was exemplified in his early enlistment in behalf of the Southern Cause when he joined the Wilmington Rifle Guards, in 1861, which soon became Company I of the 18th North Carolina Regiment, one of the earliest Regiments organized among the North Carolina State Troops; promoted from private to First Corporal of his Company, advanced April 1862 to Junior Second Lieutenant. He served with distinction in the army of Northern Virginia, participating in the following battles: Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Fraver's Farm, Malvern Hill and the seven days fight around Richmond, Va. At Harrison's Landing he sustained a severe wound, disabling him for active duty until July 1863. Rejoining his regiment in Virginia he was detailed for duty in the Quartermaster's Department at Wilmington, N. C., until the evacuation. Joining General Johnston's Army he remained until the surrender. Thus it will be seen he served his country for the duration of the war.
His loyalty to his Cause never ceased. His enduring love for his comrades and his generous and sympathetic heart was ever ready to succor and relieve the unfortunate. He loved every true soldier who followed Lee.
In the perpetuation of the little band of Southern soldiers he formed, as one of the original organizers, the Cape Fear Camp No. 254, United Confederate Veterans, on July 4, 1889, with eighty members. He was a member of the Executive Committee.
Mr. Huggins was born in Onslow County in 1840, son of Luke B. Huggins, a native of Onslow, then as a lad of five years he settled in Wilmington, 1845. At the age of twelve years he was learning the watch repairing profession under J. S. Ives, and soon afterward occupied a window in his brother's store on Market Street, Capt. James B. Huggins, A. Q. M. C. S. A., after the surrender accepting a position with the leading jewelers of Wilmington, Brown & Anderson, and conducting his trade. Upon the death of Messrs. Brown and Anderson in 1870, he then acquired the sole interest in the business, keeping a complete record of his work, which still exists.
An able and successful merchant for forty-four years, in the confidence of an early Resurrection he laid down his work and answered the last reveille on June 12, 1916. A devoted Presbyterian, he was true to his country and to his God.
Resided for many years at 412 Market Street where, with his beloved wife, nee Miss Elizabeth Allen, daughter of Mr. W. H. Allen. Their union was graced with two daughters (both died in infancy) and two sons, Henry Allen and George Allen, now successfully continuing the business as jewelers, and succeeding their illustrious father. His beloved wife followed him in 1927.
GEORGE WASHINGTON HUGGINS
C. S. A.
CRUE to his Southland, true to his profession as a physician, beloved and respected. His gentleness, his sympathy for those he served so patiently, his heart full of human love, and his wise and fatherly work as a country physician—all these traits are well known. Dr. Shepard was born on the upper part of Topsail Sound in New Hanover County, now known as Pender County, January 7th, 1840, son of Alfred and Charlotte Shepard who were identified among the best people of this section. His early education was under private tutorship later entering high school at Summerville, Harnett County, and then attending the University of North Carolina where he matriculated in 1855. In his choice of profession he studied medicine at the University of New York. After he graduated he took a post-graduate course at an institution in Paris, France. His interest and love for his Southland demanded his immediate return to the United States that he might render what service he could to the Confederate cause as war was inevitable, his heart was with his people and he responded to their call. Joining the Confederate Army in 1861 as a private in Adam's Battery, a part of the coast guard, he was subsequently commissioned Captain and assigned to duty as surgeon in the North Carolina Cavalry, with Newkirk's company, and shortly afterwards joined McClammy's Brigade in Virginia. In 1864 he was transferred to Fort Fisher and became Post Surgeon, serving through the first and second attack by the Union forces. Finally captured by the overwhelming strength of the enemy he became a prisoner of war. At the time of his capture in January 1865, he was engaged in the amputation of a leg of some unfortunate comrade. He was promised by a Federal officer that he would not be molested and was requested to continue the amputation until his work was complete.
With his beloved commanders, General Whiting and Col. Lamb, both being severely wounded, he was placed upon a transport and carried to New York and confined in a Federal prison on Governors Island. At the age of 25 while in prison, the accompanying photograph was made. Fortunately Dr. Shepard was exchanged. In six weeks, he was sent South and found service with General Joseph E. Johnson at the Presbyterian Church in Greensboro which had been converted into a hospital.
Upon the surrender of General Johnson's army to General Sherman at Greensboro, N. C., he was notified that he was on army parole. It required two months for him to get all the sick and wounded off home after which he journeyed homeward to join his devoted wife and family at Scotts Hill, N. C.
With new hope of a better and happier life, he faced the world with a fixed purpose to follow his profession, strengthened with good health and a thorough knowledge of medicine. With the experience he had obtained in surgery and disease coincident with his practice and duties as a surgeon in the Confederate Army, he at once offered his services to his friends as a conscientious “Country Doctor.”
Well did he perform his calling at a period when his country was devastated, poor and in many cases neglected. Many were called to protect their Southland, their principles, their honor; some returned, too many lay buried under the soils of the battlefield of the South. The task of a Country Doctor was no luxurious undertaking, traveling in crude vehicles or on horse back, with knapsack belted behind his saddle, many miles during night or day yet he never shirked his duty or missed a call to relieve the sick and suffering, approaching all with an affectionate smile as a greeting which alone is panacea within itself. So congenial and warm hearted in his nature that he counted his friends and admirers to a degree that few could approach; even among the darkies he was adored. Seeking a greater field to practice his profession he moved to the city of Wilmington, N. C., in 1890 where he soon built up a large and lucrative practice.
Dr. Shepard became a valued member of the medical association of New Hanover County and North Carolina. He was elected three times Superintendent of Health of New Hanover County and held the position continuously until he resigned. He became a member of Cape Fear Camp 254, United Confederate Veterans, ever showing his loyalty to his former comrades. He was appointed by Commander General John B. Gordon, surgeon general of United Confederate Veterans with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and later was appointed Surgeon General United Confederate Veterans on the staff of Commander General Julian S. Carr.
On May 8th, 1861 he married Henrietta Foy, a daughter of Joseph M. and Mary A. Foy. Five children were born of this union, four of whom now survive: Mrs. R. K. Bryan of Scotts Hill, N. C., Joseph C. Shepard and Mrs. B. O. Stone of Wilmington, N. C., Alfred Shepard, San Diego, Cal. Mrs. James Sinclair, the youngest, died in 1903.
Dr. Shepard was a member of Odd Fellows, Wilmington Lodge 139, Royal Arcanum and other civic organizations, a consistent member of Grace M. E. Church and one of its valued Stewards, for a number of years and until his death. On March 5th, 1903, he answered the last reveille and entered a blessed life with the Saints in Heaven above. His body now reposes by the side of his beloved wife in that beautiful and hallowed spot, Oakdale Cemetery, awaiting the Glorious Resurrection.
DR. J. C. SHEPARD
C. S. A.
JOHN P. CANTWELL, as a private, Dec. 1846 joined the Richland Rifle Guards, Company H., Capt. Wm. D. Dessure's Palmetto Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers under command of Major A. H. Glades, and mustered in Charleston, S. C. Served with his regiment on Genl. Scott's line at the capture of Vera Cruz and the capture of the City of Mexico Sept., 1847. Due to wounds received was discharged and left the City of Mexico Nov., 1847 and returned to the States in Charleston. Was pensioned by act of Congress 1887 for services rendered in the Mexican War.
As a Confederate Veteran his services were continuous from April 15, 1861 to May, 1865. Taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States at Fort Delaware he was released from prison May 27, 1865 and returned to North Carolina. Was appointed clerk of U. S. Court of the District of Cape Fear; continued in office as clerk of the Confederate Court; as a Magistrate of New Hanover County he was exempted from military duty, but because of his experience and valid services as a military leader, he was appointed Colonel of the 30th Regiment of North Carolina Troops, the only organized regiment at that time, and was ordered to take possession of Fort Caswell at the mouth of the Cape Fear River; also Fort Johnson at Smithville, now Southport. As Colonel he ordered four companies for that duty. The Wilmington Light Infantry, under Capt. Wm. Lord deRosset, the German Volunteers—Capt. C. Corenhlson, the Rifle Guards—Capt. Oliver Pendleton Meares, and Capt. John J. Hendrick's Company, the Cape Fear Artillery, Lieut. James M. Stevenson commanding, (became Company G., 3rd N. C. Infantry). Continuing on as commanding officer, Col. Cantwell took possession from April 16, 1861 to July under order of Gov. John W. Ellis of North Carolina. At that time North Carolina had not seceded from the Union. Upon orders from Gov. Ellis the Forts were released and turned over to the Federal authorities. His service then was assigned to the Wilmington Light Infantry, Company G., 18th N. C. Infantry at Coosaw Nateline, S. C. Also, with the 7th N. C. Infantry at New Bern, N. C., (at the fall of Fort Hatteras). He raised and commanded the R. R. Bridge Guards, a company protecting the Roanoke River, Va., to Livingston Creek near the South Carolina line.
At the official request of Civil Authorities and by special order of General Anderson, he commanded the Militia ordered to Wilmington.
COL. JOHN LUCAS CANTWELL
C. S. A.
As Colonel of the 51st Regiment N. C. Infantry, and Captain of Company G. (Cape Fear Riflemen) 3rd N. C. Infantry, was made prisoner at Spottsylvania May 12, 1864; confined at Fort Delaware May 17 to Aug. 20, 1864, and was one of 600 Confederate States Officers selected for so-called retaliation, (Federal prisoners in Confederate prisons received the same articles, quality and quantity rations as their Confederate Generals). Confined and under fire and starved at Morriss Island, Charleston, S. C., from Sept. 7 to October 21, 1864; confined and starved at Fort Pulaski, Savannah, Ga., from Oct. 23, 1864 to March 4, 1865; reconfined at Fort Delaware March 12th to May 27th, 1865. Released and returned to Wilmington, N. C., in company with Capt. Walter G. MacRae of the 7th Infantry, Capt. John Cowan, of the 3rd Infantry, Capt. John T. Rankin, 1st Headquarters Artillery, and Lieut. T. B. Henderson, 3rd Cavalry. A charter member of the 3rd North Carolina Infantry Association, he organized February 1865, the first organization of Confederate Veterans. Captain of the W. L. I. for several terms.
The above sketch is from Col. Cantwell's own record as contained in his family's Bible, and his accuracy in all matters, civic and business, was recognized as correct and beyond dispute. Col. Cantwell held the office of Secretary and Treasurer of the Exchange and Chamber of Commerce of the city of Wilmington for twenty-five years. A true soldier to the Southern Cause, true to his comrades, true to his friends and true to his Maker. Died Dec. 21, 1909, age 81 years—at rest in Oakdale Cemetery.
THE painstaking work of genealogists has revealed many interesting facts concerning the family both in America and England and Ireland. A Roger Moore, a person of considerable note, lived in County Berks, England, as early as the time of Henry VI. There is evidence that the illustrious family of Moore or O'Moore of Ireland was of the same Anglo-Norman stock.
“Writers of Irish history who concur in nothing else, agree in representing Roger Moore as a man of the loftiest motives and the most passionate patriotism. None of the excesses which stain the first rising in Ulster are charged against him. On the contrary, when he joined the Northern army the excesses ceased, and strict discipline was established as far as possible among men unaccustomed to control and frenzied with wrongs and sufferings.”
The first conspicuous American of this lineage was James Moore, a grandson of Col. Roger Moore of the Irish rebellion. James Moore was appointed governor of North Carolina in 1700. He was born in Ireland in 1640, emigrated to America in 1665, and settled on his grant of land in the Goose Creek section of the colony. A year later he married Margaret, daughter of Sir John Yeamans. Several of his sons became conspicuous, including James, who died unmarried November 19, 1740, and Maurice, who died November 19, 1740, within an hour after his brother, James; Nathaniel, who was a member of the Colonial Assembly, 1738-39; and Roger, known as “King Roger.”
The title “King Roger” was bestowed partly on account of Roger's kingly bearing and unflinching courage. As he practically drove the Indians from the surrounding country he merited, owing to his authority and forcefulness, the title. He was for many years a member of Governor Gabriel Johnson's council. He is described as a man of great wealth, possessing immense tracts of land in the surrounding country. He was a builder of the historic mansion called “Orton” still standing.
In 1766, or a generation later, the Moores again became conspicuous as champions of the rights of the people by presenting to Governor Tryon an assurance of the spirit of independence then prevailing and which would sustain the people to the extent of armed resistance to the enforcement of the odious stamp act.
Throughout the memorable struggle of the war for independence the Moore family bore an honorable part.
The late Colonel Roger Moore was born in New Hanover County, North Carolina, July 19th, 1838, a son of Roger and Ann Sophia (Toomer) Moore. As a young man he rendered heroic service in the cause of the Confederacy. He became Colonel of the Third Regiment, North Carolina Cavalry. The greatest achievements of this regiment were accomplished while it was under the command of Colonel Moore, and won for him unstinted praise and sincere thanks of General Lee.
Of his military record in the war and in reconstruction time the unpublished manuscript of Sloan's History has this to say:
“Lieutenant-Colonel Waddell is quite favorably mentioned in the official reports of this date. But it was under his successor, Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Moore, that the regiment won its highest honors. This gentleman was no trained soldier, but by mere force of character, unflinching courage and capital good sense he accomplished the best results in every kind of service. Under him two of the most brilliant dashes were made; that of Captain McClancey at White Oak Swamp in August, 1864, when he charged into the Yankee lines and brought out prisoners under short range of musketry; and Sergeant Johnston of Captain Hatchett's Company, when he entered the Federal camp on the Warren retreat from Bellfield in December, 1864, and made its whole circuit with a mounted squad of ten men. Half of those daring and gallant fellows were literally chopped to pieces with axes by the Pioneer Corps, but the survivors went ahead all the same.
“Colonel Roger Moore was not only conspicuous as a valiant soldier in the Confederate Army, but he did yeoman's service for his section as Chief of the Division of the Ku-Klux-Klan in Wilmington. It is not violating the secrets of this organization to state that Colonel Roger Moore, after taking the secret oath at Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1868, organized and commanded a Ku-Klux-Klan at Wilmington, which was made up of the best blood of the South. Many members of this Klan were loyal and devoted soldiers who had served under Colonel Roger Moore. It is now generally known that conditions in the South at the close of the war occasioned the birth of the organization known as the Ku-Klux-Klan. It was organized under the direction of General Nathan Bedford Forrest in 1867-68, to protect the South from ravages and depredations of the spoilers who came South immediately after the war. A friend of Colonel Roger Moore's and a member of the Ku-Klux-Klan in an adjoining neighborhood in speaking of the debt the citizens owed Colonel Roger Moore said: ‘Colonel Roger Moore did his duty in this matter and never allowed his Klan to commit an act that was not justified and endorsed by our superiors. He was in every sense a gallant and chivalrous citizen. The people of Wilmington had every cause to thank him and the Klan for the good order that followed. But of course none but the members knew it was he, as it was one of the closest hide-bound secret orders ever known.’ ”
Late in life the welfare and security of his home city of Wilmington were again entrusted to Col. Roger Moore in the capacity of commander of the general organization of white citizens to protect the lives and homes from the possible ravages during the race war of 1898. This war occurred November 10, 1898, and so thoroughly were the demoralized negroes controlled by the white men under the leadership of Col. Roger Moore that the unpleasant conditions were immediately changed in a way which meant permanent good for all concerned.
COL. ROGER MOORE
C. S. A.
Col. Roger Moore died April 21, 1900. He served as a steward and trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
His first marriage was to Rebecca Scott Smith, a daughter of Thomas and Mary (Frink) Smith, of Wilmington. Their only son and child, Roger, died in his fifteenth year.
On May 3, 1871, Colonel Moore married Eugenie Beery, widow of George Atkins and daughter of Benjamin W. and Ann Eliza Beery. There were nine children of this union, and five of them reached maturity.
THE son of Isaac and Susan Harriss Northrop, born July 3, 1836. Died Feb. 1924 at the ripe old age of 88 years.
He, with his brother Samuel, when young men, were engaged in the saw mill business, succeeding their father and continuing until the start of the War Between the States.
Answering the call of Volunteers in the defense of his beloved Southland, he joined the old Wilmington Light Infantry, then under the command of Capt. William L. deRosset. They were ordered to take possession of Fort Caswell, then transferred to Fort Fisher to assist in the construction of that memorial fort. In the mounting of the large defense guns at the fort, he proposed that the first battery mounted be named after his Captain.
Joining the Third North Carolina Regiment under Col. Gaston Meares, which repelled McClelland's attack on Richmond, he was commissioned Lieutenant, and assumed the command of his company during the seven days fight around Richmond. He received his commission as Captain at the Bloody Battle of Sharpsburg under command of Col. William L. deRosset, who succeeded Col. Meares as Colonel of the Regiment when he was fatally wounded at Malvern Hill.
Resigning his commission he was detailed to the engineering department at Fort Fisher and Fort Caswell. Attempting to land reinforcements at Fort Fisher, the steamer he was on was fired upon; retreating to Smithville it was burned to keep it from the enemy. Retreating through Wilmington to Goldsboro, he joined General Bragg and was detailed to carry orders to General Johnson, in the attempt to prevent a union of Sherman and Grant's army near Richmond.
Upon his discharge when Lee surrendered, Mr. Northrop began his tramp homeward, ragged and hungry, with only a 25 cent piece upon his person. He purchased sufficient cloth to make a shirt to cover his nakedness, finally arriving at the Market Street ferry where he was challenged by a negro soldier. An officer examined his discharge papers and received his parole; his services to the Confederacy ended.
Resuming his saw mill business with his brother they did a large and lucrative export business with the West Indies and other foreign ports. As age and infirmity crept on, he retired to his home on the Sound where he ever held out a warm and hearty welcome to his host of friends, and they were legion. True to his Southland, generous to the needy, he passed on to join those loved ones he adored.
CAPT. WILLIAM HARRISS NORTHROP
C. S. A.
ROBERT RUFUS BRIDGERS
ROBERT RUFUS BRIDGERS, who laid the foundation for extensive railroad development in the Southeast, President of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company, the Wilmington, Columbia and Augusta and other affiliated railroad units of the great Atlantic Coast Line System, North Carolina Legislator, Confederate Congressman, extensive planter, leading business man and manufacturer, lawyer, capitalist and whose genius as a railroad magnate probably has made possible the present commercial consequences of Eastern North Carolina to a larger extent than any other man, easily was one of the most constructive and distinguished citizens, of whose residence the long two hundred years annals of Wilmington can boast.
An outstanding industrial chieftain, who, in a past generation, prepared the way for the accomplishments of a more recent period, which have placed North Carolina in the front ranks of development. His life and his achievements, particularly his directing participation in the affairs of the Wilmington & Weldon, mother railroad of the present Atlantic Coast Line, now grown into one of the four or five largest transportation systems in America—these achievements alone would make a most interesting and valuable volume and, some day, may be written.
Colonel Bridgers was born in Town Creek, Edgecombe County, November 28, 1819. In January, 1838, he enrolled as a student at the University of North Carolina. He graduated from that institution, in 1841, with the highest honors of his class. Admitted to the bar one week after his graduation and began the practice of law at Tarboro, county seat of Edgecombe. Was a member of the House of Commons, three years later, or in 1844. He was the youngest member of that body, but regardless, he served on the important Judiciary Committee. He refused appointments as Attorney-General and to the Judgeship of the Circuit Court. In 1856, he again was sent to the state legislature, serving continuously until 1861, when he was elected to the Confederate Congress, where he served throughout its existence and was a leading member and frequent adviser of the Cabinet officers, particularly when matters of finance were under consideration.
The War over and the South prostrate, Colonel Bridgers returned to Tarboro, heavily in debt, and began his efforts to retrieve the fortune he had lost. As a nucleus, he still owned Strabane Plantation of 2500 acres, and which, prior to the war, had grown the largest single crop of cotton in the history of the state, growing a total of 509 bales on 500 acres. He also had retained his place on the board of directors of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad which had been accorded him by reason of his efforts in behalf of the construction of the Tarboro branch. In the latter part of 1865, he was elected president of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad and was assigned the tremendous task of placing it upon a paying basis. His work was of such notable success that he remained president for twenty-three years and was given the same office over other affiliated railroads. He acquired a National reputation and on two occasions, at least, he refused similar positions with larger and richer railroads at double the salary, declining because of a sense of loyalty to his associates. Suggestive of his efforts in behalf of the Wilmington & Weldon, he went to England, seeking to have the railroad debt refunded, or extended, and failing in this, he succeeded in interesting William T. Walters and Benjamin Newcomer, and it was the financial assistance extended by these gentlemen that later made it possible to develop the Atlantic Coast Line System of which H. Walters, (deceased) son of William T. Walters, became chairman of the board. He built the Wilmington & Weldon into a reasonably standard system and so dynamic was his energy and so methodical his habits that he had time to act as President of the Wilmington, Columbia & Augusta and General Manager of the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta, in South Carolina, and other branches of the Coast Line System. He paved the way for through service between the North and South along the Atlantic coast, was one of the leading advocates of the movement for Standard Time and for many years was President of the Southern Railway Time Convention. His business interests, outside of railroading, were extensive and numerous. He was prominent in the management of the Navassa Guano Company and in one of the Wilmington banks, besides owning large tracts of land in Florida and plantations on and adjacent to the Roanoke River. He was a member of the Masonic lodge. Episcopal Church, and in politics, was a Democrat.
Colonel Bridgers married Miss Margaret Elizabeth Johnston, December 12, 1849. Ten children were born of the marriage. They were Emily, Henry, Robert, Preston, Mark, Luther, George, Mary, Frank and Elizabeth. Colonel Bridgers died of apoplexy, after an illness of less than two hours, December 10, 1888. He was stricken while discussing some proposed railroad legislation before a committee of the South Carolina legislature at Columbia.
THERE is little occasion to pen a eulogy to Frank Mason Ross, for he wrote his own, not in those nebulous attributes that posthumous biographers dig to light and paint in luminous colors, but in deeds vital to the communal welfare of the city and county in which he lived.
Nor is it proper, or fitting, to fashion for him a man-made halo, measuring his greatness, for those things are constructed in terms on which no two agree, and become in the final appraisal merely the conception of the builder. Better, to let his own work stand, where the facts offer their own evidence and permit of no dispute.
Frank Ross did not enter existence with his path already charted and the niches marked. He had to carve that trail himself, and with but no more than rudimentary weapons to do the work. In brief, he started the grim fight of life in the same position as thousands of others, without advantage but with a fine disregard for the obvious disadvantages that carried him over numerous obstacles.
Thus we find him, still a comparatively young man, head of a leading business institution; a power in civic affairs and commanding the respect of the masses as few men did. It was not an easy road. There were times when his physical limits dealt him blows that would send the ordinary man toppling for the mystic count, but which left him refreshed by the rest, plunging into new fields, literally starting again.
There was nothing of the self-centered smugness in this career, for always he kept the needs of his less fortunate fellow in mind. It was this kinship to humanity that led him in 1925 to advocate a golf course for the public, notwithstanding that he probably didn't know a niblick from a mashie, but already had the opportunity to learn, if he desired. It influenced him, in finding a new business field, to select a branch of banking where the little fellow is the bone and sinew of success, and dictated his moves as a public servant, while sitting as a member of the county board.
The people liked that spirit. To them he was not the big business executive, but merely a friend and neighbor, who would hear their stories, help if he could, and counsel sagely in all events.
That is his epitaph. He created it. He lived it. Could one with verbal tools, phrase it more eloquently?
FRANK MASON ROSS
MAS the eldest son of Alfred Martin and Christian Dudley Martin. He was born in August, 1840. Was a graduate of the University of North Carolina. Served as Ordnance Officer under Gen. Johnson during the War Between the States.
His experience and service in the war clearly prove his loyalty to the cause he believed just, as his duties required nerve, bravery and clear judgment in the performance of his commission as Chief of Ordnance and Artillery. At the fall of Fort Fisher, Fort Caswell still remained in the hands of the Confederates. Jany. 16th orders were issued to Capt. Martin to spike the guns and burn the barracks. Early Tuesday morning, January 17th, the Fort was evacuated, and the officers—Col. C. H. Simonton, Lieut. Col. John D. Taylor, and Capt. Booker Jones, who had remained up to this time, departed with their troops. Trains had been laid during the day to each of the five magazines at Ft. Caswell, the match was applied to the trains and each magazine exploded with terrific force. One hundred pounds of powder was exploded and seemed to rend the very heavens; the earth trembled, the shock being felt in Wilmington, and even at Fayetteville, 100 miles distant. The flag was hauled down and Capt Martin and his men silently departed with their beloved flag.
After the war Mr. Martin studied law and became one of the most prominent corporation and consulting lawyers in the State. He was also interested in astronomy. He was a great Mason.
A devoted son and brother, he made a happy home for his parents in their old age and for his two widowed sisters and their children.
He was loved by those who were privileged to call him “friend” and was honored and respected by all who knew him. He died at the age of 79 in December, 1919,—a gallant gentleman, a true friend, and an honest and upright citizen.
CAPT. EUGENE STEWART MARTIN
C. S. A.
AN outstanding citizen of Wilmington in the early nineteenth century was Dr. John D. Bellamy. He was a native of South Carolina, born in All Saints Parish on the 18th of September, 1817, and died in Wilmington the 31st of August, 1896. He was of Huguenotish descent, a lineal descendant of John Bellamy, who was one of the party of adventurers headed by Sir John Yeamans, and named in the grant of 1665 giving to them lands in the Province of Carolina. The Colony first settled on the Cape Fear River at the mouth of Town Creek, which they called Charlestown, after King Charles, but the colony found the hostility of the Indians so great, and the location, by reason of malaria, so unhealthy, they abandoned the site and sought another location further south, between the Ashley and Cooper rivers, and there settled about 1671, the South Carolina settlement assuming the old name of Charlestown, which it first took at the Cape Fear.
John Bellamy's plantation was above Charleston, in St. John's Parish, the location being given on a map of one of the old Charleston year books. His descendants gradually migrated to the Town of Charleston, thence upwards along the Santee River, near Georgetown, in Georgetown, and finally Horry County.
Dr. Bellamy was educated at the old Marion Academy, the South Carolina College and University of Pennsylvania. Being an only surviving child, he inherited great wealth in slaves and real property, and took with him his slave property to Wilmington, to which place he emigrated in 1835. He there married Eliza McIlhenny Harriss, a daughter of Dr. William James Harriss, a very prominent physician, who was Mayor of Wilmington when he died, a few years after Dr. Bellamy married his daughter. Having large plantations still in South Carolina, in Brunswick County, on Town Creek, and in Columbus County, at Grists, now called Chadbourn, where he conducted a very successful turpentine business, from which alone he received an enormous income annually. He always cherished great affection for his native State. He was a secession democrat of the John C. Calhoun school. For many years, nearly twenty, prior to the Civil War he was head and chairman of the Democratic organization of this section, and he always said he never sought office and always declined it when pressed by his associates to accept it, declaring that a private post was the post of honor. So intense was he a South Carolina secession democrat that when South Carolina passed her ordinance of secession, a few days prior to Christmas in 1861, Dr. Bellamy at his own expense purchased all the tar barrels procurable in Wilmington, and had and headed a great torchlight procession celebrating the event, and carried by his side his son, by the same name, to instill in him the principles of secession. When the War Between the States broke out he was easily the wealthiest man in the Wilmington section, having about one thousand slaves distributed on his three plantations respectively, in South Carolina, Brunswick County and Columbus County, North Carolina, and so great was his affection for the Confederate cause that he volunteered to the Government the use of all his able bodied male slaves to assist in throwing up the great sand fortifications at Fort Fisher, where they worked for a considerable period until the work was accomplished, and he furnished two sons to the Confederate cause in Virginia.
At the outbreak of the war Dr. Bellamy was a director in the old Bank of Cape Fear, one of the principal builders of the Wilmington & Manchester Railroad, which ran into his native State, a director in that road, the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, and one of its largest, if not its largest stockholder, and the North Carolina Railroad, extending from Goldsboro to Salisbury.
For his advocacy of secession and the cause of the South, when the war terminated, as a penalty for his course the Federal Government seized his handsome residence, on the corner of Fifth and Market Streets, which was converted into and occupied as headquarters for the Federal Generals occupying Wilmington, Generals Porter, Terry, Colfax and Hawley. They seized all his plantations and real property, from which he was ejected and to which he was never restored until after he received a pardon from President Johnson, restoring him to his civil rights, who exacted as one of the conditions of the pardon that he should never own another slave and that he should make a bill of sale to the United States Government for all of his slaves by name, which he could recall, and all others whose names he could not recall, which bill of sale is still on file in the State Department at Washington.
Dr. Bellamy practiced medicine for a number of years, but his business interests became so large and extensive that he had to abandon his practice. He died at about the age of eighty years, and was survived by his widow and eight children, five sons and three daughters. His sons were all prominent in their professions; Marsden Bellamy, a lawyer; Dr. William J. H. Bellamy, a physician; John D. Bellamy, Jr., lawyer and business man, a member of the North Carolina senate and a member of the 56th and 57th Congress of the United States; George H. Bellamy, a prominent farmer and member of the house and senate from Brunswick County and United States Marshal appointed by President Wilson; and Robert R. Bellamy, a successful pharmacist; Mary E. Bellamy, who married William J. Duffie, of Columbia, S. C., and Misses Eliza Bellamy and Ellen D. Bellamy.
It was said of Dr. Bellamy that he was one of the most modest, honorable and conscientious men that resided in the Wilmington section. He was a Christian gentleman, and one of the founders of the Front Street Methodist Church.
RESIDENCE OF DR. JOHN DILLARD BELLAMY
This magnificent mansion was built in the early 1850's by Dr. Bellamy and occupied by his large and cultured family, and is now Wilmington's outstanding attraction to visitors. Its beautiful and harmonious lines, its massive columns and dignified architecture invariably create comments of admiration.
Upon the capture of Wilmington in 1865 it was seized and made the headquarters of the military commander, General Joseph R. Hawley, who became Provost Marshal General of the Wilmington district.
DONALD, son of Alexander and Amelia Ann MacRae. Born in “Dumegan Castle” S. E. corner Front and Princess Streets, Wilmington, on the 14th day of October, 1825.
Followed the business of a Commission Merchant until the War of Secession, 1861—after which he devoted his time mainly to manufacture of iron, cotton goods, fertilizer.
Married 21st of November, 1850, to Mary, daughter of Timothy and Elizabeth Savage. Had one daughter, Mary Savage, born at Wilmington, December 11, 1851. His first wife, Mary, died at the old Red Sweet Springs, Va., on July 24, 1852.
On October 1st, 1857, married in Boston, Julia, daughter of Jethro and Jane Norton of Liverman, Maine, who died at Carbonton, N. C., July 28, 1867.
Their children were: Norton, born in Wilmington July 3, 1858, died at Sunbury, Mass., June 15, 1859; Donald, born in Wilmington, May 3, 1861; Agnes, born in Wilmington Nov. 2, 1859; Julia, born in Ender, N. C., Dec. 15, 1862, died July 20, 1865; Hugh, born in Carbonton, N. C., March 30, 1865.
Was President of Oakdale Cemetery Company for several years, also of the Wilmington Cotton Mills, and of The Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company. Director of N. C. R. R. Co.; Wilmington Compress and Warehouse Company; Bank of Wilmington and Bank of New Hanover; President of the Thalian Association for several years, and was Her Britannic Majesty's Vice Consul for the State of North Carolina for several years prior to, and during the War, until ordered by the Confederate authorities to leave the Confederacy—rather than do which he resigned!
Donald MacRae—the subject of this sketch—died at Linville, Mitchell County, North Carolina on Thursday at 12:09 A. M., September 15, 1892.
He was a trifle below the average stature; being about five feet seven inches in height, and weighing usually 125 pounds. He was well formed, compactly built, with square shoulders, remarkably quick and active, straight as an Indian, and of easy, graceful manners. His features were clear-cut and pleasing; and his head was finely shaped, well poised, and bore the signs of intellect and nervous force.
In character he was prompt, manly, decided; with no disposition to compromise or temporize on matters of conviction, or to waiver in any line of action he may have reasoned out. He had the courage of his convictions, and the combativeness to defend them to the last ditch.
When he made up his mind, it was a unit;—there were no loop holes, no ragged joints, no incomplete opinions. His deductions were clear, logical, practical. No fallacy nor sophistry could blind him. With metaphysical reasoning and fine-spun theories he had little to do. He had the caution which comes from a large discourse of reason,—looking before and after—but none of the timidity which leads to irresolution and inaction. The native hue of his resolution was not “sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought.” He never let “I dare not wait upon I would.” His decisions led to action and his good judgment to success.
A very marked characteristic was his excellent taste. In matters of construction, arrangement, colors, and combinations this quality amounted to genius. He committed no gaucheries, violated no proprieties, and whatever he did was done easily, and well.
He possessed a marked individuality, and was never negative. It is not strange, therefore, that his influence was strong over his business associates. In all positions, whether as manager or associate, men waited for his opinion, and trusted in his counsel: or if they differed it was with a full appreciation of the strength of his views. Those who thought most of his conclusions were those who were wisest and most useful.
He often said he believed he would have made a successful general. There can be no doubt that, had he commanded an army corps, its organization would have been as near perfect as possible. Every brigade, regiment, and company; every battery, caisson and wagon would have been in the right place at the right time; and a battle would have been to the death, for he had the old Highland enthusiasm, and had never learned to “let go.”
In conversation he was witty and entertaining, and his reading was varied—often instructive, there was sometimes a sting to his satire, but no malice, and as his sense of humor was very strong—he was never tiresome in his talks. A good mimic, and an actor—even above the average of amateurs, there was much that was dramatic in his social conversations. In argument he was earnest and persistent, plausible to a degree, bristling with reasons, fertile in resources—sometimes making the worse appear the better side.
He was rarely unoccupied. His recreation consisted in turning his mind from graver to lighter subjects, so that he gained knowledge—or added to the general good even in his leisure moments.
The Clan feeling was strong in his nature. Whatever concerned any of his relatives interested him at once. He sorrowed with those who were in trouble and he rejoiced with those who were glad, and he resented any slight cast upon them by others. As a consequence much of his valuable time was taken up with the affairs of others. In the MacRae family he was the keystone—binding all together. Of his immediate family he was the undisputed head. He was never demonstrative; and had enough of the old Scotch pride to conceal his deeper emotions; but he was sincerely genial and affectionate, a model father, a companion, but a companion whom his children respected as well as loved, and upon whom they relied implicitly.
During his long illness he fairly illustrated the MacRae motto; for he bore his sufferings with remarkable fortitude. He kept his affairs in perfect order to the end. One of his last utterances was to give direction concerning the disposition of business which had been confided to him by dependent relatives.
At the last he met death with no craven fear; but with a placid courage—a clear conscience—a realization of duty faithfully performed. And when the silver chord was loosened, and the golden bowl broken—all who had known him said in their hearts—This was a man!
Henry Gould Latimer was born in Wilmington, September 16, 1845 and died here on January 27, 1929. He was the eldest child of Zebulon and Elizabeth Savage Latimer. His early education was received in Wilmington after which he studied art under some of the most noted masters of his time. He was an authority on heraldry, genealogy and botany and took a great interest in the portrayal of the flora of this county.
During the War Between the States he served the Confederacy as a clerk in the Customs Office in Wilmington.
He, with his three brothers established the Acme Manufacturing Company of Wilmington but he retired soon after its founding to devote himself to his chosen work. His interest in his profession—art—created in him a desire to contribute to the beauty of the old St. James Church of Wilmington, and in 1892 his wish was expressed in the gift to the church of the beautifully carved reredos and altar. With his thorough training in art, he made many suggestions and materially aided Mr. Silas McBee of Lincolnton, N. C., and New York, the designer and carver of the reredos and to Mr. Charles Booth of New York and London on the bronze tablets.
On September 8, 1875, he was married to Carria Angelica Groot of Auburn, New York where, after 1898, he made his home until shortly before his death when he returned to Wilmington. Their descendants are Mary Ann Latimer, now Mrs. Harry S. Sleicher and daughter Muriel Latimer Sleicher of Lockhaven, Pennsylvania and Henry Gould Latimer, his son, Henry Gould Latimer Junior and great grandchildren, Sue Ashley Latimer and Henry Gould Latimer, 3rd.
“He numbered among his friends hundreds of the young people as well as those of his own generation, who loved him for his geniality and friendliness, his upright character and integrity and respected him for his artistic and literary ability.”
HENRY GOULD LATIMER
COL. Thomas Davis Meares was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, at the home of his maternal grandfather, General Thomas Davis, on July 28, 1818—the second son of the Hon. William Belvedere Meares and Katharine Grady Davis, his wife. He died at his home in Wilmington, N. C., on December 20, 1871.
Graduating from the University of North Carolina with honors in the class of 1840, Mr. Meares later became one of the most brilliant members of the North Carolina Bar. An effective orator, bold, earnest and ardent by nature, he commanded attention with his eloquence as an advocate at the bar, or in the legislative halls of the State. Bred to the profession of the law and endowed with intellectual vigor of a high order, he pursued its practice for some years with that zeal and energy which most certainly would have attained eminence, had he continued to devote himself to the law with that exclusiveness which it demands of its votaries. But though a lawyer by profession, he was a planter from taste, and his fondness for agricultural pursuits (as is usual in like cases) weaned him from his profession and ultimately induced him to regard it as secondary to the business of the plantation, and few men, if any, in the State exhibited in a greater degree that energy and practical good sense so necessary in conducting successfully the varied operations incident to this, his favorite pursuit. He was the owner of one of the richest and largest rice plantations on the lower Cape Fear River, called “Five Oaks,” “Meares’ Bluff” (now Navassa), which he inherited from his father, and of plantations in Sampson, Rowan and Iredell Counties, N. C.
He was also Aide-de-Camp on Governor William Alexander Graham's staff, 1844; a member of the State Legislature, 1856-57; and again he was a member from Brunswick County to the Constitutional Convention, May 20, 1861, at Raleigh, which passed the Ordinance of Secession. This was after Lincoln's call for troops, and left no other course open. Wheeler's History comments upon the extraordinary array of men present in this Convention, constituting a body of great dignity and ability.
Colonel Meares was descended from many of North Carolina's earliest patriots, among others, Alexander McCullough, Henry McCullough, Col. Benjamin Hill and Col. Thomas Davis, all of whom held many and important offices under the Colonial Government, helping to make our State the great Commonwealth it is today.
He was a devoted member of St. James’ Church, and a loyal and interested Mason—a member of St. John's Lodge, the oldest in North Carolina.
Col. Meares’ wife, Jane More Iredell of Raleigh, born April 7, 1826—died March 13, 1888, was a daughter of James Iredell 2nd, who was a Captain of a Company of Volunteers at Norfolk, Va., in the War of 1812. He was a member of the House of Commons, 1816; Speaker 1817; Judge of the Superior Court, 1819; Governor 1827; and United States Senator 1828-31; retiring because of poor health. His father, James Iredell 1st, was born in Lewes, England, October 5, 1751, and died in Edenton, North Carolina, October 20, 1799. He is buried at “Hayes Plantation” (then in possession of the Johnstons, his wife's family) near Edenton. He was Attorney-General of North Carolina, 1779, and was appointed by President Washington February 10, 1790, one of the Justices of the first Supreme Court of the United States. He died while still in that office.
The children of Col. and Mrs. Meares were as follows:
Thomas Davis Meares, Jr., died June 3, 1927—married Jane Langdon Young.
William Belvedere Meares, died July 5, 1869—unmarried.
Frances Iredell Meares, died November 2, 1922—married Dr. William Henry Green.
Katharine Grady Meares, died May 11, 1925—married George Nehemiah Harriss.
Jane Iredell Meares, died September 8, 1935—married William Arthur Williams.
James Iredell Meares, died September 14, 1936—married Josephine Folger.
Frank Lenox Meares, died January 14, 1924—died unmarried.
Margaret Iredell Meares—married William Latimer.
Eliza Walker Meares, died November 27, 1926—died unmarried.WILLIAM BELVEDERE MEARES, 2nd
William Belvedere Meares, second son of Thomas Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell, was born in Wilmington, N. C., on February 27, 1850. Drowned in the Cape Fear River on July 5th, 1869. A devout Communicant of St. James Church and a “beloved young man.”IREDELL MEARES, ESQ.
James Iredell Meares, third son of the Hon. Thomas Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, Dec. 15th, 1857—his father being a member of the Legislature at that time.
From childhood Mr. Meares desired a liberal education, and his ambition impelled him to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfathers and become a lawyer. His father's fortunes having been wrecked by the War Between the States and his death occurring when Mr. Meares was a lad of fifteen years, the son was unable to go to the University,
to his great disappointment. During his youth and early manhood, while he engaged in mercantile pursuits, and later while serving as special Deputy Collector of the Port of Wilmington, 1885-1889, Mr. Meares studied earnestly and read broadly. Admitted to the Bar in 1889, Mr. Meares became an active member of that body, and won a position of State-wide prominence in his profession, having been for a number of years connected as counsel with much of the more important litigation of his section of the State, in both State and Federal Courts, appearing as counsel in a number of cases in the reports of North Carolina.
He took a prominent part in the political campaign of 1898, and served that year in the well-remembered Wilmington Revolution, on the special Committee of Twenty-five, appointed by the mass meeting of the citizens of the city. He afterwards wrote a history of the movement, in which he maintained that it was a social and not a political revolution—that it was the assertion of the Anglo-Saxon's determination to govern himself, and his account was widely scattered over the State by the Chairman of the State Democratic Executive Committee, Mr. Simmons, in the campaign for the Constitutional Amendment in 1900.
Mr. Meares was a frequent contributor to the press in the discussion of public questions. Aside from his speeches on political matters he was often called upon to make addresses on public occasions, a number of these addresses having been published in pamphlet form.
Mr. Meares was endowed by inheritance with a bright intellect and a strong constitution. He had, by incessant labor developed his talents to a high degree. His wide experience gave him a broad sympathy with every class of society. He fought against great odds, and by personal endeavor overcame obstacles which would have daunted many of the strongest men. He was a student of public questions since early manhood, and possessed a broad intellectual grasp of the economic problems of the country, and was ever keenly alive to the needs of his native city and State.
He was a devoted Communicant of St. James Episcopal Church and a loyal and interested Mason, being a member of St. John's Lodge, the oldest in North Carolina. For several years before his death, Sept. 14th, 1931, Mr. Meares resided in Washington, D. C., as he had an appointment in the legal department of the Alien Property Custodian. Returning to Wilmington for a visit, he died while at the home of his sister, Mrs. William Latimer, and is interred in the family lot in Oakdale Cemetery.
Mr. Meares married in 1883 Josephine Folger, of Courtland, New York, who died 1932. Three children were born of this union; Harriet Folger, who died in infancy; George Folger, lost at sea Nov. 1925; and Jane Iredell who married the late Willis Brown of San Francisco, California, and is now living in California.FRANK LENOX MEARES
Frank Lenox Meares, fourth son of Hon. Thomas Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell, was born in Smithville, North Carolina (now Southport), where his father had his summer home, on Sept. 12th, 1860.
Always active in church, civic and social affairs he could count his friends by the hundreds, and is still remembered with affection in this his native city. He was also a most interested member of the W. L. I. and served as an officer of that organization.
Many years before his death Mr. Meares went to Seattle, Washington to engage in the timber business, where he died on Jan. 14th, 1924, leaving many friends in his adopted home to mourn his loss.
A Communicant of St. James Church from early boyhood he was buried from that church and is interred in the family lot in Oakdale. Mr. Meares was never married.WILLIAM LATIMER
William Latimer was the second son of Zebulon and Elizabeth Savage Latimer, born in Wilmington, N. C., Jan. 14th, 1852—died Sept. 9th, 1923. He was graduated from Columbia University in the class of 1872, and finished a course in the School of Mines. His technical training made him the more useful in the fine citizenship he illustrated during his entire lifetime.
Beginning his life as a lawyer and later taking up the arduous cares of the direction of business affairs, in a brief span of some twenty years, he left a record of constructive service, and a foundation of successful enterprise which reflected, even in the light of the tremendous activities of some men of this day, Mr. Latimer as a man of great creative force, clear vision, and remarkable foresight. He founded the Acme Fibre Company at Cronly, N. C., and was the active President until he retired from business activities in 1909.
Because of infirmity of hearing, Mr. Latimer was not able to keep in active touch with public men and public events except through the medium of such publications as he chose reading and study and a quiet unobtrusive circle of intimate friends. Naturally he developed into a great reader and a keen student of public affairs and public men and withal a close student of human nature itself. Such associations as he kept up in the late years of his life, showed Mr. Latimer to be a man of the keenest perception, a gentleman of superb culture and refinement, a friend at once patient and ready to give helpful aid and advice—a gifted conversationalist, courteous, kind, polite, dignified and possessed of a courtly bearing that was a mark of distinction and superb respect.
Mr. Latimer was a devoted member of St. James Episcopal Church—first President of the Seacoast R. R. Co., President of the Cape Fear Club, and Commodore of the Carolina Yacht Club.
He married Margaret Iredell Meares, daughter of Thomas Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell.THOMAS DAVIS MEARES, 2ND
THOMAS DAVIS MEARES, 2ND
C. S. A.
THOMAS DAVIS MEARES, 2ND, son of Thos. Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell, daughter of ex-Governor James Iredell, was born in Raleigh, N. C., July 19th, 1848. May 4th, 1871, he married Jane Langdon Young, daughter of Armand deRosset Young and Celestenia Langdon.
There were four children, Mary F. Meares, Jane Meares Beery, Thos. D. Meares, 3rd, and Richard Langdon Meares.
Jane Young Beery, a daughter of Jane Meares Beery married L. E. Woodbury, 2nd. There is one son, L. E. Woodbury, 3rd. Another daughter, Mary Meares Beery, married C. Munroe Best of Goldsboro, N. C.
Thos. Davis Meares, 2nd was educated in the schools of Wilmington, and in September 1864 entered the University of North Carolina. Left the University in December 1864 to enter the Confederate Army. Served as a courier on General Wade Hampton's staff and later on staff of General Bradley Johnson. Was with the latter when the surrender occurred near Hillsboro, April 26th, 1865 and immediately thereafter left by horseback for Texas. Upon reaching New Orleans after many hardships decided to return home and tramped most of the way back. Studied law and passed his examinations at the age of 19 but was unable to wait the two years to obtain his license and went into business under the firm name of James and Meares. After several years he entered the service of old Carolina Central R. R. Co., now a part of the Seaboard Air Line system, and in 1903 left that company. Served as Clerk to the Board of Audit and Finance of the city of Wilmington and later as City Clerk and Treasurer. In 1880 he became a member of the Order of Knights of Pythias going through all the ranks until he became a Supreme Representative in 1892. In 1896 he was elected Supreme Master of Exchequer which position he held until his death. One of his fellow members said of him that he was deservedly one of the most popular members of the Supreme Lodge. He was also prominent in church work, having been vestryman, junior warden and senior warden of St. James Church and Treasurer of the Diocese of East Carolina. One of his contemporaries wrote of him: “If the true test of a gentleman is the inborn consideration of others, Chesterfield himself was not the superior of this man.”
Mr. Meares was in later years given a diploma by the University and made a Bachelor of Arts. He died June 3rd, 1927.
The Diocese in their Memoriam of him said that he was “Faithful in every duty to the very close of an exceptionally active life.”YOUNG FAMILY
Sir Henry Young came to Wilmington in 1762 from Durham, Eng. Owned a large tract of land on Greenville Sound near Wilmington and called his plantation “Durham.” He married Catherine Grainger, a daughter of Joshua Grainger, one of the founders of Wilmington. Two children were born of this union, one a daughter, who left no descendants and a son, Henry, who married Eliza Toomer, daughter of Henry Toomer and Madalen deRosset.
Their son, Armand deR. Young, was born Aug. 30th, 1814 and died Feb. 2nd, 1874. He was engaged in the mercantile business and later became a rice planter. He married Celestenia Langdon, a daughter of Samuel Langdon and Mary Jane Halsey. His son, Junius Davis Young, moved to California, where he studied medicine and became head physician of the State Hospital. He died in May 1917, leaving a wife and five daughters. California at that period was under Republican government and Dr. Young, being a Democrat, was elected as Director over other prominent candidates.LANGDON FAMILY
Samuel Langdon came to Wilmington from New England early in the 19th century. He was a grandson of the Rev. Samuel Langdon who was President of Harvard University during the Revolution and blessed the Colonial troops just before the Battle of Bunker Hill. He married Mary Jane Halsey, whose father, Henry Halsey, moved to Wilmington from New Jersey. They had five sons and one daughter. Two of these sons died without marrying. The other three all served in the Confederate Army with credit to themselves. Paul H. and Richard F., with the rank of Captain, and Walter R. in the medical department. Paul, married and moved to Augusta, Ga., where a son and two daughters now reside. Richard died, unmarried, in Wilmington in 1895, and Walter moved to California about 1869, and became a prominent physician and one of the medical directors of the State Hospital. After nearly twenty years of service he retired and was succeeded by his nephew, Dr. Junius D. Young. Dr. Langdon left one son, who is now one of the physicians at the State Hospital in Stockton, Cal.THE HARRISS FAMILY
THE Harriss family, of English and Welsh origin, came to Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1779 from Quibbletown, New Jersey. The family consisted of three brothers, Nehemiah, Peter and William, and two sisters, Temperance and Catherine—all born in Quibbletown. As almost all of the records were destroyed when the family home was burned, in the second generation, and the family Bible lost during the turbulent days of the War Between the States, much valuable information previous to their arrival is not now available.
Nehemiah, the oldest brother, born 1764, died in Wilmington, August 28, 1819, aged 55 years, as the church records show. He was a large property owner and a most influential business man in his time—and a Vestryman of the old St. James Church, which was replaced in 1839 by the present structure. His first wife, Alice Hurst, born 1778, died April 23, 1805. Of three children only one survived infancy, Temperance Ann, born November 19, 1799, died October 26, 1813. His second wife was the widow of Colonel Oliver Pendleton (born Catherine McIlhenny), whose only child, Susan Ann Pendleton, was the first wife of the Hon. William Belvedere Meares. They are all interred in St. James Graveyard.
Peter Harriss, born March 12, 1757, died July 6, 1817, married Charlotte Davis, of Smithville, N. C., born April 10, 1770.
Temperance Harriss married James White, who was born March 14, 1755, died February 8, 1801. No issue.
Catherine Harriss, first married Captain William Burch. Second husband was Mr. John McIlhenny of the McIlhenny family of this county—a brother of Mrs. Nehemiah Harriss.
As all male children of the older brother's lines have died out, the Harriss family now living here is descended from William, the youngest, who was a lad of ten years when he came to this town.
William Harriss, of Wilmington, an affluent merchant and an outstanding citizen, was born January 31, 1769, died July 4, 1842, married October 28, 1792, Elizabeth Barrett, of Brunswick County, born January 24, 1776, died January 8, 1844. Their surviving children were: Dr. William James Harriss, born April 10, 1798, died July 9, 1839; Catherine Harriss who married John Allen Taylor and Susan Ann Pendleton Harriss who married Isaac Northrop September 3, 1829.
Dr. William James Harriss, a distinguished physician and surgeon, graduate of the University of North Carolina, was born April 10, 1798. He was one of the best known citizens of this city, in his day, and was Mayor of Wilmington at the time of his death, on July 9, 1839. Dr. Harriss was a man of great force and highest character, beloved by all classes in his native section. He married October 25, 1820, Mary Priscilla Jennings, born February 27, 1802, died December 3, 1879—daughter
of George Jennings, a member of a noble English family, who came to Wilmington in 1790, and his wife, Charity Johnson, of New Hanover County. Issue: three sons: Dr. William White Harriss; Nehemiah Taylor Harriss, who served in the Confederate Navy and married Mary Robeson, of Robeson County, N. C.; George Harriss, of the shipping firm of Harriss & Howell, which engaged in blockade running from this port, throughout the War Between the States, who married Julia Sanders. The four daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Harriss were: Eliza McIlhenny Harriss, married Dr. John Dillard Bellamy; Laura Harriss, married Andrew Jackson Howell; Emma Douglas Harriss married William Norment, Esq., of Lumberton, N. C., and Mary Harriss died unmarried.
Dr. William White Harriss, like his father before him, a distinguished physician and surgeon, and prominent in the business world, was a man of fine presence, who bore himself with the admirable dignity and ease of the Old School gentleman of the South. He was a courtly, courteous man, whose cordial greeting was a characteristic still remembered by many in his native section. He was the soul of honor, and a pattern of integrity and uprightness in his life, and was by nature highminded and generous by impulse. Possessed of a fine intellect and extensive education, well read and widely informed, he was an exceptionally good conversationalist and most entertaining companion for the old and young, and was known for his witty after-dinner speeches.
Dr. Harriss received his early education at the celebrated Donelson Academy, Fayetteville, N. C. After graduating from this institution, he entered the University of North Carolina, and graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1842 when only eighteen years of age, afterwards with the degree of Master of Arts. Following this, he returned to Wilmington, reading medicine in the office of his brother-in-law, Dr. John Dillard Bellamy. Subsequently he graduated with honors from the famous Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1846, and later from the Bellevue Medical College, New York, in 1854. In 1858 he became a silent partner in the firm of Harriss & Howell, Shipbrokers and Commission Merchants, one of the largest establishments in Wilmington at that time, which was actively engaged in blockade running throughout the War Between the States.
When the War Between the States began in 1861, Dr. Harriss entered the Confederate Army and was commissioned Assistant Surgeon, 61st Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers, October 10, 1862. and saw active service in the Battle of Kinston, December 14, 1862. After this he was on duty chiefly around Charleston, S. C., until 1863, when General W. H. C. Whiting, C. S. A., appointed him Surgeon of the City Garrison in Wilmington, where he remained until the Surrender. When Wilmington was evacuated on February 22, 1865, he was appointed by General Braxton Bragg, C. S. A., to remain there as surgeon in charge of the sick and wounded Confederate soldiers—a dangerous assignment as he was the only Confederate officer left on duty when the NorthernDR. WILLIAM WHITE HARRISS
troops under General Terry, U. S. A., occupied this city. Dr. Harriss wrote a most graphic description of this occasion for his family records, which is now in the possession of his grandson, Frank Green Harriss. Dr. Harriss was one of the gallant defenders of Fort Fisher, January 1865.
Later in life Dr. Harriss retired from the practice of his profession and entered the business world, where he took an active part in all civic and business affairs. He served as Alderman of the city for several years, was one of the founders and the third President of the Chamber of Commerce, the oldest in the State. For many years before his death Dr. Harriss engaged in business as an insurance underwriter, and was President of the local Board of Underwriters. He was a member of St. John's Lodge No. 1, A. F. and A. M., oldest in North Carolina, having become a Mason in 1845. He was a member of the famous Thalian Association, 1846-1847-1848, and one of the organizers of the Carolina Yacht Club, Wrightsville Beach. He was a devoted communicant of St. James Episcopal Church.
Dr. William White Harriss was born in Wilmington on January 13, 1824, and died December 7, 1901, in this city. He married December 6, 1848, Caroline Matilda Brown, born October 10, 1831, died August 24, 1891, daughter of Thomas William Brown, prominent business man and Mason of this city—member of St. John's Lodge, born January 21, 1803, died October 15, 1872, and his wife, Caroline Amelia Marshall, born December 31, 1812, died July 10, 1844, married January 31, 1828. Mrs. Harriss was a great-great-great niece of Major Gen. Thomas Brown of the Revolutionary Army, hero of the Battle of Elizabethtown. Dr. and Mrs. Harriss were survived by five children as follows: George Nehemiah Harriss, born August 10, 1851, died September 7, 1907, married January 28, 1875 to Katharine Grady Meares. Thomas Brown Hariss, born January 11, 1854, died September 3, 1907, Savannah, Ga., where he resided for many years; married April 23, 1884 to Eliza Lillington Anderson. Issue, Edwin Alexander Harriss, East Orange, N. J., married Helen Cornell—James White Harriss of Mocksville, N. C. John Bellamy Harriss, born July 13, 1855, now living in Baltimore, Md. William White Harriss, born November 6, 1863, died in Ocala, Fla., where he lived for many years before his death, December 4, 1930; married Mary Owen Waldo, of Orange Lake, Fla.: Issue, Caroline Harriss who is married to Edmund Martin, of Ocala, Fla. Amelia Harriss married December 25, 1879 to William LaFayette Harlow of Wilmington. Issue, Kate married Robert George Rankin; Amelia married Virgil Todd Barrett; Louise Worthington; and Wilhemina.
George Nehemiah Harriss was born in Wilmington, August 10, 1851 and died September 7, 1907. He married January 28, 1875, Katharine Grady Meares, born July 29, 1853, died May 11, 1925; daughter of the Honorable Thomas Davis Meares and Jane More Iredell, his wife. A sketch of Mrs. Harriss’ parents will be found elsewhere in this volume.
George Nehemiah Harriss, one of the most highly respected and best beloved citizens of this city, received his early education at Jewett's School. Immediately after the War Between the States he was sent to preparatory schools in Elizabeth, N. J., and Stanford, Conn. In 1866 and 1867 he was a cadet at the North Carolina Military and Polytechnic Academy, Hillsboro, N. C. This institution, owned by General Robert E. Colston, was later, in 1868, moved to Wilmington and was then known as the Cape Fear Military Academy. Mr. Harriss graduated with honors from this Academy, ranking as Cadet Captain during the sessions of 1869-1870. Completing his education by a course in journalism, Mr. Harriss was attached to a local newspaper, The Daily Review, later connecting himself with the Auditing Department of the Atlantic Coast Line, where he continued until his death. Both Mr. Harriss and his wife were devoted communicants of St. James Church. They were survived by three sons and six daughters as follows: Frank Green Harriss; Meares Harriss, married Fanny Hines Johnson, of Raleigh, N. C., March 26, 1913, daughter of Charles Earle Johnson and Mary Wilson, his wife. His second wife, is Laura McNair Weddell, of Tarboro, N. C., married August 25, 1924, daughter of John A. Weddell and Laura McNair, his wife; George Nehemiah Harriss married Julia Costell Hobgood, of Oxford, N. C., December 27, 1928, daughter of Isiah Henry Hobgood and Eva Eastwood, his wife; Jean Meares Harriss married May 19, 1903, Philip Warland Delano, who died February 1, 1906, son of Rear Admiral Francis Henry Delano, U. S. N., and Evelena Frances Paine, his wife, of New York City; Caroline Brown Harriss; Katharine Meares Harriss, married November 24, 1903, Henry Gould Latimer, Jr., son of Henry Gould Latimer and Carria Angelica Groot, his wife, of Auburn, New York; Margaret Iredell Harriss; Esther Exum Harriss; Eleanor Jennings Harriss, married November 17, 1920, Frederick Willetts, son of Thomas Willetts and Phoebe Hall, his wife, of “Halesowen,” near Birmingham, England.
The Harriss family has been living in this city for six generations and the members of it have, each in his time, endeavored to help in some manner to aid in its progress, and to make of Wilmington a city of home-loving, high-minded people.BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HALL
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HALL was the seventh son of Susan Eliza McGowan and Thomas Pearsall Hall. Born January 29, 1842, near Hallsville, N. C., the village founded by his grandfather, William Hall, in the ancient Scotch-Irish settlement of Henry McCulloch, Esq., of London. His ancestors included many honored citizens of Duplin County, sturdy and long-lived and God-fearing.
He attended primary schools at home, and the Grove Academy, at Kenansville. Studied under such excellent teachers as Hon. B. F. Grady and Mr. Samuel Clement, and the famous teacher-minister, Dr. James M. Sprunt, whose remarkable influence is still felt throughout the county.
He was prevented from entering the University of North Carolina in the fall of 1861, but enlisted in March in the Confederate Army, and there served his four years, in the 12th and 43rd North Carolina Regiments. Though a Captain's commission was issued for him as the war closed, he surrendered at Appomattox as First Sergeant of Company A, that splendid little “Duplin Rifles,” which never had a deserter. Details of their history are to be found in the “Sketch of the Duplin Rifles,” and in “Clarke's North Carolina Regiments.”
Though a good soldier and officer, during his life, he retained a remarkable knowledge and memory of that conflict, and was sincerely convinced that war is unnecessary and barbarous, and should be the last resort of civilized people.
Heart-broken by the surrender of the Cause, hampered in his youthful ambitions, with his Southland wrecked, he went back to the schoolroom and taught for two years in Duplin, as he had done three terms before the war, at the tender age of sixteen. In his bare and freezing room he studied bookkeeping late at night. And in 1868 he came to Wilmington to enter business.
From 1869 to 1876 he was a member of the firm of Edwards and Hall, and in 1876 he established the firm of Hall and Pearsall, incorporated in 1901, which grew into one of the largest businesses of its kind in the city. Was interested in other local business affairs, serving as Director of the First National Bank of Wilmington, the Wilmington Savings & Trust Co., the Wilmington Seacoast Railroad.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN HALL
C. S. A.
Mr. Hall was always a Democrat, though without political ambitions. He labored in behalf of good government, and often wrote forcefully to the papers, letters advocating the election of Woodrow Wilson, for whom he felt great friendship and admiration.
In 1879, Mr. Hall was elected a ruling elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, and this well-loved office he honored with a most devoted service till his death. He served also as a Trustee of Union Theological Seminary in Virginia from 1884 to 1916.
His marriage, on April 12, 1871, was to him the most important event of his life, and all the love of a deep nature was given throughout his life to the unusually gifted and devoted woman who was his wife, Margaret Tannahill Sprunt, daughter of Alexander and Jane Dalziel Sprunt, of Scotland and Trinidad. Their seven children are: Dr. James Sprunt Hall, Alexander McDonald Hall, died in 1933, Susan E. Hall, Louis Edward Hall, John Hall, Jessie Dalziel Hall and Jane Sprunt Hall.
Mr. Hall was in business until the last year of his life. He died Oct. 4, 1934, at the age of ninety-two years. “The path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
A MEMORIAL to Col. Walker Taylor, late ruling elder of the First Presbyterian Church, has been adopted by the session of the church. The tribute, submitted by a memorial committee composed of John Hall, chairman; George L. Mitchell and Dr. H. A. Coddington, follows:
“Col. Taylor was born on Oct. 26, 1864, during the last months of the Confederate War, in Marion, S. C., where his parents, native North Carolinians, were then refugeeing. He was a son of Col. and Mrs. John Douglas Taylor. His father, also a beloved ruling elder in our church, was a planter at the Oaks Plantation in Brunswick County on the Cape Fear River; and a Confederate veteran, losing an arm in the service, and afterwards for twenty-five years—the clerk of New Hanover County superior court. His mother was Elizabeth Walker, a daughter of Daniel Walker of Mississippi, who was born in that state but was reared at the home of her uncle, Daniel Russell, in North Carolina, and was a first cousin of Gov. Daniel L. Russell. His grandfather was John Allan Taylor, who was born in Connecticut, but came to North Carolina at an early period and married Catherine Harriss of Wilmington. On April 19, 1893, Col. Taylor was married to Miss Rosa Lilly Cumming, daughter of Preston Cumming of Wilmington. Three children were born of this marriage, Mrs. Virginia Taylor Oliver, Walker Taylor, Jr., and Mrs. Katherine Taylor Hill, all of whom survive him, together with nine grandchildren,—Frances Grainger Taylor, Walker Taylor, 3rd, Victor Grainger Taylor, David Oliver, Jr., Rosalie Walker Oliver, Virginia Taylor Oliver, Preston Cumming Oliver, John Bright Hill, Jr., and William Lanier Hill.
“Col. Taylor began working when only fourteen years of age as an office boy for the old deRosset & Northrop Insurance Agency, and by native ability, force of character and hard work attained thereby the highest rank in the world of insurance underwriters. During the administration of President Woodrow Wilson he was collector of the port of Wilmington, and the present magnificent Custom House was erected when he was in office.
“During the dark days in Wilmington, in 1898, when the governor proclaimed martial law, Col. Taylor was the ranking military officer of the city, and the manner in which he handled this delicate racial situation elicited commendatory letters from high state officials and U. S. army officers.
“Thus devoted and successful in business and the public service, being in fact the first citizen of Wilmington at the time of his death, his most enduring undertakings lay in the moral and religious spheres. The Boys’ Brigade, which he founded in 1896, and which was a pioneer among such institutions in the country, will long remain a lasting monument to his understanding heart and his broad sympathies and has caused him to be known and loved as the “Father Confessor” of hundreds of boys, to whom he gave at critical moments in their lives such an encouraging lift as to make men of them.
“He was a devoted Christian and a most loyal Presbyterian. For more than twenty years he was a ruling elder in this church, being the senior ruling elder at the time of his death, and as such always magnified his office and was faithful to his every duty. For about forty years he taught the Bible, first in Immanuel Presbyterian Church, a colony of this church, and later in the Brotherhood class here, a sustained and vital service of no small value and inspiration. When our present beautiful church and chapel and church house were built, he was the chairman of the building committee, and as a splendid memorial to his father and mother and his grandfather and grandmother, he gave the handsome church pews.
“He was great in body, great in mind and great in soul, these three, but the greatest of all was his soul. Always hopeful and optimistic, always understanding and kind, a radiant and loyal friend, possessed of a commanding presence, a keen intellect and a loving spirit, he was a born leader of men in both church and state. Truly a great oak has fallen—a prince and a mighty man in Israel!
“His spirit and personality were unique. His own place in our church has been left vacant forever. We thank God for him. And we take courage in the thought that we still have with us those who bear his name, his own flesh and blood, to continue his spirit and to carry on his work in the true line of succession, the most beautiful of all memorials to his life and character. May God bless them and keep them—one and all.
“This memorial was adopted by the Session of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, North Carolina, by a rising vote on October 3rd, 1937, and it was ordered that it be read before the congregation, spread on our minutes, printed in our calendar, and copies sent to the family and the local press.”
FEW communities can record the services of one whose continuous activity in its business and civic life, for such a period, has been free from adversities. With no enmity towards his fellow man, his one thought has been to live up to and practice the “Golden Rule.” Well has this proverb been carried out in all its meaning, whether in the business, civic or religious life he has so successfully performed. Is it not an example to us all?
Sigmund Solomon, the subject of this sketch, was born in Germany, August 25, 1845, and emigrated to America in 1860, coming to Wilmington, N. C., and accepting a position with the old firm of Jacob Lyon as a clerk 1860-72. In 1874, he was joined by his brother, B. Solomon. This resulted into a partnership under the name of S. & B. Solomon in 1879—a retail dry goods business that has been continuously conducted for 58 years. A few years later they purchased their present site, S. E. corner Front and Market Streets—a large and commodious structure which they still own and occupy, and which today stands as a monument to a successful business conducted on a high plane. In 1932 the firm was incorporated as S. & B. Solomon Co., and is now an exclusive wholesale business.
With a large clientele of merchants through this section, their name and manner of doing business retain the respect and confidence of their many customers.
His interest in the welfare of his adopted home has shown plainly his endeavor to do his part in civic or religious activities. Mr. Solomon is a Mason, member of B'nai Brith and other fraternal orders.
He has never refused any worthy appeal, whether for charity or civic needs.
Mr. Solomon married Lena Simon of Louisville, Ky., in 1872. Two children blessed their union, I. W. Solomon and Lee Solomon. Mrs. Solomon died in 1877. In 1888 Ida Lyon of Philadelphia became his second wife. There were three children from this marriage, Helen, Harry and Lillian.
Neither politics nor public office ever disturbed his tranquil life, he devoting his time and talent to the pursuit of his business, with a continuous residence in Wilmington 77 years. A life of honor, integrity and uprightness, has crowned him as our oldest merchant if not our oldest citizen. He is now entering his 94th year, far beyond the Psalmist allotment. All honor to him.
Mr. B. Solomon, the junior partner and brother, has won the respect and confidence of our community, and has held many public positions of trust, sharing the same honors as his brother. He has assumed the active duties of the business, assisted by the worthy sons.
Both are Charter and Life Members of the Temple of Israel.
TEMPLE OF ISRAEL
AS time passes on, we are prone to forget, but a thought oftentimes comes over us, of some dear relative or friend. A simple picture will bring back to memory these thoughts and wishes, and create fresh memories of our departed friends.
The picture herein presented is an illustration of that emotional feeling that refreshes our thoughts, our past life, this being the picture of our former townsman, Mr. John E. Crow.
A citizen, though not a native, he resided in Wilmington nearly 40 years and was affectionately identified during his life as one of its honored citizens. He took upon himself in 1872 as his life's mate his beloved wife, a lady of culture and refinement, Emily Park Davis, the daughter of the late and beloved Honorable George Davis, who was Attorney-General of the Confederacy. Mr. Crow was a Confederate Veteran, who proved his loyalty by his service throughout the full period of the War Between the States.
He enlisted in Company E. Petersburg, Virginia, Rifllemen, 12th Virginia Regiment, and fought through many engagements.
JOHN E. CROW
C. S. A.
Immediately following the war his family resided in Raleigh, N. C., and from there he moved to Wilmington, in 1870, entering business with a friend, and forming the firm of Binford-Crow Company, Inc. A large and lucrative wholesale grocery and commission business was conducted on Water Street.
So unbiased was he in all civic and public affairs, he rendered service willingly whenever called upon, and was one of a committee of twenty-five citizens that successfully subdued the Race Revolution of 1898.
Five children were born to their union, all boys, George Davis, Randolph Fairfax, William Clinton, Emmet Polk, and John E., Jr., (died in infancy). The four living brothers now reside in Texas. Like their illustrious father, they are all successful business men.
Mr. Crow was born in 1843 at Brice House Plantation, near Petersburg, Va. He died November 8th, 1908, and reposes in beautiful Oakdale Cemetery, awaiting a glorious resurrection.
THE first Grant of whom we have record in eastern Carolina was Alexander, who with his wife Jane Starrett Grant left Somerset County, Maryland and in company with Thos. Houston came to this section, now Onslow County, and settled on the banks of White Oak River about 1722. The Grant plantation consisted of good farming land and was nicely situated on a navigable stream, not many miles distant from the present town of Swansboro. A small water course nearby bears to this day the name of Grant's Creek.
Among the neighbors and friends of Alexander in addition to the Thomas Houston above mentioned were Francis Burns, progenitor of Captain Otway Burns of Privateer fame during the war of 1812, Colonel John Starkey, soldier and statesman, Captain Stephen Lee who had later purchased Wm. Houston's plantation, Christopher Dudley and others.
Alexander did not live long to enjoy his broad acres consisting of some four square miles and at his death in 1738 the plantation was divided between his sons Solomon and Alexander, Jr. These lands are still known to old residents of Onslow County as Grant plantations and are located between Belgrade and Swansboro. The name John Grant appears on the muster rolls of Onslow County, also John, Jr., along with those of Alexander and Solomon who was Lieutenant of Captain Stephen Lee's Company in the Regiment of Colonel John Starkey. Revolutionary rolls show the names Basil and Captain Stu. (possibly abbreviation for Stephen). Mary, the only daughter, married a man named Pitts who was distinguished by being sent on a commission to the Philadelphia Convention and had several children who married into Oldfield, Mitchell and other prominent Onslow families of that period. Mary lived to extreme old age, managing her abundant properties with rare skill and ability, at her death leaving her holdings among her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Alexander, Jr., raised a large family and named his children by will as follows: Solomon, Stephen, Alexander, Seth, Basil, Mary and Ruth.
Solomon, eldest son of Alexander, Sr., married first Desire Otway, by whom he had two children, Reuben and Experience, and second to Sarah Simmons. Reuben's public services and activities were many; a justice of the County Court, secretary to the Committee of Safety and at the Halifax Convention; appointed Ensign, later promoted to Lieutenant. Resigning his commission to return to Onslow to command a company of State Militia with Stanton Spooner as Lieutenant and George Hazzard Ensign. After the war, Reuben became Clerk of the Court of Onslow County, an office he held for many years. He represented Onslow County in the General Assembly, serving in both the House and Senate, was appointed member of a commission to lay out the town of Swansboro, a commissioner of navigation for Bogue Inlet (1784), commissioner for establishing a public school in Onslow County (1783). Death cut short his brilliant career, he held a high place among the outstanding men of his time, as soldier, statesman and patriot. Mr. Thomas Slade, prominent attorney of New Bern, was appointed guardian for the youthful heir and executor. Experience, the eldest daughter, married while quite young, Dr. Robert Dixon, who had served in the medical corps of the Continental Army, lived to old age to minister to needs of his native county, Onslow, Of Elizabeth, the second daughter, we have no record. Desire married Oscar G. Parsley and of this marriage Mr. Walter G. Parsley of this county is a descendant. Joanna, the youngest daughter, married Captain Otway Burns, Commander of the Privateer “Snap Dragon,” War of 1812, and of whose only son Owen there are many descendants, living in New York, Illinois and California.
Reuben's only son, Solomon Elliot, through his marriage to Frances Hatch, daughter of Joseph Hatch and Anna Blackledge Hatch of Craven County connected family lines bearing many names prominent in Colonial history. Frances’ maternal grandfather, Richard Blackledge, was a wealthy and prominent citizen of New Bern, mentioned in the early annals of the city and her grandfather, Edmund Hatch, served Chowan County many years as Clerk of the Court, her great uncle, Colonel Lemuel Hatch, a statesman and soldier. Anthony Hatch, father of Edmund and Lemuel, was an associate justice of the Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions, appointed vestryman of Pasquotank Precinct, commissioned by the Lords Proprietors treasurer of the province and receiver of the powder money. The port duties at that time were paid in gun powder.
Anthony Hatch married Elizabeth Durant, daughter of John Durant, lawyer, Justice of the Peace and Assistant Deputy to the General Court, 1694-95, and son of George Durant, pioneer and leader of the Albemarle Colony. George Durant came to the Carolina settlement in 1661 from Northumberland County, Virginia, where shortly before he had been married to Ann Marwood. His deed for land purchased from two Indian Chiefs is the first North Carolina deed on record and the original may be seen in Perquimans County Court House. The land is known at the present day as Durant's Neck. George was a most prominent and influential citizen serving as Speaker of the House of Burgesses 1679, as Attorney General 1676 and other useful capacities, making several trips to England in the interest of the colony, also represented Onslow in State General Assembly 1812-1814.
From the union of Solomon Elliot Grant and Frances Hatch were born four sons, Reuben, Richard Hatch, Edmund and Christopher, a daughter, Elizabeth. The family moved to New Hanover County about 1850 and bought a large tract of land on Greenville Sound, later sold to Mr. Giles Westbrook, now owned by Mr. Walter Parsley. On a little hillside near the Sound is their last resting place.
Richard Hatch Grant married Malvina Gause, Edmund married Cecelia E. Richardson, daughter of Thomas Richardson, Esq., of New Bern. Christopher married Cornelia Wilson of this city. Elizabeth, the only daughter, married John Hinton.
Reuben, the eldest son, married first Hetta Jarrot and had a son, Solomon Elliot, who as a youth enlisted in the Confederate Army and died in a Northern prison during the War Between the States. After Hetta's death he was married to Sarah Ann Dawson of Onslow County, to whom the following children were born: Richard Hatch, Reuben, John and Laura.
Reuben married Elizabeth McMillan, daughter of F. A. McMillan, of this city and their children are L. Clayton Grant, attorney of this city, Rev. Thomas McMillan Grant of Greenville, N. C., and Dr. Harry C. Grant of Baltimore, Maryland.THE FOUNDER OF THE WILMINGTON & WELDON RAILROAD
P. K. DICKINSON
IN 1830 a gentleman from the North settled in Wilmington. A few years later he identified himself as a native and cast his fortune and energies in large investments in lumber and forming industries. Mr. P. K. Dickinson, one of the leaders of that day, saw the need of improved transportation other than by water alone. So replete with far-sighted ideas, a man of energy and enterprise, he took a trip to New England, and saw a small railroad in successful operation. So intensely was he impressed by the possibilities, he at once decided to return home and carry out his idea, as he felt that a railroad would place Wilmington in the first ranks of southern cities.
Upon his return he at once laid the subject before his associates. A charter was granted to build a railroad to Raleigh, but the Raleigh people declined. A second charter was granted in 1834 with additional grants to build the road to Weldon, as the people of Edgecombe County showed great interest in the project. The railroad was completed in 1840. At that time the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad was said to be the longest railroad in the world—161½ miles—and was the parent company of the Atlantic Coast Line.
Mr. Dickinson served as a director during his remaining life. The first president making a report was James Owen, who was appointed president November 9, 1840. He was succeeded by Alexander MacRae in 1841. Mr. W. S. Ashe succeeded him in 1855. In 1862, Mr. Stephen D. Wallace was President and from 1865 to 1888 Mr. R. R. Bridgers was president. Then, successively, Mr. W. G. Elliott, Mr. R. G. Erwin, Mr. T. M. Emerson, Mr. J. R. Kenly and the present incumbent, Mr. Geo. B. Elliott, filled the office.
His beautiful home stood upon the northeast corner of Front and Chestnut Streets, and was built in 1850 of brick brought from Philadelphia, and said to have been made in England. The fence and veranda were built of wrought iron and stood about seven feet above the street. The flower garden was noted for its variety and magnificence.
Today there stands upon this site the “Princess Building” and other commercial structures. As time passes on many things give way to progress.
Platt Kutcham Dickinson died in 1859 beloved and respected, generous in all enterprises and civic needs. He has gone to a better world, but his memory will linger in the hearts of Wilmingtonians as a leader and valued citizen.
P. K. DICKINSON'S RESIDENCE
Staff 3rd N. C. Regiment, 1861-1865
1. William Lord deRosset, Colonel.
2. William M. Parsley, Lieut. Col.
3. R. H. Cowan, Lieut. Col.
4. James I. Metts, Capt. Co. G.
5. Gaston Meares, Colonel.
6. John Cowan, Captain Co. D.
7. John F. S. Van Bokkelen.
8. Rev. George Patterson, Chaplain.
9. Thomas F. Wood, Assistant Surgeon.
General T. J. (Stonewall) Jackson Conducting
Prayers Before Engaging in Battle
COL. JOHN D. TAYLOR, C. S. A.
CAPT. CHAS. D. MYERS, C. S. A.
CAPT. WM. M. CUMMING, C. S. A.
COL. A. M. WADDELL, C. S. A.
COL. ROGER MOORE, C. S. A.
COL. K. M. MURCHISON, C. S. A.
“LEST WE FORGET” OUR LEADERS AND DEFENDERS
CAPT. O. G. PARSLEY, C. S. A.
CAPT. DAVID R. MURCHISON, C. S. A.
DR. JAS. H. DICKSON
D. G. WORTH
DUBRUTZ CUTLAR, ESQ.
THOSE OF OUR PROFESSIONAL AND MERCHANT PRINCESDR. ARMAND JOHN deROSSET
DR. Armand John deRosset, as his father before him, was born in our city. He grew up in our midst, spent the days of active manhood here and at last passed away under the same roof that had sheltered him in birth and infancy.
For over a hundred years Dr. Armand John deRosset, father and son, has been prominent for good in this town. With the exception of a few years, a deRosset has been for sixty years Senior Warden of St. James Parish.
Dr. deRosset was a marked man in many ways. Few men celebrate their ninetieth birthday. His life has well nigh spanned the century, and such a century! He was the oldest citizen of our town, the oldest graduate of the University of North Carolina, the oldest railroad director in unbroken service, probably, in the United States. He was the oldest of our vestry, and, may be, the oldest continuous Senior Warden and member of the General Convention in the whole church.
He was always among the first, wherever that might be. He was among the first in school and college. He was for years the leading merchant in Wilmington. He was of the first in every enterprise making for the welfare of his native city. He was among the first in the work and council of his church—in the Parish, in the Diocese, in the United States.
Dr. deRosset was an earnest and energetic man. No lukewarm indifference chilled his soul or checked the ardor of those who followed him. In every enterprise his energy and industry offered a stirring example to his business compeers. Earnest devotion to the cause before him marked his career as citizen and director in material enterprises. When failure threatened the great undertaking—great indeed in those days—of building and conducting one of the first and longest railroads in the world, he had the heart and nerve to cross the ocean, seek foreign capitalists, and win their help and cooperation. He sailed to England in 1849 to negotiate the exchange of Wilmington and Weldon bonds for railroad iron; and again in 1865 to extend the time for the payment of these bonds.
The same generous spirit made him a liberal giver to the church. He was a generous and systematic contributor to all the expenses of the Parish. The work of education and charity, for which this congregation is especially noted in this community, would hardly have been begun had it not been for the munificence of our revered Senior Warden.
(From Memorial Sermon preached by Rev. Robert Strange, D. D., in St. James Church, Dec. 12th, 1897).
DR. ARMAND JOHN DEROSSET
THE Diocese of East Carolina of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America was organized in 1883. It comprises all that portion of the State of North Carolina consisting of the counties of Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, Greene, Wayne, Sampson, Cumberland, Hoke and Robeson and of all the counties lying between these counties and the Atlantic Ocean. Square Miles, 17,470.
The first suggestion and the first action in regard to the division of the Diocese of North Carolina took place in the Convention held at New Bern in May, 1866. It originated with Bishop Atkinson, and can be found in his address to that Convention, in which he speaks of his failing health, and says, “If the Convention shall think it best, in consideration of this state of facts, either to appoint me an assistant or to divide the Diocese, I hereby express my concurrence in any such measure.”
Bishop Atkinson died in January, 1881, and though the subject of division was not brought before the Convention of that year, it was freely discussed, not only in private circles, but through the press, and assumed form and substance at the Convention in Tarboro in May, 1882. At that Convention it was resolved that the welfare of the Church in North Carolina demanded a division of the Diocese.
The Sixty-Seventh Annual Convention of the Diocese of North Carolina, in St. Peter's Church, Charlotte, May 23rd, 1883, consummated the division, so far as in their power, by adopting the following resolution:
“Resolved, That, the General Convention assenting, a new Diocese be formed, out of the present Diocese of North Carolina, consisting of the counties of Hertford, Bertie, Martin, Pitt, Greene, Wayne, Sampson, Cumberland and Robeson, and of all the counties lying between these counties and the Atlantic Ocean.”
The Bishop gave his canonical consent to the division and the General Convention, in October of the same year, ratified the act, and the long desired object was accomplished.
The Primary Convention of the new Diocese was held in Christ Church, New Bern, December 12th, 1883, and was organized under the name of the Diocese of East Carolina. The Rev. Alfred Augustin Watson, D. D., Rector of St. James’ Parish, Wilmington was unanimously elected Bishop, and was consecrated with imposing ceremonies, in the church of which he had been for twenty-one years the Rector, on Thursday of Easter week, being the 17th day of April, 1884.
The second Bishop was the Rt. Rev. Robert Strange, D. D., a native of Wilmington and for many years Rector of St. James’ Parish. He was consecrated November 1, 1904 and died August 23, 1914.
The present Bishop is the Rt. Rev. Thomas Campbell Darst, D. D. He was consecrated January 6, 1915.BISHOP ATKINSON
For nearly thirty years he ruled with diligence and with success. As a preacher and debater his power of logic was conspicuous.
So gentle, so mild, that little children clustered around him in affection and love. His facial expression was so attractive that when appearing in his beautiful robes and vestments many came to think that he was a living God.BISHOP WATSON
A man of marked ability, strong in mind and strong in heart, and of a rigid temper in matters of duty, together with clear and masterful convictions of truth and right, with loyalty to both.BISHOP STRANGE
Even under the inevitable shadow of clouds and darkness which sometimes obscure the light, he was never dismayed, nor did he ever protest under a sense of injustice or unfairness.“One single passion held his heart in sway;An earnest craving for the pure and true.And though at times God's face felt far away,His earth dimmed eyes so deeply yearned to view.Still in the dark as in the light he smiled,He said the sun was shining all the time;And the things he could not understandHe hoped and trusted in a love sublime.”BISHOP DARST
A firm believer in Christian brotherhood, convincing in his discourses he wins the love and affection of all who know him. Loved by all for his gentleness, his sympathy, and his interest in his fellowmen.
RT. REV. BISHOPS OF THE DIOCESE OF EAST CAROLINA
THE beginning of St. James Parish, the oldest church of the city, is somewhat obscure as few records have been preserved of its early days. In 1715 the Colonial Legislature passed an Act providing for the establishment of St. James Parish, but no services were held until about 1728, when the Rev. Richard Marsden was settled as first minister of the parish through the good offices of the Society for Propagating the Gospel. For a number of years services were held in the Court House and not until 1751 was a church building started. The Hon. Louis deRosset and Frederick Gregg, Esq., well known figures in the Colonial life of Wilmington, were the Commissioners under whose direction the first church building was completed in 1770. It stood on the South side of Market Street, between Third and Fourth Streets, extending a considerable distance into the street itself. During the Revolutionary War and for some years thereafter no religious services were held in the church. During the occupation of Wilmington by the British Army the enclosure of the graveyard was removed and burnt, the church, itself, stripped of its pews and other furniture, and converted first into a hospital for the sick, then into a block house for defense against the Americans, and finally into a riding school for Tarleton's Dragoons.
In 1839 the first building was torn down and the present church erected at the corner of Third and Market Streets. The character of the interior has been changed several times, the side galleries were removed, a transept has been added and the chancel has been rebuilt, while the furnishings and decorations have been changed several times. In 1865 during the occupation of the city by the U. S. Army, the Federal Commander seized the church and converted it into a military hospital. After the War Between the States the building was repaired, and about the same time a small building for parish use was erected in the rear of the church.
The small “Society Hall” proving inadequate for the needs of the parish a new Parish House was built in 1892 as a Memorial to Col. R. R. Bridgers, and in 1912 the cloister was built, connecting the Church and the Parish House, as a Memorial to Mrs. M. E. Bridgers and her children, and the Elliott Room added to the Parish House, in memory of Mabel Green Elliott. In 1923 the present Parish House was erected and, connected with the older one, now provides a single large and well equipped building, which, by invitation of the vestry is used as a meeting place by many civic and charitable organizations of the community.
Among its rectors and members St. James has numbered many men illustrious in the Church, the community, and the Nation. The Rev. Adam Empie, Rector of the Parish, 1811-1814, and 1814-1827, became the distinguished President of William and Mary College. The Rev. Thomas F. Davis later became Bishop of South Carolina, and the Rev. Richard H. Wilmer, Bishop of Alabama. The Rev. Dr. R. B. Drane, twice Rector of the Parish, distinguished himself and won the affection of the whole community by his courageous services during the yellow fever epidemic of 1862. The Rt. Rev. Thomas Atkinson, D. D., Bishop of North Carolina, was Rector of the Parish for several years, while at the same time discharging his duties as Bishop. The Rt. Rev. Alfred A. Watson, D. D., first Bishop of East Carolina, was Rector of St. James from 1864-1884, and his successor as Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Strange, D. D., also served St. James from 1887-1900, during which time many of the physical improvements mentioned took place, and great spiritual progress was noted in the congregation. The Rev. William H. Milton, D. D., Rector of the Parish from 1909-1936, and now Rector-Emeritus, was one of the original members of the National Council of the Episcopal Church, and first head of its Field Department. Under his rectorship St. James assumed a position of National prominence and leadership in the church. It became known as a great missionary parish, was one of the first to demonstrate the value of the Every Member Canvass, and organized one of the first Parish Councils, which are becoming regular features of Episcopal Church organization.
Since the construction of the present church, Dr. Armand John deRosset, Sr., distinguished physician and citizen of Wilmington, was for the whole space of his long and useful life an ardent worker andST. JAMES CHURCH—ERECTED 1839
benefactor of St. James Church. He was Senior Warden and was succeeded as Senior Warden, by his son, Dr. Armand John deRosset, Jr., who, in turn, was succeeded by his son, Col. William L. deRosset. Then, in the following order, the Senior Wardens were Clayton Giles, Thomas Davis Meares and our present worthy Senior Warden, John Victor Grainger.
Those of the original church are many and distinguished churchmen but a correct list is not obtainable.
Every year hundreds of visitors come to St. James graveyard to see the graves of Cornelius Harnett, Revolutionary patriot and signer of the Declaration of Independence, and of Thomas Godfrey, author of the first drama ever written by a native American and produced upon the professional stage in the United States.
COLONIAL ST. JAMES CHURCH
St. James Church contains many objects of artistic and historical, as well as religious interest. Among these should be mentioned the massive carved reredos and altar designed and executed by Silas McBee, the tombs of Bishop Atkinson and Bishop Strange under the Chancel of the church, and marked by brass Maltese Crosses, the Memorial tablets to the Rev. Dr. Empie, the Rev. Dr. Drane, and members of the deRosset family, and the picture of Christ, Ecce Homo, captured from one of the pirate vessels that attacked the colony in 1748, and presented to St. James Church by the Governor, Council and Assembly of the colony.
Closely connected with the history of Wilmington from its founding to the present day, St. James Church is one of the most interesting landmarks and shrines of the city.
New Church 1839
NEARLY one hundred years ago, when the mode of travel was by horse and buggy, upon roads narrow, deep in sand through dense forests, at a distance of about ten miles from the then village town of Wilmington you reached the Eastern shores of the Sound waters. Invigorating, cool and bracing were the ocean breezes, with their healing aroma of salt air. Many families made at this inviting spot their summer homes—free from the poisonous mosquito and other summer pestilance. A journey of greater distance was prohibitive.
Many large and beautiful estates were built along the Sound waters, by the rich and the well-to-do. Here where gayety, happiness and hospitality reigned supreme upon the relaxation of soul and body a realization presented itself—a place of worship must be provided and consecrated to the glory of God.
A distinguished son of Wilmington, Judge Joshua Grainger Wright, accompanied by his young bride, and seeking the beauties of nature in their honeymooning came upon a spot where there were beautiful cedars, surrounded with stately oaks, with festoons of Spanish moss dangling in the cool air, near the waters of Bradley's Creek; a site sublime in nature's colors. She exclaimed in excitement: “Oh! Cedar of Lebanon.” Soon a structure was built to the glory of God, and was named “Lebanon Chapel.”
In 1835 St. James Parish erected the little church as a mission, during the rectorship of Rev. Thos. F. Davis. Services were held by Mr. Davis and Lay Leaders. In the enclosure was a burying ground, where several prominent citizens are interred, the care of which is sacredly preserved.
The march of time has created many changes. The influx of increased population, improved highways, sea-side resorts, farming enterprises, all have created the need of a more and modern church edifice. Lebanon Chapel ceased its services and is now under the custody of Mrs. Henry Walters. Surrounded as it is by her beautiful gardens known throughout America, it is a most beautiful retirement to the memory of a noble and God loving generation.ST. ANDREWS ON THE SOUND
Built upon a site of land given to the Diocese of North Carolina, and which was originally part of the William B. Giles estate. The vision of a new and modern house of worship, together with a cemetery, has come to light in this beautiful church. It is now a regular organized parish, with its Rector, the Rev. J. P. Malone, in charge.
An increasing population in this section has filled a long awaited opportunity, and this church now enjoys an increasing membership with most energetic and interested followers, led largely by that Christian gentleman, Mr. T. E. Beale, as their Senior Warden. Mr. Beale has stressed great importance on creating a Sunday School as the most essential part of religious training.
“Teach them the right path a Christian must follow, or become as a flock of lost souls, without a shepherd to lead them. Teach them to love and obey our Saviour and follow Him with certain faith, that they may live soberly and righteously in this present world and in the world to come, for such is the Kingdom of God.”
ST. ANDREWS ON THE SOUND
SAINT Paul's Parish had its beginning with Bishop Thomas Atkinson. The Bishop felt the need of an Episcopal Church, “where the pews would be free, there would be a night service, and strangers welcome.”
“On May 5, 1858 the following named persons met for the purpose of forming the Congregation of Saint Paul's Church, Wilmington,—Messrs. William A. Beery, William B. Whitehead, William J. Cornwall, Thomas H. Howey, Samuel P. Gause, Daniel Fergus, Mrs. Josepha G. Atkinson, Mrs. Jane R. Fleming, Mrs. D. A. Cornwall, Mrs. S. P. Gause, Mrs. E. D. Whitehead.” (From an old register in Bishop Atkinson's handwriting).
The first Saint Paul's Church stood on the corner of Fourth and Orange Streets. The property was purchased from the Protestant Methodist Church in 1858.
The first Vestry meeting was held in the church June 9, 1858. Those present, with the Bishop as Chairman, were Mr. Zebulon Latimer, Mr. S. P. Gause, Mr. Daniel Fergus, Mr. Frederick J. Moore, and Mr. DuBrutz Cutler. At this meeting the Bishop said he would serve the church until a minister could be secured.
In 1859 the Rev. Daniel Morelle (Deacon) of Goldsboro moved to Wilmington, and under the Bishop took charge of the Parish, which had been received into the Diocese of North Carolina at the Convention held in Goldsboro on May 7th this same year.
The first Rector, the Rev. Henry Skinner, was called in the summer of 1861. He only served a few months when Mr. Morelle again took charge of the work.
The church was closed indefinitely in 1862, partly on account of the war, and partly on account of the epidemic of Yellow Fever which prevailed during the outcome of that year. At this time the communicants numbered thirty-four whites and sixteen colored.
When the city was occupied by the Northern Army, the church building was used for a few months as a colored school. For a short time afterward it was used by the congregation of Saint James as their church building had been seized and used for a hospital.
Again in 1865 the General Convention of the Freedman's Commission maintained in this building a school for colored children, numbering between two and three hundred.
Between the years 1866-1869 it was used as a negro mission, supported by the congregations of Saint James, Saint John's, and Saint Paul's.
In 1872 the Vestry re-opened the church for whites, and the Rev. Thomas Ambler of the Diocese of Virginia became Rector of the Parish.
The church building was remodelled and enlarged, and the services continued here, under the rectorships of the Rev. C. L. Arnold, the Rev. F. N. Skinner, the Rev. Milton Barber, the Rev. W. T. Dickinson, and the Rev. A. W. Seabrease, until Bishop Robert Strange asked the Vestry to move the church to the eastern part of the city on Market Street, to meet the demands of the growing suburbs.
A lot on the corner of Sixteenth and Market Streets was purchased and the present brick church was built.
The first Vestry meeting in the new church was held on the fourth of March, 1914 with the following members present: Messrs. George O. Gaylord, J. Haughton James, J. H. Hinton, Van R. C. King, R. H. Northrop, J. Van B. Metts, and J. L. Hazelhurst.
The first Rector of the Parish in its new location, the Rev. Mr. Moody, served only a few months. Succeeding him, the Rev. Eugene De F. Heald served from 1914-1916, the Rev. D. L. Gwathney from 1916-1919, the Rev. Ambler M. Blackford from 1919-1921.
The present Rector, the Rev. Alexander Miller, began his ministry in December 1921. In 1925 plans were made “for the erection of such buildings as would more adequately meet the needs of the Parish in this rapidly growing section of the city.” The Building Program included a new church building, a Parish House, and a Rectory. During the years 1927-28 the present $60,000 Parish House was built and furnished. Mr. C. Van Leuven served as treasurer of the Parish House Building Fund. The Parish House was designated as a memorial to the late Bishop Robert Strange, second Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina. The second unit in the Building Program, a Rectory, was completed in 1936. It is hoped the church building will be built in the not too distant future.
Mr. William B. Campbell, the present Senior Warden, Mr. Joseph H. Hinton, and Mr. J. Haughton James, members of the Vestry, have served the Parish continuously since its removal to its present location in 1914. These together with Messrs. T. J. Baird, Junior Warden, C. L. Myers, Clerk, F. R. King, Treasurer, W. O. S. Sutherland, J. Max Gregg, Bonner H. Thomason, J. M. Davis, B. W. Dunham, and J. E. L. Wade constitute the present Vestry. The Parish numbers more than three hundred communicants.
ST. PAUL'S P. E. CHURCH
THE old mansion, which was purchased by the North Carolina Society of Colonial Dames of America for a stated consideration of $21,000, will be restored by the Society as nearly as possible to conform with its original state, and it will be transformed into a national shrine and used by the Society as its State Headquarters.
Much historic interest is attached to the old dwelling because of the fact that when General Lord Cornwallis and his crippled army came from the gory field of Guilford courthouse battle to Wilmington he selected it as his headquarters as it was the handsomest residence in the town. Also because late in April, 1781, when his army was somewhat recuperated, he left this peaceful retreat, and proceeded to his final defeat at Yorktown.
The article by the late Mr. Bellamy is as follows:
OLD WRIGHT HOME
Market and Third Streets
WILMINGTON, N. C.,
By JOHN D. BELLAMY, Jr.
(Dedicated to his wife, Mary Wright Giles.)
This old residence, the oldest known structure in Wilmington, is of particular historic interest as it was the headquarters during the Revolution of Lord Cornwallis and his military family and staff. This corner is comprised within the bounds of the John Watson (Whatson) grant which covers a large portion of the present City of Wilmington. Watson conveyed the corner to Michael Higgins (who with Watson and Joshua Grainger, ancestor of Wrights, were the founders of Wilmington).
Higgins conveyed the site to Mary Gallant, Mary Gallant conveyed to James Smallwood, James Smallwood conveyed to Benj. Burleigh, Burleigh conveyed the same to the Justices of the Court of New Hanover County for a gaol (jail) on July 4, 1744.
This is the first record of a jail in New Hanover County. The jail was standing on a lot a short distance west of Third Street in 1769, according to a map of Wilmington in the British Museum, a copy of which I have. However, it is probable that it was removed or abandoned about this time as there is a deed on our records dated April 2, 1771, from Thomas Clarke (father of Mrs. William Hooper) to John Burgwin for lot 13, old plan of Wilmington, which is thereon located on west side of Third Street between Market and Dock, and comprises the back part of the Wright property, and is described as “the lot between the one owned by Mrs. Jean Du Bois and the dwelling house of John Burgwin. This would place the Burgwin dwelling at that time on the corner and on or partly on the jail site.
The present residence was built by John Burgwin, and prior to the Revolution was his home. Upon the outbreak of hostilities or shortly before, Burgwin went to England ostensibly on a visit, and while over there “broke his leg,” and this calamity prevented his return to this country.
After Burgwin's departure the dwelling was occupied by Joshua Wright and his family—whether Judge Wright took possession at the time as a tenant, or had purchased the property, or agreed to purchase it, is not known; the latter is probably correct, and as Burgwin was absent for a number of years the judge was delayed in getting his deed until April 10, 1799.
It was the home of Judge Wright until his death and remained in the family until after the Civil War, when it became the property of Wm. H. H. McRary, and after his death the property of his widow, and upon her decease the home and property of Miss Rowe Wiggins, the sister of Mrs. McRary, until Miss Wiggins’ death in the early fall of 1930.
Some very interesting events connected with this historic home have been transmitted from generation to generation in the Wright family. On April 7, 1781, while the Wrights were occupying this house, Lord Cornwallis, on his return from Guilford courthouse, arrived in Wilmington and selected this residence as headquarters for himself and his staff.
The Wrights remained in the house and parts were selected for the accommodation of the British officers. Some of the latter, young in years, were quite attentive to the younger female members of the family, who drank tea with them under the crab apple tree that still stands in the front yard.
One young officer and a young lady of the family became warm friends and the officer with a diamond ring engraved their initials on a window pane that remained for many years thereafter. During the 1890's, Mrs. C. M. Stedman (Katherine deR. Wright) upon returning from a European trip met a young Englishman who stated that one of his ancestors was an officer on Cornwallis staff, and told her of the initials on the pane of glass which was found with the initials thereon.
The deed to Judge Wright for the property recites a consideration of 3,500 “Spanish Milled Dollars.” The size of the property was 146 feet on Market Street and 198 feet deep.
On the county records can be found what was laid out and designated as “Prison Bounds” in connection with this gaol. In those days the law provided that individuals could be imprisoned for debt, and
these, together with certain other classes of prisoners were often designated as “prison bound.” This meant that during the day they were permitted to exercise and recreate within certain limits or bounds around the jail, and these limits when legally designated were called “prison bounds.” Many people during the period and for many years thereafter, people who had met with misfortune and could not pay their debts, were imprisoned.
An interesting episode occurred with this period. In 1780 the town of Wilmington became one of the Military posts of the British Army in America. During their stay here the property of St. James Church suffered every kind of violation.
We speak of the original St. James Church which had its inception in 1751, but it appears that nineteen years elapsed before completion, 1770. (See illustration in section on St. James Parish.)
The enclosure of the Graveyard (still in existence) was removed and burned, while the church itself was stripped of its pews and other
THE COLONIAL MANSION AS IT APPEARED 1865
furniture, then converted into a hospital for the sick of the British Army, then into a Blockhouse for defense against the Americans, finally into a Riding School for the Dragoons of Tarleton.
As illustrated in conjunction with Lord Cornwallis’ Headquarters.
Previous to the occupation of the city of Wilmington by the United States Army in February, 1865, during the War Between the States, the seizure of the church by General Joseph R. Hawley, U. S. A., and the demand for the keys by Maj. General Scofield for use as a military hospital resulting in the removal of the pews, etc. The Rector, Rev. Alfred A. Watson, was ordered by the military authorities to use the prayer for the President of the United States, omitting the prayer for the President of the Confederacy. This Dr. Watson refused to do with the explanation that he had no canonical authority, as he would, by its use make himself a party to the infringement of the Liberty of the Church to direct its own worship.
THE COLONIAL MANSION OF TODAY, 1938
LORD CORNWALLIS’ HEADQUARTERS IN 1781FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
First Presbyterian Church, Second Edifice
The First Presbyterian Church, of Wilmington, was organized in 1817, but that was not, by any means, the beginning of the denomination in the town. Its adherents formed a considerable part of the community life, and the establishment of the church was the natural outgrowth of the love of the Scotch Presbyterians for their ancestral faith. The tide of Scotch immigration for three quarters of a century had poured through the port of Wilmington. Presbyterians from elsewhere also made their home in the town.
As early as 1740, however, there were well established Presbyterian churches in the Black River and Goshen Grove sections of the nearby territory. They were composed of settlers who had come through the port of Wilmington. And Wilmington was their market town.
Certainly in Wilmington there were frequent gatherings of Presbyterians for worship. Ministers of the denomination conducted these services. Among them was the Rev. Hugh McAden, of Pennsylvania, who preached in the courthouse on February 15, 1756, and on the same day the next year; and, since he was engaged in regular ministerial duties in the surrounding district, he must many times have held other services in the metropolis, Wilmington.
The early Presbyterians brought with them to the town their traditional interest in education; and, therefore, there came in 1760 a teacher versed in the classics to instruct their children and others. He was the Rev. James Tate, who was also in later years to have a prominent part in the revolutionary struggles of the colony. Naturally he was called upon for occasional duties as a minister of the Gospel. There was likewise the Rev. William Bingham, a Presbyterian minister, who opened a classical school in Wilmington in 1785. He was later to move his institution to the central part of the state.
In this connection, it might be stated that the leading church interest in colonial and revolutionary days was the Established Church of England, which generally discouraged the establishment of other institutions of religious worship. This was, in colonial days, in accordance with its sense of loyalty to the crown. However, when the time drew near for the formation of a Presbyterian church, the Protestant Episcopal church, succeeding the British establishment, generously offered its facilities to the Presbyterian group for worship.
On April 4, 1817, the Presbytery of Fayetteville received “a paper containing an authenticated copy of the deliberative proceedings of a large and respectable number of citizens of Wilmington who convened for the purpose of forming themselves into a Presbyterian congregation.” Order was thereupon taken to organize the congregation into the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington. This was done, and the Rev. Colin McIver was assigned to the care of the church as Stated Supply.
Steps were then under way for the erection of a house of worship on an elevated lot on the east side of Front Street between Dock and Orange. The cornerstone of the building was laid on May 19, 1818. In the meantime the congregation worshiped in St. James Protestant Episcopal church on Market Street near Fourth.
Succeeding Mr. McIver, the Rev. Artemus Boies, a young licentiate, was ordained and installed the first regular pastor on May 12, 1819. In that same year, i. e., on November 3, 1819, the church structure was destroyed by fire, and the congregation thus suffered a severe shock to their ardor in maintaining the worship of the Lord according to their denominational order and doctrine. Nevertheless their spirits promptly revived, and they were ready again to construct a church. The second building, on the same site, was handsomer and more commodious than the first. It was to stand until it should also meet an end by fire on April 13, 1859.
Upon the destruction of the church in 1819, the congregation was again offered the use of St. James Episcopal church, with which many of their friends and fellow-citizens were connected. The cornerstone of the new structure was laid in 1820 and the building completed in 1821. It was an occasion of great rejoicing when the members were once again able to occupy their own church. The commanding location and beautiful lines of the structure were a subject of affectionate pride with the people.
The ministry of Mr. Boies was for a brief period of about three years, when he accepted a call to serve a church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was succeeded by the Rev. Leonard E. Lathrop, a young minister from Connecticut, who was installed in January, 1823, and whose pastorate was marked by a refreshing spiritual renewal which came at its beginning. A large number of new members were received into the church during his first year. His health soon failed, however, and he was followed by the Rev. Noel Robertson, of New York City. He also was a young man of delicate health, and his pastorate continued for one year only. He returned North to die, his death occurring when he was but 22 years of age. Then came the Rev. Thomas P. Hunt, who was installed pastor on May 13, 1832. His pastorate was also one of brief duration, for he was appointed an agent for special work in Fayetteville Presbytery, with which the Wilmington church was then connected. He resigned in June, 1834.
These brief early pastorates evidently had a rather depressing effect on the congregation, and the church for several years afterwards seemed only financially able to provide for temporary pulpit supplies. Then it recovered its strength and grew in financial and spiritual ability.
The interior of the church was remodeled in 1847. The old “box pews,” with seats on three sides, were removed, and the high pulpit, which was reached by winding steps, was taken down.
The pastorate of the Rev. Matthew B. Grier, of the Presbytery of Baltimore, began in 1852, and, under his leadership, the church progressed
First Presbyterian Church, Third Edifice
Third and Orange
greatly. It was during his pastorate that the great nationwide revival of 1858 took place. The great spiritual awakening was first experienced in the First Presbyterian church, as the news came of its great stirrings in the North. The revival affected the churches
First Presbyterian Church, Present Edifice
Third and Orange
of all denominations in the city. They were greatly uplifted. One of the results which came to the Presbyterians was the sending forth of a colony of its members to be known as the Second Presbyterian church. For them a building was erected on Chestnut Street between Seventh and Eighth. The congregation was organized on November 21, 1858, and Rev. Martin McQueen was made their first supply pastor. After the War Between the States, i. e., in 1867, the Chestnut Street building was conveyed to the colored Presbyterians of the city, and the Second church acquired a lot on the corner of Fourth and Campbell Streets. Some years later the name of their organization was changed to St. Andrews Presbyterian church.
When the fire which destroyed the church came in 1859, there was no insurance carried on it; but it is said that, while the building was being consumed, a subscription was started for a new structure. In a short time a large sum was raised; and it was decided to procure a new site, which was done on the northeast corner of Third and Orange Streets, at a cost of $7,500; and the building which was promptly erected thereon cost about $20,000, which was considered a large amount in those days. It was dedicated on April 28, 1861. The congregation during the period of construction conducted worship in the city hall.
Notwithstanding a mutual devotion of pastor and people, Dr. Grier felt impelled to resign his pastorate at the beginning of the war. He left the city in June, 1861, going to his family connection in the North. He was a man of marked culture and held the love and confidence of the entire citizenship of Wilmington.
During the dark days of the war, there was no regular pastor of the church, but the Rev. Mr. McQueen (and the Rev. A. D. Hepburn, of the Second church) preached at stated times to the congregation. The Rev. Horace L. Singleton became pastor at the close of the war. He was called to the pastorate in November, 1865, and was installed May 6, 1866. During his pastorate the membership of the church numbered 172, and a debt remaining from the construction of the new church was canceled. Then came the Rev. A. F. Dickson.
It was on November 1, 1874, that the Rev. Joseph R. Wilson, D. D., was installed pastor. So great was his influence from the beginning of his pastorate, and so great was his preaching of the Gospel, that during the first year 56 members were added to the church. He was a scholarly minister, and had a widespread reputation as a preacher of unusual parts. He and his family were the centre of much cultural interest in the town.
Dr. Wilson's elder son, Thomas Woodrow, was a youth of marked dignity and poise, but with a sense of humor that sparkled often, as did that of his learned father. He was attending college at the time, but his vacations were spent in the manse of the church on the corner of Fourth and Orange Streets. The father predicted a great career for the son, who was destined to become Woodrow Wilson, President of Princeton University, Governor of New Jersey and President of the United States.
Dr. Wilson relinquished his pastorate on April 1, 1885, that he might fill the chair of Professor of Theology in Southwestern University. Clarksville, Tenn. His ministry of eleven years left a permanent
influence in the life of the church for larger things in the Kingdom of God.
In September, 1885, the Rev. Peyton H. Hoge, of Richmond, Va., was called to the pastorate. After much delay arrangements were made to install him on January 4, 1886. His ministry was fruitful to a large degree. During this pastorate Immanuel Presbyterian church, which had been a mission of the First church for several years, was organized, i. e., on November 8, 1895, its church structure having been built in 1890. Funds for the building and the maintenance of the work were mostly furnished by the First church. Rev. B. E. Wallace was made the first regular pastor of the organized church.
During Dr. Hoge's pastorate the church entered upon a career of considerable missionary activity. Home and foreign missionary enterprises were undertaken. A missionary society of young men of the church was formed to provide the support of Dr. Edgar Woods for his medical work in China. This was the real beginning of a large foreign missionary program which has distinguished the First church.
On August 2, 1895, Dr. George C. Worth and his wife, Mrs. Emma Chadbourn Worth, left as missionaries to China, representing their home church. They were to prove an ever-increasing blessing to their fellow members, as their constantly enlarging labors filled the hearts and minds of their friends back home with an ever-deepening missionary interest. The personal support of these two was provided by themselves, but large contributions were made to the salaries of other missionaries and native workers. Largely through Dr. Worth's influence the First church gradually developed a feeling of responsibility for the evangelization of Kiang-yin, China, and a large surrounding district, numbering more than a half million souls. Besides aid furnished the mission hospital, there were in the course of years to be constructed the James Sprunt Academy for boys and the Luola Murchison Sprunt
Memorial to Woodrow Wilson from the Daughters of the American Revolution Academy for girls at Kiang-yin. The latter two institutions, however, were to come during the pastorate of Dr. Hoge's successor, Dr. J. M. Wells.
Dr. Hoge's efficient ministry had a great influence, far and wide. He tendered his resignation as pastor in July, 1899, to accept a charge in Louisville, Kentucky. During the first half of 1898 he toured the Holy land, and in his absence his pulpit was supplied by the Rev. J. R. Wilson, D. D., who was then retired from regular work and who was enjoying the gracious peace of his sunset days among his old friends in Wilmington.
The Rev. J. M. Wells, Ph. D., coming from Staunton, Virginia, succeeded Dr. Hoge. He began his pastorate on February 23, 1901, destined to continue in a highly useful ministry for more than twenty years. He was a preacher of force and distinction, who, in addition to his work in his church, had a large part in organized efforts for the moral welfare of the community. During his pastorate the missionary undertakings of the church were greatly enlarged. In a few years it was supporting eleven missionaries, together with twenty-five native helpers, in its accepted territory in China, at Kiang-yin. In addition, Miss Jessie D. Hall went out from the church for work at Tsing-Kiang-Pu. She, however, was supported by the Jane Dalziel Sprunt Missionary Society composed of members of her family connection.
During Dr. Wells’ ministry there were also established three missions, or colonies, in the county roundabout, viz., Delgado Mills, Winter Park, Wrightsboro. Two of these have developed into organized Presbyterian churches. His pastorate closed on July 27, 1921, when he accepted the presidency of the Columbia Theological Seminary at Columbia, S. C. He left Wilmington (with added academic honors) much beloved and appreciated by the people of the city.
The Rev. A. D. P. Gilmour, D. D., pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg,
South Carolina, was called to succeed Dr. Wells. Accepting the call, he was installed on October 27, 1922, beginning a long and useful pastorate, in which many steps of progress have been taken in the life and growth of the church. These are a matter of current knowledge, for Dr. Gilmour is still pastor of the church (1937).
Late in the last night of the year 1925 the First church, which was dear to the hearts of so many members and friends, was consumed by flames. A large assembly of citizens gathered to see it end its existence with the final minutes of the year. This building had been adequately insured, and to the funds thus provided, large contributions were added, so that the congregation embarked on a building project to cost more than four hundred thousand dollars. The large and beautiful Gothic structure of stone which was erected was supplemented by a commodious building of handsome design and proportions for the use of the religious educational department of the church. Funds for the latter building were provided out of a legacy left by an honored ruling elder, James Sprunt, LL. D.
The cornerstone for the new church was laid on March 13, 1927, and the building dedicated on November 18 1928. The edifice, including the religious education structure, has few superiors in design and completeness. With the coming of the new facilities, the church took on renewed life, which still continues to the happiness of all who are connected with it.
The First Presbyterian church thus treasures a history which covers 120 years. It has sent out its lines of influence throughout the world; it has given seven of its sons to the Gospel ministry, and it is equipped to a rare degree for a great service in the future.
The Church of the Covenant, of Wilmington, has only a recent history. Its genesis was the offer of Dr. James Sprunt and his brother, William H. Sprunt, to donate a costly structure in the eastern section of the city to care for the large number of Presbyterians who had acquired residences there. The building is a family memorial. The church organization was perfected on January 6, 1918, and its membership consisted almost entirely of members of the older Presbyterian churches of the city. Having, therefore, from the beginning elders and deacons of experience, the church has enjoyed a very successful career from its organization. The first minister to fill the pulpit was the Rev. Marion S. Huske, who served for several months as stated supply, prior to going to Brazil as a missionary.
To the original building was added a large structure for religious education provided by Mrs. Jessie Kenan Wise in memory of her parents, the late Capt. William Rand Kenan, an honored elder of the First church, and Mrs. Mary H. Kenan.
Rev. J. Harry Whitmore, D. D., is the present pastor of the Church of the Covenant, having served since February 27, 1927.
The following interesting historical inscription is pasted in the front of the old, large pulpit Bible in the First Presbyterian Church:
“This Bible was purchased for sixteen dollars by Sidney Granger Cooke at Annapolis, Maryland, sometime between December 1864 and April 1865, from a Union soldier in the camp of prisoners of war who had been released under parole from Confederate prisons and were awaiting exchange. Lieutenant Cooke, then eighteen years of age, was himself awaiting exchange, and was in charge of two thousand men in the Camp. Long before his death he had forgotten, if he ever knew, the name of the man from whom he bought the Bible.
He enlisted in 1862, at the age of sixteen, in Company E, 147th New York Volunteer Infantry. He passed through the non-commissioned grades, was in the Chancellorsville campaign, and was wounded at Gettysburg, although not put out of action. He passed his examination for a commission in April, 1864. On the 5th of May, in the Battle of the Wilderness, he was shot through the head and left for dead within the Confederate lines. In after years Mr. Cooke often spoke of the consideration of the Confederate surgeon who gave first aid on his return to consciousness, and of the kindness of a Confederate Major, who, some weeks later, got a letter through the lines to his mother in New York state, where his death had been reported.
He was a prisoner of war at Andersonville, Millen and Savannah, Georgia, until December 1864, when he was paroled, and received his commission as Second Lieutenant. His exchange being completed, he rejoined his Regiment in April, 1865.
The Bible is returned to the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmington, North Carolina, April 20, 1928.”
(It was brought to Wilmington in person by Mr. and Mrs. Thornton Cooke, he being the son of Lt. Sidney Granger Cooke, and Mr. Cooke most graciously presented it to the congregation at Sunday morning worship).
THIS church, conceived in prayer, was brought forth in thankful acknowledgment of God's goodness and grace, following the great revival which swept this community in 1858. It was organized November 21, 1858 with fourteen charter members, as follows: James Blanks, John Colville, Mrs. John Colville, Cicero Craig, Mrs. Sarah Macomber, Mrs. Joseph McLaurin, James Price, Mrs. C. K. Price, Alexander Sprunt, Mrs. Alexander Sprunt, Mrs. Martha Erambert, John C. Latta, Miss Maria C. Latta, and John R. Latta. The First Presbyterian Church, as mother church, cordially cooperated in the organization and in securing the first house of worship. The first site selected was on Chestnut Street between 7th and 8th Streets. The first building erected still stands, is well preserved and regularly used by the First African Presbyterian Church to whom it was sold in February, 1867.
Organized as the Second Presbyterian Church, the name was changed to St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in 1888 when the congregation first occupied its present edifice. During its eighty years of remarkable service in this community this church has had but eight pastors. Rev. Martin McQueen served as Stated Supply from January 1859 to December 1863, when he resigned to enter the Confederate Army as Chaplain. During the strenuous days which followed the congregation worshiped again with the First Presbyterian Church. From 1870 to 1873 the congregation of the Second Church conducted a Sunday School and worshiped at Brooklyn Hall, a very modest building on North Fourth Street. Rev. H. D. Burr served as Stated Supply from 1870 to 1873. Under his leadership the present site on the southeastern corner of Fourth and Campbell Streets was secured and a building erected at a cost of $6,000. It was dedicated May 4th, 1873. Rev. C. M. Payne, M. D. (later D. D.), became the first regularly installed pastor serving from June 1874 to April 1884. Dr. Payne gave tone to the church and won the confidence and esteem of the city as well as the love of his congregation. Under his ministry the membership increased from 50 to 136. From December 1884 to December 1890 the church was served by Rev. John W. Primrose, D. D., who was an instructive preacher, a zealous pastor and decidedly evangelistic. The membership of the church materially increased under his ministry, and the present church edifice was erected in 1888.
In July 1891, the Rev. A. D. McClure, D. D., became pastor and had a glorious ministry of twenty-nine years with this congregation. For many years he was the best known and most beloved minister in southeastern Carolina. He ministered to all classes and to all races and under his gracious ministry the church enjoyed a remarkable growth in every way. Following Dr. McClure came Rev. J. E. Purcell, D. D., who served from October 1920 to December 1923. His relatively short pastorate was especially fruitful in reorganizing the church and directing its energies along new avenues. He did a splendid work among the men of the congregation. Rev. John L. Fairly, D. D., served the congregation from May 1924 to July 1929, especially developing the educational work of the church and its work among young people. The present pastor, Rev. Charlton H. Storey, D. D., began his labors with this congregation in October 1929 and the work has steadily gone forward. Each pastor has left the impress of his personality and ministry on the life and character of the church. The present membership is 675. The church now supports three foreign missionaries and maintains three mission Sunday Schools near Wilmington. Three of its young men have entered the gospel ministry and the church continues to render a most fruitful ministry in the Kingdom.
ST. ANDREWS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
WILLIAM H. SPRUNT, octogenarian and one of Wilmington's most distinguished Christion gentlemen, bears a unique relation to the life and history of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church. A son of Alexander Sprunt and Jane Dalziel Sprunt, charter members, he has himself been a member for more than sixty years, having served ten years as a Deacon and more than fifty years as a Ruling Elder and Clerk of the Session. He also served twenty-five years as Superintendent of the Sunday School and for past twenty-six years has been teacher of the W. H. S. Ladies Bible Class. A consistent tither from his youth, he has ever given
WILLIAM H. SPRUNT
liberal support to his church and other worthy causes. His earnest Christian character has been an inspiration and constant challenge to his associates in every sphere of life. A man of God and a friend of man his influence has been deeply felt in the life of the community. For thirty-seven years he has served as a member of the Board of Managers of the James Walker Memorial Hospital. In 1932 Davidson College awarded to Mr. Sprunt the Algenon Sydney Sullivan Medallion because the quality of his life was judged to be appropriate to receive this distinction awarded to give recognition and stimulus to high thought and noble endeavor.
ON March 1, 1865 a house was erected on Wooster Street between Fifth and Sixth on a lot donated by John A. Taylor, and a Sunday School was organized by the First Presbyterian church. The War Between the States interrupted this work and it was discontinued until November 19, 1867 and a new house was built to take the place of the one destroyed during the war. Again in 1871 the work was suspended.
About 1884 once more the Sunday School was organized by some young ladies of the Ladies’ Missionary Society, the meetings being held in some rented rooms near the old location. In the summer of 1886 the lot on Wooster Street was exchanged for the lot at Front and Queen Streets. A small house was erected for mission purposes, the session taking charge of the work and relieving the Ladies’ Missionary Society of the expense for the support of the work. January 1, 1888, J. M. Elder entered on his labors as lay missionary in this field. The Rev. W. McC. Miller became mission pastor of the work January 1, 1889.
In 1890 a building was erected at Front and Queen and a church organized under the name of Immanuel Church and the dedication service was held February 1, 1891. Mr. Miller gave up the work in 1893. The work continued, being supported by the First Church. The following men served this church, the most of them as stated supply: Rev. Geo. H. Cornelson, Rev. B. E. Wallace, Rev. P. C. Morton, Rev. E. E. Lane, Rev. J. C. Storey, Rev. C. W. Trawick. In May, 1904 Rev. J. S. Crowley began his labors as stated supply and continued until May, 1910. Beginning the latter part of May, Mr. D. T. Caldwell, a student of Union Theological Seminary, supplied for four months. November 12, 1916, Rev. T. P. Allen, of Clarksburg, W. Va., was extended a call to become pastor, he accepted the call and began work December, 1916. He continued as pastor until January 22, 1918. June 1, 1918 Rev. D. T. Caldwell began his labors as part time pastor and continued until September 8, 1918 when he was called for his full time. This being the first time that this church was able to successfully support its own pastor. The church grew under his ministry and its influence is being felt for good in the southern section of the city. The membership was 301, elders 6 and deacons 16 in 1920.
“The Boy's Brigade” had its beginning in the late Col. Walker Taylor's Sunday School class at Immanuel. Their “armory” was in the basement of the old church for many years. The first public playground in Wilmington, well equipped and supervised, was under the auspices of Immanuel. For fifteen years, through the generosity of Dr. James Sprunt, in memory of his only daughter, it provided pleasure, instruction, and wholesome exercise to the hundreds of children in that vicinity.
In the spring of 1920, the work having grown to such proportions it was determined to move the church to a more central location.
From the beginning of its service the Immanuel Church had endeavored to minister to the people south of Castle Street, and in the meantime, the center of population had shifted from Front and Queen Streets farther south and east, so it was decided to buy a lot on the corner of Fifth and Meares Streets for the site of the new church.
The congregation bought the lot, and Mr. James Sprunt contributed the funds for the construction and equipment of the church and the manse.
The present church was dedicated Feb. 12, 1922, during the pastorate of Rev. D. T. Caldwell. He resigned in 1925, and in the same year Rev. J. T. Pharr accepted the pastorate.
In 1929, upon his resignation, the congregation called Rev. P. Cary Adams who served until July 1934 when he resigned to become President of the Presbyterian Junior College for Men at Maxton.
In December of that year, Rev. F. S. Johnston became pastor. Under his able leadership, and the blessing of God, Immanuel Church is going forward in the Master's work.
The result of this is before us. The colonial brick church, complete in every detail as a house of worship with a modern Sunday School plant in which the several departments are provided for by separate rooms with most approved equipment; the session room, ladies’ parlor, girls’ clubroom, Boy Scout room and kitchen. A steam heating plant serves the entire building in all its ramifications. The rich mellowtoned Austin organ provides the music and presents an artistic front which completes in a satisfying manner the interior of the beautiful auditorium.
Immanuel Church is one of the most attractive and valuable buildings in the city and scarce has its equal in the state. The manse which is built of the same material has been furnished in keeping with the architecture. The grounds between the two buildings and around both structures are planted and embellished and this makes this part of Wilmington a garden spot of loveliness. The value of the influence of this center of spiritual life cannot be estimated, but there is no physical equipment lacking to make it a powerful center for teaching and training.
The total cost of the property including the church and manse is about $150,000, $5,200 was paid by the congregation for the lot upon which the church stands and the value of the old buildings. With this exception the whole plant is the gift of the late ruling elder James Sprunt of the First Presbyterian Church, who spared no pains to make it a worthy place for the worship of God, and an attractive church home for the people of the community.
The present church building was dedicated Feb. 12, 1922. Rev. Peyton Hoge, D. D., presented the building in behalf of Dr. James Sprunt. Rev. W. D. Moss stated the purpose of the gift. Rev. D. T. Caldwell accepted the gift in behalf of the congregation. Rev. W. L. Lingle preached from Matt. 16:18. Rev. J. M. Wells, D. D., made the dedication prayer.THE CHURCH OF THE COVENANT
CHURCH OF THE COVENANT
THE Church of the Covenant (Presbyterian), corner of Market and Fifteenth Streets, was dedicated to the glory and service of God, and its organization completed, on Sunday evening, January 6th, 1918.
The church building was given by Messrs. James Sprunt and William H. Sprunt to the honored memory of their parents, Alexander Sprunt and Jane Dalziel Sprunt.
The membership of the church when organized was 118, of these 65 were transferred from the First Presbyterian Church, 39 from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, and the remaining from Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Delgado Presbyterian Church, and elsewhere. The membership is now 500.
One week prior to the formal organization of the church the Sunday School had held its first session, Sunday, December 30th, 1917, with an enrollment of 91 members. Within a few weeks this number was doubled.
The manse adjoining the church was built a few years later by Dr. James Sprunt.
In 1921 Mrs. Jessie Kenan Wise gave the Sunday School building in loving memory of her parents, Colonel and Mrs. William Rand Kenan. This building served the needs of the growing Church School and also for the Church Offices. Some years later Mrs. Wise added a large addition to the Sunday School building to care for the increasing needs. The Church School now has a membership of 400 and is fully organized on the departmental plan.
The first pastor of the Church of the Covenant was Rev. Marion S. Huske, who served for some years as stated supply until he went to the foreign mission field in Brazil. He was followed by the Rev. J. Oscar Mann, the first regular pastor of the church, whose ministry lasted over eight years. The present pastor is the Rev. J. Harry Whitmore, D. D.
The church celebrated its twentieth anniversary on January 8th, 1938.
KENAN MEMORIAL BUILDING
FOR many years the most distinguished Baptist minister of North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte, N. C., February 8, 1832. His father, the Rev. Joseph Price Pritchard, was the son of Benjamin Pritchard, a merchant of Charleston, S. C., and his mother was Eliza Hunter Henderson, a daughter of Dr. Samuel Henderson, a descendant of the Martin and Henderson families, who played such a conspicuous part in the early history of the State. Her grandmother, Jane Martin, wife of Col. Thomas Henderson, was the sister of Alexander Martin, who was six times Governor of North Carolina, the only man who ever distinguished himself with the honor over such a long period, except Governor Zebulon B. Vance.
Richard Henderson, an ante-Revolutionary judge, figured in the “War of the Regulators” and sent Daniel Boone, of historical fame, to Kentucky and purchased that State from the Indians. Of the Hendersons, another brother, Col. Thomas Henderson, and William, commanded with distinguished gallantry, Sumter's Brigade at the battle of Eutaw Springs; still another brother, Major Pleasant Henderson of Chapel Hill was for forty years clerk of the House of Commons of North Carolina without asking a single vote. Judge Richard Henderson was Chief Justice of North Carolina. He died in 1833. Archibald of Salisbury was Congressman from his district and refused an offer as Supreme Court Judge.
Dr. Thomas Henderson Pritchard was prepared for college at Mocksville, N. C., by the Rev. Baxter Clegg, a Methodist preacher. His schoolmates were Judge Victor C. Barringer, who attained high honor in Egypt, Col. R. I. Dodge, U. S. A., Rev. S. M. Frost, D. D., and Rev. H. T. Hudson, D. D.
The son of poor parents, yet he worked his way through college and graduated from Wake Forest College in 1854, delivering the valedictory. Traveling for a year as representative of Wake Forest, he was ordained as pastor of the Baptist Church at Hertford, November, 1855. Continuing for several years as pastor, he at last met his college debts. Feeling he must seek greater theological training he entered the University of Virginia.
Dr. Pritchard held many responsible positions, and probably dedicated more churches, and preached at the ordination of more ministers than any of the preachers of the Baptist faith during his life's period. Some of his pastorates were at Hertford, N. C., Fredericksburg, Va., Franklin Square, Baltimore, Md., Petersburg, Va., Broadway Church, Louisville, Ky., First Church, Raleigh, N. C., First Church, Wilmington, N. C. At Raleigh he gave his longest service, being twice pastor for nearly fourteen years; at Wilmington he served the church for nine years in his own great way. Before coming to Wilmington he was President of Wake Forest College, Chairman of the Board of Missions in the State seven years, and Associate Editor of the Biblical Recorder. During his pastorate at Wilmington 483 members were added to his church. He resigned his pastorate October 9, effective January 1, 1893.
Other outstanding accomplishments of this outstanding man among Southern Baptists: A trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary for twenty-two years; a trustee of the State University. In 1872 he was one of a committee with Senator Joseph E. Brown of Georgia, Dr. J. L. Burrus of Virginia, Dr. Boyce of South Carolina and three others to locate the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and upon the recommendation of this committee it was moved from Greenville, S. C., to Louisville, Ky. In 1874 he preached the opening sermon of the Southern Baptist Convention in Charleston, S. C. 1888 he represented his church in the World's Missionary Conference in London, England, and in 1891 he was appointed with Drs. T. T. Eaton, F. M. Ellis, H. H. Harris and I. T. Tiechner on a committee to arrange for the Centennial of Modern Missions in 1892.
Dr. Pritchard was a man of strong physique, fond of the outdoors, hunting, etc., where the pure fresh air was essential to reinforce his strength to carry on his ardent duties. Of a genial disposition and cheerful, he took much interest in young people.
At the age of thirty-six he received the Doctorate of Divinity from the State University of North Carolina in 1868.
Dr. Pritchard married Miss Fannie G. Brinson, of New Bern, N. C., in 1858, who survived him for a period of years, passing to a better world where faith and fortitude proved her teachings to a bible class of eighty-four young men, who looked upon her as their guardian angel. Her husband's life was brightened with her aid in his endeavor to save souls.
Five children were born of their union, three sons and two daughters, Dr. William B., though under thirty, a lecturer in the New York Polyclinic, a writer and authority on nervous diseases; Mrs. A. D. Jenkins, with a genius for music inherited from her ancestors on both sides, the Hendersons and Sasses.
We subjoin a sketch of the character of Dr. Pritchard as expressed by his friend, Rev. H. W. Battle:
A noted writer has said: “The heart is the standard of man.” Measured by this standard Thomas Henderson Pritchard is surely one of the manliest of men. His sensibilities are exquisitely refined, and all his impulses pay court to honor. A close observer may discover in each individual some secret clue to the character, more reliable than popular estimate or public act. If the individual be accustomed to expressing his deep convictions, for the purpose of influencing public sentiment, his words—such is the subtle union between words and principles—may be accepted as the magic key to reveal the very sacristy of his nature. The writer soon after meeting Dr. Pritchard observed one word he often used, always with unconscious accentuation, and that word subsequently blended its tender strength with each line in the mind's picture of the man: That word was “Gentle-man.”
Nature, as well as early associations, did much for Dr. Pritchard, as all good stars shone at his natal hour. A splendid physique, a noble heart, brimming with kindly sympathies and joyest life, and a brilliant intellect, filled the measure of heaven's royal largess * * * . As a preacher we find a fidelity to evangelical truth—which never faltered, with a personal devotion to God and man that throbs like a heart-beat in every sentence.
He returned to the home of his birth, Charlotte, North Carolina, at the call of those who had learned of their distinguished son, and became renowned as a preacher with all the essentials that are convincing to win souls as true believers in a loving God. He was gentle, refined, and had a magnanimous influence over the strong and the weak.
Dr. Pritchard was called to become Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charlotte, N. C., January 1, 1893, and remained as their beloved pastor until date of his death, May 23, 1896. So beloved was he, his memory never ceased, and as a loving memorial the Pritchard Memorial Baptist Church was constructed by his devoted flock, November 17, 1901. It is recognized as one of the handsomest church edifices in North Carolina.
Thus was a “Gentle-man” immortalized.
THOMAS HENDERSON PRITCHARD, D. D.
A PREVIOUS history of the First Baptist Church was published at its 125th Anniversary, giving a complete sketch of its history and the accomplishments of its various Pastors, as well as a resume of the growth and development of the church under each Pastor, hence we realize that a repetition of the history is unnecessary, as the late Dr. Kester has supplied the need, so completely. The following sketch tells of the life and the interest displayed by the beloved deceased pastor, Rev. J. Marcus Kester, who rendered such loving and Christian service to his entire congregation, from 1924-1936—when he received his summons to join the “Saints in heaven above.”REV. J. A. FOSTER, D. D.
As is recalled, Dr. Foster served our church from 1909 to 1915—resigning to accept the Presidency of the Bessie Tift College of Forsyth, Ga.
Let's recall the wonderful results of his administration.
With such an excellent leader and such capable assistants, the church made great progress along all lines. There were improvements both material and spiritual. During the first four years of Dr. Foster's pastorate there were 787 additions to the church and mission points of the church, an average of 186 per year. In the same time the church contributed a total of $49,995.22 to the work locally and to missions and benevolence. The $5,000 debt on the church was wiped out, and granolithic sidewalks placed around the church, a primary room built in the basement, four classrooms in the gallery, the vestibule floor tiled, the roof re-covered with slate, an organ motor installed, and hymn racks and hymn boards secured, under the leadership of Dr. Foster. Also during this time, in 1914, the marble baptistry, the gift of Mr. John R. Hanby and his brother, Dr. Joseph D. Hanby, was built in.
In addition to all these improvements and accomplishments in the local church, the Winter Park Church was started in 1913, and the house at Delgado, which later became the Gibson Avenue Church, was erected.
The church prospered greatly under the wise leadership of Dr. Foster. Consequently it was a source of great regret when he resigned to take effect on August 1, 1915. Recognizing the hand of God, however, in the call, the church accepted his resignation.
The remembrance of this great Christian leader lingered in the minds of his beloved parishioners. In February, Dr. Foster was extended a call to return to his old church to release Dr. Kester during his critical illness from which he never recovered.
He continued his charge, until October 7th, 1936, when he was elected by the church as their Pastor Emeritus, serving as pastor until the church called the Rev. Sankey L. Blanton, who now presides as pastor of the First Church, assisted by Dr. Foster as occasion requires.
Dr. Blanton, while a young minister, possessed with the vigor of life and ambition, has already shown his aptitude and ability to successfully carry on the work to the Glory of God.
The following tribute to the lamented Dr. Kester it is hoped will ever keep fresh his memory in the minds of those who followed his leadership and teachings in the true Faith as commanded by Christ.DR. JOHN MARCUS KESTER
Dr. John Marcus Kester became pastor September 1, 1924. One year previous to this over one hundred members withdrew to enter into the organization of the Temple Church, in the eastern part of the city where a church was much needed. This took away many of the most loyal and efficient members.
The church had an indebtedness of nearly sixty thousand dollars. Dr. Kester took steps at once to provide for a gradual liquidation of this indebtedness. In January 1925 he inaugurated the quarterly Thank Offering which was to be applied to the paying of the indebtedness and, by April 1930, the church was free of debt. Without any high pressure methods the church had paid on the debt an average of nearly twelve thousand dollars a year.
On Oct. 12, 1930, a pastor's home was purchased at a cost of thirteen thousand dollars. The last payment on this was made in 1936.
Dr. Kester had a passion for souls. During his pastorate the church averaged more than one hundred additions per year and while it is eighteenth in size of membership in the state, it attained second place in size of contributions to the cooperative program.
The pulpit was his throne. He never stood before his congregation without thorough preparation in head and heart. He was better in prayer than in preaching. He was better in living than in prayer or preaching.
On Feb. 23, 1936, he was carried to the hospital. There was no hope from the first that he would get well. People of every denomination in this city prayed for his recovery. All over North Carolina and in several other states special prayers were offered in his behalf.
On April 1, 1936, he passed into the presence of his Saviour. “He walked with God and was not for God took him.”
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
A number of years before Masonboro Baptist Church was organized there was a small Baptist church at Federal Point. No doubt it was from this and from some of the churches in Wilmington that the first members of the present organization came. Among the charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. John Hewlett, Mrs. Nellie and Ellen Curtis, Comfort Johnson, Annie Wilson, Serena Hewlett, Rebekah Beasley, Catherine Farrow, Annie Walton, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Hewlett, Mrs. John J. Wagner, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thorpe.
The church was named after the community in which it is located, which in turn, was so named because it was here that the first Masonic Lodge in North Carolina was located.
The organization was founded in 1856, about a decade before there was any house of worship. During this time services were held at the home of Captain John Hewlett, located in sight of the spot where the present building stands. For many years this pious Christian man invited different ministers to preach, and on Sunday mornings when there was no preacher the people would come for a prayer service.
In the summer and fall of 1867 the first church building was erected, and Dr. (M. D., not D. D.) Elwell was called as pastor. In a short time he began a revival meeting, with Dr. Reperton doing the preaching. It was at this meeting that the first person, Mrs. Sarah Hewlett, went forward on profession of faith, followed by Mr. Alonzo Hewlett, her husband, Mrs. Kate Hewlett, Miss Maria Hewlett, and Miss Jane Johnson. These, along with others, were baptized the following March.
Some of the early pastors were: Paul Reperton, John Paul Leonard, John B. Barlow, A. O. Edwards, W. S. Kennedy, G. P. Best, Daniel Kelly, John Beasley, and M. C. Walton. During these early pastorates Sunday services were conducted once a month, always with a service on Saturday before.
Beginning in 1891 the pastors were: S. D. Swain, M. C. Walton, W. S. Ballard, J. A. Smith, O. J. Peterson, J. A. Martin, A. C. Chafin, E. J. Harrell, O. N. Marshall, James Clark, J. L. Shinn, Bunyan Boney, R. J. Hall, John A. Neilson, and R. H. Satterfield.
As far as our records show, the church clerks were as follows: George Hewlett, John J. Wagner, B. S. Montford, Addison Hewlett, Elijah Walton, J. D. Orrell, George D. Farrow, L. W. Porter, Carey Walton, and R. J. Hollis.
For thirty years, beginning soon after the church building was erected, Elijah Hewlett was Superintendent of Sunday School. Following him were B. S. Montford, J. P. Herring, R. J. Padrick, Addison Hewlett, E. I. McGowan, Ben Hollis, P. K. Montford, R. J. Hollis, and Carey Walton.
In her history, Masonboro Baptist Church has produced four ministers: James Mintz, John Beasley, M. C. Walton, and R. H. Hewlett.
At present the church occupies a Brick Veneer Building constructed in 1927 and valued at $7,500.00, including the lot. Has a membership of 218, a Sunday School with 120 members, a B. Y. P. U., and a Woman's Missionary Society. At a recent business meeting the church voted to go from quarter to half time service. With these added services and with more personal work in the community, the church should go forward in a great way.
With this brief retrospect, and this glance at the present, we turn our face to the future with high hope. There is a general feeling that the Masonboro Baptist Church is on the threshold of a great new era of growth in the Kingdom Building Program of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. We face our task with faith, hope and joy.
MASONBORO BAPTIST CHURCH
THE Calvary Baptist Church, formerly the Brooklyn Baptist Church, was organized April 4, 1886. The first meeting place was the hall above the store building, at that time used by J. H. Rehder & Company. Later, the church purchased the site at the southeast corner of Fourth and Brunswick Streets. This place was known as Brooklyn Hall, and the church became known as the Brooklyn Hall Baptist Church. On August 12, 1906, the church dedicated a commodious frame building, which replaced the unsatisfactory hall in which the church was carrying on its work.
At the beginning, there were just twelve members; but these were of the stock that knows no failure; and from an humble beginning, the congregation through many varied experiences has grown until now it numbers 1,350.
Rev. G. M. Tolson was the first pastor, Mr. Nelson Jenkins was church clerk, and Mr. Z. E. Murrell was treasurer. The charter members were: Mr. Daniel Yates, Mrs. Mary Yates, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Walton, Mr. Samuel L. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Taylor, Mr. Z. E. Murrell, Mr. Nelson Jenkins, Mrs. Jenkins, Mr. Gaston M. Murrell, and Rev. G. M. Tolson.
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Revs. G. M. Tolson, A. A. Scruggs, and J. T. Jenkins were the pastors until March 25, 1894. The following have been pastors to the present time: Rev. R. E. Peele, 1894; Rev. J. W. Kramer, 1895-1898; Rev. J. J. Payseur, 1899-1902; Rev. J. L. Vipperman, 1902-1904; Rev. J. A. McKaughhan, 1904-1907; Rev. C. F. Whitlock, 1907-1911; Rev. J. A. Sullivan, 1911—.
In 1916, the church purchased the Morton property, adjoining the church building on the south, recently vacated by the B. C. Moore Drug Company. In 1919, improvements and additions to the property began. The old frame building was brick veneored; a Sunday School annex was built; a two story classroom building; and a large well arranged and convenient pastorium. The total cost of the improvements was $55,000.00.
Calvary Church has always stood for the best interests of the community; and could always be counted on to take its share of the responsibility, in all matters, civic and religious. It has always emphasized evangelism, which in part accounts for its rapid growth.
The church has paid special attention to the training of its young people; and has as a result sent a surprising number of young men into the ministry. At present, there are seven ordained ministers of the Gospel in its membership.
REV. J. A. SULLIVAN
THE Southside Baptist Church is located in the southern section of the city, on the northwest corner of South Fifth and Wooster Streets. The First Baptist Church conducted a mission on South Sixth Street for a number of years. This work was finally abandoned, and later a similar work was commenced at South Fifth and Wooster Streets. This mission work resulted in the organization of the Southside Church in 1894, with 32 charter members. There are only three of this number living at the present time (1937), viz., J. H. Curtis, J. S. Potter, and Mrs. R. B. Moore.
Since the organization of the church 43 years ago, the following twelve pastors have served the congregation: J. B. Harrell, J. P. Farrington, John Utley, J. B. Paul, Roy Herring, W. H. Davis, G. A. Martin, W. G. Hall, R. P. Walker, J. T. Byrum, L. R. O'Brian, and Jno. F. Warren. These twelve pastors served the congregation in fourteen pastorates. Rev. W. G. Hall served twice as pastor. The present pastor, Rev. Jno. F. Warren, is also serving his second pastorate. Rev. R. P. Walker died on the field after serving about nine months as pastor.
When the church was organized, the congregation worshipped in a wooden structure, on the corner of South Fifth and Wooster Streets. This has been replaced by a modern brick edifice. The church also owns a modern pastorium, located at 718 South Fifth Street, adjacent to the house of worship. The Sunday School is departmentalized and graded with an enrollment of about 700. The membership of the church has grown from 32 in 1894, to 921 in 1937. The annual budget of the congregation is about $10,000.
Southside is not one of the old historic congregations, but it has grown so rapidly that it is one of the leading churches in the city of Wilmington. With the rapid growth of Carolina Beach, and the consequent increase in the population of the southern section of the city, it is certain that Southside has a greater opportunity than at any time in the past. The motto of the congregation is:—“The Gospel Church.” The church and pastor stand for and preach:—“Jesus Christ, crucified, resurrected, ascended, and coming again.”
SOUTHSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH
THE congregation of St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral was originally the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, whose founder and first pastor, the Reverend Thomas Murphy, (1845-1864), was the first priest to be regularly stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina.
When Father Murphy was appointed pastor on Jan. 1, 1845, there were only two score Catholics in the city. They had rented a small room on the second floor of a building located on the north side of Market Street between Second and Third, and had used it as a chapel for religious services conducted by lay leaders, who had been appointed by Bishop England.
Father Murphy endeared himself from the start with his little band of parishioners, most of whom were possessed of meagre means, but a few of them were outstanding citizens and endowed with leadership, learning and social prominence.
This genial, wholesouled Irish priest had been in Wilmington only ten months when, on Nov. 1, 1845, a church-site, located on the southern side of Dock Street, between Second and Third, was purchased for $797, in the names of Dr. William Berry, Bernard Baxter and Catherine McRay.
Plans for the Gothic church that was to be named St. Thomas, the Apostle, were furnished free of charge by Major Nearnsie, the architect, who designed the North Carolina State House in Raleigh. The cornerstone was laid on May 28, 1846, by the Right Reverend I. A. Reynolds, D. D., Bishop of the See of Charleston, and successor to the late Bishop England. The church was dedicated on July 18, 1847.
Father Murphy was one of the heroes of the Yellow Fever epidemic, which, in September and October, 1862, decimated Wilmington's 3,000 population by 555 souls. Thirty-nine members of his congregation died during the plague, between August 13 and October 27, 1862.
The Rev. James A. Corcoran, D. D., the first native born South Carolinian to be ordained to the priesthood, succeeded to Father Murphy's pastorate.
Dr. Corcoran conducted the funeral for Mrs. Rose O'Neil Greenhow, formerly one of the South's noted spies, who was drowned September 30, 1864 while she was returning to Wilmington from a secret mission abroad on behalf of the Confederacy.
On June 27, 1891, Reverend Christopher Dennen came here to succeed the Rev. Patrick Moore as pastor of Wilmington's Catholic congregation.
As Father Dennen continued as pastor of St. Thomas, he realized more and more that his congregation needed a larger edifice, because the number of Catholics in Wilmington had increased. On January 12, 1905, or just about fifteen years after his arrival, Father Dennen called a congregational meeting, which was held in the church. A building committee was appointed as follows: Martin O'Brien, Timothy Donlan, Michael J. Corbett, and Morrison W. Devine, whose father had been an intimate friend of Bishop Gibbons.
The Rev. Patrick Marion of Asheville, N. C., an intimate friend of Father Dennen, acted as superintendent of construction of the now edifice which was completed in April, 1912, and dedicated April 28, 1912, under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and named St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral and the old St. Thomas Church in the meantime had been sold and now used as a place of worship for the Catholic negroes of Wilmington.
Forty years after the departure of Bishop Gibbons from Wilmington, James Cardinal Gibbons returned to the city on April 28, 1912, to dedicate the large and handsome Pro-Cathedral, under the patronage of St. Mary, as a place of divine worship for the Catholics of Wilmington, who for sixty-five years previously had worshipped God in St. Thomas, the Apostle, Church.
On Nov. 13, 1916, the Rev. Christopher Dennen celebrated the twenty-fifth (silver) Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood, and on Nov. 21, 1923, he and his classmate at St. Vincent's Seminary, Lathrobe, Penn., Peter G. Marion, were elevated to the rank of Monsignor.
Monsignor Dennen, who for years was dean of the Catholic clergy in North Carolina, retired from active duty in July, 1935, and became Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary's Church, which ceased to be designated as a Pro-Cathedral when the Diocese of Raleigh was established. He was succeeded as rector of St. Mary's by the Rev. James A. Manley, who for several years had been an assistant of St. Mary's Church.
Father Manley, a young and vigorous priest, a retired U. S. Army Chaplain, who performed distinguished services as a chaplain in the American Expeditionary Forces in France during the World War, and who was wounded while on active duty in the front line trenches, had the honor of leading the K. of C. Convoy into Germany with Conde Pallen, Jr., after the Armistice. He was commander of Wilmington Post No. 10, American Legion, when the Post acted as host during the convention of North Carolina Department of the American Legion here in Wilmington in 1933, and also served as a delegate to the National Convention of the American Legion in Chicago, in the same year. Father Manley was elected Departmental Chaplain of the North Carolina Department Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U. S., at its encampment in Columbia, S. C., in May, 1936.THE BUILDING
The plans for St. Mary's were drawn by Raphael Guastivino, Sr. He died before his ideas could be fully executed. His son carried out his father's will.
Ground was broken for the new church on May 20, 1908, and the first brick was placed the twentieth of November of the same year.
The laying of the cornerstone by Bishop Haid was held Thursday. 3 p. m., October 21, 1909, and the building was completed and dedicated April 28, 1912.
The Church is a finished architectural beauty, being cruciform, and of the Spanish Renaissance style of architecture, and is one of the handsomest edifices in the entire South. The structure is not only a source of pride to the members of the congregation, but it serves as a magnificent sacred ornament for the city of Wilmington.
St. Mary's dominant characteristics are beauty, solidity, utility, and above all, it is expressive of the “Faith” which finds its expression in the Cathedral of Seville and Burgos in Spain, a soil and climate kissed with balmy sunshine like unto that of Southern clime. The architect has well won reputation for the originality and grandeur of his design. The massive dome which towers into lofty space rests on unique support.
It would be difficult to devise a plan more harmanious than that with which the new church is built. The ample and ornate of the Spanish or Moorish Renaissance is strikingly shown in every detail as the best endeavors of that style are spent so as to make a church worthy of the sublime and holy title of “House of God.” A commanding view can be had from the altar of every inch of the sacred edifice. No columns or pillars mar the beauty of the stately interior. It is fireproof and owing to the glazed bricks which encase the walls, it saves the costly item of decorative painting. Not a single nail is used in construction of the building. Varigated and chaste tiling is used in the embellishment of its altars and mural decorations. So much so that the use of the tiles in such a multiplicity of ways, offered the solution of a hard problem to all interested in the adornment of churches and public buildings.
The solid granite and artistic brick walls rise gracefully. Its furniture is varied, ornamental and in keeping with the rigid requirements of the “Roman Rite.”
The organ was built especially for the church, and partially paid for by Mr. Andrew Carnegie, the steel-king.
The side chapels are a considerable relief in the outlines of the sides of the building. The ribbed brickwork displays the delicacy and artistic skill of the workmen, and brings back the mind to centuries long past.
The windows made by Franz Meyer, Munich, Germany, are of exquisite beauty and grace. They bring out in bold relief on the walls of this magnificent building, such scenes as the Nativity and Adoration by the Magi, the Changing of Water Into Wine, the Love Christ had for Children, the Resurrection, the Apparition, and the Ascension of our Lord, the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Heaven, the Death of St. Joseph, the Blessing of Augustine by Gregory the Great, before going to England, St. Patrick at Tara's Hill, and St. Christopher; while the windows in the Sacred Heart and St. Anthony chapels hang like large paintings depicting the Sacred Heart, the Blessed Virgin, the Guardian Angel, St. Anne, St. John the Divine, and St. Anthony. Openings over the main altar picture many of the archangels. Directly over the choir loft a window displaying the scene of the Ascension allows the rising sun in early springtime to diffuse its rays over the tabernacle on the high altar.
We read of the marvels of architecture in books of travel, but it is the pleasure of every citizen of Wilmington without distinction of creed or class to point with civic pride to a building in their own city that rears its twin towers and massive walls with as classic a grace as any center, not alone of the Southern States, but in the entire country. The grandeur of the undertaking is revealed by its simplicity, a mark always found in things exquisite.
ST. MARY'S PRO-CATHEDRAL
WITH no attempt at a detailed history of the Methodist denominations in Wilmington, we give only an outline for the enlightment of the youth of today. The memory of this old and beloved House of God still lingers in many minds. Since the lapse of 50 years, many have passed beyond, yet a few are still with us who recall the following incidents. Others know only from tradition.
Just after a Sunday service on February 21st, 1886, a terrible conflagration was brewing. Soon the tongues of fire ignited the belfry, despite the efforts of the fire department and others, and it soon became a mass of flames. Thus was doomed that beloved Church of God, Front Street Methodist Church.
Without a place of worship, the sympathy of the community leaned towards this strickened congregation. With faith, and faith alone, in our dear Lord who would find a way, for He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts, looking down with compassion He ordained that a Temple of Israel would supply the needs of those who follow Him. With gracious thanks was accepted the use of the Jewish Temple for worship for a period of two years.
FRONT STREET METHODIST CHURCH
M. E. CHURCH
Without facility in their efforts in providing a house of worship of their own, a lot was purchased on the northeast corner of Fourth and Mulberry Streets. A new and modern structure was erected and dedicated October, 1887, and named Grace Methodist Church. The city of Wilmington changed the name of the street to that of Grace in honor of the church.
Grace Methodist Church is the direct descendant of Old Front Street Church, which was founded by William Meredith in 1799, hence the mother of Methodists in Wilmington.
The body of Mr. Meredith reposed for many years under the front porch of the old church, but now lies under the pulpit of Grace Church. A tablet marks his resting place. This was placed July 21, 1927, during the pastorate of the Rev. W. A. Cade.
The new church was under construction during the pastorate of Rev. Walter S. Creasy, D. D.
The Methodists in Wilmington have made wonderful achievements, Grace is one of the leading churches of the state and a beautiful structure. Many eminent Methodist divines have been among her pastors. Some have been advanced to bishops; others have gone from her fold to labor in foreign fields. Miss Ida Hawkins, a member of this congregation, is now a missionary in Korea.
The growth of Wilmington has met its needs for more spiritual blessings in the additions of Fifth Avenue Church, organized in 1847, now enlarged; and Epworth and Trinity, erected 1898, a beautiful structure, modeled after her mother church, Old Front Street Church.
REV. WALTER S. CREASY, D. D.
TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH is situated at 14th and Market Streets, and is the nearest Methodist Church to the residential suburb of the City.
In 1889, Methodists from Grace and Fifth Avenue Churches organized a Sunday School in Giblem Lodge at 8th and Princess Streets. Later, those in the Sunday School who were in favor of a permanent organization, had an organization meeting at a cottage on South 9th Street. The following were present: W. J. Perry, Philip Thomas, L. B. Kingsbury, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Craig, Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Beery, Mr. and Mrs. T. T. Seeders, Mr. and Mrs. L. A. Bilbro, Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Sneeden and Mr. and Mrs. E. V. McKenzie.
They leased a vacant lot at South 9th and Meadow Streets, and completed the chapel in 1891. It was then called the Market Street Methodist Mission. The building committee was W. J. Penny, R. H. Beery and E. F. Johnson. Rev. J. W. Craig, a local preacher, was in charge until Conference, when Rev. E. C. Sell was appointed.
The following three years, Rev. M. T. Plyler was appointed and the congregation, having outgrown the chapel, bought the lot at the northeast corner of 9th and Market Streets, and moved the chapel there, when it was named Trinity. The following ministers have served Trinity: Rev. T. H. Sutton, 1896-1897; Rev. A. S. Barnes, 1898-1899; Rev. J. W. Potter, 1900-1903; Rev. A. B. Holton, 1904; Rev. J. M. Culbreath, 1905; Rev. D. J. Duryea, 1906—½ year; Rev. W. L. Rexford, 1906-1909.
During the pastorate of Mr. Rexford it was decided to build a new Sunday School building, and a committee composed of R. H. Beery, chairman; E. F. Johnson and E. V. McKenzie was appointed to proceed with the work.
This building, completed in 1906, served the congregation under the pastorates of Rev. E. R. Welch, 1910; Rev. E. C. Sell, 1911-1912; Rev. C. T. Rogers, 1913; Rev. W. L. Rexford, 1914.
During the pastorate of Rev. W. V. McRae (1915-May, 1918) it was decided to relocate the church farther east on Market Street. In 1916 the present lot was secured. The following building committee was appointed: E. L. Matthews, chairman; J. W. Brooks, E. L. Price, J. S. Williams, E. M. Dewey, E. V. McKenzie. The finance committee was Robert Rouark, chairman; J. W. Brooks, E. Y. Davis, C. E. Bethea, E. L. Matthews, W. P. McGlaughon and H. E. O'Keef.
The building program was largely carried on during the pastorate of Rev. V. P. Scoville, (June 1918-1921). The church was opened for service and the pipe-organ was installed and dedicated during the ministry of Rev. H. C. Smith (1922-1925).
The following ministers have since served the new church: Rev. L. D. Hayman, 1926; Rev. W. R. Royal, 1927-1930; Rev. L. C. Larkin, 1931-1933; Rev. A. P. Brantley, 1934-1935; during his ministry art glass windows were put in the auditorium. Rev. Walter Patten, 1935-1937; Rev. R. L. Jerome, 1937- —.
TRINITY METHODIST CHURCH
WILLIAM LORD DEROSSET was the eldest son of Dr. Armand J. deRosset, and his wife, Eliza Jane Lord deRosset, and was born in Wilmington, October 27, 1832. He was educated at St. Timothy's Hall, Catonsville, Md., and at St. James’ College near Hagerstown, Md. His transcendent belief in the character of the youth was very marked, for his influence among his youthful classmates was very fruitful in his teachings as to what was their duty to attain a true religious faith. At the University of North Carolina, he was a member of the class of 1853. Among his classmates were men, who in later years became noted leaders and professional men, winning the respect and admiration of all who knew them and included such distinguished citizens as Col. John D. Taylor, Du Brutz Cutler, Esq., Davd G. Worth, Col. K. M. Murchison, Walker Meares and Col. A. M. Waddell, all of whom held high rank in the councils of the state, and in its defense. All were the flower of Wilmington's young men, and are now passed to a better world, but to live in the hearts of those we love is not to die. By the light of their lofty deeds and kindly virtues, memory gazes back into the past and is content; by the light of Revelation, hope looks beyond the grave into the bright day of immortality and is happy.
Possessing a decided genius for mechanics, he determined on leaving college to master that trade, and accordingly he entered as an apprentice in the Lawrence machine shops in Massachusetts, but, after working there some time as a machinist and mechanical engineer, found the climate too severe for him, and returned to Wilmington, where he helped to establish the Clarendon Iron Works. Later he was employed in the large commission house of deRosset & Brown, of which firm he became a member in 1860.
He was an enthusiast in military affairs, and in 1855 was made a lieutenant of the Wilmington Light Infantry, and in 1856 was made captain, in which capacity he served until the beginning of the War Between the States. Upon the fall of Fort Sumter he was ordered, with his company, to Fort Caswell, at which he mounted the first gun, and several weeks after to Confederate Point (where Fort Fisher afterwards stood), where they mounted guns and did duty for some time. Because of their experience, discipline and grit, nearly all the members of that company became commissioned officers in various commands within six months.
In a very short time, May 10, 1861, Captain deRosset was appointed major and assigned to the Third Regiment, of which his brother-in-law, Colonel Gaston Meares was commander. Promoted to lieutenant-colonel of that regiment in 1862, he went through the seven days of battle around Richmond, and upon the death of Colonel Meares, in the battle of Malvern Hill, succeeded to the command of the regiment. In that capacity, he served through the whole campaign of 1862 up to Sharpsburg, where he was desperately wounded through the lower part of his body and disabled for further active service. In that fight he carried into action 520 men, of whom 330 were killed and wounded, including 23 out of 27 officers, of whom seven were killed or died of wounds. His disability being permanent, he resigned in 1863, but was appointed by President Davis in January, 1865, Colonel in the Invalid Corps, P. A. C. S., and surrendered with Johnston's army near Greensboro.
With that spirit of a true and brave soldier, he gave up his arms in defense of the cause that he believed was right; while he never paroled, he loyally obeyed the command of his superiors, laying aside all bitter feeling and uniting with the remnant of his comrades in building up his home and State. Never ceasing in his faith that the cause he fought for was right, he honored and respected any true soldier, whether a comrade or a foe, and it was his pleasure to pin his Confederate button upon the lapel of that brave and generous soldier of the North, the late General Curtis, upon the occasion of the reunion of the Blue and the Grey survivors of Fort Fisher. Thus he showed that he loved a true and brave soldier.
In 1865, upon the return home of the survivors of the Third North Carolina Regiment, an association of the commissioned officers was formed under the title of the Third North Carolina Infantry Association, of which Colonel deRosset was made president for life, being the senior officer, this being the first organization of veterans on either side. Annual meetings were held on May 16th each year. Later privates of various companies of the regiment were admitted, and in order to perpetuate the association, the Sons of Veterans were admitted as associate members. None of the original members are now living. All have answered the last reveille.
After the war Colonel deRosset joined his father in organizing the firm of deRosset & Co., in continuation of their old business, until 1881, when he became superintendent of agencies, and afterward secretary and treasurer of the Navassa Guano Company, in which latter position he remained for 39 years until compelled by ill health to give it up. He was successively commander of Cape Fear Camp Confederate Veterans, and from 1894 to 1896 major general of the North Carolina Division U. C. V., and attended several reunions, during which he served on important committees.
He was president of the Chamber of Commerce in 1872, president of the Cape Fear Agricultural Association in 1870, Master of Orient Lodge of Masons in 1886, and was alderman of the city of Wilmington at one time. His strict adherence to his duties, his promptitude, his systematic methods, his strict integrity in all his transactions were his notable characteristics.
He was always prominent in church matters, having been a life-long communicant, a vestryman and senior warden of St. James Church, a member of the standing committee of the Diocese of East Carolina and North Carolina, and later treasurer of the Diocese of East Carolina.
It is eulogy enough to say that in every one of these positions, military and civil, he was faithful, honorable, brave and true.
In 1854 Colonel deRosset married Caroline Horatio Nelson, by whom he had two children, the eldest of whom died in infancy, the other Mr. W. L. deRosset, who is still a resident of Wilmington. In 1865 he married a second time, Elizabeth S. Nash, of Hillsboro, and six children blessed their union.
It is recalled that the deRosset family was represented on the vestry of St. James’ Church for 150 years, and Colonel deRosset served in this capacity for a number of years, and was senior warden in the church, and upon its walls is a bronze tablet of the deRosset family. Colonel deRosset was a gentleman of high character, frank and manly in his intercourse with the world, sincere and upright in all of his actions, and a worthy representative of one of the oldest and most prominent families of the lower Cape Fear.
COL. WILLIAM LORD DEROSSET
C. S. A.
ONE of North Carolina's most prominent and constructive citizens. A loyal defender of the Southern Cause. Entered as a private in Company D, 1st Battalion, Heavy Artillery in 1863. He was at Fort Fisher until its fall to the Federal forces, with their 58 war ships, transports, etc., and a force of 10,000 well equipped men, against a small contingent of 1,500 men ill equipped and half starved. Not a victory, this small but valiant force of men were simply over-powered. Mr. McQueen was wounded and made prisoner at the fall of the Fort.
He settled in Wilmington in 1866, entering in business with Petteway & Moore, commission merchants, following a connection with the great firm of Murchison & Co. Served two terms as President of the Produce Exchange.
At the formation of Wilmington's Board of Audit and Finance he was chosen as its chairman. Here he exercised his knowledge and experience in financial matters, thereby serving the tax payers in a most creditable manner, reducing the rate of interest by 2%, and keeping a watchful care over all city expenditures.
Was President of the Murchison National Bank, 1899. President of the Peoples Savings Bank & Trust Co., from 1900 until 1915, then advanced as Chairman Board of Directors, continuing until his death Oct. 31, 1935. His service as a banker continued for 42 years.
Was Director, Carolina Insurance Co.; Security Life & Trust Co., Winston-Salem; Atlantic Coast Line R. R. Co.; Chairman Board of Navigation Cape Fear River; and was American Red Cross's most devoted Chairman. As a devout Presbyterian and honorable citizen, has he not set an example for us all to emulate?
H. C. McQUEEN
C. S. A.
THE Wilmington Light Infantry at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War volunteered their services to the State of North Carolina as a part of her quota, under the command of Donald MacRae as their Captain, and was so commissioned by the U. S. Government.
On April 27, 1898 the company was ordered to proceed to Raleigh, N. C., for assignment, with an enlistment of 106 men, as required. After two months training in camp, orders were issued for the Battalion to report at St. Simons Island off the coast of Georgia. The company remained in their camp, under military instructions and training, for service when needed.
The short duration, and resulting victory of the American forces, caused many disappointments to the men of the army as they volunteered to give their all in the defense of their country.
Peace was declared and the company was mustered out at Wilmington September 30, 1898. All honor to them.
CAPT. DONALD MacRAE
Wilmington Light Infantry
The U. S. Monitor Nantucket was commissioned for duty in the Spanish-American War. After repairs, and necessary subsistance was ordered to proceed to Port Royal, S. C., leaving Wilmington, N. C., May 10th, 1898.
The Nantucket was an old Monitor of the United States Navy which saw service in the War Between the States, 1861-1865. The monitor was not called upon for fighting, more as a defense and training ship for the Naval Reserves, afterwards became a part of the United States Navy.
List of officers and crew of the Nantucket:
Captain, Geo. L. Morton; 1st Lieut., H. H. McIlhenny; 2nd Lieut., Wm. M. Atkinson; Ensign, H. L. Miller; 2nd Lieut., R. H. McKoy; Ensign, Coleman; Lieut. and Navigator, T. M. Morse; Chief Engineer, Walter Furlong; Paymaster, W. C. Jones.
Chief Cook—Tom Trent.
Chief Petty Officers: W. H. C. Hodges, John W. Cotton, Jr., J. S. Williams, L. L. Corbett, H. N. Parsley, W. A. Vick, Jr., J. J. Furlong, Joe Zendka, Chas. Lindquist, Robt. B. Morse, W. T. Taylor, H. G. McFarland.
Mess No. 2, Petty Officers—First Class: F. S. Burr, C. E. Gause, John Maunder, Jr., C. A. Steed, Geo. R. Penny, A. H. Dicksey, Thomas W. Barr, D. D. Barber, J. A. Pearce, M. L. Skipper, J. M. Loftin, J. A. White.
Mess No. 3, Petty Officers—Second Class: H. N. Latham, H. B. Peschau, H. B. Williams, J. W. Robinson, A. T. Piver, E. S. Burriss, Frank Williams, J. E. Holton, W. E. Dosher, A. M. Parker, Jr., L. K. DeVaney, J. S. Lane, John G. Marshall.
Mess No. 4, Petty Officers—Third Class: J. B. Clements, Jas. Sorsby, W. M. Wiley, A. M. Williams, C. S. Lewis, W. S. Bernard, W. A. Campbell, Jas. Sinclair, L. G. Hancock, A. F. Gibson, J. E. Platt, T. A. Whitney.
Mess No. 5: J. E. Cowell, J. S. Davis, J. R. Chestnut, R. J. Sellars, Z. E. Lumbey, A. A. Hergenrother, A. G. Redd, W. F. Lumley, J. H. Newbury, F. A. Mathew. Mess Attendant: S. M. McNabb, Oscar Bogwell, E. Fulcher.
Mess No. 6, Firemen—1st Class: T. Neff, Jas. Sullivan, Chas. Smith, I. K. Pinner; 2nd class—W. E. Watson, E. W. Branch, J. B. King (Coal Passer), Robt. M. Cain, J. T. Williams, W. C. Capps, W. Paul, W. H. Styron, Jr., D. B. Branch, (Mess Attendant), John Paul.
Colored Boys: T. Holmes, Simon Richardson, Dave Clearney, Griffith Allen, Robt. Thomas, John Meyers, Chas. Martin, Billy Simmons, Joe Maulder, Greasey Bryant.
August 29th, 1898, at 17 minutes after 10 o'clock the pennant was hauled down from the U. S. S. Nantucket at Port Royal, S. C.
Orders for disbandment were issued and the officers and crew returned to Wilmington, N. C., arriving September 1898, and were mustered out of service. The citizens received the returning naval contingent with hearty welcome. The Nantucket was left at Port Royal.
THE Wilmington Race Revolution, November 10th, 1898, was the direct result of ill advice given negroes by unprincipled white Republican leaders. This scurrilous influence, supplemented with recognition given negroes through minor political offices such as magistrates, police duties, etc., had made the darkies impudent, and insolent. The situation finally developed to the point where white women and children were being insulted, pushed off the sidewalks into gutters.
The racial break came at the time mentioned above. As a result, within 48 hours, it resulted in the white race asserting itself and regaining entire and absolute control of the municipal and county governments.
The conflict was the direct outcome of the general causes outlined in the opening paragraph. The principal and motivating final cause, combined with the general insolence and overbearing attitude of the negro race, following bad counsel which they received and followed, was a diabolical and defamatory editorial. This appeared in a negro daily owned and edited by a contemptible negro named F. L. Manly.
This defamatory editorial was as follows, published under date of August 18, 1898:
“Poor white men are careless in the matter of protecting their women. Especially on the farms. They are careless of their conduct toward them. Our experience among poor white people in the country teaches us that women of that race are not more particular in the matter of clandestine meetings with colored men than the white men with colored women. Meetings of this kind go on for some time until the woman's infatuation or the man's boldness, bring attention to them, and the man is lynched for rape. Every negro lynched is called ‘a big, burly black brute.’ In fact, many of those who have been thus dealt with had white men for their fathers, and were not only not ‘black’ and ‘burly,’ but were sufficiently attractive for white girls of culture and refinement to fall in love with them, as is very well known to all.”
As indicated, the above defamatory editorial brought the situation to a climax. The result was that within less than 48 hours (when the break came about a month following publication of the editorial) the white men of the city rose in their wrath and indignation. They overthrew the then existing radical, Republican Government and drove the majority of the negroes’ white leaders from the city.
In a review of this nature, brevity, as a matter of course, is essential. For this reason, only the high spots which led to a restoration in Wilmington, of a white man's government for white people, can be set forth.
While the cumulative causes had resulted from a number of years’ misgovernment in the State, the county, and the city, the fact is that for a year previous to the break, the white men of Wilmington realized that they had to band together to protect their homes. Colonel Roger Moore, a brave and distinguished officer of the Confederate Army in command of the Third North Carolina Cavalry, by popular acclaim had been placed in entire charge by his fellow citizens. They had confidence in his integrity, his coolness and discretion as a leader. Capt. Walter G. MacRae and Dr. J. E. Matthews were selected as Lieutenants.
Under Colonel Moore's guidance the entire city was zoned and sectioned. Each city block was patrolled throughout the night, for twelve months or more, prior to the break.
One can well imagine the indignation and burning resentment which followed publication of the infamous editorial in the negro daily. Within the first week of November, 1898, in the state election, the Republican regime was swept out of power. Democracy again reigned supreme. The determined campaign waged in New Hanover County had been largely instrumental in influencing other sections of the State.
On the morning of November 9th, 1898 a mass meeting of white citizens was called in the court house of New Hanover County. Colonel Alfred Moore Waddell who had represented this District in Congress, was called to the chair. A lengthy set of resolutions was read and adopted.
The gist of these resolutions was approval of the fact that a white man's government had been restored in the State, and that it was the determination of the citizens present to have a similar form of Government in Wilmington, to succeed the disreputable “carpet bag” regime which had disgraced the city over a period of years. The chief feature of the resolution was an ultimatum to the negro editor Manly, declaring his banishment from the city within a period of 24 hours.
A citizens committee of 25 was appointed at the mass meeting to carry out the spirit of the resolutions. This committee held an organization meeting during the afternoon. In the meantime they had called a number of negro citizens, who were assumed to be leaders of their race, into conference. To this delegation of negroes was given the ultimatum about Manly's banishment. A reply within twelve hours was demanded. Failure to receive such a reply, it was declared, would be followed with definite action by the white citizens. The reply was demanded by 7:00 A. M., of November 10th, 1898, presumably by hand, from the negro delegation. It appeared that an answer was drafted by the negroes, but supposedly, was placed in the mails.
The morning of November 10th, 1898 in Wilmington, was characterized with a tense nervousness, which indicated subsequent startling developments. It was generally known that the reply which had been expected from the negro committee had not been received. Shortly after daybreak, Colonel Moore and his divisional leaders had taken their assigned positions in different parts of the city, where they remained until developments required their presence elsewhere.
About 10:00 A. M., a crowd gathered at the Wilmington Light Infantry Armory on Market Street. Colonel Waddell was present. In response to suggestions from members of the crowd he led the assemblage to the neighborhood where the negro paper was published. This
building caught fire soon after the arrival of the crowd. Many joined in the statement that the fire resulted accidentally. In any event the building was practically destroyed, the blaze, at the same time wiping out of existence the negro sheet which had carried the editorial defaming and traducing the white women of the South.
When reports of the fire were received in the business district, considerable excitement prevailed. At the corner of Front and Walnut Streets, a large crowd of negro laborers, who were employed at the nearby cotton compresses, gathered. These colored people were not intent on making trouble. The fact is, the belief was expressed that few, if any, were armed. They were, rather, in a state of bewilderment, wondering what had happened, and what might eventuate.
Colonel Roger Moore, as stated above, was in command of the entire situation. While controlling the assembled citizens at Front and Walnut Streets, Colonel Moore was harassed by two or three excitable, white men. They told him, in effect, if he did not give the order to fire into the negroes on the opposite corner, that they would do so. Without losing his head, but with calmness and determination, Colonel Moore responded to these hot heads. He said he had been placed in command by his fellow citizens. Until they recalled him he intended to remain in command. He said there was no occasion at this time for bloodshed and he certainly had no intention of having bewildered negroes slain in cold blood.
With this announcement Colonel Moore told the several men who were commanding him to give the order to fire, that he would allow them exactly one minute in which to take their place in the ranks. If they did not comply immediately, then he would have them arrested and placed in jail until they cooled off. These men clearly perceived that Colonel Moore meant exactly what he said. They then lost no time in obeying his command.
The actual outbreak, resulting in loss of life, happened in the northern section of the city, early in the afternoon. A negro fired into a crowd of white men, standing near the corner of Fourth and Harnett Streets. One white man was seriously wounded. Later, another was shot and painfully hurt. During the turbulence and conflict which resulted, it was estimated that from seven to ten negroes were killed.
Realizing that the aid of military forces was essential, appeal had been made to the Governor for declaration of martial law. In the late afternoon, this step was taken. Several companies of soldiers from nearby points were ordered to Wilmington. Colonel Walker Taylor, of the National Guard, was then placed in command. With this step, the organized citizens forces which had been functioning on a quiet basis for a year or more under the direction of Colonel Moore, disbanded. There was no further need for their services. Colonel Taylor was a man of discretion and good judgment, and the situation within 48 hours was so much quieter, that the visiting troops were ordered home.
Many negroes who were frightened to the point of distraction with the turn of events, went to the woods near the city. They thought their lives were in jeopardy. One of the last orders given by Colonel Moore before his authority was vested in Colonel Taylor, was to a number of white men. He told them to go in the woods, tell the negroes they could safely return to their homes, if they behaved themselves, and that they would be protected.
Within three days the resignations of both colored and white city officials (representing the scum of the radical Republican rule), had been forced. Colonel A. M. Waddell was chosen Mayor, and an entirely new board of aldermen elected. Under this change of administration, municipal affairs were straightened out, and all preparations completed for a progressive and sane policy of ruling the city, under white administration. Assurances were given the negroes that as long as they recognized the fact that past conditions would never again be permitted, that their welfare would be looked after under the new condition of affairs.
A number of despicable white leaders who had largely been responsible for the unwholesome condition of affairs, were escorted by an outraged citizenship to trains, placed aboard the cars, and ordered never to return to Wilmington. Thus ended, what in effect might be termed the “Wilmington Revolution.” It was in reality merely a determined, successful movement among white citizens to control and to manage the affairs of their municipal Government. What was true of Wilmington, as a city proved true of North Carolina as a State. Within a comparatively short time white supremacy again became a recognized and acknowledged fact.
This interesting chapter in Wilmington's development has been recorded as an historical fact. Since the happening outlined above, the feeling between the races has been friendly and cooperative. The negroes have been given the advantages of good schools, and the same benefits from health and fire protection, etc., as have been accorded the whites, despite the fact that probably as much as 95 per cent of the general tax levies are paid by the white race. Leaders of the white element are interested in the progress and advancement of the negroes of the community and never turn a deaf ear to any worthy suggestion or appeal of the colored citizens.
No better conclusion to this brief history of the Wilmington Race Revolution can be offered than to relate an incident which illustrated the humanness and fidelity, of the leadership of Colonel Roger Moore. During the afternoon of the riot, November 10th, several of the “scalawag” white leaders of the negroes, were captured. They were placed in jail overnight, prior to their planned banishment from the city. Several hundred enraged white citizens gathered in front of the jail, as darkness approached. Threats of lynching the prisoners were freely made. It appeared as if trouble was brewing, and that it was imminent.
Colonel Waddell, who had been chosen Mayor, went to the home of Colonel Moore in the early evening of November 10th. He advised Colonel Moore that threats of lynching had been heard. He indicated that it would be ruinous for his new administration, if any such untoward
event occurred. Colonel Waddell told Colonel Moore that the latter was being appealed to, as the only man in Wilmington who could control the crowd and prevent them from taking possible action, which, later might constitute a blot on the name of the city. Colonel Waddell entreated Colonel Moore to go to the jail, to control the crowd and to prevent hasty or violent action.
Colonel Moore had gotten no sleep for a period of forty-eight hours, having been on duty continuously as Commander of the citizens protective units. Nevertheless, he told the Mayor that if he could help, his attitude still was to prevent the citizenship from killing men who were already in custody of the law.
Adhering to this promise, Colonel Moore immediately left his home, went to the jail, and took his position, standing with his back to the door. There he remained throughout the entire night. He told the crowd that the imprisoned men were entitled to protection and would receive it, since an aroused citizenship had already secured control of municipal affairs. He said it would be a disgraceful reflection, not only upon the participants but upon the city itself, if anything happened to the prisoners, since they, already, were in custody and would be dealt with properly.
Every persuasive and argumentative effort was put forth to have Colonel Moore leave the jail. The men in the crowd were aware of the fact that if he left, they could carry out their plans; that, however, if he remained, they would have to kill him before an entrance to the jail could be forced. Colonel Moore thoroughly understood what the men had in mind, and also, what would happen if he returned to his home. For these reasons, he told the crowd frankly and positively that he intended to hold his post at the jail door, throughout the night. He said the only way they would enter the jail, would be after they might have forcibly removed him from his position. Colonel Moore held the unbounded confidence and esteem of the citizenship as a whole and as results proved, he demonstrated the fact that he was the one man, as selected by the Mayor, who could handle the situation. His sound counsel and positive attitude prevailed and the assembled crowd dispersed in the early morning hours, leaving Colonel Moore still at his post at the jail door, and the prisoners within the jail, terrified but unharmed.
Under the change of administration from the Republican radical regime, which antedated Nov. 10th, 1898, to a dependable, conservative, progressive white man's government, the permanent form of control until succeeding elections, properly held, was under the following capable Board of Aldermen, serving with the Mayor—John H. Hanby, Chas. H. Ganzer, James W. Kramer, Henry P. West, Wm. H. Sprunt, Hugh MacRae, J. A. Taylor, P. L. Bridgers, C. W. Worth, A. B. Skelding, B. F. King, F. A. Montgomery, and C. L. Spencer. Josh T. James was chosen City Clerk and Treasurer; Col. Thos. W. Strange, City Attorney, Jos. H. McRee, City Surveyor, and E. G. Parmele, Chief of Police.
COL. A. M. WADDELL, C. S. A.
COL. ROGER MOORE, C. S. A.
E. G. PARMELE
LIKE unto their Forefathers they answered the call—“To Arms!”
Go back to the pioneer days, when the Colonists were seeking freedom and happiness; when the British Crown imposed an unjust tax upon those struggling pioneers; when, determined as they were, with “blood and death” they threw off the yoke of oppression and gave America her sovereignty and independence.
Go back to that unreasonable and unnecessary War Between the States, from 1861 to 1865, when “might” against “right” prevailed.
And then later, to the Spanish-American War in 1898, when we avenged that dastardly and cowardly act—the sinking of the Maine, when hundreds of officers and men were hurled into eternity.THE WORLD WAR
The memory of that gigantic conflict still lingers in the minds of all Nations with its cost in human life, its privations and sufferings and the wholesale destruction of accumulated wealth.
The holy alliances of today are simply motives for new lands and new places to conquer, and we hear again the cry of embattled democracies, as in 1914-1918, to end war.
Today there is not an issue in these conflicts that is worth the life of a single doughboy or the anguish of one mother—but the spirit of 1776 still lingers in the hearts of New Hanover County's men. Only when America's liberty is assailed or threatened, wherever it may be, then and only then will the men of America respond to the call of their Chief.
A resume of Wilmington's participation in the World War follows:
When it became increasingly certain that American participation was likely, new companies were organized to supplant the ancient Wilmington Light Infantry, one of the State's oldest companies, and one which had seen service in the War Between the States.
An engineering unit, commanded by Captain George Gillette, that had seen service on the Mexican border was returned to its station here a few weeks before the breaking of diplomatic relations with Germany. Significantly, this company was not mustered out, but was kept under arms at improvised barracks in the northern end of the city.
When the break came, still other companies were organized. Captain Thomas J. Gause led in the formation of Company C, First North Carolina Cavalry. Lieutenant Henry B. Peschau and others formed a company of Naval Reserves. Captain Richard D. Clowe completed an Engineer Troop Train, and in addition hundreds of Wilmington boys enlisted in various other units, including the regular army and navy, while more than 200 won appointments to Officers’ Training Camps in various sections of the country.
The Engineers and Trainmen were among the first to reach France, proceeding shortly after the Declaration of War. The Wilmington Light Infantry was sent to Fort Caswell, where it lost its identity as a unit, its officers and men being apportioned to various outfits, most of whom saw service with Trench Mortar Units.
The Calvary Troop was sent to Camp Sevier at Greenville, S. C., and transformed into a Machine Gun Company, becoming Company C, 115th Machine Battalion, and seeing action in France.
The Naval Reserves were moved immediately into active service, but were employed for some time on this side of the Atlantic.
On that memorable day in 1917 when the first draft in the country's history took place, Wilmingtonians selected stood by for orders, but the government announced that so great had been the rush for voluntary enlistment, that Wilmington would not be called for the draft. As a matter of fact, it was not until early in 1918 that the first Wilmington man was called for examination. This is believed to set a record for the entire United States.
In France, Wilmington troops won many distinctions. Even its one non-combatant troop, the Medical Unit led by Major Pridgen, won its share of decorations for service under fire. Nor did the fates of war spare the Wilmington men. Scores died in action and dozens of posthumous awards testify to the gallantry of these men.
Arthur Bluethenthal, a member of the Aviation Corps, served a period with France's Lafayette Escadrille, and lost his life in the performance of his duty. In perpetuation of his memory and in honor of the esteem in which he was held, Wilmington's Airport bears his name, and placed on its grounds is a memorial erected to him.COLONEL ROYCE S. McCLELLAND
Enlisted in Wilmington Light Infantry June 1, 1910. Was discharged June 1, 1916. Attended Second Officers Training Camp, Plattsburg, N. Y., and was at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, from August 25, 1917, to November 26, 1917. Was made First Lieutenant Coast Artillery November 27, 1917; was First Lieutenant Tank Corps from January 11, 1919, to May 28, 1919; Captain, Officers Reserve Corps, July 29, 1919; Captain, Coast Artillery, National Guard, January 4, 1921; Major, Coast Artillery, National Guard, March 14, 1923; Lieutenant Colonel, Coast Artillery, National Guard, June 9, 1924; Colonel, Coast Artillery, National Guard, December 1, 1929.GENERAL JOHN VAN B. METTS
Who doubts the theory of inheritance? His distinguished father, Captain James I. Metts, was truly a military genius, a leader of men who followed General Lee in the War Between the States. He finally laid down his arms at Appomattox when the order “Let us have peace” was issued. A Captain of Company G, Third North Carolina Regiment, his love and devotion to his comrades and the Southland never waned.
His worthy son, General John Van B. Metts, inherited the same qualities, both military and civic, as his illustrious father. He first affiliated with the old North Carolina State Guards, and upon the formation of this unit into a National Guard organization his first promotion was to First Lieutenant of Infantry, April 28, 1899. He was advanced to Captain, January 17, 1903 and was Lieutenant Colonel from February 14, 1907, to July 19, 1916. In the Federal service he was Lieutenant Colonel from July 20, 1916, to January 15, 1917, when he was advanced to Colonel. His record in the Officers Reserve Corps follows: Colonel, Infantry, May 5, 1921; Brigadier General, Infantry, March 10, 1927; Brigadier General of Line, June 1, 1926, and is at present Adjutant General of North Carolina.
General Metts was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his service during the World War.
THOMAS J. GAUSE
A. E. F.
Standing at Thirteenth and Market Streets in Wilmington is an imposing and beautiful bronze memorial, erected by the citizens of New Hanover County, in loving memory of those of its noble sons who made the supreme sacrifice for the cause of liberty and humanity, in the great World War. Upon its face is inscribed their names:
|Thomas F. Bagley, Jr.||Archie H. Melton|
|Archie Beach||H. Tate Moore|
|Joseph Lane Bert||Sidney Baxter Orme|
|Arthur Bluethenthal||Harry E. Orrell|
|Walter S. Brock||Douglas W. Pate|
|William McDuffie Bunting||Gordon Orthneal Perry|
|Thomas B. Carroll||Harry Potter|
|James H. Collins||Henry H. Shaw|
|Warren Gregory Davis||Theodore S. Sidbury|
|Edward James Cox||Vaughan E. Smith|
|James Glass||George Summerlin|
|John Victor Grainger, Jr.||Walter M. Turner|
|Arthur Hewlett||Louis P. Vann|
|Joseph Holand||Frank Lenox Williams|
|James Craig Loder||Colored|
|David White Loring|
|Joseph J. Loughlin||Thomas S. Bullock|
|Colin Makepeace MacRae||Simon Taft Shiver|
|Louis Ferrell Mason||Edward Peden|
“Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.”CAROLINA SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION
ORGANIZED in 1917 to build cargo vessels for use in the World War, its operations continued until early in the spring of 1921.
Construction of yard was begun, and construction of vessels contracted for, under a cost plus 10% basis for the United States Government. Before the completion of the yard, the Company opened negotiations with the Government, resulting in the purchase by the Company of the Shipyard in its then incompleted state, at a cash price, the Government transferring to the Company all contracts for materials, machinery and supplies for the completion of the yard and twelve cargo boats. Under the terms of the contract the Government paid approximately $2,225,000.00 per boat for each of the eight cargo boats built for the Government. The two tankers thereafter built were for the Eagle Oil Transport Company, of London, Ltd., and were built under the British flag by special act of Congress. The conversion of the last two vessels from cargo boats to tankers was very expensive, and there was not a great deal of profit made on them. The eight cargo vessels were constructed at an approximate cost of $1,225,000.00, leaving a gross profit on each boat of approximately $1,000,000.00, but from this the approximate amount of $8,000,000.00 had to be deducted for the cost of construction and maintenance of the yard.
The Cranford was the first boat launched at this yard, and was named for the City of Cranford, New Jersey. Its hull number was 1447.
Officials of the Emergency Fleet Corporation advised the management of the yard that the vessels were, unquestionably, the best steel vessels built in the United States during that period.
Roughly, the vessels were of 10,000 ton displacement; 417 feet in length; 70 feet beam, and 65 feet from keel to forecastle.
All of the vessels (10) were launched without injury, and exceeded the contract requirements upon their trial trips.
When all four ways were in operation there were more than four thousand men employed at the yard, and the payroll of the skilled laborers and artisans was, indeed, a life-saver to Wilmington during the peak of high prices. The men were paid weekly.
S. S. CRANFORD
One of the Ten Ships Built at the Carolina Shipyard
CAPE FEAR CHAPTER, United Daughters of the Confederacy, No. 3—“The Mother Chapter of North Carolina,” as it was the first to be organized in the State and the third in the United States, was organized by Mrs. W. M. Parsley in Wilmington, N. C., the first meeting held December 20th, 1894, and an application for a charter was forwarded to National Headquarters at Nashville and was granted December 24, 1894 and numbered 3. However, the organization was not perfected until April 6, 1895. The meeting was held in the rooms of “The Ladies Memorial Association,” which organization was merged into the “United Daughters of the Confederacy” at that time. Mrs. Parsley was elected the first President of the Chapter and there were 84 members enrolled. Mrs. Parsley also organized the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Wilmington, April 28, 1897 and was elected the first President of the State organization and served two years.
The aims of the organization are: First: To honor the memory of those who gave service to the Confederate States, to protect, preserve and mark places made historic by Confederate valor, to collect and preserve material for a truthful history of the War Between the States: to record the patient endurance of hardship and the patriotic devotion of the women of the Confederacy. Second: To fulfill the sacred duty of benevolence toward the survivors and toward those dependent on them. Third: To assist worthy descendants of Confederates in securing proper education. Fourth: To bring into the organization all women eligible to membership, and to cherish the ties of friendship that binds.
The first consideration has always been given to the Confederate Veterans, and now when the line is dwindling and most of them have answered the last Taps; the Daughters of the Confederacy in addition to aiding the remaining veterans and their widows, are assisting their descendants in securing an education through their established scholarships.
When the remaining veterans have passed on, the Daughters of the Confederacy feel that their work will not have been finished, but they will have a greater desire to carry on for the descendants of those noble soldiers. And, to this end, the organization of The Children of the Confederacy is maintained, for in no other way can the truths of history and the ideals of the old South be preserved.
The Daughters of the Confederacy are contributing to the following objectives: The Bessie Beall Reid Bed Fund at the State Sanitorium for Tuberculosis; the care of Bentonville Battle Ground; perpetual care of For Fisher; a nurses fund for the Confederate Woman's Home in Fayetteville; the Memorial Pavilion in Raleigh, the beautification of the Dixie Highway; the Jefferson Davis Highway, the latter being the memorial road of the only President of the Confederacy; this highway extending from Washington to California; the Jefferson Davis Historical Foundation; Mrs. Norman V. Randolph Relief Fund for Widows; the Stratford Memorial; the upkeep of the Confederate Cemetery at Raleigh; also the Confederate Monument at Fort Fisher, and contributed to the Gettysburg Monument.
The Crosses of Military Service awarded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy are three in number and are the children of the Cross of Honor. These are: First, the World War Cross of Military service; Second, The Spanish-American War Cross of Military Service; and Third, The Philippine Insurrection Cross of Military Service.
These decorations have been established as a testimonial to the patriotic devotion of certain Confederate Veterans and certain descendants of Confederate Soldiers and Sailors. “Fortes creantur fortibus”—“The brave beget the brave.”
Erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy
to the Memory of
HON. GEORGE DAVIS
Attorney General of the Confederacy
Commissioner in the Council for Peace
Churchman, Counselor, Orator
HIS RECORD IS IMMORTAL
“The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was organized by patriotic women of marvelous foresight who resolved to use their minds, their hearts and their means to perpetuate the memory of the spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; to encourage patriotism and to engender the spirit of Americanism; to teach patriotism by erecting monuments and protecting historical spots, by observing historical anniversaries, by promoting the cause of education, especially the study of history and the enlightenment of our foreign population and all that makes for good citizenship; by emphasizing education as a great national obligation, the country's duty to the children who will some day be the leaders of the nation, and by the preservation of documents and relics and of the individual services of soldiers and patriots.”
Stamp Defiance Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, organized May 26, 1921, was named to commemorate the resistance to the Stamp Act as made by the patriots of the Lower Cape Fear.
The Charter of Stamp Defiance Chapter, granted in 1922, is framed in wood of a red oak tree from the garden of Royalist Governor Tryon in Russellboro, N. C., where the first Stamp Defiance took place in 1765. This tree was given the Chapter by Dr. James Sprunt, Wilmington, N. C., April 13, 1923.
The following have served as Regents:
Mrs. Cuthbert Martin, Organizing and Honorary Regent
Miss Margaret Gibson
Mrs. Guy Cardwell
Miss Julia Willena Beery
Mrs. C. Wayne Spencer
Mrs. R. F. Hamme
Mrs. N. L. Foy
Mrs. Eugene Philyaw (Present Regent)
Mrs. D. M. McIntosh served as State Chaplain from 1927 to 1930. Mrs. C. Wayne Spencer served as State Librarian, 1936, and is now State Vice Regent.
On November 24, 1925, this Chapter placed a tablet under “Washington Oak,” at Topsail on New Bern road, marking Washington's journey through North Carolina in 1791.
A handsome tablet to the memory of Woodrow Wilson was placed December 28, 1928, in the First Presbyterian Church where our wartime president's father, the beloved Dr. Joseph R. Wilson, D. D., was pastor—1875-1884.
The following trees have been planted and presented to the City by this Chapter; with appropriate exercises and able speakers:
In Pembroke Jones Park: November 24, 1925.
Washington Memorial Tree and Marker, sent the Chapter by Mrs. W. N. Reynolds.
In Greenfield Park: March 30, 1927. To the Heroes of Stamp Defiance.
On plaza at Third and Cowan Streets: November 15, 1932. In memory of George Washington and Bicentennial of his birth.
The trees are marked with metal railings and bronze markers
In commemoration of the Washington Bicentennial Program, in the State Capitol at Raleigh, N. C., on May 13, 1933, Mrs. C. Wayne Spencer, Regent of Stamp Defiance Chapter, at that time, presided at the unveiling of a handsome tablet “In Memory of Patriots of the Lower Cape Fear.”
The active interest manifested by the members of this organization was responsible, to a large extent, for Federal recognition in securing the establishment of a National Military Park on the site of the Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge and for the preservation of Fort Johnson at Southport, North Carolina. Stamp Defiance Chapter has annual pilgrimages to Moore's Creek Battleground, on June 14th.
Stamp Defiance Chapter, assisted by Children of the American Revolution Chapter, sponsored two markers, which were erected by the State of North Carolina, with dedication exercises, May 8, 1936. One marker was placed on highway at Hilton, near home site of Cornelius Harnett, and a marker was placed on Market Street, near site of old Court House.
The State has also placed a marker commemorating the Stamp Act on Highway Route 20, near Wilmington.
A few of the outstanding endeavors of the Society are:
Americanism—Manuals for Citizenship, etc.
Conservation and Thrift
Correct Use of the Flag
Good Citizenship Medal and Pilgrimage
Student Loan Fund
Filing and Lending Historical Papers and Patriotic Lectures and Lantern Slides
Historical Research and Preservation of Historical Spots, including National Old Trails
National Defense through Patriotic Education
The Chapter now has sixty members.
LASSIE W. BELL
(Mrs. Z. K. Bell) Historian
NEW HANOVER COUNTY has the distinction of having had the first public school in North Carolina. The present day system was preceded by an excellent group of private schools which produced many of the outstanding leaders of our state and nation. It naturally followed that a community famous as a “city of homes” would provide the best religious and educational facilities for the children who were to be reared in these homes. The artistically designed array of lovely buildings shown in this book are New Hanover's physical investment in the educational training of her children.
The elementary schools enroll 4,800 white and 3,200 colored pupils. The buildings are staffed with a corps of 205 teachers, 12 principals, and an assistant superintendent of elementary schools.
The high schools enroll 2,069 white and 700 colored pupils, with 86 teachers and 2 principals. These high schools offer, in addition to the conventional course of study, an extensive vocational program that will prepare a pupil for almost any type of work available in the city. Music, Junior R. O. T. C., and many auxiliary features contribute to the broadening of the educational opportunities of the New Hanover children.
Both the white and negro high school buildings rank with the best in the state. The negro building, which was completed in 1937, is one of the best in the South for the negro race. There are graduating from these high schools each year approximately 400 white and 100 negro boys and girls, who enter either the business or collegiate world almost immediately.
Special attention should be called to Tileston, which was for many years the city high school and is now an elementary school with a capacity of 1,000 pupils; to Hemenway, named for one who contributed much to the educational progress of Wilmington; to Cornelius Harnett and William Hooper, dedicated to the memory of two great men of New Hanover; and to Isaac Bear, originally given by a citizen of Wilmington as a memorial to his brother.
The other buildings are so placed throughout the county that they are easily accessible to the pupils with a minimum of transportation.
The city of Wilmington and the county of New Hanover are united in one unit of schools, with one Board of Education and one superintendent for both city and county.
NEW HANOVER COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
ISAAC BEAR MEMORIAL
WILLISTON HIGH (Colored)
JOHN NEWLAND MAFFITT, born at sea, his father was a Methodist preacher in New London, Connecticut. In 1824 his uncle, Dr. William Maffitt, visited his brother, and adopted John, then five years old, and took him to Fayetteville, N. C. Dr. Maffitt sent John to school at White Plains, N. Y., and at the age of nine years, after four years with his uncle he became attached to his Southern home.
Entered the U. S. Navy from White Plains at the age of thirteen, 1832, reported in March, was ordered to U. S. Sloop of War, St. Louis; at fifteen years, ordered to the Boston Navy Yard. 1835 was assigned to the Frigate Constitution, Flag Ship of the Squadron, under Commodore Elliott, fitting out for his three years cruise in the Mediterranean.
At Piræns Maffitt was the Captain's aid, and was ordered to prepare the barge to receive on board the King and Queen of Greece.
Leaving Piræns, was ordered to the U. S. Schooner Shark for passage home. Though not an officer, he was given charge of the deck, in which he displayed much ability in putting down a threat of mutiny; landing at Newport, he proceeded to Baltimore to prepare for examination for passed mid-shipman. In 1836 promoted, ordered to the Government Packet Woodbury, then to the Sloop of War Vandalia. 1839 Maffitt experienced severe storms in the Gulf of Mexico; he saw at Vera Cruz the French fleet that attacked and captured the celebrated Fortress San Juan de Ulna. As a coast surveyor he was highly important. Without accurate instruments, he made reconnaissance south of Cape Hatteras, Bull Bay, discovering a new channel, “Maffitt's Channel,” across the Charleston bar; surveyed and mapped the Savannah bar and River and performed other important surveys throughout the coast.
In 1857 with the Gallatan, at Smithville (now Southport) a rendezvous noted for its hospitality, gayety and cultural society. There John Maffitt organized a dramatic company, which added much pleasure to the garrison and Fort Johnson.
After a cruise, running down slave and pirate ships, was ordered to sail for New York, touching at Havana, and without funds for the ship's necessities he supplied the funds from his private source, turning the Crusader over to the Navy, but was never reimbursed by the Government.
In 1861 he was suspected as leaning towards the South, resigned from the U. S. Navy, and succeeded in escaping from Washington, though the avenues were well guarded, continued on to Richmond, then to the Confederate Capital at Montgomery, Ala., where he offered his services to Mr. Davis, but was refused as he did not contemplate forming a navy. Disappointed he packed his belongings for Europe. At this junction Robert Tooms, with Ben Hill and others, would not agree to the loss of such a man as he had proven, finally was commissioned as Lieutenant, ordered to report to Commodore Tatnell at Savannah. General Beauregard invited him to join his staff but the Secretary of War refused permission.
April 1861, Mr. Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of all Southern ports. This was “hardly better than a paper blockade,” as the Parish Congress of 1856 had ruled that a blockade, to be binding, must be effective, and the Union with only four war ships then available, and concentrated them at the main ports of the Confederacy.THE FLORIDA
To relate the complete story of Capt. John Newland Maffitt's career would fill a book of many pages, hence we will confine the story of his ship, the Florida, named after his daughter, who accompanied her gallant father upon some of his marvelous exploits. Confronted with a crew down with yellow fever, the duties of care and nursing fell upon him. He brought the Florida at anchor off Cardenes, the crew reduced to a single engineer and two seamen. Maffitt himself was overcome. He finally recovered and sailed for Havana. Still unable to secure supplies, he sailed for Mobile, a perilous undertaking. He hoisted the English colors, but the U. S. Ship Oneida ignored them, and followed by two other vessels, poured a terrible fire into the Florida, so that every hope of escape fled from Maffitt's mind. Everything then depended upon the engine and engineer, but his determination to enter Mobile was accomplished. Lowering the English colors, he then hoisted his own colors.
He refitted the Florida, escaped the blockade again, and at sea on January 19, 1863 he captured the Union Brig Estene, on her first voyage, returning from Cuba with honey and sugar for Boston. Maffitt removed a few necessities and set her on fire. He coaled at Havana, and on the 22nd destroyed two Yankee vessels.
In February he made a prize of the Jacob Bell of New York with a cargo of tea to the value of a million and a half dollars. “Ladies aboard!” came from the Captain. Maffitt surrendered his cabin to them. Remaining on board five days, he transferred them to the Danish brig Morning Star bound for St. Thomas. On the sixth of March he ran alongside the Star of Peace, of Boston from Calcutta, with a valuable cargo of saltpeter for the Federal army. Maffitt took on board Captain Hickley and crew, and burned the ship of about a thousand tons register. He captured the Schooner Aldebaras, N. P., and burned her. Sixteen days later he captured the barque Lapring, bound for Batavia, a fine vessel, and ordered Lieutenant Everett to command her with two officers, two howitzers and a crew of fifteen. He took the barque Colcord and burned her on April Fools day. On the 17th the Commonwealth, ship and cargo valued at three hundred and seventy thousand dollars, was burned. He took the ship Oneida, April 25, with a cargo of tea worth a million dollars. He captured and burned the Henrietta of Baltimore, receiving her passengers and crew on board the Florida.
Thus runs the story of many more captures. He entered the harbor of St. George's, in Bermuda, and was honored by the first salute paid abroad to the Confederate flag.
In May John Maffitt had been appointed Commander, for gallant and meritorious conduct on the steam sloop Florida. He continued his cruise till his engineers informed him that important repairs were necessary. Then being in the English channel he determined to run into the harbor of Brest, and was received warmly by Admiral Conte Guedon, who informed Commander Maffitt the French government extended to him the hospitality of Brest. Continuing his wonderful success in destroying the Federal merchant marine he commanded many other ships, among them the “Lillian.” Running the blockade of the Federal fleet, off Fort Fisher he passed ship after ship almost under their rails, and once more Maffitt came safely into a Southern harbor.
Greatly to his satisfaction he was ordered to Wilmington and the blockade runner Owl. On December 21st 1864 Maffitt received on board seven hundred and eighty bales of cotton, and, with three others vessels, ran clear of the Federal sentinals, without the loss of a rope yarn. At St. George's, Bermuda, he found a number of vessels awaiting intelligence of the outcome of the Federal expedition against Fort Fisher. Reported safe, six ships departed for Wilmington. When approaching the channel there he was amazed to find only one boat on guard. When he anchored in Wilmington he learned that a second Union attack under Genl. Terry and Admiral Porter had reduced Fort Fisher and the Cape Fear River was in possession of the Federal forces.
It was imperative to leave immediately. The Owl proceeded on her course pursued by the solitary blockader.
The cargo of the Owl was exceedingly important to the South. He made an effort to enter Charleston, but the odds were against him. An officer of a Federal ship cried out the familiar order “Heave to, or I'll sink you.” The command was disregarded and the Owl received his entire broadside with considerable damage, but the Owl passed swiftly out of range and retired in the darkness. Maffitt proceeded to Galveston, Texas. An exceedingly fine morning, May 5th, Maffitt successfully ran through the fleet of sixteen vessels blockading the port of Galveston. At a point in range of the Federal guns unfortunately he grounded on Bird Island.
There a Confederate fleet, commanded by Captain James H. McGarvey, two gunboats and four transports, assisted the Owl. Under heavy fire the blockade runner was floated, cheered by the population. Later he was at Havana, and from there sailed to Halifax. The last hope of the Confederacy was exhausted, and, following his official orders, he delivered the Owl to Frazer, Trenholm & Company at Liverpool. “The Confederate Navy” Maffitt explained, “Minute though it was, won a place for itself in History.” The credit belongs partly to testing in battle the invulnerability of ironclads and revolutionizing the navies of the world. The Merrimac did that, but with a handful of light cruisers, while the ocean swarmed with armed Federal vessels, we defied the Federal Navy and swept Northern commerce from the sea.THE FATE OF THE FLORIDA
The Florida was captured by Commander Napoleon Collins of the U. S. Navy, at Bahia, Brazil, in defiance of all decency, since the Florida had received permission to remain in port forty-eight hours. The Brazilian government demanded her return, but she was arbitrarily sunk.RETURNS TO WILMINGTON, N. C.
When it was clear that his property was lost, he returned to his home where his daughter, Florie, lived. He managed to secure a farm of two hundred and twelve acres on Wrightsville Sound, near Wilmington and named it “The Moorings,” where he gathered there a step-daughter, Mary Read, and Colden Rhind, one of his young sons. Another son, Eugene, married Miss Kate Martin; all lived with their father.
Captain Maffitt and Emma were caught in a January rain, and he wrapped about her shoulders his antique faded blue cape. It would shield her, as it did him in his wanderings over land and sea. “Its silent folds,” she said, “must hold a romantic history.” Her conjecture, Maffitt assured her, was true, it had served him in Italy, in France, England, Germany and Palestine, and among the Pyramids. Years ago the Queen of Greece had worn it around her shoulders.
In 1840 Capt. John Newland Maffitt married Mary Florence Murrell of Mobile, Ala. She bore him two children—Mary Florence (“Florie”) who became the wife of Joshua G. Wright of Wilmington, N. C. Eugene Anderson Maffitt, who fought with Semmes on the Alabama, and married Kate Dudley Martin, youngest daughter of Alfred Martin.
In 1852 he married Mary Laurens of Charleston, S. C., widow of James W. Read who bore him two children, John Laurens Maffitt and Colden Rhind Maffitt.
In 1870 he married Emma Martin, eldest daughter of Alfred Martin, by whom he had three children, Mary Read Maffitt, Clarence Dudley Maffitt and Robert Strange Maffitt.Hero of the Confederate Navy and His Cruiser “Florida”
CAPTAIN JOHN NEWLAND MAFFITT
C. S. N.
THE CRUISER FLORIDA
Commanded by Captain Maffitt
COL. JNO. D. TAYLOR, Commander
MAJ. THAD D. LOVE, 1st Vice-Commander
DR. Wm. H. GREEN, 2nd Vice-Commander
Wm. BLANKS, Secretary and Treasurer
SAMUEL G. HALL, Asst. Secretary and Treasurer
MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
COL. Wm. L. deROSSET, CAPT. GEO. W. HUGGINS
MR. P. HEINSBERGERA
Alderman, Geo. F., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Atkinson, John Wilder, Colonel, 10th Virginia Artillery.B
Bagwell, John G., Private, C 13th Bat. Artillery.
Baldwin, A. M., Private, K 40th North Carolina.
Barry, John, Sergeant, E 1st North Carolina.
Bear, Solomon, Private, Howard's Cavalry.
Bellamy, Marsden, Paymaster, C. S. Navy.
Bellamy, W. J. H., Private, I 18th North Carolina.
Belden, Louis F., Sergeant, E 10th North Carolina.
Bender, D. S., Private, H 1st Bat. Artillery.
Bernard, Wm. H., Private, H Bethel Regiment.
Bishop, C. W., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Bishop, H. M., Private, H 3d North Carolina.
Black, A. R., Private, Cumming's Battery.
Blanks, William, Non Commissioned Staff, 61st North Carolina.
Blackwell, Rev. C. S., 1st Sergeant, F 2d Virginia.
Bolles, Charles P., Captain, P. A. C. S.
Boatwright, J. H., Private, 1st Bat. S. C. Cadets.
Boatwright, J. L., Captain, P. A. C. S.
Boney, Gabriel J., Corporal, H 40th North Carolina.
Booker, J. W., Signal Corps.
Bowden, Jos. J., Private, D 72d North Carolina.
Bowden, W. B., Private, H 3d Cavalry.
Brinkley, Jas. B., Private, G 51st North Carolina.
Brown, A. D., Lieutenant, C. Starr's Battery.
Brown, Ed. A., Private, C 4th Cavalry.
Brown, H. M., Private, K 56th North Carolina.
Brown, I. H., Private, K 3d North Carolina.
Brown, Thos. A., Sergeant Major, 36th North Carolina.
Bunting, Thos. O., Private, C 5th Cavalry.
Burr, Ancrum B., Lieutenant, D 36th North Carolina.
Burr, James G., Colonel, 7th Bat. H. G.C
Calder, William, Adjutant, 1st Bat. Artillery.
Cannady, J. W., Private, C Star's Battery.
Cannon, J. W., Private, G 20th North Carolina.
Cantwell, John L., Colonel 51st North Carolina.
Capps, Thos. Jefferson, Corporal, E 3d North Carolina.
Carman, Samuel, Private, E 56th North Carolina.
Carmichael, Rev. James, Chaplain, 30th Virginia.
Casteen, J. B., Orderly Sergeant, D 3d North Carolina.
Cazaux, A. D., Captain, A. Q. M., 18th North Carolina.
Chadwick, Robert, Private, K 3d North Carolina.
Chapman, Louis, Private, D 2d Cavalry.
Cook, A. B., Sergeant, I 18th North Carolina.
Cobb, John G., Private, C 1st Bat. Artillery.
Collier, Samuel P., Sergeant Major, 2d North Carolina.
Corbett, R. A., Private, C 4th Cavalry.
Cornish, F. W., Private, H 51st North Carolina.
Cornish, W. A., Private, H 18th North Carolina.
Cowan, John, Captain, I 3d North Carolina.
Cox, R. E., Private, B 5th S. C. Cavalry.
Cox, T. B., Private, F 67th North Carolina.
Cowles, Chas. L., Captain, B 56th North Carolina.
Crapon, Geo. M., Lieutenant, H 3d North Carolina.
Crow, John E., Sergeant, E 12th Virginia.
Croom, R. M., Drummer, 1st Bat. Artillery.
Cumming, Jas. D., Captain, Cumming's Battery.
Cumming, Preston, Sergeant, Cumming's Battery.
Currie, John H., Private, H 5th Cavalry.D
Daves, Graham, Major, P. A. C. S.
Davis, Jackson, Sergeant, K 5th North Carolina.
Davis, Junius, Corporal, E 10th North Carolina.
Davis, M. T., Private, A 35th North Carolina.
DeRosset, A. L., Captain, P. A. C. S.
DeRosset, Wm. L., Colonel, 3d North Carolina.
Dicksey, Jesse W., Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Dicksey, J. J., Private, D 3d North Carolina.
Divine, John F., Captain, A. Q. M., C. S. A.
Dixon, W. M., Private, G 10th North Carolina.
Dowdy, W. R., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Dray, James J., C. S. N.E
Elliott, W. P., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Everett, John A., Private, I 10th North Carolina.F
Farrior, S. R., Lieutenant, A 43d North Carolina.
Farrow, Benj., Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Farrow, J. A., Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Farrow, Joel E., C. S. N.
Fennell, Owen, Lieutenant, C 1st North Carolina.
Fillyaw, DeLeon, Corporal, A 40th North Carolina.
Fillyaw, Oscar M., Private, A 40th North Carolina.
French, Wm. R., Private, E 51st North Carolina.G
Gaither, Dr. W. W., Surgeon, 28th North Carolina.
Galloway, John W., Lieutenant, C Star's Battery.
Ganzer, Chas. H., Private, Howard's Cavalry.
Garrell, Jacob F., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Giles, Clayton, Private, I 53d Georgia.
Giles, Norwood, Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Goodman, Wm., Private, A 1st Bat. Artillery.
Gore, D. L., Private, D 72d North Carolina.
Gray, Jesse W., Private, B 3d Cavalry.
Green, Wm. H., Sergeant Major, Star's Battery.H
Hall, Benj. F., First Sergeant, A 43d North Carolina.
Hall, Edward D., Colonel, 46th North Carolina.
Hall, Samuel G., Private, E 21st North Carolina.
Hamme, R. F., Private, G 36th North Carolina.
Hanby, John H., Private, B 16th Virginia.
Hanby, Joseph H., Private, B 16th Virginia.
Hancock, J. T., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Hankins, A. G., Lieutenant, H 3d Cavalry.
Hankins, J. A., Private, C Starr's Battery.
Hankins, W. M., Private, H 3d Cavalry.
Harlow, Wm. L., Drummer, 3d North Carolina.
Hargrove, David J., Sergeant, H 3d North Carolina.
Harper, John H., Private, A 3d Cavalry.
Harriss, Dr. W. W., Assistant Surgeon, 61st North Carolina.
Hawes, J. J., Sergeant, G 20th North Carolina.
Hawkins, J. W., Private, A 1st Bat. Artillery.
Hayden, P. H., Private, C 19th Virginia.
Heide, A. S., Private, A 5th Cavalry.
Heide, R. E., Private, H 1st North Carolina.
Heinsberger, P., Private, C Starr's Battery.
Henderson, Thos. P., Lieutenant, H 3d Cavalry.
Hewett, James Henry, Sergeant, F 3d North Carolina.
Hicks, James H., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
Highsmith, Jack, Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Hill, A. J., Sergeant, C 4th Cavalry.
Hill, Owen C., Private, G 3d North Carolina.
Hines, John W., Private, D 3d North Carolina.
Hodges, L. W., Private, A 16th Virginia.
Huggins, Geo. W., Lieutenant, I 18th North Carolina.
Huggins, James B., Captain, A. Q. M., C. S. A.J
Jacobi, Nathaniel, Clerk, Q. M. Department.
James, Josh. T., Lieutenant, I 18th North Carolina.
Jewett, Stephen, Private, K 44th Georgia
Johnson, Wiley T., Drum Major, 51st North Carolina.
Jones, Geo. T., Lieutenant, E 50th North Carolina.K
Keeter, Elijah, Private, D 3d North Carolina.
Kenan, Wm. R., Adjutant, 43d North Carolina.
Kenly, John R., Private, A 1st Maryland Cavalry.
Kelly, D. C., Private, B 36th North Carolina.
Kelly, James E., Private, K 20th North Carolina.
Kerchner, F. W., 2d Maryland.
King, Charles H., Quartermaster Sergeant, 61st North Carolina.
King, James A., Private, A 3d Cavalry.
King, James A., Private, B 10th North Carolina.
King, James M., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
King, John M., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
King, T. E., Sergeant, I 10th North Carolina.
King, W. H., Private, A 3d Cavalry.
Kuhl, Henry R., Private, A 18th North Carolina.L
Latta, John R., Adjutant, 51st North Carolina.
Laughinghouse, E. S., Confederate States Navy.
Leslie, Alex. H., Private, G 18th North Carolina.
Leslie, Jos. H., Private, G 18th North Carolina.
Lewis, Thos. C., Captain, I 18th North Carolina.
Lippitt, Thos. B., Lieutenant, G 51st North Carolina.
Littleton, D. C., Private, H 41st North Carolina.
Loftin, Dr. I. C. M., E 20th North Carolina.
Love, Rich, S., Sergeant, C 4th Cavalry.
Love, Thad D., Major, 24th North Carolina.
Lumsden, Henry C., Private, E 1st North Carolina.M
MacRae, Walter G., Captain, C 7th North Carolina.
Manning, Ed. Wilson, Chief Engineer, C. S. N.
Martin, E. S., Lieutenant, 1st Bat. Artillery.
Marshall, John R., Private, E 3d North Carolina.
Mason, W. H., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Matthews, D. W., Private, C 1st Bat. Artillery.
Matthews, John E., Sergeant, Brigade Sharp Shooters.
Meares, Thos. D., Courier, Gen. Wade Hampton.
Meares, Oliver P., Lieutenant Colonel, 18th North Carolina.
Merritt, Joseph, Private, 18th North Carolina.
Metts, James L., Captain, G 3d North Carolina.
Mier, Joseph, Private, A 18th North Carolina.
Mitchell, Frank H., Private, I 18th North Carolina.
Mintz, W. W., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Montgomery, Jas. A., Private, B 36th North Carolina.
Moore, Benj. R., Lieutenant Colonel, Gen. Bates’ Staff.
Moore, E. H., Lieutenant, D 72d North Carolina.
Moore, Ed. J., Sergeant, G 18th North Carolina.
Moore, F. M., Private, E 10th North Carolina.
Moore, Roger, Lieutenant Colonel, 3d N. C. Cavalry.
Moore, W. A., Private, K 36th North Carolina.
Moore, W. H., Private, A 1st Cavalry.
Morton, Rev. P. C., Chaplain, 23d Virginia.
Mott, A. J., Private, G 61st North Carolina.
Munn, D., Captain, B 36th North Carolina.
Myers, Chas. D., Captain, P. A. C. S.Mc
McClammy, Chas. W., Major, 3d Cavalry.
McClammy, Chas. W., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
McEvoy, John, Lieutenant, A 2d North Carolina.
McGirt, A. G., Private, D 46th North Carolina.
McGowan, Jas. M., Captain, A. Q. M.
McIntire, R. M., Captain, C 4th Cavalry.
McIver, J. T., Private, G 48th North Carolina.
McKeithan, R. W., Corporal, E 10th North Carolina.
McKoy, T. Hall, Major, Lane's Staff.
McMillan, W. D., Sergeant-Major, 51st North Carolina.
McQueen, H. C., Private, D 1st Bat. Artillery.N
Newsome, T. J., Private, B 10th North Carolina.
Nobles, S. W., Captain, K 61st North Carolina.
Northrop, W. H., Captain, A. Q. M., 3d North Carolina.O
Oldham, W. P., Captain, K 44th North Carolina.
Ormsby, Jas. O., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Orrell, J. Dal., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
Ortman, F. W., Private, A 25th South Carolina.P
Pearce, E. L., Captain, E 26th Georgia.
Penny, B. F., Private, C 30th North Carolina.
Persse, A. B., Lieutenant, F 56th North Carolina.
Pickett, J. H., Private, B 1st Bat. Artillery.
Piggford, Jno. E., Private, I 18th North Carolina.
Pinner, J. L., Private, A 1st Bat. Artillery.
Poisson, J. D., Sergeant, G 18th North Carolina.
Porter, Elijah, Captain, E 3d North Carolina.
Potter, Dr. F. W., Surgeon, 50th North Carolina.
Pratt, D., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Prempert, H. C., Sergeant, H 2d North Carolina.
Price, Joseph, Commander, C. S. N.
Price, Rich, W., Private, D 72nd North Carolina.
Primrose, Jno. W., Captain, A. C. S., 1st Cavalry.R
Rankin, Robert G., Private, A 1st Bat. Artillery.
Rankin, John T., Lieutenant, D 1st Bat. Artillery.
Reaves, Calvin, Private, G 61st North Carolina.
Reaves, J. F. A., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
Reaves, R. M., Private, E 18th North Carolina.
Rising, R. F., Private, M 10th South Carolina.
Rivenbark, W. W., Private, F 20th North Carolina.
Roberts, B. M., Private, C 13th Battalion.
Robinson, Chas. H., Quartermaster, 31st North Carolina.
Rodgers, J. M., Private, B 1st Bat. Artillery.
Ruark, J. H., Sergeant, F 3d North Carolina.
Russell, B. R., Assistant Engineer, C. S. Navy.S
Savage, Henry, Captain, G 18th North Carolina.
Scharf, E., Private, B 1st Bat. Ala. Cavalry.
Schenck, N. W., Captain, A. C. S.
Schriver, Eli, Private, H 3d N. C. Cavalry.
Sharp, John H., Private, 13th Bat. Va. Artillery.
Shepard, Dr. J. C., Assistant Surgeon, C. S. A.
Shepard, T. A., Lieutenant, G 18th North Carolina.
Shutte, John T., Corporal. Star's Battery.
Sikes, Robert J., Private, H 3d North Carolina.
Skipper, Josh G., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Smith, H. H., Lieutenant, A 5th North Carolina.
Smith, James A., Private, D 36th North Carolina.
Smith, M. K., Private, D 72d North Carolina.
Smith, Peter H., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
Smith, T. J., Private, I 18th North Carolina.
Sneeden, S. J., Private, A 3d N. C. Cavalry.
Southerland, D. D., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Southerland, Thos. J., Captain, I 10th North Carolina.
Stedman, Chas. M., Major, 44th North Carolina.
Stevenson, James C., Private, A 36th North Carolina.
Warrock, E. S., Corporal, Georgia Artillery.
Warrock, W. S., Captain, B 1st Ala. Cavalry.
Stevenson, Wm. M., Captain, B 61st North Carolina.
Stolter, Henry, Private, A 18th North Carolina.
Stolter, John F., Private, A 18th North Carolina.
Story, S. A., Private, I 10th North Carolina.
Sutton, D. M., Private, K 18th North Carolina.
Swain, S. A., Private, C 1st Battl. Artillery.
Sykes, Thomas P., Private, 3d North Carolina Cavalry.T
Taylor, James H., Adjutant, 51st North Carolina.
Taylor, John D., Lieutenant-Colonel, 36th North Carolina.
Taylor, J. J., Private, H 3d Cavalry.
Taylor, Lewis, Private, B 1st Batt'l. Artillery.
Taylor, M. P., Richmond Artillery.
Tilley, Geo. F., Private, H 18th North Carolina.V
Van Amringe, Stacey, Captain, G 61st North Carolina
Voss, John G., Private, A 18th North Carolina.W
Waddell, A. M., Lieutenant-Colonel, 3d North Carolina Cavalry.
Walker, J. Alvis, Private, E 2d Eng., C. S. A.
Walker, John M., Orderly Sergeant, F 2d N. C. Bat.
Walker, J. P., Private, E 18th North Carolina.
Wallace, J. P., Color Corps, C 51st North Carolina.
Ward, C. H., Private, G 10th North Carolina.
Watkins, L. A., Private, D 5th N. C. Battery.
Watson, Rev. A. A., Chaplain, 2d North Carolina.
Watson, A. W., Private, F 7th North Carolina.
Weill, Abram, Medical Department.
Welch, John T., Private, E 10th North Carolina.
West, John W., Sergeant, D 36th North Carolina.
White, B. F., Lieutenant, I 18th North Carolina.
White, John A., Private, F 3d North Carolina.
Wiggs, Alex. W., Sergeant, D 3d North Carolina.
Wiggins, A. O., Captain, E 37th North Carolina.
Wilder, Jesse, Lieutenant, C 4th Cavalry.
Wilkins, W. L., Corporal, F 3d North Carolina.
Williams, Geo. W., Private, F. 3d North Carolina.
Williams, J. A., Private, G 3d N. C. Cavalry.
Williams, J. R., Sergeant, H 1st S. C. V.
Wood, Dr. Thos. F., Assistant Surgeon, 3d North Carolina.
Woodcock, Geo. W., Lieutenant, E 18th North Carolina.
Woodcock, Henry M., Private, E 18th North Carolina.
Woodward, Wm. J., Private, H 1st North Carolina.
Wooten, Edward, Lieutenant, B 5th Cavalry.
Wright, Josh. G., Lieutenant, E 1st North Carolina.Y
Yates, Chas. W., E 3d Cavalry.
Yopp, F. V. B., Lieutenant, G 51st North Carolina.
Confederate Monument erected in memory of his beloved
comrades in the Confederate States Army
by G. J. Boney
Monument erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy
in honor of the brave heroes who sacrificed
their all in the Battle of Fort Fisher
First at Bethel
Farthest to the Front at Gettysburg and Chickamauga
Last at Appomattox