Friday, January 18, 2019

Restorationist Missionaries among the Indians, Pre-1830 (3)

Among those early restorationists who preached to American Indians, one of the more remarkable characters was Samuel Boyd, a man who seemed to attract both danger and providential care. He was born in Virginia, in May 1763, just after the close of the French and Indian War. Sometime later, the Boyd family moved to South Carolina.

When British Americans declared independence in 1776, his family sided with the Patriots and against their Loyalist neighbors. Samuel, though still just a teenager, enlisted in the Continental Army along with his father and two brothers. Tragically, the father and one of his sons died in the war. On two occasions, Tories burned the family's home to the ground.[1]

Samuel himself did not come through the war unscathed. In one skirmish, when many of his company were captured or killed, he was left for dead, "a ball having passed through his temple taking out his right eye."[2] An elderly black woman happened upon the scene and concealed the fallen soldier. When the enemy left, she took him home and cared for him until he recovered. It was not uncommon in that day for people to conceal a disfigured eye by covering it with a patch of black silk. But for whatever reason, for the rest of his life Boyd "never tried to conceal the blemish."[3] More about Samuel Boyd next time.


[1] Elijah Martindale, Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Elijah Martindale, also Pioneer History of the Boyd Family, by Belle Stanford (Indianapolis: Carlon & Hollenbeck, 1892), 122-23. See also, Andrew W. Young, History of Wayne County, Indiana (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1872), 238-39, and R. L. Roberts, "Boyd, Samuel," in The Churches of Christ (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001), 181-82. Maya Jasanoff, Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World (New York: Vintage Books, 2012), 21-53, examines the American Revolutionary War as a civil war.

[2] Martindale, Autobiography, 121-22. See also

[3] Ibid., 122-24. The quotation comes from page 124.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Restoration Missionaries among the Indians, Pre-1830 (2)

The previous post gave attention to the reports of Joseph Thomas about early restorationist preachers who tried to communicate the gospel to American Indians. Again, in 1817 Thomas wrote that some people who identified with the "Christian" movement along the western frontier of the Old Southwest "directed their courses through the wild deserts into the Indian nations." Who were these people?

One was Barton W. Stone, foremost leader among the "Christians" in Kentucky. Apparently, he wrote and delivered at least a few sermons in phonetic Cherokee. The museum at the Cane Ridge Meeting House in Kentucky has one such manuscript. When and where Stone delivered his sermons in Cherokee is uncertain.[1] 

Photo by James Trader, Curator, Cane Ridge Meeting House, Kentucky

Another early restorationist who preached to American Indians was Reuben Dooley. Born in Virginia in 1773, he moved with his family to Kentucky when he was still just a boy. There he would eventually join hands with evangelists like Barton W. Stone and David Purviance.[2]

His father, Moses Dooley, was a staunch Presbyterian elder who taught his children the Calvinist doctrine of predestination. For a time, young Reuben believed he was a reprobate, chosen by God for certain damnation. And he played the part. But at the dawn of the Second Great Awakening, a preacher named Samuel Findly persuaded him that he could turn from sin and turn to Christ. He did.[3]

Dooley soon realized that even though he had not received a liberal education, and had never studied the Westminster Confession, his urge to preach the good news about Christ brought results. As Levi Purviance put it, "many through his instrumentality were converted to God."[4] He goes on report Dooley's work among Native Americans:
The missionary fire continued to burn in his heart, until it led him to preach to the Cherokee Indians. He went three successive times among them. He was very successful and has often been heard to say, that he never enjoyed happier meetings in his life than he did among these poor neglected creatures. When parting with them, they always strongly solicited him to return and preach to them again.[5]
Not long after this, Dooley's mission was cut short for a lack of money. On one occasion, he had to trade his hymn book for passage across a river. At that point, he "prevailed on his friend and brother David Haggard," the older brother of Rice Haggard, to visit and preach to the Cherokees.[6]


[1] James Trader, curator at Cane Ridge, phone conversation with the author, January 9, 2019.

[2] Levi Purviance, The Biography of Elder David Purviance (Dayton, OH: B.F. & G.W. Ells, 1848), especially the "Biographical Sketch of Reuben Dooly," 259-70. For Dooley's connection to Stone and Purviance, see 263. Thomas H. Olbricht notes that Samuel Rogers, who became an evangelist in the movement, was converted "under the preaching of Barton W. Stone and Reuben Dooley." See "Rogers, Samuel (1789-1877)," in Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, eds. Douglas A. Foster, Paul M. Blowers, Anthony L. Dunnavant, and  D. Newell Williams (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 2004), 657.

[3] Purviance, The Biography of Elder David Purviance, 259-61.

[4] Ibid., 262.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 262-63. On David Haggard, see Colby D. Hall, Rice Haggard: The American Frontier Evangelist Who Revived the Name Christian (Fort Worth, TX: University Christian Church, 1957), 22, 30, 32-35, and Jennie Haggard Ray, History of the Haggard Family in England and America, 1433 to 1899 to 1938 (Dallas, TX: Regional Press, 1938), 46-47.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Restoration Missionaries among the Indians, Pre-1830 (1)

Prior to the Indian Removal Act of 1830, missionaries from various traditions made efforts to evangelize Native Americans. The Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Roman Catholics were among the most prominent.[1]

At least a few early restorationists made similar attempts. As one might expect, almost all of them were close neighbors to the Indians. They lived along the frontier of the Old Southwest, and thus identified with the "Christian" movement centered in Kentucky. On this topic, Joseph Thomas, commonly known as "the White Pilgrim," is an important source. In his 1817 memoir titled The Life of the Pilgrim, he implies that there were times when he preached "to some of the friendly tribes."[2]

Thomas was acquainted with a man he identifies simply as J. Smith. He had been "a great politician, a great commander in the revolutionary and Indian wars, and one of the first explorers of the Tennessee and Duck river countries." In his youth, Smith had spent many years as a prisoner of a certain unnamed tribe. Knowing their language, and having since become a preacher of the gospel, he had tried several times to convert them, with mixed results.[3]

More generally, Thomas relates that during the earliest years of the nineteenth century, at least some Christians along the western frontier, because "their hearts swelled with such love and desire for sinners," refused to stop at "the borders of the white people."[4]
Some of them, not counting their lives dear unto them, directed their courses through the wild deserts into the Indian nations. They there laboured [sic] with that success which gave them to know that their labour was not in vain in the Lord, though they had to encounter unavoidable difficulty and distress. One of those men was among the Indians for months, and I believe years, teaching them to read the holy scriptures. In which time he had the pleasure of seeing not only a reformation from their heathen traditions to pure and undefiled religion, but an unexpected improvement in English reading among his pupils.[5]

[1] The literature about contact and interaction between American Indians and various types of Euro-American Christians is vast. For example, Allan Greer, Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005) tells about the mission of French Jesuits in present-day New York state and the St. Lawrence River Valley during the late seventeenth century. He focuses on the life of a single, striking character who was canonized in 2012. Linford D. Fisher, The Indian Great Awakening: Religion and the Shaping of Native Cultures in Early America (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) recounts a variety of stories about the Native American encounter with Puritanism in southeastern New England from 1700 to 1820. In a later era, missionaries also attempted to convert those Indians of the southeast who in the nineteenth came to be known as the "Five Civilized Tribes." Among histories that relate something about these missions, see, for example, Arrell M. Gibson, The Chickasaws (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971) and Clara Sue Kidwell, Choctaws and Missionaries in Mississippi, 1818-1918 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

[2] Joseph Thomas, The Life of the Pilgrim, Joseph Thomas (Winchester, VA: J. Foster, 1817), 115.

[3] Ibid., 157-58.

[4] Ibid., 185.

[5] Ibid., 185-86.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Why Should a Christian Learn Church History?

What follows here is a bit of material I might use in introducing the study of Christian history. . . .

What are some reasons for a Christian studying the history of the church? Why are we doing this? In response to that sort of question, I want to offer two ideas. My hope is that these two concepts can frame and set the tone for everything that follows.

1. The first point is general: We study Christian history because in the same way that memory is vital to personal identity, knowing a shared history is vital to group identity. If a movement is going to remain vibrant, then the people within that movement must know the basics of their history. Along this line, British historian John Tosh writes that no society or movement "can sustain an identity or a common sense of purpose without 'social memory' -- that is, an agreed picture of a shared past, which in most cases will be positive, if not inspiring."[1] Knowledge of a shared past is basic to identity, and so the church should know its history. A good bit of literature stands behind this view. If someone is looking for scriptural support for this idea, consider the fact that many of the momentous sermons in the Bible include an historical prologue. So, whether it's Moses or Joshua or Samuel speaking to the ancient Israelites, or it's the Apostles preaching in the Book of Acts, many of these sermons begin with the history of the people of God.

2. The second point is directly and distinctively Christian: We study Christian history because many of the episodes teach us lessons and offer examples of people who exhibited true faith. People who are living the Christian life need examples of people who have been "joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:12). We often see and hear that very thing whenever we delve into the history of the church. Which is to say that the study of Christian history can have a devotional quality to it, and be spiritually rewarding.


[1] John Tosh, Historians on History, 2nd ed. (Harlow, England: Pearson Educational Limited, 2009), 6.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A Brief History of Hereford College (1)

"Hereford Will Soon Be the Educational Center of the Plains." The headline of the local newspaper for July 19, 1901, captured some of the excitement. The leaders of Hereford, a northwest Texas town named after a sturdy breed of beef cattle, were nothing if not ambitious. Now, they had a new ally.

As the paper explained, Randolph Clark had recently visited Hereford at the invitation of G. R. Jowell, a prominent local rancher and surveyor for the town. Clark, a long-time educator and preacher among the Christian churches, had changed his mind about Hereford. Before his visit, "the idea of a college at this point or in this section of the country" never entered his mind. He considered the region nothing more than "a waste desert and wholly unfit for anything save cattle raising." But now, said the paper, Clark recognized
the health-giving properties of this dry atmosphere, the excellence of our water and the ease and little cost of obtaining it, the vigorous growth of trees, shrubbery, flowers and all kinds of garden produce and grain, the thriftyness [sic] and high moral standard of our citizens, the excellent drainage of Hereford and the easy access to it from all parts of the country.[1] 
The "easy access" to Hereford had come just two years earlier, in 1899, when the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway completed track running southwest through the town all the way to Farwell at the New Mexico border. As a result, Hereford enjoyed a railroad connection to Amarillo and, from there, to the entire country.[2]

It was an exciting place at an exciting time. When Clark made his first visit to Hereford, the place was only three years old. But it already home to more than one general store, a grocery story, a meat market, drug store, restaurant, confectionery, hotel, saloon, furniture store, and feed yard. The town had a barber, a blacksmith, and a postmaster.[3] Something else would soon be added. In the summer of 1901, a front-page story announced, "We Will Have a College."[4]


[1] Hereford Reporter, July 19, 1901.

[2] Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "HEREFORD, TX," accessed December 28, 2018,; H. Allen Anderson, "PECOS AND NORTHERN TEXAS RAILWAY," accessed December 28, 2018,

[3] Bessie Chambers Patterson, "Hereford: From Cow Town to Capitol [sic] of Farming Empire,1898-1952," 4. This manuscript is housed in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, TX.

[4] Hereford Reporter, July 19, 1901.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

J. J. Trott: Missionary to the Cherokees, 4

On March 6, 1856, J. J. Trott sent a letter from his home in Franklin College, Tennessee, to the Gospel Advocate magazine in Nashville. He explained that he had just returned home from a three thousand mile trip through Arkansas, Missouri, and the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, in what is now northeastern Oklahoma. Wisely, he had avoided the deadly chaos over slavery in what came to be known as Bleeding Kansas.

The trip, which took up the previous November through February had Trott traveling in frigid conditions "by steamboat, railroads, stage, horseback, and sometimes on foot." He was disappointed that although he had been authorized by the American Christian Missionary Society to solicit funding for his proposed Indian mission, he had managed to collect only $166.
The churches had contributed their thousands to Bethany College and Christian University, and their hundreds for Revision, and therefore came to the sage conclusion, that a few dimes or dollars was all that they could and ought to do for the conversion of the children of Shem![1]
(If you happen to serve as a missionary, or you work with a large, multi-staff church, it might be some consolation to know that your never-ending competition for resources is not a new one).

In spite of the cold weather, Trott enjoyed his time in Indian Territory. While in the Cherokee Nation, he "preached at several important points" and visited with many old acquaintances and friends he had first met in Georgia over twenty years before, prior to the removal of the Cherokee people to the West.

A man of his day, Trott noted with satisfaction that the Cherokees had advanced in all of the ways regarded by Euro-Americans as marks of civilization: large-scale agriculture, animal husbandry, frame and brick home construction, and high rates of literacy resulting from a modern school system. "Thus," he wrote, "we see that the Cherokees have all the means of improvement. All they need in a religious point of view is more missionaries to them in applying the means." He observed that the Moravians, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists already had "missionaries, mission schools, and churches among the Cherokees." Would the Christian churches in the United States continue to do less?[2]


[1] J. J. Trott, "The Indian Mission," Gospel Advocate (April 1856), 110. Christian University was the original name of the school that came to be known in 1917 as Culver-Stockton College. See George R. Lee, "Culver-Stockton College," Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, 258.

[2] Trott, "The Indian Mission," 111.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

James J. Trott: Missionary to the Cherokees, 3

In the spring of 1837, having spent most of the previous fourteen years in Georgia, J. J. Trott moved back to Tennessee. It must have been a bittersweet time in his life. More than twenty years earlier, in 1815, his family had come to Tennessee from North Carolina, when Trott was still a teenager. It was there in the Volunteer State that he had placed his faith in Christ, joined the Methodist Church, and become one of their circuit-riding preachers.[1] Now, having spent so many years away, he was returning to his old home, to his family of origin and long-time friends.

Trott had first moved to Georgia in 1823. By then, his ability and dedication were obvious to Methodist leaders who made him missionary to the Cherokees. In early 1828, he married a Cherokee woman in Georgia named Sallie Adair. Not long afterward, he was arrested, persecuted, and imprisoned as one of several missionaries to the Cherokees who refused to take an oath of loyalty to Georgia, an oath which effectively denied the land rights of all Indians within the state's supposed borders. It was also during these years that he happened upon the writings of Alexander Campbell, pursued a fresh study of the Bible, was immersed into Christ. A short time later, Sally died, but not before she was immersed by her husband. She left behind a young son and daughter.[2]

In spite of these hardships, Trott remained in Georgia during the early 1830s. He married another Cherokee woman, Rachel Pounds Adair (who was not a sister to the first wife) and pursued his goal of preaching what he called "the primitive gospel" among the Indians.[3] Although he had separated from the Methodist Church by this point, it seems that his early experience as a circuit rider had become a part of him. He was never content to preach in just one place. For example, an 1836 issue of the Millennial Harbinger places him in Louisiana preaching among the Cherokees there.[4]

In 1837, Trott could see that the Cherokees still in Georgia were destined to be removed by the federal government to the region west of Arkansas, Indian Territory. Rather than face that prospect, he chose to move his young family to Tennessee instead.

From 1837 to 1859, Trott resided in Tennessee. According to Tolbert Fanning, much of that time, Trott was a member of the church of Christ at Franklin College, Tennessee. He was also, according to Fanning, a regional missionary, surpassed by no one as a "self-sacrificing, independent, earnest, humble and faithful teacher" of the Christian faith.[5]


[1] Tolbert Fanning, "James J. Trott: Messenger of the Church of Christ at Franklin College, Tennessee, to the Cherokee Nation," Gospel Advocate 11 (March 25, 1869), 271-74; Joseph R. Bennett, II, "God's Gift to the Nation: The Biography of James Jenkins Trott, 1800-1868,"

[2] James J. Trott, "To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger," Millennial Harbinger (February 6, 1832), 85; Bennett, "God's Gift to the Nation." Regarding Trott's marriage to Sallie Adair, Bennett cites the February 1828 edition of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first American Indian newspaper. About Trott's marriage to Rachel Pounds Adair, and that she was not from the same Adair family that Sallie came from, see Emmet Starr, History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore, 404. Starr first published his work in 1921. It has since been reprinted many times.

[3] Bennett, "God's Gift to the Nation." Trott's reference to "the primitive gospel" is found in his letter "To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger."

[4] J. J. Trott, "Query." [Response by Robert Richardson] Millennial Harbinger (May 1836), 233. According to Russell Thornton, a Cherokee-American anthropologist, in the early 1780s, "Cherokees who had fought on the British side in the Revolutionary War asked permission of the Spanish governor at New Orleans to relocate west of the Mississippi River to what was then Spanish territory." Their request was granted by Don Esteban Miro, governor of the Louisiana territory. See Thornton, The Cherokees: A Population History (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990), 44.

[5] Fanning, "James J. Trott."

Saturday, November 24, 2018

James J. Trott: Missionary to the Cherokees, 2

In the fall of 1830, James J. Trott, a Methodist missionary to the Cherokee Indians in Georgia, was immersed into Christ at Overall's Creek, four miles from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.[1] Upon hearing the news of Trott's baptism, Methodist leaders set out to diminish his influence. By that time, he had served among their clergy for nearly a decade. Yet, the next published minutes of the regional Methodist conference included the following note: "James J. Trott, without an appointment." No reason was given.[2]

Trott's separation from the Methodists was inevitable. He realized that his disagreements with the denomination extended far beyond questions about the proper subject and mode of baptism. In the spring of 1832, he wrote a letter to a Mr. McLeod, the Methodist Superintendent of Cherokee Missions. Trott stated that in addition to the practice of sprinkling infants, he had come to reject the authority of all human creeds and the denominational habit of treating human opinions as though they were matters of revealed faith. In particular, he renounced the notion, spelled out in the Methodist book of discipline, that the Lord expected him to adhere to John Wesley's creeds as his standard for teaching. He also rejected the polity of the Methodist Church with its four orders of bishops and five kinds of tribunals. He concluded his letter by describing his predicament:
Thus, you see, I am compelled to refrain from preaching what I believe to be the truth, to preach what I cannot believe, to suffer expulsion, or to withdraw. I prefer the latter.[3]
From then on, Trott considered himself a mere Christian and identified himself as part of the movement that Alexander Campbell called "the present reformation."

But this change did not dampen his commitment to making disciples among the Cherokee Indians. As noted in the previous post, in the early 1830s, the State of Georgia had brutally persecuted Trott, along with dozens of other missionaries, because he refused to take an oath of loyalty to the state which denied all Indian land claims. Still, according to the Cherokee Census Roll of 1835, he was then still residing in Georgia. According to the census, he lived near Oothcaloga Creek where he owned a mill. The record further indicates that Trott, whose first wife died in 1830, had since remarried, and that the two children from the first marriage were living with him.[4]


[1] Tolbert Fanning, "James J. Trott: Messenger of the Church of Christ at Franklin College, Tenn., to the Cherokee Nation," Gospel Advocate 11 (March 25, 1869), 271-73.

[2] James J. Trott, Letter to Alexander Campbell, Millennial Harbinger 3, no. 8 (August 6, 1832), 389.

[3] Ibid., 389-90.

[4] Copies of Manuscripts in the Office of the Superintendent for the Five Civilized Tribes, Muskogee, Oklahoma: Cherokee Census Roll of 1835, Compiled from Original Record selected by Grant Foreman, 14: 224. The entire entry for James J. Trott reads as follows: "Three Cherokees, 1 white marriage; 2 readers of English, they owned a mill; one weaver, 1 spinster, 2 descendants of reservees."

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

James J. Trott: Missionary to the Cherokees, 1

In early December 1831, James J. Trott, sent a letter to Alexander Campbell, editor of the Millennial Harbinger. Filled with notes of both hardship and joy, the letter relates a story of pilgrimage.

Trott was born in North Carolina in 1800. Around the year 1815, he moved with his family to Tennessee. There, in 1821, he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, and two years later became one of their circuit-riding preachers. His career with the Methodist "travelling connexion" soon took him to Georgia where for several years he worked among the Indians. But his devotion and commitment to the Cherokees eventually brought him into direct conflict with the government.[1]

As historian Tim Alan Garrison explains, beginning in the late 1820s Georgia required all white people living in Creek or Cherokee lands within the state's putative borders to swear an oath of allegiance. Taking this oath implied a repudiation of the Indians' legal claim to any territory in Georgia. Dozens of missionaries then working among Native Americans refused to take such an oath. They had only two alternatives: leave the state or face arrest.[2]

This background helps to explain a remarkable passage in Trott's letter to Campbell:
This year I have had some difficulties with the Georgians. I have been arrested, chained, imprisoned, condemned, reprieved, and banished the territory of the state, because I refused to take, what I believe to be, an unconstitutional and impious oath!
Then, he revealed an even greater source of heartbreak and sorrow:
My affliction has been increased by the loss of a pious Cherokee wife, who died not long since, leaving behind her two little ones, Benjamin and Mary.
During his confinement in Georgia, Trott had somehow happened upon the published work of Campbell. This marked the beginning of a change. He expressed his gratitude to the Lord that "the ancient gospel, like the sun of a cloudless morning," had risen upon the eyes of his understanding. He reported that on recent trip to visit his family in Tennessee, he was "immersed into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Now, he had returned to the Cherokee Nation where he was "on a tour, proclaiming the glad tidings."

Trott closed his letter affirming that whatever the destiny of the Cherokees, he expected to live and die with them. He stated that his "heart's desire and prayer to God" was that the "primitive gospel" would triumph among the Indians. By quoting Romans 10:1 in this way, Trott compared his devotion to the Cherokees to the Apostle Paul's concern for his fellow Jews.[3] And, as if to underscore the wholehearted and incarnational character of his mission, he signed his letter simply, "Cherokee."[4]

In all likelihood, Trott knew that Campbell would be sympathetic to his position and plight. The missionary likely had read the very first issue of the Millennial Harbinger, published in January of 1830. It included an article by Campbell titled "The Cherokee Indians."

In that article, Campbell railed against any state that would seize a person's land and banish the owner "because he is red, or yellow, or some other unfashionable color." Quoting the abolitionist leader William Lloyd Garrison, Campbell stated that the forcible removal of the Cherokees from Georgia would "brand this country with eternal infamy, and expose it to the accumulated vengeance of Heaven." He concluded by expressing his hope that there was enough justice, truth, and faith in the hearts of the American people that they would not allow "an innocent and harmless nation" to be given up "to the cupidity of a few capitalists in Georgia or anywhere else."[5]

Tragically, the United States did not realize this hope. Many Americans of European descent refused to conceive of a national expansion that included Indians. To them, manifest destiny was the destiny of white Americans only.


[1] James J. Trott, "To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger," Millennial Harbinger (February 6, 1832), 85.

[2] Tim Alan Garrison, The Legal Ideology of Removal: The Southern Judiciary and the Sovereignty of Native American Nations (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2002), 169-97.

[3] According to the King James Bible, in Romans 10:1, Paul writes: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved."

[4] Trott, "To the Editor of the Millennial Harbinger," 85.

[5] Alexander Campbell, "The Cherokee Indians" Millennial Harbinger (January 4, 1830), 44-46.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Alexander Campbell, "Woman and Her Mission" (1856)

This post summarizes and makes a few observations about Alexander Campbell's address to the students at Henry Female Seminary in Newcastle, Kentucky, on May 30, 1856. The speech, "Woman and Her Mission," appears in Campbell's collection titled Familiar Lectures and Addresses. The full bibliographic entry appears below.

Given the time of year, this might have been a commencement address. However, the transcription does not include any of the typical references to graduates that one would expect if this were a graduation speech.

Many parts of Campbell's address have nothing to do directly with his topic. His remarks include some of the his favorite points and observations. For example, when commenting on the creation of woman, Campbell sets out to undermine philosophical materialism. He contends that there exists no proof, nor even a way to imagine, that matter somehow generated spirit.

Campbell also denies that the first two chapters of the Bible are separate creation accounts in conflict with one another. He describes them, instead, as a general creation account in Genesis 1, followed by an expansive sequel in Genesis 2. The second chapter focuses on the sixth day of creation, especially the making of the first two humans, the zenith of God's creative work.

The early part of the speech also includes what I see as one of many statements in the writings of Campbell that implicitly deny the charge that "Campbellism" was a system of water-and-works salvation, merely baptism followed by a life of good deeds:
It is essential to our redemption, that some supernatural interposition should have been originated and instituted, else our escape from this condition would have been, so far as our reason or resources are concerned, wholly impossible (214). 
He positively asserts that neither human reason, imagination, nor creativity could have ever brought salvation to humanity. "Revelation alone meets the present conditions of our being" (214).

After these and several other preliminary remarks, Campbell turns to the theme of his title. In speaking about "woman," he makes a case for different gender roles that is deeply rooted in the biblical doctrine of creation. Citing Genesis 2:18--"And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him"--Campbell observes that "woman was created to be a companion, perfectly suitable to man." But this raises the more specific question, "For what was woman created and made?" (219).

According to English translations of Genesis 3:20, Adam called his wife Eve, a name that is translated from the Hebrew term whose central idea is Life. From this Campbell elaborates, "But she is not only the mere life of humanity, in its literal import, but the life and the spirit of all true and genuine civilization" (219). For this very reason, says Campbell, a person can judge any society by finding out how women are treated among them.

From there, Campbell states that woman "is, or may be, the better half" of humanity. And this, he emphasizes, is where we must identify gender distinctions and roles. Woman is the "better half" of humanity "not in muscular power, not in physical strength, not in animal courage, not in intellectual rigor, but in delicacy of thought, in sensitiveness of feeling, in patient endurance, in constancy of affection, in moral courage and in soul-absorbing devotion" (222). He clarifies what this does and does not mean in terms of intellect. Directly addressing his female hearers, Campbell says:
You study physical science, physiology, pneumatology, and probably some of you have even encountered and vanquished metaphysics. Of one thing we are assured, that these studies are as much within your grasp as they are within that of half the young gentlemen of the present living age (224).
Women are as intellectually capable as men. If anything, perhaps even more so. But this is not the end of the matter, because what people learn should be based on the "special calling, or the special mission, of each individual" (225). The schooling of a woman "should be equal to her mission" (226). And what is that mission? "She was an extract of man, in order to form man; in order to develop, perfect, beautify, and beatify man" (226).

It certainly appears that Campbell is saying woman's highest calling is to the role of wife (a suitable helper) and mother; to make "the patriot, the philanthropist and the Christian" (227). To women has been conferred "the sovereignty of the human heart." This means that women do not stand "in the front rank of the battle-field" (228). To be more specific:
There is no necessity to mount the rostrum, to stand up in public assemblies, to address mixed auditories of both sexes, of all classes and of all orders of society, in order to fill up the duties of your mission (228).
The Christian woman is one "who is always in her proper sphere" (228).


Campbell, Alexander. "Woman and Her Mission. Delivered before the Henry Female Seminary, Newcastle, KY., May 30 1856." in Popular Lectures and Addresses (St. Louis: Christian Publishing Company, 1864), pp. 213-30.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Political Leaders of the Chickasaws, 1830s-1987

The map above is Indian Territory, 1885. (Click on the map for a much larger view). The Chickasaw Nation was located in what is now South-Central Oklahoma.

The following is a chronological list of the Chiefs and Governors of the Chickasaw Nation, followed by a brief discussion, with notes, and set of questions I still have. (The numbers in parentheses indicate pertinent collections in the Western History Collections at OU, according to the printed guide by Kristina Southwell). I welcome your comments and ideas:

Era of the Chiefs

??-1839    George Colbert, Chickasaw Chief
??-1840s   Ishtehotopa, "king" of the Chickasaw
1844-46   Isaac Alberson, Chickasaw Chief
1846-48   James McLaughlin, Chickasaw Chief
1848-50   Edmund Pickens, Chickasaw Chief
1850-56   Daugherty Colbert, Chickasaw Chief


1856-58   Cyrus Harris (635, 698)
1858-60   Daugherty Winchester Colbert (317)
1860-62   Cyrus Harris
1862-64   Daugherty Winchester Colbert
1864-66   Daugherty Winchester Colbert
1866-68   Cyrus Harris
1868-70   Cyrus Harris
1870-71   W. P. Brown
1871-72   Thomas J. Parker (1185)
1872-74   Cyrus Harris
1874-76   Benjamin Franklin Overton (1174)
1876-78   Benjamin Franklin Overton
1878-80   Benjamin Crooks Burney (200)
1880-82   Benjamin Franklin Overton
1881        Hickeyubbee, acting governor
1882-84   Benjamin Franklin Overton
1884-86   Jonas Wolf (1643)
1886-88   William M. Guy (604)
1888-90   William Leander Byrd (213)
1890-92   William Leander Byrd
1892-94   Jonas Wolf
1894        Tecumseh A. McClure, acting governor (959)
1894-96   Palmer Mosely (1054)
1896-98   Robert Maxwell Harris (639)
1898-00   Douglas Henry Johnston (698, 790, 898)
1900-02   Douglas Henry Johnston
1902-04   Palmer Mosely
1904-06   Douglas Henry Johnston
1906        Peter Maytubby (Though elected in 1906, he never took office)
1906-39   Douglas Henry Johnston
1939-63   Floyd Maytubby
1963        E. B. "Hugh" Maytubby
1963-87   Overton James


As Muriel H. Wright explains,
Though Ishtehotopa was the "king" of the Chickasaw until his death in the late eighteen forties, the treaty of Doaksville was signed by the Chickasaw chief, George Colbert, who served as such until his death in 1839. Under provisions of this treaty, Chickasaw district chiefs were elected, but were not always in regular attendance at the annual sessions of the Choctaw General Council.[1]
In 1855, the Chickasaws finally established a greater political separation from their brother tribe, the Choctaws. In the years that followed, early electoral contests among the Chickasaws did not feature political parties as such. However, according to Arrell M. Gibson, in the years that followed the Civil War, "two principle partisan associations" emerged. Eventually, these came to be called the National party, typically supported by "full bloods," and the Progressive party, typically supported by "mixed bloods."[2]

Prior to the 1880s, the two parties agreed that "preserving the Chickasaw way of life and protecting tribal property" were central goals.[3] The main differences between to the two parties revolved around questions of political and legal strategy. But, again according to Gibson, by the mid-1880s, that unity began to dissolve. As he explains,
The full bloods became aroused at the pervasive changes occurring in their nation--rapid economic development dominated by outsiders, growth of the non-Indian community, and appropriation of vast tracts of the tribal domain by mixed bloods and non-citizens to form towns, farms, and ranches. The full bloods reacted by committing their National party to a program of checking railroad expansion, turning back the tide of immigration, purging their government of "white" Indian (the intermarried citizen) influence, and generally preserving the surviving old ways.[4]
Thus, a political scene developed in which the tribal traditionalists of the National party advanced what they called a "pullback program," while members of the Progressive party advanced what looked like inevitable change, the "modernization" of the tribe.[5]

Strong feelings and radical action characterized the political battle that ensued. The tension came to a head in the governor's race of 1886. That year, William L. Byrd, a mixed blood who nonetheless supported the position of the full bloods, was the National party's candidate for governor. His opponent, the Progressive party candidate, was William M. Guy. Voting was so evenly divided, officials found it impossible to declare a winner. This required the legislature to decide the outcome. They were about as divided as their constituents. Guy prevailed by a single vote.

True to the Progressive platform, Governor Guy negotiated a plan that permitted the Santa Fe railway to construct a line through the Chickasaw Nation. To supporters of the National party, this amounted to sacrilege. In an attempt to gain control of the executive branch, in 1888, Byrd ran against Guy a second time. That election turned out to be even more contentious than the race two years before. Once the votes were tallied, officials declared Guy the victor. Dissatisfied, leaders of the National party challenged the count in certain precincts. After investigating the matter, the Chickasaw legislature rejected a significant number of ballots, and named Byrd the winner.

At that juncture, Sam Paul, head of the Chickasaw light horse police and a Guy supporter, marched his men on the capital and ordered the legislature to reconsider. That body retracted its verdict, Byrd and his supporters quietly departed Tishomingo, and Guy ostensibly became the accepted chief executive. But as soon as the light horse evacuated Tishomingo, the National party returned, took control of the government, and installed Byrd as governor.[6] "Reported Assassination of W. M. Guy," a newspaper story published on November 15, 1888, reveals just how serious these events were:
Chickasaw Troubles.--The reported assassination of Governor Guy in the Chickasaw nation is disputed, but the latest information is to the effect that the attempt so aroused his friends that over 300 of them, heavily armed, gathered at Tishomingo Monday to protect him. Bird [sic], with 200 armed men is also in camp near the capital, and unless the United States interfere it was thought a battle would occur Tuesday night. It is said Guy's forces would number 700, the non-citizens having espoused his case against the Byrd party.[7]
This episode set the tone for the remaining years of the Chickasaw Nation prior to Oklahoma statehood in 1907. Mistrust, rancor, and division ruled the last two decades.

A side note: As the list indicates, Peter Maytubby was elected governor in 1906, yet never took office. Muriel Wright explains that this was the case because "Congress, on April 26, 1906, provided for the continuance of the 'present tribal governments'." For this reason, Douglas H. Johnston remained in office.[8]


[1] Muriel H. Wright, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1951), 96.

[2] Arrell M. Gibson, The Chickasaws (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971), 298.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 299.

[7] This article appeared in Indian Chieftain, published from Vinita, I. T., November 15, 1888. A typescript is located in the University of Oklahoma's Western History Collections, William M. Guy Collection, folder 9.

[8] Wright, A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma, 95.


What were the circumstances under which Hickeyubbee served as acting governor in 1881?

What were the circumstances under which T. A. McClure served as acting governor in 1894?

Additional Bibliography

"Past Governors"

Meserve, John Bartlett. "Governor William Leander Byrd." Chronicles of Oklahoma 12, no. 4 (December 1934): 432-33.

Friday, July 06, 2018

El Meta, Lockney, and Hereford: Comparing Three Christian Colleges

One idea I have is to compare the brief careers of three Christian colleges:

El Meta Christian College (later, El Meta Bond College, 1889-1920)
Lockney Christian College (1894-1918)
Hereford Christian College and Industrial School (1902-1912)

Why were these colleges established? How did they get their start? And, why did all they have such short lifespans? Three factors combine to make these schools good candidates for comparison.

Religious Connections

In the first place, all three were private institutions founded by Christians with strong ties to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. This movement, a strong impulse on the American religious scene growing out of the Second Great Awaking, eventually gave rise to the Disciples of Christ denomination, the independent Christian Churches, and the Churches of Christ.

Because of their connection to the Restoration Movement, the founders of these schools shared the same vision regarding the purpose and goals of formal education. They inherited this outlook from their religious ancestor Alexander Campbell. Far more than any other person in Restoration history, it was Campbell who shaped the movement's philosophy of education.[1]

For Campbell, education was not an end in itself. Rather, it was a means to an end. The true goal was the knowledge of God which, in addition to its eternal benefits, would lead to a morally-sound, well-ordered society, one that would promote human flourishing and joy. According to Campbell's educational philosophy, a person's intellectual growth went hand in hand with his religious and moral development. Ideally, all of these accompanied and aided the other. Education was vital.[2] For example, writing in the pages of The Millennial Harbinger in 1836, Campbell asserted that whatever a person's natural capacities might be, "without education neither intellectual greatness nor moral goodness can be attained." He went on to say that "it is the primary duty of all parents to educate their children." Naturally, Campbell assumed that parents themselves would serve as their child's first teachers. But, he added, "schools, primary and secondary, or schools and colleges, are the most ancient and useful inventions for this purpose."[3] In an 1856 address, Campbell indicated the significance he assigned to teachers:
I have come to the conclusion that no class of men, in any department of society, have more of the good or evil destiny of the world in their hands and under their influence than the teachers of our schools and colleges."[4]
Campbell's commitment to formal education led him to establish Buffalo Seminary in 1818, the year he turned thirty. He conducted the boarding school in his house. Classes met on the ground floor. Students were housed upstairs. And Campbell and his growing family lived in the basement.[5] As one might guess, this experiment lasted for only a few years (1818-1823). But it must have provided several practical lessons that Campbell was able to put to good use when, in 1840, he opened Bethany College. Sometimes called the mother of all Disciple colleges, nearly 180 years old, Bethany College is still in operation today.

Time Frame

Another reason why El Meta, Lockney, and Hereford can be compared is that all three operated at roughly the same time. The school known for many years as El Meta Christian College began at Silver City in the Chickasaw Nation in 1889. The next year, almost all of the tiny community of Silver City moved seven miles to the west to be near the railroad, the Chicago Rock, Island and Pacific, which was laying track, extending the line south out of Kansas. Meta Chestnutt and her schoolhouse made up part of of the migration and helped to start a new town they called Minco, which was home to the college until its closing in 1920.

Charles Walker Smith and St. Clair W. Smith, of no relation to one another, established Lockney Christian College in Lockney, Floyd County, Texas, in 1894. The school remained in operation until 1918.

Hereford Christian College and Industrial School in Hereford, Texas, opened its doors in 1902. Randolph Clark, the school's first president, was an eventual co-founder of what is now Texas Christian University. For a few years, the school at Hereford was known as Panhandle Christian College. After only a decade in operation, the college closed in 1912.

Regional Relations

A third factor that makes these three schools comparable is that they were located in what is essentially the same region. Whites who settled in Texas and Oklahoma were a nineteenth-century extension of a pattern of migration that began more than a century before. Around the year 1718, waves of migrants from northern Ireland and from the border regions of southern Scotland and the north of England began arriving at the ports of Newcastle, Delaware, and Philadelphia. Typically, these people, who represented a distinctive cultural type, moved past the cities of the American east coast to barren sections of the western frontier. Consequently, they were the white settlers of the backcountry, especially the lands that became the the American South [6] It would be hard to overestimate the significance of the size of this migration and its meaning for the future of the United States. For example, during the six decades leading up to the American Revolution, over 100,000 people from the province of Ulster in Northern Ireland alone had immigrated to British North America.[7]

Beyond the historic similarities between Texas and Oklahoma, one can say that far more than any other part of Texas, the Panhandle Plains region of the Lone Star state bears a close resemblance to Oklahoma. Historian Donald Worster takes note of this in his monumental study titled Dust Bowl. He observes that by the 1930s, especially in the area from Lubbock to Amarillo, "the cultural patterns were almost identical to those farther east." Worster mentions that this is not surprising because, for example,  in spite of the 100th meridian, the line dividing western Oklahoma from the Texas Panhandle, both sections were part of a regional cotton kingdom. He suggests that Woody Guthrie personifies this connection. Born in Okemah, Oklahoma in 1912, Woody "moved to Pampa, over in the Texas panhandle, in 1929 and remained there through the dust storms until he hitched a ride to California in 1937."[8]

Looking for links between Oklahoma and the high plains of Texas, students of Restoration history might point to R. W. Officer. At the turn of the twentieth century, Officer made his home in Atoka, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. But sometime after he buried his wife, Lota Venable Officer, he moved west to what is now Turkey, Texas in Hall County. He died and was buried at Turkey in 1930, having lived to the age of 85.


[1] John L. Morrison, "Education, Philosophy of," in Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), 292-94. On this topic, see also the fine essay by Thomas H. Olbricht, "Alexander Campbell as an Educator," in Lectures in Honor of the Alexander Campbell Bicentennial, 1788-1988 (Nashville: Disciples of Christ Historical Society, 1988), 79-100.

[2] Morrison, "Education."

[3] Alexander Campbell, "Remarks," Millennial Harbinger, 1836, 201.

[4] Alexander Campbell, "Address on Education," in Popular Lectures and Addresses (Philadelphia: James Challen & Son, 1863), 245.

[5] Leroy Garrett, "Campbell, Alexander," in Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, 120.

[6]  David Hackett Fischer, Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). Fischer notes that the years 1718, 1729, 1741, 1755, 1767, and 1774 were peak periods. The decade from 1765 to 1775 witnessed two-thirds of the entire migration (605-08). For Texas and Oklahoma as two places where the descendants of these immigrants moved to during the nineteenth century, see 633-39.

[7] Patrick Griffin, The People with No Name: Ireland's Ulster Scots, America's Scots Irish, and the Creation of a British Atlantic World, 1689-1764 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001), 1-8.

[8] Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 61. Worster might have also mentioned that even before Woody moved to Pampa, his father, Charlie, broken by tragedy, went there first.