Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Barnes took his place both in Leeds and IIamilton, and that after Mr. Lemmon's death the Rev. Mr. Slaughter officiated in Leeds parish in conjunction with Upperville and Middleburg. At Mr. Slaughter's resignation of the charge, the Rev. Wm. H. Pendleton became the minister, and so continued until the year 1854. The present minister is the Rev. Mr. Callaway. The parish has recently been subdivided. There are two new churches under the care of the Rev. Mr. Shields, in the part recently cut off, and one in the other under the care of Mr. Callaway. An excellent parsonage is now being built.


convinced by his work, and the fuller investigation to which it led, of the supreme divinity of the Saviour. He determined to apply for admission to the Communion of our Church, -objected to commune in private, because he thought it his duty to make a public confession of the Saviour,-and, while waiting for improved health to enable him to go to the church for that purpose, he grew worse and died, without ever communing. Mrs. Harvey was a lady of the strictest probity, the most hun ble piety, and of a clear discriminating mind, and her statement, the substance of which I give you accurately, (having reduced it to writing,) may be entirely relied on.

“I remember to have heard Bishop Moore repeatedly express his surprise (when speaking of Judge Marshall) that, though he was so punctual in his attendance at church, and reproved Mr. —, and Mr. —, and Mr. -, when they were absent, and knelt during the prayers and responded fervently, yet he never communed. The reason was that which he gave to his daughter, Mrs. Harvey. She said he died an humble, penitent believer in Christ, according to the orthodox creed of the Church. “Very truly, your friend and brother in Christ,

WM. Norwood. “P.S.-Another fact, illustratiug the lasting influence of maternal instruction, was mentioned by Mrs. Harvey. Her father told her that he never went to bed without concluding his prayer with those which his mother taught him when a child, -viz.: the Lord's Prayer and the prayer beginning, Now I lay me down to sleep.'"



Truro Parish, Fairfax County.

FAIRFAX county was separated from Prince William in the year 1742, and at first embraced Loudon county. The whole of this was covered with Truro parish.* In 1749, Cameron parish was cut off from it, and was afterward in Loudon, when that county was separated from Fairfax in 1757. The parish of Truro was again divided in the year 176+. In the years 1754, 1758, and 1764, I have evidence that the Rev. Chas. Green was the minister of Truro parish, and probably lived in the neighbourhood of Gunston, the seat of the Mason family, near which stood the old church which was superseded by Pohick or Mount Vernon Church. Mr. George Mason makes mention of him in a letter dated 1764. I think it probable General Washington also mentions the same person as visiting Mount Vernon in 1760, when Mrs. Washington was sick. How long he may have been the minister after 1764, I cannot ascertain. He was succeeded by the Rev. Lee Massey, either in or before the year 1767, as that is the date of one of his sermons preached at the Old Pohick Church. He was also in the parish as minister in the year 1785, as I find from the date of a sermon preached at the present Pohick Church, which was built during his ministry, of which I possess the proof. How long he ministered after

I this, I am unable to say. Mr. Massey was a lawyer previous to his

a engaging in the ministry, and was ordained by the Bishop of London

* A curious circumstance in relation to the first movements of this parish is recorded in the fifth volume of Henning, pp. 274–275. The Act of Assembly is as follows:-“Whereas, it is represented to this Assembly, that divers of the inhaLitants of the parish of Truro, in the county of Fairfax, do now and for several years past have acted as vestrymen of the said parish, although many of them were never lawfully chosen or qualified; that several pretending to act as vestrymen are not able to read or write, and, under a colour of being lawfully chosen, have taken upon themselves to hold vestries, and imposed many hardships on the inhabitants of the said parish: for remedy thereof be it enacted,” &c. The Act proceeds to order a new election, though ratifying the levies of the pretended vestry. As Laurence Washington, the elder brother of the General, William Fairfax, George Mason, and his father, of Gunston, and others of character and education, were then in the parish, and soon after were vestrymen, we presume that the condemned act was done in some other part of the county.

VOL. II.-15


for Virginia in 1766. His sermons evince talent and are sound in doctrine, but, like most of that day, want evangelical life and spirit, and would never rouse lost sinners to a sense of their condition. He was a man of great wit and humour, the indulgence of which was the fault of many of the clergy of that day. The following account of a dispute between himself and his vestry has been sent me, and illustrates his character. The clerk whom Mr. Massey had selected was unacceptable to the vestry, and in order to get rid of him they give him no salary or a very small one. Mr. Massey complaining, the vestry met and passed two resolutions :1st. That the minister had a right to choose his clerk; 2d. That the vestry had a right to fix his salary. In a letter to the vestry Mr. Massey descanted on these resolutions with severity, and thus concluded:-“And now, gentlemen, as to the knowing ones among you,—and I admit there are such, I would say, 'humanum est errare;' and, as to the rest of you, ne sutor ultra crepidam.' Mr. Massey was a native of King George. His mother was an Alexander. He lived to his eighty-sixth year, and died in 1814. He had, however, ceased from the ministry for many years before his death. The old families had left the neighbourhood or the Church. General Washington, at the close of the war, had fully connected himself with Christ Church, Alexandria, and Pohick was deserted or only attended occasionally by some ministers of whom I shall presently speak. Before taking leave of Mr. Massey, I will adduce the proof that was mentioned that Mount Vernon or Pohick Church was built during his ministry, and not at the much earlier date as supposed by some. A friend has furnished me the following statement:


“ The date of its erection is inscribed on and near the head of one of the columns forming part of the ornamental work of the chancel, in the following manner :-*

*1773. W. B., sculptor.''

The date is also further established by a deed recorded in the county court, of which I have a copy. It is a deed from the vestry of a pew in the church to Mr. Massey and his successors.

“A deed from the vestry of Truro parish, in the county of Fairfax, to wit:-George Washington, Geo. Mason, Daniel McCarty, Alexander Henderson, Thomas Ellzey, Thomas Withers Coffer, Peter Waggener, Thomas Ford, Martin Cockburn, William Triplett, William Payne, Jr., John Barry, John Gunnell, and Thomas Triplett, to Lee Massey, dated 25th of Feb. ruary, 1774, recite that, whereas, in the new church lately built near Pohick, the restry have set apart one of the pews,--viz.: the oue next the pulpit, on the east side thereof, and adjoining the north front wall of the church, for the use of the said Lee Massey, (now rector,) of thc said parish, and his successors.


- Teste,

[ocr errors]

We have in this document not only a witness to the age of the present Pohick Church, but a list of the vestrymen of that day. We have seen a printed list of the vestry of Truro and Fairfax parishes in the year 1765,—just after the division,-in which are some other names belonging to the neighbourhood of Pohick,-as George Wm. Fairfax, Edward Blackburn, William Lynton, William Gardiner, &c. It comes from a leaf, it is said, of the old Pohick vestrybook, which has by some means gotten into the Historical Society of New York. Of the vestry-book itself I can hear no tidings. In the year 1785, I find the name of George Washington, in his own handwriting,—not as a vestryman, but as a pew-holder and subscriber,-in the vestry-book of Christ Church, Alexandria. After this he seldom, if ever, attended at Pohick.

It will be expected that I should say something concerning the tradition as to the part which Washington took in the location of Pohick Church. The following account is probably the correct one. The Old Pohick Church was a frame building, and occupied a site on the south side of Pohick Run, and about two miles from the present, which is on the north side of the run.

When it was no longer fit for use, it is said the parishioners were called together to determine on the locality of the new church, when George Mason, the compatriot of Washington, and senior restryman, advocated the old site, pleading that it was the house in which their fathers worshipped, and that the graves of many were around it, while Washington and others advocated a more central and convenient one. The question was left unsettled and another meeting for its decision appointed. Meanwhile Washington surveyed the neighbourhood, and marked the houses and distances on a welldrawn map, and, when the day of decision arrived, met all the arguments of his opponent by presenting this paper, and thus carried his point. In place of any description of this house in its past or present condition, I offer the following report of a visit made to it in 1837:

“My next visit was to Pohick Church, in the vicinity of Mount Vernon, the seat of General Washington. I designed to perform service there on Saturday as well as Sunday, but through some mistake no notice was given for the former day. The weather indeed was such as to prevent the ussembling of any but those who prize such occasions so much as to be deterred

only by very strong considerations. It was still raining when I approached the house, and found no one there. The wide-open doors invited me to enter,—as they do invite, day and night, through the year, not only the passing traveller, but every beast of the field and fowl of the air. These latter, however, seem to have reverenced the house of God, since few marks of their pollution are to be seen throughout it. The interior of the house, having been well built, is still good. The chancel, Communion

. table, and tables of the law, &c. are still there and in good order. The roof only is decaying; and at the time I was there the rain was dropping on these sacred places and on other parts of the house. On the doors of the pews, in gilt letters, are still to be seen the names of the principal families which once occupied them. How could I, while for at least an hour traversing those long aisles, entering the sacred chancel, ascending the lofty pulpit, forbear to ask, And is this the house of God which was built by the Washingtons, the Masons, the McCartys, the Grahams, the Lewises, the Fairfaxes ?—the house in which they used to worship the God of our fathers according to the venerable forms of the Episcopal Church,—and some of whose names are yet to be seen on the doors of those now deserted pews ? Is this also destined to moulder piocemeal away, or, when some signal is given, to become the prey of spoilers, and to be carried hither and thither and applied to every purpose under heaven?

Surely patriotism, or reverence for the greatest of patriots, if not religion, miglit be effectually appealed to in behalf of this one temple of God. The particular location of it is to be ascribed to Washington, who, being an active member of the vestry when it was under consideration and in dispute where it should be placed, carefully surveyed the whole parish, and, drawing an accurate and handsome map of it with his own hand, showed clearly where the claims of justice and the interests of religion required its erection.”

“It was to this church that Washington for some years regularly repaired, at a distance of six or seven miles, never permitting any company to prevent the regular observance of the Lord's day. And shall it now be permitted to sink into ruin for want of a few hundred dollars to arrest the decay already begun? The families which once worshipped there are indeed nearly all gone, and those who remain are not competent to its complete repair. But there are immortal beings around it, and not far distant from it, who might be forever blessed by the word faithfully preached therein. “The

poor shall never fail out of any land, and to them the Gospel ought to be preached.

“For some years past one of the students in our Theological Seminary has acted as lay reader in it, and occasionally a professor has added his services. Within the last year the Rev. Mr. Johnson, residing in the neighbourhood, has performed more frequent duties there.

“On the day following the one which has given rise to the above, I preached to a very considerable congregation in this old church,

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »