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Henningham family) emigrated from Ireland to Barbadoes, where he died early in the eighteenth century, leaving a widow and a numerous family of children. The youngest child, George, came to Virginia about the year 1727 with the family of Joseph Mayo, a Barbadoes merchant. Mr. Mayo purchased and occupied the ancient seat of Powhatan, near the Falls of Jamestown. Young Carrington lived for some years with Mr. Mayo as his storekeeper. About 1732, when in his twenty-first year, he married Anne, the eldest daughter of William Mayo, brother of Joseph, who had settled in Goochland. They went to reside on Willis's Creek, now in Cumberland county. They had eleven children,—viz.: Paul, William, (who died in infancy,) George, William again, Joseph, Nathaniel, Henningham, Edward, Hannah, (who married a Cabell and was mother of Judge Cabell,) Mayo, Mary, (who married a Watkins.) The parents, George Carrington and his wife, both died in 1785. From them sprang the numerous families of Carringtons in Virginia; and in the female line the descendants have been numerous. Their eldest child, Paul Carrington, married, as we have already said, the daughter of Colonel Clement Read, of Lunenburg,—now Charlotte,—who left a memory of great virtues. Their children were Paul, Clement, George, Mary, and Anne. Her youngest child, Paul, became Judge of the General Court of Virginia, and died in 1816. The elder Paul Carrington was married a second time, to Miss Priscilla Sims. Two of their children died in infancy. The rest were Henry, Robert, Letitia, and Martha. A very interesting account is given of this, the elder Carrington, in Mr. Grigsby's book,—the Convention of 1776. He was a member of that body, and filled various departments of duty during the Revolutionary struggle, while furnishing three sons to the army, two of whom were eminently distinguished. He was an able lawyer in his day, and after the close of the war was promoted to the General Court, and then to the Court of Appeals, where he was associated with his old friend, Edmund Pendleton, from whom he seldom if ever differed on all the great questions which came before them during the scenes of the Revolution. Agreeing with Pendleton on the subject of religion and in attachment to the Episcopal Church, when the question of the constitutionality of the law for selling the glebes came before the Court of Appeals, we find them united in giving their voice against the law. Mr. Grigsby informs us that "in middle life, and until the war of the Revolution was past, he was of a grave turn. Before the troubles began he had lost the bride of his youth. During the war, and when the Southern States were almost the reconquered Colonies of Britain, he was never seen to smile. Day succeeded day in his domestic life, and not only was no smile seen to play upon his face, but hardly a word fell from his lips. He was almost overwhelmed with the calamities which assailed his country. But his latter years were cheered by its prosperity and glory. He died in the eighty-sixth year of his age."
That some of the descendants of such men as Paul Carrington and Clement Read, born and living in Prince Edward and the counties around, should have forsaken a Church many of whose ministers had forsaken them in times of trial, or else proved most unworthy, is not to be wondered at, when we remember the ministers of the Presbyterian Church who were sent into Virginia, and were reared in it just before, during, and after the Revolution. Samuel Davies led the way. The two Smiths were men of superior abilities. Old David Rice was himself a host. Dr. Graham, Dr. Alexander, and Dr. Hodge, following soon after, and having the powerful influence of a college in their hands, could not but make a deep impression on the public mind in all that region. It is not to be wondered at that Episcopalians should wish well to the institution, and that we should find among the trustees the names of Paul Carrington, William Cabell, Sr., James Madison, General Everard Meade, and others, who with their families were attached to the Episcopal Church, and so many of whose descendants have continued so to be. It was, in opposition to some fears expressed at the time, most solemnly pledged that it should not be a sectarian proselyting institution, though the forms of the Presbyterian Church would be observed in it; and the fact that Episcopalians have often been in some measure concerned, as trustees or professors, in its management, proves that the pledge has been redeemed as far as perhaps is practicable in such institutions. The long and prosperous Presidency over it by the late Mr. Cushing, whose memory is held in respect by all who knew him, and who, although a member of the Episcopal Church, enjoyed the confidence of the trustees of the College, and the fact that the Rev. Mr. Dame, of Danville, and Colonel Smith, of Lexington, with their well-known Episcopal attachments, were professors in the institution, are proofs that it was conducted in as catholic a spirit as circumstances would admit of. Whether in the lapse of time any change has taken place in its constitution or administration, I am unable to say.
The articles in which the Presbyterian Church has been spoken of having been read by a gentleman well versed in its history, he has kindly sent me the following letter:—
"right Rev. And Dear Sir:—I have lately read your articles on Lunenburg, Charlotte, Halifax, Prince Edward, kc. with special interest, as my early years were spent in the latter county, where my maternal relatives reside, and who were connected with many families in the other countries mentioned, by blood, or affinity, or religious sympathy. Your papers embody much that I have often heard, with considerable additions. Knowing that, while traversing this region, "Ineedis per igues, suppositos cineri doloso," I must needs be curious to see how you would bear yourself, and I cannot refrain from intimating my admiration of the spirit in which you have handled a somewhat difficult theme. I will even add something more in this connection,—reflections occasioned by your notices, and which I must beg you to excuse, if at all trenching en propriety.
"My mother, as you may have heard, though firmly attached to her own faith and Church, has a sincere, and, of late years, growing, respect for that over which you preside. I read your articles above mentioned to her, and while she was pleased with their spirit, she is ready to confirm most of the facts, saying of that concerning Prince Edward in particular, 'ft is all true; and he might have added more in the same strain.'
"The decline of Episcopacy in that region was no doubt hastened by the causes to which you have adverted,—such as the defection of one minister, the character of others, the rise of Hainpden-Syduey College, &C. ; but the falling off of certain families, whose influence ultimately gave a caste to religious opinion, was prepared long before. Thus, Anne Michaux, daughter of one of the original refugees, and who, having fled from France on the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, settled at Manakin, married Richard Woodson, Esq., of Poplar Hill, Prince Edward, sometimes called Baron Woodson on account of his large possessions. This lady, to whom I referred in my former letter, lived herself to a great age, but of a numerous offspring only two daughters survived, one of whom was married to Nathaniel Venable, son of that Alvan Venable whom you have mentioned as one of the vestrymen of a parish in Louisa,—the other to Francis Hopkins, Esq., clerk of Prince Edward. The tradition of Mrs. Woodson's many virtues is preserved among her numerous descendants to this day. Her strong character and devoted piety appear to have made an indelible impression on such of them as had the happiness to know her. And this it was, I believe, that gave them a respect not only for religion in general, but a bias toward that particular type of Protestantism of which she was so brilliant an ornament.
"Joseph Morton, the ancestor of the most numerous branch of the Mortons, of Charlotte, married a sister of Richard Woodson. The progenitor of the Mortons of Prince Edward and Cumberland married a Michaux. Other families of Scots or Scotch-Irish and Huguenot race were settled in both counties. But the families of Venable and Watkins, and afterward the Reads, of Charlotte, did not become thoroughly Scotched until the tide of Presbytery, which had now set in from Hanover through Cumberland, was met in that county by a corresponding wave from the Valley through Bedford. The rise of the College, which was in part the effect of this movement, became the cause of its increase, and this institution, together with the Theological Seminary, may be said to have completed it. That the spiritual children of Calvin and Knox should have formed an alliance under such circumstances was perhaps natural. But that a portion of the Carringtons should more recently have taken the same direction may be ascribed in some measure to the influence of family connections.
"I must say, however, that I have never regarded either the Venables or Watkinses as 'bigots to Presbytery' as such. And in this connection it would be false delicacy in me to refrain from stating a fact which was notorious in that county. The leading mind in that whole region, whether among the clergy or laity, was that of Colonel Samuel W. Vcnable, (eldest son of Colonel Nathaniel Venablc above mentioned,) and of whom you will find some notice in the memoir of Dr. Alexander, of Princeton. Two of his brothers, Abraham and Richard, were known as public characters, while he remained in private life; but they always veiled their pretensions in his presence, partly from affection, but more from deference to the ascendent intellect and acknowledged wisdom of their elder brother, which impressed all who approached him. His early life, it is believed, was unstained as to morality; but, although an alumnus of Princeton, it was not until after the Revolution that he gave in his adhesion to the religion of his mother and grandmother, which had now also become that of his wife. He had fought bravely in the war, and was a decided republican in his political sentiments. Would it be too much to suppose that his settled hostility to the spirit of the English Government had somewhat jaundiced his view of the Constitution of her Church? Colonel V. was eminently a practical man,—a stern patriot and friend of good order in society, public spirited, and a patron of all improvement. Now, the bitter waters of infidelity, which had begun to appear in other parts of the State, were not unknown there, and on the outbreak of the French Revolution society in Virginia was menaced as it were with a deluge of false philosophy and its train of evils. It was to stem this tide that he and those who co-operated with him set themselves. It was not for a party that he contended, but for the substance of Christianity itself, which he believed to be in peril. As this was essential to the very existence of free society, all other questions were regarded as secondary. His numerous engagements did not permit him to enter deeply into any scriptural investigation of the relative claims of the different forms of Church Government; and, had it been otherwise, there were few to aid or sympathize with him."
Parishes in Cumberland, Buckingham, and Fluvanna.—St. James Southam, Cumberland.
In 1745, Southam parish was cut off from St. James North, in Goochland county, which county then extended over James River and to the Appomattox. That on the south side of James River was called Southam parish. Southam parish is now in Powhatan county, which was separated at a later date from Cumberland.
A vestry-book of this parish, whose record began in 1745 and continued until 1791, furnishes the following particulars. On June 30, 1746, the Rev. John Robertson enters upon his duties in this parish, being recommended by Governor Gooch and Commissary Dawson, having been ordained the previous year by the Bishop of London. He ceased to be minister in 1751. Mr. McClaurine is then received on probation for twelve months, and continues until his death in 1772. Mr. Jarratt, in his autobiography, speaks of him as a pious mam* The Rev. Jesse Carter, James Oglesby, and Hyde Saunders, at the death of Mr. McClaurine, became applicants for the parish, each preaching some time. Mr. Saunders is chosen in November, 1773, and continues so to be until the year 1791, when the record ends. In the year 1793 he also appears on the journal of the Convention for the first and only time. Nothing more is heard of the parish until the Rev. Mr. Lee took it under his care in connection with Goochland and Amelia, in the year 1827. The Rev. Farley Berkeley, who succeeded Mr. Lee, has also connected a new church at Genito, in Powhatan, with the church in Amelia. For the last eleven years the Rev. Mr. Fisher has been the minister of Southam parish, preaching at Emanuel and St. Luke's Churches, each of which have been built since the
* Of Mr. McClaurine, other favourable accounts of his piety and great benevolence have come to me. He preached at Tar Wallett, Manakin, and Peterville Churches: beneath the chancel-floor of the latter he was buried. He was the first of his name in Virginia. He left three sons and three daughters, two of whom lived and died in Cumberland, and the third at Norfolk, during the last war. Of the daughters, one married a Hobson, another B Swann, and the third a Steger. Their mother was a Miss Blakely, from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.