Welcome to a hobby area (under construction). My interest in early (i.e., colonial) South Carolina history started with a family visit to the national park at Ninety Six.
Timeline of the history of Charleston and South Carolina, 1500-present
Woodmason can be a highly amusing writer. (Especially from my perspective as a Presbyterian.) In his early journal entries, he was especially harsh in describing the food and inhabitants. He often railed against the poor and uneducated Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and the Baptists, who he felt hindered the "true Church". Ever the Church partisan, his displeasure with the aristocrats also appears to have arisen when he determined that they neglect "to promote the Interest of the Church of England." Some selections:
"In my Absence, found that my Lodgings had been robbed. ... This was some Device of the Presbyterians." [pp. 17-18]
"Returned to Pine Tree, and gave Sermon as usual on Sunday April 5th. The Reason why my Congregation here is not larger, am told is That there are a gang of Baptists or New Lights over the River to whom many on that Side resort -- And that on Swift Creek 10 Miles below, a Methodist has set up to read and preach ev'ry Sunday -- Both of them exceeding low and ignorant persons -- Yet the lower Class chuse to resort to them rather than to hear a Well connected Discourse." [p. 20]
"This Day we had another Specimen of the Envy Malice and Temper of the Presbyterians - They gave away 2 Barrels of Whisky to the Populace to make drink, and for to disturb the Service - for this being the 1st time that the Communion was ever celebrated in this Wild remote Part of the World, it gave a Great Alarm, and caus'd them much Pain and Vexation. The Company got drunk by 10 oth Clock and we could hear them firing, hooping, and hallowing like Indians." [p. 30]
"Among this Medley of Religions - True Genuine Christianity is not to be found. And the perverse persecuting Spirit of the Presbyterians, displays it Self much more here than in Scotland. It is dang'rous to live among, or near any of them - for if they cannot cheat, rob, defraud or injure You in Your Goods - they will belye, defame, lessen, blacken, disparage the most valuable Person breathing, not of their Communion in his Character, Good Name, or Reutation and Credit. They have almost worm'd out all the Church People - who cannot bear to live among such a Sett of Vile unaccountable Wretches." [p. 43]
"One of the [Baptists] lately to shew his Wit, went quibbling and quirking on my Name. ... " [p. 111]
"How lamentable to think, that the Legislature of this Province will make no Provision -- so rich, so luxurious, polite a People! Yet they are deaf to all Solicitations, and look on the poor White People in a Meaner Light than their Black Slaves, and care less for them. Withal there is such a Republican Spirit still left, so much of the Old Leaven of Lord Shaftsbury and other the 1st principal Settlers still remains, that they seem not at all to promote the Interest of the Church of England -- Hence it is that above 30,000 L [pounds] Sterling have lately been expended to bring over 5 or 6000 Ignorant, mean, worthless, beggarly Irish Presbyterians, the Scum of the Earth, and Refuse of Mankind, and this, solely to ballance the Emigrations of People from Virginia, who are all of the Established Church." [pp. 60-61]
Note from the book's editor on the immigration: "The rulers of the colony became adept at a sort of chess game whereby the human pieces that inhabited or bordered South Carolina might be moved to give security to the planters. An early move was to encourage white, Protestant immigrants to settle frontier regions. These could absorb the shock of Indian, Spanish, or French attack and thus permit coastal planters to remain vigilantly watchful over their slaves at home. Or, should a slave uprising take place without a concurrent external danger, frontiersmen might be 'brought down' to help quell the revolt." [p. xxii]
"... and their Provisions I could not touch -- All the Cookery of these People being exceeding filthy, and most execrable." [p. 13]
"In this plight wet to the skin rode to and fro till night came, when got to Cabbin of a poor Old Dutch Woman, who inform'd me that I was got into the Waxaw Distric among a tribe of Presbyterians. -- 30 [miles]. She had no Refreshments. Not a grain of Corn for the Horse, nor the least Subsistance. We left the Horse to shift for himself and to feed on the twigs and Bushes - Her Son was from home - She dry'd my Cloaths, and I sat up all Night by the Fire, quite tired and spent, having nor made what could be called a Meal for some days - Nothing but Indian Corn Meal to be had Bacon and Eggs in some Places - No Butter, Rice, or Milk - As for Tea and Coffee they know it not. These people are all from Ireland, and live wholly on Butter, Milk, Clabber and what in England is given to the Hogs and Dogs." [p. 34]
"Bring no Dogs with You ... and do not practise that unseemly, rude, indecent Custom of Chewing or of spitting, which is very ridiculous and absurd in Public, especially in Women and in Gods House." [p. 88]
"But not content with alledging the Vile falsities of Non Edification, and Offense as Extenuations of their quitting the Church in which they were Born, and Baptiz'd in order to be baptiz'd over again, and to be Pure from all Sin -- (Save that of Schism and Lying) Another company has given out, That it was against their Conscience about Kneeling, and Bowing, and other Ceremonies enjoin'd by our Liturgy and therefore to quiet their Consciences they were under necessity of quitting us."
"... Some of our qualmish Neighbours whose Consciences keep them in perpetual Disquiet cannot bear the Thought (without Shuddering and Sweating) of Bowing at the Name of Jesus. But their tender Consciences will never upbraid them or fly in their faces, for bowing down upon a Strumpet, and committing fornication.
"Others, will not admit of the Cross in Baptism but their Consciences have not the least Objection to the Stealing of my Horse, or killing my Cattle and Hogs, and saying a Long Grace over their Flesh when cook'd up to their Table.
"Again, Others have Scruples of Conscience in respect to use of Rings in Marriages but have not the least Scruple of running away with other Mens wives...
"Others are so exceeding Conscientious That in taking of an Oath they would not lay their Hand on the Bible, or Kiss the Book. No! that is Popish -- that is abominable -- But they would make no scruple to kiss their Neighbours Wife.
"Some others Consciences are very nice in respect to Hats -- Buttons -- Lace, and Ornaments of Dress -- Their Consciences would condemn them as Great Sinners in having more than Ten Buttons on their Coat. But they feel no Remorse in drinking Ten Bottles of Wine or Ale, and getting as drunk as Beasts.
"... It must be very Painful and Uneasy to any Person, doubtless to be troubled with such excessive a Tender Conscience those more especially whose Consciences would cause them to faint at Sound of an Organ in a Church, but whose Conscience never accuse them of utterring ten thousand Lyes, Scandals, Defamations and falshoods against their Neighbours." [pp. 104-106]
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Notes on Tennessee religious history from Lillye Younger, The History of Decatur County Past and Present (Southhaven, MS: Carter Printing Company, 1978), pp. 75-118.
The first minister known to have preached in the Tennessee Country was Reverend Charles Cummings, a Presbyterian, who preached to the people in the Holston Valley as early as 1772. It is interesting as to how he protected himself from the lawless group. He went to services armed with a rifle and plenty of powder and lead.
The first church built in Tennessee was probably in Sullivan County not far from Blountville before 1777.
... Even though the Presbyterian got that early start, the Baptist and Methodist grew much more rapidly. The reason was that the Presbyterians insisted that their ministers be well educated.
At that time, it was different with Baptists. They did not insist upon educated preachers. If God called an uneducated man, it was not required that he be educated. Too, Baptist Churches were individual churches at that time.
... The Methodist church was organized in America long after the Baptist and Presbyterian. There were very few Methodists in the Thirteen Colonies when the Revolutionary War began, but they started organizing. Their number increased tremendously during the next few years. The first Circuit-rider in Tennessee was Jeremiah Lambert. In 1783, he was appointed to ride the "Holston Circuit".
They rode from community to community putting up at anyone's house where they were made welcome and preaching the gospel in brush arbors, barns, under a tree, or it might be a church, but rarely. Aside from the Bible and other books, they carried little as they traveled the countryside on horseback. Their chief concern was to preach the gospel and to win souls for Christ. Despite the fact that they oft-times buried themselves in the wilderness in pioneer days, they became servants who made Tennessee the stronghold of Methodism in the South.
From the work of these Circuit Riders stemmed the "Camp Meetings". These servants preached to very small groups where ever they stopped and as they told one group of another group they had a desire to meet. Thus, spiraled "Camp Meeting" during the summer.
The first "Camp-Meeting" recorded was about 1800. Families came via wagons, buggies, horseback or on foot, bringing their food and clothing for the week or two.
a Tenn./Ky. religious history would be incomplete w/o a few Church of Christ history links (post-colonial, some quick web search hits, very incomplete)
[Mark's homepage] [CPSC homepage] [Clemson Univ. homepage]