xt7f7m03z770 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7f7m03z770/data/mets.xml Allen, Frank G. 1887  books b92-29-26569072 English Guide Printing & Publishing Co., : Cincinnati : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Clergy Kentucky Biography.Graham, Robert. Autobiography  / of Frank G. Allen ; and selections from his writings ; edited by Robert Graham. text Autobiography  / of Frank G. Allen ; and selections from his writings ; edited by Robert Graham. 1887 2002 true xt7f7m03z770 section xt7f7m03z770 





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            EDITED BY
   PArsident Ofthe College o/ the Bible, Lexington, A3'.

             I 887


            Copyright, I887, by



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   By prescription, which often has the force of law, a
book should have both a Preface and an Introduction:
the first relating to the writer; the second to the things
written. I may well dispense with the latter, for what
is here written the humblest capacity can understand;
and it would be cruel to detain him long on the porch
who is anxious to enter the building.
   But, dear reader, a word with you (for that is the
meaning of " Preface ") before you begin this unpre-
tentious little book, the joint production of an author,
an editor, and a publisher.
   It is due the first, to say that he wrote what is here
called his Autobiography in great physical weakness,
and without expecting that it would appear in this
form. This will account for its homely garb, and apol-
ogize for it, if apology be necessary. Frank Allen had
no time to spend upon mere style in anything he
wrote. He aimed at clearness and force of expression,
and reached these in a remarkable degree in his latter
days. If any one, therefore, should take up this vol-
ume expecting to find literary entertainment, he will
have the search for his pains; but if he seeks for what
is far better, the secret of a life devoted to God and


goodness, told in plain, unvarnished English, he will
not be disappointed.
   When I received from the gifted author the record
of his ' travel's history," I intended to write his Life,
but death came and found us, not him, unprepared;
and so, under the constraint of other and pressing
duties, my purpose was reluctantly abandoned. Be-
sides, upon examination it was found that with a few
changes and additions here and there, these memo-
randa, as they came from the hand of their author,
could, under the circumstances, appear in that form
and do him no discredit.
   Such is my admiration of this noble man, and such
my deference to what I am sure must be the desire of
his friends, that I have preferred to let him tell in sim-
ple phrase the strange story of his struggles and tri-
umphs; and if its perusal should give the reader half
the pleasure it has been to me to prepare it for the
press, I shall not have labored in vain. The book is
intended to be a Memornal Volume, and especially one
to encourage young men who, under adverse circum-
stances, are striving to qualify themselves to preach
the gospel. Bro. Allen was always in warm and loving
sympathy with these-so much so, that he was rightly
called the young preacher's friend.
   It is a pleasure to say that such is the veneration of
the publishers, The Guide Printing and Publishing
Company, for the memory of our deceased brother,




that but for them this tribute would hardly have ap-
peared.  With a generosity as rare as it is praise-
worthy, they have undertaken to publish the work in
the best style of theirart, ata low price, and without
any pecuniary risk to Sister Allen; and, indeed, in all
their transactions with her they have given abundant
proof that men can carry into business the benevolent
spirit of pure and undefiled religion.
   It only remains to be said that whatever profits
arise from the sale of this book go to the wife and
children of its lamented author, and that should suffi-
cient encouragement be given, a companion volume
containing the letters and miscellaneous productions of
Bro. Allen may in due time be issued.
                                       THE EDITOR.
   LEXINGTON, Ky., May, 1887.



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                        CHAPTER 1.
Birth and Ancestors.-Family Circumstances.-" Fist and Skull"
    Entertainment.-Removal to Ohio and Return.-Fight with
    his Mother.-Gets Lost.-His Father Buys a Farm.-The
    "1 Improvements. "-Plenty of Hard Work.-His Opinion of
    Work  and  of  Play  ........ ....................... .....  I

                        CHAPTER II.
His First School.-The School-bouse.-The Teacher.-The Order
    of Reciting.-Spelling Matches.-First Sweetheart.-Ex-
    tremes in Likes and Dislikes.-Fondness for Study.-Im-
    provement in Schools             .        .           7

                       CHAPTER IlT.
His Religious Experience.-Trie. to be a Methodist.-Hopes to
    Become a Preacher.-Boy Preaching.-Attends a Sunday.
    school.-" Chaws" Tobacco.-Goes to Love Feast.-Mourn.
    ers' Bench Experience.-Is Puzzled and Disgusted  ..  12

                       CHAPTER IV.
Fun and Mischief.-His Little Cousin and the "Gnats."-The
   Aurora Borealis.-A Bumble-bee Scrape.-Another Bee
   Scrape.-Justification by Faith Alone.-Readiness to Fight.
   -Love of Justice.-No Surrender        .      .       17

                        CHAPTER V.
Given to Abstraction of Thought.-Cases in Point.-Opinion of
   Debating Societies.-Perseverance.-Consumption.-Endur-
   ance.-More Comfortable Home.-Death of his Father.-
   Love of Fashionable Amusements.-Meets his Future Wife.
   -Is Married.-Tribute to his Wife.-IHer Father and
   Mother............................................ ...  25


                        CHAPTER VI.
Goes to Housekeeping.-Discussions with Mr. Maddox.-Attends
    Meeting.-Is Baptized by William Tharp.-Double Damages
    for an Old Horse.-Begins Trading.-Moves to Floyclsburg.
    Description of the Place ................................  31

                       CHAPTER VII.
Tries to Become a Politician.-Fails.-Last Act as a Politician.-
    Tries to Join the Southern Army.-Fails Again.-His First
    Appointment.-Feeling of Responsibility.-His Plan.-
    Text.-Analysis of Sermon.-Buys a Family Bible.-Rules
    of Life ...............................................  36

                       CHAPTER VIII.
Resolves to go to College.-Friends Oppose.-Wife Decides It.-
    Hard Living and Hard Work.-Impaired Health.-Preaches
    for his Home Church.-Father-in-law Dies.-" Frank, Be a
    True Mlan."-House Robbed.-" Scraps."-College Inci-
    dents.-First Pay for Preaching.-Holds Several Meetings.-
    Dishonest Preacher .....................................  43

                        CHAPTER IX.
Leaves College.-Goes to Alexandria, Ky.-An Adventure in
   Ohio.-A Baby not Baptized.-Peril in Crossing the River.-
   Opens his School.-Makes Some Money.-Buys a Nice
   Home ................................................  52

                        CHAPTER X.
Narrow Escapes.-Is Thrown from a Horse.-Has Pneumonia.-
   Nearly Killed.-Self-possession.-Almost Drowned.-Eludes
   Angry Soldiers.-Reflections ............................  58

                        CHAPTER XI.
He Abandons the School-room.-Remarkable Meeting near
   Alexandria.-Incidents.-Establishes a Church.-Mischief-
   making Preachers.-Long and Severe Attack of Typhoid
   Fever.-Does not Lose Hope.-Gratitude ................  65

                       CHAPTER XII.
Sells out at Alexandria.-Moves to Crittenden.-Preaches there
   and at Williamstown.-Low State of the-e Churches.-Plan
   of Work.-Memorizing in Sunday-school.-Lack of Church





    Discipline.-One-Man System.-Moves to New Liberty.-
    Visits Mount Byrd .....................................  71

                       CHAPTER XIII.
History of the Mt. Byrd Church.-When Established.-Where.-
   Charter Members.-Officers.-Preachers.--Number of Mem-
   bers.-Three Things Contributing to its Prosperity.-New
   House of Worship.-Serious Trouble in the Church.-How
   Settled.-Method of Raising Money.-The Church Builds
   Allen a House.-Organizes a Sunday-school.-How it is
   Conducted......                          ------ 77

                       CHAPTER XIV.
He Moves to Mt. Byrd.-Debate with J. W. Fitch.-Preaches at
   Madison, Ind.-Protracted meetings at Columbia, Burksville,
   Tl'hompson's Church, Dover, Germantown, Pleasant Hill,
   Burksville again, Beech Grove, Dover again ...............  88

                       CHAPTER XV.
Begins Preaching at Beech Grove.-Debates with Elder Hiner.-
   Amusing Incident.-Holds Many Meetings.-Debates with
   Elder Frogge.-Debates again with Elder Hiner.-Repudi-
   ates Miller's Book.-Sick Again.-Holds more Meetings....  96

                       CHAPTER XVI.
Continues to Evangelize.-Dr. Cook's Prescription.-Incident at
   Glendale.-Peculiar Feature in the Meeting at Madisonville.-
   The Fractious Preacher at Sonora.-Closes his Evangelistic
   Labors.-Establishes the Old Fath Guide.-The Bruner De-
   bate .................................................. 101

                       CHAPTER XVII.
Visits Midway.-Attends the Missouri State Convention.-Re-
   flections.-Annual Sermons.-Last Protracted Meeting.-
   Kindness of Mt. Byrd, Glendale and Smithfield Churches.-
   Gives up Office Work.-Goes to Eureka, III.-Country
   Home.-Takes Cold at the Lexington Convention.-Goes
   to Florida                 .... 107

                      CHAPTER XVIII.
Organizes a Church at DeLand.-Health Improves.-Relapses.-
   Starts Home.-Resignation.-Sells His Interest in the



    Guide.-Begins Writing again.-Attends Two Conventions.
    -Goes to Texas.-At Home again.-Works on ........... 113
                       CHAPTER XIX.
Reflections on his Fiftieth Birthday.-What a Wonderful Being
    is Man !-Governed, not by Instinct, but by Reason.-Man
    Lives by Deeds, not Years.-How to Grow Old.-Half of
    Life Spent in Satan's Service.-Renewed Consecration.-Last
    Three Birthdays.-His Trust in God ...................... 118
                        CHAPTER XX.
Conclusion, by the Editor.-Tokens of Love from Many.-Keeps
    Writing.-Controversy with the Standard.-Last Meeting
    with His Mother.-Visited by Professors McGarvey and
    Graham.-Commits His Writings to the Latter.-Visits Emi-
    nence and Lexington.-Many Brethren Come to See Him.-
    Meeting at Mt. Byrd.-Estimate of His Character.-The
    Closing Scenes.-Farewell to His Family.-Dies.-Funeral
    Services ............................................... 127

              PART II.-ADDRESSES.

 I.-Culture and Christianity: their Relation and Necessity ....  137
 II.-Self-culture ........................................... I59
III.-Plus Ultra vs. Ne Plus Ultra ............................ 175

             PART III.-SELECTIONS.


  1.-Christ the Lamb of God..1Ig
         I.-ChitteLmofGd....................... 140
  II.-Christ the Bread of Life .......................     194
  III.-Christ the Water of Life ..   ..................... 199
  IV.-Christ the Son of God........I...................... 202




                         CONTENTS.                       xiii.

  V.-Christ the Son of Man ..................... ......... 212
  VI.-Christ the Great Teacher ............................. 218
VII.-Christ the Deliverer ................................ 223
VIII.-Christ the Great Physician ...........................  230
IX.-Christ Our Mediator ................................. 236
  X.-Christ Our Mediator (continued) ........ . ............ 242
  XI.-Christ Our High Priest ..............................   249
  XII.-Christ Our Righteousness ...... . .................... 254

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                  CHAPTER I.

Birth and Ancestors.-Family Circumstances.-" Fist and Skull " En-
   tertainment.-Removal to Ohio and Return.-Fight with his
   Mother.-Gets Lost.-His Father Buys a Farm.-The " Improve-
   ments."-Plenty of Hard Work.-His Opinion of Work and of

   I was born near La Grange, Oldham county, Ky.,
March 7, 1836. My father, Francis Myers Allen, was
born in Brown county, Ohio, December 7, i8o7. He
was the son of Thomas Allen, who, in IS812, when my
father was only five years old, moved from Brown
county, O., to Shelby county, Ky., and lived on Little
Bullskin, a few miles west of Shelbyville.
   My mother, Sarah A. Gibbs, was a daughter of
James L. Gibbs and Mary Ashby, and was born in
Loudoun county, Va., April 6, i8o8. The family
moved from Virginia to Kentucky in i8io, and lived
in Shelbyville.
   My grandparents on both sides reared large families
of industrious, thrifty children, and both grandfathers
lived to be quite aged, my mother's father living to be
nearly one hundred years old.
   My parents were married near Simpsonville, in
Shelby county, April 9, 1829, and to them were born



thirteen children - five boys and eight girls - ten of
whom lived to be grown. I was the fifth child-two
boys and two girls being older. The oldest child, a
boy, died in infancy. Being poor, both parents and
children had to work hard and use strict economy to
make ends meet. We all knew much of the toils and
hardships of life, little of its luxuries. Both parents were
blessed with good constitutions, and had fine native intel-
lects, but they were uneducated save in the mere rudi-
ments of the common school. They thought that " to
read, write and cipher" as far as the single rule of
three, was all the learning one needed for this life, un-
less he was going to teach. If my father's mind had
been trained, it would have been one of vast power. He
was philosophical, a good reasoner, and possessed of
unusual discrimination. He had also great coolness and
self-possession in emergencies.
   In illustration of the latter statement, there recurs an
incident in my father's life that will bear recital. In
those old-fashioned days of " fist and skull " entertain-
ments on public occasions, it was common for each
county to have its bully. Oldham at different times
had several-men of great muscular build and power,
whose chief idea of fame was that they could " whip
anything in the county." My father was a small man,
weighing only one hundred and thirty pounds, and of
a peaceable disposition. Indeed, it was hard to pro-
voke him to pugilistic measures. But circumstances
caused one of these bullies to force a fight upon him at La
Grange, in which the man was whipped so quickly and
so badly that no one knew how it was done. The man
himself accounted for it on the ground that " Mr. Allen
came at me smiling." This caused one or two others,




at different times, to seek to immortalize themselves by
doing what the first had failed to accomplish; but with
the same result.
   Being a farmer, my father was never without occu-
pation, and he always had plenty for his boys to do;
hence I knew nothing but hard work on the farm, ex-
cept a few school days in winter, from the time I could
pull a weed out of a hill of corn till I reached my
   In the fall after I was born my parents moved from
the farm near La Grange to Brown county, O., not far
from Hamersville. There they remained a year; but
my mother being much dissatisfied, they moved to
Floydsburg, Ky., and in the following spring, when I
was two years old, returned to the old place where I was
born. Here the memories of life begin. The incidents
of daily life from this time forward are fresh in my
memory to-day. Here I had my first and last fight with
my mother. When I was three years old, my father,
one day in June, was plowing corn in a field not far from
the house. When he went out, after noon, I wanted to go
with him. He took me behind him on the horse to the
field. When we got there I wanted to come back. He
brought me back. I then wanted to go to the field. He
took me to the field. I then wanted to come back. He
brought me back. I then wanted to go to the field, but he
left me, telling my mother to take me in charge. Because
she attempted to control me I began fighting her. She
whipped me with a small switch, and I fought till I fell.
Being completely exhausted, I begged my oldest sister
to fight for me, and when she refused and I had recovered
a little, I got up and went at it again. But when I fell
the second time, I lay till they took me and put me to




bed, and there I remained several days. Though I did
not surrender, I never afterwards felt disposed to renew
the engagement. It was almost death to my mother,
for she did not chastise me in anger; her firmness, how-
ever, saved me.
   In the spring of i840 we moved to a farm some two
miles south of La Grange, on the road leading from that
place to Ballardsville. Here we lived one year. Only
one event worth naming occurred while we lived here.
My mother took myself, an older sister, and a younger
brother to visit a sister she had living in La Grange. It
was a beautiful summer day, the roads were good, and we
walked. My mother stopped at the house of a neighbor
on the road side for a few minutes, and told us to go on,
and be sure not to leave the road. With childish per-
versity we thought the green fields better than the dusty
road, and were soon into them. It was not long till -we
were completely lost, and naturally wandered the wrong
way, not thinking to observe the sun and consider our
course. So, when we did not put in an appearance, the
whole neighborhood was aroused, and several hours of
excitement followed before we were found. My sister
Bettie, two years my senior, was captain of this expe-
   In the spring of 1841 my father bought a farm of
one hundred and twenty acres, lying about three miles
southwest from La Grange. Most of the land was poor,
and the " improvements" equally so. The house was
a hewved log cabin about i8X20 feet, with clap-board
roof held down by weight poles, and the walls
" chinked " with mud. It had a large fire-place at one
end, and a chimney made of slats and mortar, familiarly
known as a " stick " chimney. The only window was




paneless, with a solid shutter hung on leather hinges,
propped up with a stick, except when it was wanted
down. The floors above and below, were of broad lum-
ber, and laid loose. The door, when closed, was fastened
with a big pin. A narrow porch ran along the front,
connecting with another at one end of the house, be-
tween it and the kitchen. This was large and of the
same style of architecture as the house, but what that
style was would puzzle any one to tell. These two
rooms and porches, with the smoke-house and hen-
house, constituted the " improvements" in that line.
The out-buildings were stables and a crib, of round
logs. The fences were all of rails, and inferior in kind.
" Bars " and " slip-gaps " supplied the place of gates
in some places, and in others the fences had to be often
pulled down for lack of such conveniences. A fine
spring gushed from the foot of a hill, one hundred yards
in front of this humble abode. The location of dwell-
ings, in that age and country, was determined almost
exclusively by springs.  Every other consideration
yielded to this.
   Here we took up our abode in a home of our own
ill the spring of i841, as above stated. The farm wvas
afterwards enlarged by other purchases, and the original
still remains in the family. The poverty of the soil, its
tendency to produce briars, its large amount of heavy
timber, with the clearing necessary to be done, made it
a place specially favorable for the cultivation of indus-
try. My father was one of those men who never ran
short of work; he always had plenty of it for himself
and the whole family. Recreation was almost unknown,
and we had hardly rest enough to secure good health.
We were not of those who had to resort to base-ball



6                AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF

and foot-ball for exercise; it was ours to combine
pleasure with profit, only the profit was more than the
pleasure. There is no doubt that employment contrib-
utes to health of both body and mind. Good blood,
good thought and good morals are born of industry,
provided it be not pushed to the extreme of exhaustion.
Children and young people must have relaxation from
toil, that both the physical and mental powers may re-
cuperate; but not much attention wXas paid to this be-
neficent philosophy in my father's family. Had there
been, it might have been better for at least some of his
children in after years. There is a golden mean in this,
as in other things, which parents 5ometimes miss in
their blind adhesion to a false theory. Rest and labor
are both appointments of God's benevolence.



His First School.-The School-house.-The Teacher.-The Order of
    Reciting.-Spelling Matches.-First Sweetheart.-Extremes in
    Likes and Dislikes.-Fondness for Study.-Improvement in

    At the age of about seven I attended my first
school. The house was on my father's farm, a half a
mile from our dwelling. It was constructed of round
logs, and had five corners-the fifth was formed
at one end by having shorter logs laid from the corners
at an obtuse angle, like the corner of a rail fence, and
meeting in the middle. It was built up thus to the
square, then the logs went straight across, forming the
end for the roof to rest on; consequently this fifth
corner was open, and this was the fire-place.  Stones
laid with mud mortar were built in this corner, extend-
ing several feet each wvay, and wood nearry as long as
the breadth of the house would be filled in. The seats
were split logs smoothed on the flat side, and sup-
ported on legs put in with an auger. From these
the feet of the children dangled early and late. There
was no support for the back. The house had a dirt
floor and a clap-board roof. Light was let in by cutting
away part of two logs in the end. A wide puncheon
was fastened just below this for the writers, with a
seat to correspond.  During winter they pasted pa-
per over these openings, and light for the rest of the
school came down the chimney.



   The first teacher we had was an old man by the
name of Ballou. He lived on our place, not far from
the school-house, and taught for several years. He
was very poor, did poor teaching, and got poor pay.
He was master of only reading, writing and ciphering.
   There were no classes in the school, and each one
went it independently, studying what suited his taste and
ability. Some read in the Testament, and others in any
book they happened to have. In those days the rule
was that those who got to school first " said first "-
that is, they recited in the order in which they got to
the house. This would sometimes get up a great
rivalry, and I have known young men living two miles
away to be at school before daylight. The whole day,
except an hour at noon, was spent in saying lessons.
The old teac'her sat in his chair, and the pupils went to
him one by one, in the order in which they got to the
house, and said their lessons. When they got around,
the same process was repeated. Sometimes between
turns the old man would take a little nap, and then we
all would have some fun. One more bold than the rest
would tickle his bald head or his nose, and to see him
scratching would afford us much amusement.
   Each Friday afternoon was spent in a spelling-
match.   Captains were  chosen, and they would
"choose up " till the school was divided into two
classes. Beginning at the head, one of each class
would stand up and spell, till one was " turned down ;"
then another took his place, and so on until all on one
side were down. I began at' this school in the alpha-
bet, and the second winter I could spell almost every
word in Webster's old Elementary Speller. If provided
with a sharp knife, and a stick on which to whittle,




which the kind old man would allow, I could generally
stand most of an afternoon without missing. Strange
to say, after a few years, when I had given myself to
the study of other things, it all went from me, and I
have been a poor speller ever since.
    In this school I had my first sweetheart-a buxom,
jolly good girl, about six years my senior. To her I
wrote my first love letter, and when it was done its
chirography looked as if it had been struck by light-
ning; and I had to get an old bachelor friend to help
me read it. Here I am reminded of an early tendency
to extremes in my likes and dislikes. I had a race one
morning with a girl whom I saw coming to school from
an opposite direction, each striving to get into the
house first. I clearly went in ahead, but she claimed
the race and beat me out of it. From this on I had an
extreme dislike for her. The spring to which we all
had to go for a drink, was about a hundred yards from
the house. The path to it passed through a broken
place in a large log that lay across this path. In this I
would never walk, nor would I pass through the gap,
but would always climb over that big log.
   These school days were only during winter, after
the crop was all gathered in and before spring work
began. After I got large enough to help in winter
work, my attendance was only "semi-occasional."
After a while a better school-house was built, a mile
further away, and it was every way more comfortable,
save that we had still the backless slab seats. Here I
went at odd times in winter for several years. I had
acquired a great fondness for reading, devouring every-
thing in the way of books I could lay my hands upon.
Especially I had a great passion for history, biography,




geography, natural philosophy, and the like, and I let
nothing escape me that the country afforded. I had no
money to buy books, and had to depend on borrowing
them. I soon went through arithmetic, grammar, and
the history of the United States. This was more than
my paterfamilias recognized as essential to a practical
education, and hence he was not disposed to let me go
to school as much as the other children, who gave
themselves no concern about books out of school. The
idea of one's going through grammar, philosophy, or
more than half the arithmetic, " unless he was going
to teach," he regarded as a waste of time. His con-
ception of life and mine were so different that there was
frequently more or less friction.  It was decidedly un-
pleasant from youth to manhood to be discouraged and
opposed in my one absorbing passion for obtaining an
education. My mother sympathized with me, but
could not help me. The first dollar I ever made I
spent for a book, and for this purpose I saved my
hard-earned pennies. Midnight often found me poring
over this book by the light of kindling prepared for
the purpose. This was opposed; and thus the struggle
went on during my minority.
   I can not forbear, before closing this short chapter
upon my school life, to allude to the great improve-
ment in the matter of common schools since I was a
boy. My native State, though sadly behind many of
her younger sisters, has made some progress in this
direction, and I can but hopp this is only an earnest of
what is to come. In a few favored localities, chiefly
the cities, there is ample provision made for the educa-
tion of the children of the people, but in the country
districts much remains to be done before we are up



                  FRANK G. ALLEN.                if

with the demands of the age in regard to the comfort
of the pupils as well as the facilities for the prosecution
of their studies. We need more and better school-
houses, better furniture, and more attractive surround-
ings. Well qualified and earnest teachers are not yet
as thick as blackberries in Kentucky. When as much
attention is bestowed on these as on jockeys, and on
our boys as on our horses, we shall be both richer and



His Religious Experience.-Tries to be a Methodist.-Hopes to become
   a Preacher.-Boy Preaching.-Attends a Sunday-school.-'Chaws "
   Tobacco.-Goes to Love Feast.-Mourners' Bench Experience.-Is
   Puzzled and Disgusted.

   My parents were Methodists, as were their ances-
tors on both sides. My mother was uniformly re-
ligious, but not fussy about it.  I have seen her in-
tensely happy, but never heard her shout.  Her religion
was a deep, smooth, current without fluctuation My
father was religious more by spells, but still he never wvent
to extremes, and could never " get religion " at the altar,
in the Methodist fashion. This lifelong failure of his
discouraged him, causing him at times to become
somewhat skeptical and indifferent. But he died, re-
joicing in the faith of Christ as held by the Methodist
   When about ten years of age I joined the Metho-
dist Episcopal Church, South.  A great revival was in
progress at La Grange, and over one hundred persons
united with the church.  I enjoyed the services, and
continued to do so for a number of years. Often in
those early times I rode to meeting at surrounding
churches and private dwellings on horseback behind
my mother. I still remember, as vividly as if it
were but yesterday, the texts and treatment of many
of the sermons I heard.   In later years I have fre-
quently thought of the fallacies the preachers imposed



upon us, and, I charitably believe, upon themselves, in
these sermons, but which neither we nor they could de-
tect for want of correct scriptural knowledge. The
thought that I should one day become a preacher im-
pressed me, and it clung to me for years. When after-
wards I grew wild and wicked, this impression pos-
sessed me, and many a time, when my good wife
would rebuke me for my wickedness, I would say,
"I Never mind, dear; I 'II be a preacher yet." I had a
high regard for preachers, and from early life was fond
of their company; and since I have become one my-
self, the society of good, faithful men of God brings
me as near heaven as I shall ever be in the flesh.
   It was a common thing with me, when I came home
from meeting, to get up one of my own by gathering
the children together and preaching to them the ser-
mons I had heard; and while these were not verbally
correct, there was in them the substance of what the
preachers had delivered. I would sing and pray, and
go through the whole performance. I improvised a
little pulpit, and had a church after my own notion;
I was a great plagiarist, and in this, too, I copied after
some others.
   I attended the first Sunday-school I ever heard of;
it was conducted by Floyd Wellman, a gentleman who
afterwards became a prominent and honored citizen of
Louisville. Sunday-schools were then poor things, as
I fear many of them are yet. Little question-books,
with the answers supplied, and reading-books, mostly
about angelic boys and girls who died of early piety,
furnished the staple of our reading, while but little
of the Scriptures was taught, or thought about.
   To chew tobacco seemed to me to be manly; so to

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let the people see I was thus far developed, I prepared
me a rough twist of " long green ;" this I stuck in my
pantaloons pocket, for the occasion, and when every-
thing was propitious in the Sunday-school, I drew out
the twist and bit off a " chaw." It raised quite a
laugh, in which the superintendent himself joined;
and this ended for life my chewing tobacco to be seen
of men.
   I often went with my parents to " love feast." At
the first of these which I attended I had an experience
of my own. The light-bread was cut into s