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length is 30 miles, and mean breadth 17 miles. Cheat River passes through the county. The general face of the country is mountainous, interspersed, on the eastern and western sides, with large natural meadows called " glades," which afford support for large herds of cattle in summer, and in winter also, when it is mown and cured for food. The glades are destitute of timber, but are covered in summer with grass and weeds, with frequent projecting
but productive, and many of the hill-sides are favorable to grain. Slate and limestone are common; the county is abundantly supplied with bituminous coal, and iron ore is often found. Population in 1840, whites 6,743, slaves 91, free colored 30; total, 6,86fi.
Kingwood, the county-seat, is 284 miles Nvv. of Richmond, on a beautiful and healthy eminence, 2 miles west of Cheat River, 20 from Morgantown, 43 from Clarksburg, and 60 from Beverly. It contains several stores, and about 30 dwellings. The German settlement is 18 miles southeasterly from Kingwood.
Prince Edward was formed in 1753, from Amelia. It is 35 miles long, mean breadth 12 miles. The Appomattox runs on its northern boundary, and with its branches, waters the county. The soil is much like that in this section of the state, naturally good; but injured by continual culture, without any regard to system. Marl, coal, and copper ore, are found in the county. Pop. in 1840, whites 4,923, slaves 8,576, free colored 570; total, 14,069.
Farmsville is situated 70 miles southwesterly from Richmond, on the northern border of the county, on the Appomattox. It was established by law in 1798, on the property of Judith Randolph; and Charles Scott, Peter Johnson, John Randolph, Jr., Philip Holcomb, Jr., Martin Smith, Blake B. W. Woodson, and Creed Taylor, were appointed trustees to lay off the town into half acre lots. Farmsville is now a place of considerable commercial importance; its trade is drawn from Halifax, Lunenburg, Charlotte, Nottoway, and a part of Campbell. It is at the head of batteau navigation on the Appomattox, although boats can go up much higher. It is the fourth tobacco market in Virginia; and" the quality of its tobacco is nowhere surpassed. It contains 2 tobacco warehouses. 10 tobacco factories, 7 or 8 mercantile stores, a branch of the Farmers' Bank, 1 newspaper printing-office, 1 Presbyterian, 1 Methodist, and 1 Baptist church, and a population of about 1400. The navigation of the Appomattox is good at all seasons, and its navigation from this place to Petersburg gives employment to about 40 batteaux, carrying from 5 to 7 tons each, of the products of the country. Prince Edward C. H., Jamestown, and Sandy River Church, are small places in the county.
"Hampden Sydney College originated in an academy in
The bottom grounds are small
Prince Edward county, established by the presbytery of Hanover, which was afterwards incorporated as a college. The circumstances leading to the establishment of the academy were these: As Virginia was first settled by members of the Church of England, and the emigration of dissenters not encouraged, it was more than a hundred years ere they were found in any considerable numbers. Some years previous to the revolutionary war, the
• Rev. Samuel Davies, of Hanover county, in conjunction with others, formed the presbytery of Hanover. The principal mass of Presbyterians then in lower Virginia was in Prince Edward and the neighboring counties, among whom were some French Huguenots. In a few years, as they increased in numbers, they determined to establish a seminary, to be conducted on Presbyterian principles; William and Mary, the only college in the state, being fostered particularly by the Episcopalians. The academy was accordingly established in Prince Edward, at a point convenient for the Presbyterians of Virginia and North Carolina.''' This institution was founded in 1774, and was called the Academy of Hampden Sydney. "It was chartered in 1783, and received its present name from those two martyrs of liberty, J. Hampden and A. Sydney. It was established, and has ever been supported, by the private munificence of public-spirited individuals. It has an elevated, healthy, and pleasant situation, one mile from the courthouse, and 80 from Richmond. Although the institution has had to encounter many difficulties for want of funds, yet it has generally been in successful operation, and has educated upwards of 2,000 young men; many of whom have been of eminent usefulness, and some of great abilities. More instructors have emanated from this institution than from any other in the southern country. Connected with the college is a literary and philosophical society, and an institute of education. There are also several societies among the students, which are of great assistance to them in the prosecution of their studies. The legislative government of the college is vested in 27 trustees, who fill up vacancies in their own body. By the census of 1840, this institution had 65 students, and 8000 volumes in its library."
The presidents of Hampden Sydney have been—Rev. S. S. Smith, 1774; Rev. J. B. Smith, 1779 to 1789; presidents pro tern. to 1797; Rev. A. Alexander, D. D., 1797 to 1806; Rev. M. Hoge, D. D., 1807 to 1820; J. P. Cushing, A. M., 1821 to 1835; Daniel Carroll, D. D., 1836; William Maxwell, LL. D., 1839 to 1844.
The Union Theological Seminary is located in the immediate vicinity of Hampden Sydney College. "The institution had its origin in efforts made by the presbytery of Hanover and the synod of Virginia, as early as 1812, to give their candidates for the ministry a more complete theological education. It did not, however, go into operation in a regular form until the year 1824." In 1841-42 it had 3 professors, 20 students, 175 graduates, and a carefully-selected library of about 4000 volumes. The Theological Seminary, and Hampden Sydney College, have spacious and showy brick buildings, sufficient to accommodate a large number of students.
The Rev. Moses Hoce, President of Hampden Sydney College, was one of the most able and venerable clergymen of the Virginia church; and his memory is now cherished with peculiar affection by many in the south. During a long life of clerical service, he maintained a character among the best and greatest men in that country, 9 for sagacity, theological learning, sound judgment, patriarchal simplicity, and unaffected meekness and humility. As a preacher, he was not eloquent, in the usual acceptation of the word; that is, he was far from the artificial elegancies of rhetoric; but his fervor of devotion and of argument often burst forth in a glow and flame which enkindled whole assemblies. This, together with the sanctity of his manners, made him a great favorite with John Randolph, who often rode many miles to hear him, and often spent much time in conversing with him on religious subjects. The widow of Dr. Hoge is now living, at an advanced age, in Charlotte. Three of his sons became ministers. Of these, the eldest, the Rev. James Hoge, D. D., of Columbus, Ohio, is one of the most distinguished men in the Presbyterian church. Dr. Moses Hoge was universally respected by his brethren, as a counsellor and an example; indeed, it would be difficult to name a man of his profession who had attained to more remarkable mildness, uprightness, or benevolence. He died in the city of Philadelphia, and his remains were buried in the church-yard of the Third Presbyterian Church, Pine-slreet.
Among the Presbyterian clergy of Virginia, an eminent place is due to the late Rev. John Holt Rice, D. D. He was born in Bedford county, Nov. 28, 1777, and died in Prince Edward, Sept. 2, 1831. He*was graduated at Washington College, and was afterwards a tutor in Hampden Sydney, where he was the intimate friend of such men as Speece, Alexander, and Lyle. He was the founder of the Union Seminary, at the head of which he passed his last years. For a portion of his life he labored among the negro slaves; and the fruits of this remain, in great numbers who not only believe in Christ, but are well instructed in the reading of the Scriptures, and are in regular connection with the Presbyterian church. Dr. Rice's years of prime were spent as a pastor, in Richmond. Here he was successful in a high degree, both as a preacher and an author. The Evangelical and Literary Magazine was under his editorial care, and its most valuable contents are from his pen.
Dr. Rice was characterized by great independence of mind. He abjured all human authority, and was bold in the expression of his views. Yet he was "swift to hear, Blow to speak." His thirst for knowledge was insatiable, and his learnii g was in proportion; bat it ni the wide range, rather than the minute accuracy of his erudition, which was remarkable. As a writer, he greatly surpassed most of his coevals in ease, fertility, and force. By frequent journeys through the northern and eastern states, he liberalized his views, enjoying valuable intercourse with the first minds in New England, especially with the professors at Aiidover and New Haven; yet, from first to last, he was a thorough-paced, enthusiastic Virginia patriot He was an American of the old stamp, loving and admiring his country with the fervor of a youthful passion; and he transferred the same regards to the church of which he was an ornament and a champion. His letters to Mr. Madison, and his correspondence with Bishop Ravenscroft, may be adduced in proof. As a pulpit orator, Dr. Rice was not graceful or mellifluous; but he was more—he was luminous, instructive, convincing, persuasive, and elevating. His greatest discourses, like those of Robert Hall and John M. Mason, were unwritten. In these, as in his life, he evinced the truth, purity, uprightness, and benevoleuce of the Gospel. Though naturally irascible, he became an example of meekness, and overcame evil with good. His favorite maxim was, Love Is Power. There are thousands in Virginia to whom this meager notice will seem far below the truth. Dr. Rice's life was written by Wm. Maxwell, LL.D. (Phil. 1835, one vol. lima)
When Tarleton was in this county, in the revolution, he passed near the residence of Joshua Davison, a gallant dragoon of Lee's legion, who, having received a severe wound in the sword-arm at the Guilford C. H, returned home to recruit. Davison resolved to have a look at the enemy, and, loading an old squirrel-gun, set out in search for them. He followed on their trail a short distance, when he was perceived by a British dragoon, who, rapidly advancing, drew his sword and exclaimed, " Surrender immediately, you rebel rascal, or you die!" *' Not so fast, my good friend," replied Davison, " I am not prepared to yield;" when, raising his squirrel-gun with his left hand, he shot him dead, and seized and carried off his horse and plunder in triumph. Some time after, on being asked if he was satisfied with killing a single man, " By no means," he replied:" I reloaded my piece and went in pursuit; but my firing had excited such alarm, and Tarleton fled with such expedition, that I never could have overtaken him, or I would have had another "at.'"
There died in this county, in 1819, a slave named Wonder Booker, belonging to George Booker, Esq., who had reached his 126th year. 11 He received his name from the circumstance that his mother was in her 58th year at the time of his birth. He was of great strength of body, and his natural powers, which were far superior to those of people of color in general, he retained in a surprising degree. He was a constant laborer in his master's garden until within eight or ten years of his death."
The record here given of the trial of Grace Sherwood for witchcraft, was presented by the late J. P. Cushing, president of Hampden Sydney College, to the Virginia Historical and Philosophical Society, and published in their collections. While it throws some light on the state of society of that time, it evinces that persecution for witchcraft was not alone in our country confined to the Puritans of New England. There, it will be recollected, was shown a noble example of the strength of moral principle on the part of the accused, for they had only to declare themselves guilty and their lives were spared. Rather than do this, many suffered death. Grace Sherwood met a milder fate. The place where she was ducked is a beautiful inlet making up from Lynnhaven Bay, which to this day is called "Witch's Duck."
RECORD OF THE TRIAL OF GRACE SHERWOOD, IN 1705, PRINCESS ANNE COUNTY, TOM.
Princess Anne M.
At a Court held ye: 3d. Of Janry: 170J p. Gent: Mr. Beno: Burro: Collo: Moseley, Mr. John Comick Capt: Hancock, Capt: Chapman
Whereas Luke Hill &. uxor somd Grace Sherwood to this Court in mspetim of witchcraft &. she fayling to apear it is therefore ordr. yt attachmt. to ye' Sberr do Issue to attach her body to ansr. ye. sd: torn uext Court.
Princess Anne St.
At a Court held ye. 6th: ffebry: 170J p: Esent. Colo. Moseley, Collo. Adam Thorrowgood Capt: Chapman, Capt. Hancock Mr. John Cornish, Mr. Richason, Came late
Suite for suspicion of witchcraft brought by Luke Hill agt Grace Sherwood is ordn to be referr till to mono:
Princess Ann M.
At a Court held ye: 7th ffebry: 170f.p. Gent Collo: Moseley Left: Collbc Thorrowgood Mr. John Richason, Mr. John Cornick Capt. Chapman, Capt. Hancock
Whereas a Complt was brought agt: Grace Sherwood upon suspicion of witchcraft by Luke Hill &C. & ye: matter being after a long time debated & ordr. yt: ye: sd. Hill pay all fees of this Complt: & yt: ye: sd. Grace be here next Court to be searched according to ye: Complt: by a Jury of women to decide ye: sd: DilFerr: and ye. Sherr. is likewise ordr. to som an able Jury accordingly.
Princess Ann M.
At a Court held ye. 7th March 170J Col: Edward Moseley, Lient: Adam Thorrowgood, Muir, Henry Sprat—Captn: Ho-atio WoodlioiMe, Mr. John Comick Capt: Henry Chapman, Mr. Wm. Smith, Mr. Jno Richason Captn. Geo. Heiidcock
Whereas a Complaint have been to this Drug Court by Luke Hill & his wife yt. one Grace Sherwood of ye. County was and have been a long time suspected of witchcraft & have been as such represented wherefore yc. Sherr. at ye. last court was ordn sum a Jury of women to yc. Court to search her on ye. sd. suspicion she assenting to ye. same —and after ye. Jury was impannilled and sworn & sent out to make due inquirer? & inspection into all cercumstanccs after a mature consideration they bring in yr. verditt; were of ye. Jury have sercath: Grace Sherwood & have found two things like fiff*wtb: severall other spotts—Eliza. Barnes, forewoman, Sarah Norris, Margt. Watkins, Hsn. nah Dimis, Sarah Goodaerd, Mary Burgess, Sarah Sergeant, Wiaiford Davis, Ursula Henly, Ann Bridges, Exable Waplies—Mary Cotle.