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(title page) The Life of Rev. Robert Anderson. Born the 22d Day of February, in the Year of Our Lord 1819, and Joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1839. This Book Shall Be Called the Young Men's Guide, Or, The Brother in White.
(cover) Life of Rev. Robert Anderson; the Young Men's Guide Or, the Brother in White
(spine) Life of Rev. Robert Anderson [illegible] The Brother in White
(running title) Life of Rev. Robert Anderson
Anderson, Robert, b. 1819
Call number BX8473 .A549 A3 1892 (Watkinson Library, Trinity College and Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library/University of Georgia Libraries)
LC Subject Headings:
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON.
[Second Frontispiece Image]
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON AND FAMILY.
[Title Page Image]
Besides containing a history of the leading events in the life of Rev. ROBERT ANDERSON, this book has a remedy for the cure of Small Pox, Millennium Story of Christ, the reason why God does not kill the Devil, and a series of questions alphabetically arranged. And also, the trial of Mary and Martha before the Church; Lazarus and Dives questioned concerning their destiny. Why one is blessed while the other is cursed. The intruders upon the cause of Christ brought as prisoners to the bar and tried by a righteous judge and jurors, for their good Master. A series of questions are asked them which you will find in this book.
ATLANTA, GA., August 1st, 1892.
We have read the pamphlet published by Rev. ROBERT ANDERSON, colored, in which he reviews his life and labors in the cause of his Lord and Master, both of which, we think, are highly commendable in him, and worthy of emulation by all men who desire to so conduct themselves that they may have the friendship and confidence of their fellow-men, irrespective of race or color.
If the example of this worthy man, as shown in his life, could be made to govern the lives of men of both races, we would be spared from so much of crime and its consequences as seen demonstrated in our midst from day to day.
To encourage him in his efforts to exalt his own race to that position of morality and civilization attained by himself, we have bought his pamphlet, and the cost of same being so small, we hope a generous public will aid him by purchasing his book.
Rev. ROBERT ANDERSON was reared in Liberty county, Ga. In the division of an estate to which he belonged, he was drawn by Dr. William J. Anderson, who brought him to Glynn county on the Satilla River. The preacher says he came to Brunswick with his young master in 1837, to witness a boat race.
This old preacher says he hired himself from his master for $20 000 per month until he had paid him about $1,900.00. When his master died he bought himself from his mistress, ten years before the war, for $1,000.00. He then bought his wife for $500.00. Thus they freed themselves from slavery. He is an old man now, with a heavy shock of iron gray hair. a benevolent face, and a very courteous manner. For forty-three years he has been a preacher. Many of the leading men of the State indorse him. His book is a plain narrative of his life and will be read with interest.--Brunswick Times, March 17th, 1892.
Rev. Robert Anderson, one of the oldest ministers of the State of Georgia, is in the city, and is selling his book, in which he reviews the history of his life and labors in the cause of his Lord and Master. He was ordained a minister of the M. E. church by Bishop Daniel A. Payne, at Savannah. He is an intelligent looking old man, and his book also contains several instructive pieces, such as "Why God Does Not Kill the Devil," "A Positive Cure for Small Pox," and "The Young Man's Guide, or the Brother in White." Bishop Payne recently purchased one of his books.--Jacksonville Telegram.
This is the year of our Lord 1882, and the 22d of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I have seated myself to write a full history of my life. I was born in the year of our Lord 1819, and on the 22d day of February, and now it is 1882. I am sixty-three years of age. I was born in Liberty county, Georgia, on the premises of Mr. William J. Anderson. My mother bears the name of Hannah and my grandmother the name of Diana; and in my youth I was instructed to observe the Lord's Prayer and the Lord's Day, and all the trouble I had in learning it was the first name, that is, Our Father; it was very hard for me to say that and keep it in my mind, and for that reason my grandmother had to tie me up by the hands and whip me severely several times. But one day I was walking on a sill that they were going to build in a house for my mother, and as I was trying to think of it, the good Lord put it into my heart, and I was as glad as you ever saw a little fellow. I thought that I might forget it before night, therefore I continued to repeat it over and over in my mind by saying, Our Father, which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. And when I saw my grandmother coming from her labors of the day, I ran to her and told her that I had learned the Lord's Prayer, and that I wanted her to let me say my prayers soon to-night because I might forget it. My grandmother placed her hand on my head, and said that I was a good little boy, and she would let me say my prayers soon that night; and so she did. After a little supper I was called for, and I came forward and knelt down as I was commanded, with my hands put together, and then said the Lord's Prayer. After getting through, I arose and made my bow, as usual. Then said grandmother, "I am in hopes that I will not have to whip my little boy any more about his prayers. Go to bed now." And so I did, and am not surprised that I slept happy that night, because I had learned the Lord's Prayer.
Permit me to state a little story about myself when about two or three years of age. My grandfather thought a great deal of
me, and he gave me a little colt, and when it was about two years old a bull hooked it and killed it. So after that my grandmother gave me a cat. I thought a great deal of my cat, and I named him after one of my aunts, Mary. I would call it Mary, and as my cat grew larger I would think more and more of it. So I must tell to all who may read this book a story about my cat.
I would sometimes tell my cat to do this or that, so one day I told my cat to go and bring me a bird, and it went and did so; but the bird that she brought was a bird that my grandmother always told me it was a sin to kill, because it was a mourning dove. Therefore I told my cat that grandmother said it was a sin to kill that kind of bird, and that I did not want it. Whereupon she took it and carried it off and hid in the vines, and went off and brought me another bird. So when grandmother came in the afternoon from labor I told her what my cat had done, and that in the morning I would send it after a bird; and I did so, and, to the surprise of my grandmother and grandfather, that cat would, at any time that I would send it, go and bring me birds. The friends and neighbors would come to see me and my cat, and have me send her after birds. I have known her to go and bring as many as three at once, bringing them by the heads. This tale is as true as that the sun rises and sets.
When I was a little boy my grandmother would take me by the nose and pull it. I would ask her sometimes why she did that, and she would tell me that she did it to get my nose to grow straight, so that when I became a man I would have a straight nose like a gentleman. My grandmother and grandfather thought a great deal of me. I staid with them till I was about five years of age, and they always instructed me never to tell a lie, and therefore I was always instructed to tell the truth.
I then was taken by my former mistress to wait about the house as a house-boy, and, as I was very young, she gave me but little work to perform. My business was to clean the knives and sweep the yard, and, as I grew larger, I was made the shepherd boy. I had to attend to the sheep, and cows, and hogs, and everything else, because my old mistress used to think that nothing went right if I did not have anything to do with it; so I was into everything. I had to attend to the chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and the garden; trim the trees and the grape vines, and plant all the nice garden seeds, and scour the floor, clean the brasses, rub the furniture, and be at every beck and call. It appeared as if she could not get along without me. I staid with her from five years old until I was about seventeen or eighteen years of age, and during that time my grandmother employed one of her daughters to teach me how to read, with the promise of $1.00 a month; but at the expiration of the month she did not have the dollar, but gave her eight chickens in the place of it; therefore I did not get but one month's schooling. But my old mistress saw that I had advanced to "Baker;" therefore she
undertook to teach me after I would get through cleaning the knives, if I would clean them nice; but if they were not, then she would send me back again. But I loved my book, and I would always try to have my knives cleaned nice, so that she would not find any fault, and then she would have me to get my lessons.
She did this until one day her son David came in and said to her, "Mother, don't you know that the law is, that no white person should teach a negro to read?" She said that she did not. He stated that it was so, and if she continued and it was found out, they would put her in the penitentiary; and therefore she let me alone in the way of teaching me then. And now I was left to myself; but I loved my book, and I continued by getting her little son, by the name of Andrew, who thought a great deal of me. At night I would go into the dining room and make a fire on the hearth, or in the fire-place, and then I would take my book and lay down on my back, with my head toward the fire, and in that way I could look into my book. Then I would commence, and sometimes I would spell right and sometimes wrong, but Andrew would correct me and tell me the right way. And, as he was going to school in the day, I would get it from him at night, and in that way I learned to read in the days of slavery. I also went to the Sabbath School that had been commenced by Mr. Dunwoody and Major Bullock, in the Presbyterian Church, in Liberty county, Georgia, in the year of our Lord 1828, and there continued from ten years old until the State was divided, which took place in the year of our Lord 1837. At that time I was drawn by a young Dr. Anderson, and he, wishing to leave home and practice his profession, would have me to go with him; and I, not being very hard-headed, went with him. But the hardest thing was to leave my Sabbath School and my school-mates. Yet so it was; I went with my master. We thought a great deal of each other; but since then he has departed and is gone to his long home, and I am left behind. We went to Glynn county and staid there one year, and then he got married.
Let me relate a circumstance that took place with him and the ferryman when we were crossing the Ocmulgee river. It was very high indeed, and the water overflowed its banks, and the ferryman had to carry us a long ways before he could land us; and, pulling first one way and then another, he struck master's horse, and that made master somewhat mad with him, and they had a few words about it. So when master got across the river and got out of the flat, he became very bold, and said to me: "What would you have done if that fellow had hit me?" I said that I intended knocking him into the river. "Well done," said master; "I will fight for you also. We are going into a strange country, and I will defend you, and if you see any fellow taking any advantage of me, you must pitch into him." I said that I would do so; so we pledged ourselves to each other, and remained so until he departed this life.
We lived in said Glynn county one year. We stopped at Mr. Stockton's one or two months; then we moved to Mr. Hooker's, and staid there one or two months; then we moved to Mr. Dwyer's, and there we staid the balance of the year. Mr. Dwyer had several unbroken horses, and they were very wild indeed; but I told him that if he would pay me I would break them for him. He agreed to do so, and I undertook the job. But it was a hard one; yet I broke two of them. However, one of them came very nigh breaking my neck. This was the horse that I spoke of in my first book--of his stumbling and throwing me over his neck, and my head striking the ground and cracking my neck. I jumped up and felt it, but it was not broken, though it came very near it.
After the year was out my master came back to Liberty county again, and got married. Then he left for Macon, Georgia, and sent myself and the girl that his wife intended to take with her to Macon, to Darien, in the care of Mr. Rodgers, who was the agent for Goddard & Co.
We were taken from Darien in a boat by the name of Excel, and which is now buried in the sand over the river in East Macon. We landed in Macon the first of April, and were taken to Mr. Thomas King's, in the year of our Lord 1838; and now I am in Macon, Georgia, a strange part of the State, and among strangers; and, having no room, I had to take up my lodgings in the cellar; and, having no bedstead, I had to sleep in the piano box which my mistress brought with her from Liberty county, and there alone in that cellar I would think of my home that I had left behind me, and also of my grandmother's instructions, and of the Lord's Prayer that she had taught me. Sometimes I would get down on my knees and say it over to myself and shed a few tears. But as I promised my master that I would be his friend, I made myself satisfied.
There was one time when I was taken very sick in that cellar, and I thought that if I could get only one apple out of my old master's orchard that I would get well. He had the nicest apple orchard that I ever saw; and grandfather, being driver and head of the plantation, would let me go into it and get as many apples as I wanted to eat at any time when I would go to the plantation. And, therefore, when I was sick in Macon, in that cellar, I wanted to get one or two more, and I thought that I would get well, and so it was. I was a long ways off, but I got better after awhile. And, as my master had but very little for me to do, he informed me that I could look out for something else; so I went out and found a gentleman by the name of David Wilson. I asked him did he wish to hire a boy. He says to me: "What is your name?" "Robert," I replied. "To whom do you belong?" "Dr. Anderson," I answered. "And what can you do?" "Anything, sir, that you may desire of me." "Can you tote brick?" "I will try, sir." "Well, what will you work for?"
"Seventy-five cents a day, sir." "Well, get at it, and I can in a short time find out whether you are a smart fellow or not."
And so I commenced; and as it was something new to me, I thought that I had to run with my bricks just as fast as I could, and I did so, and came very near breaking down the boys that worked with me that day. It was fun with me to run up and down the ladder all day, but the balance of the boys did not like that so very well, though I saw that it pleased Mr. Wilson very much. So when the day's work was completed I said to him: "I have got through, sir, and I would like for you to settle with me, if you are satisfied with my day's work." "I am," said he, "and I would like you to come again to-morrow." "I will, sir, if my master has no objection," and so I returned home.
"Well," said master, "how did you make out to-day?" "Very well, sir." "Did you get anything to do?" "Yes, sir; I worked for a man by the name of David Wilson, and he wants me again to-morrow." "At what price?" "Seventy-five cents a day." "And what did you do?" "I toted bricks for him all day, which is something I never did before; but, as it is, I can get you seventy-five cents a day."
So I went back the next day, and I continued to work for him a long time. He became very much attached to me, until one day one of his men, by the name of George, got mad with me because he saw that his master thought more of me than he would like, and therefore he threw a brick at my head; but I dodged it, and it passed over my head; but if it had hit me, it would have killed me dead. Wherefore I went and told my master about it, and he did not hesitate in coming to see about it; and when he got there, Mr. Wilson met him. "Are you Dr. Anderson?" he asked "Yes," said master; "and where is that fellow that threw a brick at my boy? I just want to put my eyes on him, and he will never throw another brick again." But Mr. Wilson spoke to him very kindly, and told him that he should be punished for it, and so he was. Then master wanted to take me along with him home, but Mr. Wilson told him that he thought a great deal of his boy, and asked to let him stay; and so the doctor did not take me away, and I got along finely with them all after that.
My master staid in Macon one year, then he went back again to Liberty county, to stay with his mother and friends. But as I anticipated marrying, he would not separate me from my wife. He left me in Macon, with the understanding that I should pay him twenty dollars a month. I agreed to do so. Just before he left I got him to write me a recommendation to the lady in whose family I expected to lodge, and he did so with the greatest of pleasure, and it was received with delight, and that gave me a name in that family, which was Mrs. Sarah Usher; and the lady that I married is named Maria We were married the first Sunday in March, 1839. I got married when I was about twenty years of age, and my wife about thirty years of age. We have
been married up to this date, the 22d of February, 1882, forty-three years. She has been a member of the church for forty-four years, and I have been a member up to date, forty-three years; and now that I have taken a wife, what next?
The next thing that presented itself to my mind was to remember the promises that I made to the good Lord when I was but a boy, and that is, I promised that if the good Lord would spare my life until I became a man, then I would serve the Lord; and that promise came to mind just shortly after I got married. I thought when I was a boy that man could not be a successful Christian unless he had a wife. That was my belief, and therefore I made that promise to the good Lord; and so I commenced visiting the church.
I went to the Methodist Church sometimes with my wife, as she was a member of it. But one Sunday she agreed to go to the Presbyterian Church, because Joseph Williams was carrying on a protracted meeting, and therefore myself and lady went there in the afternoon, and also at night, of the last Sunday in November; and at night the mourners were invited up to the altar to be prayed for. I was one of them that night to be prayed for; and it was the first time that I ever in all my life did such a thing. Then I went home, and, as my wife had to go in the house and put the children to bed, I thought I had a fine chance to bow down before the Lord in private prayer, and so I did. I felt that night that the good Lord was very near me. I felt his presence when I was on my knees. Afterward, when I got up, I felt very sad, and pulled off my clothes and went to bed; my wife came in, but I did not know anything about it until about twelve o'clock that night, after the good Lord had spoken peace to my soul. Then I found out that my wife was in bed with me, and we had a glorious time of it praising the Lord for his goodness to me--as it was the first time that I ever had a chance to praise him. This was on the last Sunday in November, and on the first Sunday in December I joined the Methodist Church, under Mr. Stevens, the same minister that married myself and wife. This was in 1839, and now I profess to be converted, and what is next?
I must go and attach myself to some church, and as my wife was a member of the Methodist Church I thought that I would go and join that church, and I did so; and I have been a member ever since, thanks be unto the good Lord for it. And now I am a member of the church; and what is next about it?
I must obey my Master's orders, because he informed me that I must take up my cross and follow him through evil report as well as good report; therefore I must do all I can in my power to advance my Redeemer's kingdom; and now for hard times, if I discharge my duty in everything. So it was not long after I joined the church before I was made a leader and put at the head of a class. I continued a leader for seven or eight years, and also a teacher in the Sunday School. The first Sunday School that was commenced in Macon, Georgia, was organized by me,
and I kept it up for eight or ten years. I can find mothers and fathers that were little boys and girls that went to me at that school.
There were two brothers in the church that were at logger-heads, one against the other, and had been so for some time, but when I became a class leader it was placed in my hands to settle the difficulty, and the way that I settled it was to take one of them to himself and ask him was he willing to settle the difficulty between himself and the other brother? He said he was perfectly willing to do so. Very good, said I unto him, stay here until I can see the other brother. So I went to him and said to him: Are you not willing to settle that difficulty between you and that brother? He said: I am perfectly willing to settle it if he is willing. Well, said I, come with me. Did you not say, Brother George, that you were perfectly willing to settle this difficulty between you and Brother Larkin? Yes, said he, I am willing to do so. Well, take hold of Brother Larkin's hand; and so he did, and the difficulty that had been in the church for several years was settled that day. That was the first case that I had to attend to.
In the year of our Lord 1849, I was moved upon to preach the word of the Lord myself, and I went to the pastor in charge and told him about it. He was a young lawyer that had professed to be called to this work himself, and therefore the Conference had sent him to be our pastor so that he might wind up his business in Macon. But he did not take hold of my case, but at the close of the year, one Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in my class just in front of the pulpit, and he came to me and asked of me did I still feel that the good Lord had called me to that work. I said that I did. Then he said to me, did I not know that the laws of the State did not allow a negro to preach? I said to him that I had three questions to ask of him, and I wanted him to answer me, and I asked him if God is very ignorant and did not know the laws of the State, or am I mistaken in the call, or if the laws of the State are wrong, now please tell me. And he went off and left me.
At the time, therefore, nothing was said about my preaching until the next year, when a new minister was sent to us. So in the first board meeting I had two brothers, who were my friends, and they came to me and asked if I was willing that they would take my case before the board. I said to them: "Well, all right," and they did so. But when my name was mentioned by these brothers in regard to getting me to preach or exhort, there were several members of the board ready to object, but the pastor said: "I don't know the man, and it is best for him to come before us." And so he desired that I should appear before the next board, and I was commanded to do so. And I did appear, and, after prayer, I was called for by the pastor. I answered: "I am the man." He said to me: "One or two of your brothers had brought in your case last Monday night, stating that you
wanted leave to preach and exhort." "Yes, sir, I do," said I. "But there are some of the brothers who object to it, but you have a chance to speak for yourself." So I got up and that if there is a man that could say anything against my character, for him to get up and let it be known, because I have tried to live as a Christian should.
But they held their peace, all but the two brothers that brought my case before the board. Then said the pastor: "I do not understand you; last Monday night there were several of you that spoke against the brother, but to-night you have nothing to say when he could respond. You might speak against him or in his favor; you hold your peace. Well, my brother, you can go out," meaning myself. So I went out of the church. Then, said the pastor, you have a chance to vote against him or in his favor, so he called upon them to vote--"All in favor of his having license, stand on your feet;" and there were but a fev. "Now, all that are against him stand up," and the largest body were against me; therefore I was called in. "Well," said the pastor to me, "they have voted against you, my brother." "Very good," said I. So I returned home feeling very happy, thinking I had discharged my duty. But the pastor was not satisfied with this step at all, so he went and told it to the pastor of the white church, and he, knowing all about the prejudice that there had been before against me, without cause, told him to license me anyhow, whether they voted for me or not; and he did so, and sent for me and gave me my license--the first one that I ever received. This was in the year of our Lord 1856, and the minister's name was Mr. Bright.
So now I have a license to exhort, and the burden becomes heavier, but, to be a faithful man of God, I must go forward in the discharge of my duty; and so I held on to it from 1850 to 1865. All these years and days were days of slavery. My appointment was in Macon one Sunday; in Forsyth, Monroe county, one Sunday; in Griswoldville one Sunday, and in Americus one Sunday; so I had four appointments in the days of slavery, and you may see that I was not at all slothful in the discharge of my Master's call. I kept on until the bells were rung that informed us that we were freed, and so the burden became more heavy but as a faithful man of God I had to go forth in the discharge of my duty. In the days of slavery, about ten years before the war Rev. H. M. Turner came to the city of Macon, and I became acquainted with him, and we became somewhat attached to each other. His business in Macon was of great importance. He preached in our church to such an extent that the white citizens were drawn out in great crowds, and at one time there was no room in the church to hold the white and the colored people.
I remember at one time that a gentleman by the name of Robert Smith gave him a text to preach from, and he accepted it and preached from it. The text was: "Come thou and all thy house into the ark," and I must say it was delivered in the
Spirit of the Lord, and was well done. The white citizens were well pleased with it. After the sermon I came forward to the table and called for a collection. They gave me 810.00 in a short time. He was then invited to preach at the Presbyterian Church (colored); he accepted the invitation. His text was in Daniel. That sermon was well delivered also. After that he left for the Western States, for a few weeks, but left an appointment that he would fill when he returned, and so he did return and the appointment was given out for him, and the church was crowded again for him, but some bad member had put out a report in such a manner that the Mayor of the city thought it was not best for him to preach, and therefore he did not preach, but as the people were gathered together, the minister thought best not to disappoint them, so he had me up before them, and I did my best with a heavy heart, because Brother Turner was disappointed. He left Macon that night, and I never saw him any more until the war was over. Then he came back to Macon and sent for me, and I went to see him again, after we had been separated seven or eight years or more. Then we clasped each other's hands with joy and love to each other, and, after a few words of discourse, he informed me that his business was to gather all our people, if he could do so, into the A. M. E. Church, and that he wanted me to join in with him, as he was well acquainted with me. I said to him that I would join the church that had the most religion in it, and if your church has the most of it, I am with you. But he said: "I can't say as to that, but I can say one thing, and that is, we have our own bishops, and we, as a race, have a chance to be somebody, and if we are ever going to be a people, now is the time." So I told him to bring the subject before the church, and he did so on Monday night, and then I told the brothers that if I refused to become a member of the A. M. E. Church for them to take me to one of those trees outside of the church and let my body stay there till the flesh was all off of the bones, and when any one should ask: "What mean those bones there?" tell them that it is a man that refused to become a member of the A. M. E. Church.
Then Brother Turner said that he wanted to send some brother to Milledgeville and Americus, and one to stay in Macon. So he asked me, and sent me to Americus, as I used to go there in slavery days and preach for them. So the first license that I received from the hands of H. M. Turner was in 1866, in March or April.
Then I went to Americus and called the people together and told my mission, and told them that our Conference would meet in May, at Savannah, and if they wished to become members of that Conference and church that they had a chance of doing so. I called upon them to vote in that direction, and they did so in a body. Then I left them with the understanding that when the Conference met that they would send them a preacher, and so I left them and came home to Macon. Then I was chosen
as one of the delegates to the Conference that met in Savannah, May 12, 1866, under Bishop Payne, and was ordained deacon by him, and was sent again to Americus as their pastor. It would do no good to tell all about the difficulties that I had there, but I will leave it in the hands of the good Lord. I staid in Americus one year; I studied hard all that year to improve myself, so that I might be better prepared to preach the word of the Lord. I staid in Americus one year, and my Conference was to convene in Wilmington, North Carolina. They gave me $20.00 to carry me there, but I knew that that would not be enough to do so, so I went home to Macon and rented out one of my rooms and a part of my garden to one Mr. Young, for $120.00, and he paid me $20.00 in advance; then I took the balance and went to my Conference with it. I met in that Conference with Bishop Wayman, and he presided over that Conference with a great deal of intelligence. I was ordained by him as an elder. I met with Elder Brown, who was a traveling agent at that time, and we became very much attached to each other. I was invited by him to take tea with him one night, and we had a good time of it together; and when the Conference read out my appointment I was sent to Hawkinsville, Georgia, and when I arrived there I found that my people had nothing but a shelter to worship under. As to a church, I saw very clearly that I had to go to work, and that very hard, and so I commenced. The first thing that I did, I went to the white minister and asked if he would be kind enough to let me take my people into his church. He told me that he would have to see some of the white people about it, and if they had no objection he would let me know, and he did so, and they agreed that I should have the church in the afternoon on every Sunday until I was better informed, and no one knew my feelings but God above. I was so thankful for it because the shelter was a poor place for us to worship under, so I informed the people that when they hear the bell of the white church ring that they must come to that church, because I had gotten it for them. So on Sunday, in the name of the Lord, we went there, and, after preaching, I called the names of the brothers and sisters, and then I organized the church, appointing its officers; then I started the A. M. E. Church in Hawkinsville, Ga., in the year of our Lord 1867; then I commenced soliciting aid from white and colored. I was successful, by the aid of the good Lord, to build a nice church at that place. It would do no good to tell of the difficulty that I had in doing so, but I will leave it all in the hands of the good Lord, but, thanks be unto the good Lord, the church was built and dedicated by myself, as I could not get a brother to come to that town at that time; but there has been a great change since then in that part of the moral vineyard. I staid in that place three years--1867, 1868, 1869. I was sent there once by Bishop Wayman and twice by Bishop Brown; then, in 1870, I was appointed as the missionary for the Conference. I traveled over the State that year, and I did all that I
could for our Conference and its great cause. I met with success in some places, but not in all. I met with great success in my own home, that is, I mean the city of Macon, my home. I collected out of the white citizens over $96.00. I can truthfully say the citizens of Macon have always been my friends. I have never called upon them at any time but some of them answered my call.
My Conference met in Atlanta, Georgia, and I handed in my report, and at the close of the Conference I received my appointment for Marietta, Georgia, and when I arrived I found a church, but the seats were all taken out to build coffins for the dead; therefore I felt that I had a work to perform here also; and therefore must be found at a throne of grace. I staid in Marietta two years, and improved the church both spiritually and temporally. I left it so. The citizens of Marietta were very kind to me, both white and colored. I had the church painted outside and inside, and the seats all put in, and paid for them all, and then came to the Conference that met in Macon. At that Conference I met with Bishop Ward and Bishop Brown, and, as Bishop Brown's time was out, Bishop Ward took charge of the Conference, and at that Conference I received my appointment at Forsyth.
So I went back to Marietta after my family and brought them to Forsyth, and on reaching that place I found that the trustees had no place for myself and family to stop at; therefore they had to take us to a private house until they could get a place for me to stop at. We were taken to Mr. Bell's in a wagon. The officers hitched themselves to the wagon, as horses. and pulled the things down to the house. After that they took me along with them to see if they could get a house for myself and family. It was a hard thing to do; but after a while it was completed. We found a house that Brother Clower had at $3.00 a month, and there they took my family to go and stop. But it was not long before I found out that the members of the church did not wish that myself and family should stop in that family; then I saw a chance of building a house for myself and family. I brought the subject before the church to see if they were willing to build a house, and I found them all willing to do so. So I appointed the next Sunday as the day to raise the money for that purpose. And so we did, and collected $11.00, and it was placed in the trustees hands, and they went and put it in bank until the meeting of the board, when I desired them to take it out and pay for that much lumber and put it on the ground where the house was to be built, and, in doing that, the gentleman that we bought from was willing to credit us for the amount of lumber that was necessary to build the house. The proposition was accepted, and the lumber bought and laid on the ground; but now for it.
The debt must be paid as soon as possible, and therefore I thought that it was best that I take hold of the matter and go to work. So I did, and, as I told you in my first book what I did in that case, it is not necessary for me to say all about it in this,
but only to state that I ran an excursion from Macon to Griffin, and made on it $800.00, and cleared $550.00, and paid all the debts, and had the parsonage built and the church completed, and had it dedicated by Bishop T. M. D. Ward.
I staid in Forsyth three years. I was appointed there by the same Bishop for the three years. I had a great revival at that place, and the good Lord was with us, and there were at one time two hundred and four added to the church, and the best part of them were converted and added to the Church of God in Forsyth under my administration. Thanks be unto the Lord for his eternal goodness toward me in Forsyth.
But at the close of three years there I was sent to Madison, by the same Bishop, and, on reaching that place, I found that they had a house for myself and family to stop at, thanks be unto the good Lord, but I found that the church wanted a great deal of work done on it. The glasses were not all put in; therefore I felt it my duty to have them put in and build a fence around the church. I did so by the help of the good Lord and the people. I labored hard that year with the church and congregation, in order that I might have them to be a first class people and a first class church. I solicited the aid of the white citizens, and found them just as kind-hearted as was necessary, and collected from them the amount that I made mention of in my first book. I staid in Madison one year, and labored hard with my hands, in the ground, and made the best of vegetables, and sold them, so that I might get my living honestly; and tried to instruct the children to the best of my ability. I tried to persuade sinners to turn to the Lord and be saved on the terms of the Gospel; I did, by the help of the good Lord, get some of them, but it was a hard thing to do. Yet I felt that I discharged my duty, and I still feel so. But when the Conference met in Griffin, Georgia, Bishop Campbell took charge of that Conference, and when he read out my appointment I was sent to Greensboro, Georgia; so I went back to have my things carried to that place. But when I began to pack up, there was a note sent to me from a gentleman that I had bought a suit of clothes from, with the understanding that I would pay him in thirty days; but as the Bishop had moved me from that place, he wanted me to pay him before I left Madison. Therefore I was somewhat bothered in my mind what to do; but, thanks be unto the good Lord, I have always had a friend.
So I went to Dr. Godfrey and told him the difficulty, and asked him if he would not give the gentleman his note, in my place, and I would pay him for it. And he did so, and I carried it to him, and asked him if he would take that note of the Doctor's in my place, and he accepted it; and then I felt at liberty to leave Madison, but not till then.
But, thanks be unto the good Lord, while I had to obey my Bishp and leave under such circumstances as these, yet I obeyed and went to Greensboro, Georgia; and when I got there I found
a large building, but not completed as a church should be. I told the members I had been laboring hard all of last year for the completion of the church at Madison, and that I had a little debt on hand at that place, and I felt it my duty to pay it as soon as possible. For that debt I desired them to give me a birthday supper. They did so with the greatest pleasure. That supper brought $32.00, and I paid the debt in Madison.
I remained the year 1877 in Greensboro, and I labored hard all that year. The good Lord was with me. The church was made to feel the power of the Lord. I labored with the Sunday School and the day school while I was in Greensboro. I gathered some money from the white citizens, with the intention of having the church completed, if I was sent back as their pastor. But, notwithstanding the general and earnest desire of the members, the Bishop sent me to Clinton, Ga. The members wept much, but it was all in vain. I had to take up my all and bid them farewell. I felt that I must obey, and so I did bid them farewell.
I then took the Georgia train for Clinton, with my family. It was a wet, cold day. We arrived at the railroad station that night. Being late in the evening, we had to spend the night there with a strange lady; but, thanks be unto the good Lord, we were cared for. We spent the night in peace, and the next morning I hired a vehicle to take myself and family to the village that is called Clinton. The road being very muddy, it was all that we could do to get there. Sometimes the horse would stall at the hill, and I had to get down in the mud and push with all my might to get along; but, by the help of the Lord, I got there. I was directed to a house that was called the parsonage, and so we discharged our load and went into it. A few friends came to see us that night. And as I have been speaking in regard to my labors in Clinton in my first book, I shall say but very little in this one; but I remained there two years--1878 and '79.
Then I was sent to Griffin in 1880, and when I arrived there I found a large church, but not completed, and I felt it my duty to have it completed, and I did so. The first thing that I did was to try and see if the white citizens would not assist me in the completion of it, and I found them very willing indeed. I collected some money from them for the benefit of the church, before the members knew anything about it. I intended having the church completed, and I brought the money that I collected before the church, and told them that if they wished to have their church put in good repair, they could have it done, "because here is $8.00 that I have collected for that purpose from the white citizens."
They were quite surprised at that, and were quite willing that they should have the church put in good repair; so they voted that I should go ahead, and that they would back me in the completion of it. I went ahead, as they requested me. I tried to have it ready by the second Sunday in April for dedication by the Right Rev. Bishop Campbell, D. D. But he failed in getting
my letters in time; therefore I lost by that. But he wrote me a kind letter in regard to it, and said that he was truly sorry, for several reasons, that he could not be there at the dedication, but it was his heartfelt wish to be there. So I had to put it off till the General Conference had sent us another Bishop, and it was not dedicated before November. The church in Griffin was considerably in debt when I took charge of it, and had lost her credit to some extent by not paying up her debt punctually. Therefore I went to work and paid as much as I possibly could, in order that the church might have a good name, because it is said that a good name is better than precious ointment.
At one time I had the Sheriff to hand me a notice notifying me to appear at the court house to answer for a debt against the church; but, thanks be unto the good Lord, I settled the debt without going there. The white citizens of Griffin gave me, altogether, when I was building the church, or repairing it, about a hundred dollars. I am truly thankful to them for it.
I left that place with a clear conscience in regard to my duty, and the Lord knows it to be so. At the close of the year, when it was time for me to gather up my dollar money, the Winter became very cold indeed, so much so that my members could not turn out to the church, and for that reason I could collect but very little dollar money for the Conference. I had to leave with only $14.00 in my hands to carry me to the Conference and meet my demands at the Conference. Therefore I felt very sad about it; but such was my condition. But I assert, in the name of the Lord, that I was marked at the Conference for not bringing more dollar money; but I reported for building purposes $650.00, as I was building a part of the year and paying off the debt of the church, until it was very late in the year before I could get ready for the Conference.
But, as the good Lord would have it, my books, which were printed in Griffin by Mr. Miller, were sent to Atlanta to be bound. Therefore they were sent to me at the Conference, with the privilege of selling them; and I did so. By that means I could settle some of the demands against me at the Conference.
But when the appointment was read out I was sent to Cassville, Ga., from Griffin, and it was the worst move that I ever received in all my appointments, because I had just got through having the church put in good repair, and it took all of the means that I could spare to help to get it ready for dedication, as well as the promise of paying the balance of the debt that I had contracted for, and for that reason I felt very sad when I was removed; not because I was removed, but in the way I was removed, with a debt over myself and the church, I having contracted it; and as I had never lost my credit up to that time, I felt very sad in regard to my being moved in that way.
But I went and told the Bishop that he had done me more harm than all the Bishops ever did me before, because he understood all about it. I had told him all about it before the Conference
met in Atlanta, and after it had met I told him about it again. But I was sent to Cassville, and before I went to my work I went back to Griffin and gave my creditors satisfaction in regard to my debts. Then I could go in peace, but not before, because I believe that all honest men should pay all honest debts; then they will have the good will of all good men, and also the good will of the good Lord. And so I bid the Bishop good by and went on my way, with the understanding that I intended doing what was right in the presence of God and man, and so I started on my way.
I went to Marietta and spent a day or two with my friends, and sold my books so that I might get some money to travel with, and borrowed a little more and sent it back to Griffin to pay some of my debts. Then I left for Cartersville, Ga., on my way to Cassville. I stopped at Cartersville, and spent two nights with the church, and sold my books again, in order that I might get a little more money to take me to Cassville. So on February the 3d, 1881, I arrived in Cassville, the place to which I was appointed as the pastor of the A. M. E. Church, and here I am in this little place.
I am at Brother John Frost's house, the place that the members had agreed that I should stop at. The members were informed before I got there that the Conference had divided the work in such a way that they thought they were not able to support a minister, because the Conference had taken off Cassville from Kingston and Adairsville and had left Cassville to be by itself, and for that reason the members called themselves together, and the majority of them agreed that they were not able to support a minister.
Therefore I had a battle to fight the first thing, and you must know that it took the Lord in front of this battle in order that I might get along. I hardly have language to describe the difficulty that I had with these members--some of them. I received support for about three months, as good as I could wish, but after that I received nothing in comparison to what a minister ought to have. I got the sisters in the notion to give me a birthday supper on the 22d of February. That gave me a little start in my work, so that I was able to make a good report at my first Quarterly Conference, which met the 12th of March.
At that Conference I got along very well, because the members, some of them, were holding back just to see who I would put in office, so they might make a fight on me; and so they did. And from the first Quarterly Conference until the third I had to contend with some of those members in Cassville A. M. E. Church, and they became so indignant and rebellious against the church and its discipline that I was compelled to turn one or two out of the church. This was done just before the third Quarterly Conference.
Therefore they got the Presiding Elder to let them bring their case before the Quarterly Conference; and when the question
was asked: "Are there any appeals?" I answered, "None." One of them got up and said that there were two applicants for appeals, and with that they had the chance to contend for themselves, and by doing so they were placed back in the church, with the understanding that they were turned out too hastily, although they deserved to be turned out because of their disobedience. And for taking them back in the church, under such circumstances, the members became very much discouraged, and the Elder wanted to put-me up before the members to see if the majority wanted me or not. But I objected to that, because I saw that it would divide the church. Therefore I proposed to retire and sell my books, and the Elder accepted that, and I remained until Friday night. The friendly members gave me a supper and $10.00, and then I bid them good-bye for a few weeks.
In order that I might sell my books--that I might be able to purchase some clothing for the Winter, because they were not able to give them to me nor my wife--on Saturday I left for Atlanta, and spent the Sabbath with Rev. Joseph Wood, who treated me very kindly, indeed. I labored for him all day, and on Monday night he gave me the chance to sell books in his church. I sold $7.00 worth, and also several dollars' worth in the city. Then I left for Griffin, where I was the pastor the year before. There I sold also. Then I left for Forsyth, where I had been before as their pastor, and there I sold also. Then I left for Macon, my old home, where I had lived for over thirty years. There I met with my warm-hearted friends, both white and colored, and there I sold a great many--about $25 00 worth. The Rev. R. A. Hall, their pastor, gave me a chance to sell in his church.
Then I left for Americus, Georgia, where I was their pastor once--the first one they ever had from the A. M. E. Conference, and there I sold my books. Then I left for Fort Valley, on my way to Columbus. I arrived safely, and was carried to the parsonage, where my kind brother, E. P. Holmes, and lady, reside. There I greeted them once more in life. I spent a few days with them and preached for him twice. He at that time had a great revival going on in his church. The good Lord appears to have been in their midst. I enjoyed myself a great deal with him, both spiritually and temporally. He gave me a chance to sell my books also.
Then, on Sunday afternoon, I was invited to preach at the St. John's Church. There I met with that kind-hearted brother, Sortis. He, also, after preaching was over, gave me a chance to sell my books. I visited the citizens and sold to them also.
Then I bid Columbus good-bye and returned to Macon, on my way to Griffin again, because the pastor had agreed that when I returned he would try and have some of the money collected for me, that the church was indebted to me; and so he did. He collected $3.40. Then I took the train again for Atlanta, on my way to Cassville. But I would have you to know that I did
not return home again until I had paid the last dollar that I owed; then I returned home to my church and family.
I am of the opinion that all Christian ministers of the Gospel should be honest men, in order that they may be able to preach the word of the Lord in its purity; and in order that they may be able to do that, they must try and pay all honest debts, if possible. Then they will be enabled to preach the truth to others.
I was in debt a little when I was moved from Griffin. I felt unhappy about it, and I was not satisfied until I settled it; then I felt free. It was the respect which I had for the church that caused me to become in debt. In trying to have the church put in good repair, I let it have all the money that I could spare, thinking I might get it back in time to pay all my debts before the year had passed away and the Conference convened. But I failed in getting it; therefore I was moved away to Cassville, and, being a poor work, I had to sell my books to get along as a man of God should do.
There was another church attached to Cassville Church by the name of Mount Zion. They had but two members, and it was attached to Cassville only as a name, because the members were not there, nor the people to support it. Therefore the members at Cassville knew that, and for that reason they considered that they had all the burden to bear. They disliked that very much; it made some of them mad, and they became my enemies instead of my friends, and for that reason I had a hard time with some of them for nine months, until I left for Conference, which met in Augusta, Georgia, January, 1882.
I went ahead of the Conference a week, in order that I might sell my books and be ready for the Conference question in the shape of money matters. I was very short in that direction, because my members at Cassville were very poor, and were not able to send me to Conference as they should have done. But as I had on hand some of my books, I thought it best for me to go ahead of the Conference and sell them, and for that reason I wrote to the pastor that I would be there and spend the first Sunday with him in 1882. I arrived safe and called on him early in the morning, before he was out of bed. Then I was taken by Brother Ben Murray, and stopped at his house, with himself and lady and daughter. There I spent a week with that dear brother and lady. They were very kind to me, and treated me as a brother and sister should treat a stranger or a servant of the Lord. I thought that I would take a walk on the streets of Augusta, as I had not been there in eight years before, and in doing so I met with that kind-hearted brother, Rev. Tolliver, the pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church, who, after saluting one another, asked me to preach for him on Sunday, which invitation I accepted, and informed him that I had the history of my life printed in a book, that I was selling then, and that that was my business here ahead of the Conference, and also that I would like
for him to give me a chance to sell at his church. He cordially agreed to do so. Then I handed him one of them, so that he might be enabled to read and be satisfied with it himself. So on Sunday I labored hard in his church for his congregation, and was invited back again the next Sunday, and I labored again for them, and then had a chance to offer to them my books, and the members came forward and bought some of them.
I was also invited by the Deacon of Springfield Baptist Church to preach for them, as their pastor had departed this life and was gone to his reward above. I filled their pulpit with sadness that night, because their church was draped in black; but I did my best for them under the circumstances. They gave me liberty to speak of my books, and I sold a few there also.
I was also invited by Rev. Kichens to preach at the M. E. Church, and I did so. I was invited by the pastor of the Second Baptist Church to visit them before I left the city. I accepted their invitation and went there also, and had a chance to say a few words for my Master in that church, and it appeared as if they were well pleased with what was said by me to that congregation, and after service the pastor gave me leave to say a word or two about my books. And I was going to leave the next day, and perhaps never to return again to that city or church, they came forward and bought a few of them, and bid me farewell, wishing me good luck. I prayed the blessing of God upon them, and then left them.
On Wednesday, the 11th of January, 1882, the Conference met, the roll was called, and I answered to my name, as I always have done at all the other Conferences. I never missed roll call but once in all of our Conferences, and that was at Griffin, the first Conference that Bishop Campbell held. I missed the connection of the train, and for that reason, when the roll was called next morning, I was not there, and it was the first time. The Conference proceeded to hear business--that is, I mean the Conference that convened in Augusta--and as there was no duty imposed upon me, I sat with delight and looked on the brethren that had the work to perform. I only answered when I was called, and that was when my time came to render in my report and pay my dollars. That I did with delight, because I went ahead of the Conference for that purpose, in order that I might not be marked any more in regard to money matters. Therefore I was not marked for anything, and if I never more meet another Conference, let it not be said that I was marked at our last Conference that met in Augusta.
I predicted in regard to myself, before the Conference met, that I would receive my appointment to Lookout Mountain--that is, the Bishop would leave me to lookout for myself. But, about the last name on the table, my name was called: "This is to certify that Rev. R. Anderson is appointed to the Fulton County Circuit."
I arose with cheerfulness and took my appointment. Then
the next day I left Augusta for Atlanta, on my way to Marietta, where I had left my family, until I could understand what would become of me, and where I would be sent. Then, on my way, I dropped a card at Baldwin Station for Brother Russell, informing him that I would be at his church on the fifth Sunday in January, and for him to inform the members of it. I then passed on to Marietta and spent the fourth Sunday with my family. I found my wife was not in as good and healthy a condition as I left her, as the weather had been very wet and unpleasant, and the house that she was stopping in wasn't very closely put together. She had contracted considerable cold on her lungs, and was suffering from it. I spent the fourth Sunday in Marietta and I then left for my appointment.
I arrived safe at Baldwin Station, and was met by a young lady, who conducted me to Brother Russell's home. Then I was informed that the church that I was sent to was about five miles from that place, and he hardly knew how I was to get there, except I walked, and the roads were just about as muddy as you ever saw in all your life, and cold withal. I thought to myself, "Well that is my portion this year, and I must take it, because I enlisted myself, and nobody compelled me to leave home and all that was dear to me but myself; therefore, take it, and say nothing."
I had it to do, but it was a very large pill to swallow; yet I got it down after awhile. So on Sunday Brother Russell saddled one of his mules, and on it I mounted and started for my church through the cold and beating wind. I arrived at the church after awhile, and found a few members who had come out to see who the Conference had sent to them this year, and what kind of a looking man, and whether he was an old or young one. All these thoughts appeared to have been in their minds, because they looked at me, some of them, as if they never saw a preacher before; and the reason of it I found out afterwards.
There had been a division among the members, and they were looking to see who I was and what way I was going to lead them before they would take hold of me. And so I labored hard with them. Then I told them who I was, and what I intended to do if the Lord would enable me, and that now I did not intend to know anything among them but Christ and Him crucified. Then I could see some signs that I was welcome among them. I then made my appointment, dismissed them, shook hands with them, bid them good-bye, and mounted the mule and set back again for Brother Russell's.
I arrived before darkness overtook me, and when I went to dismount I was so cold that I came very near falling to the ground. But the mule got frightened at my stumbling and jumped a little, and that pulled me on my feet again, thanks be unto the good Lord. I then started for the house, and, on reaching it, I informed the lady that I was almost frozen to death, and she had the fire increased with wood, and in a short time I was invited to
walk in and take supper. After supper I felt that if I did not get warm in a short time I would take what is called a congestive chill. Therefore, the lady had me to lie down on a couch and cover me up, so that my blood commenced circulating again, and I got better. Then, on the ninth day, I started for Atlanta, in order that I might find a house for myself and family to live in, because the trustees had agreed that I should rent a house in town, as there was no house in the country to rent. Therefore, I came to town and found a room or two at Sam Smith's, and I agreed to rent them from him for $5.00 a month.
Then, on the first Sunday in February, I went to my next church, arriving there through the mud. I walked there, about three or four miles. I met one brother and preached to him; told him that I was sent to him as their pastor, and had made no appointment. He gave me ten cents. We sang a hymn and then dismissed, with the understanding that I would be back again on the third Sunday, myself and the Elder, to hold the Quarterly Conference, and so we did. Myself and the Elder took the street cars, which carried us about a mile, then we took our feet and walked there, the distance from the cars being about three or four miles. On Saturday he held his Quarterly Conference, the brothers answered to their names very promptly, and he staid until Sunday afternoon. I collected for him as his assessment $7.00; then he bid us good-bye and left for town.
I remained the balance of the day and preached for them, and took up a collection for myself to the amount of eighty cents; then I announced my appointment and bid them farewell. I took to my feet and walked back home again, a distance of about three or four miles. I reached home safely and remained at the house that I rented at first one month, then I rented another at the same price, where I had more room, and I am at the same place at the present time, while I am writing this book, as my second number.
I found out that my churches were so poor that, if I did not look out for myself, it would not be long before I'd have to give up the house that I had rented for myself and family, because it appeared as if the members were either too poor or unwilling to do their duty. The amount I received sometimes was too small for me to make mention of in this book of mine. But, in order that I might be enabled to meet all my demands, I started with my books, and, thanks be unto the Lord, I have met with the greatest of kindness from friends. And, if you will read the preface to my book, you will find out some of them, for I have given some of their names because of their kindness to me in recommending me to the public at large in Atlanta.
I have sold a great many, to both white and colored. I sold them in Griffin, Forsyth, Macon, Americus, Fort Valley, Columbus, Hawkinsville, Clinton, Warrenton, Washington, Athens, Greensboro, Madison, Marietta, Cartersville, Cassville, and also in Augusta.
Permit me to say a few words more about what took place concerning myself at the Conference in Augusta. The Reverend Bishop Turner was there, and made a solemn impression on my mind in the way that he spoke to the brethren; and, after he closed his remarks, I asked the Bishop to let me say a few words, if he pleased, and he granted me the privilege. So I arose from my seat and said my heart was filled with the hearing of what my dear brother had just said, because I had been somewhat acquainted with him for many days, even before the war, in the days of slavery. He came to the city of Macon when he was a young man about twenty-five years of age. But before I could get through speaking as I wished to do, Brother B-- was afraid I would take too long in telling my story, therefore I had to close my remarks. But the Bishop said--"Let the brother alone; he is almost through."
Another circumstance took place at the Conference that I will state also. I was not called upon at the Conference to do anything at all; but on the last day my dear brother, Bishop H. M. Turner, asked me to come up in the pulpit and give us a short prayer. Then I stepped forward and did as I was requested. I gave out by heart a hymn suited to my Lord in the morning:
"Thou shalt hear my voice ascending high;
To Thee will I direct my prayer;
To thee lift up mine eyes;
Up to the hills where Christ is gone to plead for all his saints,
Presenting at the Father's throne our songs and our complaints.
Thou art a God before whose sight the wicked shall not stand;
Sinners shall never be Thy delight, nor dwell at Thy right hand.
Oh! may Thy Spirit guide my feet in ways of righteousness;
Make every path of duty straight and plain before my face.
Now to Thy house will I resort, to taste Thy mercy there;
I will frequent Thy holy courts and worship in Thy fear."
And after singing it and prayer was over, I said to the brothers, "Let us repeat the 23d Psalm," and we did so. I commenced by saying: "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for Thou art with me, and Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me. Thou anointest my head with oil. My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen. Amen."
Thanks be unto the Lord, I had a chance to say something before I bid them all farewell, because I did not know that I would ever have the chance to meet them again in this world, as I was sixty-three years of age at that time.
I am now in Atlanta. One of my churches is about seven
miles off from me, and the other is about six miles off, and I have to walk sometimes the best part of the way, in order that I may meet my congregation. But, thanks be unto the Lord, I am trying to do the best I can to persuade sinners to return and be saved on the terms of the gospel. I am living at the present time in Atlanta, in May's alley, house No. 61. I am surrounded by peculiar circumstances. I have white neighbors in my front, and on my right side, and on my left side, and behind me, and I am in the centre. Now you must know that I will have to walk straight, because their eyes are upon me from day to day, and I must let my light so shine that they may not have anything to say against me when I leave Atlanta. They are very peaceable at the present time, and I am in hopes that we will remain so the balance of this year, because I believe in a quiet and peaceful neighbor. The Saviour has said in His sermon, "Blessed is the peacemaker, for they shall be called the children of God." And I would pray that this world was filled with them; then we would have a happy time.
Permit me to say something in regard to my grandmother and friends a long time ago. Many years ago, in the days of slavery, before I bought myself and wife, I got her mistress to let her go with me to see my grandmother and mother and friends. They were living in Liberty county, and we were living in Macon, a distance of two days' travel by land through the country. And she, being a kind-hearted lady, let her go with me. We hired a vehicle from Dr. Martin and off we started, and on the second day we arrived safely in Liberty county, where we found grandmother, and mother, and brother, and old mistress, and a great many of my friends, who were truly glad to see myself and wife.
I met the young man Andrew, who used to come at night into the room where I was trying to get my lesson, and who would instruct me when I would spell my lesson wrong. Myself and lady staid with our friends a week. Then we bid them good-bye, taking our long journey back home again. But on our way back to Macon we came very near getting drowned in crossing a creek that the water had overflowed. But, thanks be unto the good Lord, we did not, for the horse being a good one, he pulled us out of the water, while he was under it himself. Therefore we arrived home safe and told Mrs. Usher all about it, and she sympathized with us very much. We lost all the good things that were given to us, but saved ourselves. After a long time, about five or six years, I went back again by myself to see grandmother and mother, but I found that grandfather had departed this life and had left grandmother alone by herself.
Therefore I felt very sad about her, because she did look so desolate there by herself. I asked her mistress would she not give her to me, and she did. So I put her on the stage and carried her to Savannah, and then put her on the cars and brought her to Macon, and she lived with me for about four or
five years. Then she bid myself and wife good-bye, and went home to glory. That has been about twenty-five years ago.
This morning, at the break of day, the 25th of February, 1882, I was lying on my bed, and who do you think I was conversing with? It was my grandmother. I thought that I saw her, spoke to her and asked her what she was doing there. She said that some of her friends had brought her there. I told her that she was dressed very nice, and that I thought she wanted to get married again. "Not so," said she; "but I am sent to invite you and your lady to a dinner." I asked of her on what day, and as she was hesitating to let me know, I commenced thinking in my mind that all my friends are about to leave me, and I would be alone, and that brought a sad feeling in my heart and woke me up, and she did not inform me what day I was to come to the dinner. Her face looked like an angel's, most glorious, indeed.
After the death of my grandmother I went back again to Liberty county to see my mother. I found her in a desolate condition, without a husband to help her. I came home to Macon and wrote to her master, asking him what he would take for her, either by selling her or hiring her to me. He wrote to me, informing me that he would take $200.00 for her, or hire her to me for $50.00 a year. I wrote to him that I would take her at $50.00 a year, and if she would be willing to do that, to put her on the train and send her to me at Macon, and I would pay the traveling expenses. He did so, and sent her to me, and, when the year was out, I sent him the $50.00; but, by the next year, "Mr. Freedom" came along and took her out of my hands and his, and she was set at liberty. But I still tried to take care of her as long as she was in my reach, but she got out of my sight and departed this life while I was in the discharge of my Master's duty, and was buried in Macon by some of her friends, in my absence, at the age of seventy-five years.
Permit me to say a few words in regard to my grandfather. When I was but a little boy he used to think a great deal of me. I would hear him make use of this expression: "My little boy is going to make a smart fellow, because I have seen him take a nail and put it in the crack of the floor; then he would take a hammer and drive it through the boards without striking his fingers." Therefore it gave him a great deal of pleasure to look at his little boy. He gave me that colt, when a child, that I spoke of in the first part of this book. When I was taken from him and carried away to wait about the house as a house-boy my former mistress would sometimes let me go down to the plantation to see my grandfather and grandmother; and he would be so glad to see his little boy that he would say to me: "Son, go into my sugar-cane patch and get as much as you wish, and eat all day if you wish to do so." Sometimes I would chew the cane until my jaws hurt me. Then he would say to me: "Go into the apple orchard and get as many apples as you wish, also, for I wish I had something good for my boy." My grandfather had
a great many beehives, and when he would rob them he would say to grandmother: "Dinah, give my boy some honey."
My grandfather was the foreman on the plantation, and his house was the place of worship. They would ring the bell on Sunday and Wednesday nights. I remember on one of those nights, when the bell was rung, I being a very little fellow, grandmother had a little chicken at the fire drying, that the hen had hatched out of the shell. So she said to me as she was going into prayers: "Son, take good care of the chicken until I come back; don't let it get into the fire." "No ma'am," said I. But they staid so long at prayers that the little chicken died. When grandmother came in from prayers she said to me: "How is my chicken, my son?" I said: "It died, and I roasted and eat it, ma'am." "What!" said grandmother, "did you eat that little thing?" "Yes, ma'am." "How did it taste?" "Nice, ma'am." So grandmother told grandfather of it when he came in, and it did him so much good to think of it that he laughed heartily at it. "Well," said he, "and how did it taste?" "Very nice; it burst open and the egg run out of it, but it was very nice," said I. "Well," said grandfather, "you are the beating of all the boys I ever saw, my son."
My grandfather departed this life shortly after I went to Macon, in the year of our Lord 1838; and before I got married I sent him word that I was going to do so, and he sent me $8.00 to assist me. About the time that he saw that he must depart and leave this world he gave me a horse, but I did not get it; but I am in hopes that I will see him again in that good world above, where parting will be no more. I can truly say that grandfather and grandmother have always tried to instruct me in the best way that they knew how, and while both of them are gone to that world above--one unknown to us--I am prepared to say that they did all that they could in trying to bring me up in the fear of God, and to make me a useful man in this world after their departure. I have tried to remember their instructions, and will repeat one of grandfather's songs, which he used to sing in those days, in long metre:
Show pity, Lord; O Lord, forgive;
Let a repenting sinner live:
Are not Thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in Thee?
My crimes are great, but don't surpass
The power and glory of Thy grace:
Great God, Thy nature hath no bound,
So let thy pard'ning love be found.
O wash my soul from every sin!
And make my guilty conscience clean!
Here on my heart the burden lies,
And past offences pain mine eyes.
My lips with shame my sins confess,
Against Thy law, against Thy grace;
Lord, should Thy judgments grow severe,
I am condemned, but Thou art clear.
Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
I must pronounce Thee just in death;
And if my soul were sent to hell,
Thy righteous law approves it well.
Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope, still hov'ring round Thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there--
Some sure support against despair.
Permit me now to call your attention to my youthful days. I remember that I stated in my first book that I was a shepherd boy, and had to attend to the sheep and cows. I had in my fold one old sheep that I called old Nan, and she understood her name very well, indeed. Whenever I would call her she would answer by bleating. I remember one time there came a dog into my pen and killed several of my sheep, and that put me on the lookout for him; so, after many days, he came again, but, being on the watch, I caught him before he could jump over the fence; and, behold, it was a bitch; but it made no difference with me. Andrew and I tied her and carried her to a hickory tree, bent it down and tied her to the end of the top limb; then we let it go, and that swung the old lady clear off the ground, and you may guess what became of her. When we got through we let her go, and we have never seen the old lady since.
I thought a great deal of my sheep, and if you did not wish to get into trouble, you had better let my sheep alone. At another time I had a hard fight with a young lad who set his dog on my sheep. I appointed the time when I should meet him and give him what I thought he ought to have. So we met and had it, sure enough. I knocked one of my wrists out of joint against his skull, and he found out that it was best to let my sheep alone. But he never tried it any more as long as I was a shepherd boy.
You must remember that I was born a slave, and remained so until I was about twenty-nine years of age. I was taken from the State when I was about seventeen years old by a young doctor. You have read of his name in my first number. I told you, also, where we went the first year that he took me, and I told you that we came to Macon in the year of our Lord 1838. I was then nineteen years old. I also told you at that time that he had but very little for me to do, and that he informed me that I could lookout for something to do. I also stated what he charged me a day--seventy-five cents. I also stated in my first book that my master went back to Liberty county to stay with his mother and friends. I also mentioned that, as I was married, he would not part me from my wife, but left me in Macon, with the understanding that I should pay him $20.00 a month, and I agreed to do so.
Now, permit me to say, that in ten years time I paid him in wages $1,900.00; and, after his death, his wife came to Macon and informed me that I could buy myself, and I did so by the help of the lady that I spoke of in my first book. I paid $1,000.00 for myself, and before then bought my wife at the cost of $500.00--paying for myself and lady $1,500.00; and for wages $1,900.00--making a total of $3,400.00. I bought myself ten years before the war, and my wife fifteen years before the war. We purchased some land in the country, about two miles from the city of Macon, and there we settled ourselves. There the war met us, but we had nothing to do with it. We tried to take good care of every one that came to us for help, and, after all, I have five bloody wounds on my body, and they that did it could not say with a clear conscience that they had a right to do it; but I leave it all in the hands of a good God.
When the war closed, and the people were said to be free, I went to Savannah and found the A. M. E. Conference, under Bishop Payne. I, at that time, valued my premises or home at $4,000.00. My wife hated so bad that I should leave my home and all that was dear to me, and join the A. M. E. Conference, that she would not leave home and follow me. She staid at home four years before she consented to go with me. After I was appointed to Marietta, then she thought it would be too far off for her to travel; therefore she left all and followed me.
Allow me here to make mention of all the Bishops that presided over me: The first one was Bishop Payne. He sent me to Americus in the year of our Lord 1866. The next was Bishop Wayman; he sent me to Hawkinsville in 1867. The next Bishop that I served under was Bishop Brown; he sent me to Hawkinsville in 1868, 1869 and 1870. He appointed me traveling agent for the Conference, and sent me to Marietta in 1871 and 1872. The next Bishop that I was under was Bishop T. M. D. Ward; he sent me to Forsyth in 1873, 1874 and 1875, and to Madison in 1876. The next was J. P. Campbell; he sent me to Greensboro, in 1877; in 1878, 1879, to Clinton; and in 1880 he sent me to Griffin. The next that I served under was Bishop W. F. Dickerson; he sent me to Cassville, in 1881, and in 1882 he sent me to Fulton County Circuit, and here I am at the present time. My next Conference will meet in 1883, at Washington, Wilkes county, and, if the good Lord will spare my life, I will be there. Where the next place is that I will be sent the Lord only knows.
Now, I have been preaching about thirty-three years; I have been a member of the church for forty-three years; my wife for forty-five years I am sixty-three years old at this date (1882), and my wife is seventy-three years of age. We have been married forty-three years at the present date, the first of March, 1882.
Now, I haven't paid a doctor's bill in eighteen years. I have not been sick a day in sixteen years. I haven't employed a lawyer in eighteen years. I never was belore a court for any misdemeanor in all my life. I never was before a council for any
bad conduct in all my life. I never cursed an oath in all my life. I did say to an old axe once, when I was a little boy, because it flew off the handle--"Damn it." I heard another boy say that, and I thought I would say it too. I remember the dark Sunday very well. I remember when the stars fell as thick as hail one night. I was then about fifteen years of age, and on the dark Sunday I was about twelve years old. I can remember four wars in my lifetime, and I am in hopes that I will not see another.
As I am about to close that part of my life in regard to my labor in the good cause of my Master and the Church, permit me to give you a short history in the way of my being called to the work of the Lord. I remember, in the days of slavery, when the good Lord pressed it on my mind very sensibly by taking me away in the spirit one night. I saw things that made an impression on my heart that, I think, will never be removed.
I was carried to an ancient city that was destroyed at that time, but there were two pillars left standing as monuments. I drew near to look at them. On one of them were letters written, and I thought that I would read them; but I could not, because they were written in Greek. I saw one or two old ladies sitting there as if they were lamenting the condition of the place. I turned to them and asked them: "What place is this?" They replied: "This is Sardis." I asked them what was the meaning of those pillars that were standing there. They said that there was once a fine building standing on those pillars, but for the people's disobedience the Lord had destroyed the place. "That house that stood on those pillars was built by Sable," said they to me. "It was built about three hundred years after the destruction of Solomon's Temple."
I returned home from my journey in the Spirit of the Lord and told my wife of it as she was lying by me in the bed. In the morning I went to Mr. Barnes' book store and asked him di dhe have any Commentary on the Book of Revelations. He told me that he had "Barnes Notes." I bought one of them and took it home. Then I began to read it, and by the time that I had read it through I was very sensibly impressed with the idea that the millennium glory of Christ would make itself apparent at a certain time.
I preached from it in the days of slavery, and told them at that time that it would take place in one hundred and forty-three years. I have lived long enough to bring it down to one hundred and eighteen years. Now, you would like for me to tell you why I have the audacity to speak in this way. I will tell you. I believe that God, in making this world, made it in six days, and on the seventh day He rested from all His works that He had made. Now, I believe that every day stands for a thousand years, and the seventh day stands for a thousand years also. For us to understand this more thoroughly, let us consider the book with seven seals, and see what we can make out of that. I believe every one of these seals is the transpiring of something that
took place in a thousand years, which is seven thousand years. Therefore, when Christ went back to heaven again, there was a demand of some one to open the book and unloose the seals thereof, and read therein. But John said that he wept much, because there was no one on the earth or under the earth that was worthy to unloose the seals and read therein; but one of the Elders said to him: "Weep not, because the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to unloose the seals and read therein." And he said that he looked, and, behold, in the midst he saw a Lamb that had been slain from the foundation of the world, and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne, and opened the seals of the book and read therein. The first seal that he opened there came out a white horse. Now, this white horse meant the flood in the first thousand years. And when he had opened the second seal there came out a red horse. This horse meant the war that took place in the days of Abraham, when he had to go after his brother-in-law and whip his enemies, and bring his brother-in-law back again. This took place in the second thousand years. "And when he had opened the third seal I beheld a black horse." That meant a famine that took place in the days of Ahab, the king. That was in the third thousand years. "And when he had opened the fourth seal I saw a pale horse." That meant the persecution that took place in the days of Herod, the king, when he sent forth and had all the boy children put to death, from two years old and over, in order that he might destroy the Babe of Bethlehem. That was in the fourth thousand years, just when the Saviour was to be born, because the promise was that He would come into this world in four thousand years, as He did. "And when he had opened the fifth seal I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost Thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth.' And white robes were given to every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants, also, and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo! there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth."
Now, permit me to say that five of these seals are already fulfilled, and a part of the sixth, because I saw myself when the stars fell to the earth, when I was about fifteen or sixteen years of age. We are passing through the sixth seal now, and in one hundred and eighteen years we shall get through. That will close the sixth day's work. Then the seventh day will make its appearance; that will stand in the place of the Sabbath, which is the day of rest, and it stands in the place of the millennium glory of Christ, when He shall come again to this world; not to
judge us yet, because the judgment day will be thousands of years after His second appearance.
There will be two resurrections, and they will be a thousand years apart; and it is said, "Blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection, because the second death hath no dominion over him; but they shall be kings and priests with Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." This thousand years answers in the place of the seventh day, when God rested from all His works, and gave command that we should keep it holy.
Now, if we obey his command, when He comes again we shall have part in the first resurrection, and live with Him a thousand years on this earth again. You can read the 20th, 21st and 22d chapters of the Book of Revelations, and you will find out in the 21st chapter what John has to say about it. You will find out that it is said in that chapter: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." You can read for yourself.
Permit me to say that it is my belief that from this date (1882) Christ will come again in one hundred and eighteen years; that will be in the twentieth century. The 20th and 21st chapters will answer to this, and the 22d chapter may answer for the judgment day.
The Book of Revelations has twenty-two chapters, and I believe that that is all it should have. The 20th chapter foretells His coming; the 21st chapter, His reigning on earth with His people; and the 22d chapter, His judgment--a thousand years for each of these three chapters. I give this as my opinion in my old days. I did commence speaking of this when I was about thirty-five years of age, in the days of slavery. Now I am sixty-three years of age this date, 1882. This may be hard to believe, but you must remember that it was hard for the antediluvians to believe that the flood would come, yet it did appear, and that in due season. It was a hard thing for the people to believe that Christ would come, but He did come in the fullness of time. So it is predicted that Christ will come again; and, as I am impressed with the idea that He will come in the twentieth century, which will be in one. hundred and eighteen years' time, let me say to all that may read this book of mine: "Watch and wait. Watch the time and the signs, because great will be the change of the times." And as I am the only colored man and minister that has undertaken to set this truth before the world, I would like to have it engraved in a rock after my death, by the churches that I have served as their minister. I have served nine of them at the present date, April 23d, 1882.
Though trouble assail and danger affright,
Though friends should all fail and foes all unite,
Yet one thing assures us, whatever betide,
The promise secures us, the Lord will provide.
Then let us trust in the Lord at all times, and never be discouraged.
With your permission I will now give the various excuses of the various persons that have and have not purchased my books. I will commence with Mr. A.: "Good morning, sir. Don't you wish to purchase a book written by a colored man, born and reared in the State of Georgia, who was a slave and bought himself and wife at the price of $500.00 for one and $1,000.00 for the other?" "Why, yes. What is the price?" "Only fifty cents." "Very good, I'll take one. I am truly glad to see that one of your race is intelligent enough to write a book; and did you write it yourself?" "Yes, sir." "How did you learn to read in the days of slavery?" "My grandmother employed one of my mistress's daughters to teach me, and in that way I commenced, and never stopped until I could read." "Well," said Mr. A., "I am glad that a colored man has tried to set forth so good an example, because that is the only way that your people ever will be a people that will be much thought of." "Yes, sir; good-bye."
The next is Mr. B.: "Any admittance, sir?" "Yes, walk in. What can I do for you?" "I have a history of my life that I wish to sell you." "Is it written by yourself?" "Yes, sir." "What do you want for one of them?" "Fifty cents, sir." "Very good; I will take one to encourage you. Are you not a minister, and have you not a church in charge?" "I have, sir; but they are very poor and can't do much in the way of support; therefore I am compelled to sell my books." "Well, I am in hopes that you will do well." "Good morning, sir."
The next is Mr. C.: "Come in, sir. What can I do for you?" "I want to sell you a book." "Not now, but call again. I will see more about it." "Very good, sir."
The next is Mr. D.: "Good morning, sir. I would like you, if you have the time, to look at this paper." "Well, I am so very busy with my drug store that you must excuse me for the present; but call again." "Very good, sir."
Mr. E. is next: "I have a recommendation I would like you to read, if you have the time. I see, though, you are very busy." "If I had the time I would do so; but excuse me, for I am very busy."
I next approached Mr. F.: "Read this, if you please." "What is it?" "Read it and you will find out." "Well, can't you tell me without my reading it? I have not the time, for I am very busy. Call again."
The next is Mr. G.: "Well, I am the judge; let me examine your book a little." "Yes, sir, you can do that with pleasure." "Now I have read it." "What do you think of it?" "It is a very good little book, and I shall take one. "Very good, sir; there it is." "Here is your fifty cents." "Thank you, sir."
The next is Hr. H.: "How are you, my dear sir. I haven't seen you for some time. I am truly glad to meet with you. I have a book written by myself since I saw you last." "Is that
so?" "Yes, sir." "Well, I am glad of that. Have you one with you?" "Yes, sir." "Let me have one; here is your money. I am in hopes that you will sell a great many of them. Have you sold many?" "Yes, sir."
The next is Mr. I.: "Do you wish to buy one of my books?" "Well, I am so poor; I have a family to support; I have so many little children; I have to give my pastor his money; I am compelled to pay my doctor's bill; I am in debt, and I have but little money after all. Excuse me, if you please." "Very good, sir."
The next is Mr. J.: "I want to sell you a book." "I am a job printer myself, and haven't got the time to read books, but I'll tell you what I will do. If you will let me have one of your books I will publish it in my paper, and that will be the means of your selling more of them." "Very good, sir; here is one of them." So it appeared in the paper in this form: "I have read the pamphlet written by Rev. R. Anderson, a member of the A. M. E. Conference, in which he reviews his life and labors for his Lord and Master. We think very highly of it. It can be read with pleasure and profit by every one. Buy a copy by all means."
Next is Mr. K.: "Well, sir, I would like to sell you a book." "Now you have struck a hard case. You cannot get blood out of a turnip; you must excuse me."
The next one is Mr. L.: "Can I sell you a book?" "What is the price?" "Fifty cents, sir." "Lord have mercy on you! It is too late in the afternoon; early in the morning is the time I am at my office. You must not come late in the evening; I would rather you would come late Sunday afternoon."
Next is Mr. M.: "Can I sell you a book?" "My soul! Haven't you got through selling those books yet?" "Not quite; I have a few more." "Well, as for my part, I am very much in favor of them. I am going to get one, but I am too poor at present. Call again, and I may get one."
Next comes Mr. N.: "My dear sir, can I sell you a book?" "Not now, but some other time when you are passing by call in, and I may buy one. I want to make some of my ends meet together, but I find it a very hard job."
Next one is Mr. O.: "Permit me to interrupt you, sir." "Oh, I am so busy. My dear sir, I would be so much obliged to you if you could pass by this time." "It is my business to be obliging, so good evening."
The next one to be considered is Mr. P.: "Allow me to stop you a short time, if you please." "What is it that you want with me?" "I wish to sell you a book." "A book, did you say?" "I am the poorest man you ever saw in all your life; too poor to get a chew of tobacco; too poor to buy a dram; too poor to get a pair of shoes; too poor to buy a piece of meat; too poor to get a suit of clothes to go to church in. Pass me by if you please."
"Next is Mr. Q.: "How is your health today?" "Quite well." "Can I sell you a book?" "Not quite so easy a question." "Why not?" "The question is, where am I to get the money to buy one? Trade is quite dull to-day; everything looks queer; I do not know whether I shall be able to square up my debts or not; so you must excuse me." "I will, sir; good-bye until I come again."
Next is Mr. R.: "Can I sell you a book?" "What is your name?" "Robert." "Let me see your paper. Well, I know this handwriting. It is Robert Hardeman's hand." "Yes, sir, it is." "He writes a splendid hand." "He does." "Are you acquainted with him?" "I have known him ever since he was about ten years of age; not only him, but his father before him. They are a very fine family." "Well, where were you when the war broke out?" "I was in Macon, living on my plantation, about two miles from the city." "Did you have anything to do with the war?" "I did not." "Well, how came those fellows to wound you as they did in 1862?" "I thought I would pass by that and not tell it, but if you demand it of me I must tell it.
"I raised a great many vegetables on my place, and when the cabbages began to head up I found the tracks of some one coming into my garden and stealing them. Therefore I went to town and borrowed a trap from Mr. Weed, which would hold a horse if he stepped into it; and when the rogue came again he stepped into it and was caught by his leg, but his associates got him loose. So the whole party went and joined the Bibb County Grays, and left but one, and the brother of that one was captured by the Federal army. They paroled him and let him come home to see his family, with the promise that he would kill me, and therefore he brought a crowd to carry out his designs, and I received three bloody wounds. That is the way I got wounded the first time."
"Well," said Mr. R., "how was it that you got shot the second time?"
"Well, after the war was over the same crowd came back again, all but one or two. They then concluded that they would put an end to me, as they found me living at the same place. So they got a Federal soldier to come with them to my house, and he did the shooting. He spoke to me very kindly and then shot me. I put my left arm in front of my breast, and the ball struck it and passed through into my breast, carrying a portion of my shirt in with it. My wife pulled the shirt out, pulling out the ball with it."
"And you say that you have forgiven those fellows?"
"Oh, yes; I must forgive them, because the Bible tells me that if I forgive men their trespasses, my Heavenly Father will also forgive me."
"Where do you find that?"
"In the 6th chapter of Matthew. I desire to get to Heaven when I die."
The next one is Mr. S.: "Well, Mr. S., can I sell you a book?" "I am very slow in buying anything, but I saw in your book that you forgave those scamps that came to your house and shot you." "And was not that right?" "Not with me. I should have cut their hearts out, and if I could not do it in one way, I should have tried a short way to have my revenge on such wretches as those."
"Well, can I sell you a book?" "Call again. I see that you have more mercy than I have. I like your book, except that forgiving part. I would be certain to have cut their hearts out; that's what I would have done. My name is S--Slay as I go, and suffer no Slothful, Sottish, Sneaking, Selfish Slink to kill me for nothing."
The next one is Miss T.: "Dear miss, can I sell you a book?" "I would like to buy one, but haven't got any money to spare; would be so glad if I could help you, but, being a young lady, do not have much money at a time to spend; so you must excuse me." "Very good."
The next one is Mr. U.: "Good afternoon, sir; I want you to read this." "Well, you know that I haven't got the time to read my newspaper, nor the Bible, much less a book." "But you can buy it and read it some other time." "I can't read much anyhow."
"Well, Mr. V., as you are here, can't you buy it?" "I haven't got the money. My eyes are very weak, and the doctors are working on them now."
"Permit me to relate a tale that I heard when a boy. Would you both like to hear it?" "Oh, yes." "Well, it is this; I learned it when a boy:
" 'Jack the Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean;
So t'wixt them both they tore the cloth,
And licked the platter clean.' "
"One of you can't read, and the other has no money; so now divide the spoils." They laughed. Then said Mr. U. to Mr. V.: "You give him twenty-five cents and I'll give him twenty-five cents." Mr. V. pulled out fifty cents and paid me for the book, after saying he had no money, and then I left.
The next one is Mr. W.: "I wish to sell you a book written by myself. I have not had the privilege, as others have had, of sitting in a school house, because I went and joined the first Conference, and, consequently, had to study very hard to get myself ready for the Church and the people." "Well," said Mr. W., "and how did you learn to write?" "I bought a copy-book in the days of slavery from Mr. Boardman, in the City of Macon. It was called the Self-Penman, and I had that book when I was sent out to serve the churches. I spread that book before me and learned to write. But, when sent to Hawkinsville, I went to school to Dr. Oakland, when I could get the
chance, and, in that way, learned a little grammar. I would have had a full education, but the doctor had to move in the country out of town, and therefore I lost my teacher." "Well," said Mr. W., "you learned enough to write your book." "Yes, sir." "Well, I will take one."
The next one is Mr. X.: "Would you like to buy a book?" "Do you expect to sell me a book?" "I would like to do so." "I am a Catholic, but tell me what 'A' means or stands for in your book?" "It means or stands for 'Africa.' " "That is so. Now I will buy one of your books. My dear, have you got fifty cents? Just let me have it. Here is fifty cents, and you may keep the book also." "Very good, sir, but permit me to tell you something that is in this book which you would like to know. There is a remedy in this book that will enable you to understand how to cure the small pox; it was revealed to me in 1865." "Oh, well, give it back to me."
"Well," said I to Mr. X., as I passed by his house one day afterwards, "how did you like my book?" "The best in the world. I gave it to Jim after I got through reading it." "Very good, sir." The X is for the Cross.
The next one to be considered is Mr. Y.: "Why, good morning, Robert, how is your health?" "Very good, sir. How is yours?" "I am well. Why, Robert, where are you preaching now?" "I am preaching in the country, about seven miles from town. One of my churches is about six miles from town." "Why, are you on a circuit?" "Yes, sir." "Well, it is a shame for your Bishop to put you on a circuit. You are getting old, and he ought to put you where you would not have to walk so much. You have done a great deal of hard work for your Conference, and, if I was in your place, would quit them before I would be treated in that way." "Oh, no, I do not wish to do that, because I am not serving the sheep for the fleece and fat, but my business is to save as many souls as possible." "Well, but look at your clothing. When you staid in Hawkinsville you dressed in the best broadcloth, and now your clothing looks bad. You had better go down there again." "The clothing that I wore when I was down there my wife bought for me at Macon, and brought them to me; and when I put them on, one of my members went and told the white people that I had taken the money they had given me to build the church with, and had bought clothing with it, in order to get their minds prejudiced against me." "Well, I will let you alone." "Yes, but did you read that book I gave you?" "Oh, yes, I did." "How did you like it?" "Very well." "Good morning." "Good-bye, sir."
The next one is Mr. Z.: "Well, sir, you are the last man. I wish to sell you a book." "A book?" "Yes, a book." "What kind of a book is it? Let me see it. I see that you belong to the North Georgia Conference. Is your church a Northern church or a Southern church?" "My church is neither
Southern nor Northern. I belong to the A. M. E. Church. We are an independent body within ourselves. We have our own book concerns; our own Bishops, and we hold our own Conferences, and everything else." "Well, how many Bishops have you got in your church?" "We have nine in all." "What are their names?" "Daniel A. Payne, Alexander W. Wayman, Jabez P. Campbell, James A. Shorter, Thomas M. D. Ward, John M. Brown, Henry M. Turner, William F. Dickerson and Richard H. Cain. These are our Bishops at the present time." "But don't your Bishops deal in politics?" "I don't think they do." "Do they use their influence in a private way?" "I do not know that." "Did not Turner have something to do with it shortly after the colored people were set free?" "Yes, I suppose he did, and I do not blame him for that, because the colored people had to look out for themselves, and if some one did not help them at that time they would have been in a bad state. But, thanks be unto my God, things have changed since then, and the Rev. H. is in a better employment now. Please don't ask me anything more about the Bishops, but buy my book." "Well, I'll take one. What is the price?" "Only fifty cents."
Now I have got through with the questions in the alphabetical form, and, as I am almost through with my book, I hope that nothing that is said in it will offend any one who may buy and read it. It is not my intention to hurt the feelings of any one, but to live in peace with all men. I am in hopes that this little book of mine may be acceptable to all--both white and colored, North and South, of all denominations--because it is from the hands of one who has no animosity against any individual. I am too near my end to bear any hatred against any man or church. I want it said, when I do depart this life, "He died in peace and full of days, with a bright hope." Now let me repeat this poem:
Together let us sweetly live, together let us die,
And each a starry crown receive and reign above the sky.
I would also like to give a pill to all members, that they may remember me. They can mix it themselves. That is, make a pill of good will to all men; mix it well in a clear conscience, and drink it in settling up--that is, pay all your honest debts, and have ill will towards no man. If we will do that we will get along in this world without half the trouble that we have. I find that sometimes we are the author of a great many of our troubles, because we fail to perform our duty towards our fellowman and to God.
Now, the question has been agitated why God did not kill the devil? The time has not come as yet for God to do that, but it is drawing nigh. The devil knows that very well, because he said to Christ by way of a question: "Thou art come to destroy us before the time." But it was said unto him: "Hold thy
peace and come out of him!" This shows that Christ hath power over the devil, and he came for the very express purpose of destroying the works of the devil. The time is short, and that time you will find out by reading the twentieth chapter of the Book of Revelations. That chapter answers or stands for the twentieth century, which will be one hundred and eighteen years hence from this date, 1882. That will make the world six thousand years old, which will answer for the six days' work. Then the devil's time will be out, because God, in making this world, made it in six days, and every day stands for a thousand years. The six days were given to men--and the devil, I suppose--but the seventh day is the Lord's, which is the Sabbath, and that means a thousand years also. Christ is going to have it, and shut up the devil one thousand years; and then, and not till then, will Christ reign a thousand years on this earth again with His people, which will answer for the Sabbath day.
"Blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection, because the second death shall have no power over them; but they shall be kings and priests with Christ, and reign with Him a thousand years."
Now, the hearts of wicked men and women are the dens where the devil dwells, and for God to kill the devil would be to destroy men's lives. But our Saviour said he did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them, and for that reason God permits the devil to live until the time that God the Father says his time has come, and shuts him up. Then there will not be one to say, "I know not the Lord, for we shall know Him from the least to the greatest."
This is my view of why God does not kill the devil just now; so you must pray over this, and thank the Lord for His long forbearance with us, because the long forbearance of God is salvation. So says His Apostle.
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform:
He plants his footsteps on the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep, infallible, divine,
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright design,
And works His sovereign will.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
I will now repeat to you the first Psalm by heart, as I am somewhat acquainted with it. It is:
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
"The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
"Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
"For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
I must now come to a conclusion, and on this, the first day of May, 1882, I bid you adieu, hoping to meet you all again on the banks of deliverance, where parting will be no more. This second book of mine was written while I was a citizen of Atlanta, and pastor of New Hope and Mount Pleasant A. M. E. churches, in Fulton county, they being situated six and seven miles, respectively, from the city. I was appointed there by Bishop W. F. Dickerson, and I am in hopes that he and I may, at the end of our days, meet in that good world above, where we, and the balance of the Bishops, may enjoy the blessing of an endless day. There, and there alone, shall we have rest for our weary souls; where the wicked shall cease to trouble, and the just shall live in peace. Good-bye to all. I am yours in Christ,
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON.A member of the North Georgia Conference for sixteen years up to date, 1882.
TO THE YOUNG MEN:
As this book is called "The Young Men's Guide," it will not be out of place to say a few words to them. In order that a young man may be successful in life, let him take heed to his ways and be true to all his promises; never deceive any one; always be punctual in the discharge of your duties, because punctuality begets confidence, and if you want the confidence of your fellow-man, you must be true to all those you have any dealings with; and not only that, but you must be true to yourself and your God.
Never be found in a grog-shop without business demands you there; never be found buying a dram nor treating a friend to one; never be found with a chew of tobacco in your mouth in the presence of a lady; never be guilty of profane language, such as taking the name of God in vain; never be guilty of taking what does not belong to you. Always tell the truth, if you are the loser by it, and never swear to anything you believe
is not the truth. Keep a clear conscience in your breast, and you will live happy and die the same.
To make a good start in life it would be well for you to get a wife, and a good, honest one if she can be found; if not, wait until the Lord points out one for you; for it is said that a good wife is given as a good portion to a good man. Therefore, first be a good man, and the Lord will order all thy steps. Trust in the Lord at all times, and lean not on thine own understanding.
Now, young man, if thou comest to serve the Lord, prepare thy heart for temptation, because whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every one that he receiveth. It is good that a young man take heed to his ways. Let them be ordered in the ways of the Lord. If you wish to prosper in this world and fail at first, you must try, try, try again. Remember that in trying again and again is the way to succeed.
I give my advice as one who has had his trials all along through the days of slavery, and many of them since then, and I can truly say that if we achieve anything we must try, try, try again. I have tried it for over forty-three years, and I am still trying it.
Oh! may the young men and the old men, the young women and the old women, and the boys and girls who read this book of mine, remember what I have said in it. Good-bye.
[The following is the first history of his life, written by Rev. ROBERT ANDERRON, to which reference is made in the foregoing pages. It is inserted as an appendix, for the purpose of reference by the readers who did not obtain a copy of the first publication.]
As this is the 22d day of February, and I claim it as my birthday, I have consented to seat myself and write a history of my life.
I was born in the year of our Lord 1819, and on the 22d day of February, and am now (1877) fifty-eight years of age. I was born in Liberty county, Georgia, on the premises of Mr. William J. Anderson. My mother bears the name of Hannah, and my grandmother the name of Diana. In my youthful days they taught me to observe the Lord's day and the Lord's prayer, and all the trouble I had in learning it was in the first name--that is, Our Father. It was hard for me to say that and keep it in my mind. Because it was so very hard to me, my grandmother had to tie me up by the hands and whip me severely several times; but after awhile the good Lord put it into my heart, and I was about as glad as you ever saw a little fellow because I had learned the Lord's prayer. I staid with my grandmother until I was about five years of age; then I was taken by my former mistress to wait about the house, as a house boy, and, being very young, she gave me very little work to perform. My business was to clean the knives and sweep the yard, and as I grew larger they increased my labor. I had to wait about the house and on the table; and after awhile was made the shepherd boy, and had to attend to the sheep and cows. I had a hard time of it, because sometimes the sheep would have their lambs in the woods, and I had to take these little lambs in my arms and carry them home, sometimes bleating like a lamb in order to get the mother to follow me; in the cold and rain I was with my sheep.
When about ten years of age, my grandmother employed one of my mistress's daughters to teach me to read, with a promise of $1.00 a month. At the expiration of the month she did not have the dollar, but gave her eight chickens in place of the dollar; therefore I got but one month's schooling. But I loved my book, and I continued by getting first one of the family and then another to teach me, and by that means I learned to read. At this time I was sent to the Sabbath School in Liberty county, that was taught by Mr. Dunwoody and Major Bullock, and there, in the Sabbath School, I learned many good lessons. I continued in the school until I was about seventeen years of age, when there was a division of the estate, at which time I was drawn by young Dr. Anderson; and he, wishing to leave home and practice
his profession, would have me to go with him; and, not being very hard headed, I went. But the hardest thing was to leave my school-mates and my Sabbath School; yet so it was, I obeyed and went with my master, and we thought a great deal of each other. But since then he has departed, and I am left alone, yet I am not alone, because the Lord is with me.
We went to Glynn county, Ga., and staid there one year; then he got married, and we left for Macon, Ga., in the year of our Lord 1838, first of April. We arrived in Macon and stopped at Mr. King's. Now I am in a strange part of the State, among strangers. Having no room, I had to take up my lodgings in the cellar; and there, alone in that cellar, I thought of my home that I had left behind me; but, as I promised to be obedient to my master, I made myself satisfied. Yet I thought very often of my lovely home and of my grandmother's instruction, and particularly of the Lord's prayer which she had taught me.
And now I am in Macon. My master had but very little for me to do at this time, so he informed me that I could look out for something to do, and told me if I could get any employment I could pay him seventy-five cents a day; and although it was something new to me, yet I went out and found a gentleman by the name of David Wilson, putting up a house on the avenue that is called Cotton Avenue. I asked him did he wish to hire a boy. He said: "What is your name?" "Robert," I replied. "Robert, to whom do you belong?" "Dr. Anderson," I replied. "And what can you do?" "Anything, sir, that you may desire of me." "Can you tote brick?" "I will try, sir." "Very good; what will you work for?" "Seventy-five cents a day, sir." "Well, get about it, and I can in a very short time find out whether you are a smart fellow or not."
And so I commenced, and when the evening drew near, and it was time for us to close the day's work, I said to him, "I have gotten through, sir, and I would like to have my pay, if you are satisfied with my day's work." "I am," said he, "and would like you to come again to-morrow." "I will, sir, if my master has no objection. And so I returned home.
"Well," said master, "how did you make out?" "Very well, sir." "Did you get anything to do?" "Yes, sir; I worked for a man by the name of Wilson, and he wants me again to-morrow." "At what price?" "Seventy-five cents a day, sir." "And what did you do?" "I toted bricks for him all day, which is something I never did before; but anything to get my master seventy-five cents a day, so it was gotten honestly."
My master staid in Macon one year, and then he went back to Liberty county again to stay with his mother and friends, but as I anticipated marrying, he would not separate me from my wife. He left me in Macon, with the understanding that I would pay him $20.00 a month. I agreed to do so. Just before he left I got him to write me a recommendation to the lady's mistress in whose family I expected to lodge. He did so with the greatest
pleasure, and it was received with delight. That gave me a name in the family, which was that of Mrs. Sarah A. Usher; and the lady that I married was named Maria. We were married on the first Sunday in March, 1839, which is thirty-eight years. Now I have taken a wife; what next?
The next thing that presented itself to my mind was to remember the promise that I made to the good Lord, which was, if I was spared until I came to manhood and got a wife, I would serve the Lord; and that promise came to my mind. My wife being a member of the Methodist Church, and, I believe, at that time a child of God, impressed me with the idea of becoming a Christian myself; but in my early days I was brought up with Presbyterians, and, therefore, when Joseph Williams came to Macon and commenced preaching in the Presbyterian Church I went there; and the first time I ever went up to the altar to be prayed for was there. And the first night that I went to the altar, and then went home and bowed before the Lord in private prayer, that same night the good Lord spoke peace to my soul, which was on the last Sunday in November; and on the first Sunday in December I joined the Methodist Church, under Mr. Stephens--the same man that joined me and my wife together. That was in the year of our Lord 1839. The good Lord has been with me ever since, and now I am a member of the Methodist Church. And what next?
Of course it becomes me to let my light shine, so that others may see by my good works, and be led to glorify our Father which art in heaven; and, as such, I must do all in my power to advance my Redeemer's kingdom. In doing this I must enter into a field of battle, and it would take more paper than I care to occupy. But, in a short time after I became a member of the church I was made a leader, and about five years afterwards I was placed at the head of a class. I continued a leader for seven or eight years, and also a teacher in the Sunday School, during which time I was moved upon to preach the word of the Lord. That was in the year of our Lord 1849, and in the year 1850 I was licensed to exhort, by the minister in charge, whose name was Bright. And now I have got a license; what is next?
Of course I must obey my Master's orders; and now for hard times, if I attend to my Master's business aright; so I began and held on to it to the best of my ability, by doing all that I could do in the name of my Master. I held on until the bells were rung that informed us we were free.
And now the burden becomes heavier; but, to be a faithful minister of Jesus Christ, I must take up my cross and follow Him through evil as well as good report; and, on taking this into consideration, I left my home and all that was dear to me, and went and joined the A. M. E. Conference, that met in Savannah, May 12th, 1866, under Bishop Payne, and was sent to Americus, Ga., as the minister of that church.
And now I am at Americus; and, as I was the first itinerant
minister that was sent to this place, it became me to be on my guard, so as to give no offence in anything. I remained there one year, and was then transferred to Hawkinsville, Ga., from the Conference that was held in Wilmington, N. C. And now I am in Hawkinsville, and when I came here as a pastor I found that my people had no church to worship in but a shelter; but I felt that the good Lord would be my help, and having faith in Him I went to work, trusting in His promises, and, by working with white and colored, succeeded in getting up a nice little church. But it will do no good to tell of the difficulty that I had in doing so, and will leave the matter in the hands of the good Lord. The church was built, however, and dedicated to the Lord. I staid in Hawkinsville three years, and then received my appointment as the Missionary for the State of Georgia, at Americus.
And now I am Traveling Agent, and what must I do but to trust in the good Lord, because without Him I can do nothing, but with Him I can do all things; so I must go forward in the discharge of my duty. Therefore I thought it was best for me to commence at home; and when I say home, I mean the City of Macon, where I was well known; and there I did commence. My first call was on my own church, that is, the A. M. E. Church, and, considering the times, I obtained a reasonable amount, but it not being enough to satisfy my mind, I turned to the white citizens. The first one I called upon was Mr. Garrett Sparks, who gave me $10.00, and promised me as much more if I stood in need of it. This encouraged me to call on others, and I met with the same kindness of feeling from every one. They will not be forgotten for it while I live. It would require too much time to tell all about the welcome and applause that I received in Macon from both parties while acting as Missionary Agent in that city; it is my home, and I cannot say too much for it, because I lived in it for upwards of thirty years, and have many a warm-hearted friend there.
Now, in trying to do my Master's will I am here in Greensboro, Georgia. As a faithful Missionary I must press forward in this great work, therefore I left Macon for other parts of Georgia. I traveled the State over that year, and did all I could for our church--I mean the A. M. E. Conference; and at the close of the year our Conference met in Atlanta, and there my report for the past year was rendered; the sum of $760.00 had been collected by me for the benefit of our work and the good of our Conference. When the Bishop read out my appointment I was sent to Marietta, Georgia.
Now I am in Marietta, and the same Lord that promised in the beginning of my work that He would be with me, is with me now, and will always be true to His promises as He has heretofore been, so I must not doubt Him at all, because He has never deceived those who trusted in Him; hence I go to work here, as there is much to be done in this city, temporally and spiritually, and therefore I need the help of the good Lord and the people,
so that the good work may go on. I found in Marietta some of the best of friends, both colored and white, and such friends are always needed in building up the churches of God. Therefore, I am at work in this part of the vineyard, trying to persuade sinners to turn to the Lord. By the help of the good Lord I did all that I could, and believe that the Lord was in our midst sometimes. Two years was the time of my stay in Marietta, and it is hoped that the church was benefitted spiritually and temporally. The citizens of Marietta were very kind to me, both white and colored, and I have many warm-hearted friends there yet.. They will ever be kindly remembered. By the help of the Lord the church was made very nice, and I left it so. The good Lord was with me in that place. My health was never better than in Marietta. The little city is healthy, and it is to be hoped the good Lord will ever bless and keep it from all harm. But it was my lot to leave that place by the appointment of the next Conference, which met in Macon.
At that Conference I received my appointmant for Forsyth, Georgia. On my reaching the little village it appeared they had nowhere for myself and family to stay, so it became me as a minister of the gospel, to be found at the throne of grace, praying to the Lord for help that I might be useful at this place. Then I went to work with all my heart. The first thing that I did was to get the official board together, find out the full strength of the church, and see if it was in debt, and how much. I found it in debt for the land the church building was standing on to the amount of $30.00, and that I must go to work and have the debt settled as soon as possible.
The next thing was to build a house for myself and family, and there was no money in the treasury. How to commence was a question of great importance; but I know the Lord has always been my help, therefore I must go forward in this part of His vineyard; so I started. The first collection that was taken up to build a house for myself and family amounted to $11.00. This was placed in the bank by the trustees without my knowledge, until the meeting of the official board, when I was asked about the money. I had it taken out, paid for that much lumber, and had it put on the ground where the house was to be built; and, in doing that, the gentleman who sold us the lumber was willing to credit us for the amount of lumber that was necessary to build the house. The proposition was accepted. The amount of indebtedness was $96.00. And now for it; how shall we pay the debt? The good Lord is needed in this case, and therefore I must go to praying, and so I did. It was impressed upon my heart to run an excursion, but how to do that without money puzzled me; so it was necessary for me to try prayer again. I did so, and was impressed with the idea of calling upon some of my white friends, which I did. The amount needed at that time was $100.00.
The first friend I approached denied me, and, as I started
off, he asked, "Where are you going to get it?" I told him where I expected to get it. He said I would be disappointed, and, if so, to come back. I was disappointed, and returned, as requested, and he loaned me the amount needed, whereupon I paid for the cars, which cost $250.00. The train was to run from Macon to Griffin and return the same day, which it did. I made by that trip $800.00, cleared $550.00, and went the next day and paid the gentleman the $100.00, and for the lumber that we had bought from him. The gentlemen that loaned me the $100.00 and credited me for the lumber were Messrs. Dunn & Willingham, of Forsyth. Now here are $550.00 in hand, and what is the best thing to do with it, is the next thing to be considered.
The excursion was run only for the benefit of the church in Forsyth, as it was in debt for the land it was standing on, hence I felt it my duty to pay for it, and I offered to do so with the money that was made on the excursion, but some of the old trustees refused to take it unless the interest was paid also. I had found out that they had collected the money from the congregation some time previously and had spent it, therefore I would not pay the interest,' but was perfectly willing to pay the principal, and consequently we disagreed. I went to work and put the money on the church, and to complete it cost me nearly $450.00. I labored with it until it was completed, and then had it dedicated by Bishop T. M. D. Ward. I staid at Forsyth three years, and was then sent to Madison, in the year of our Lord 1876.
And now I am in Madison. On my arrival there a large unfinished building was found, hence it was plain there was more hard work for me to do. It was necessary for me again to betake myself to prayer, because I saw that I had to go to work in this also; and the first thing to do was to built a fence all around the parsonage and church. I found also that the church needed a great deal of work done on the inside. The glasses were not all put in; therefore I went to work and had them put in, and built an altar around the pulpit. In doing this it took all my support and left me with very little to live upon; but I still trusted in the good Lord, and continued to work on. I was persuaded in my mind to prepare a subscription list and take it around to the white citizens, and see if they would not assist me. I did so, and found them very friendly indeed, collected from them $50.00, and paid it out to the best advantage. I instructed the children to the best of my ability, and worked hard to get my living out of the ground, and before my Maker. At the close of the year, when it was time for me to leave the church, I called the board together that we might come to an understanding. The church was in my debt $400.00. I asked, as a favor, that they would help me to pay for a suit of clothing, but they refused to do so; and after I left for the Conference they wrote to the Bishop, asking him to have me removed from that place, and he did so.
And now I am in Greensboro; and in coming here I find a great deal for my hands and mind to do. The church building
is new, and the people appear as though they needed some one to teach them, and, of course, I have been sent to them for that purpose. I am here, and by the help of the good Lord I intend to go forward. It looked very dark when I first came, but there has been a great change since. In trying to hold forth the word of the Lord I found that the minds of the people were prepared to receive the truth, and that encouraged me in the good work. All that is needed is that I shall persevere and be faithful to my trust in this part of the moral vineyard. The snow and ice had almost discouraged me at first, but the bright sunshine at present makes me somewhat glad.
As I am now about closing that part of my life which may be called historical, I will now come to the part that may be considered historical or personal; and, in using the word personal, it is hoped no one who may read this pamphlet will think hard of me for it, because I am obliged to give all the facts relating to myself that are necessary. I am now fifty-eight years of age and may not try to write again on the same subject.
Let me now give a short history of my youthful days. When about two or three years of age I was very sickly, and in a very strange way become quite healthy. My mother, one Sunday morning, intending to make an early start for church, poured out of the kettle some boiling water, and put it on the table in a cup, and, child-like, I went to the table and turned the cup over into my bosom. The water being very hot, I tried to pull open the front part of my dress, and, in doing so, pulled the skin off with the clothing, which left a scar on my breast to this day; but my mother said I did not cry when the skin was torn from my breast, and, of course, that showed that I was a very brave little fellow. When the burns were healed my health became good, at least so said my mother and grandmother. On one occasion, while trying to break a horse, he stumbled and threw me over his head; my head struck the ground, and I heard my neck crack. But I jumped up and felt of my neck, and thanks be unto the Lord it was not broken. It came very near it; but I am still alive, and the good Lord is still my friend, and it is good to trust in Him.
The next time I came near losing my life was in 1862, when a band of men came to my house with the intention of putting an end to my life. I received three bloody wounds--two in the back and another in the head; but I am still alive. The next time that my life was threatened was in the year of our Lord 1865. On that occasion some white men entered my house with pistols, and, after conversing with me in a friendly manner, fired upon and wounded me in the left shoulder and breast. My wife afterwards extracted the shot. The blood flowed like water, but I am still alive.
I will refrain from saying anything more about my misfortunes. They are already many to me at Americus and Hawkinsville. It would make your heart ache; and, as I have resigned all into the hands of the Lord, I leave it there. Through many
dangers and toils I have already come, but as the good Lord has brought me through thus far, I am in hopes he will not forsake me at the last day. I submit this to the world for inspection--not that I think I have been so holy, but because there are a few of my race who have been reared in Georgia that try to make themselves respectable, and as I am a Georgian by birth, I have agreed to do this. I have but a few more days to stay among you, and then I am gone. As a citizen of Macon once, I leave this with some of you as a memorial. I desire to be in love with all classes of men, both white and colored. I am in love with all, so far as I know, and if there is a man on earth that I have any animosity against I do not know it. I now close.
I am your obedient servant,
ROBERT ANDERSON,[A member of the North Georgia A. M. E. Conference, and have been up to this date--eleven years.
I am in hopes that when I depart this life they may have my body buried in the City of Macon. Such is my request in this little pamphlet. Good-bye to all until I can meet you in that world above, is my sincere prayer to Almighty God, the Maker of us all.
As nothing has been said in regard to my occupation in life, I think it will not be out of place for me to say a little about it. When but a small boy I raised chickens and sold them, and dug pink root and sold it to the doctors, in order to get a little money with which to buy clothing, so I could go to the Sabbath School and look as nice as any of the little boys. The next occupation that I can now remember was after I had moved to the City of Macon, in the year of our Lord 1838, to work by the day. At night I took my axe on my shoulder and went about the streets and cut wood, continuing this until I was married. At that time I was working for a man by the day, at $1.00 a day; but thought that I could give my wife but very little at that rate, so I took up the business of whitewashing. The first job that I did was in front of the house that I lived in, and, as it was very much exposed, it was noticed by all, and then a lady living next door employed me to whitewash her kitchen. This was done, which gave me a little start in my undertaking.
By this time my name began to get up a little as a whitewasher, and first one and then another would send after me to do whitewashing, and for twenty-five years I followed that as a trade. I was not only a whitewasher, but also a colorer. I had at the same time to attend to three banks; and, having a great deal of business on hand, I commenced making a little money. I had on hand at one time $300.00 of the Ocmulgee and Monroe Railroad money that was considered broke. Two young men came to Macon and opened a broker's office, and they employed me to attend to their office. Shortly after becoming well acquainted with them I told them about the money I had. They made me a very good offer, which was, if I would let them have $300.00 they
would make it good to me in specie-paying money. I accepted their proposition, and in three months' time the Ocmulgee Bank was redeeming its notes. I went to them and asked for the $300.00. They gave it to me in the Ocmulgee money. I took it to the bank and called for silver, but the gentleman thought that it was not my money, and refused to let me have it, as the law of the bank at that time was, that every man, in drawing silver from the bank, must swear that the money belonged to him; but as he could not swear me, he refused to let me have the silver; yet he thought he would catch up with me by offering me a large present. I accepted his offer, and had the money put in the bank on interest. Now I have some money in the bank. I let it remain there on interest for some time, but would draw out the interest and add it to the principal: and in that way it was not very long before I had $700.00 in the bank.
Mr. Joseph White, the banker at that time, made me a very good offer, which was, if I was willing, he would assist me in running a dray. I accepted the proposition, and bought a dray and two horses; and now for it. I have a dray and horses, and just because I commenced business in the world, by the time I got started good, my wife's mistress wanted to sell her. She was nursing for a gentleman that was acting as my guardian. Therefore I got him to purchase her, so that we would not be separated, and by that means we were not put asunder; and, having the money in bank, you may know what became of a part of it. Remember, that I was at that time in bondage.
Two or three years later my former mistress came to Macon. At that time I was very sick, and she came to see me, and while at my house she informed me that her dear husband, who at that time passed over to his long home, and my father had agreed that I should be set at liberty; but her husband had left a little debt which she felt it was her duty to pay, and were it not for that, I might consider myself at liberty. She said that his price on me was $2,000.00; but if I could get a friend that would not take the advantage of me, to aid me, she would take $1,000.00 for me. My wife went and told Mrs. Sarah A. Usher, and being a kind-hearted lady, she sent to the bank and borrowed $700.00 and bought me; but, as the good Lord would have it, $300.00 of the money was on hand from somebody; therefore I continued to run my dray as usual, and did so up to her death.
At one time a certain gentleman had myself and my wife put in jail, thinking that he would make a little money by it; but my white friends were too smart for him that time. So after that we bought a little home in the country, and there we lived until I joined the A. M. E. Conference, which was in May, 1866, under Bishop Payne; and I can truly say--
Through many dangers, toils and pain I have already come;
'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home
The Lord has promised good to me, His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.
Though when this flesh and heart shall fail, and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil a life of joy and peace.
Now I have closed that part of my history which relates to my occupation, and will turn my attention to my labors in the cause of my Master. The first thing that I did after becoming a member of the Methodist Church was to call the little children together in the church for the purpose of organizing a Sabbath School. This I did in the City of Macon, and kept it up for about ten years or more. I can find mothers and fathers that were little boys and girls then, and went to school to me.
And now I will turn my attention to the many friends that I have laid in the grave. I have preached in my life one thousand sermons and married five hundred couples. I am in hopes that this pamphlet will be read with pleasure, as it is from the hands of one that will shortly give up this world and go hence.
I shall now turn my attention to the providence of God that has ever been over me. Just before the war closed there was a mighty General that came to Macon, and everybody was afraid of him. He came to my house, jumped on my wife and treated her very badly. I felt very sad about it, and thought I would speak to the Lord about him. His name was General Small Pox. So one night I laid down, and the nature of this gentleman was revealed to me and I was directed how to manage him. It was revealed that it was taken in the breath and thus into the entire system, poisoning the food, then the blood, and then creating a pain in the back and head. When discovered, take this remedy: Two tablespoonsful of Epsom salts, mix in strong coffee, sweeten with syrup; repeat the dose next day; take no nourishment at all until the next day, except warm sage or rosemary tea. This was fully made known to me, and has been successfully tried by a great many persons. Should the small pox be taken in a family before they find it out, to prevent it from doing a great deal of harm to the individual, wet the body with a strong solution of camphor, and that will prevent the body from itching so much, and will cause it to cure up more readily.
Now let me call your attention to my doctor's bill. I am now fifty-eight years old, and have never paid $30.00 for a doctor's bill in all my life; I never bought a dram in all my life; I never smoked a cigar in all my life; I never took a chew of tobacco in all life; I never cheated any one in all my life. As for children, I have none. I got married when I was about twenty years of age, and my wife was about thirty; and she being so far ahead of me I could not catch up with her, therefore we are without children; and that has been our misfortune. We have been married thirty-eight years.
Well, let me ask all who may read this biography to remember me as long as they live. As before said, I am a Georgian. My days are gliding along swiftly, and, as a pilgrim stranger, I will not detain you. Yours, in Christ,
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON.
This is the year of our Lord 1879, and the 22d day of February, and, as I claim it as my birthday, I have seated myself to again write the balance of my life during the last two years. I was in Greensboro when I wrote the foregoing history of my life, but when the Conference met in Eatonton. I was moved to Clinton by Bishop Campbell; and when I went to Clinton I thought of all the churches that I had ever been pastor of this was the poorest one. The members seemed to have so little regard for the house of God and its minister, that I thought. "Well, I am at the last place in Georgia." But I am instructed in the word of the Lord never to be discouraged, and to trust in the good Lord at all times, because He has promised to be with us in the sixth trouble, and in the seventh not to forsake us; and therefore I took courage and went forward in His blessed name. I had to labor both night and day to get the people to the house of God, in order that I might instruct them in regard to their duty to God and to the church. It was a hard thing to do, but, by the help of God, it was done.
I found in Clinton one A. M. E. Church, one M. E. Church, (white,) and three grog shops, the last named being kept up in a great measure by the colored people. You must know by this that the churches stood but a poor chance there. So I had to go to work, and my first business was to get the people in the notion to become members of a temperance society. They were invited to assemble for that purpose, and then a temperance society was at once organized numbering eighty-three members. They elected me president, which gratified me very much. They had a cow's horn which they blew to call the people to the church; but it was annoying to me. This horn-blowing had been kept up for seven years. I wanted it stopped, so when they elected me president I stated that it was right for us to have a name for our society, and, if they would allow me the privilege, I would suggest one, and did so. The name was the Grand Temperance Bell Society of Clinton, Ga. My object in doing this was that we might get a bell, and we did. Each member subscribed $1.00, and I gave $2.00. Then the subject was brought before the whole church, and they did the same, and we were able to get the bell. It is in the church, and will be heard many days after this unworthy servant has been laid to sleep in his grave.
I remained with the church and society all the year of 1878, and then went to the Conference that met in Madison, January 8th, in the year of our Lord 1879. From that Conference I was sent back to Clinton by Bishop Campbell, and here I am again in this wicked little place. The same work has again to be done, as the church is not completed. A petition for help from white citizens of Macon, Forsyth and Clinton has been sent out, and they have responded to my call. There is enough lumber on the ground to have the church finished, and now in the sixieth year of my life I am still trying to do something for the house of God and its members And, if nothing more is ever added to this
short history, let this have a place in your hearts and homes, as a memorial of my life, as I was born and raised in Georgia, and am a member of the A. M. E. Church and Conference.
Yours, in Christ,
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON.
This is the year of our Lord 1880, and 22d of February, my birthday, and now again I seat myself to write the remainder of my life for the last year. I was in Clinton on my last birthday, trying to collect money to complete the church there, and, by the assistance of the good Lord, the church was completed, and then dedicated by Bishop J. P. Campbell, on the 15th day of January, 1880. The good Bishop then sent me to this place as the pastor of the A. M. E. Church in Griffin. So I am here again, trying to have the church put in good repair, as it is not in as good condition as it is desired to have it. At the age of sixty-one I am still doing my best to build up the waste places of Zion. The good Lord is with me now as in the past, and I shall not want.
This, the 17th day of December, 1880, finds me again seated to set forth the work done by me since the 22d of February. I have worked hard in collecting money from both white and colored in the completion of the A. M. E. Church in this place, and by the help of the Lord have succeeded in completing the house of God as it should be, and it was dedicated on the second Sunday of November by Bishop Dickerson. The good Lord was with us on that day, and I am perfectly satisfied that if we have a mind to do anything in the name of the Lord, we will not fail; for I have often tried the good Lord as to His promises, and always found Him true to all of them.
When I came to this place without money to build with, it was my firm belief that a thorough trust in God would enable me to complete the church. Therefore I went to work, and my success enables me to see and feel very plainly that it is good to trust in the Lord at all times. I have labored hard this year in the name of the Lord, in trying to get sinners to turn to Him and be saved on the terms of the gospel; but my labors have been in vain to some extent; but, thanks be unto the good God, my conscience bears me witness.
This is the year of our Lord 1883, and the 22d of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I am now, at the present date, sixty-four years of age. I seat myself to write all the proceedings of my life, from my last birthday up to the present date.
I was in Atlanta, Georgia, on my last birthday, when I wrote the second edition of my book. I was at that time a member of the A. M. E. Conference, and the pastor of New Hope and Mount Pleasant Churches. But, for reasons that I shall give, I resigned, and joined the Methodist Episcopal Conference, on
December 18th, 1882, under Bishop Warren, and was sent from that Conference to serve the church in Augusta, Georgia, in the year of our Lord 1883; and here I am at the present date, on my birthday.
It is my intention, in writing this, the third edition, to let it be known to the world how long I have been a member of the church, and when I became a member. I joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in the days of slavery, in the year of our Lord 1839, the first Sunday in December, under Mr. S. Stevens, in the city of Macon, Georgia. At that time there was no division in the church; there was only one Episcopal Church, but after awhile there was a division--one calling themselves the Southern and one the Northern--and, as I was on this side of Dixie's land, I had to remain where I was, and did so for twenty seven years--from 1839 to 1866. All those days were days of slavery; and, as I have already told you all what I have done in those days in my second book, I shall not say anything about it in this one. Only permit me to state that after the war was over, Rev. H. M. Turner, which is Bishop Turner now, came to the city of Macon in 1866, trying to get all of our people into the A. M. E. Church, and I was one of them that joined under him, and enlisted for the holy war. And as I have already informed you in regard to the labor that I have performed in my second book, I shall say but very little about it in this, my third edition. I did intend to spend my last days with the A. M. E. Church, but when I saw very plainly that I was not needed in that Conference, then I thought it was best for me to retire, and leave in peace, and I did so. Now permit me to say that I gave the A. M. E. Conference sixteen long years of hard labor, and I can truly say that in the sixteen years I did not lay up one dollar that I might fall back upon in my old days. My business has been, during those years, to build up the waste places in Georgia, that my people might have churches to worship God in as a Christian body, and for that reason when I joined the M. E. Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, December, 1882, the 18th day, I did not have five cents in money, but on the 19th day of the month they gave me $25.00 to help me to my appointment, and now no one knows my feelings but God.
I had hardly anything to eat in my house for myself and family, but I went home rejoicing in myself and thanking the good Lord for it, because, for ten years or more, I had had my bitters and my sweets; they commenced in Marietta, when Bishop Brown was my Bishop; it commenced with myself and the Presiding Elder, S. B., and it appears as if that spirit continued in the Conference for over ten years. It tried itself when Bishop T. M. D. Ward took charge of the Conference in Macon, Georgia, and it prevailed to some extent. I was moved from Marietta, Georgia, under the spirit, until the Bishop could rightly understand the matter; then he went to work and had the appointments arranged to suit himself. But when Bishop
J. P. Campbell took charge of the Conference at Griffin, Georgia, that same wicked spirit came again with the intention of having myself worked upon, and, as the Bishop did not understand all about it, he was somewhat successful again in having myself moved from Madison, and from Greensboro, Georgia, and to Clinton, Georgia; but when the Conference met in Macon, Georgia, the Bishop's eyes began to see a little into this prejudice against me, and spoke ably in my favor, and appointed me to Griffin, Georgia, with the understanding that I would get a better support than in Clinton, Georgia; and so I was sent there. But Bishop Campbell's time was out, and Bishop W. F. Dickerson took charge, and the evil spirit thought, now we have a chance, because he is a young man, and R. Anderson is an old man; therefore we all will agree that we will not have him on our work, and that will settle the case; so in Atlanta, Georgia, 1881, that was agreed upon, and the Bishop said to me that none of the Presiding Elders wanted you on their work, therefore I thought that I had to locate you, and if it was not for that little work that Brother D. J. McGhee had on his work, I would have had to leave you without an appointment. Now, permit me to say, after fifteen years' hard work--not a day lost in idleness, nor sickness, nor a dollar's expense to the church for any misdemeanor of any kind--then for the Bishop to say to me, I thought that I had to leave you without an appointment, after filling the churches with young men, it did appear to me as if he desired to get rid of me, and for that reason I thought it was best for me to be looking out for myself, for I believe that at the next Conference I would have been left without an appointment; so, for the reason given above, with others that I will state, I have joined the M. E. Church, that I was a member of in the days of slavery; not that I have anything against the A. M. E. Church, or its Conference, or its discipline. I have nothing. There are too many of its sons and daughters in it for me to have any animosity against them; there are hundreds of them that I have added to that body. Neither do I think I shall gain more of this world's goods by joining the M. E. Church; that is not it; but my reason is that I desire to live in peace, and if I can't find it among my brothers in the A. M. E. Church, I thought that I would try the brothers of the M. E. Conference, and it is a question of time for me to decide, for I do know that there is good and bad in all denominations, and I will have the devil to fight everywhere, but I do not want the officers of the church to help the enemy, but help me, and if so, I will conquer, but that has been my misfortune--that is, the officers would help the enemy, and I am not surprised that several pay for it, and for that reason I have been much hindered in my work for the Lord.
I was sent last year to Fulton County Circuit. There were two churches on that work; the church at New Hope was divided in two parts, and that made the work hard for me during the time that I staid there. I would have staid there the whole of
the year if I had been treated as a minister should be treated; but I was not. I held on to it until my camp-meeting, in August, 1882, and at that camp-meeting the evil spirit sprung up, unknown to me, and the Elder notified me with a letter that he wanted me to meet him on Wednesday, the 6th of September, to answer for charges made against me by my official Board; so, on the day stated, he and four other brothers appeared from town in a carriage to try me, for I hardly know what; but the people were invited into the church, and afterwards sent out, all but the officers. Brother D. T. Green takes the chair, Brother Brooks was chosen secretary. Brother W. J. Gaines, as master over the whole affair. Then the question was asked by him: "Are you ready for trial, Brother Anderson?" My answer was that I did not know what I was to be tried for. He then drew a paper from his pocket with several names of the members, and asked them whether I was acceptable with them or not, and the first man answered "no, not at all." "Well, what have you against him?" "Well, some time ago I thought that he used vulgarity in his sermon." "Well, what did he say?" "Well, he said something about a strong hole that he said is spoken of in Bunyan's holy war." "And is that all you have to say?" "Well, I could say a great deal more, but I will stop at that."
"Well, Brother B., what have you to say; is he unacceptable with you?" "Oh, yes. he is, and I can indorse all that the brother has said, and more, besides he is very unacceptable with me."
"C., what have you against your pastor?" "I heard him tell his experience on Sunday night to a large congregation, both white and colored, and he said that when God converted him he was in bed with his wife, and that they had a glorious time of it, and he hugged his wife. I think it was a shame for any man to talk that mean in the pulpit, and therefore I am against him, and any other man that would speak in that way."
"Well, Brother D., what have you to say? But hold on! Are you a member of the Board?" "Yes." "What office do you hold?" "I am a steward." "How long have you been in that office?" "Well, for some time." "Well, what have you against the pastor?" "I have nothing in the world against him, he is just the man for me, and all that he does is all right with me."
"Well, brother, what is your name?" F.--"My name is Jinenes." "Well, what have you againt the pastor?" "Nothing in the world; there can't be a better minister sent on this work." "Are you his friend?" "I am, and expect to be." "Well, we had better take a little recess, and then we will call in again, but we had better hear from Brother Anderson. Let us hear from you, then." I arose and said I suppose I am very unacceptable, and particularly so to the brother that sets as lord over the business, because he has been my enemy for over ten years, and now he comes to- ay to sit in judgment against me,
and if I have an enemy in this world, there he is, with my finger pointing in his face, and I did it with a clear conscience. So we took a recess, and then we were called in again, and everybody were invited to come in, saints and sinners, and they were allowed the privilege to vote against me or in my favor, and, as the school mistress with her scholars was there, and she, the head of all the mischief, instructed her scholars to vote against me, and for that reason there were fifty against twenty-four.
Then my good brother W. J. Gaines informs the people that as a committee they would inform them of their action, and they must make up their minds whatever they did, to accept it, then dismissed the congregation. I myself went down the road to the house of one of the sisters and sat down, resting my body. After awhile the committee came and asked me to take a walk with them in the woods, and I did so. After they seated themselves on a log, Brother W. J. Gaines said to me: "Brother Anderson, we, as the committee, have found no fault in you at all, but we think that you had better retire from this church, and give it up, as they are not paying you anything much. We don't wish to say to you that we moved you. We want you to retire yourself. Will you? Now don't you think that is the best?" "Well, so far as I am concerned, it is, but so far as the church is concerned, I dont't think so, because that will divide the church." "Well, but we as a committee want you to do that." "Well, if it meets your approbation, I guess I will." "When will you?" "Next Sunday." "Well, very good, but don't say anything about it. Just resign and come away," said they to me. But I went back to the house and found several of the members very much distressed about me being troubled in that way, and were very much discouraged, and they said if I was moved from them by that committee, that they would quit the A. M. E. Church and join the M. E. Church, which was only two miles off from there. But, to encourage them, I told them that I was not going to quit them in that way; so I wrote to the Bishop and informed him about it, and asked his advice in regard to it, but before he could get my letter he came to Atlanta, in September, and the committee that wanted me to give up New Hope Church had a chance to see the Bishop, and gave him to understand, in their way of speaking, without seeing me. And he agreed to send me to Elberton, where the minister and people were in a fuss, and I received a message in that direction, and I thought if the Bishop had no better feeling for an old man than that, it was better for me to retire and give up the A. M. E. Conference, and, therefore, I sent him word that I would dismiss myself from him. I had written to him four letters, and gave him to understand all about it, and quit with a clear conscience, and joined the M. E. Conference, in Atlanta, Georgia.
This is the year of our Lord 1884, and the 22d of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I have seated myself again to write the proceedings of my life from 1883 to 1884. I am now
sixty-five years of age this date, 1884, the 22d of February. I was in Augusta, Gergia, on my last birthday, but I am in Columbus, Georgia, the present date, 1884. I joined the Methodist Episcopal Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, December 18th, 1882, under Bishop Warren, and was sent to serve the church in Augusta, Georgia, 1883. I left Atlanta the 27th of December, and arrived safe at Augusta, Georgia, at 8 o'clock P. M., the same day. I was taken to the parsonage in a hack, myself and lady. The pastor that served the church the year before was still in the house, and as he had a family and not much room, I was not admitted that night, therefore the driver of the hack, being a kind-hearted man, took myself and lady to his house, where we spent the night in safety, and was cared for until we could get into the parsonage, which was on Friday, the 29th of December. On the 30th the Elder came to see us, and while with us made out his appointment for the Sabbath. He appointed that he would preach at 11 o'clock A. M., and I at 3 o'clock, P. M., and he at 8 P. M., and the appointment appeared in the paper. So he preached at 11 o'clock, and when he got through, I arose and stated that the Sabbath School would commence at 2 o'clock P. M., in order that they might be through by 3 o'clock, and, because of the appointment at 2 o'clock, the Superintendent of the Sabbath School, who had been having the school at 3 o'clock previous to that, disliked the appointment to be at that hour, therefore he disagreed with me, and for that and no other reason, I could not do anything to please that man, although it was the Elder's arrangement, but I had the blow to meet, and that for three months On Monday night the Quarterly Conference met, the first day of 1883, and when the question was asked: "Who is chosen this year as Superintendent of the Sabbath School?" the answer was made, "Bingean." He arose and said: "I have been the Superintendent of the Sabbath School, but if I can't have the school at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, I can't be the Superintendent." Then the Elder said that that question will have to be decided by the pastor and his board of members. So he (Bingean) was not set apart as the Superintendent of the school by the Quarterly Conference. So, on Monday night, the 8th of the month, the Board met, and the question came up again. So the same brother got up and said: "I move that there will be no preaching this year in the afternoon at 3 o'clock, but the Sabbath School will occupy that hour of the day during this year." I stated that if I was in your place, my brother, I would let some one else make that satement, but, howbeit, I will state it. "It is moved and seconded there will be no preaching in this church during this year at 3 o'clock, only Sabbath School. Are you ready for the question?" "Not ready," replied three of the members. "Well, state your reason." So some of them got up and said, "If we were to vote for that it would destroy the pastor's influence for that year, and there should be a proviso in that statement, so as to allow the pastor the liberty,
when he saw it was necessary to appoint preaching in the afternoon, for him to do so," and several of the others agreed to that, and for that the Superintendent took up himself and left the church.
Afterwards the Board decided that there would be preaching every Sabbath afternoon at 3 o'clock, and Sabbath School at 2 o'clock. This was the order issued at the meeting of the Board; therefore it became my duty to carry it into effect, and I did so; but the brother managed to get the balance of the brothers on his side. After awhile they called themselves together, intending either to rule or break up the church, and therefore they met in secret meeting and decided that they would have me removed from their charge, let it cost what it may. Then they went to work and made out three charges againt me. They were about two months in doing this, but it was finally accomplished.
The first charge was, that I had been to all the intelligent citizens and lawyers of Augusta, making inquiries of St. Mark's Church, and had found that she had no credit at all. Of course, I denied the assertion, as it was absolutely untrue.
The next charge was, that I had got angry, and in my madness called M. T. Wilkerson a liar. I denied that also, because it was untruthful; on the contrary, it was Brother W. that called me a liar. But in order to more full carry out their design, they changed the whole matter and put it on me.
The next charge was, that I had called the members of St. Mark's Church a set of thieves. This I denied also, because it was not the truth.
I preached a sermon from the text: "Let thy will be done;" and in my discourse I said we must be willing to let the will of God be done by us, and in order to show that we are in earnest about it we ourselves must suffer the will of God to be done in and through us, by being honest alike to our fellow-men and to our God. When any one employs me it is my duty to be as faithful to him, in the discharge of my duties, in his absence as in his presence, and when he puts anything in my care, it is my bounden duty to take good care of it and not to take any goods belonging to any one to my home with me without his consent. It would not be letting God's will be done with me, as a Christian, because I must be judged by my labor as an individual. I have no right to take anything of his away with me. For speaking in this way, one of the stewards who was present made the charge against me. Now the brother said I had called all the members thieves. This same brother had before then collected $1.50 for my board, but kept it for one month before it was sent to me, even then deducting fifty cents, and buying wine with it for the Sacrament. Then he gave me $1.00. He no doubt felt he did wrong and felt the full force of my sermon. This brother was the one that had made the charge against me in that direction, so that they were prepared at the second Quarterly Conference to answer the question--"Are there any complaints?" They
answered yes, a plenty of them, and on that they handed the Elder a roll of paper, in which the charge was made that I have spoken of; and when the Elder had gotten through reading he stated to the Conference that they had enough against your pastor to chain-gang him or hang him. He said this openly before everybody. Then after he had dismissed the Conference I went to him and asked him what it was that I had done so badly that I deserved to be hanged for, as I would like for him to tell me. He replied, I will let you know in time; so he left the next day without letting me know anything about it. In three weeks he sent me a notice directing me to appear before him and his committee to answer the charge against me by the St. Mark members.
On the 29th day of May he and his committee appeared in St. Mark's Church, and, after prayer, the Elder asked me if I had any counsel. I stated to him that the Discipline required him to furnish me with counsel for myself and church, but he stated that it did not, and I stepped toward the table to speak to him, as he was a little hard of hearing. I stepped back again to get my Discipline that was on the table. He asked me what I meant. I told him it was in his Discipline. He asked me what I meant by saying "your Discipline. What is your Discipline?" My Discipline is the Methodist Episcopal Church Discipline, but he understood me to say my Discipline was the A. M. E. Church Discipline, because I had just joined the M. E. Church. So he put all his men in their places on the committee--five of them. He then set Brother Kitchens as the counsel for the church, and, as I had no one to represent me, I had to act for myself.
I objected to Brother Kitchens being counsel for the church, but the Elder said I had no right to object to him, and so the trial went on; the same men who made the charge had the pleasure and privilege of proving me guilty, because they were their own witnesses. The Elder approved this, therefore I was dismissed from the charge.
I then started with my books around town to see if I could sell enough of them to enable me to travel over the State of Georgia, and by disposing of these books obtain sufficient funds to pay all demands againts me. I was a little in debt at that time. But, thanks be to the good Lord, the kind-hearted people of Augusta bought my books, and many of them sympathized with me on account of my being dismissed from the church in that way.
After this I started for Atlanta, Georgia. I got there safe, and on Sunday went to see the Bishop at the college (Clarke University) and had a conversation with him in regard to the difficulty that I had with the church in Augusta; but he could not then give any satisfaction at all, because he thought it best that he should first see the Elder himself. He gave me a dollar. I soon thereafter left him and have not seen him since.
I spent a few days in Atlanta. I paid $10.00 on my books, took out a number, and went over the city and sold all of them. I was treated very kindly by the people of Atlanta, who bought
my books, both white and colored doing so. While in the city I spent some time with my dear brothers and sisters. Bidding them good-bye I took the train for Marietta, Georgia, where I met many dear friends whom I had known in by-gone years. I sold quite a number of books to white and colored friends.
My next place was Acworth, Georgia. It had been quite a while since I had been there. On my arrival I was taken to the house of a very nice family, strangers to me, but I was treated most kindly. I spent one day and two nights with that dear brother and sister, and sold a few books. Acworth I found to be a temperance town. A law had recently been passed that no spirituous liquors should be sold there, hence no liquor could be had.
I next went to Cartersville and made my home with an esteemed brother, where I felt I was welcome during my stay in the place. As I entered the house I was received with delight and made to feel at perfect ease. I spent several days with this kind-hearted brother and sister. Several white citizens bought my book, but the colored people, save in a few cases, would have nothing to do with them.
Bidding my Cartersville friends farewell, I next went to Cassville, Georgia, where I had been several years before pastor of the church. I made my home at the house of kind-hearted Brother and Sister Robert Bever. They were truly glad to see me once more in life. On my way to Brother Bever's I met one of my former members, Brother Richard Dukes, who appeared very glad to see me, and it appeared he really was, because he gave all signs of it. He said he had rather see me then than to see his own brother, because he felt he had treated me very wrongly when I was his pastor, and he desired to acknowledge it to me, and he was glad he had a chance so to do. As he appeared sincere, I freely forgave him for his misdoings to me. The event alluded to happened while I was the pastor of the A. M. E. Church in the town.
I then passed on to Brother Bever's, and met him and his lady. Of all the members I ever knew, they were the gladdest to see me. I spent several days with them, but I did not sell a book in Cassville; the times were dull and money somewhat scarce, nevertheless I was treated the best in the world by my friends.
After bidding them good-bye I went to Kingston, Georgia, where I spent one night with a lady and her children, her husband being away from home. During my sojourn I endeavored to sell some of my books, but failed to do so, so I got on the cars again for Rome, Georgia, where I arrived safely, and took a hack and went to the parsonage of the M. E. Church. The pastor gave me dinner, but informed me that he could not entertain me, for I had to look out for myself. I left the parsonage and was going up the street when I met an individual whom I had known for several years, and who I felt would be glad to see me. This
proved to be the case. The good man was glad to see me, invited me to spend the time with him, which invitation, of course, I accepted. So I found a friend who took care of me while I was in the city. The several days I was in Rome were pleasant ones, and the pleasure was increased by the sale of several of my books. The white people bought a great many of me and applauded me for writing it.
I met with some friends who had not seen me in twenty years, and all were truly glad to see me. The Mayor of the city and his good lady were among these friends. I enjoyed myself finely during my stay in the city. While there I labored for the A. M. E. Church, as also for the M. E. Church.
Leaving Rome I next went to Chattanooga, Tenn. I got there on the Fourth of July. The city was beautifully decorated, and all the people celebrating the day. They had a grand time of lit. I never saw a more finely dressed city in my life, for everything looked as pretty as a rose--the streets were lovely. I went to the parsonage of the M. E. Church. The pastor was a stranger to me, as I had never seen the good brother before. He took me in, however, and then, after giving me dinner, informed me that he could not entertain me, as he did not have but three rooms to his house, therefore I must excuse him, but he gave me a note and sent me to another brother who kept a restaurant. I thanked him for his kindness to me, and then left his house, but my determination was to find Brother Bever's daughter, as she was living in the city somewhere. I started in search of her, and by the help of the good Lord I was successful in finding the house. This daughter of my friend made me welcome. The lady is named Allen, and is the daughter of Brother and Sister Bever, of Cassville. Therefore I felt at home again. They were very glad to see me. During my stay of eight days the family did everything to make me as happy as it was possible for them to do. The kind Mayor bought one of my books. I asked him for the privilege of selling my books in the city, and he granted it very cheerfully, and for which I thanked him heartily. I visited the A. M. E. Church and had a chance to sell to the congregation. They treated me very kindly, indeed. Here I found some old citizens of Macon. It made me feel as if I was at home to be with them, and they treated me so kindly it made a deep impression on my heart. I sold a great number of my books in Chattanooga, and made a great many new friends. Should I never meet any of them in this world, I trust we shall meet in Heaven, and pray the good Lord will enable us to do so.
I left that place for Dalton, Georgia. I arrived safe, and was conducted to the parsonage by a brother, where I met kind-hearted Brother Holmes, pastor of the A. M. E. Church, and lady. I was made welcome by him, he and I taking a walk up the streets to visit the village and to be introduced to the citizens. I met with a gentleman that I knew in Forsyth, Georgia--Mr. Lamkins--and he appeared to be so glad to see me, as I was the
pastor of the A. M. E. Church when he was a citizen of that place and a banker. At that time he bought one of my books, and said to me, in the presence of the pastor: "I never buy any books, but I have bought this one from Anderson because I know him, and he is all right with me and in Forsyth." Then he tried to get others to buy also. Then myself and the good brother walked around the village and tried to sell as many as we could. I spent one or two days with my Brother Holmes in Dalton, and preached for him once or twice. He gave me leave to sell in his church, also, and helped me in the sale of them. I gave him one and his wife a dollar. Then I bid them farewell, with God's blessing upon them. Then I took the train for Kingston, Georgia, on my way to Rome, as I had promised that I would return there again. So I spent two nights and one day with the same individual. Then I took the train for Cartersville again, as I had promised one or two gentlemen that I would stop as I passed back, in order that I might sell them a book apiece. I spent one night, and left the next day for Marietta, Georgia. I had promised both white and colored that I would call on them again. I spent the night with my dear Brother and Sister Moses Bakine. I sold one or two more of my books. Then I bid them farewell. Then taking the train for Atlanta, Georgia, I arrived safe, and taking the street car on Marietta street for my friend Mrs. Lawrence, and there I spent one or two nights with that family, and found that nothing was too good for her dear old brother, as she called me. I staid several days in Atlanta, as I found the Legislature was in session, I visited the sessions for several days, and sold my books to some of them. I sold to the colored delegates also; there were two of them, Mr. Wilson, from McIntosh County, Georgia. He bought $5.00 worth and sold them to his white friends. Mr. Johnson, the member from Lee County, Georgia, bought one also. I found out while visiting the Legislature that the white delegates were friendly towards the colored delegates. It made an impression on my mind that if we would respect ourselves we would be respected by our fellow-men, let them be white or black, but if we did not respect ourselves we should not look for our fellow-men to respect us. I was treated with a great deal of respect by the delegates. I sold a book to Governor McDaniel, and also one to the departed Governor, Mr. Alex. H. Stephens. I promised him to call and see him again, and I did so, but he was so very much engaged with company that I had to retire before I could see him, and then I did not have the opportunity of seeing him any more on earth, but I am in hopes that we will meet some of these days in that good world above, where parting will be no more. I and him had a good talk about old times in the days of slavery, as he knew some of my old friends in Liberty County, Georgia, where I was born and raised up, therefore our conversation was very pleasant together that day I called on him. But I was in Augusta, Georgia, when he departed this life, so I will not say
any more about him, only good-bye to his ashes. God bless them. After staying several days in Atlanta this time, I took the train for Edmondsville, about six miles from the city, where I was the pastor the year before at New Hope Church, where I was moved by those men that I spoke of before in this book. I arrived safely at Brother Edmond Joiner's late in the afternoon, and when I got in sight of the house, so that they could see me, it would have made your heart leap to have heard those men when they saw me. They were just from before the Justice of Peace, or the court, having a tussle with Mrs. Williams, the same lady that I was moved away from New Hope Church, in order to please, and so it was when I appeared. It appeared to the minds of those brothers that God had sent me there just at that time, so that I might see for myself that the devil was not gone, as was said when that committee moved me from that church, and the way that I was treated at that time is the reason why I left the A. M. E. Conference. I spent the night with Brother Joiner, myself and the pastor that was in charge at that time slept together, Brother Haygood, from South Carolina, and on Sunday morning myself and him started for the church, two miles off, and on our way there he informed me that the trustees were going to shut up the church door on Monday, so that Mrs. Williams could not teach school in it, without she got permission from them. So we got there in time to be in the Sabbath School, and he got me to preach for him that morning, and the Spirit of the Lord was upon me that morning, and the pastor felt the same, and when I got through he said that Brother Anderson's sermon had knocked everything out of him that he intended doing, but the congregation did not understand him, but I did; so he told them that he wanted them all to go out of the church, and they did so, then he told them at the door that he intended having peace in that church, and that every one intending to live in peace, for them to come back into the church, and they all came back again. So he told them that now they must consider that they were pledged to put down all prejudice against one another. On that the school-mistress, Mrs. Emeline Williams, got up and said, there will be no peace between you and me, said she to the pastor, because you went to W. J. Gaines, my pastor, and told him that I was the author of the difficulty out here. On that the pastor replied, and said that he did no such thing, but said that Brother P. B. Peters told him, in the presence of Rev. J. W. Brokens, that you are the Prince of Devils out here at this church, and that is the reason why Brother Anderson had to be taken away from this church, on account of your fuss. On that other things were said and done that I will let alone, and not have it in my book at all. He appointed me to preach for him in the afternoon, and also at night. I did so. I spent the night with Mr. and Mrs. Maddick. I then took the train back again for Atlanta, and then from there I went to Decatur, and spent one night with the pastor of the A. M. E.
Church. It was a very dull season of the year, therefore I did not sell any of my books in that place. I called on the Mayor of the village. To show his kind regard for me, he gave me twenty-five cents, and bid me good luck in selling them. Then I left that place, taking the train for Conyers, Georgia. I arrived safe, and was conducted to a brother's house. The pastor, Brother Johnson, came to see me, and invited me to preach for him that night. I accepted the invitation and preached for his congregation. He then sent me about a mile in the country, to stay with a brother that he thought would take good care of me. I was asked to preach for him again the next night. I did so. He promised to take one of my books, but he failed in doing so.
Then I took the train for Madison, Georgia. I arrived safe, and went to my kind-hearted Mr. and Mrs. Flint, as I was their pastor once. They had not forgotten me. They all treated me as a Christian should treat a man of God. I stopped there several days, and divided them amongst the members, because they all, or nearly so, treated me kindly. I was asked by the pastor to preach for him on Sunday night. I accepted the invitation, and did so. The pastor at that time was C. L. Bradwell. He was building a new church, as his church was burnt down at that time. I did not say anything about my books in his church, as I had been there before and sold them. I went about the city and sold them. I went to the depot and offered one to a gentleman, and he said to me: "Do you think of selling me a book?" I would like to do so, said I to him. "Well, ain't you the man that lost that trunk some time ago?" Yes, said I to him. "Well, Mr. B. said that you swore to things that were not in that trunk, and those things that were in it were no account." I stated to him that he could not say that, because it was not true, and he could not say that unless he had taken the trunk himself, which I did not believe he did, but the trunk was broken into and the things taken out and sold about in Atlanta, and Mr. B. did not see them until the rogues were arrested and the things picked up where they were sold; therefore, Mr. B. could not give a correct statement about them at all, because all of the things have never been found as yet, and neither has the right trunk, and I have been slandered in a sly way; but, thanks be unto my God, the day will come when every man shall receive justice at the bar of God. I sold a few books in Madison, then I took the train for Greensboro, Georgia, where I was invited to spend my time with Mr. and Mrs. Campbell. They treated me very kindly indeed. I spent one or two days in the city. I sold one book to the judge. He at that time was very sick, but he had bought one of my first little books, and he was so much pleased with it that he thought that he would encourage me by buying another one.
So, after that, I went to Monticello, Georgia. I spent one night with Brother Johnson, the pastor of the M. E. Church. He took me about two miles to another village, and I preached for
his congregation. I had no chance of selling any books at that place. I tried several of the citizens, but it was in vain. The times were too hard at that season of the year, and everything was dried up, there had not been any rain there for over a month, and the fence law was in operation. Everything looked dark and dreary. I left that part of the country and took the train for Athens, Georgia. I arrived safe, and was carried to Brother Thomas' house, where I was made welcome. I spent several days in that city, also. I was introduced to the Mayor of the city by the postmaster, a colored man. I found the Mayor to be a perfect gentleman. He bought one of my books, with such a disposition that I could but admire him. He gave me leave to sell as many as I could. I did not sell a great many, but I was told if I was to call again at a more suitable season of the year, I would do well with my books. I was invited to preach at the Baptist Church, and did so, both in the afternoon and at night. One of the deacons of the church purchased one of my books. Then, after a few days, I bid the city and its vicinities good-bye and took the train for Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia. I arrived safely, and taking myself to Brother Thomas' house, where I was made welcome, I spent several days in that city. I did not visit the church, as the pastor did not invite me, but spoke in a way that was not very encouraging in regard to me to his official board, and my good friend informed me of it, and said that if he was in my place that he would not visit him unless he called on me, which he did not do while I was in that city; and that made me explain something that had transpired in Marietta some years ago, that he did to me when I was the pastor of the church in that city; but I will leave it out of this book. I visited the city and sold several of my books, both to white and colored. A gentleman of that city thanked me for bringing out a book bearing the name of a brother in white, and wrote me a letter in regard to it. I have shown it to a great many persons, to see how it would take. I found some in favor of it, and some not in favor of it. After spending several days there, I took leave of that place, taking the train for another part of the State.
I went to Warrenton, Georgia. I arrived safe, and found my way to the pastor's house. As it was on the Sabbath, and he was invited to take dinner at a Baptist sister's house, he took me along with him, and in going there I met with the Baptist preacher from Washington, and we were truly glad to see each other, because he had bought one of my books in Washington, and he wanted to give me his opinion about it after he had read a part of it, and that was the opportunity that he had of doing so. Therefore, when we met it did him a great deal of good to see me, and we had a good time of it that day together at the table. Everything was truly nice, and I could but think the Lord had brought me there. I was invited by the pastor to preach for him that afternoon, and I did so. He held forth himself at
night. I spent the night with a Baptist sister. She treated me very kindly indeed. I took a walk up town on Monday in order that I might get a chance to sell my books, and thanks be unto the good Lord, I met with success.
I sold one to a colored merchant, and the postmaster, and a judge, and several more. And in going around in that village I met with a lady that I knew when a boy. She was a Mrs. King, but when a young lady she was a Miss Betty McIver, and lived in Liberty County, Georgia. I had not seen her in forty years before. Her husband was a brother to my former mistress. Therefore she was truly glad to see me, and I was truly glad to see her, so we had a lovely time of it together talking of old times. Then I shook hands with her and bid her farewell. I traveled the village over and sold several of my books there. I bid Warrenton, Georgia, good-bye. Taking the train for Sparta, Georgia, I arrived safe and was taken by a little boy up town. He carried me to a lady's house that he thought would take me in as a boarder. But the lady said to me: "I do not take boarders now," so the little boy carried me to another place. "Well," said I to the man, "can you take in a traveler?" "Well, what is your name?" "Anderson," I replied. "And what church do you belong to?" "The Methodist," I replied. "Well," said he, "there are several Methodists, which of them do you belong to?" "Well, it is time enough for you to find out that, if I am to stop with you." "Well," said he to me, "there is a lady just around the corner of the next street that will take you in; she is a Methodist." So I started with my little boy again. We got there after awhile. I rapped on the door and there appeared a lady. "Good afternoon," said I to her. "I was sent here to this house by some of your friends, I suppose." "Walk in," said the lady, "take a seat, sir." "Very good, ma'am," said I. "Well, my business is to find out if I can lodge with you to-night." "Well," said the lady, "sometimes we take in strangers. Bishop Holsey stops with us sometimes. Are you a member of his Conference?" "No, ma'am," I replied. Then I saw a little change in her countenance. And after a few more words, she said: "Well I do not think that I can entertain you, sir. My mother is working out, and I cannot prepare the meals for you, so you must excuse me, but I will send you where you can find a lodging place." So she sent me to another. I went there also. When I got there I knocked at the door. "Walk in," said the lady. "Good afternoon," said I. "Can I spend the night with you ma'am?" said I unto her. "Well, I have been taking in travelers, but some of the children are not so very well to-night and I would have to get up with them all night and that would disturb you, and besides that I would have to see my husband about it, but you can go just around the corner of the street and you will find a man that will take care of you." "Well, good-bye," said I, and started on my way. So when I got around the corner, as I was directed, I asked after the man.
"Well," said another man to me, "he has just left; he has gone home." "How far is his home?" said I to the individual. "About a mile. Well, if you will wait a little I will go with you and show you his house." "Well," said I. So I made myself satisfied at that, and waited until they got ready. So we started for the house of the pastor of the A. M. E. Church. We arrived after awhile, and when I got there I had to introduce myself to him because we were strangers to each other. But it was not long before we were asked in to supper, and I cordially accepted that. Then after supper I told him my business, and that I was selling my books. He told me that his house did not have a great many rooms in it, and he had several children, but would have me cared for. So he sent a son of his to one of his sister's asking her could she not provide for a brother, and she sent the message back, yes, send him down in a moment or so; and therefore I was cared for that night. So I went down to the sister's house, and when it became time to go to bed, I said let us have prayer before we lie down. And after prayer I was conducted into another room. There was a partition between myself and the family, but the partition did not extend up to the top of the house, so that the fire in their room could give light into my room. So I went to bed, but in the night I woke up and saw a light shining against a large glass that stood against the house, and I thought that it was the moon shining through the window, and I got up to go, as I supposed, to look at the moon to see on what side of the house she was. And when I put my head out of the window, as I supposed I was going to do, I struck my head against the glass, and looked out, as I supposed. I saw a large gray-haired old man appear before me, and I, with all my might, intended to catch him by the hair of his head, and I grabbed at him with all my might, and behold, it was myself that I saw in the glass by the fire shining against the glass, and I saw myself, and came very near breaking the lady's glass. I never was so disappointed in my life. I thought it was another man, and behold, it was myself. I spent one day and night in that place, then I bid it farewell. I never sold a book in that place. I then took the train for Milledgeville. I arrived safe and was taken to a lady's house. She appeared to be very poor, therefore I did not stop with her no longer than I could get away. I then hunted for another place. I found another place, where I felt somewhat better satisfied.
I spent several days in that old city, which was at one time the capital of the State of Georgia. I visited the city with a great deal of pleasure, because I used to go there in the days of slavery and preach for them. I sold several books to the white citizens, but none to the colored. I then left that place for Eatonton, Georgia. I arrived safely and took myself to the parsonage of the A. M. E. Church. I was received with delight by the pastor, and spent the time with him, and he treated me as a Christian gentleman should treat a traveler. I preached for him.
On Monday I visited the citizens and tried to sell my books, but did not sell but two of them, one to a colored man, and one to a white man. I gave the pastor one for his kindness to me, then I bid them farewell, and taking the train again for Milledgeville, on my way to Macon, I arrived safely and found the train going that night to Forsyth, Georgia. I mounted that train for that place, because my wife had left Augusta, and was living in Forsyth. I arrived safely, and found my family all well, and as we had not seen each other for one or two months, we had a great deal to talk about that night. I had left her in Augusta, but she had the skill and spunk enough to leave that place, where I was treated almost as a dog by some of the members of St. Mark's M. E. Church, but by the help of the good Lord I found her own house at home in Forsyth, Georgia. I spent several days with her, then I took the train for Barnesville, Georgia.
I arrived safely and spent the night with Brother O'Neal. He and his family treated me very kindly. His daughter bought one of my books. I sold several of them.
I then took the train for Griffin, with the intention of selling my books there, and as I had sold a great many before then in that place, I did not sell so many that time, but enough to make me feel that they had not forgotten me, as I was their pastor in 1880, and had worked so hard for them in the completion of the church in that place.
I then took the train for Newnan, Georgia. I arrived safely, and took myself to the parsonage of the M. E. Church. I was told to come in. I did so, and spent several days with that brother, but never had a chance to sell a book to his members, but I sold several to the white citizens of that place, and they highly applauded me for writing the book. They had a temperance meeting when I was with them, and they invited me to say a few words, and I did so, as I am a great advocate of the temperance cause. I told an old story that I had heard when a young man, and it is this. I told them that I was informed once that a man got drunk, and after he had got a little sober he came home to his wife, but she was in bed. He got in the house, and asked his wife for something to eat. She told him to go to the cupboard and he would find some greens that she had cooked that day in a bowl, and he did so, and found them, as he supposed, and commenced eating them, but he found out that they were very tough. So he said to the old lady: "The greens are not done." The old lady cried out: "I expect you have got the wrong bowl; there is a bowl with my caps in it that I have been washing, and have put them in the starch, and you are eating them instead of the greens." "Well," said the old man, "I thought they were very tough. I pulled and pulled, but they felt very tough." So the old lady got up and found out that her husband had ate up some of them. I told that tale to them that night, and made them laugh at it. Then, I said, it is better for us to live sober than to get drunk and go home and treat our wives
in that way. I told them all that if they would go and join the temperance society that they would make better citizens, and better husbands, and better members of the church, and better Christians, and better everything else. I spent the night. Myself and the Presiding Elder slept together in one bed. He went off from the church with the intention of going with another brother, but his cousin would not allow him to do that, so he came back to the parsonage, and when he got in the bed with me I told him that an evil spirit wanted to lead him, but the good spirit would not let him be led by it, and therefore he had to come back and stay with me. "Why," said he to me, "Brother Anderson, what makes you talk that way." I answered, because the good spirit told me so. I felt that you wanted to go off and not sleep with me, because F. M. Jones and his committee had moved me from my charge in Augusta, Georgia. "Well," said he, "I must tell the truth. I did think that I would go home with another brother, and I started to do so, but I thought that you would think that very thing before I came back, and I am glad that I did so, because I did not want you to have any hard feelings against me. I did learn that you were moved from Augusta, but I could not find out before, and I hated to say anything to you about it, therefore I thought I would go away to another house, but, as I am here, please tell me something about it." Well, all that I have to say about it is, they took the advantage of me, and you will hear it all at the Conference. "Do you intend bringing it up at the Conference?" Oh yes, I intend doing that very same thing, because I am not going to have myself imposed upon in that way and then let it alone; but they did me a kindness in removing me from Augusta, because I have a pain in my breast that would have terminated in my death, but since I have been removed, thanks be unto my Lord, I am getting rid of that. "Well, thank the Lord," said the Elder. "Well, let us go to sleep." So we dropped off into a deep sleep until the morning, then we were invited in to breakfast. After prayer, I took a walk up town, in order that I might sell some of my books, and, thanks be unto the Lord, I sold several of them to the white friends. Then, on Saturday morning, I said to him--that is, to the pastor--I am going home, so that I may be out of your way on Sunday. "Why, Brother Anderson," said he to me. Well, I feel that you would wish to ask me to preach for you. Then I feel that you think it is not best for you to do that, therefore I think it is best for me to retire, and be out of the way, so good-bye.
Taking the train for Forsyth, Georgia, again, I spent several days there, and preached for Elder Davis, in the A. M. E. Church. Then I took the train again for Thomaston, Georgia. I took myself down town and called on Elder McClen, but he was not at home, therefore I had to look out for some other place. I found one Brother Bell, a very kind-hearted brother. After hunting awhile for some one to take me, he failed in getting any
one, so his wife told him to bring me to his house, therefore I was carried there by him, and I was treated the best in the world by that brother and his lady. I went up town to see if I could sell my books to the white citizens. I did so, and sold several of them, and some of them read my book before I left that town to see what I had to say against it, so that they could speak against it, or in its favor. But, thanks be unto the good Lord, they spoke in its favor, and I sold several of them to the white friends, but none to the colored people. I was invited to preach at the Baptist Church. I accepted of their invitation and preached for them, the house was very full of people, and when I got through one of the deacons got up and asked them for a collection for me. They gave me five cents. I thanked the individual that gave it; then I dismissed them.
The next day I took the train for Barnesville again, and called on the Baptist minister of that church and told him all about the collection. He bought one of my books, and invited me back again to his Association, that was to convene in about a week. I agreed to return, and I did so.
I took the train in Forsyth for Barnesville again. I arrived safe and was conveyed to the C. M. E. pastor's house, because I had promised to preach for him when I returned, and I did so. He treated me like a Christian gentleman, and invited me again at any time as I passed by that way. I took the train again for Thomaston, Georgia. I was taken this time to the house of a Baptist brother, because the pastor had promised that he would see that I was taken good care of, and so I was. I lodged near the church, and was treated well by that family.
I spent several days with the church, or Association, and was introduced by the pastor to them, but I never sold a book all the time I was with them. I then took the train for Forsyth. I spent several days again with my family and sold several of my books again, to both white and colored. Then I took my leave for Macon. I spent several days in Macon. I sold a great many of my books to my white friends of that place--the Postmaster, the Clerk of the Court, and a great many ladies of that city bought them from me, as they were well acquainted with me. I, after many days in Macon, left for Clinton, Georgia, where I was the pastor for two years before. I went to see Brother Hardeman and family, where I spent several days. I preached for the pastor once or twice. I sold several of my books. I had left fifty of them with a white man with the understanding that he would sell them for me, and send me the money, but he did not. So I went after that, but I did not get it. So I left Jones County, Georgia, and returned to Macon again. I then took the train for Fort Valley, Georgia. I arrived safely and was conveyed to a boarding house, where I spent the night. I tried to sell some of my books in that place, too, but I could not sell but one, and that one was sold to a barber, the man that I stopped with, and that paid my board bill. So the next day I took the train for Americus,
Georgia. I was met at the depot by a little boy. He in formed me that he was sent there by Mr. Head, the brother that I had written to. I was then conveyed to his house and there I remained until he arrived. Then we shook hands as we always did, but I found out that his lady had departed this life, and was gone to her long home. We had a few words about her, and in what way she had left this world. He informed me that she departed this life in peace, and believed that she was at rest in Heaven. So after awhile the bell rang for dinner. "Walk in," said he to me, "let us take something to eat." And I did so, and after dinner I took a walk up town, as I had not been there for some time. My intention in going up town was that I might get a chance to sell some of my books, for that was my business in that city. I did sell several of them, so in the evening I went back again to his house with the understanding that I would spend the night with him, as he and myself have always been friendly for over thirty years. I thought, well I shall rest in that same bed that I have slept in for many years, but after supper he said to me: "I have built a hotel since you were here." Is that so, said I. "O, yes, I have done that. I have reserved a room for my friends in it also. I have so many of them calling on me that I thought that that was the best way for me to do with them--take them down there, so when you feel like going to bed, I will go with you down to the room." Well, said I, let us go. So we went down to the hotel, and he opened the door and said to me: "Here is your room. Everything is here to make you comfortable." Said I to him: "Well, good night." "Good night." I therefore pulled off my clothes and went to bed, after prayer.
Well, said I to myself, I am badly disappointed. I thought to have slept in the bed I have been sleeping in all the time, but I am mistaken to-night. As these thoughts came into my mind I concluded I would be satisfied, but I could not, as there was another person in the next room that kept up such a fuss that I could not rest. Finding that I could not sleep, I got up and put on my clothes and went out, locking the door as I did so. I then started down town to look for a brother by the name of Holsey and his lady. I soon found the house, and, knocking at the door, they soon came to see who was there, and they discovered it was their former pastor. As soon as their surprise was over, the brother said: "And how came you here at this time of night?" I at once told him I was seeking a place of rest. "Well, you shall have it," said he. I was then shown to a room and told to take charge of it. I did so, and had a happy night's rest; the bed was so soft and good I slept well.
Next morning I felt like a new man. It was Sunday morning, and I went soon after breakfast to the house of Brother Head, because I felt that he had sent for me, which he had done, but not being able to find me would render him unhappy. On my arrival, "Good morning," he said. He informed me that he had sent after
me, but you could nowhere be found and it made me feel unpleasant. "Well, my brother, I could not rest; the people in the next room kept up such a fuss that I had to get up and leave. I have been in the habit of choice of where I should stop, and hence I always made your house my stopping place; but if you have not got any room for me I can find one elsewhere, so you must not think hard of me for looking out for myself. I have been trying to do that for many years. When I intended coming to this city I always wrote you in regard to it, and about stopping with you. Hence let us not fall out about it, but go on to church. Are you going? "I am not going to-day," he said. "I am not feeling very well." I therefore went to the church alone. I found a nice Sunday School in session, under the supervision of a good Superintendent. I was readily invited to take part with them, as the pastor was absent. They desired me to preach for them, but I learned that the pastor had provided for preaching, and therefore declined. My excuse was accepted. The Superintendent got the school children to put money enough on the table to enable him to get one of my books, so that it could be put in the library and be read by them at any time, because Brother Anderson, said the Superintendent, was the first man who brought the light to us. I was one of his scholars, when a little boy, in 1866, and now it is 1883.
I preached at night, and that gave me a chance to say a word about my books. I sold several copies to the good people present. The next day I sold several more, among the purchasers being some white gentlemen, and who spoke very highly of the work. I then bade Americus farewell.
I then went to Eufaula, Alabama, at which place I arrived safe and sound. I went to the pastor's residence. He gave me a cordial welcome, as he was looking for me. He was a young man when I was pastor in Americus, in 1866. He joined the church under me at that time, and I had not forgotten it. He felt a warmness of heart toward me after he had grown older and had himself become a minister, although we had not seen each other for several years--he going to Florida from Georgia. We had been separated from each other a long while. I rode with him up town at his request. In the evening we saw the Mayor of the city and asked the privilege of selling my books in his city. As I was outside of Georgia, this was considered best to do. He informed me that it was against the laws of Alabama for any one to sell books in the State without a license, but he would bring my case before the City Council on the following Tuesday night. I thanked him for his kind proposition, and told him I had only five of them at hand, and would leave the city before the Council met, and then bid the Mayor good-bye. I afterwards sold one of them to the Clerk of the Court, as he seemed to be a friend to the colored man. I was interested in him because he appeared to be a friend to our race. I spent several days with
Brother S. L. Mims, and preached for him once or twice, and on the Sabbath I aided him in the Communion service.
I preached on Tuesday night on the Millennium glory of Christ. The pastor took up a collection for me to the amount of $3.00. I had promised the pastor to give a book for every dollar taken up, and so he told the congregation, but they would not have it in that way, giving me the money without the book. I thanked them for their generosity and prayed the blessing of God upon them. Bidding the good friends good-bye, I went home with the pastor and passed the night in peace.
The next day my good brother took me to the depot in his buggy, gave me a dollar to help me pay my way to Cuthbert, Georgia, and in return I gave him a book, and then bid him farewell till we met again.
I took the train for Cuthbert, arrived safe, and was at once carried to the house of the pastor. He was a man whom I had never seen, that I could remember, but we shook hands as brothers. I inquired if he had received a postal card from me, and he answered affirmatively, and fully intended to meet the train, but something occurred that prevented me, but I am glad to see you.
"Well, you understand my business in this place," said I. "Oh, yes, I do; so walk right in and make yourself at home. My house is very small, but I will do the best for you I can." After a little morsel of bread was partaken of, we took a walk up town, during which walk I sold a book to the postmaster and one to a young colored man who was going to have a show in the school house that night.
A society met at night in the church, and the pastor invited me to be there, which invitation I accepted, and went with him. We got there before the members gathered, but when the crowd had fully come in the pastor got up and said: "Brother Anderson was present with them, and he would make a motion that the brother be introduced to the members." The motion being seconded, it was stated by the pastor asking: "Are you ready for the question?" "Not ready," said one of the members. "State your reason," said the pastor. "My reason is that before he be introduced he must pay five cents as we all have to do," said the brother. "Well, I will put the question. All in favor of Brother Anderson being introduced to this society, and pay five cents, let it be known by saying I." Well, I thought to myself, that this is a fine way for members of a church to act towards a stranger. They acted in such a way that I considered it best for me, being an entire stranger, to leave that crowd, which I did. I placed my five cents on the table, and departed for the house at which I was boarding, telling the lady on my arrival precisely what had occurred. I told her I thought it best for me to retire from the meeting and come home. She said I had done a wise thing, because men had been ordered out of that society, that have been pastors of the church here, and a great deal of harm has been done. Well done for you in getting safely
away. Bidding my landlady good night I went to bed. The next day I went among the citizens of the town again. I offered the Mayor of the city on of my books. He gave me leave to sell as many as I could, but he gave me back the one I had given him.
After many days I received a supply of one hundred books from Atlanta, Georgia. As soon as I got them I went to Albany, Georgia. I got there safely, and a little boy conducted me to Mrs. Emily Jones,' where I met with the family with whom I used to spend many happy days in the long gone days of slavery, and also with my dear Brother William Lewis and family, in Oglethorpe, Georgia. He and his good lady have gone to their home in Heaven. He and I used to fill the pulpit together in the days of slavery; and he and I would often talk of the good times we had, and get happy. I do trust he and I will meet again in that good world above where parting will be no more. He died while on his way to the Conference that met in Savannah, under Bishop Brown. He was in Oglethorpe when de died, having got that far on his journey.
I spent several days in Albany. I preached in the A. M. E. Church twice. The good pastor gave me a chance to offer my books to his people, and I sold a few of them. I sold a great many to the white people. Both classes bought them. I sold more in that little place than I had in many other larger towns. I met with a great many old friends whom I had not seen in many years. Those who had already read my book before I left the place approved my writing. I was very happy in that place. During my stay some of the citizens invited me to come again. I promised to do so, and I am in hopes of being able to go back there in the not very distant future.
I next went to Thomasville, Georgia. I got there in the night. When the cars arrived at the depot a man came on the train and asked the passengers if they desired to stop over night. I was among those who announced their intention of stopping over. He said he would take me to a lodging place. "Very good," said I, and we started, and while on the way to the house I mildly hinted at him that I loved a nice stopping place, "All right," said he; "I have a nice house and will show it to you pretty soon. We are almost there now. Look, don't you see that white house yonder?" "Yes," said I. "Well, that is the place where I live, I am going to carry you there." "Well," said I to the man, "I also love a nice bed to sleep in." "Good enough, said he, "I can satisfy you in that also." "Very good," said I unto him, and pretty soon we arrived at the house. "Walk in," said he to me. "There is my lady," said he. "Good afternoon," said I to her, "My name is R. Anderson. I am a stranger to you, madam, but I have been in this city before now, and I would like to get a nice place to stop at." "Well, sir, if you are accustomed to stop in nice houses this one will not suit you, because it is very open and the night air will cause you to take a cold." "Yes, it might do that," said I, "and I would rather
get another place if I can." "Well," said the husband, "I know you. You once lived in Macon." "Oh, yes, I lived there many years," said I. "Well, I used to know you in slavery times when you had a nice house to live in, and everything else. I know the place to carry you, and the brother lives in a plastered house." "Well," said his wife, "take him there. I know he will be pleased." "Let us go there at once, and may the Lord bless you."
So we started, and in a little while we were there and hailing at the gate. The brother wanted to know who we were. He was told it was Robert Anderson. He desires to see you. This caused the man to hop out of bed and put on his clothes; he then came to the door, and on seeing me asked me to come in. I went in as invited. We shook hands as brothers. After this he bade me welcome. "Where are you bound?" he asked. "Well, I am going to spend a few days in your city," said I. "Did you inform our pastor of your visit." "Yes, I did; but he dropped me a card telling me he could not entertain me. My business commanded me to come, and therefore I am here." "Well, our pastor did not say a word to any of the members of the church about your coming. Had he done so, I would have told him I would take you. However, I want you to make yourself easy, because I am a lover of God's ministers, and never intend to turn one of them away from my house as long as I have a piece of bread to give them. Therefore make yourself satisfied, for although my wife is not very well, and cannot prepare our meals as I would like, we will do our best. Then you have the chance of going up town and getting nice meals at any of the boarding houses." "Very good, my brother, I will do that," said I, "But I suppose we have said enough for to-night." There is your bed, and you can go to it just when you like. I will come in the morning and wake you up before I go to work, as I am obliged to be there quite early." "Good night," said I; and then I pulled off my clothes and retired to bed, which was a good one. Everything so neat and lovely that I felt it was good to trust in the Lord and have good friends. Sleep soon came to me and I did not wake until the family were all up.
I very soon got up also and started out to find breakfast, and ere long had the good luck to find it. Soon thereafter I went to the postoffice and sold one of my books. Then I went in search of the Mayor of the city, whom I soon found, and sold one to him, and during our conversation discovered the fact that he came from Liberty County, Georgia. While we were conversing in comes Mr. H. Jones, who was a newspaper gentleman. I knew him also, because he was from the same noble old county of Liberty. During my stay in the city I found a great many of the white citizens of Thomasville were originally from Liberty County. Nearly every one of these gentlemen showed their friendship for me by buying my book. I therefore sold a great
many copies to the white people while the colored men did not seem inclined to buy very largely.
I visited the A. M. E. Church on the Sabbath day and was asked to say a few words to the children. I did so. During the day I went to the Baptist Church. The pastor appeared to be a friendly kind of a man, and asked me to preach. I accepted the invitation and preached the best I could. I was again invited to fill the pulpit on the following Tuesday night, which I did. The pastor also arose and spoke well of the book which I was selling; he had one himself. Said he: "Anytime that you are in town call on me. I have fallen in love with you."
After many days I left Thomasville for Quitman. I arrived safely and was conducted by a little boy to Brother Thomas' house, where the pastor had made an arrangement for me to stop at, and I met him there awaiting my arrival. We, of course, shook hands. Then he introduced me to the lady of the house. She told me to make myself at home. I informed her I would do my best that way. Then after a few remarks with the pastor he informed me that I would have to pay a little board. "Very good," said I to him. "I will retire and go home; but this afternoon we will take a walk up town." "Well," said I unto him, "I am glad of that, because my business here is to sell books." So in the afternoon we went to call on a Justice of the Peace. He was a printer and a very nice man, so the pastor introduced me to him. I informed my new found friend that I had a printed history of my life, and that I was the only colored man in Georgia who had a written history of myself. "Is that so?" "Well," said the friend, "let me see one of them." He took it and examined it while we were there. The printer man then told me he would publish something about it in his paper so that the people may see it on Saturday in printed form: "A colored man--a native of Georgia--called to see us on Thursday. He has a book written by himself. We have glanced over the contents and found it to be well written and very conservative and appears to be free from politics. His advice to his own race is very good, and should be taken, because it is intended to make them better citizens. We shall have more to say about the book next week concerning the good it will do, if generally circulated among the colored people and its lessons heeded by them. We would advise a general sale of them in order to encourage the author in his efforts to elevate his race, as well as to enlighten them."
I cut this notice out of the paper in order to put it in my book in remembrance of that printer, and it will accordingly appear in another place.
I spent many days in the pleasant city of Thomasville. During my stay there I was invited to visit the Baptist Sabbath School, which I did, and spoke to the little ones; and I also visited the Sabbath School at the A. M. E. Church, and made addresses. I preached on one Sabbath night in the Baptist Church
by invitation of the pastor, and also on Monday night; at both of these services large congregations were present. After the sermon on Monday night the pastor called on his people to give me a collection, because he said he had never heard a better discourse on the Millennium in his life, so let us give him a collection--putting four good dollars on the table--saint and sinner joined in. He stated that I had promised to give him one book for every dollar that was taken up for him, so he wanted me to come forward and comply with my promise. I stepped forward and said I made the promise and intended making it good, and laid four books on the table. I stated that I had made the same promise to Brother S. L. Mims; but I got the money, while the people would not take the books. This caused a little dissatisfaction, because they believed in giving money for services rendered. They wanted the pastor to give the books back to me, and one of the stewards, after going to bed, became so dissatisfied that he got up, went to the pastor's house and demanded the books that he might return them to me. I was really surprised, but the steward declared he could not sleep. This made the pastor feel unpleasant toward me, and he would not call to see me the next day. I called on him, but he and his lady were not at home. I saw him no more while in the city.
After I got to Savannah I received a letter from this pastor written in the most abusive style; but I replied to him in the way I knew how, as a man of God. He said I was going around selling a book for $1.00 when it was really not worth ten cents. Not only that, but was even telling the people that I belonged to the A. M. E. Church after I had quit them. That I had quit was true, but I was not ashamed to tell my many reasons for so doing. But as for my book it was printed when I was an actual member of the A. M. E. Conference, and could not have any change made in it without having the book reprinted, after I united with the A. M. E. Church. It was, however, printed on the back of the book, as any one will find who takes the trouble to look. It is there stated when, where and under whom; so I am not ashamed of what I believe to be right then, nor of what I believe to be right now. He wrote me again, declaring that he would publish my name in the Recorder. I sent him word to go ahead, and when his notice of me appeared I would cut it out and have it inserted in my book. I have not, however, seen any notice as yet.
While in Savannah I met several old acquaintances. I sold a book to one old veteran of the cross, Brother MacDugel. He had two orange trees growing in front of his house, with a few oranges on them, and it gave him a great deal of pleasure to give me one or two of them.
After a pleasant stay of several days I left Savannah for Valdosta, Ga., at which place I arrived safely, and was carried to the house where the pastor resided. He made me welcome,
and the night was spent with him. He, his little boy and myself occupied one bed, and had a nice time of it.
I took breakfast with the pastor the following morning, and everything was nice and good. Shortly after the meal we went up town to call on the Mayor. We found him in his office, and he made us both welcome, which made me feel nicely, especially so when he offered us both chairs to sit down in. Then I stated to him that I was traveling around selling a book which contained a history of my life, and that I was the only colored man in Georgia who had undertaken the matter of writing his history. The Mayor told me he was glad to hear my statement as he loved to see the colored people trying to advance themselves, and was in hopes I would sell a great many of my books. "Thank you, sir," said I, "can I sell you one of them?" "Oh, yes; I will take one." "Here it is." "Here is your dollar." "Thank you, sir. Now, can I sell them in your town?" "Oh, yes; sell as many as you can. Are you a native Georgian?" "Oh, yes, sir; my book will tell you all about who I am and where born and when. You can gain all information about myself simply by reading the book." "I will be sure to do that," said the Mayor, "because I like your appearance." "Thank you, sir, and good morning." "Good morning; let me see you again before you leave town," said the Mayor. "I will take pleasure in calling again, sir," said I, on departing.
Leaving the Mayor's office, the brother and myself went over several parts of the town and had many greetings of welcome. Valdosta is a nice town. The day after my arrival there was the national fast day, and the pastor invited me to preach for him in his church. I accepted the invitation and preached at eleven o'clock that day. The congregation was a very fine one, and I did my best in the name of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord seemed to rest upon them. It was the first time they had ever undertaken to celebrate thanksgiving day in that church, and, of course, it was something new to them.
During the day, in rambling over the place, I sold several books. A white lady bought one while I was at the depot waiting to take the train for another place. I then went to the town of Waycross which is located on the road leading to Savannah. I got to my destination safely and was carried to a house where we tarried until the hour arrived for us to go to the church. I went to the house of worship but did not preach, the regular pastor preferring to do so. He, however, invited me to close for him, which I did, the good Lord helping me. While I was talking one sister was seen to be asleep. An effort was made to arouse her. She woke up, got very mad and went out, but I continued on and closed the services. While going out the good pastor asked if some brother or sister could not take the visiting brother home with them. One dear sister said she would take him, and I went home with her. She kept a boarding house, but had no company just then, so I had a nice time of it with
the family. It was indeed a pleasant place to stop at, and the blessing of the Lord is asked upon each member of the family.
The next day I went about the place trying to sell my book; I sold one to the postmaster and gave one to the printer. He gave me a notice and sent me a copy of the paper containing it. I afterwards got the paper in Forsyth, Georgia. He wanted me to read it. While walking around I was invited by the pastor to go to a colored man's house just across the railroad. I went over there. This colored man was the husband of the woman who got out of sorts with me at the church for waking her up, and I was in the house before I became aware of that fact. "Well," said the pastor, "this is the lady you tried to keep from going to sleep last night." "Is that so?" said I. "Yes," said she, "I was not so sleepy as you supposed I was; but I had my head hung down." "Well," said I, "you imitated those who are asleep." "Well, sir, I did not feel very well, but hope no harm was done," said she. "Oh, no. Well, I have a history of my life that I am selling, my dear sir," addressing her husband. "Le me see one of them," said he. One was handed him and he bought it. I soon thereafter went home to dinner.
Just before leaving the town I asked the landlady for my bill, whereupon she informed me she did not make a practice of charging God's ministers. I handed her one of my books, and it seemed the gift did her a great deal of good. I shook hands with her, adding a blessing and started for the depot. I had to wait a long time for the train, but while walking around there I sold a book to a young man whom I had known in Forsyth. His name was Charley Lake. He bought the book on account of the respect his father had for me while I was living in that place as pastor of the A. M. E. Church. His father's name was Mr. Lake. He has gone to his long home, leaving a good name behind him.
One day I took the train from Waycross to Savannah, in which city I arrived at eight o'clock in the night. A hack took me to the A. M. E. Church. I had written to the pastor that I would be at his home; but he was not at home--absent somewhere--and only his good lady was there. She informed me that as her husband was not at home she could not think of entertaining strangers in her house just then. So she directed me to the next house, whither I went, though all the parties were entire strangers to me. A society met there the same night, and the room usually set apart for their company was occupied, therefore I sat in another room until the company was dismissed. Then I was invited into the front room of the house, and a couch prepared for me on which to rest my body. I laid myself down on this couch, but it was so hard I had to turn over very often during the night, and next morning I felt as tired as if I had been at hard work. But, thinks I to myself, they will give me a better bed to-morrow night; but the next night it was the same couch again. Well, I thought, I had been traveling alone all over
Georgia, and had never been treated in this way before. I will try it again to-night. So at bedtime I laid down, but had to turn over and over, until the poor brother said to me, "Our bedding is very scarce; we have had some sickness in our family, and my wife has a daughter with her, and that is the reason that we have no bedding for you. Not only that, but she is keeping an eating table on the street, and she will not be able to cook your meals here at home. You must therefore look out for another place. "Very good," I said to him. I therefore began boarding at the market. I went over the city alone, as there was no one to go with me. I went to the court house and sold two of my books to a person with whom I had been somewhat acquainted in former days. Several persons bought books of me.
I went to the Baptist Church on Sunday morning and heard a sermon from the pastor. I visited the A. M. E. Church twice during my stay in Savannah. I aided the pastor on the occasion of administering the Sacrament on Sabbath. A few days afterwards I bade farewell to my friends; but before I left that night I placed fifty cents on the table and said: "How much more is it? This makes $1.00 I have paid you." "Well," said he, "I want $1.50 more" "For what?" said I, "I slept on a hard couch and paid board at the market. I don't understand such as that," said I. He said: "Because you are rich and I am poor; that is the reason that you will not give me any more." "Oh, no, my brother; I want to do what is right, for it is so written, in the fear of God and man, and I believe you are well paid for my lodging, particularly my sleeping on that couch, which has given me a pain in my side. I must now say good-bye, as 1 am going away from here to-night, by the help of the Lord." So I bade him farewell. I then went to the house of Brother Jones, took tea with him, sold him one of my books, then went to the depot, and soon thereafter was on my way to Augusta, Ga.
I traveled all night, getting into Augusta at eight o'clock next morning. I went to the house of Mrs. Isabella Maxwell. The good old lady was looking out for me, as I had dropped her a card telling her of my coming. Soon afterwards I wended my way up town in order to see some of my friends. I called upon several members of the church of which I had formerly been pastor, although they had me removed from that position, yet I wished to let them see that I had no prejudice against any of them in my heart. I called on that noble-hearted friend of mine, Mr. C. C. Jones. I found him in the best of spirits. I had a few words with him in regard to the case that I had on hand when I was pastor of that church, and in our conversation he asked me if I ever heard the tale told about an old man who had a monkey and a parrot. I told him I had not. He thereupon related the story to me. He said the owner of the monkey and parrot one day went out of his office and left the cage open, and the two got together and had a fight, and when he returned he found everything upside down, and was entirely ignorant of the
cause of the trouble. Then the monkey came out of his cage all bunged up, and shortly afterwards here came the parrot, with his tail all pulled out save one lone straight quill. Said the parrot to his master: "We had the d -- to pay while you were away. The monkey tried to kill me, and I tried to put out his eyes, so we had it hot and heavy; but I did my best with him." My friend and I had a good laugh over this and other harmless little stories we told each other.
I bid my good friend God-speed, shook hands with him, and then went on my way along the street. I spent one day and night in Augusta, in December, 1883.
After concluding my visit to that place I took the train for Macon, on my way to Forsyth. When I got to the depot in Macon the train for Forsyth was ready to leave, so getting on board the cars I was soon at my journey's end. Of course it did not take me long to get to my own house, where I found the family looking for me.
As my Conference would assemble in a short time I had but a few days to remain at home. I preached on the Sabbath for the pastor of the A. M. E. Church. He had been in the place only a brief while. I am glad to say he treated me as one brother should treat another, and, as I had been the pastor there before him, he concluded that the people would be glad to hear me preach. I told the people, in my sermon on Sabbath morning, that some of them were following after that old thing they called "Old Betty," and while the law of prohibition was in existence they were defying it by putting that accursed thing in the mouths of their friends, and it will surely tell on them some of these days; and it came to pass just as I told them. Some of them were put in jail about it. Not long after the sermon a letter came to me saying that some of the congregation did not like it because I told them they were selling liquor to their friends, and calling it "Old Betty," in order to deceive those who did not understand it. I answered that they would understand it some of these days, as it was bound to betray them, and the law would get hold of them for selling intoxicating liquors and calling it "Old Betty." Several weeks after that another letter was received, informing me that my prediction had come true, for some of these liquor sellers had been arrested and were then in jail.
I went to Griffin on my way to the Conference at Newnan. I got there safe and was carried to the house of a very nice lady. Everything was nice, and I felt as if the good Lord had provided for me. The lady and her daughter were very kind to me. Indeed I was as happy as I well could feel, passing one week with these good people. Another brother was directed to the same house. He came after I had gone to bed, but he informed the lady that he was acquainted with me, so after he had got in bed I inquired of him when and where we became acquainted with one another, and he informed me that it was in Augusta, and I also found out that he was one of the men who were on the committee that acted
against me in the church there; and, remembering how this committee had treated me, I threw it at him pretty heavy--I hit pretty hard. We did not fall out about it, but it was a good thing that we were thrown together that night, because I had a chance to tell him to his face that, in my opinion, he nor any of the others had treated me with the respect due a brother, especially those who profess to be ministers of Jesus Christ. After conversing a long time we fell asleep, and in the morning were good friends, and I pray will ever remain so.
The Conference convened on the day appointed, in the City of Newnan. The roll was called and I answered to my name; and, as I had nothing to do, I sat there and looked on those who had the business of the Conference to attend to. When, however, the Savannah District was called, and the question asked if there were any charges, the Elder handed in the charge against me. The Bishop took it, and, at the proper time, appointed a committee of nine to try the case; and, after he had called the names, he asked me if I objected to any of them. I had no objection to offer, as they were all strangers to me. The case was then turned over to them and the time appointed for the trial. I had the privilege of choosing my own council. I chose Rev. Brother C-- for one and Brother F-- for another. The case began, but it was so badly drawn up that the committee could not understand it. So I had to explain it to them, and then they were able somehow to get through with it. At the conclusion of my defence, they said to me that they had heard enough, good brother, we have heard enough already.
The Chairman said to the council, "You can speak." He got up and said he did not know whether they were trying Brother Anderson or the church at Augusta, but he tried to make a point on me, if he could, but he soon found it a hard thing to do; but, in order to help himself out a little, he alluded to something the Rev. W. J. Gaines had said about me to him, which was clearly out of order. He then took his seat. Brother C-- replied, and, when he closed, the Chairman called a vote in this way: "All who believe that the brother is guilty of the charges, hold up your hands." No one did so. "All who believe that he is not guilty, will hold up their hands." Every one held up his hand. Then the Chairman said: "I pronounce that Brother Anderson is not guilty of the charge made against him by Saint Mark's Church at Augusta, Georgia." This decision was read before the entire Conference. I felt as if a mountain had rolled off my shoulders, because I had been sorely pressed down without cause. I was removed from that church simply because I had tried to do my duty to the church and to God.
I received my appointment for this place, Columbus, Ga., and went back to Forsyth, spent a few days with my family, then took the train for Macon, arriving safely, and eight o'clock took the train for Columbus. I arrived safe, and was carried to the house of a brother by the name of Washington. He was considered
one of the stewards of the church. I was very shortly removed by another brother by the name of Wood, who was holding the offices of steward and trustee. He took me to his house and gave me supper; then brought me back, as there were to be services that night. It was understood that the new pastor would be there that day, as I had written them that I would. So the brother brought me back that night and carried me to Brother Washington's again until time for services, and then went away, as it was afterwards discovered, to get me a place to stop at. He went to a woman that professed to belong to the Baptist Church, and made a bargain to take me at her house, with the promise that the members would bring provisions for me to live on, and all that she had to do was to prepare it for me. Then at the church he gave it out that he had found a boarding place for me and that he wanted the members to carry provisions around there to Sister Walker. So after the services were over I was conducted to the house by the same brother. But after several days the lady began saying to me: "Your good Brother Wood promised to bring provisions here to feed you, but he has not done so, and neither is he going to do it, because we know him better than you do. I am going to charge you $2.50 a week for your board." "Well," said I to the good sister, "I will try and pay it myself; don't get mad about it. "Well, I don't like for any one to deceive me. I am a Baptist and he is a Methodist, and I don't like for him or any one else to take advantage of me in that way, being a poor woman with two daughters to support." "Well, my dear sister, don't say any more about it, I will pay you, and if you think because being a stranger I haven't got the money, I will let you see that I have plenty of it to pay you, and more besides." So going to my trunk and unlocking it, I showed her enough money to satisfy her. After this she held her peace as to my remaining there. But I did not like the place. There was only one room, and she and her two daughters, and myself, slept in that one room. I wrote to my wife about it, telling her of the surroundings, and asking her to get ready and come to me. She came.
I have no confidence in the flesh and the devil, so I wanted my wife between me and that, because I could not tell what the devil would do. He might tell a lie on me, and I, being a poor stranger far from home and among strangers, would thereby suffer. The old lady got the letter and came a tilting, much to my delight. I remained the week out with the landlady. Then I rented a room near by and moved into it, making myself satisfied. The brothers and sisters, however, never did bring the things promised by the brother, so it made the sister's word good in what she said in regard to not performing what he promised to do. Before I left that house the Presiding Elder came to hold his first Quarterly Conference, and, as I had but one bed, we slept together, and had a nice time of it. As it was his first visit to this place, we took a walk over the city. He held his
Quarterly Conference, and was much surprised at the membership. He said it was understood in the Conference that there were thirty members belonging to this church in Columbus, but, to his surprise, there were only about thirteen, and all of these could not be found. The next thing that surprised him was my taking up ninety-five cents for his traveling expenses, which assessment had never before been made for the Elder's expenses. After doing all the good he could he left us, with the understanding that he would do all in his power to assist me in this work, as he saw we stood in need of help. So I am battling along. I started the Sabbath School in the church as there was none at that time. I gave it out that I was going to do so, therefore the little children came together, and there were ten to commence with. This number increased to eighty-three. The number is not so large now as it was at first, but thanks be unto the Great Head of the Church, I am hopeful that the good Lord will help me to go forward in this noble work of gathering many into the fold of Christ, and may this world become the kingdom of our Lord and Master. Feeling in my heart that it was best for me to build a parsonage, as we already had the ground, I tried to get the trustees together that I might be better prepared in my mind to start with it, but in this I did not succeed. After trying several times, one of them said to me: "Go ahead, my brother, and have the house built, if you can get it done." I told him I had a friend in the city that would do anything for me that I might ask of him. So I went to Mr. Willingham, and inquired of him if he would build a parsonage for me and a fence around the lot. He said that he would, and give me time to pay for it at $15.00 a month, until he received his full pay, which was only $325.00. So I agreed to that, and told him that I wanted the house in thirty days, but he had it built in twenty days, and I moved into it the 25th of February, 1884, and here I am at the present time writing the third edition of my book, and devoutly thankful to the good Lord in having found some kind-hearted friends in this city, especially among the white citizes, who have bought my books, and given me money to the amount of $40.00. Not only that; one of them made me a present of a silver Communion set, at the cost of $20.00, and if I had said $30.00, it would have been the same with him; but I concluded it was best not be hard on him, when I saw he was willing to please me with something. This same gentleman bought one of my books for $1.00, then, after reading it, gave me $2.00 more to assist me in my work on the parsonage.
There was another gentleman, who, in the presence of two or three others, said to me, "If I were able I would willingly give you $1,000.00 to help you. I am in earnest," he said, "and I am an Irishman at that, but it makes no difference with me. I see that you are the right man, so here is fifty cents; take it as a testimonial of my good will towards you." "Thank you, sir."
I can say many good things for the City of Columbus, but as
I will, at the close of this book, bring in a good deal more about the city and its vicinity, I will not say any more now, as this is the 26th day of March, 1884.
Permit me to say that I had a birthday supper since I have been in this place, as the pastor of the M. E. Church. The supper was in the church for the benefit of the church I was building. I thought that it would encourage the members to come out, so that I might be enabled to collect more money to assist me in building, but, to my surprise, there were but few members out, yet, thanks be unto the good Lord, the supper was prepared and I enjoyed myself finely on my birthday, which was the 22d day of February, 1884. I am sixty-five years old at the present date, (1884,) and my wife is seventy-five years old, at the same date.
We have now been married forty-five years, and I have been a member of the Methodist Church for about the same length of time. My wife has been a member of the same church for over forty-seven years. I have been trying to preach the Gospel of our Lord for thirty-five years, at this date, 1884. Now I promised that I would bring out a book before the public bearing the name of "Brother in White." I thought at first that I would name the book "The Colored and White of Georgia," but that would appear as if I were selfish in the name, therefore my mind is led to the name of "Brother in White." Now it may become a question whether I should call a book by that name when our race of people are all colored. Well, I will try to explain it to the best of my ability. There is a question in the Book of Revelations like this: And who are those that are robed in white? John answered and read their names, and it was said unto him, "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; therefore are they before the throne." Now permit me to say, that if any people in the world have passed through great tribulation, it is the colored people of the South, but it might be said that John had no reference to the South, yet when the picture or photograph was presented to him, it might have been in that form, and then we all might have been included in that question, as well shall, some of these days, appear before the Lamb washed in his blood; but this question not only referred to the colored, but to all people who have come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Now I have traveled almost all over Georgia, and have tried to take into consideration, as near as I possibly could, the actual condition of both races--the white and the colored. I find some of them on both sides as friendly as they can be; then I find some on both sides who are very unkind. I find many who are very poor on both sides; then again some are very rich on both sides. I find some of them very white on both sides, but the most on the Anglo-Saxon side, but the colored are coming out after a little
in that robe, if they will be true to themselves and to their God. The only thing that now keeps them behind is, that they are not true to their race and to the laws of God; but there is guilt on both sides. I find, too, that honesty is lacking on both sides. They will each take that which does not belong to them. They all are wanting in sobriety. One side will take advantage of the other side in spite of all the preaching they hear. They will not pay their honest debts, or many on both sides will not, or, at least, do not. They will not all tell the truth at all times, yet there are some who will tell it or die trying. They will not marry, some of them, on both sides, yet there are some who will, or die in trying to do so. They will not support the Gospel--some of them on both sides, yet there are some who will do that in spite of all the devil can do against them. There are some of them that will not serve the Lord, on both sides. Both white and colored are guilty of that, and they will say so if they will confess the truth. They do not love education as they should, on both sides, but I must confess that the whites have the highest regard for it, yet our people are looking into this matter more and more every day. They are finding out that education is power, and they must have it. The whites have had the advantage of the colored in that direction, but the Almighty and the good Government have so arranged it that the colored race have a chance to educate themselves if they will only do so.
Now, we are mixed up together here, and if it is the will of God for it to be so, we'll let his will be done, so that we try to live in peace together.
Now there is another question under consideration--that is, shall we, as a race, approve of amalgamation? Well, so far as I am concerned, I do not. While some may differ from me, yet I believe that we shall be happier together by not being intermingled with a white woman, and the white man let the colored woman alone also. I see that the old gander sticks to the old goose, and is very true to her, and we should do likewise. I see that the pigeons are coupled off together, and if the fowls of the earth will bear these things, we should be satisfied with our own color. Every one must know that it causes much unpleasantness where it is otherwise carried out. As for my part, I do not think a poor colored man is wise to marry a poor white woman. If he never was a slave he will become one after that. I have seen some of the fruits of that since emancipation. That was the very cause why Esau, the Priest of the Lord, would not let the old men who came back from Babylon go into the Temple of the Lord, because they had been married to the Babylonite women, and had brought their amalgamated children with them. Therefore they were set aside and sent to Samaria, hence they were called Samaritans, so the Jews had nothing to do with them. As we have all these things before us, let us keep them in mind and avoid as much as possible the practice of amalgamation.
The next thing to be considered is, are we rich or poor? Some
of us are very well off, and some are very poor, but I do not think the Lord despises us at all for that, if we will be honest in our poverty. Some of the white people are very rich, yet I do not think the Lord esteems them any more for that; but in the living God, who giveth liberty to all men, we might say this:
Together let us sweetly live, together let us die,
And each a starry crown receive, and reign above the sky.
Now, the Apostle says unto us, "Set your affection on things above, and not on things of the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." Now it is said by the Apostle Paul that of one blood God made all men of the earth. I am persuaded that all that will be saved will be of one blood, because they are to be saved by the blood of Christ, and they will be of one blood sure enough, because it will be by the blood of Christ alone that we are saved. Therefore we will be of one blood, and that is the blood of the Son of God, and that will make us of one blood, and God will be the author of that. Then, it can be said of a truth, God has made all men of one blood, but at the present time we are badly mixed. There are so many kinds of blood among men on this earth that it is a hard thing for us to look into and understand it as we should, but we shall understand it some of these days, and that will be in one hundred and sixteen years, or in the twentieth century. Then Christ will come again into this world. Then we shall all be dressed in white robes--then we shall all be of one blood. You can read my second book on this subject, and can find out there what I have already said about it.
Great is the mystery of Godliness. God is Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. I am satisfied that we, as the people of God, shall be like Him, for we shall see Him for ourselves, and shall ever be with Him and be His people. This very thought animates my spirit and almost causes me to shout within myself. I can at all times say, Bless the Lord; let His praise continue in my mouth, because He has done wonderful things. He has brought us out of bondage, and put new songs in our mouths that we may praise Him all the days of our lives, and, after death, praise Him in heaven throughout eternity. The Gospel of our Lord and Saviour has given us this privilege on earth that we can rejoice at all times with an assurance that when we cease to rejoice on earth, we will rejoice in heaven where parting is no more, and where friends shall meet that have not seen each other for thousands of years. That will be a day of rejoicing when so many shall meet to part no more. We shall walk on the golden streets all dressed in white robes, and, then can it truly be said, These are they that came out of great tribulation, and had white robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Now permit me to say that it is the privilege of all men to be made white and clean if they so wish, because all things are
ready and all are invited to come without money and without price. The invitation is, come; all the world combineth thou; all things in Christ are ready; ye need not one be left behind, for Christ has bidden all mankind. So there is no reason why any and all cannot be made white and clean and wear a robe of righteousness, and dwell in His presence forever, where no sin is known, and where sorrow is not felt.
Then let me say to all who may read this book of mine, think of these things and let them have an abiding place in your heart, that when you come to depart this life you will have the witness of the Spirit of God to bear witness with your spirit that you are going to rest in heaven, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
As this is the year of our Lord 1885, and the 22d day of February, and as I claim it as my birthday, I have seated myself this Sabbath morning to complete the history of my life. I was in Columbus, Georgia, on my last birthday, but I am in Zebulon, Georgia, at the present date. I am sent here from the Conference that convened in LaGrange, Georgia, under Bishop Walden, who appointed me to this charge. I found three churches on this work, bearing the names of Fuller Chapel, Philadelphia and Powder Creek. I have tried to preach the word of the Lord at all three of them since I have been here. The snow and ice have hindered me much, but they are all in the hands of the good Lord, and so am I, but my business is to go forward in the discharge of my duty.
I left Columbus in December, 1884. I arrived safe in Zebulon and served the church on the second Sunday in the same month. I am at the house that they rented as a parsonage for myself and family. I remained all of 1885 in Zebulon, Pike county, Georgia. I labored hard with the churches and people, and did all I could in trying to get sinners to turn from their ways and be saved from their sins. During the year I did, by the help of the good Lord, get fifty-three to join the church, several of them being happily converted, and were baptized. I had to walk a great deal of my time while I was the pastor in Pike county, in order to promptly fill my appointments, but, thanks be unto my God, I did it. I had my bitters and my sweets--first one, and then the other. Sometimes I laughed and sometimes I cried; sometimes I was happy and sometimes I was otherwise; sometimes I would pray aloud and sometimes in secret; sometimes I would be at the graveyard, and sometimes at the church preaching funerals; sometimes I would be at the creek, baptizing some one, and sometimes in the church doing the same thing; sometimes I would be in the garden working hard with my hoe, in order to raise some vegetables, and sometimes in the potato patch hoeing the potatoes, in order to have something with which to feed the pig; sometimes I would be at one house or another, reading the word of God and having prayer; and so it can be truly said the year 1885 was one of ups and downs
with me. When I had to leave for Conference, which was to convene in Savannah, Georgia, December 3d, I had but fifty cents to start with, and I walked from Zebulon to Philadelphia, a distance of five miles, and preached that night to a few members. They gave me $1.00, and I bid them good-bye. The next morning I was taken to Barnesville, on my way to Forsyth, and the next day boarded the train for Savannah. I arrived safely, and, when Conference opened the next morning, I was seated in that Body. This was on Saturday, and on Sunday morning I attended the love-feast and availed myself of the high privilege of speaking on that occasion. On Monday, after hearing where I was sent as the pastor, I boarded the Central train for Macon, on my way to Eastman; but hearing that there was a church at Dubois, that would come under my charge, I stopped there, and spent the second Sunday in December, 1885, among the members, and am glad to say was treated with due respect. I tried to hold forth the word of God to them. Then, on Monday, myself and a kind brother by the name of Allen, came down together to Eastman, and, as there was no church of ours in the place, we went to the court house to see the Ordinary about getting it for preaching on the next Sabbath day. Our request was granted. So on the third Sunday in December, 1885, I and good Brother A. B. Allen held forth there. At the close of the services I set about finding the scattered members of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Eastman, and a few of them came forward and gave in their names. At night, services were again held there; but as we could no longer occupy the court house, we had to look out for another place to preach at. One of the men who gave in his name as a member of the church, took it upon himself to find a place, and he succeeded. He went to a gentleman that lived on a place called Divinity Hill, and there obtained the upper story of his house as a place of worship until we could do better. I wrote a petition to the white citizens, asking them to aid me in getting a piece of land on which I could build a church, and the second man I called on gave the land, and the deed for it, in full, and this deed was recorded at the court house. Then friend after friend signed my paper, giving me from $5.00 to $15.00 to aid in building the church at Eastman.; and, by the help of God and many kind friends, I expect to build it before a great while. I intend holding forth wherever I can get a place to preach at until the church is completed. I am aware that it will take perseverance and steady aiming to accomplish our purpose, but we feel that the good Lord will help us, and with such assistance success is certain.
I bow on my knees this morning to return sincere thanks to the good Lord for his tender mercies and long forbearance with me, for these many years, in sparing my life, and enabling me to behold the light of this day, for this is Monday, February 22d, 1886--my birthday--being to-day sixty seven years old. I was born on the 22d day of February, 1819. Truly the good Lord
has brought me safe thus far, and I am in hopes he will continue to guide me the balance of my days.
I am now in Eastman, Dodge county, Georgia, as the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church at this place. I was sent here by Bishop William F. Walden, from the Conference at Savannah, December 3d, 1885. I am at the present time trying to erect a church for my members and for those who may feel disposed to come and unite with us in trying to build up the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and by his divine assistance we will do all we can in trying to induce and persuade sinners to turn from their wicked ways and be saved. I am laboring hard with and for them every Sabbath day, at the present date.
I have two appointments this year to look after. These two keep me pretty steady at work; and I am satisfied to do all I can, by the help of the good Lord. I am under a Presiding Elder by the name of John Walls. He held his Quarterly Conference on the 20th day of this month, and we got along finely. The good Lord was with us on the 21st, which was the Sabbath. We had a very fine meeting.
I served last year under an Elder named R. T. Adams, so that those who may read this book will see that it has been the providence of God to keep me moving around in this world very nearly all the time.
I was in Zebulon, Georgia, on my last birthday, but I am in Eastman on this one; but where I shall be on my next one, the Lord only knows, yet I must go on, and travel on, and trust in the Lord until He says, it is enough--lie down and take thy rest, weary soul, until I call for thee, and I am perfectly willing to do that, because I am well aware that He will do what is just and right. It is a good thing to put our trust in Him, whether it goes well with us or not; therefore let us always put our trust in Him. He has been my shield and buckler, and I can safely say He has never disappointed me up to this time, and it has been forty-six years since I was first instructed to put my trust in Him. He has protected me ever since I was a little boy. I could tell things the good Lord did for me when I was small that a great many would hardly believe; but I am satisfied it was the Lord's doings, so I can say to all, trust in the Lord.
As I will have so many things to say before I conclude this my third edition, I pause now at this point and pass on to something else.
I stated in the second edition of this book that the millenium would be in one hundred and eighteen years from 1882. It is now 1886. The millenium will take place in one hundred and fourteen years from this date. That will be in the twentieth century. This is my belief, and my reasons are stated in full in the second edition of my book; and if I live fourteen years longer, it will still be one hundred years to the end of that time. If, however, I should depart before that time, others can keep up the calculation. Of course I cannot tell the day nor the hour, for
God alone knows that, but we are commanded to watch, and be ye also ready, because, says the Saviour, ye know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh. We are also commanded to watch the times and the signs; but, above all, we should have our minds steadily fixed upon the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is the Head of all things both in heaven and on earth. I am of the opinion that, if we are ready on that day, we shall be acceptable in His sight, and when He shall sit in judgment on our souls we will hear him say unto us: "Well done, good and faithful servants, thou hast been faithful over a few things, now I will make thee rulers over many things, enter into the joys of thy Lord." Thus the faithful shall be made rulers over many things. I want all who read this to think of it, and treasure it in their hearts, because it is good to hold ourselves in readiness at all times. It is good for the conscience--it makes it healthy. A clear conscience is the best thing an individual can carry in his breast. I remember when I was a boy, if I did anything contrary to the word of God, I felt a keen conviction that made me unhappy. I thought that the good Lord understood all about it. I remember that I was told one time not to go hunting at night, and yet sometimes I would take the dogs and steal away and go, but now and then I would be betrayed in one way or another. On one hunting expedition I caught an animal known as a polecat, and that betrayed me, because its scent got on the dogs. Then, too, old mistress would sometimes find it out; but even before any one discovered it my conscience would condemn me, because it was against her orders for me to hunt at night. I mention this to show that our conscience should be our guide, and it is well for us to be governed by it. I have tried it for over fifty years, and every time I have disregarded it, and said or done something that was displeasing in the sight of God, my conscience has condemned me. Do what is right if you would be happy. This is my experience, and I cheerfully give it as my advice to all who may read this article. It requires us to be very truthful to our God, and to our fellow man to have a clear conscience. Lord grant that we may have one and keep it all the days of our lives, so that when we depart this life it will be well with us in time and eternity. This is my sincere prayer to the Great Head of all things both in heaven and on earth. Now let us pass on to speak of other things. Myself and my old lady are still alive. She is at the present date--March 1st, 1886--seventy-seven years of age, and is sitting down near by me mending and doing her work without spectacles. We have been married, at this date, March 1st, 1886, forty-seven years, and I can truly say the Lord has brought us thus far, and can also say--
Through many dangers, toil and pain
I have already come;
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures:
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease.
I shall possess within the veil
A life of joy and peace.
Now, I am willing to fight on until the Lord shall say unto both of us, "Come up higher." Then we shall leave this world of sorrow and bid adieu to all below the skies. Those that joined us in matrimony have already gone to the world above, and we are still here in this world of sin and woe; but we are traveling onward and upward, trusting that after awhile the time will come for us to leave, so permit me to say that if I never again write on this subject let these words suffice for the present in this part of my history. I am truly thankful to the good Lord for prolonging my life until the present date. As it is late in the afternoon I must close for this time, though I am not through with my book as yet.
I am still writing, as new ideas come into my mind; and, as I am still in Eastman, Georgia, permit me to relate a story about a man who is well known in this place.
This man keeps a livery stable and a market where he sells beef, and being kind-hearted and friendly towards me, I would sometimes buy from him. He wanted to sell my wife a cow, one day. So one morning I went to the market to buy some beef from him. "Good morning," said I to him, "have you any beef on hand this morning?" "No, I have not got any this morning." And, as men always speak what is on their mind, I said "How is your family?" Before he could answer my question he said, "My cow has had a calf." I could not keep from laughing heartily at this, because I did not ask after the cow at all, but the health of his family; but as he wanted to sell my wife a cow it was on his mind, and he let that come out of his mouth first, for, as our Saviour says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. This is true. Ever since then, whenever this gentleman and myself meet we have a good laugh over the matter--that I asked about the health of his family and he answered me by saying his cow had a calf.
I can truly say that during my residence in Eastman the white people have treated me with a great deal of respect up to the present time. They are doing all they can to aid me in building the church in this place, and they shall have full credit for it before I get through with my book--the one I am now writing.
Permit me to call your attention to a certain thing that took place in the City of Macon in the days of slavery, say in 1838. I was living in Macon at that time, and the matter alluded to was this: The colored people in those days had no church in which to worship God, so the white people of the Methodist Episcopal
Church allowed the colored people to meet with them, they occupying the upstairs or gallery portion of the church. One church was on Mulberry Street; but it was not long before the colored people became so noisy, by their shouting, that the white members began to complain, and had them moved, but there was a man teaching school in what they called the "Academy," located in another part of the city, who allowed the colored people to meet there every Sabbath afternoon, and it was in this Academy where I was married shortly afterwards. The two old brothers that I have spoken of in this book, were the two first that called upon the congregation for money to aid in building a church, and the buying a piece of land to build it on. I had just been married, and my wife was a member of that church, therefore I felt it to be my duty to assist in buying the land and building the house of worship. We succeeded in buying the land, and the church was built in 1839. That same year I was convicted and joined the church under that same minister. We bought the lumber from Mr. Ridley, who had pulled down his carriage house and built a brick one, and sold us the old lumber, and so it did not take very long to build our house.
We remained in this church from 1839 to 1844 or 1845. At this time the members began to see very plainly that the house was too small to accommodate the congregation. At that time there was no division in the Methodist Church. The division took place later in 1844 or 1845, the white members organizing themselves into the Methodist Episcpal Church, South, and I, too, was turned over with them. When it was found that our church was too small, we agreed to build a large one. The white members set about building a new church, also, and concluded to sell their church to the colored people. One of the trustees came to the colored members to make a bargain with them. The man's name was Rylander. He had a blacksmith shop, and, as I was running drays at that time, I gave him the job of working on them. So one night he came to our meeting and asked us if we would like to buy the white church. Being very familiar with him, I told him that it was a shame for the white people to offer to sell us the church after the colored people had assisted very generously in building the gallery; and I further told him that the white Methodists ought to give us that church. He then said that he was only sent to see what we were willing to give for it. I will inform them what you all say about. He then went away.
On the next Monday night he came again, and offered to give us the church if we would have it moved to where the old church stood. I at once told the brothers to accept the proposition, and it was agreed to move the church. He then bid us good night. It so happened that they could not find a suitable site on which to build their church. They sent the same man with another brother to consult with our Board again. These messengers said that as they could find no suitable place on which to build their
house they would give us $300.00 for the building back again, and would help us in building, and, as they would have to lay in the lumber for their church, they would hall ours at the same time. I told the brethren to accept that, and so the lumber was hauled and the church built.
When it was finished and ready for dedication we were in debt to the trustees of the white church $150.00, but we paid that in a short time, and had the church dedicated by Rev. Samuel Anthony. In closing his sermon the preacher said you all have done well in building this church and paying for it, for you have paid the last cent on it; and I said, "Amen. Well done." It was the second house of worship built in the days of slavery.
I remained in that church until 1845, when, in the latter part of December of that year, the A. M. E. Church sent a man by the name of William Gaines to gather in all he could into that church. He succeeded in getting nearly all the colored people to unite with the A. M. E Church, and for that reason the white members felt that they had a claim on the colored church. This caused a great deal of unpleasantness between the white and colored members, and, as a result, the colored church was burned down, some time in 1868.
When the A. M. E. Annual Conference adjourned in Columbus, Ga., I came home on Friday, and came to the city on Sunday, and then saw the burning pieces of timber that I had labored so hard to pay for; they were all that was left of the church that w [printing error] had worshiped in. This was in the days of slavery. But, thanks be unto my God, I have helped to build five others since then, and am at the present time endeavoring to build another in the good town of Eastman.
Now, permit me to tell some of my difficulties while I was a member of those two churches in the days of slavery. The first difficulty was in 1840, in this way: I owned drays in those days, and drove one myself. One day I was hauling castings for a white gentleman, and myself and one or two others were together over the river in East Macon. I was coming across the bridge, while another man named Osten was crossing in the opposite direction, and we were about to pass one another near the entrance to the bridge. He was walking and driving his dray, when he suddenly stooped down and picked up a purse that was on the ground just in front of him. He stopped to open it, and began pulling out the money that was in it. A white boy asked him, "What is that. Osten?" He replied, "Nothing." He then handed me the purse, as we were working together that day. So when we got through with work for the day we drove to the pump to water our horses, and while there he asked me what was in the purse, and I asked him to guess what there was in it, and he said he supposed there was $10.00. Then I inquired if there were $10.00 in the purse would he be willing to divide it between us. He said he was willing to do that. Then I said let us give Brother Bump fifty cents apiece, as he has been our striker to-day, and
he agreed to that also. Then I told him that I believed that the money belonged to the person that lost it, and I did not feel disposed to change it up. But I will do this, said I. Let me give you $10.00 of my money, and I will keep the $20.00 bill, which was the amount in the purse. I also said to him, that if the owner should publish it, that I would like for him to be willing to give up the $10.00, and I would do the same, and let the loser get his money. My partner would not agree to that. So I gave him $10.00 of my money and kept the $20.00 bill. I heard no outcry about any individual losing any money for over five or six months. Then, as I had my wages to pay up, I paid in that $20.00 bill and the balance in my own money. A notice was posted up on the Floyd House, but the rain washed it down, so it was not generally seen. The loser was Mr. Redding, who lived in Vineville, near Macon. He had taken a $20.00 bill with him to pay for a mule he had bought over the river, and had dropped it while going through the bridge. On finding it gone he returned home and charged the colored people with having taken it out of his pocket.
Time passed on until about the fall of the year, when I had my dray's fixed up for the winter's business. One day, about this time, myself and a good old brother named Jerry Mand, a member of the same church I belonged to, and a class leader, also, as I was, were sitting together at the warehouse. It was not a busy afternoon, and we sat there talking one with the other about things generally. Our drays were there close to us. He turned to me and said: "Why, you have had your dray fixed up nicely." "Yes," I told him, "the money that Osten and myself found had assisted me very much." "What," said he, did you and Osten find some money?" "Yes," said I, "How much did you find?" he asked of me. "Twenty dollars," I said. "How long ago was that?" "Some five or six months ago," said I. "And did he divide with you? I suppose he did." "Yes, he divided with me." I did not think any more about the matter; but the brother went to Osten and asked him about it. Osten told him the thing was true. "But," said he to Osten, "you cannot read and he can; how did you know but what it was a $100.00 bill instead of a $20.00 bill. Let me tell you what to do, and I will back you up in it. You can bring a charge against him before the church, and we will help you out with it. Say that he stole the money from you, and we will have him tried for stealing." Then the good brother went to another one and told him about it--all of them being class leaders or local preachers, and they had the matter well fixed up among themselves. They sent two of my best friends to notify me to appear before the leader's board to answer the charge they had against me, notwithstanding I was a leader myself at that time.
In due time I appeared before the church. The pastor said, "There is a charge against you, Robert Anderson." "Is that so?" said I to the pastor. "Yes," said he, "I am informed that
way." "Well," said I, "who is my accuser. I would like for him to get up and let me know what I have done." "Oh, yes," said Brother Abram, "Brother Jerry, you told me about it. I do not know anything about it of my own knowledge, more than what you told me." "Well," said Brother Jerry, "I heard that Osten Fluker found some money and gave it to Brother Anderson to keep for him, and that the brother had stolen it. That is all I know about it, and I simply heard that much." "Well," said the paster, you had better let Brother Anderson get up and explain the matter; that would be the best way." So I got up and told them that Brother Osten and myself met at the bridge--he going in and I coming out of it. Just as we got close to one another, Osten picked up a purse, and, as he did so, a white boy asked him what he had picked up, and Osten said, "Nothing." He handed me the purse just as I passed by him. I took it, and put it in my pocket. In the afternoon, while we were at the pump watering our horses, he asked me what the purse had in it. I told him to guess, and he guessed $10.00. I asked him if he was willing to divide with me if there were $10.00 in it. He said he was. I then told him there was a $20.00 bill in the purse instead of $10.00. I further said that I did not think it right for us to change that money, because I believed it was the loser's money and not ours, and that I would give him $10.00 of my money, and, if there was any outcry about it, for him to bring back my $10.00 and we would give up the money. But he did not agree to that. But I gave him my $10.00, and, as I did not hear any one inquiring abut it, I paid it in for wages.
When I got through speaking they had that wicked man at the window listening to me. He pulled the window open and said it was a lie; I had not told the truth. "Can I come in," said he. "Yes, go around to the door and we will let you in." So he was permitted to give his statement, and, I must say, if the Lord of Glory had come in and spoke, his words would not have been believed any more than that man's that night. Then the pastor said, "This now becomes a case, and therefore I must appoint a committee to try it." So he did. A committee was appointed on both sides, and on Sunday morning at nine o'clock I was to be tried. I appeared, and found that they had bought over all my committee of five but one. But, thanks be to my God, He never has yet deserted me nor any one else that puts their trust in Him. So the pastor of the white church had the case in hand, and he was a well tried man himself--it was Rev. Samuel Anthony. So after prayer, he said to Osten: "You are the accuser this morning." Permit me to say it was Sunday morning that I was tried. So Osten had to explain the matter this time, and when he got through, the pastor said it was now my time to speak. When I got up I inquired of the pastor if I could ask Osten a question through him, and was told I could do so. I then asked Osten if he did not say on Monday night that he did not have any confidence in me at all. "Did you not say
that?" "Yes, I said it," said he. "Well, then, if you did not have any confidence in me, why did you hand me the purse when that white boy asked you what it was, and you told him it was 'nothing?' I did not ask you for it; now why did you hand it to me?" "Well, I thought you would be honest enough to keep it and give it back to me again." "Very good," I said to him, "but you said you always believed me to be a dishonest man; again, when we were at the pump, in the afternoon, you asked me what was in the purse, and I told you to guess. Now what did you guess was in the purse?" "I guessed there were $10.00 in it." "Very good; if I was so dishonest as you say, could I not have changed $10.00 and given you $5.00, and you not have known the difference. It was all right. But instead of that I told you it was $20.00, and that I did not consider it our money, though I would give you $10.00 of my own money, and, if the owner should at any time call for it, for you to bring your $10.00 back and we would give it up. But you would not promise me to do that. Now, I would like for you to show me where the dishonesty is--in you or me." So I told the committee just how it was, and also the kind of purse the money was in.
All this was reported by the pastor to Mr. Redding, as they both lived in Vineville. Mr. Redding claimed the purse and told how he came to lose it at the bridge, So I went to him and paid him half of the money--$10.00. Then he had a chance to ask pardon of the colored people, if he wished to do so, for charging them with taking his money. And so my word came to pass.
This was the first trial that I ever had before the church. It was in 1849; and in that trial I was called to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; and no one knew my feelings but the God above. I trembled with fear, because the brother's word was against me at that time, because they did not have a chance to turn me out of the church to please that wicked man, even after they had put him up to the trick. Then they all got whipped at their own game. As I was a leader, the Rev. Samuel Anthony thought it best for me to resign my leadership and give up my class, and I did so. I went from the trial room to the church and told my class that I was going to give them up as their leader, because it appeared that there were so many against me in those days. Some thought that I was proud, and some thought that I ought not to wear side whiskers, and some thought that because I could read a little I thought myself better than anybody else. Therefore I had my sweet pills and my bitter ones. Right then, when I thought that I might have some good times hereafter, the good Lord called unto me and put a heavier burden upon me--to go and call sinners from going downward to that world of darkness, and bring them to light and knowledge. I had to go right before these very men and ask them the privilege of doing so, and you might judge whether they were willing or not.
I told you in my second book what they did at that time. I
will not rehearse the whole matter at present in this one, but will state that they objected to me having a license, so the minister went and told it to the pastor of the white church, and he happened to be the same brother that sat as chairman of the case when I was tried, to please that wicked man, and, knowing the strong prejedice against me, he advised that I be licensed anyhow, whether the leaders were willing or not. He understood the whole matter. It was nothing but prejudice. So I have had my bitters and sweets ever since then to the present time. That was in 1849, and the present year is 1886. It was in the days of slavery, and I am enjoying the blessing that is called freedom, but I am not at liberty as yet, because I am the Lord's servant, and I must obey him at all times, whether hot or cold, so I am at it yet. Then those men said I should not preach, but the Lord said unto me, "Go and speak as I command you; and lo! I am with you." I am still trying to do what my Master commanded me to do. I have tried Him for forty-seven years, and He has never yet disappointed me, and I am willing to trust Him onward; yes, I might say until death, and then I am willing to put my soul into His hands, for he is my all in all. I recommend the kindness of God to any one who wishes to find Him out, for He must be sought after if we want to find Him.
I thought that, as I was still soliciting aid for the church at Eastman, I would go down to Chauncey, a little village about ten miles below Eastman, Ga., and I did so on the second day of April. I arrived safely, and found my way to the pastor's house. He bade me welcome, and treated me with a great deal of kindness. At first I did not inform him what my busines there was, but told him of it afterwards. He invited me to preach for him on Saturday night. I accepted the invitation and preached to his congregation. He made the appointment for me to preach at eleven o'clock on Sunday morning, and also at eight o'clock Sunday night, and I filled both of the appointments. On Saturday morning I tried to canvass the village all by myself, to see whether I could get the white citizens to assist me in building my church. The first one that I approached was very willing to help me, and did so by giving me some money, and bidding me God-speed. I met with a man after awhile that called himself a Hardshell Baptist. He invited me to a meeting of that kind which was to convene at twelve o'clock. I promised to be there, and, at the hour named, with the pastor I attended the meeting. Soon afterwards we saw four men go up on the stand, and two of them preached the word of God, so they said, but they failed to let the people know that they were Hardshell Baptists, and, I must say that they did not depart from their doctrine, nor from their spitting plan, for they spit almost at every other word they spoke. They labored hard to set forth the doctrine of predestition and election. The first man said that he had no use for free agency; now, as for my part, I have no use for the followers of any such doctrine. The next man said that he could not get
along without the Holy Ghost, which is the divine agency of man, and I thought he was pretty near right on that line. So they preached on until nearly two o'clock, when myself and the A. M. E. preacher left; but there were two more yet to preach. I thought this looked more like slavery days than anything I had seen for some time. I returned with the pastor to his house.
Then I told him that I was there for the purpose of soliciting aid from the white citizens to help me build a church, and, also, for selling a book containing a history of my life, and that I wanted him to aid me in doing so. He bought one of them himself. I found the whites were willing to assist me, and they did so. I sold more of my books to the colored people than I did to the white, but it was the first time that I ever did such a thing in a small village. I labored hard all that Sunday with them, and at night also, but the church did not give me a cent. I told the members that I wanted them to give me $5.00, at night, and if they would do that I would preach a sermon on the millennium story of Christ. I did do so and the pastor got the $5.00, but he took good care to put the money into his own pocket, and never gave me a cent, although he got some of his brothers and sisters to take good care of me.
I rested with my good brother David Hinds and lady. This good brother joined under me in Hawkinsville, Georgia, when but a boy, and I had not seen him for many years, but the providence of God has brought us together once more in life, and he was truly glad to see me again alive and well. His mother and sister came to see me, and each one bought a book, and of the glad parties to see a minister that had been their pastor, they were the gladdest. The pastor, Rev. L. S. Batie, accompanied me to the depot and on the cars, then bade me good-bye with God's blessing.
I returned home safely to my family and found them all well as usual. It is surprising when we look at the kind providence of the Almighty God; it is past finding out. I am led to wonder and surprise when I am brought to consider how good the Lord is to them that fear His name. I can but think of it when I think of those days that are past and gone over my head, and the many friends that I have laid in the bosom of cold Mother Earth, and yet I am still spared to pass along in the world, it makes me think that the Lord is indeed good. This we can all say, because it is true.
I tried the best I knew how to build a church at Eastman, Georgia, in 1886, but I failed in the attempt. I built a tabernacle in place of it; and, after a hard year's struggle, I was sent from that place to Milledgeville, Georgia. I labored for another church at Dubois, Georgia, with a membership of thirty-five. I kept all my appointments during the year, and was not sick a day. But at the close of the year my dear wife fell asleep in the arms of death, on the last day of September, 1886, at the age of seventy-seven years and eight months, after we had been together
for forty-seven years and eight months. Here is a memoir. It is inserted in this book of mine that she may be remembered after my death, as she was my first wife and a loving one, and a true Christian lady. I am in hopes that all who may read this little book may remember it as long as they live on this earth. Her funeral was preached in the city of Macon, Georgia, by the pastor of the A. M. E. Church, E. P. Holmes, on the first Sunday in October, 1886. Good-bye, dear wife, until we shall meet again in that good world above, where parting will be no more, then we shall spend eternity in the presence of our God, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest. Amen.
"Sacred to the memory of MARIAH ANDERSON, wife of Rev. Robert Anderson, who departed this life September 30th, 1886, at four o'clock P. M., in Eastman, Georgia, aged seventy-seven years and eight months.
"She had nothing to say with reference to herself during the eight days of her sickness, only resting peacefully and quietly.
"The deceased was born in Virginia, March 2d, 1809; was brought to Macon, Georgia, in 1837, and was owned by Mrs. Sarah A. Usher. She was converted and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1838, under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Robinson. She remained in that church until the year 1845. After the separation, she turned over to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, and remained therein until 1866. Then she joined the A. M. E. Church, under the ministration of H. M. Turner. She remained in that church until 1882. Then, for satisfaction to her dear husband, she withdrew and joined the M. E. Church again, in 1882, in Atlanta, Ga., at Lloyd Street Church.
"She was joined in matrimony to Rev. R. Anderson on the first Sabbath in March, 1839, and remained a true, loving and devoted wife to the day of her death; and it can be said in truth that of all women she loved the name of God--always ready to help and assist the ministers of God with a willing and cheerful heart. She loved the ministry of God; and all the Bishops who knew her, respected her highly. She was among those of whom it can be said, 'Blessed are the peace makers.' She was loved and esteemed by all the sisters of the churches it was the lot of her husband to serve. She was kind to the sick, and always sent them nourishments when she was able. She was kind to little children who had no mother or father; she would kindly take and nurse them day and night. She has raised ten or fifteen orphan children, who will rise up and say, 'Blessed be mamma for the good she has done for us.'
"But now she is gone and left them all to mourn and grieve for her. She left not only grandchildren but great-great-grand-children, as also her husband, the Rev. Robert Anderson, after living with him forty-seven years and eight months. She bids us all good-bye, and leaves us with a smile.
"Her remains will be interred by the side of her son, on the premises of Rev. Robert Anderson, two miles from the City of Macon.
"Good-bye to the churches, members and ministers, until we meet again.
"This is a true statement in regard to her.
"Why do we mourn departing friends, and shake at death's alarms?
'Tis but the voice that Jesus sends, to call us to his arms.
Why should we tremble to convey the sister to the tomb--
There once the flesh of Jesus lay, and left a long perfume?
The graves of all his saints he blessed, and softened every bed:
Where should the dying members rest, but with their dying Head?
Thence he arose and ascending high, and showed our feet the way;
Up to the Lord our souls shall fly at that great rising day.
Then let the last loud trumpet sound, and bid our kindred rise;
Awake! ye nations under ground; ye saints, ascend the skies.
"Lord Jesus, save us, for we are thine; thou bought us with thy precious blood. Amen.
ONE WHO KNEW HER."
This is the year of our Lord 1887, and the 22d of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I have seated myself this morning to write the proceedings of my life since my last birthday.
From 1886 to 1887 I was in Eastman, Georgia, but I am in Forsyth, Georgia, this morning. The providence of God has brought me here. I lost my dear companion last year while I was at work in the cause of my Master and the church at East-man. At the close of the year, on the 30th day of September, she bade myself and all good-bye, at the age of seventy-seven years and eight months. We had lived together, man and wife, for over forty-seven years; but death has separated us and left me behind to battle with the world. I am now here seeking one to assist me as she assisted me in the cause of my Lord and Master.
I was sent this year to Milledgeville, from the Conference that met in Griffin, December 3d, 1886, as the pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church. There was, however, no church there, and only two members. Hence, it became my duty to do something in order that I might obtain a living, as the Conference gave me but $25.00, dividing even that sum into four parts each of $6.25. So I had to sell my books to get a little money to buy provisions, but, as the good Lord would have it, I found a friend that took me into his house and told me to be satisfied as one of the family, and by that, thanks be unto my God, I am here trying to do all the good I can. I am preaching in the school house at the present time, but for how long, I am unable to say, as the board of trustees are not willing, all of them, for me to preach there. They had a bell on the house, and I thought it was put there for the purpose of being rung, and I used it, but objection was made to my ringing it on Sunday, therefore I had to let it alone. For this reason the people do not know whether I have services there or not. But I am still at work by the help of God.
I am now at this date (February 22d, 1887,) sixty-eight years
of age, and quite healthy and active, thanks be unto the good Lord for it; and, on this, my birthday, I have been united in marriage to a young lady by the name of Miss Lottie Stumph. She is now twenty-three years of age.
When I married the first time, it was to a lady older than I was, so this time I have a lady that is much younger than I am. The first one was of a dark complexion; the second one is of a bright complexion. It is the providence of God that I am placed in the world in this way. The first one could not write, the other is a good school teacher, and a helper to me in my reading or writing; so that, should I live a long time, and cannot see to read or write, she can help me in that direction. So, as I have said, it is the providence of God that I am in this condition, and I am satisfied with it because it is the will of the Almighty, and I am willing that His will be done by me on earth as He will have it. My first wife was a widow, but my last wife had never married, and hence I am her first husband. This is written five days after my marriage.
We are now in Milledgeville, and at the house of Mrs. Silvey Humphries, a colored lady, who has taken myself and wife as a part of her family. She is a member of the Baptist Church, and I am a member of the Methodist Church, but it seems to make no difference with her at all. We are getting along finely at this time, and I hope we will continue to do so. I am here in Milledgeville, endeavoring to build up the Methodist Episcopal Church, but it is a hard thing to do, though if the Lord will aid me, it may be done. I am preaching in the school house at the present time. I am in hopes that I may be able to build a church in this place, but it appears to be an exceedingly hard thing to do. There have been several ministers sent to this place, but they have all failed in building a church here, so if I am successful in building, I will be the first minister the Conference ever sent here that has done the like. It takes steady perseverence to do this, but as I have never failed in doing something everywhere I have been sent, I would like to do something in this place before I leave it. Since I have been here I have written a petition to the white citizens asking them to assist me in building a church. A few of them have subscribed to my paper. I believe I will get some others to do the same. I am still persevering and trying to do all I can. On the last day of February with my wife I visited a lady, and we met with a cordial reception. She was a widow by the name of Mrs. Talmage. I took along with me a basket, calling it a missionary basket, and she failed not to put many good things into it, and money into my hand. When we bade her good-bye we asked God's blessing upon her and she the same for us. So I feel that if I put my trust in God it will be well with me and my wife.
I am happy to think that the good Lord has taken care of me up to the present time, and that too when I have no blood relation on the earth who can come up and claim me as such. The
nearest one to me now is my wife, to whom I have just been married. I am alone in this wide world, and it may not be many days ere I shall feel called upon to bid it farewell; but I have a bright hope of immortality beyond the grave, where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.
This is the first day of March, 1887. I have just been all over Milledgeville trying to sell some of my books, in order that I might be able to get some money with which to buy provisions, but so far I have failed yet I am by no means discouraged, because I am admonished that if we fail at first we must keep on trying. There is nothing like trying--persevering--until we accomplish our purpose. This has been my experience for many long years; if it had not been, I should have failed times out of number, particularly in trying to sell my book here in the State of Georgia; but I held on, kept trying, and in that way have sold over eight hundred books in the State.
Now, permit me to say that if we have a mind to do anything that is pleasing to Almighty God, He will see to it that our desire is eventually granted, for it is said in the Bible that the desire of the righteous shall be granted, and that was proven to be true only a few days ago. Over seven years ago I desired certain things of the Lord, and these very things came to pass on my birthday, which made me truly glad, because I did desire in my heart that the good Lord would grant them. So it can be said with all confidence that if we desire anything of the Lord that is consistent with His will, He will grant it. Therefore we must not distrust the Lord in anything. I have tried the good Lord for over fifty years, and am still trying him at the age of sixty-eight years. I can say with truthfulness that He has been good to me, and although I have no children to leave behind, or to follow in my footsteps, yet I have endeavored to instruct others, so that when I depart this life they may rise up and say "Blessed be papa for the instruction he gave us when he was with us; and now that he is gone we will remember him for it." Yes, it is good to leave a name behind you, that the children may remember us when we rest in our grave. Lord Jesus help us to so live in this world, so when we depart it may be the world's loss, but our gain. It is true that we may have many difficulties to meet with, but after all we can, by the help of God, make our way through this world and get safe at home at last. The Lord has promised that if we will keep his Commandments that we shall have a home in the paradise of God, where we shall bathe our weary souls and be at rest forever and forever. May this be the lot of those who may buy my book and read it is the sincere prayer of the writer; I may not write another one in this world, as my eyes may fail me and I shall not be able to do so.
This is the eighth day of the month, and I have been around the city trying to sell some more of my books. I found one lady that said to me that fifty cents was as large as a cart wheel, as money was very scarce with her, but thanks be unto my God, it
was not so with everybody, for I was successful enough to sell some. I am not discouraged as yet in trying to discharge my duty to my fellowman and to my God. I am in hopes that when I leave this world I may leave it in peace; it is my desire to live in that way, and may it be my happy lot to die in that way; it is one of the happiest lives in this world that a man can enjoy. Therefore I give my opinion that it may be printed in this book of mine. I do not know whether I shall be enabled to bring this, my third edition, out before the public or not, but if I fail to do so, I am in hopes that it may be brought out by some one that may think enough of me to do so, that after my departure it may be read by others so that they may be encouraged to write a book themselves. That it may be said by our children that some of the old people that were born slaves, have left a history behind them that we are not ashamed to read before anybody.
As this is the year of our Lord, 1888, and the 22d day of February, and I claim it as my birthday, I seat myself to write the balance of my life from last year to the present date. I was in Forsyth on the 22d of last February--my birthday--and I was married on that day to Miss Lottie Stumph. I took her with me to Milledgeville, Georgia. We arrived safe, and were carried to the house of Mr. and Mrs. Humphries, and there we remained until the first of May. Then I took my all, and went back again to Forsyth, Georgia. We spent a few hours in Macon, and went to the park, as the Sabbath Schools were having a May celebration, and we went there and enjoyed ourselves. Then we got aboard the cars for Forsyth. I remained there for a few weeks, but as I did not have any church that I could claim as my members, I had to leave for some other place. So I went to Barnesville and preached for Rev. Coach, and, as he had to leave for Atlanta the next week, he got me to take charge of his churches until he returned, and I did so at both of his charges, Barnesville and Green Mount. I found out that they did not have a day teacher at Green Mount Church, therefore they got me to bring my lady to be their teacher, and I did so. By that she was the teacher for three months. We boarded with a Mr. Jackson. I helped her teach one month. We remained a week or two with him and helped him pick his cotton and peas, then we bid him good-bye and left him and his good family, and taking the train at Goggins, we came back to Forsyth. I spent a few more weeks in Forsyth. I preached at the A. M. E. Church once, and at the M. E. Church once, and visited the Baptist Church several times and spoke for them.
On the first of December I had to take my leave for the Conference, that convened in Rome, Georgia. At the Methodist Episcopal Conference which convened at Savannah is where I received my appointment for Sandersville, and Tennille, Georgia, and here I am at the present date in Sandersville at the house of Brother and Sister John Chester. I have been with them from December, 1887, to February 22d, 1888, and they have as yet
treated myself and lady as kind as I have ever been treated in all my life, and we are as happy as if we were kin to one another, and I am in hopes that we will continue so as long as I remain with them.
But before I say anything more about them and Sandersville, let me refer you again to my travels from Barnesville, after the return of Brother Coach to his work. I left my lady at Green Mount, and went to Griffin on the Fourth of July. My intention was to get some money to buy some clothing with as I did not have any sufficient for me to look as a minister should appear before a congregation. But as I had no members to ask to assist me, I appealed to my white friends, and they assisted me, but I did not get a sufficient amount of money to buy the clothing that I stood in need of at that time, so I went to a white friend and asked him to credit me until I could pay him, and he did so. Therefore I could appear to the people in a better style. So I left Griffin and came back to Barnesville. Then I went to Milner, and from there to Jonesboro, Georgia. I spent one night there and then took the train for Atlanta, Georgia, in the month of August. I spent a few days in that city; it was raining all the time I was there. I was asked to preach at the Lloyd street M. E. Church; I did so, but the weather was so bad that there was but a few persons out that night. They gave me $1.30 in money and bid me God-speed, and hoped that I would come to see them again.
I spent a few days with the young man that myself and former wife raised by the name of Richard Sanders, and his lady. He and his lady were as kind to me as I could expect. He used to call my first wife mammy, but mammy had departed this life. I visited the legislature every day when I was in Atlanta, as it was in session at the time. I saw several of my old friends in the legislature, among them were two colored men, old friends of mine--one from Glenn county, and one from McIntosh county, Georgia.
I left Atlanta for Jonesboro again. I spent one night there and preached for them. It was a wet rainy night but there was a few persons out. They gave me $1.30 to pay my way back to Barnesville, to my family. I spent a few days there and then left for Culloden, Georgia. I spent several days there with the members and the church. I preached for them two or three times. They became very much attached to me as they had never seen me before. After a few days I left them and came back to Green Mount again, and spent one month with my family, then I left for Forsyth.
As I stated above the Conference at Rome gave me as my assessment for the year $50.00; divided that into four parts and gave me $12.50 at the Conference, but as my wife had to borrow $5.00 to get me to the Conference, I had to pay that back to the individual and fifty cents besides as interest, and by doing so did not have a five cents left when I reached Sandersville. Brother
S. H. Hare gave me the name of Brother John Chester, and told me to inquire for him when I got to Sandersville. I did so, and by that means I found a friend and a brother, and a home to stop at. I found myself a perfect stranger to everybody. I knew no one and no one knew me; a perfect stranger to all, and not a cent of money in my pocket-book. And now what am I to do but put my trust in God. So I went to prayer and asked the good Lord to assist me if he pleased.
In this emergency I sat down and wrote off a petition to the white citizens asking them to assist me if they pleased. I stated to them my condition just as it was, and nothing more nor less. I took it around to them, and I can say with a clear conscience that they have proved themselves to be my friends--both the Ordinary and the Mayor, and a great many more that my list will show.
I found out that I did not have a member in the place, nor a piece of land to build a church on, nor a member to build with, nor a place to preach at, nor any one to preach to. The C. M. E. had a church; the A. M. E. had a church; the Baptists had a church in Sandersville, but poor me had nothing. I wrote to Dr. Rush asking him could he not build a church in this place. He wrote back to me informing me that he had promised to assist Clarke University to the amount of $10,000.00, and if it was not for that he would assist me in building a church at this place. I wrote to the Bishop asking him to assist me by sending me some money, but he stated to me that all the appropriation for the Savannah Conference had been disposed of, therefore he did not have any money to send me; therefore I felt very sad about it; so I went ahead and rented a hall or a large room. I bought lumber on credit and had it seated and a pulpit built. I have paid the workmen and all for the lumber, but the gentleman that I rented from let all the expenses go in the way of rent, and by the assistance of the friends of both white and colored I have a bell erected in front of the hall where I expect to preach the word of the Lord. I shall, by the good Lord's assistance, do all the good I can in this place. The people are very kind to me at the present time.
I have myself established in the way of preaching in Sandersville, and now I am trying to get a foothold in Tennille, Georgia. I have been around with my subscription list and they are subscribing to it by giving their money. Tennille is a small place, but it is growing very fast, and in a few years it will be a large town. I have been laboring in this part of the State over two months. I may have a great deal more to say after awhile, when I may accomplish more good in this place.
As this is the year of our Lord 1888, and the 22d of February, I claim it as my birthday--I am this day sixty-nine years of age. I have been a member of the Methodist Church for forty-nine years. I have been preaching for thirty-nine years up to date. I have been speaking about the millennium ever since I
was thirty-five years of age. In the days of slavery, I said at that time it would take place in one hundred and forty-three years. I have lived long enough to bring it down to one hundred and twelve years, that will be in the twentieth century. Now you can take this for what it is worth. You can read my books and see what I have to say on this subject. I may not have the opportunity of writing any more on that subject, but I hope that this world will be so converted that when our Lord and Master comes again, that there will be millions and millions ready to say to him, come, Lord Jesus, we welcome Thee to this earth again.
It is true that I have done but very little for the conversion of sinners in the last two years, because I have been sent where I had no church, and no congregation, and for that reason I have done but very little; but I have done my best, and I am sorry that I could not do more. I have been an instrument in the hands of God doing much good in this world, but it appears as if the Conference just sends me where we have no church, nor membership for three years in succession, and I can't see into it, but so it is my luck, and it is a hard one, for a man of my age to be traveling from day to day on my feet working after sinners, while I see younger men riding in their buggies and on horseback, but poor me has to take it afoot, and do all I can in trying to let my light so shine that the world may see by my good work and be led to glorify my Father in heaven.
I am now in Sandersville, Georgia, and this is the year of our Lord 1889, and the 22d of February, and I claim it as my birthday. I have seated myself again to write the proceedings of my last year's work in the good cause of my Lord and Master. I was in this place on my birthday last year, and the good Lord has spared my life to see another birthday; my wife and myself are in the enjoyment of good health. I labored hard all last year to build a church in this place, but I failed in doing so. I gathered around me about forty children, and instructed them to the best of my ability, and some of them became very much attached to me, and if I had the means to build a church in this place, I could, by the help of God, do a great deal of good with those children, but I had to give up the house that I was renting, and for that reason I lost all of my little members. The white friends and some colored were very kind to me in trying to help me in building a church in this place, and very probably I may get it built.
I am at this date, the 22d of February, 1889, seventy years of age, and my wife but twenty-five years of age. We have been married two years to-day. She is teaching in the city school at $20.00 a month. The good Lord has spared our lives and we have lived together happily.
I am here again in Sandersville, Georgia. I went to my Conference which convened in Atlanta, Georgia, January the 10th, under Bishop Joyce. My Presiding Elder proposed to me that I take the superannuated relation with $50.00. I accepted it,
thinking that the Bishop had sent him to me with that proposition, but I found out that he did not, but I received the $50.00, and if an evil spirit was the cause of it--well, it is all right. I received the money, but was left without an appointment. Now the devil might have been in that to get rid of me, as he has tried that trick before; so the Bishop had the committee to pay me the $50.00, and I returned home with that to live upon, sink or swim, so here I am. I expect by the grace of my God to go forward in trying to do all the good I can this year. I labored hard all of last year preaching the word of the Lord in every church that they would ask me, and very little was ever given to me, but I worked on until the year closed.
My wife, in teaching school, could assist me a little. After school would break up, we would take our cotton baskets and go in the field and pick cotton all day at forty cents a hundred, in order that I might pay my house rent. Some time they would pay us right, and some time they would fail to pay us at all, but we had to take it the best we could.
The question in regard to prohibition came off in Sandersville, Georgia, while I was there as a pastor, and I felt it my duty to take hold of that and help to run the devil away from Sandersville, and we were very succussful in doing so. We beat the wet crowd nine hundred and fifty, so Sandersville is considered to be a dry town at the present time and I hope will continue so. I made a speech in the court house in favor of it, both to the white and colored. The white were so well pleased with it that they invited me to come down to Warthen and speak for them again. They gave me the money to pay my way, and so I went and spoke for them. I speaking I told them that it appeared that everywhere I was sent that Mr. Whisky would run, and that if I would stay here that he would not come back again. That speaking caused me to get a great many friends as I do not believe in Mr. Brandy and Mr. Whisky, they are not friends to the cause of my Lord and Master.
I am at the present time living in a rented house at two dollars and fifty cents a month, and I am in hopes that the good Lord will enable me to pay all of my honest debts, as I have no members, no church, nor anything else; but by the help of the Lord I intend to travel as a missionary agent, and collect money for the benefit of the Conference and its membership. I do not believe in doing nothing, but I believe in doing something, and I am in hopes that I will be successful in bringing in a great deal to the Conference, for it is my duty to labor in the cause of my Master.
I am enjoying good health at the present time. I have not employed a doctor for twenty-five years up to date.
I have made mention in the first part of my book about the millennium, that it would take place in one hundred and twelve years. I now bring it down to one hundred and eleven years, which will be in the twentieth century, so we must trust in the
Lord and watch and pray. I have been speaking of this for over thirty years, and it is drawing nearer and nearer, and I am coming nearer and nearer to my destiny myself, but my faith is strong in the Lord in regard to that.
"The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hopes secure;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures."
If you will allow me to instruct you in regard to the Lord, he is the best friend that a poor man can have in this world of sin and sorrow. I can say that with confidence, because I have tried him to my satisfaction and he never has deceived me.
This is the 21st day of January, 1890, and I have seated myself again to enlarge my book. I stated in my writing last year that I was going to travel as a missionary for the Conference. I did so by the help of the good Lord. I wrote to the Bishop, informing him that I would accept of the proposition of that little girl that went out and brought in fifty dollars as a missionary, and he informed me that he had no objections, only he wanted to know what I was going to do with the money. I wrote him word that I would bring it to the Conference and place it on the table, and the Conference could make of it what distribution they felt disposed, and so I did by the help of the good friends and citizens. I laid on the table sixty dollars, after paying my expenses and debts, to the surprise of the Conference. The Bishop caused the brothers to rise and gave me a vote of thanks, and you can see where I have traveled and collected this money.
I can truly say that last year was a year of sorrow and happiness with me. Sometimes I would cry and sometimes I would laugh; sometimes I would be happy and sometimes I would be sorry, but thanks be unto the good God I lived it out to the end of the year and met my Conference at Augusta, Georgia. Now I am back home again in Sandersville, Georgia.
As I have written some things about myself before this one, I could not call myself a father until now. After being seventy years and four months of age I became the father of a child, and a girl one at that; on the 28th day of June, 1889 she came forth. I was in hopes that it would be a boy and had named it Robert, but as it was a girl the mother named it Robby. Now I can give my advice as a father, and so I will commence.
Whenever a husband finds out the wife is in a delicate condition let him treat her with all the kindness that is possible, and be as tender as a child with her, and as the time draweth nigh of her confinement, get all the good things that she may need and place them before her. Get the nicest fruit, such as peaches and apples, and the best of them, and let her eat as many as she wishes. Be kind to her and call her all the good names you can, such as darling, precious darling, and when the little fellow comes into your arms, speak to it kind and sweet and continue
to do so until it can call you papa, and then continue to teach it to tell the truth, by doing the same yourself, and never deceive it by promising it things and not giving them. Always let it understand that you mean what you say. Commence with it by the time it is three months old. Never let it hear a bad word from you or its mother, and in doing that way the child will become a good boy or girl. My little fellow is about seven months old and cannot speak a word as yet, but it appears as if it understands when I am singing--that is it understands what I am doing--and when I get down to pray it is as silent as it can be; and after I get through it will start to sing itself in its way of doing it, and it appears to be happy. I have given it a cat, as I had a cat when I was a little boy. I have told you about my cat. You have read about it. While my cat would bring me birds, her cat brings in rats at night and plays with them, kills them and eats them.
So I have found out in raising a child you must be true to it and very positive. Teach it every thing that is right and never deceive it or tell it a lie. I was instructed never to tell a lie, and never to take anything that did not belong to me, and I have spoken of this in this book of mine; so I can give advice to fathers and mothers.
I am in hopes that the good Lord will enable me to raise this child so that it may become a blessing to me and its mother, and that it may be educated and be made a blessing to the world and cause of God.
And now as I have given my advice to fathers, I will give my advice to mothers. That is, whenever the good Lord blesses you with a little baby be sure to take as good care of it as you can, try and nurse it yourself if you can; the mother's own milk is the best for the child. If you cannot give much you can have it increased by drinking tea very sweet three times a day. I think that the child that nurses its own mother is the most apt child, and will grow faster and learn quicker anything that is good or bad; but in order that it may learn that which is good, let its mother commence teaching it in time what is right by words and action; let it know that you mean what you say; let it have confidence in you, and always tell it the truth and teach it to tell it itself, and to be honest and never take anything that does not belong to it; and in this way you can bring up the child in the way that it should go and it will never depart from it, for we are commanded to do so by the Great Head. To keep it healthy keep it clean and nice, body and clothes. I give this as my advice in my old days, hoping that it will meet with your approbation and approval. And as I am giving my advice I will give it at large to all my sons and daughters, and I am in hopes that they will receive it and live by it, that it may do them good all along through life.
My son defraud not the poor of his living, and make not a hungry soul sorrowful. Neither provoke man in his distress.
Add not more trouble to a heart that is vexed, and defer not to give to him that is in need. Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thine eye from a poor man. Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him no occasion to curse thee. For if he curse thee in the bitterness of his soul his prayer shall not be heard of him that made him. Get thyself the love of the congregation and bow thy head to a great man. Let it not grieve thee to bow down thine ear to the poor and give him a friendly answer. With meakness deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of oppression, and be not faint hearted. When thou sittest in judgment be as a father to the fatherless, and instead be a husband unto the widow; so shalt thou be as a son of the most high and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth. Wisdom exalteth her children and layeth hold of them that seek her. He that loveth her loveth life, and they that seek her early shall be filled with joy. He that holdeth her fast shall inherit glory, and wherever she entereth the Lord will bless. They that serve her shall administer to the holy one, and them that love her the Lord doth love. Whatsoever giveth ease unto her shall judge the nations, and he that attendeth unto her shall dwell securely. If a man commit himself unto her he shall inherit her and his generation shall hold her in possession, for at first she will walk with him by crooked ways and bring fear and dread upon him and torment him with her discipline until she may trust his soul and try him by her laws, then will she return the straight way unto him and comfort him and show him her secrets, but if he go wrong she will forsake him and give him over to his own ruin. Observe the opportunity and beware of evil, and be not ashamed of that which is glory and grace; accept no person against thy soul, and let not the revenge of any man cause thee to fall. Strive for the truth until death and the Lord will fight for thee. Take this as my advice and you will be blessed in time and in eternity.
Now, last year I was taken sick in Valdosta, Georgia; I came home and my wife sent for the doctor, and he administered unto me by giving me some quinine. I took it and learned a very important lesson, that is, quinine is very good for the fever, but if you take too much of it it will make you deaf and will affect your system; so I found that out and did not take as much of it as the doctor intended. My doctor was a good one. He only visited me once and he thought that would do. He was light in his charges, only $2.25, and I must say that is the only doctor's bill I have had against me for twenty-five years, except the confinement of my wife, which was last year also.
"The Lord has been good to me,
His word my hope secures,
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
"And when this short life shall pass,
And mortal life shall cease.
I shall possess within the vale,
A life of joy and peace.
"This world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine,
But God has called me here below--
He shall be forever mine."
These words of promise are sufficient to revive the soul of his true believers, and I say amen.
I expect, by the help of the Lord, to travel again this year and try to sell my books in order that I may be enabled to support myself and family. My days are drawing nigh when I must leave them, as I am advanced in age, leaving behind me a wife and one little child, but I shall try and leave them in the hands of a good God. I write this now because I may not live to write any more in this book of mine, so that those who may read it will see what I had to say in my last writing. I want to be assured when I depart this life that my child will be cared for if she is living, and not only her, but my whole family, and if my friends will assist me in buying my books, I think that I will have enough to support them. I have let all of what I had go, in order that I might build up the cause of my Lord and Master, and now in my old days that I have nothing, spending my days in the service of my God. I have been a member of the church for fifty years and I have been trying to preach for forty years. I am now at this date, 1890, seventy years of age, and I am penning this with my own hand; please don't think hard of it but read it.
The following amounts have been collected by me throughout the State for benevolent purposes: Macon, $60.25; Atlanta, $38.00; Augusta, $30.00; Marietta, $34.00; Milledgeville, $24.50; Americus, $14.50; Albany, $14.25; Thomasville, $15.50; Valdosta, $29.25; Fort Valley, $9.25; Perry, $9.60; Columbus, $28.95; Talbotton, $10.10; Griffin, $16.50; Sandersville, $11.50, Tennille, $5 60; Wrightsville, $11.75; Dublin, $11.20; Eastman; $10.50; Hawkinsville, $13.50; Waynesboro, $13.45; the colored churches, $10.40.
These are the names of the various places and cities that I visited during last year and collected the amount that you can see for yourself. I am truly thankful to the kind-hearted people for what they gave me while traveling around in some places as a stranger. I was treated as kind as if I was not a stranger, by both white and colored. My first visit to a strange place was to the court house, or the Mayor of the town to get their endorsement on my paper, and what they will give themselves. Then I would start around the city or village, and I must say that there was but few that I called upon but what would give me something, or a word of encouragement. And I shall not forget them for it, and I hope that God may bless them for it. I am in hopes
they will be as kind to me this year in buying my books and give me something to subsist upon. I shall be out of the way in a short while, and as I brought nothing into the world, I shall carry nothing out. Therefore all that I can do is to try and be faithful until the Master will say: "well done thou good and faithful servant, thou has been faithful over a few things, now I make thee ruler over many things. Enter in at the straight gate and I will make thee ruler over many things." And won't I be glad and rejoice in the Lord, because I shall be free indeed and at home.
There was a circumstance that took place with me in the days of slavery that I had almost forgotten, but as it comes to my mind to-day, I will write it. That is, after my first license had to be renewed. I was requested by my pastor to meet the Quarterly Conference which met at the camp-meeting, two-miles from the city of Macon, Georgia. After the morning services, the Conference met, all the members present, Rev. Glenn, the Presiding Elder in the chair. There was another brother of the white church to be examined as well as myself, he being white and I colored. The Elder called for the white brother first and examined him, asking him a great many questions, but the brother failed to answer them. The Elder informed him before he sent him out that he did not see wherein he could get his license renewed, because he was unable to answer the questions, but, however, go out my brother. So he went out. Then said the Elder to the ministers: I don't see how we can license that brother because he has answered but a very few questions, and the law requires that he should answer all of them, and he has failed to do so. What shall we do with him? His pastor got up and said that he believed that the brother was excited and that was the reason why he did not answer the questions, and he was in favor of granting the license, and others joined in with him in the same remark. But the Elder said he could not give his consent to granting a license in that way, but, however, he would put the question. All that are in favor of his getting a license, stand up. And they all stood up. Then said the Elder, you are very charitable; call the brother in. Well, are there any others? My pastor got up and said that he had one by the name of Robert. Is he here, said the Elder. Yes, said my pastor. Well my brother, do you think you will be able to answer my questions, said the Elder. I will try, sir, if the good Lord will help me. So he commenced. And as my good white brother had missed so many, I acted like the boy that stood behind the other boy and caught his ball that he missed; therefore I had all that my good brother had missed as my share. So I answered all the questions. Then said the Elder, you can go out, my brother. So I went out, but I must confess that I did not go very far from the house, because I wanted to hear what they would say about me as a negro preacher. Then said the Elder, he has answered every question that I have put to him, and I am compelled according to the discipline to license him. But, said my pastor he
has an exhorting license already, and if we give him a preaching license it will give him the big-head, and I think it will do him harm. But, said the Elder, he has answered all the questions, and what are we going to do about that? Well, said my pastor, tell him that we agree to let him hold on to his exhorting license. Well call him in. So when I heard that, I stepped off, as if I had not heard what they had said, but I had heard every word of it. So I came in. Well said the Elder, the brothers have agreed to let you hold your old license. So you can retire my brother. Thank you sir, but may I say a few words before I leave? Oh, yes, said the Elder. Well, sir, I am truly sorry to say to you all, that you have let your charity fail to-day, because the Bible says that charity never faileth, and you had a great deal of it for the other brother, but when it came to me it failed, so good-bye. After the services were over at the camp-meeting, I came back to the city and met with my leader and told him all about it, and had a good laugh over it.
There was another circumstance which took place with me in the days of slavery, that I will make mention of in this book, so it was this: I bought a horse from a Virginian, that is a man that lives in Virginia, and in doing so, I made him give me his note for the money, and the name of the county that he lived in, and in doing so my wife said to him: "I left a son in that county by the name of Nelson Harrison." "Well," said the man, "I know him. He lives not very far from me. He is married and has two children." "Well," said my wife, "I will write him a letter by you, sir, and will send him some money and some clothing by you. Will you take it to him?" "I will," and so she did, and he received them and wrote her a letter that he had received both the money and the clothing. Then she and he kept up a correspondence for several years. After awhile he failed to answer her letters, therefore she left off writing, thinking that he was dead. This was a great many years before freedom, but after freedom there came a man to my house claiming to be the grandson of my wife, and said that his father's name was Nelson Harrison. After some remarks, he convinced my wife that he was her grandson. Then she wanted to know what had become of his father. He stated that his master had sold him many years ago, but he did not know where; so John, the grandson of my wife, wrote back to Virginia to his brother Ned, to let him know where his father was living. When he received the last letter from him, he (Ned) said that his father was living in Sand Town in Meriwether county. So after John received the letter from his brother Ned, he wrote to his father informing him that he was at his grandmother's, which was Nelson's mother, and my wife, the first one that I had, I mean the writer of this book.
So when Nelson the son of my wife, received the letter from his son John, he came to Macon in search of his son John, so he was carried to my house. We were at breakfast at the time, when some one knocked at the front door. I went to the door. There
stood two men. One of them said to me: "here is a man that says that your wife is his mother." "Hold on," said I to him. So I went back and told my wife that one of those men said that she was his mother. "Bring him in," said my wife to me, and so I did; and, as he came to her, he said to her: "Howdy, mother." "Who are you?" said my wife to him. "Why, I am your son." "My son," said my wife to him. "Yes, I am your son." "Well," said my wife, "I had a son that I left in Virginia by the name of Nelson." "I am he," said he to my wife. "Well," said my wife, "my son had a scar on one of his arms. Roll up your sleeves and let me see." So he did and there was the scar; and so my wife claimed him as her son. "But where have you been for these twenty years?" "I have been in Sand Town, Georgia." "Did you not know that I was living in Macon, Georgia?" "Oh, yes, but I thought you was so old that you was sitting up in the chimney corner." "Well," said my wife, "and as soon as you learned that John was here you came tilting after him. Well, you can take him and begone, for I see that you do not care anything about me." So he took his son John and left.
A few years after that I was appointed as pastor of Forsyth church. That was in the year 1873. Her son Harris and one Mr. Clowers were farming together in Monroe county. They disagreed and he had to leave his place; so he came to my wife and begged of her to let him live on my place; and, as the place was owned by myself and wife, she had to get my consent; so I agreed to let him live on it with the understanding that he would keep up the place and pay the tax. That would be all I would require of him. So in due time, he moved on it and complied with our bargain for a short time only. He died two years before my wife, and after my wife's death, his son John swore before a lawyer that my wife gave him the property, and had the case carried into law, and when the lawyers decided it they gave to his sister one acre and the house on it for her life time, and the other house to the mother for her to live in during her life, and gave me the balance of the land with nothing on it, and so in my old days I am stripped of all I had, but thanks be unto my God, I am still on mercy's side, and the good Lord has promised me a resting place in the good world above, where I shall not need any land to cultivate, but I shall be in a land of rest, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary shall be at rest; so I can say:
"Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art smiling,
Do not pass me by."
But help me.
As I shall soon close this book of mine, it would not be out of place for me to write a short sermon, as I have not said anything in that direction; so I will announce my text: "Why standest thou all the day idle?" It is very strange with me that men can
stand and do nothing at all when there is so much to be done. If they will only look for it in the right direction; but very often they will be looking downward instead of looking upward, and for that reason they will stand all the long day idle. It appears as if they want something to do when they might have a great deal to do, if they will get their consent to do it; but they are standing idle. Oh, that they might ask themselves: why am I standing idle when there is so much to be done, and why am I not at it? I will be a poor miserable wretch, for I have been standing here too long already, and my condition is getting worse and worse.
Oh, that some one would have mercy on me and help me, because I have been standing here so long that I am almost starved to death, but, thanks be unto my good Lord, I have heard Him say, Come unto me he that is hungry and I will feed thee. And hearing that kind word I arose from my idleness and went to him, and he has fed me and clothed me. Because of my idleness I have become naked and hungry and almost starved to death, but I have found a friend that has employed me in his vineyard, and I am in hopes that I will be idle no more, for I have learned a lesson that if I stand idle all the day I shall suffer for it, and I can give my advice to any one not to stand idle, but go to the good Master and he will employ you in his vineyard, and he has plenty of good work for you to do and good pay at the end of the day. I can say that with authority, because I have tried him for fifty years, and he has never denied or deceived me; so don't stand idle when you can be employed. He standeth and says unto all, Come unto me and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. What more does a poor sufferer want than that? Therefore, try him and you will be happy.
Now this is the 22d day of February, 1890. I claim it as my birthday. I am at this date seventy-one years of age, and as I may not live to see another birthday, let me say to all who may read this book of mine, remember what I have said in regard to the millennium. I have lived long enough to bring it down to one hundred and ten years; that will be in the twentieth century. Now, when three nines come together, which will be in 1999, then we may look out for those that may be alive on the earth, for I am of the opinion that the millennium glory of Christ will then take place.
I have said all that is necessary about this in the first part of this book, I shall not say much more or write but little more about it. Only, if I am asked any questions, I will endeavor to answer them to the best of my ability. So good-bye, and may God bless all who buy and read this book.
The last Bishop that presided over me in Augusta was Bishop Hurst. He treated me as well as he could. I now bid the Bishop and Conference farewell.
I am your brother in Christ,
REV. ROBERT ANDERSON.
These notices are referred to in the body of the work, and are inserted here to indicate what is thought of the book:
This intelligent colored man, a native of Georgia, called to see us on Thursday last. He is selling a history of his life, written by himself. We have glanced over it and find it well written, and withal exceedingly conservative and free from politics. His advice to his race is particularly good, and we shall reproduce it next week for the good it will do. We recommend Rev. Robert Anderson to the kindly consideration of both races. He should be patronized, as his work tends to encourage his race in their efforts to be better citizens, and his example is worthy of emulation.
WEST POINT, GA., June 9th, 1889.
I have read the narrative of the life of Rev. Robert Anderson, written by himself, with interest and pleasure. So far as I know his record is substantiated. His race needs such men to work for them and to lead them to higher planes of moral and religious conceptions. I commend him in his effort to do good.
W. J. McKEMIE.
In addition to the former part of my book I now present the following:
This is the year of our Lord 1891, and the 22d of February, and it is claimed as my birthday. Therefore, I have seated myself this Sabbath morning to write the fourth edition to my book. I was here in this house on my last birthday, and the providence of God has prolonged my days until this morning. And now, after singing and prayer, at the age of seventy-two years, I am able to resume writing the history of my life, thanks be unto the good Lord for it. Thousands die before reaching my age; but I was able this morning to give out a hymn by heart, and sing it to the praise of my God. This is the hymn:
And must I be to judgment brought,
And answer in that day
For every vain and idle thought,
And every word I say?
Yes, every secret of my heart
Shall shortly be made known,
And I receive my just desert
For all that I have done.
How careful, then, ought I to live?
With what religious fear?
Who such a strict account must give
For my behaviour here!
Thou awful Judge of quick and dead,
The watchful power bestow;
So shall I to my ways take heed,
To all I speak or do.
If now thou standest at the door,
O, let me feel thee near!
And make my peace with God, before
I at thy bar appear.
Oh, that these last words might be placed in our hearts.
Now, I stated in my third book that I was in Augusta, Ga., last year, at the Conference which met in that city, under Bishop Hurst. He gave me leave or privilege to again collect for the aged and infirm ministers, such as myself. At least this was my understanding of what I had to do. I left the Conference, and returned home to Sandersville; rested a few days, and then began my work. I thought I would try Sandersville once more, and I did so, and found the white citizens just as ready as ever to help me. Let me here say that I have found in Sandersville some of the kindest hearted friends that I have ever met anywhere in
Georgia. I found them so at first, and they are the same now. You will see what I have to say about them in my report.
I left Sandersville for Wadley; spent a few days there, and was treated very kindly by white and colored. You will see this in my report. I left there for Louisville, where I arrived safely, and was conducted to a boarding house. The gentleman and lady were very kind to me. It was late in the evening when I got there. The next morning I inquired for the Mayor of the city, and was told by the gentleman with whom I boarded that he was a perfect gentleman; I told him that was the kind of man that I liked to meet with, and that I was going to see him. He said, also, that the Mayor was a lawyer. "Very good," said I, "that is all right;" so I started, and it was not very long before I was in the Mayor's office. "Good morning," said I to several persons who were present; "how are you all to-day? My name is Robert Anderson." "Very good," said they, "What can we do for you?" "Thank you, sirs; that is a very good question. I would be very glad if you would read this paper." "Well, we will do that," so I handed it to the Mayor first, and when he had read it he handed it to the others. "Well," said the Mayor, "I was on the train yesterday, and passed through the car you were in, and saw you; did you not see me looking at you?" "I believe I did," I answered. "Well," said the Mayor, "did you know I passed my judgment in regard to you?" "I did not." "Well, I did." "What did you think of me?" "I said that you were a devil." I laughed at this and said, "Well, I cannot help what you think; all that I wish is that you would give me a little money on my paper." "Now," said the Mayor, "I have a question to ask of you, and if you will answer me I will give you $5.00." "Very good, let it come." "Well, tell me who is Melchizedek?" "Well, my dear sir, Melchizedek was king of Salem, a prince of peace, and a great high priest of God, without father or mother, and without the beginning of days or the end of the same. He was such a great man that Abraham, the Patriarch, coming from the slaughter, wanted to divide the spoils with him." "Well," where did he spring from?" he asked of me. "I have told you so far as the Bible informs me." "Well, was he not from the family of Ham?" "The Bible does not say that; so now give me my $5.00." "Well, I said that you were a devil, and that was just what I meant, because I could see it in you, although I never saw you before. Here, now, I will give you fifty cents," said he; and another one gave me twenty-five cents. "Now, gentlemen, I have something to show you all that may surprise you; it is the picture of a baby of mine that was born after I was seventy years and five months old." "What!" "Yes, sir, I have." "Let us see it." "Here it is," "Well, well; were you not married before?" "Oh, yes, sir; I was married when I was about twenty years of age, but I did not have any children by my first wife, so this is the only child that I have in this world, and the first one, and I have a pocket in my
vest that I call the 'child's pocket,' in which I put all the money that friends may send it." "Well, I will give it fifty cents; can you change a dollar?" "Yes, sir." "Very good; there it is." "Thank you, sir. Now, sir, I suppose you are the Mayor of the city?" "I am." "Well, do you have any objections to my canvassing the city to see if the good people will help me as you have done." "O, no. I am in hopes that you will do well here. Will you preach before you leave this place?" "I do not know, sir; if invited, I will do so. Good morning, until I can see you all again."
So I started. I went to a boarding house where a number of ladies met me at the door, and I presented my paper to them. They read it with pleasure. Then a gentleman came up, and he examined the paper, and inquired what church I belonged to. I told him that I was identified with the Methodist Episcopal Church. "Which," said he, "that Northern Church? I do not feel disposed to give you anything." Just then one of the ladies informed me that this gentleman was her pastor. "Is that so ma'am?" said I. Then turning to him, I said, "I am glad to meet with you, sir; I profess to be an humble minister myself, and am going around collecting. I do not feel disposed to lie down upon every lazy bed that they may feel disposed to give me. I think more of myself than to do that. I love nice things and a nice bed to rest upon." "Well," said the minister, "I am a Methodist myself, and if it is your disposition to be nice and clean, I like you for that. Here is fifty cents, and may you do well." "Thank you, sir, and may the Lord bless you for it."
I left him and started on my way around the village. I went to the church, where the pastor (Rev. Wynn) was teaching school. He was a brother I was well acquainted with. My object in going there was to put myself in his way and see if he would ask me to preach for him, but he did not. I bade him good-bye. The next day I went to the court house to see the Ordinary. He gave me some mucilage to stick my papers together. I was sitting under a shed in the court house yard, not very far from the Mayor's office, where he saw me. He thought he would plague me a little. He said, "As you have not gone from here as yet, I am afraid that you will carry all the money from this place, for you are a slick fellow. But are you going to preach for us before you leave here? I would be very glad to hear you. I have not slept any for two nights, but I am willing to sit up to-night if I can hear you preach a sermon." "Well, sir," said I to him, "I went to see the pastor, but he did not ask me to preach for him. I believe he did not think of it, because he is a nice man." "Yes," said he to me, "he is. I am the School Commissioner, and he came before me to be examined, but I told him to go home; that I believed him to be all right." "Well," said I unto him, "you are a gentleman." I got along finely in that place, as you can see by my report in this book.
I took the train from that place for Millen, Ga. I arrived
safely and found my way to the pastor's house. I was made welcome, and spent the night with him and his lady. The next day I tried that place. The white citizens were very kind to me, and I did as well in that little place as I could expect. They would ask me a great many questions.
I left there for Bartow, Ga. I arrived safe and was conducted to the pastor's house by his little boy. The pastor was Rev. Williams, of the A. M. E. Conference. I spent the night with him and lady. In the morning breakfast was prepared for myself and the family; but before that we got into an argument about my church, and he said to me, "You belong to that Northern church." "Northern church," said I unto him, "no, I do not belong to the Northern church. I belong to the M. E. church. I joined it in the days of slavery, in the year of our Lord, 1839, and if any church should be called Northern it is yours, because we never heard of the A. M. E. church until after the war. Then she came across the line hunting after colored people, and she came right from the North, and you can't deny it, for I was one of those that joined at first, and if I had been treated with respect I should have remained with her, but I was not; therefore, we had better say no more about it, for I am prepared to protect myself and the church that I represent, as I know more about them than you do, because I was a member before you were born." "Yes," said he, "I suppose you do, and I do not blame you for quitting the A. M. E., from what I have heard about it. Let us not fall out about it." "O, no, I don't want us to fall out." We went together down town, and he introduced me to the Mayor of the town, and he gave me one dollar and wished me good luck. I did very well in the little place. You can see my report in this book.
I left for Davisboro, Ga, where I arrived safe, and found my way to the C. M. E. pastor's house. Himself and lady made me welcome, and I spent the night with them. He was very light in his charges. I had on hand some papers that I was circulating. They were called "A Letter of Jesus Christ." I sold him a few and gave him one to settle my bill. I went around the city and found the white friends very friendly towards me. One gentleman gave me one dollar, and when you read my book you will see what I have to say about what they gave me in all.
I left that place for another by the name of Guyton, Ga. I arrived safe and found my way to the house of the pastor of the A. M. E. church. He was not at home, but his lady bade me welcome, "because," said she, "I know my husband would not object to that, because we know you, my brother." When he came it was all right. I spent several days with him and preached for him also. I let him have all the money that was coming to me, so that he might satisfy himself in regard to my stopping with him. I went around that place, and found some of the white citizens very friendly indeed.
I left there for Savannah, Ga.; arrived safely, and found
my way to the parsonage of the M. E. Church. I was asked to come in, and so I did, and after supper I was asked to preach in the church, as there was a protracted meeting going on, and so I did. After preaching I was sent home with another lady; so I spent the night with her and her daughter. The next day I went back to the parsonage to see the pastor so that I might understand where I was to stop. He informed me that I could spend the time with him, but we had to sleep together. "Well," said I to him, "I must go back to the lady and let her know something about it, because she wanted me to stay with her;" and so I went and informed her about it, and then returned to his house. While talking with the brother I told him I was born with a caul, and if I slept with any person who had any animosity against me that I could tell it in the morning. He asked me if that was true. I told him it was; so we bedded together, and it was a good thing that I gave him this information before we slept. He invited me to preach for him on Sabbath night, and I did so. I preached from the Millennium Story of Christ, and the congregation was perfectly carried away with the sermon. We went home after the services were over, and soon retired to rest; but, to tell the truth, my spirit could not rest that night in the bed with him, so in the morning, about the break of day, I nudged him with my elbow, and told him that he was just like the balance of my enemies, because I found out last night what he was; but he made no answer at all; but when we went in to breakfast, he threw it in my teeth about my preaching, and said that he was going to get me to preach the same sermon at the Conference. He said this in such a way that it made his wife feel very unpleasant, and so she said that, in her opinion, it was best for me to go somewhere else to board. "Very good, my good sister; I shall try and do that. What is my bill." "Well, brother, I do not know," said she, "I never make a practice of charging ministers, but I have been sick a long time, and am up now to help my daughter entertain you." "Well, sister, here is $1.00. I have spent $1.65 for the family. Will that satisfy you?" "O, yes, my dear brother," said she.. So I went back to the first lady and told her that I would spend the balance of my time with her. She took me in and was very kind, as was her husband and daughter, and it gives me pleasure to say it.
After awhile I went up to the court house to see some of the officers, and the first one that I approached was the Clerk of the Council, Mr. Phillip Russell. He gave me $2.00, and his brother gave me $1.00. The Mayor of the city also gave me $2.00; and if I were to call the names of all the citizens of Savannah that did likewise it would take more space than I can well spare. They will appear in my report to Conference. I was treated with a great deal of respect. Then, too, I found a large number of my Liberty county friends, which made me feel happy. They told me of things that took place in the olden times--back in the days of slavery. I spent some eight or ten days in that place.
I then went to Jessup, Ga. On my way to that place I tarried a short time at Towersville, in Liberty county, but when the train left, I was on board on my way for Jessup, which place I reached safely, and soon found my way to a boarding house. It was kept by a very nice lady and her husband. I spent the night in peace. The next morning, while standing in the front part of the house and looking up and down the street, I discovered that a great many houses were closed. On inquiring the reason of this, I was asked if I had not heard of the killing of so many men in that place? I replied that I had heard about the killing but had almost forgotten it. Then they told me those houses were owned by colored people, but that they had left the town and gone to live in some other part of the world. This place has a bad name now. "Is that so?" said I. "Well, my dear sir, I would be glad if you would go with me up town and introduce me to the Mayor of the city." "I will do that, sir," said he, very readily, and off we started. When we arrived at the Mayor's place of business he was packing up to move into the country. After being introduced, I said, "I am very glad to be made acquainted with you, my dear sir. I am now traveling as an agent, and you can look at my paper, if you have no objection." "None, at all," said he. "Very good; here it is," said I. He read the paper and then gave me fifty cents "Thank you, sir." Thinks I to myself, this is a pretty good start for a bad place, as was said by those with whom I was stopping. I then asked the Mayor if he had any objection to my going over the town and trying to get others to do as he had done, and he said he had none, and he hoped I would do well. I thanked him and bade him good morning. Then I started out and did very well, as can be seen by reading my report.
Now, I must say that a great many really good people, when going around among strangers, often fare badly, because they do not themselves treat their fellow-men with proper courtesy, and hence, if we receive rough treatment, nobody is to blame but ourselves. The best way to get along in this world is to be kind and polite to all classes of men and women. I have also found out that my mission in life is to treat every body with respect, and then if I am badly treated my conscience is clear. While thus meditating I went about the town as if nothing had been told me about it.
I left there as well as I did any where else, taking the train for Brunswick. I arrived late in the afternoon. Getting off the cars, I asked after the pastor of the M. E. church, as I had dropped him a card that I would be at the depot that day, but he did not come to meet me, so I asked if I could be taken to his house. There were several ready to take me. They caught at me on every side. I had to say to them: "Well, hold on; don't pull me about in that way. Hold on, let my satchel go. Why, I never saw such a set of men like you all before. I would like to make a bargain with you before I get in your vehicle."
"Well," said one of them, "I will take you to the parsonage for twenty-five cents." "Very good; I will go with you," said I unto him. "Well, come on," said he unto me. When I got to his vehicle it was a wagon with no seats. "Well," said I, "do you expect to carry me in that kind of a conveyance, sir? I am not going with you--not in such a thing as that." The whole crowd laughed at the fellow. A very nice looking gentleman stepped up to me and said to me, "Mister, I know the Rev. Dr. Wright, and I will send you to his house, and pay for it myself, rather than have you pulled about by those fellows in that way. Get in this carriage." I did so, and he paid the driver fifty cents, and it was but a short time before I was at the parsonage. "Thank you," said I to the driver; "good night; I am in hopes that I may see you again before I leave the city." I knocked at the door, and the pastor came and opened to me. "Good afternoon, Brother Anderson." "Why howdy, Brother Wright. How have you been?" "Not so very well. I have been complaining for some weeks. Well, walk in and make yourself at home." "Dear brother, did you get a card from me?" "I did, but I really let it slip my memory, having a protracted meeting on hand. So you must not think hard of me." "Well, I had a time of it at the depot, but a very nice gentleman sent me to your house. He said that he was not a member of your church, but he had a high regard for you, and liked my appearance." "Well, Brother Anderson, there are services to-night in my church. I am truly glad that you are here. I have sent after Rev. A. B. Allien to assist me in my protracted effort. He is here and will preach for us to-night." "Is that so?" "Yes." "I am glad of that, because I love to hear him." "Well, he is stopping with me, and I have but one bed, and a very small one at that, but we will try and provide for you. Just make yourself satisfied. Well, walk in to supper. Let me introduce you to my lady. Mrs. Wright, Brother Anderson. Take a seat, my brother. Ask a blessing." "May the good Lord make us truly thankful for the food that is before us for the nourishment of our body, through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen." "Well, help yourself my good brother." I did so. I must say that I did justice to my body that night. After supper we went to the church. It was a good large church, and it was being put in good repair. My good brother preached for us that night, and services were appointed for the next night. After the meeting my good brother A. B. Allien said to me that he would go home with some of the members and spend the night, so as to let me have the bed he had been occupying. I went back home with my brother, the pastor, and spent the balance of my stay in that city with him, and preached for him once or twice. He treated me all right; just as his name is, so was his nature.
I thought as I had not visited Brunswick in fifty years before last year, that I would go to the printing office and report that. I went in and inquired for the head man, but he was not in at the
time, and a young man said that he would act in his place. I informed him what my business was. I stated to him that I came to this place in the year of our Lord 1837, when I was about eighteen years of age. I said a great many things to him that I will not mention in this book. It appeared in his paper in this form the next day: "There was an old gray-headed darkey came to our office yesterday, and he had a great deal to say about this place for many years ago, when it was but a village at that time." I know the way that he spoke of me after my giving him a report in favor of his city's growth from that time to the present. It made me feel very indignant. So I went to the office and inquired for the printer--the head boss. I found him. "Good morning," said I unto him. "Are you the head man of this office?" "Yes," said he, "I am." "Did you have this put in your paper this way?" "No, I did not; and when I read it and saw that you lived in Macon, I thought that I knew you, but I thought you were dead. Are you that man by the name of Rev. Anderson that did not live very far from our house? and are you the same Uncle Anderson that myself and my brother thought so much of once?" "I am the same man" "Well, well, I am glad to see you, and that you are still alive after those men tried to kill you. Do you remember that I was but a small fellow, but I have not forgotten that. Father and mother took you in that night and took care of you." "O, yes, they did." "I should never have spoken about you in that way, if I had the printing done myself, but one of my clerks had it put in. I am truly sorry for it." "Well, my dear sir, since I saw you last I have written a history of my life." "Is that so?" "O, yes." "Well, I want you to send me one by mail. Let me write it in your book, and my name also. Send it just as soon as you get it out. Here is my name--Branham." "Well, sir, may the good Lord bless you. I am so glad to meet with you. How often have I given you and your brother watermelons." "O, yes; we would get into your wagon and ride down to your house." "Yes, sir." Well, good-bye." "Good-bye; I am in hopes we will see each other again." I canvassed the city and did pretty well. You can see my report in my book.
I took the train for Waycross, at which place I arrived in safety, and soon found a boarding house where I was treated the best in the world. Not only this, but I received respectful treatment from the white people as well as from the colored. As the pastor had a protracted meeting going on in his church, I was invited to assist him, and I did so with the greatest of pleasure, and I must say that the good Lord was in our midst. The pastor gave me $1.25, when I bade him good-bye, to help me to pay my board, as my landlady was very heavy with me in that respect.
I left Waycross for Thomasville, arriving safely, and found my way to the same boarding house at which I had stopped before. The children met me at the door, and then ran back to tell their grandmother that "grandpa," as they called me, had
come again. The lady, also, met me as cordially as if I were a near relative. The reason of this was, I had boarded with her the year before, and had treated her as a gentleman should treat a poor widow lady, so that when I left her house on my first visit, she came very near shedding tears, bidding me God-speed, and welcoming me back at any time. I spent one week with her. I found the citizens just as kind as ever. I preached at the A. M. E. Church, and received $2.30; I also preached at the Baptist Church, and they gave me $5.20. I got along finely in Thomasville. The editor very kindly gave me a notice, stating what my business was, and encouraging the people to help me. Several gave me $3.00, and I am in hopes that I may have the chance to see them again. Some of these good people sent money to the baby, and it is in the treasure-box to-day.
I left Thomasville for Bainbridge, arriving in good order, and was conducted to a boarding house. I was made welcome, and was treated as well as if I had been at home. Bainbridge is a noted place for large live oak trees giving a great expanse of shade. I canvassed the place. One gentleman, a cigar maker, gave me $1.00. The people generally looked at me very closely, as if I were an Indian, because my hair was a little long, and I had a beaver hat on my head. I went to a lady's front door and knocked, and, as it was some time before there was any answer, I sat down in a rocking chair. Being a little tired, I began to rock myself. All at once I heard a lady across the street say--"That man may be at the right house, but he is in the wrong pew." I smiled a little at this remark, and at once started as if going over to her house. As she also had a rocking chair on her front porch, and thinking probably I might want to use it, she had it carried into the house; but I passed by without disturbing her in the least. I got along in the place very well. I went to the Baptist Church twice; but I soon discovered that they thought I was a Methodist, and therefore would not invite me to preach for them. They put up a young man, every night, so I thought that I had better stay at home. The young man slept in the same room with me, so I had a chance to speak to him about it. I told him that his good brothers had broken him down, having him to preach every night, so I informed him that I was not going back with him any more; they could carry on their selfishness by themselves. I believe in brotherly love, but not in selfishness. I am a Methodist, and am not ashamed of my profession; being a Methodist or a Baptist does not make a man a Christian. In order to be a Christian you must be a pure man of God--pure at home and abroad, letting your light so shine as that others may be constrained to glorify God.
I left Bainbridge and went back to Thomasville, on my way to Albany, Ga The train was late in getting there. We had to lie over two or three hours, or more. I sat in the room with the white people, as they had a fire in that department. We rode, also, in the same cars together, and everybody treated me kindly.
After awhile a colored woman came in with supper for the travelers, and she got the marshal to lead me out; but before speaking to me, he thought he would commence with a man who was lying down on the seats with his satchel under his head. So he said to the man, "This is not the place for you." But he met his match that time. Then he came to me and said, "You must go out of this room." "Well," said I, "where must I go?" Just then another man came in, and they both took hold of me as if they intended to take me out. I told them they need not put themselves to any trouble to carry me out; if they would say where they wanted me to go I would go at one. Then they told me to go into the next room and sit with the colored people. You will find a fire in there. I asked to be informed as to what my duty was, and they would have no trouble with me at all.
When the train came I boarded it, and found my way to Smithville. I spent one night and part of a day in the place. I went to see the Mayor of the city; he was quite unwell, but he gave me fifty cents, and wished me to do well while in the city. I collected the amount you will see put down in my book.
The next day found me in Americus, which place I reached in safety, and soon found my way to Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Head's. I spent a few days in the city; and, as I had collected there once, I made no special effort this time; but I got a little money. On Sunday I went to church, but the pastor was not at home. His place was supplied, however, by a brother who seemed to prefer hearing himself to any one else, so I let him have his own way about it.
After passing a few days in Americus I left for home, where I arrived in safety, and found my family all well. I spent some days with them, then took the cars for Milledgeville, Ga. I spent the night with a brother named Harris. He drives a hack for a living. He took me to his house, and then carried me back to the depot, free of charge, and his board bill was very reasonable.
Next I left for Northern parts, first, Warrenton. I reached the place in good time, and found a boarding house, and I must say the brother and his dear wife were very kind to me. I went over the place and found the people just as kind to me as ever. I spent the Sabbath in the place, and preached at the A. M. E. Church. A strange thing happened during my visit. A man was hanged in the jail. I could not see him at the time; but I did see him on the train at Warrenton.
I left that place for Norwood. A driver took me through the country, and I must say that he showed me more kindness than I had any right to expect. He did not charge me a cent, and introduced me to a number of the best citizens. I was a stranger to them; but collected some money from white friends and a little from the colored.
Next I left for Washington, Wilkes county, Ga., arriving in safety, and found my way to my good brother's house, where I have always felt myself welcome. I was well treated while in the
city. The good people gave money to help me in my work, and I must say the white people of Washington have always shown themselves to be friendly towards me, as also have some of the colored people. During my stay I accepted an invitation to preach at the A. M. E. Church, and did so to the best of my ability, by the help of the good Lord.
I bade farewell to that place, taking the train for Greensboro, Ga., and arriving safely soon found my way to a boarding house. I was made welcome. The landlady was a member of a church of which I had been pastor, and therefore she knew me. During my stay in the place I was treated with respect.
Then I went to Athens. A boarding house was soon found, and I was well received and made happy. I spent several days in the city, canvassing it with delight. As I had been there before, I was regarded as a good friend and brother. I went to the church, but was not invited to preach. This was all right, however. I leave all such things in the hands of the good Lord.
I left Athens for Madison, Ga., by way of a new railroad. It looked really dangerous as I passed over those high trestle works, but I entreated the good Lord to keep the cars safely on the track until my journey was ended. My prayer was duly answered, and I arrived safely and went at once to my good sister and brother's house, Mr. and Mrs. Flint's, who were very glad to see me. I had been their pastor some years before; and now by the providence of the good Lord I was with them again. They were indeed very kind to me, and I felt happy in my visit. I spent several days in Madison, preaching once in the Baptist Church. The minister met me on the street, where we were introduced to one another in the presence of several other persons. He at once pitched into me about my profession, but he did not come off as he had expected, and the crowd had him to laugh at. We did not fall out about it, however. It was all said in a kind way. On Sunday morning I went to his church; he had a member to baptize, and I remained and listened to his remarks. Of course I did not agree with him, but I said nothing to him about it. So by holding my peace I was invited to spend the night with him, and he and his family treated me with a greal deal of respect. On Monday morning I got him to read a chapter in the Bible that I might have a chance to correct him in some things. We got along finely together.
After spending several days in Madison I returned home, and after a short time I started for Indian Spring, where I arrived safely, and found my way to a boarding house. The Indian Spring was a place that myself and first wife went to every Summer for fifteen years, but Providence kept me away for over thirty years. By the help of the good Lord I had the privilege of visiting it again once more in life and drink of its healing water. I met with some of the old white friends whom I was acquainted with in the days of slavery, and we conversed about those days. It made me feel a little sad to think that myself and lady used to
go there together in the days of slavery, and what good times we had together, but she has departed this life, and while I was at the Spring and looked over the spot where myself and wife worked and talked it made me feel sad. I spent several days at the Spring and drank of its healing water.
I left there for Jackson, Ga., where I arrived safe. A kind friend conducted me to his house and made me welcome. I knew no one then at that place. He appeared to be very kind towards me, taking me home and treating me very hospitably. I visited the day school, and was asked to speak a word to the children. I did so with a great deal of pleasure. I visited the C. M. E. church, which was a very nice one. The white citizens helped them in building it. They did not ask me to preach for them, but it is all right. I spent several days in that place.
I left for McDonough, where I found my way to the pastor's house, and as he did not have room enough in his house, he sent me to another brother's to board. I was treated very kind by that brother and his lady. On Sunday the pastor took me in the country about six or seven miles to church, to let me preach for his congregation. I did so by the help of my God, but after the preaching was over I wanted some water to drink very much, but could not get any. It had rained in the well and the water was unfit to drink. The pastor being busy with the officers of his church, he did not have time to look after me; but I begged for a piece of melon that I saw an individual eating and that quenched my thirst. I said to myself, it is hard for me to come this distance and preach for nothing, and then have to beg for a piece of melon, after looking around at the people eating to their satisfaction, but did not have manners enough to offer me a piece of bread, nor anything else to eat, and I being a stranger. We took the wagon and went back to the city again. As the Baptists were having a protracted meeting going on in their church I went there at night, and the pastor asked me to preach for him. I did so, and on Monday night also. I will give the substance of my sermon in the latter part of this book of mine. On Monday night they gave me $1.00. The pastor and the congregation appeared to be satisfied with what was said by me that night. I visited the city and tried the white citizens, to see if they would assist me, and a great many of them did so. The only thing that bothered some of them was my long hair and beaver hat. Some of them thought I was a man who had been there before, who had told them that they eat men in his country, and they wanted to know of me if they ate men in my country. I said I was a Georgian, like themselves. Then they begged my pardon for asking me that question. I got along very well in that place.
I left there and took the train for Griffin, Ga. I arrived safe, and found my way to Mrs. Johnson's, where I always spend my days whenever I am in that place. I did not stay but a day or two at that time, as I had visited Griffin before in the way of my work. I left and came home again.
Then I took the train for Macon. I spent two weeks in that place. The fair was going on at that time. I did not do as well then as I always have done in Macon, but I had a good time with my old friends, as there were a great many of them that came to the fair.
I left there for Forsyth, Ga., where I stopped over with my wife and baby, and spent a few days with them; then taking the train for Atlanta. I stopped over one night at Jonesboro. Then I tried the citizens to see what they would do in the way of helping me. I found a few of them willing to do so, who did the best they could.
Then I took the train and off I went for Atlanta. I arrived safe and found my way to the house where I had boarded before, but the lady whom I had stopped with was not there, but a stranger to me. I went in and boarded with her two weeks. I was treated with a great deal of respect. I visited the Legislature, and they were very kind towards me. I felt as if I had friends every where I went. I canvassed the city and found some of the people just as ready to help me as if they had known me all their days. The first gentleman I approached gave me a dollar, and I said, "Well done for that." I had stepped into his office to get the privilege of using his mucilage to stick my papers together, and when I got through I handed him my paper to let him see what I had been doing; he read it and signed his name to it. I then started for the capitol. The building is the grandest I ever saw and the largest in the State of Georgia. I thought I would take a peep in at the rooms, and after I did so I said to myself, "Well, this building is like a Heaven on earth. My Lord," said I, "the people in this State have a place to legislate in, sure enough." I then started to show my paper to first one and then another, and must say they failed not to give me of their money, some one dollar and others fifty cents. I must say the citizens and legislators showed me a great deal of respect while I was in that place.
I visited the post office and presented my paper to the postmaster. He gave me $1.00, and after the man robbed me of $95.00 I went and told him about it, and he sympathized with me by giving me another dollar. That showed that he had a great deal of sympathy for me and the cause I was representing. His name is J. R. Lewis, a man who lost his right arm in defense of his country. That is not the first favor he has shown me. I can show letters he has written in defense of me in days past, when I needed some one to protect me. He failed not to stand up for me, and I was saved by that.
While I was in Atlanta I preached in different churches, and, before leaving the city, I put a card in the papers, thanking the citizens for their kindness in giving me $130.00. This was in November, 1890.
Leaving Atlanta, in due time I was at home in Sandersville. After spending a few days with my family, I left for Macon, to
see Rev. J. W. Burke about printing my book. He agreed to do the printing, provided I paid him $75.00 in advance, which I did by the help of the good Lord. He agreed to have the books ready for me by the time Conference convened in Macon, but he did not do so until the day after the adjournment of that Body. He did, however, turn over to me the day after this eight copies, and, as he used his best efforts to please me, I thought I would do something to please him, so I bought an organ and a sewing machine, and had them shipped to my wife at Sandersville. I did this to surprise my wife, because she had gratified me in bringing the baby to the Conference. The child was baptized on the first day of February, 1891, by Bishop Warren, and it was a grand day. After the Bishop had taken the child in his arms, he said to us, "Name this child." My wife answered, "Robert Anderson." Then the Bishop baptized it in the name of the "Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." My wife was also baptized at the same time. And so, as she had complied with my request to bring the baby, paying her own way, I concluded that I would surprise her with the presents alluded to. I think that when a wife does her best to please her husband, it is his duty to try and please her, and this will put them in the way of living happily together in the world. Another thing; she loaned me $50.00 to help me in getting out my book and paying over at Conference, as I was robbed in Atlanta of $95.00. I paid a lawyer $5.00 to get a trunk, but he failed in doing so, and this was another loss. So you can at once see what I was out.
I gave in at this Conference, for aged ministers, including myself, $40.00, and when it was put on the table and counted by the Secretary, one of the Presiding Elders got up and made a motion that the money be returned to me. The Bishop put the motion; but several of the brether were not quite ready for the question. Brother Grant said it was a shame for any brother to make such a motion as that, because it looked as if he wished to reflect upon Brother Anderson, therefore he would not endorse any such motion. Then good Brother Melton said he meant no harm at all; but it did look a little that way. There was, first and last, a good deal said about my collecting for the Conference, so they voted that I should not collect any more. The Bishop asked me if I was willing to be governed by the decision of the Conference, and I replied that I was perfectly satisfied. Indeed, I was truly glad, because my book would be out in a short time, and I would be able to sell them without putting my brethren to any trouble at all, so far as collecting money for them was concerned.
Now, I am selling my book, thanks be unto the good Lord for it, and I feel happy in doing so, because I meet with so many warm-hearted friends wherever I go, thanks be unto God for it. I am not now required to carry any money to Conference to be talked about, and have my feelings wounded, as they have been many a time.
I have now tried Wadley, Louisville, Bartow, Davisboro and Sandersville. The first lady I presented my book to in Sandersville was Mrs. Dr. Irwin. She bought one with a great deal of pleasure, and several other good friends did the same, among them the Mayor.
Next I set out for Augusta. The first gentleman to whom I presented my book was a lawyer named C. C. Jones. He was and is a perfect gentleman. He took pleasure in buying a book; he had previously bought three copies in order to aid me. I then went among the lawyers generally, and found a great many of them very kind, quite a number buying my book. I remained two weeks in the city. While there, I visited the Sand Hills, where they have a splendid hotel, with a number of first class boarders. The landlord gave me permission to sell my book to the boarders, although he did not buy one himself. One lady read my appeal to her father, who said, "Give me your hand. I want to shake it because I see that you are seventy-two years of age. I am ten years older than you are, as I am now eighty-two. My daughter, go and bring him some mony." She went out, and soon returned with $5.00, which she handed to me. Several others at the hotel gave me $1.00, and some $2.00. Not only were the gentlemen very liberal, but the ladies gave also. Therefore, I must say the ladies and gentlemen at the Sand Hills hotel treated me with the highest respect. I was invited to call on the students at the Payne Institute, and I did so, and had a chance to speak a word to them. They appeared to favorably receive what I said to them. I sold one book to a young man, another to the head school master, and Bishop Holsey bought one.
Before leaving the city I published a statement of what I had done with my book, and returned hearty thanks to the good people for their kindness and liberality. I realized $70.00 by my sales in Augusta and vicinity.
Permit me to relate a circumstance that took place while I was traveling around in that city. I was passing a hotel one afternoon. Several gentlemen were sitting on the side walk in front of the hotel, and, as I passed by, one of them fixed his eye upon me in such a way that I halted and spoke to him. I said "I did not allow a gentleman to look at me in that way without stopping and speaking to him." I then gave him my name. He said, "O, yes, I remember you now; you preached some time in Forsyth?" "Yes, sir," I replied. "Well, I have a question to ask you, and I want you to answer me. It is this: I am a Georgian, or, in other words, a Southern man. Now here is a Northern man sitting by me. I want you to tell me which of the two do you consider your best friend." "Well," said I, "the man that buys my book is my best friend." "Well," said he, "I will buy one of them if this yankee will buy one." "Very good, sir," said I. So I handed a book to the Georgian first, as he had propounded the question. The yankee, as he was called, handed
me $1.00, and I gave him a copy, also. The proposer of the question, however, said, "I havn't got the dollar." "Well," said the yankee, "I will give the book back to you, and you can sell it again, and get another $1.00 from somebody." "Thank you, sir." Now, while I felt somewhat gratified in one respect, I felt sad in another--sad because the Southern man had failed in the way he did, after making a square proposition, and that, too, in the presence of so many people. It seems to me that I would have raised the money somehow before I would have failed in such a manner.
I bid Augusta good-bye and went to Waynesboro, where I arrived safely, and found my way to Rev. Johnson's house, where I was made welcome. I then canvassed the place and found my way to the court house. I stepped in the Clerk's and other offices and found them very friendly towards me in buying my book. A lawyer of the place was muched pleased to buy one. I found others just as kind as I could wish. I preached at the M. E. church once or twice and assisted in the administration of the Lord's supper. I collected and sold books to the amount of ten dollars.
I then returned home to my family, and spent a few days with them. I then left for Guyton, on my way to Savannah. I spent one night in Guyton, and preached for the pastor, Rev. Peyton Stork; sold some books, and in going around the city I went into a lady's store she had just commenced business in, and when the lady read my appeal she wept over it in such a manner that I had to shed a few tears myself. She said she was a poor woman, and had just opened that little place of business, and that she did not have any money, but if she had she would give me some, because I was an old man, but she went to a box and found one cent, and she gave me that. I took it, but I felt very sorry for her, and the spirit that she manifested I could but admire. I collected in selling my book about five dollars.
I then took the train for Savannah, and went to the house where I had boarded before, thinking the lady would be at home directly, but I was disappointed. I sat on the front part of the house until it began to be dark, when I was informed that the lady was in service and would not be home until late at night. I was invited into another lady's house until I could fine a place to stop, and was taken to a boarding house, where the night was spent, but the pastor agreed to let me board with him, and I stopped with him a week and a few days. I preached for him twice, and took my meals in part at the market while in the city. I canvassed the place and found the citizens just as kind to me as I could expect. The first individual I presented my paper to was the Clerk of the Court, and he failed not to comply with my request. His name is Philip M. Russell. He bought one of my books at $1.00 last year. When I collected as the missionary he gave me $2.00, and the Mayor did the same, and also again this year. I did a favor for a lady in the days of slavery that saved
her from being destroyed, that Mr. Russell never forgot, and he has always shown me kindness for it. His brother bought one of my books also. I sold a great many in Savannah. I preached at the Second Baptist Church. They gave me $1.00, and one of the deacons bought one of my books. I spent two weeks in that place. I return my thanks to the kind-hearted friends for the money received from them for my book, and given me, amounting to $60.00.
I again returned to my home in Sandersville, where I safely arrived, and found my wife with a little boy two days old, who was born on May 7th. This makes my second child by my second wife--a girl and a boy--one born after I was seventy years and five months old, and one after I was seventy-two years and three months old. The girl is named Robertie and the boy James R. M. Anderson. I am at the present date, June 17th, 1891, seventy-two years and five months old, and if I ever was happy in my life it is at the present date, with these little children around me and the blessing of God in my soul. I feel as if the Lord had blessed me all of this year, and my wife and children.
I spent a few days with my family, and then left for the city of Macon, in order to sell some of my books again. I arrived safe and found my way to the court house. I had received a card from the Clerk of the Court, notifying me that he had my deeds on hand, and that he had had them recorded, and he wanted me to send him $1.00 for that, but as I was going up to Macon the next day, I did not send him the $1.00. I took it to him myself, so that I could find out about those deeds, and, behold, they were the same old deeds that were turned over to my first wife that they had in hand, and had kept me from getting, but thanks be unto the good Lord, I have them in hand at last, and they are recorded in the court house.
The first man that I offered my book to on this occasion was Mr. Madison Jones. He bought one, because, as he said, he had known me for over fifty years, and he himself was over seventy-five years old. I must say that I sold more books this time to the lawyers of Macon than ever before. The doctors also bought liberally. There is a dentist in Macon that I claim as a friend. He did not buy a book this time, but he gave me a beaver hat that he thought would suit me and do me some good. I will say right here that I have always found friends in Macon. I have published in the papers what I received from both white and colored which was $42.00, notwithstanding it was considered the dull season of the year. I spent two weeks in the city, preaching in the M. E. Church and at the Second Baptist Church. For this I received $1.00.
I then went up to Forsyth, and spent two days there, and received, in cash, for books and in gifts, $5.00. Then I came back home, and here I am to-day, penning this, the fourth edition, of my book.
I promised that I would publish the sermon I preached in McDonough, Ga., so here it is:
"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful; and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."--LUKE, X.: 41.
Now, I said to the congregation that I was going to claim those two girls as my daughters, because no one can then take any offence at what I have to say concerning them, and because, further, a father has a right to chastise his children, and, as I have many questions to ask of them, they will seem somewhat striking. Martha means a weary spirit; Mary means a Christ-like spirit, therefore the same questions that I ask one will be asked the other also. I will now commence with Martha, as she may be the oldest daughter, or, as sin is older than righteousness. Well, Martha, my daughter, did you go to church yesterday? Yes, father, I did. Who preached? The pastor. What is his name? Well, father, I cannot remember it at present. Is that so; why? Well, because he has a curious name. Now, I will let you off this time, but tell me his text, and where it can be found in the Bible? Well, father, I had it in my mind, so that I could tell you about it, because I felt sure you would ask me, but it has slipped entirely out of my memory. Why, daughter, what were you thinking about so much that you could not recollect the text? Well, father, there was another girl who sat by me, and she acted in such a way as to draw my attention from the text. Well, Martha, my daughter, it is very plain that what the Saviour said to you was the truth, that you let the things of the world draw your attention, more than the things of God.
Well, Martha, did you go to church to-day? Yes, father, I did. Who preached? Well, father, he was a strange minister to me. Did you not hear his name? I did not. How did you like his sermon? Very well, father; they called mourners to the altar to be prayed for. Did you go up? I did, sir; but, father, I do not think I will go any more. Why, my daughter? Well, father, the girls who went with me did not treat me with respect. They fell upon me and mashed my clothes so badly that the prayers did not do me any good at all. It made me feel bad, and so I made up my mind not to go any more to the altar. Now, my daughter, I recognize that you love the things of this world more than the things of God. Well, father, I like to be treated with respect, especially when I am in the house of God, and not to be trampled upon. Well, my daughter, they treated our Lord and Master worse than that, and yet he endured it for our sakes, that we might be saved. Not only this, but he suffered on the cross for our sakes that we might find redemption. That is all very true; but I have not the patience that our Lord had. If I did, I would be willing to go again. Well, Martha, I see very plainly that you have a good understanding about what you
ought to do, and, hence, if you fail in your duty you will be condemned at the bar of God.
Well, Martha, do you go to church? Yes, sir, sometimes, when the weather is suitable, but when it is raining and cold I prefer remaining at home. Why, Martha? Well, father, I do not see any use of people running through the rain and cold to get to the church. Now, daughter, you may not, but the Saviour was in the cold and rain, and heat, to save us, and why cannot we do the same, in order to please Him. Well, father I can stay at home and read my Bible, and that will be doing something. O, yes; but we are commanded by our Lord to hear the gospel preached, and the best way to do that is to go where it is proclaimed--the house of God--and my advice to you, my daughter, is for you to attend upon the services of His house; and I want you also to pray for the good Lord to give you another spirit, that you may be willing to be found at the house of worship at all seasons. I will now dismiss you until a more convenient season.
Now, Mary, my daughter, a word with you. Did you go to church on Sunday? I did, father. Who preached? The minister in charge. What is his name? Rev. Mr. Williams. What was his text, and in what book can it be found? In the third chapter of John--"And ye must be born again;" and, father, it made me tremble the way the preacher delivered himself. I thought that if I were not born of God I had better find it out very soon, because I felt the great necessity of it. Did he read a Scripture lesson before he took his text? He did, sir. Can you tell me where to find it? Yes, sir, it is the twenty-third Psalm. Can you repeat it to me? I will try, sir:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.
"He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for His name's sake.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Thank you, my daughter. I rejoice at the spirit you have for going to the house of God, hearing His word preached, and keeping it in your mind. That shows the Spirit of Christ, for He said unto Mary, that because she had made choice of that good part, it should not be taken from her. Well, Mary, do you like to go to church? I do father, whenever I am well enough to do so. Very good; but how is it when the weather is not fit for you to go? Well, my heart is there, and my mind is there also. I am fond of my Bible, too, and I can read its blessed lessons when I
am prevented from attending church. My spirit burns within me to be at the house of God. Well, Mary, do you love the ministers of God? I do, father. I love them all of every denomination, because my Lord died for them. I love them, also, because Jesus loves them. They are the followers of my Lord and Master. Why, Mary, you seem to possess the very spirit the good Lord commends. I am truly glad my father, to hear you say that, because it is all I wish to have in this world of sin and trouble. Now, Mary, were you at the prayer meeting a few nights ago? I heard they had a good time down there. Yes, sir, I was there and enjoyed myself finely. I felt the Spirit of the Lord in my very soul. They sang some of the sweetest songs I have heard in many a long day, Oh, my father, when they sung
"Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art smiling,
Do not pass me by,"
My father, it made me feel as if the Saviour was in the house. I wish you had been there. I love the Lord because he first loved me. I may be your youngest daughter, but it is said in the good book that the eldest shall serve the youngest, so, father, I really believe that the religion of Jesus Christ shall have dominion over the flesh, for where sin abounds grace shall much more abound, that is, as sin has reigned unto death, so much more shall grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen and Amen.