The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

and to the church of which he is an honored ruler.

        "He graduated at the University in 1818, and for a time was a professor in the Institution."

        North Carolina was early the scene of evangelization on the part of the Episcopal Church. As early as August 13, 1587, at Raleigh's Colony, on Roanoke Island, the chieftain, Manteo, was admitted into the "fellowship of Christ's flock" by holy baptism, (Anderson's Colonial Church, I., 75,) and five days after that event Hakluyt (III. 341) gravely informs us that "Eleanor, daughter of the Governor, and wife of Ananias Dare, one of the assistants, was delivered of a daughter in Roanoke and the same was christened the Sunday following, and because this child was the first Christian borne in Virginia she was named Virginia Dare." And so around Roanoke Island as a nucleus is formed the County of Dare, and its county seat is named Manteo. Although this settlement so soon passed away and the successful colonization of this portion of the State was left for other days and less pious hands, still the churches, as the minutes of the General Convention show, attained no little strength in North Carolina prior to the Revolutionary war. After the Revolutionary war the affairs of the church were naturally at their lowest ebb.

        From 1817 to 1823 Bishop Richard Channing Moore, of Virginia, was in charge of the Episcopal churches of North Carolina; until at a convention in 1794, held at Tarboro, the Reverend Charles Pettigrew was elected Bishop, (see the sketch of this prelate under head of Tyrrell County,) and the convention applied for his consecration. Bishop White in his memoirs (p. 172) states that Mr. Pettigrew set off to attend the Convention, but was unable to reach Philadelphia in time, abandoned his efforts and soon afterward died. From 1794 to 1817 all was dreary; then the coming of Reverend Adam Empie and Reverend Bethel Judd, the one at Wilmington and the other at Fayetteville, laid the foundation of the restoration of the Episcopal Church in North Carolina. In May 22, 1823, John Stark Ravenscroft, D. D., (see his sketch under head of Wake County,) was consecrated Bishop of the diocese; he died in 1830. On September 23, 1831, Levi Silliman Ives, D. D., was consecrated, (see his sketch under head of Wake County,) but on his defection was deposed October 11, 1853, when the Right Reverend Thomas Atkinson, D. D., LL.D., assumed the Episcopal chair to which he was consecrated October 17, 1853.


        There have been more brilliant men in public service--men of more marked characteristics who have stamped their individuality upon the age in which they lived, and men of more extraordinary genius, but it is seldom that a character is found so complete, so harmonious, so evenly balanced and so thoroughly rounded in all of its proportions, so symmetrical and beautiful in the essentials of a godlike man as that of the late venerated Bishop of North Carolina, Thomas Atkinson, D. D., LL. D.

        The influence for good of such a character and of such a life as his cannot be over-estimated. As the refreshing dew falls alike upon the delicate plant and the coarser fibre of the weed, causing each to bloom and blossom, so does such a life shed its influences around. The mere man of the world, and even the thoughtless and the dissolute could not but feel their better nature stirred within them by the force of such an example and the beauty of such a life. We cannot contemplate too frequently such a character, and we should be thankful that there is virtue enough still left among men to enable them to recognize the embodiment of so much goodness in human nature. Though dead, he yet speaks to us by his example--an example of such holiness of life that it should excite us who still survive, to strive earnestly to imitate it.

        It has been thought that a brief sketch of this distinguished divine could not fail to be of inter
Page 313 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS