The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

Bookmark and Share

1839; also to Benjamin Hawkins, one of the first Senators of the United States; to Judge Archibald Murphey, probably the most progressive man in the annals of North Carolina; to Gov. Morehead, one of the ablest governors any State ever had; to the great jurist and financier, Judge Duncan Cameron; to the pure and steadfast Gov. Worth; to the wise statesman, Bartlett Yancey; to the distinguished botanist, Louis DeSchweinitz; to the active revolutionary patriot, Archibald Maclaine; to our eminent fellow citizen, John H. Bryan; to the scholar and eloquent divine, Dr. Wm. Hooper; to the gallant general, Bryan Grimes, to Judge Battle, than whom no State ever had a purer judge or more upright citizen; to Burtyn Craige, who as a publicman, and ardent lover of North Carolina and a strong lawyer has had few equals; to Michael Hoke, who so well illustrated our people by his manly characteristics, whose brilliancy ranked him with the giants of his generation. We mention these as occurring to our minds just now, and hope to be furnished with a complete list at an early day.

        This memorial hall will be the grandest historical building in the South. Mr. P. C. Cameron, chairman of the building committee, promises that the next commencement (1885) shall be held in it.

        Associated with the University of North Carolina is the name of Charles Force Deems, D. D., L. L. D., who was an inhabitant, "part and parcel" of her fame from 1842 to 1848. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 4th, 1820. He is a graduate of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, in the class of 1839. In his twentieth year, he was made general agent of the American Bible Society, and chose North Carolina as his field of labor, and ever since he has claimed that State as his home--though greatly honored in New York City and elsewhere, he always speaks of North Carolina as "home".

        Here he became adjunct professor in logic and rhetoric in the University at Chapel Hill in conjunction with Doctor, (now Right Reverend Bishop) Green and remained for five years, when he accepted the chair of Natural Science in Randolph-Macon College, Virginia, which position he occupied for one year. Returning to North Carolina, he was stationed at New Berne, and became a delegate to the General Conference held at St. Louis; it was during its session that he was elected president of the Greensboro' Female College; he had charge of this institution for five years. In 1854 he returned to the regular work of the ministry, and after preaching at Goldsboro' and at Wilmington, he was re-elected to the General Conference, where he was chosen president of the Centenary College of Louisiana He has been repeatedly invited to professorship and presidencies of colleges, but it was in December 1865 that Dr. Deems removed to New York City, and there engaged in literary labor and in July 1866 began to preach in the chapel of the University; his congregation there assembled soon crystalized into a new society and became known as the "Church of the Strangers." In 1870, through the munificence of the famous railroad magnate, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who became a devoted friend of Dr. Deems, this congregation found its home by the purchase of the Mercer Street Presbyteran Church, (No 4. Winthrop Place,) where they were most solemnly installed October 9, 1870, and has since become one of the great institutions of the great commercial metropolis.

        Dr. Deems received his degree of doctor of divinity from the Randolph-Macon College when he was only thirty years of age, and in 1877 the University of North Carolina conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL D.

        He is the author of more than a dozen volumes of different religious works, among
Page 354 of 471
Index - Contents
Featured Books & CD-ROMS