The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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in this diocese beyond the limits of New Berne, Wilmington and Fayetteville; to these Dr. Mason rejoiced to minister.

        In 1828 he was elected president of Geneva, now Hobart, College, New York, which he exchanged in 1835 for the presidency of Newark College, in Delaware. There he trained many pupils who became distinguished in after life; he remained for five years, when he became the rector of Christ's Church, at Raleigh, and here, for the space of an ordinary lifetime, he discharged his sacred duties with zeal, integrity and great usefulness. All who knew Dr. Mason can testify to the purity of his life and the sincerity of his character. He died 1875 universally loved and respected, leaving a wife and several children. Mrs. Mason is quite an authoress, and is named among "Southland Writers," and one of "the Living Female Writers of the South," (by May T. Tardy, Philadelphia, 1870,) for possessing great merit as a writer, and genius as an artist in sculpture; had she devoted her life to art, she would have rivaled Harriet Hosmer or Vinnie Ream in excellence. Her head of General Lee, cut in cameo, is said to be an exquisite work.

        James Saunders, son of William Saunders and Betsy Hubbard, his wife, daughter of Thomas Hubbard, was born April 25, 1765, in Lancaster County, Virginia, where the Saunders family had been established for near a century. On February 16, 1790, he left the old homestead intending to go to the then far West, but by the persuasion of relatives was prevailed upon to remain for near three years in the County of Brunswick, Virginia, when having abandoned his purpose to go West, he came to North Carolina and settled in the Edenton district. On January 7, 1798, he married Hannah, widow of Jacob Simons, of Chowan County, and daughter of James Sitterzen, of Perquimans County, who, with Zebulon Clayton, Richard Sanderson, James Sumner, Thomas Doctar, Jacob Chancey, Joseph Sutton, Nathaniel Carruthers, John Stephey, Marmaduke Norfleet, John Stephenson and Thomas West, were on March 23, 1734, appointed by Governor Gabriel Johnston, "by and with the advice and consent of His Majesty's council, justices of the peace for the precinct of Perquimans, to set and hold a court on the third Monday in the months of April, July, October and January yearly."

        The only child of this marriage was Joseph Hubbard Saunders, who was born in Chowan County on December 26, 1800. He was educated at home in the country and in the town of Edenton until he was about fifteen years of age, when he was sent to Raleigh to school, where he remained until January, 1819, when he entered the University of North Carolina, joining the sophomore class, half advanced. In June, 1821, he graduated with distinction, being, as his contemporaries said, the best writer in the college. After his graduation he remained at the university as a tutor and as a student at law with Judge Nash. Abandoning the study of the law for the study of theology with a view to entering the church, he resigned his tutorship upon the death of his father in 1824, and returned to Edenton, and for several years was in charge of the academy at that place.

        On February 6, 1831, in Richmond, Virginia, he was ordained a deacon by Bishop Moore, and on March 18, 1832, at Warrenton, North Carolina, he was made a priest by Bishop Ives of the Episcopal Church. In 1832 and 1833 he was in charge of the Episcopal Church at Warrenton, preaching also at stated periods at Louisburg, Williamsboro', Halifax and Scotland Neck. On April 25, 1833, he married Laura Lucinda Baker, daughter of Dr. Simmons Jones Baker, of Martin County, North Carolina. In 1834 he removed to Raleigh in consequence of the establishment of the Episcopal school, of which institution he was one of the principal promoters, and had been appointed chaplain. In spite of the favorable auspices under which it was managed the attempt to establish a diocesan school for the education of boys in North Carolina proved, for causes unnecessary here to mention, unsuccessful, and in the fall of 1836 he moved to Pensacola, Florida, having received a call to the charge of the parish there, mainly through the instrumentality of Judge John A. Cameron and Judge Walker Anderson, then citizens of the place, but formerly of North Carolina. On October 24, 1839, he died of fever, the yellow fever being epidemic at that time, and was buried under the vestry room of his church.

        A man of great learning united with rare practical sense, of deep and unaffected piety, and of tireless energy, it was his fortune to take a prominent part in shaping the destiny of the church he loved so well, both in his native and in his adopted State. When he entered its ministry in North Carolina it had no bishop and but a handful of clergy; before he left it an impetus had been given that is felt to this day. That day was the seed time, the present is the harvest. How he accomplished so much
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