Virginia’s “African Preacher” and the Presbyterian Divines
Presented at a Session entitled “Race and Religion in the Chesapeake” on Friday, July 20, 2001, at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, July 19-22, 2001.
This is a story about the convergence of the lives of seven highly regarded men—a convergence that occurred intermittently between 1788 and 1843 in Nottoway County, Virginia. During these years, six of the seven men became authors; five of them, distinguished Presbyterian ministers; four of them, moderators of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church; three of them, college presidents; one of them the founding editor of a respected literary and theological magazine; and one of them, an esteemed physician and United States congressman.1 The seventh, although distinguished in none of these ways, was also a respected clergyman. A licensed Baptist preacher, he was a personal friend of each of the other six; but “Uncle Jack,” as he came to be called, spent over forty years of his long life in slavery.
A native of Africa, Jack is said to have arrived on one of the last slave ships to enter Virginia (African Preacher 11).2 Although his biographer says that he was seven years old at the time, it is more likely that he was twelve to sixteen. An obscure planter named Charles Stewart bought him from a slave trader docked at Osborne’s Landing on the James River (most likely between 1770 and 1772) and took him to Nottoway County, where he lived his entire life. For twenty years, that life was probably little different from those of hundreds of other Nottoway slaves. However, in his mid thirties, Jack accepted Christianity, was taught to read by Stewart’s children, and was licensed to preach by the Baptist Church. Stewart died in 1801,3 and four years later, Jack’s neighbors raised enough money both to purchase his freedom from Stewart’s heirs and to establish him in a modest cabin of his own. From that cabin, he conducted his ministry for another thirty-five years. Known as the “African Preacher,” Uncle Jack was recognized throughout the region both for his work in Nottoway and as an inspiration to his Presbyterian friends. He died in 1843, close to ninety years of age.4 The youngest of his six friends, William S. White, by then an influential pastor in Lexington, wrote Jack’s biography, and it was published by the Presbyterian Board of Publications in 1849 as The African Preacher.
Jack’s initial contact with the first three Presbyterian divines came in the late 1780s when each of them preached in Jack’s neighborhood. It happened that Stewart, and Jack, lived on a road connecting Petersburg with Hampden-Sydney College; and along this road traveled students, professors, and others who visited the small Presbyterian school.5 In addition, Presbyterians considered south central Virginia a fertile mission field at the time, and as often as possible, they licensed young men as preachers and sent them on mission trips into the region before ordaining them. Thus it was that during the 1780s and 1790s, even though there was no Presbyterian congregation in Nottoway, services were held there at irregular intervals. Some of these took place at the home of a Presbyterian layman named Joel Tanner, one of Stewart’s neighbors,6 and it is likely at Tanner’s house that Jack first encountered John Blair Smith, the second president of Hampden-Sydney and the pastor of the Cumberland and Briery Churches in Prince Edward County. White says Uncle Jack described the encounter in these words:
At length a preacher passed along, they called Mr. President Smith. He turned my heart inside out. The preacher talked so directly to me, and about me, that I thought the whole sermon was meant for me. I wondered much, who could have told him what a sinner I was (African Preacher 14).
The second of the three itinerants who influenced Jack to accept Christianity was William Hill, who graduated from Hampden-Sydney in 1789, the same year that saw the end of John Blair Smith’s tenure as president. After graduating, Hill immersed himself in theology for nine months and was licensed to preach by Hanover Presbytery in 1790. As soon as he was licensed, he began the first of several missionary tours that for two long years took him throughout most of the state. He was ordained by Lexington Presbytery in 1792, and spent most of the rest of his life in and around Winchester.7
Fortunately, Hill kept a journal of his travels, and in it, he comments upon his stay with Joel Tanner between February 8 and 22 of 1791. He preached at least twelve times in the immediate neighborhood during those two weeks,8 and certainly, Jack must have been among those who heard him; for years later Jack would tell his biographer that “after a while [that is, not too long after Smith’s visit], there came along a young man they called Mr. Hill” (African Preacher 14). For his part, Hill never mentioned Jack by name, but his tantalizing journal entry for Saturday, February 19, reads as follows:
I had an appointment to preach at Mr. H. Ferguson’s but the day was so unfavourable that no one came. However I gave an exhortation to the family, & was comforted in conversing with a poor negro who I believe is near heaven (Hill 59).
Now, Ferguson was a very close neighbor to Stewart and Tanner, so if the “poor negro” was not Jack, he certainly might have been. If so, Hill’s comment that the Negro was “near heaven” meant either that he was a man of native goodness, or that he was close to becoming a Christian, or both. It’s not likely that Hill perceived him as approaching death, for at that time, Jack was still in his thirties.
The third of the traveling divines whom Jack met in the early 1790s was Archibald Alexander. Like Jack, Alexander had been brought into the fold in part by hearing Smith preach;9 and, like Hill, he was a twenty-year-old preparing for the ministry. Also like Hill, he found himself in the mission fields of south central Virginia shortly after being licensed.10 Even though Alexander apparently kept no journal, his initial orders, received in April of 1792, instructed him to “proceed to Petersburg” and then “turn westward, along the North Carolina line” (Alexander 125-26); and he expressly mentions that he “fulfilled engagements” by preaching in Amelia, Nottoway, and Lunenburg Counties (Alexander 150). It was almost certainly during this trip that Alexander first met Jack, for Jack said that at “about the same time” Hill passed through—actually it was a full year later—“another followed, with a sweet voice, [whom] they called Mr. Alexander.” Jack continued,
[Like Mr. President Smith, these men, Hill and Alexander,] were powerful preachers . . . , and told me all about my troubles; and brought me to see, that there was nothing for a poor, helpless sinner to do, but to go to the Lord Jesus Christ, and trust in him alone for salvation (African Preacher 14).
Alexander quickly won not only Jack’s heart, but also the respect of his associates, for in 1795, he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Briery Church, whose pulpit had been left vacant by Smith’s departure (Alexander 169). Two years later, at the tender age of twenty-four, he became Hampden-Sydney’s third president. After nine years in that office, Alexander followed Smith once again, this time to the pulpit of the Pine Street Church in Philadelphia. His final move was to Princeton, where, at age forty, he founded the Theological Seminary in 1812, staying there for thirty-nine years—until his death in 1851.
Jack’s conversion to Christianity through Smith, Hill, and Alexander opened a new world for him. Motivated by a deep desire to understand the Bible, Jack provided Stewart’s children with nuts and fruits in exchange for reading lessons, and soon, says White, he was “able to read the word of God with ease” (African Preacher 15). White goes on to describe his subject in these words:
So rapid was [Jack’s] progress in divine knowledge, and such his prudence, good sense, and zeal, that many of the most intelligent and pious people of his neighborhood expressed the desire to have him duly authorized to preach the gospel. The Baptist church, of which he had become a member, took this matter into serious consideration; and after subjecting him to the trials usually imposed by that denomination, licensed him to labor as a herald of the cross. . . . Upon the duties of his new and responsible office, he entered with a truly apostolic spirit . . . . His labors were abundant and faithful. He was often called to preach at a distance of more than thirty miles from his home (African Preacher 15-16).
The death of Charles Stewart in 1801 and Jack’s manumission in 1805 gradually brought him out of what has been called “the twilight world between slavery and freedom” that he appears to have occupied after the mid 1780s,11 and over the next two decades his reputation and influence rapidly increased. White says that “previous to 1825, he was considered by the best judges, the best preacher in [Nottoway] county” (41) and quotes the founder of Union Theological Seminary [John Holt Rice, in 1826] as saying that . . .
. . . the acquaintance of this African preacher with the Scriptures is wonderful. Many of his interpretations of obscure passages, are singularly just and striking. In many respects, indeed, he is one of the most remarkable men I have ever known (17).
And in 1827, an article about Jack published in the Virginia Literary and Evangelical Magazine summarized his work and his standing in the community as follows:
Jack possesses the entire confidence of the whole neighborhood in which he lives. No man doubts his integrity, or the sincerity of his piety. All classes treat him with marked respect. . . . Accordingly, he has permission to hold meetings on the neighbouring plantations whenever he thinks proper. He often visits the sick of his own colour, and preaches at all the funerals of the blacks who die any where within his reach.12
Perhaps a secondary reason for the high respect with which Jack was held was his longstanding friendship with Dr. James Jones, the only layman among the seven primary subjects of this paper and to this day one of Nottoway’s most famous sons. Jones had been a student at Hampden-Sydney with William Hill and was three years younger. But even though Hill and Jones were close contemporaries, Jones, whose parents were wealthy landowners in Nottoway, was from a quite different background. Having graduated from Hampden-Sydney in 1791 and from medical school at the University of Edinburgh in 1796, Jones enjoyed one of the best educations available.
But the Joneses were able to provide for their son in other ways, too; and in the mid 1790s, they financed the construction of an elegant new home for the young physician. Mountain Hall, as they called it, was located very close to the Tanners, the Fergusons, and the Stewarts, so if Jack did not actually help in its construction, he must have enjoyed watching it built. By 1799 Jones had moved into Mountain Hall with his bride; and with the exception of the time he spent in Richmond and Washington in public service, he lived there for the rest of his life.13 So it was that Uncle Jack—slave and freedman—and Dr. James Jones—physician and legislator—lived within a mile of one another and built an unlikely friendship that lasted for over forty years. According to White, Dr. Jones “acknowledged himself under obligations to this humble preacher of righteousness as a spiritual instructor” (African Preacher 19-20); and White considered Dr. Jones to be Jack’s “best earthly friend” (59).
In 1810, Dr. Jones suffered the traumatic experience of the death of his only living child, eleven-year-old Maria Ann, an event which both tested and strengthened his faith (White, “Biographical Sketch,” 77-81; and Watson 151). After this time, he gradually began to assume the role that Tanner once enjoyed as the occasional host to traveling Presbyterian ministers (African Preacher 26), most of whom he probably already knew through his connections with Hampden-Sydney. These visitors would invariably conduct services in Jones’ parlor, and when they did, Jack would always be there, both to worship and to discuss the Bible with them.
It is almost certain, therefore, that Jack met John Holt Rice at Mountain Hall. Rice (1777-1831) began his long association with Hampden-Sydney College as a nineteen-year-old tutor, arriving in December 1796—six months before Archibald Alexander assumed the presidency (Foote 258). Rice was licensed as a minister in 1803; and in 1804, he resigned his office as tutor at Hampden-Sydney to answer a call as pastor of the Cub Creek Church in nearby Charlotte County, where he served until 1812. In that year he became the founding pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Richmond. Finally, in 1823, he moved back to Hampden-Sydney as the First Professor of Theology at the newly-formed Theological Seminary there (Brinkley 138).
During the next two years (1824-25), in addition to running the new seminary, Rice organized the widely scattered Presbyterians in Nottoway County into a very small church.14 Years later, Dr. Jones recalled that “Dr. [Moses] Hoge and the Reverend J[ohn] H[olt] Rice called at his house and spent the night” (Watson 52) and that after that meeting, the church was formed, and Jones became one of its elders. Now it is most unlikely that Jack attended the meeting with Rice, Hoge, and Jones; but it is probable that he attended any worship service that Rice or Hoge may have led at Mountain Hall on the same day. At any rate, after a year during which a recent graduate of Princeton Seminary worked to build a following,15 Jones wrote to Dr. Rice, asking him to send a permanent minister to the fledgling congregation. In 1827, Dr. Rice obliged and sent William S. White, who had just been licensed to preach, to serve Nottoway as his first pastorate. Since the licensing took place in Petersburg, it was James Holt Rice’s brother, Benjamin, who gave White the news. White remembered Rice's exact words:
Well, the Presbytery has opened your mouth, and now I’ll tell you what to do. Go over to Richmond, visit your friends . . . get you a horse, and . . . go to Dr. James Jones, of Nottoway. He will give you and your horse board, and, with three other gentlemen assisting, will pay you $200 in money. Then go to work with all your might. You will find a good many Baptists, a great many Methodists, and very few Presbyterians in that county. To other denominations be kind, fraternal, and strive only to outpreach, outpray, and outwork them (Autobiography 46-47).
The young minister obliged, and for five years (1827-32) he, and soon his wife, lived with Dr. and Mrs. Jones at Mountain Hall. Here he became friends with Uncle Jack, whose biography he would one day dedicate to Benjamin Rice as the man who had advised him in such direct terms to go to Nottoway in the first place.
The convergence of the remarkable Uncle Jack with five of the most prominent and influential Presbyterian ministers of their age is a fascinating human-interest story in itself. However, three observations may help put the life of the African preacher into the perspective of its times.
First, as a pulpiteer, Uncle Jack was quite atypical of the black ministers of his day. In describing the way Jack conducted his own services, White says,
We have often heard him [Jack] say, “I don’t like to hear more sound than sense in the pulpit.” He [Jack] uniformly opposed, both in public and private, everything like noise and disorder in the house of God. His colored auditors were very prone to err in this way. But whenever they did, he suspended the exercises until they became silent. . . . His sentiments and his practice on this subject seem the more remarkable, when it is remembered, that at this time nothing was more common, not only among the blacks, but also among the whites, than noise and confusion during public worship. Indeed, they were thought the best Christians, who shouted the oftenest and prayed the loudest. This sentiment he [Jack] literally abhorred, and did his utmost to exterminate (African Preacher 27-29).
At least in this respect, Jack’s preaching style was as certainly Presbyterian as if he had graduated from Union Theological Seminary himself.
Second, it seems clear that much of Jack’s effectiveness was due to his acceptance of the institution of slavery and of his own station in life. Two of the strongest recurring themes of the biography are Jack's humility and God's surprising choice of an uneducated slave to spread His word. Thus Jack’s meekness and his submission to God’s will in his life are two of the attributes for which the Presbyterian divines most admired him. So even though White has a great deal of respect for Uncle Jack, his tone is nonetheless strongly paternalistic. The biography portrays Jack as willing and able to stand up to his white neighbors in spiritual and theological debate, but it just as clearly presents him as socially deferential. For example, even though Jack accepted the goals of The American Colonization Society, he himself did not wish to return to Africa because he considered it pagan (African Preacher 40). And as an eighty-year-old, he willingly accepted the 1832 Virginia law prohibiting the preaching of blacks (African Preacher 42).
There is no way of knowing the source of the two sketches found in the first edition of The African Preacher, or whether White approved them; however, the tone of the first is consistent with the tone of the book as a whole. The sketch shows a white man studying a Bible, and the caption reads, "I have discovered lately that I am a great sinner." These are the white man's words, not Jack's; and according to the text, Jack is instructing him (African Preacher 56). However, the dress and the body language of the two men, and the log cabin barely visible in the background, indicate that the teacher, although spiritually more mature than his student, is socially subordinate to the him. And Jack willingly accepts the arrangement.
Finally, the biography suggests that after his licensing Jack seems to have used his moral authority to keep order among slaves. Listen to the following passage:
But while the white people respect, the blacks love, fear, and obey him. His influence among them is unbounded. His authority over the members of his own church is greater than that of the master, or the overseer. And if one of them commits an offence of any magnitude, he never ceases dealing with him, until the offender is brought to repentance, or excluded from the society. The gentlemen of the vicinity freely acknowledge, that this influence is highly beneficial.16
Again, White is referring here to Jack's spiritual discipline among members of his flock. However, the implication is inescapable that Jack’s authority helped maintain the social status quo in Nottoway—including the institution of slavery. So although the Presbyterian divines saw Jack as a wonderful and remarkable man—and his ministry as the very model of applied Christianity,—most of the white population, religious or not, would certainly have seen it also as a practical and very useful complement to the slave laws.
In conclusion, it might be observed that Jack’s theology, ministry, politics, personality, and conduct of life not only influenced, but were influenced by, his six more learned counterparts. And in each of these ways, Jack stood in stark contrast to another black preacher—Nat Turner. In his later years, Jack surely would have known of his fiery young contemporary, for they lived only seventy miles apart. And the contrast would have been lost on no one in Virginia, least of all on the Presbyterian divines.
Alexander, James W. The Life of Archibald Alexander, D.D., First Professor in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, New Jersey. New York: Charles Scribner, 1854.
Egerton, Douglas R.. Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1993.
Becker, Eddie, compiler. Chronology on the History of Slavery, 1999. http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html
Brinkley, John Luster. On This Hill: A Narrative History of Hampden-Sydney College 1774-1994. Hampden-Sydney, VA, 1994.
Foote, William Henry. Sketches of Virginia, Historical and Biographical. Second Series, Second edition, revised. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1856.
Hill, William. Autobiographical Sketches of Dr. William Hill together with his Account of the Revival of Religion in Prince Edward County and Biographical Sketches of the Life and Character of the Reverend Dr. Moses Hoge of Virginia. Historical Transcripts No. 4. Richmond, VA: Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1968.
Jones, James. Preface to the Records of the Presbyterian Church of Nottoway. Minutes of the Session of the Nottoway Presbyterian Church (now the Blackstone Presbyterian Church). Montreat, NC: Department of History of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Microfilm Reel VH-6, Section A-I, pp. a-g.
Minchinton, Walter, Celia King, and Peter Waite, eds. Virginia Slave-Trade Statistics 1698-1775. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1984.
Nottoway County, Virginia. Public Records. Will Books #1 (1789-1802) and #2 (1803-1809).
Rice, John Holt. “The Pious African.” Virginia Literary and Evangelical Magazine 10:1 (Jan. 1827), 22-25. [The article is signed “Rusticus,” but in quoting it in The African Preacher (17-19), White attributes it to John Holt Rice, then the editor of the Magazine.]
Turner, William Read. Nottoway Parish, 1748 with a Brief Account of the Established Church in England and Colonial Virginia. Blackstone, VA, 1956.
Watson, Walter A[llen]. Notes on Southside Virginia. Ed. Mrs. Walter A. Watson under the direction of Wilmer L. Hall. Bulletin of the Virginia State Library, vol. 15 (1925). Rpt. 1973.
White, William S. The African Preacher. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publications, 1849. In The African Preachers: Four Complete Volumes Compiled under One Title. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1998. 11-72. The 1849 edition is available online as part of the University of North Carolina's "Documenting the American South" Series: http://metalab.unc.edu/docsouth/white/white.html.
----. "Biographical Sketch of Dr. James Jones." Appendix I to The African Preacher in both the original (1849) and reprinted (1998) editions.
----. Rev. William S. White, D.D., and His Times: An Autobiography. Ed. Rev. H[enry] M[artyn] White. 1891. Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1983.
1 James Jones (1772-1848) was a physician and served as Director General of Hospital and Medical Stores during the War of 1812; he was a U. S. congressman between 1819 and 1823. John Blair Smith (1756-1799) was President of Hampden-Sydney College between 1779 and 1789, and was the founding President of Union College, Schenectady, NY, between 1795 and 1799. Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) was President of Hampden-Sydney between 1797 and 1806, and founded Princeton Theological Seminary in 1812, where he served for thirty-nine years. John Holt Rice (1777-1831), the founding pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Richmond, also founded the seminary at Hampden-Sydney, now Union Theological Seminary in Richmond. He also founded and edited the Virginia Literary and Evangelical Magazine, and was a close friend of Alexander. Smith, Alexander, Rice, and Hill all served as moderators of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States: Smith (1798), Alexander (1807), Rice (1819), Hill (1821). William S. White (1800-1873) served the Charlottesville Presbyterian Church between 1836 and 1848; while there, he founded and taught in a girls’ school and served occasionally as chaplain to the University of Virginia. He was pastor of the Lexington Presbyterian Church between 1848 and 1871 and in that capacity ministered to General Stonewall Jackson.
2 All citations are taken from a recent reprint of The African Preacher in The African Preachers: Four Complete Volumes Compiled under One Title (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications, 1998), 11-72. The reprint includes Appendix 1, White's "Biographical Sketch of Dr. James Jones," pp. 73-88, which was also bound with the first edition (1849). The 1849 edition is available online as part of the University of North Carolina's "Documenting the American South" Series: http://metalab.unc.edu/docsouth/white/white.html.
Unless the phrase is meant to include a broad range of years, it is unlikely that Jack did indeed “belong to one of the last cargoes [White’s italics] of this sort, ever landed on the shores of Virginia” (p. 11). According to Virginia Slave-Trade Statistics 1698-1775 (Walter Minchinton, Celia King, and Peter Waite, eds. Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1984), eighty-one vessels carrying slaves entered Virginia between 1770 and 1775. However, only nine of these vessels came from Africa. (The rest came from the Caribbean.) The ports of entry of seven of these nine were in the “James” or “Upper James” Districts (pp. 177-89). The last four of these seven arrivals occurred between May and August of 1772 (p. 185), and it may well be that Jack arrived on one of these four. In 1778, “a law was passed in Virginia, that thereafter no slave should be imported into that Commonwealth by sea or by land, and that every slave who should be imported should become free” (Chronology on the History of Slavery, compiled by Eddie Becker, 1999. See on line at http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html.).
3 Stewart died about September 1, 1801; his will was proved on September 3. (Nottoway County Will Book #1, Part 2, pp. 448-50.)
4 My own estimate. White believed him to be nearly 100 years old at the time of his death.
5 Namozine Road. Nottoway County land records and maps.
6 Foote, William Henry. Sketches of Virginia, Historical and Biographical. Second Series, Second edition, revised. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1856. Foote mentions that William Hill preached at the Tanners (p. 185). In addition, James Jones refers to Tanner in a historical sketch of the Nottoway Presbyterian Church, saying that Tanner “was settled where I now [June 25, 1844] live," and that Dr. Drury Lacy, on the faculty at Hampden-Sydney at the time, preached Tanner’s funeral. Jones's “historical sketch” was written into the minutes of the Nottoway Presbyterian Church (now the Blackstone Presbyterian Church) and may be found on microfilm (Reel VH-6, pp. a-g) in the archives of the Department of History of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. at Montreat, NC.
7 Hill graduated from Hampden-Sydney on October 1, 1789, and studied theology independently between that time and June of 1990. Hanover Presbytery licensed him to preach on July 10, 1790, and Lexington Presbytery ordained him on May 30, 1792. See Foote, pp. 173-4, and 188.
8 Autobiographical Sketches of Dr. William Hill together with his Account of the Revival of Religion in Prince Edward County and Biographical Sketches of the Life and Character of the Reverend Dr. Moses Hoge of Virginia. Historical Transcripts No. 4. Richmond, VA: Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, 1968.
9 Alexander was strongly moved when he heard Smith preach at a revival in 1789 at Briery Church in Prince Edward County, where Smith was still the pastor as well as serving as president of Hampden-Sydney. [James W. Alexander. The Life of Archibald Alexander, D.D., First Professor in the Theological Seminary, at Princeton, New Jersey. New York: Charles Scribner, 1854. 50-56.]
10 Alexander was licensed on October 1, 1791 (Alexander 111), and was elected as a missionary in April of 1792 (Alexander 125).
11 The phrase is Douglas R. Egerton’s. (See Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1993, p. 25.) The executor’s records for the estate of Stewart show that Jack was hired out at least twice in 1802. (See Nottoway County Will Book #2, p. 498.) If the accounts of his ministry are accurate, he must have enjoyed a relatively high degree of independence for a slave.
12 Virginia Literary and Evangelical Magazine 10:1 (Jan. 1827), 22-25. The article is signed “Rusticus,” but in quoting it in The African Preacher (17-19), White attributes it to John Holt Rice, then the editor of the Magazine.
13 Jones married Catherine Harris on September 10, 1797 (Watson 166). Not long afterwards, they had two children, the first of whom, Maria Ann, was born on December 24, 1798, and died on November 24, 1810, one month shy of her twelfth birthday. Their second daughter, Mary Frances, was born July 4, 1799, and died in infancy on October 31 of the same year (White, “Biographical Sketch” 77-81; and Watson 151). Jones, his wife, and both daughters are buried in a small plot at Mountain Hall, near present-day Crewe.
14 In lower Nottoway, the church met at old Green’s Church. According to Watson (p. 50), it was established there on the third Sunday of September 1824. (William Read Turner [in Nottoway Parish, 1748 with a Brief Account of the Established Church in England and Colonial Virginia (Blackstone, VA, 1956), p. 18], cites the year as 1823.) The church meetings in upper Nottoway took place at the Republican Church. Evidently, it was the latter group with which James Jones was primarily associated.
15 The Reverend Robert Roy (Watson 52).
16 Rice, as quoted in The African Preacher, p. 19.