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Re: Samuel Gardner Rankin and Rev. John Rankin (1793-1886)
Posted by: Michael Kearl (ID *****7119) Date: February 18, 2003 at 21:12:54
In Reply to: Re: Samuel Rankin (1784 - 1842). by Joan Lindley of 3418

Hi Joan--Here's what I have.

3. Rev. John Rankin was born in February 4, 1793, on a forest farm in eastern Tennessee (Dandridge, Jefferson Co.), and grew up with few advantages except those which would tend to develop of a strong physique. Occasionally he was permitted to spend a few months at the district school, two miles from his home, but the greater part of his education was secured by his own exertions, the result being that he had wise confidence in the conclusions of his own investigations. This enabled him to maintain in after years his position on slavery, though almost alone in the defense of truths which he accepted and advocated. As early as his seventh year the Holy Spirit influenced his mind to prayer, and gave him a deep desire to be a possessor of the religion of the Savior, but not having the nurture and care so easily obtained in our times he passed years in doubt and in conflict with such doctrines as those of predestination and God's Sovereignty. When he at last gave his heart to Christ, he determined to obtain an education and preach the Gospel. Accordingly, he entered Washington College, eastern Tennessee, where he graduated in 1814, and in the mean time he had married Miss Jane Lowry (Jan. 1, 1816 in Washington, TN), a grand daughter of Rev. Samuel Doake, DD, the president and founder of the college. She among other accomplishments knew how to use her needles and shears, so that she made her husband's wedding coat, and he made his own shoes. In 1816 he was licensed by the Presbytery of Abingdon, and in the fall of 1817 with his wife and child, later Rev. Adam L. Rankin, started for Ohio, a few articles of furniture being carried in their two wheeled carriage, drawn by one horse. He had not yet discovered the fact that the Bible condemned slavery, but with his sympathetic nature he could not live where it existed, so he determined to seek a free state. He was persuaded, however, while passing through Kentucky, to preach in Concord, where he had stopped for the Sabbath, and at the urgent request of the church members he remained with them for four years, finally arriving at his destination, Ripley, Ohio, in May 1822. For forty four years he was pastor of the Presbyterian Church there, but while laboring to build up the cause of Christ as a pastor, a new work seemed to be thrust upon him, viz, the discussion of the question of slavery from a Biblical standpoint. His brother, Thomas, had written him a letter informing him that he had purchased a slave. The letter was Dec. 2, 1823, and he at once began a series of letters on the question in the Castigator, published in book form, and a copy fell into the hands of Lloyd Garrison, who wrote to the author, acknowledging his indebtedness for the argument and closing with the words, "With profound and loving veneration of his anti slavery discipline and humble co worker in the cause of emancipation." So that Mr. Rankin is entitled to some regard as a teacher of the great Abolitionist. Mr. Rankin's book was adopted by the American Anti Slavery Society, and he was appointed for one year as a lecturer for the society, his congregation consenting to release him for that period of time. In furtherance of this same work he and Dr. Boynton were the chief instruments in forming the American Reform Tract and Book Society. Mr. Rankin being chosen president and Dr. Boynton the corresponding secretary, and for many years he was one of the mainstays of the society. It published many tracts and articles from his pen, all urging obedience to the Golden Rule: "WHATSOEVER YE WOULD THAT MEN SHOULD DO TO YOU, DO YE EVEN SO TO THEM" and that other truth, "GOD WILL PUNISH NATIONAL SINS BY NATIONAL JUDGMENTS." After resigning his position in Ripley, Ohio, Mr. Rankin preached for some years in Ohio and Kansas, where his beloved wife died, after many years of intelligent and untiring work as a helpmeet. He was pastor of the church at Richmond, Ohio, and organized the church at Lyndon, Kansas, while he filled other pulpits as opportunity offered until age and infirmities came on. His last days were spent at the home of his granddaughter, Mrs. Lida Gray, at Ironton, Ohio, his death occurring March 19, 1886. He was a remarkable man, abounding in labors for the cause of Christ and humanity, and as a preacher and expositor of Scripture he had few equals. His Scotch Irish parentage was favorable to an evenly balanced temperament, and his mental faculties had been developed, strengthened and sanctified by a sensible early education in piety, making his character one of singular strength, force, and beauty. For years his home on the hilltop above Ripley was known to the panting fugitives as the entrance to the "Underground Railroad", which would take them safely to Canada, and it is said that many of the incidents in Uncle Tom’s Cabin were furnished by those he had aided to escape. He was born a reformer, and naturally opposed everything which he conceived to be contrary to the welfare of the human race, especially slavery and intemperance. In almost every town in the southern part of the state the voice of John Rankin was heard in strong and fearless utterance against the curse of slavery. For a quarter of a century he lived to see the slaved free men, and his name will ever live in history and in the affection of the race for which he did so much. On Thursday, May 5, 1892, a monument was unveiled and dedicated in Ripley, Ohio, to his memory, as the Pioneer Abolitionist, it being in the form of a bronze bust modeled by Mrs. Ellen Copp, his granddaughter. On the pedestal is inscribed:
       John Rankin
       1793 1886
       Jane Lowery his wife
       1795 1878.
       Freedom`s Heroes.
The ceremonies were attended by many of their children and descendants. The thirteen children of John Rankin are as follows:
•       Adam L., a minister, served as captain in the 113rd Reg., Illinois, during the Civil War;
•       Isabelle Jane David;
•       Richard Calvin, 1st Lt. of Co. h 12th O.V.I., went at the first call as first sergeant of the 4th Independent Company, of an Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment, serving from August 1862 to July 1865, and his death occurred May 17, 1899, at Ripley, Ohio.
•       Samuel Gardner Wilson is developed below;
•       Julia Doake;
•       John Thompson went out with 116th Illinois, and was afterwards made quartermaster of a U.S. colored regiment;
•       Andrew Campbell, a physician, was assistant surgeon of the 88th Illinois V.I. and was retained several months after the war in charge of Hospital No. 5 at Camp Nelson, Kentucky;
•       Mary Eliza;
•       William Alexander was commissioned as captain and assistant quartermaster, and served on the staff of Col. LeGrange, General McCook, commanding 1st Div. C.C.M.D.M.;
•       Lucinda;
•       Aurthur Tappan, now in Utah, was a Presbyterian minister, stationed for 25 years at Greensburg, Indiana;
•       Thomas Lovejoy.

Rev. John Rankin gave more sons for defense of the Union than any other minister, and it is claimed that to Jane Lowery Rankin belongs the proud distinction of being the mother of more soldiers in the Civil War than any other woman, and all of them were officers.

(the following is from Charles Blockson, "Escape From Slavery: The Underground Railroad," National Geographic July 1984, p. 19)
       Welcoming beacon from Liberty Hill once drew fugitives from Kentucky across the Ohio River to the Ripley, Ohio, farm of the Reverend John Rankin. ... For 40 years the outspoken Presbyterian minister passed refugees north, his sons ready to defend them with guns. Slave owners offered rewards of as much as $2,500 for the `abduction or assassination' of Rankin and other conductors.
       One winter eve a bondswoman carrying her child crossed over on the river's melting ice, a journey recalled by footsteps on the Kentucky shore; she found refuge with Rankin, Coffin, and others. Harriet Beecher Stowe drew on this and other episodes to create Eliza Harris in Uncle Tom's Cabin.

4. Samuel Gardner Wilson Rankin was born in Ripley, Ohio, Dec. 28, 1822. It was not unnatural that the question of liberating the slaves commanded much of the boy's attention, as the method of freeing the slaves in a secret manner familiarly known as the "Underground Railroad" originated at his father`s house. Mr. Rankin attended school and graduated at a college then located in Ripley, Ohio, and afterwards studied for the ministry at the Land Seminary, in Cincinnati. While at the Seminary he came under the instruction of Dr. Lyman Beecher, and first met Harriet Beecher Stowe. In the latter part of the forties he took his first pastorate at Sardinia, Ohio, and about 1850 he came to Connecticut, having received a call to the Center Congregational Church in Portland, Conn., where he remained nine years. On leaving Portland he became pastor of a church in Westchester, and in 1863 he removed to Glastonbury, purchasing the Andrew T. Hale place on Main Street, where he died on Nov. 20, 1897. During the latter years of his life he devoted considerable time to farming, but many pulpits in the vicinity were supplied by him during his residence in Glastonbury, and he filled a place in the community that, because of his diverse gifts, no one else could fill. He could deliver an excellent sermon, give an address appropriate for a national holiday, a political meeting or a donation party with singular effectiveness, or give an interesting account upon the lecture platform of his family experiences and efforts for the slaves. When it came to business affairs his good judgment and thorough and practical knowledge of men and affairs always favored him, and being endowed with a keen intellect and strong will he easily mastered many questions that would have annoyed a less versatile man. He was extremely fond of horses and few knew the peculiarities of the animals better than he, or more thoroughly enjoyed driving them. He voted for William Henry Harrison in 1840, and it was an easy step for him to pass from the Whig Party to the Republican and vote for John C. Fremont in 1856. A man of wide and lasting sympathies, he made many friends, and he was a loyal supporter of the Glastonbury Congregational Church, uniting it by letter in 1864. He also held several town offices, and he was also connected with the Christian Commission, doing efficient work.
       On August 27, 1845, Mr. Rankin married Dolly Goodrich, who he met in Cincinnati. She was born in Portland, Conn., August 30, 1823, and died January 31, 1893. Among her ancestors was Rev. Timothy Stevens, the first minister in Glastonbury. Of the children of Samuel and Dolly Rankin, the eldest was Susan J., born May 25, 1864, who married H. E. Loomis, a farmer in Glastonbury; Samuel F., born Aug. 11, 1852, died May 12, 1854; Helen P., born Sept. 8, 1854, married D.W. Williams, of the firm of J.B. Williams & Sons, of Glastonbury, the originators and manufacturers of Yankee Shaving Soap; John DeLos (twin of Helen) is mentioned below; Lucy Virginia, born Jan. 14, 1857, married Milton S. Tracy and resides in Glastonbury on the homestead (to her we are indebted for much of this information); Charles G. was born Oct. 2, 1859, and is now a physician in Glastonbury; Hepsibah, born Jan. 24, 1863, died the same year.

A Memorial copied from a church paper, "Our Weekly Reminder", First Church of Christ (Congregational), Glastonbury, Conn., dated Nov. 21, 1897:
       It is with the sense of a personal, as well as a public, loss that we attempt to pen this brief memorial. After a long and painful illness, borne with sweet Christian trust, on Saturday, Nov. 20, at a little past the noontide hour, our honored father and brother Rankin passed into the life which is eternal. He was born in Kentucky, Dec. 28, 1822, one of a family of thirteen children, seven of whom survive him. His father was a Home Missionary, and the family experienced the hardships of early frontier life increased by the oppressions of the slave power. Driven by this power into Southern Ohio, father and sons were in the heat of the Antislavery conflict, assisting in the escape of Eliza, the heroine of Uncle Tom's Cabin. He studied at the celebrated Lane Seminary and had pastorates in Ohio and Connecticut and he had supplied at different times for many years nearly all the country churches in this vicinity. His personality was strongly marked. He was endowed with a sturdy intellect, a strong will and sound judgment. And these strong qualities were tempered with a warm and tender heart. He had quick insight into practical affairs, and his judgment was much sought after by both individuals and the public. His sympathies and friendships were strong, and few were more welcome to the chamber of sickness or death. He united with this Church by letter Dec. 31, 1864, and has been one of its warmest supporters and wisest advisors. Personally, we bear our grateful testimony to his loyalty to his pastor and the warmth of his personal friendship.
       George F. Waters, Pastor; D.W. Williams, President; M.S. Tracy, Treasurer; T.H.L. Tallcott, Clerk; George F. Waters, Ass`t Clerk; S.H. Williams, S.S. Supt.

Message from daughter of John D. Rankin (see below) Jan. 2003
Dear Corky, Rich and Susie, Josie, Last week Matt was in California interviewing. He spent Friday night here in
Capitola and we walked up to the book store. He opened a book to the table of contents and there were 2 1/2 columns of Rankins! I bought two for Dave and Dianne and the other for myself to read and pass among the Loves. Have you seen BEYOND THE RIVER by Ann Hagedorn? It's OUR
family's story! Now I know why Uncle Jerry was named Samuel Gardner Wilson Rankin...after a son of John Rankin of Ripley, OH. It's not only about the John Rankin family of the underground railroad, I think it's well written!
Maybe we should have a Rankin Reunion in Ripley, Ohio someday!

5. John DeLos Rankin, son of Rev. Samuel G.W. Rankin, was born Sept. 8, 1854, in Portland, Connecticut, while his father was filling a pastorate there. He accompanied his parents to Glastonbury when he was nine years old, and his education was begun in the district school of that town. Later he attended Williston Academy, and on leaving school he turned his attention to business, his strong love for horses naturally leading him into a career as a dealer in these noble animals. Going West he formed a partnership with J. Warren Kiefer Jr., son of Gen. Keifer, of Springfield, Ohio, and located on Mr. Kiefer's ranch near Superior, Nebraska, engaging in buying and selling Texas horses. They would buy lots of 500 in Texas and drive to Nebraska, where they were sold, the trip from Nebraska to Texas and return required a whole summer. They were among the largest dealers in horses in the West, and at one time they made a shipment of ten carloads of horses from Wind River Mountain, in Wyoming, by special train, and all were sold in two weeks. Later Mr. Rankin went to Oregon, continuing in the same business, and he shipped horses to almost every state in the Union. His judgment as to the good or bad points of a horse were remarkably accurate, and his energy and enterprise were leading factors in his success. He remained in the West about fifteen years, and then came to Glastonbury and purchased the farm formerly known as the Joe Mosely place. He here engaged in dealing in Iowa horses, and he was also an extensive tobacco grower, and in 1899 planted about fifteen acres. Like his father, he is a strong Republican, but never held office. In religion he inclined toward the Congregational Church, of which his widow is a member. He was married in Tilden, Nebraska to Sadie Harvey, a native of that state, and they had five children: Willard, who died in infancy; Samuel Harvey; John D.; Anita D. (a redhead); and Charles S.. Mr. Rankin died in March 14, 1900 of pneumonia.

Charles S. (1899-1985) was my maternal grandfather.

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