William Peters Martin (1745-1829)
Lawyer & Methodist Minister.
Lived in King William /Halifax/Pittsylvania/Franklin & Botetourt Counties, Virginia
Born June 1, 1745 in King William Co, VA according to his obituary. Son of John & Elizabeth Martin.
A Lawyer, raised in the Church of England became a Methodist Minister.
William Peters Martin married Elizabeth Pendelton. From his obituary: Lived in Halifax Co, Franklin Co, Botetourt Co and lived 32 years in Lynchburg where he died.
1753 Halifax Co, VA 1616 acre land warrant to John Martin father of William Peters Martin.
1769? King William Co, VA M'' Treafurer reported from the Committee for Religion, to whom the Petitions of the Inhabitants of the Parifh of Saint John, in the County of King William, praying a Diffolution of the Veftry of the faid Parifh, and alfo the Petition of feveral Veftrymen of the faid Parifh, in Oppofition thereto, were referred, that the Committee had examined the Matter of the faid Petitions, and had diredled him to report the fame, together with the Refolutions of the Committee thereupon, to the Houfe ; and he read the Report in his Place, and
afterwards delivered it in at the Clerk 's Table ; where the fame was read, and is as followeth, viz. Upon the firft Article of Charge, " fuggefting that a Party Spirit fubfifts amongft the Members of the Veftry, whereby the Bufinefs of the Parifh is retarded, and other great Inconveniences fuftained," it appears to your Committee, from the Teftimony of William Peters Martin, that he heard M'' Thomas Claiborne, one of the Veftry, fay, upon being told the Parifhioners were diffatiffied with the Conduct of the Veftr>% and particularly at their not Meeting, that he would never attend as a Veftryman again; that he knows fome of the Parifhioners refufed to receive the Orders of Veftry for Proceffioning,alledging that they had not been made in proper Time; that he heard Col.Francis Weft, when in Liquor and in a Paffion, but out of Veftry,declare that
hehad rather be found at Sheepftealing, than in Veftry again, and that he would never more go to Veftry ; that M'' John Qiiarles, another of the Veftry, refenting this Behavioiu", fome Abufe I 226 ] Abufe followed on both Sides, and a Struggle enfued; that this happened upwards of a Year ago; that the faid Martin, upon hearing who were
Candidates for Seats in the Veftry, in Cafe a Diffolution fliould take Place, publicly declared, if thofe Candidates fhould be elecfled, fome of whom he thought ignorant Men, that the Parifli, in his Opin-ion, would not be fo well
ferved as by the prefent Veftry ; and that he therefore hoped the Veftry would not be diffolved.
1773 Pittsylvania Co, VA 1616 acres assigned to William Peters Martin.
1774 King William Co, VA Lease. Sep 19, 1774 from William Pigg & Richard Pigg of Camden Parish and Pittsylvania, to WILIIAM PETERS MARTIN of the County of King William, for and in consideration of the annual rent of 8 pounds 6 shillings and 8 pence, have granted to farm let to said MARTIN, one certain tract of land whereon the said Rioch'd Pigg now lives on Banister River, & containing 170 acres, for the term of 6 years, to take possession of next Jan 1, without being chargeable for waste or any other transaction during the 6 years. Signed William Pigg,Rich'd ( R ) Pigg, WM PETERS MARTIN. Wit- John Cox,
John Greggory, Thos Flower. Recorded Feb 23, 1775.
1775 Pittsylvania Co, VA Jan 18, 1775 from William Pigg & Richard Pigg of Pittsylvania, to William Lovell of Halifax County, for 95 pounds, one certain tract of land in
Pittsylvania on the north side of Banister River containing about 200 acres, bounded by the mouth of great Cherrystone (Cr), mouth of Little Cherrystone (Cr). Robert Wooding, Cain Adams, WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN, John Adams Sr, except 0.5 acres adjoining the graveyard, for the use of burial ground. Signed- William Pigg, Richard (RP) Pigg. Wit- WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN, Jerry (£) Worsham, Nathan (X) Adams,Robert Fristoe. Recorded Feb 23, 1776.
1775 Pittsylvania Co, VA List of Officers. At a meeting of Pittsylvania on Sep 27, 1775, the following gentlemen were nominated as officers forr the Militia: John Donelson, Esq,
County Lieutenant; Robert Williams, Esq Colonel of the County; William Tunstall, Esq, Lieutenant Colonel; John Wilson, Esq, Major; Benjamin Lankford, Peter Purkins, Francis Luck, James Lyon, Robert Hairston, ?Robert Woods, Daniel Shelton, Jesse Herd, Frederick Davis, John Donelson,
Archelaus Hughs, JOSEPH MARTIN, John Diz, William Witcher, Gabriel Shelton, Henry Williams, John Salmon, Robert Payne, Jonathan Hunley, WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN, Jehu Morton, Charles Cannon, Richard Gwyne, John Smith, Edmund Lyne, Joshua Abstone, James Hix, Captains; Stephen Coleman, Joseph Terry, Thomas Walter...
1775 Pittsylvania Co, VA Pittsylvania County, VA Deed Book 4 Pages 293-294 At a meeting of the Committee of Pittsylvania County on Wednesday 27th,September 1775, the following Gentlemen were nominated as Officers for the
Militia Agreeable to the Ordinance of Convention: John Donelson, Esqr.,County Lieutenant, Robert Williams, Esqr., Colonel of the County, William Tunstall, Esqr., Lieutenant Colonel, John Wilson, Esqr., Major. Benjamin Lankford, Peter Purkins, Frances Luck, James Lyon, Robert Hairstone, Robert Woods, Daniel Shelton, Jesse Herd, Frederick Rives, John Donelson, Jr,Archilaus Hughs, JOSEPH MARTIN, John Dix, William Witcher, Gabriel Shelton, Henry Williams, John Salmon, Robert Payne, Jonathan Hanby, WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN, John MORTON, Charles Cannon, Richard Gwyne, John Smith, Edmund Lyne, Joshua Abstone & James Hix, Captains.
Stephen Coleman, Joseph Terry, Thomas Walters, William Ward, Robert Bowman, Thomas Smith, Charles Burton, Bartlett Williams, Samuel Shields, John Strong, Spencer Shelton, Reubin Payne, Beverly Shelton, John MORTON, Isaac Clements, James George, Tully Choice, Junr, Edmund Choat, Thomas Jones, Senr, George Hairstone, BRYCE MARTIN, David
Lenear, George Walle, John Cunningham, Frederick Fulkerson, Elisha Shelton,Benjamin Hensley, Lieutenants. Charles Irby, Joseph Terry (son of Joseph),George Carter, William Beaver, Samuel Bolling,Thomas Black, John Wynne,
William Dix, John Fulton, Thomas Smith, Edmond Taylor, Armstead Shelton, John Payne, Syrus Roberts, William Short, Joseph Parris, William Estes,Swinfield Hill, Peter Vardaman, James Poteet, John McM---?, Jams Taylor,
James Anthony, David Chadwill, JohnParr, George Carter, John Renfro,Ensigns. R. Williams (Chairman) Pr. Copy WM PETERS MARTIN Clerk.
At a Courtheld for Pittsylvania County the 27th, Day of February 1777, the within list was returned and ordered to be recorded. Test Will Tunstall Cl. A Copy-Tests: S.S. Hurt, Clerk, October 27, '25.
1776 Pittsylvania Co, VA Feb 17, 1776 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN & ELIZABETH, his wife, of Pittsylvania, to Richard Pigg of Pittsylvanai, for 40 pounds one certain tract of land on the Nercry Branch containing about 200 acres, and is the same land that was formerly assigned and laid off for Allen Adams by his father John Adams, and bounded by Symmonds on the east, said MARTIN on the north, Cain & John Adams on the south, and said MARTIN On the southeast.
Signed WM PETERS MARTIN, ELIZA. MARTIN. Wit- Mary Dudley,
Magdelen (M) Pewsey, James Pigg, Cain (X) Adams. Recorded Aug 22, 1776.
1776 Pittsylvania Co, VA Feb 29, 1776 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN and ELIZABETH, his wife, of Camden Parish & Pittsylvania, to Jesse Robertson of same, for 60 pounds, one certain tract of land in Camden Parish & Pittsylvania, about 350 acres bounded by Richard Farthing, the Miry Branch, said MARTIN, the Meadow Road, Rubin Payne. Signed- WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN, ELIZABETH MARTIN. Wit- William Lovell, Mary Dudley, Richard (RP) Pigg. Recorded Aug 22, 1776.
1777 Halifax Co, VA Pic 411 p.337---May 19, 1777 from Willaim Armstrong Sr of Surry County,North Carolina, to Hugh Armstrong of Henry County, for 100 pounds, all that
tract of land in Pittsylvania, and bounded by the south side of Dan River,containing 135 acres. Signed Will Armstrong. Wit- John Cox, WM PETERS MARTIN, John Dickkinson. Recoded May 22, 1777.
p.344---May 19, 1777 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN of Halifax
County, to John Rowland of Henry County, for 25 pounds, one certain tract of land in Pittsylvania, and bounded by Richard Farthing & Jesse Robinson, Joseph Parsons, James Metcalfe, Thomas Harris (no acreage mentioned).Signed WM PETERS MARTIN. Wit- none. Recorded May 22, 1777.
1777 Pittsylvania Co, VA p.325---May 22, 1777 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN of Halifax County, to Joseph Parsons of Pittsylvania, for 3 pounds, one certain tract of land on Little Cherry Stone Cr, and bounded by said MARTIN & Parson's line, about 20 acres. Signed WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN. Wit-none.Recorded May 22, 1777.
1777 became a Methodist in 1777
1777 Halifax Co, VA Pic 414 p.450---Nov 27, 1777 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN of Halifax County, to Crispin Shelton of Pittsylvania, for 5 pounds, one certain tract of
land in Pittsylvania bounded by Wm Lovell, John Adams, Cain Adams. (No acreage mentioned). Signed WM PETERS MARTIN. Wit- none.Recorded Nov 27, 1777.
1778 Halifax Co, VA Pic 415
p.466---Feb 27, 1778 from WILLIAM PETERS MARTIN of Halifax
County, to James Made (Mead) of Pittsylvania, for 80 pounds, one certain tract of land on Banister River in Pittsylvania, about 191 acres bounded by William
Right (Wright) and Simmons, John Adams, Cain Adams. Signed WM PETERS MARTIN. Wit- Jos Akin, John Wilson, John George, Wm Wilkinson, Jos Stewart.
1783 Botetourt Co, VA (See Land Warrant for 249 acres in Botetourt County)
1784 Halifax Co, VA Halifax DB 13-371784 Halifax July Carter John lines Dan, Toby John Moore of H to Alexander Moore of H - by his will Hugh Moore divided tract in half on Dan and Roby - John sells to Alexander the other half for 5 shillings containing 334 acres beginning at the River - Henry Hopsons, John F. Miller, John Carter Est,
David Bates, John Mooore and lines between John and Alexander -John signs witnesses Benjamin Hopson, Harman Miller, William P. Martin http://184.108.40.206/search?
1785 Halifax Co, VA Halifax Co Pleas 1783-6, 17 February 1785, Rev. William P. Martin by billl emancipated Lucy Banger. She married Peter Wilson.
1785 Halifax Co, VA GROOM WIFE DATE
James Wyatt Lucy Martin Nov 19, 1785
Dau of John Martin. Sur Warner Martin. Wit. William P Martin.Married 30 Nov by Rev Hawkins Landrum. (Johns Daughter).http://billdraper.net/html/marriage_list.html
1785 Halifax Co, VA Marriage Bonds & Ministers Returns of Halifax Co., VA 25 November 1785. Patrick BOYD and Sarah Adams. Sur. George BOYD. Wit. William P. Martin. John Adams consents for Sarah, no relationship stated. Married by Rev. Reubin Pickett. P.7
1785 Halifax Co, VA William P Martin emancipated his slave Lucy Banger Feb 17, 1785.
1785 Pittsylvania Co, VA p.544---Wright from Mead Deed
November 14, 1785 between John Mead and Joseph Wright of Pittsylvania for the Natural love and affection that he bears for the Joseph Wright and for the consideration of five shillings, a parcel of land containing 100 acres, it being part of a tract laid of for Allen Adams out of a tract belonging to William Peters Martin which said land was conveyed by Richard Pigg of Pittsylvania to Mary Mead which was my wife Bounded: William Adams corner in Peter Legrand's line, James Mead's line, Ellinar Adam's line, line of John Addams Junr, William Addams corner s/ John (X) Maid Wit: James Murphy, Mary (X) Maid, Elizabeth Denny, John Denny December 19, 1785
1785 Halifax Co, VA James Vaughan/Vaughn m. Sarah Legrand, Halifax Co., Dec. 15, 1785. B/M: John Williams. Wit: William P. Martin. Married by Rev. Thomas Johnson
1785 Halifax Co, VA Edmund Wade got a bond to marry Tabitha Wyatt on 14 December 1785, with Horatio Wade as surety and William P. Martin as witness. Tabitha Wyatt
signed her own consent. On the same day Edmund Wade was bondsman for Horatio Wade and Sarah Wyatt. (WADE WAID WAIDE.)
1787 Pittsylvania Co, VA p.11---Wright from Wade Deed of Trust January 10, 1787 between JamesWade of Pittsylvania and John Wright of Bedgord County for sum of 75 pounds current money of Virginia bearing interest from the date above mentioned which the said James Waid is indebted unto the said John Wright for five shillings fo track of
land containing by estimation 391 acres, being land whereon I now live, the land I purchased from William Peters Martin
1787 Pittsylvania Co, VA June 18, 1787 between Elkanah Adams of Pittsylvania planter and John Parks of Pittsylvania for 110 pounds current money of Virginia a parcel of land containing by estimation 175 acres being the same land the said Elkanah Adams purchased of John Adams Junr and by said John Adams Junr conveyed to said Elkanah Adams dated Septemeber 16, 1785 Bounded: Robert
Woodings line, said John Parks line, William P Martin's line
1787 Halifax Co, VA Thomas Carpenter bought of William P. Martin of Halifax county 115 acres on Potts Creek, 1787 for 100 pounds.
1788 became a minister in 1788 per his obituary.
1788 Halifax Co, VA 17 Jan 1788 Marriage: John Borum and Judith Hendrick, secured by Moses Hendrick. Wit: John Anderson. Married by Rev. William P.Martin. (Halifax County, VA, Marriage Returns, 1:13)
1789 Halifax, VA GROOM WIFE DATE
William P. Martin [not listed] 20 Dec 1789
1791 Halifax Co, VA Oct 27 1791 Peter Mathews Lucy Banger
Halifax County William P. Martin
1791 Halifax, VA Peter, born about 1773, married Lucy Banger ("colored people"), 24 October 1791 Halifax County, Virginia bond, surety William P. Martin, 28 October marriage by Rev. William P. Martin. Lucy registered as a
"free Negro" in Halifax County, Virginia, on 20 May 1802: aged about twenty five years, five feet two inches high, between a black and yellow colour, Emancipated by William P. Martin on the 17th day of February 1785 by his Bill of that date and Peter registered on 31 May 1802: aged about twenty nine years, five feet seven inches and one quarter high, black colour...born of a free woman [Halifax County Register, no. 6,11]. Peter was a "Mulatto" taxable in Halifax County from 1793 to 1812: a planter living with Lucy Matthews who was a spinner in the list of "free Negroes and Mulattoes" in 1801[PPTL, 1782-1799, frames 446, 607; 1800-12, frames 66, 159, 384, 530, 811, 1036],
but not listed there in 1807 when he was a "FN" taxable in the northern district of Campbell County [PPTL, 1785-1814, frame 699].www.freeafricanamericans.com
1793 Halifax Co, VA pic 277---Page 25. Sep 10, 1793 from John Ball and Ann, his wife, to Halifax on Phillip Vass of Persons County, North Carolina, for 600 pounds, a certain tract of land together with a mill situated thereon. Lying in Halifax on Berches Creek, with sd land the sd John Ball purchased of William Echols, bounded by Talmour Harbour and WILLIAM P MARTIN, corner to Dittleberry Hamlet, Burches Creek corner to John Williams, James Vaughan, containing about 200 acres. Signed John Ball, Witness WM P MARTIN, Vincent Vass Jr, ELIZABETH MARTIN, Richard Edwards. Recorded Sep 23, 1793.
1795 Halifax Co, VA pic 292---Page 496. Aug 7, 1795 from Talmon Harber of Halifax, to Philip Vass of Halifax, for 600 pounds, 350 acres in Halifax on the waters of Burches
Creek, and bounded by the afd Philip Vass' and Littlebury Hamlet's corner, thence to James Young, Alexander Horsborough, Micajah Watkins, James Wardridge, WILLIAM P MARTAIN. Signed Talmin(T his mark) Harbor. Witness WM MARTAIN, Alex'd Boyd, Reuben Ragland. Recorded Dec 28, 1795.
1795 Halifax Co, VA "Ordered that it be certified to his Execellency, the Governor, that the following members named in the Commission of the peace for Halifax County
are Dead, Removed, Refuse to Qualify and neglect toserve, to wit, Nathaniel Terry,Sr. Dead_James Batis, Dead_ Walter Coles, Dead_George Boyd,Dead_Micajah Watkins, Dead_Nathaniel Hunt, Dead_James Coleman,Refuseth_Moses Fountain,Refuseth_ Marmaduke Stanfield,Refuseth_Mathew
Sims, Dead_Isaac Coles member of Congress_ Elijah Hunt,Dead_Nathaniel Hanson, Dead_Edmund King, neglects to serve_Epaphroditus White, Dead_Harrison Irby,Refuseth_John Phelps, Dead_ Robert Jones,Dead_James Hill,Dead_Samuel Tompkins,removed_William P.Martin,resigned_ Joseph N. Haynes,Dead_Jerimiah Pate, neglects to serve_ JohnPSmith,removed_ Nicholas Hobson,removed_William Hobson,removed_David Allen,removed_Samuel Pointer,Sr., Refuseth_ Gregory Baynham,Dead _Thomas Thweat,refuseth_ William Williams,REfuseth_Thomas Yuelle, refuseth_Nathaniel
BOTETOURT COUNTY, VIRGINIA LIST OF MINISTERS, 1787 to 1844
William P Martin
1797 Botetourt Co, VA Samuel Ramsey & Elizabeth Allen, bond 24 Feb, 1797; bondsman William McClenechan; Witness William P. Martin.
1797 Botetourt Co, VA Source: Annals Of S W Virginia March 14, 1797.
William P. Martin discontinued as Deputy Clerk.
1797 Botetourt Co, VA Marriage bond of Mary Kinsey to John Holdeman was made in Botetourt co,17 Jan 1797, bond of John Kinsey, witness William P. Martin.
1797 Botetourt Co, VA Botetourt County Marriages,1770 1853 Page 109 Eurich, Michael & Barbary Hess - 25 Jul 1797; b - Jacob Hess - wit -Henry Bowyer (Clerk of Court) - min - William P. Martin, - - Jul 1797
1799 Botetourt Co, VA Source: Annals Of S W Virginia January 8, 1799 Emancipation Bill from Reuben Howard to his slaves Minta Howard and her child Reuben was proved by the oaths of William P. Martin and Edward Mitchell.
1804 Cambell Co, VA * Marriage Notes for Belinda Scott and James Moseley: Samuel Scott gave consent to marriage May 15, 1804. Recorded Marriage Index Book 2, page 114. James J. Harrison gave Surety. Marriage performed by William P.
Martin.* Marriage Notes for Agnes Scott and John Gordon: Samuel Scott gave consent to marriage December 13, 1804. Recorded Marriage Index Book 2,page 67. Marriage was performed by Rev. William P. Martin at Maj. Scott's
residence in Campbell on Sunday evening, about candlelight.
1806 Lynchburg Campbell Co, VA
Jacob Holley and John Whittenton made bond in Hustings Court, Corporation of Lynchburg (Campbell county) Virginia, 19 November 1806 for a license for Jacob to marry Charlotte McGeorge, daughter of Lawrence, whose affidavit gives his consent. They were married 25 November 1806 by William P. Martin, a Methodist Episcopal Church minister.After 1810, Jacob and family apparently moved to Montgomery County, Kentucky where an older brother,
Benjamin, had lived as early as 1787 when it was Fayette County, Virginia. Another brother John either accompanied or proceeded Jacob, as both Benjamin and John died in Montgomery County, Kentucky. No land records have been found in either Bedford County, Virginia or Montgomery County,Kentucky for Jacob.
1829 Halifax Co, VA Book Title: A History Of Halifax County By Wirt Johnson Carrington MINISTERS WHO OFFICIATED IN THE EARLY MARRIAGES IN HALIFAX COUNTY. From 1753 to 1853.
1829 William P Martin
1829 Lynchburg, VA Died- On Oct. 30, 1829, Rev. William Peters Martin, in the vicinity of Lynchburg. Born in King William County on June 1, 1745. Raised in the Church of England he became a Methodist in 1777. A lawyer, he
became a minister in 1788. He lived in Halifax County, then Franklin County, to Botetourt and finally to the vicinity of Lynchburg where he has been for the past 32 years. He leaves a widow. (p. 3, c. 5) Lynchburg Virginia Nov 9, 1829
1831 Lynchburg, VA Obituary Lynchburg Virginia Newspaper--
Thursday, March 31, 1831: In Lynchburg on Friday last (March 25),Mrs. William Martin, relict of the late Rev. William P. Martin. She was the daughter of John Pendleton, born in King and Queen County in Sept. 1760, one of the early members of the Methodist faith. (p. 3, c. 4)
HISTORY of HALIFAX COUNTY (VIRGINIA) by WIRT JOHNSON CARRINGTON 1924 APPEALS PRESS, INC. Richmond, Va,Obituary
Lynchburg Virginia Newspaper--Thursday, March 31, 1831
In Lynchburg on Friday last (March 25), Mrs. William Martin, relict of the late Rev. William P. Martin. She
was the daughter of John Pendleton, born in King and Queen County in Sept. 1760, one of the early members of
the Methodist faith. (p. 3, c. 4)
Lynchburg Virginia Newspaper--Thursday, April 14, 1831 In Lynchburg, on March 25, Mrs. Elizabeth Martin. She was a niece of the late celebrated Edmund Pendleton.
Daily Richmond Whig (Richmond, VA)--Tuesday, April 5, 18313
In Lynchburg on March 25, Mrs. Elizabeth Martin, relict of the late Rev. Wm. P. Martin. She was the dau. of John Pendleton and was born in King and Queen County in Sept. 1750. (p. 3, c. 1)
I am unable to locate a record but I have one that states William Peters Martin died in the home of Richard Thurman.
"SKETCHES AND RECOLLECTIONS OF LYNCHBURG"
Rev. William Martin resided a few miles above Lynchburg ; but, together with his excellent wife, he spent the greater portion of his time in the city. He was a very good, harmless, old man, of middle stature, and not possessing any great intellectual gifts. He used, however, to say, that from one certain text he could preach a sermon, in which he would acknowledge no superior. That favorite discourse was from the text: "Is there no balm in Gilead ? is there no physician there ?" He described himself as having been in his youth a remarkably hapdsome man ; and he had been heard to say, that, attending at that time a ball, dressed in shorts, knee-buckles, ruffled shirt, &c., he found himself in the dance vis a vis to
General Washington ; and Mr. Martin alleged that he considered himself a much handsomer and finer looking individual than the Father of his Country. All of uncle Martin's foibles were innocent, and there is no doubt that he was an humble,sincere Christian, and a man of most upright and exemplary character.
Mrs. Elizabeth Martin,*(This lady was a niece of Edmund Pendleton.) wife of Rev. William Martin, was a lady of great mental attainments, joined to deep and fervid piety. She was very lovely in personal appearance, and exercised a great influence in Lynchburg, where she was much beloved. The members of the Methodist Church, as well as others, considering it a privilege to have her as a guest her example was an inestimable benefit, and her prayers a protection to a household. Surviving for some years her venerable partner, she, from that time, made the hospitable mansion of Mrs. Ann Irvine her principal residence. Mrs. Martin died early in the spring of 1831, and those who had the privilege of beholding this sainted woman during the last few weeks of her life, will ever regard that time, when looking back, as a Boca in their
earthly pilgrimage. During the whole of her last illness, she sat erect in her arm chair, habited with her customary neatness,and, whilst in that position, her gentle spirit took its flight to a heavenly home. Her chamber was at the time filled with a concourse of sorrowing friends, many of whom sent messages to their relatives in Heaven. Some comments were, at the time made on this ; but it seems a holy, beautiful thought, mingled with poetical feelings, all of which we find so sweetly embodied in Mrs. Hemans' " Message to the Dead." The funeral of Mrs. Martin was preached at the old Methodist Church, and none can forget, who heard that eloquent discourse, or listened to the sublime words of " The Dying Christian," sung by the choir of the Church, which, at that time, numbered the finest singers in Lynchburg.
THE EXPERIENCE OF MRS. ELIZABETH MARTIN.
The above article is taken from "The Evangelical Magazine," a religious paper, published in Lynchburg as early as 1810. It was sent in by James Brown, Esq., of that place, after the work was in press; and, to the numbers in upper Virginia, who loved and reverenced this remarkable woman, a perusal of her experience will doubtless be interesting.
Mrs. Elizabeth Martin* was born September, 1750, in the county of King & Queen, Virginia. She is the daughter of Mr.John Pendleton, who was a man of respectability and a member of the Church of England. Her mother died when she was young, and her father intermarried a second time; but she still continued with him till she was seventeen years of age, when she was married to William P. Martin, her present husb^ind. She tells her religious experience nearly in the following words :
'^From my youth I had a propensity for different diversions, particularly for dancing. My fondness for this last was such,that when at a ball I scarcely could even think of taking ordinary sustenance. I was so fascinated with music, company and mirth, that I was entirely led off from thinking of a future state, or making preparation for death and judgment. At sixteen years of age, I enjoyed a remarkable share of health, and was blest with a good constitutien, both of which I sadly impaired by overheating myself at a dance, and then going out into the night air. By ^ne particular instance of this kind of
imprudence, I laid a foundation for a long and dangerous spell of sickness, from which I never entirely recovered. My case was thought desperate by the physicians : still, I was not afraid to die, and only regretted the thought of leaving my friends and relations in this world. But I was destitute of religion, and had never once heard that our nature must be changed that we must be born of the Spirit, before we can have a right to the Kingdom of Heaven. It was a time of great darkness, and I had no one to take me by the hand and lead me into the paths of peace and happiness. I had not, however, the least opposition to religion, or the professors of it except only, that once I was offended with a preacher whom I thought carried matters too far.
" For several years after my marriage, I still indulged myself in the gaieties and follies of the world. We lived in a neighborhood of dancers, with whom I freely joined, still entertaining the fashionable opinion that it was not wrong. In this opinion I was joined and strengthened by my companion, who also was fond of merriment himself, and played on the violin. Thus we spent our precious time together, in partaking of the frothy and trifling things of this world, unthoughtful of the hand which supported us, and wholly taken up with the ^ things that perish in the using.'
<^ I was awakened to a sense of my lost estate, by nature, by a woman who, from religious motives, had quitted the
practice of dancing. I thouglit she was wrong, and took uncommon pains to convince her. But she turned the scales upon me, and, by a few words, convinced me not only that I was wrong, but, moreover, that I was a vile, ungrateful sinner. She quoted this important truth from Scripture, 'That we must be converted' a phrase that I had never heard, or, at least, had never considered before. This had the desired effect. It brought about an immediate selfexamination, which was attended with Divine light, and I soon plainly discovered that I was far gone from original righteousness that I was a most ungrateful being, and, although I could not charge myself with any scandalous sins, so called by the world, I found myself
destitute of everything truly and religiously good, my life having been devoted to the pleasures and maxims of this poor and wicked world. Immediately, I felt determined, by the grace of Grod, to seek for true religion, let the consequence be what it might, and engaged in reading, prayer and meditation. The Word of God was my delight : things began to appear in a different light, and I was condemned by the Word of God and by my own conscience. I had violent opposition from various
quarters, particularly from my husband, who peremptorily forbid my going to meeting, and often declared that, unless I would quit this new course of mine, he would live with me no longer. Once, because I attended a meeting in his absence, he was so much irritated that he whipped the boy that waited on me to the meeting, and went off for a short season. This was,indeed, a trying time how to act so as to please God and be obedient to my husband. I expostulated, and told him I had a soul to save, and must do it that I was willing to comply with all his reasonable commands, and would do everything I could with a clear conscience to please him, but could go no farther. I felt more and more the necessity of heart-felt religion,and was much in earnest to obtain it. I had parted with all my actual sins (as I verily believe), except one, for which I had a great propensity : it was jesting. I had great delight to please the company I then kept, and was of a very volatile disposition. In the meantime I heard of a people called * The Methodists,' and was very desirous to hear them preach, but was debarred
from it for two or three years. I took some pains to make myself acquainted with the diflferent tenets of the various sects,that I might judge for myself; and, from what I could learn, the Methodists held opinions which accorded with mine.
" We were then living in King William county, in the midst of a people much opposed to vital religion and utterly ignorant of spiritual things ; and I pray God for them, that they may not still continue in the same darkness. About the beginning of the Revolutionary war, however, we removed up the country, and settled in Halifax county, Virginia, where I had the great gratification to hear a Methodist preacher. His name was John Dickins. It was a comfortable season. His doctrines were edifying, and well coincided with the creed which I had formed for myself. He preached from Second Corinthians,chapter v. verse 17th < Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature' and liis words came with power. Even my companion, wbo heard in much prejudice, acknowledged he never had heard a man who knew how to preach extempore, till then ; and, I believe, through the instrumentality of this man, my companion was awakened to seek the salvation of his soul. After reading the Kules of the Methodist Society, he proposed joining members to form a class. I was so captivated with his preaching, doctrine and Rules, that I would gladly have joined him immediately, and partaken of
the reproaches of Christ which had fallen upon this little body of people. But my companion did not consent. I was
determined, however, to keep the Rules, although my name could not be enrolled on their class paper. After this, I was freed from restraint about hearing them preach; and, in a few weeks, I went to hear a youth of eighteen Ishum Tatum. Although a mere beardless boy, he spake by the energy of the Spirit ; and, whilst he pronounced the words of truth, I was blessed with the spirit of adoption. My load of sin fell off peace and joy sprung up in my soul love to God and man flowed into my heart and I knew that, ^For me, the Saviour died !' My witness was so clear and manifest, that not a doubt of its reality has ever arisen in my mind. I was so overpowered, by divine grace, that, for some time, I forgot my home; and, with truth, I could say, ^ Old things are passed away ! Behold all things are become new !*
^'That day, four weeks, the young preacher came again ; and, after his sermon was ended, again proposed to admit members into his Society : and, to the surprise of every one present, my companion went forward and desired to have his name enrolled as a member. This was highly pleasing to me ; and I, also, went forward and joined at the same time. This took place about thirty-three years ago. Thus happily placed among the people whom I loved as my soul, I felt inexpressible joy, whilst we sweetly took counsel together. The preaching place was near our house, so that I could conveniently attend the preaching and class-meetings; and we had comfort in helping each other on, in our way towards the peaceful shores of bliss.
^' After having been some time in this state of peace with Grod, through our Lord Jesus Christ, I began to discover there were greater attainments in religion than those I had as yet experienced. Although I felt no condemnation for actual transgression, yet I found my heart was not wholly given to God : I did not love the Lord with all my soul, might, mind and strength. I found remains of the carnal mind, and that the body of sin was not destroyed. Again I began to double my diligence in calling upon Grod, reading his precious Word, and in hearing discourses on the doctrine of sanctification. It was not long till I was nearly convinced it was my privilege to enjoy this unspeakable blessing. I was then frequently determined, by the grace of Grod, to seek after it, and not rest till I had found the blessed treasure; and I as often saw with
clearness, that, without holiness of heart and life, no one shall see the Lord. Sometimes I had no doubt but that the Lord would bestow it upon me, sooner or later, and began to cry to God to sanctify me throughout soul, body and spirit to give me that perfect love which caste th out fear ! ' Oh make me all in Thee complete ! Oh make me all for glory mete !' But I was several times discouraged by conversing with some professors of religion in the neighborhood, who declared against the possibility of the attainment, and appealed to their own experience for their own confirmation. At length, however, my conviction of the reality of this grace was still more deepened, and I was brought to cry, mightily too, in earnest expectation of the blessing. And the Lord was good and gracious unto me. He heard and answered my petition. I was enabled, by faith, to trust His great and precious promises ; and I knew, by joyful experience, that ^ God was faithful
and just, not only to forgive us our sins, but also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
" This great and happy additional change took place something more than two years after I had experienced the forgiveness of my sins. From that time, even until now, I feel myself a poor, needy and unprofitable creature the least of all Grod's people ; but let His name be praised for the revelation of this grace. I do know I love Him with my whole heart. I love His law I love His people ; and I had rather be a door-keeper in His house, than dwell in the palaces of kings. I daily feel that love which passeth all understanding, and is full of glory ! ' I reckon myself dead unto sin,' ' and to this world.' I feel
universal love and good will to men ; and my daily and heart-felt prayer to Grod is, ' Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven !' I have no confidence in the flesh and I can say with truth, ^ The life I now live, is by
faith in Christ Jesus/
There is my home and portion fair,
My treasure and my heart are there,
And my abiding home.
For me, my elder Brethren stay,
And angels beckon me away,
And Jesus bids me come !'
" It may be useful to others for me to state, that I have been much afflicted with sickness, and, for more than twenty years,have hardly experienced one well day. In the year 1780, I went to the Warm Springs, but experienced very little benefit. Several years afterwards, I visited the Sweet Springs, and found some relief; and the last few years of my life have been the most healthy I have experienced for the space of forty years. But, blessed be the name of the Lord, I am bound to say that, under all my pain and sufferings, I never had a murmuring thought. With the Psalmist, I felt 'It was good for me to be afflicted' and was constanily supported by the words of the great Apostle to the Hebrews :
' Whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth.'
" I have now been endeavoring to walk in the way of obedience thirty-six years ; and it has been something more than thirty-three years, since I was brought to the knowledge of God in the pardon of my sins. And in all this course I have found, that it is by faith alone that I have attained to anything pertaining to true godliness. When I obtained mercy at the first, I was enabled to believe that Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world, had died for all, and especially for me. I loved the Lord, for He had first loved me. I ventured my soul upon Him, and felt joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. When I was burdened with a conscious sense of inbred corruption, I ventured again to cast myself upon his mercy and his power, believing Him ' able and willing to save to the uttermost, them that believe.' My prayer, then, was, ^ Give me a clean heart,
oh God ! and renew a right spirit within me.'
^' From the day that my faith in God became steadfast, even until now, I enjoy a continual peace a peace which flows like a river. I am still a monument of the Divine mercy ; and I feel, as much as ever, disposed to spend my few remaining days to the honor and glory of the Redeemer's grace. The hope of an immortal crown now raises my heart above the trifling toys of this vain world. I am not, however, without my comforts here for I take the greatest delight in the worship of God, and in the fellowship of the saints. I have joy in seeing the prosperity of Zion. When I first became a member of the
Methodist Society, there were not more than three or four thousand on this whole continent, including all the riding
preachers, twenty in number. From this little cloud, I have seen the work spread, until I have now lived to hear there are not less than sixteen thousand members, five hundred riding and two thousand local preachers. May God continue to bless his vineyard. Great Father of Light, let Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.
The house now occupied by Dr. John Patterson, was, in 1819, the residence of Mr. James Stuart, ■who married a daughter of Major William Warwick, and the house nearly adjoining the Methodist Church, was, for many years, the residence of Mrs. Nancy Tait, a sister of the late George Whitelocke, of Petersburg ; and the house just above the Methodist Church, and at the foot of the hill, was inhabited by Mr. Cullensworth and his sister, Mrs. Martin, who resided there many years with her sons and daughter. These good people were members of the Methodist Church, and their abode was ever open to young visitors from the schools on that street, who would resort thither to amuse themselves with Mrs. Martin's fine swing, or to gaze with wonder and admiration at the wax figures of the *' Babes in the Wood," sleeping peacefully in death !
" No burial or covering
Were given to the pair ;
But little Robin Redbreast
Did cover them with care."
All of which affecting particulars were read in those days from a large edition, and were religiously believed.
...........................................................On his remoYal to Lynchburg, Colonel Towles called on *' Auut Martin," who was a niece of his old friend, and he
remarked that "it cost her no effort to be good, as she was so constitutionally and by inheritance, that all the
Pendletons had good blood flowing through their veins."
I would like to make contact with others researching this couple- please email me.Records compiled by firstname.lastname@example.org
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