Saturday, October 13, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Slavery



(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

Virginia was a slave state and Wm. C. Buck grew up at a time when slavery was the norm.  His parents and grandparents were slave owners.  He worked in the fields with slaves, went to church with slaves and was baptized alongside a slave.  He probably owned slaves himself at one time in his life.

In 1849, Buck wrote a series of editorials in his newspaper, “The Baptist Banner”, regarding slavery.  In his typical fashion, using the Bible, definitions and logic, he wrote that slavery benefited the slave who was unable to govern himself.  Moreover, he wrote that there was a class of slave owners whose chief concern was “to instruct them into the knowledge of salvation by Christ Jesus.”   Although Buck’s book (actually a pamphlet) is sometimes used to imply that he endorsed slavery as it existed, this is not the case.  In fact, he believed that slavery had degenerated into evil and should gradually be abolished.  He suggested that the government buy slaves from their owners and return them to Africa.

James M. Pendleton, a friend and colleague of Wm. C. Buck, disagreed with his editorials on slavery and wrote his own series of letters intended for publication in the Baptist Banner.  However, Buck would not publish Pendleton’s letters.  Pendleton then had his letters published in an emancipationist newsletter, the Louisville Examiner. 

Wm. C. Buck’s editorials on slavery became a book, The Slavery Question which was published by Harney, Hughes & Hughes in Louisville, Kentucky, 1847.  This book is now considered to be a documentation of the early 1800s beliefs regarding slavery.   It is available from Amazon.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Kentucky


(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

About 1820, William Calmes Buck moved to the “wilderness” of Kentucky (Union and Woodford counties) where he founded several churches but supported his family by farming because preachers were not paid at the time.

David E. Buck noted " . . . Buck steered Kentucky Baptists through the very turbulent years 1820 - 1850, when bitter opposition to missions and salaried ministers almost did in the Baptist cause in that frontier state.   . . . For fifteen years William preached in small churches around Union and Woodford Counties, almost complete wilderness.  Paid nothing for his gospel labors (he later wrote his total receipts for his first twenty-four years in the ministry were $724, mostly merchandise!), Buck farmed to support his family of five."

In later years in Kentucky, Wm. C. Buck was founder and first pastor of the East Baptist Church of Louisville, editor of the state Baptist paper, compiler and publisher of a Baptist hymnal, and co-founder of a Bible society which later merged with what is now the American Bible Society.  Upon leaving Kentucky, he held a denominational post in Nashville, Tennessee and later was pastor of the First Baptist Churches of Greensboro, Alabama and Selma, Alabama and Columbus, Mississippi. 

While living in Louisville, Wm. C. Buck was appointed president of the (Baptist) American Indian Mission Association.  In 1845, he submitted to the U. S. 28th Congress their recommendations for the welfare of the American Indian tribes.  The recommendations can be summarized as:
  1. Boundaries for Indian Territory to be fixed per a Senate bill of 1837 (which was not passed)
  2. A central tract to be used for Government of the Indian Territory by all tribes
  3. Representation of Indian tribes in congress
  4. An educational program for the Indian tribes.

Buck was known for his presence in the pulpit.  Spencer wrote “Perhaps no other man ever preached in Kentucky that could command the attention of so large an audience in the open air.”

Wm. C. Buck was adamantly opposed to infant baptism.  His book, “A Brief Defense of the Antiquity, History & Practice of the Baptists” explained his viewpoint.  The book was based on two of his sermons which each lasted for three hours!

Wm. C. Buck preached the annual sermon before the Alabama state convention which met in Gainesville in 1858.  He then settled in Selma as pastor of its Baptist church.  In 1859, he again felt the need to publish his views and began a new paper, "The Baptist Correspondent".  His paper was in competition with the existing "Southwestern Baptist" and failed after two years.

(To be continued)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wm. C. Buck: Marriage to Isabella Miriam Field

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)


Seven years after the death of his first wife, Maria LeWright, William Calmes Buck married Isabella Miriam Field on June 30, 1829 in Woodford County, Kentucky.  She, the daughter of Willis Field and Isabella Miriam Buck, was his first cousin once removed.  She was born on August 16, 1809.

Wm. C. Buck wrote that Isabella Miriam Field was "Remarkable for personal beauty, intellectuality and piety, she had secured the love of a large circle of devoted admirers and friends".  She enjoyed the society of Louisville when they lived there and was unhappy to leave it later on.

William Calmes Buck and Isabella Miriam Field had the following children:
  • William Thomas Buck (1830-1846) was born on September 28, 1830 in Woodford County, Kentucky  "at 25 min. after 1 p.m." according to the notes of his father.  He died on November 10, 1846 at the age of 16 at Georgetown College, Kentucky “of typhoid fever, after an illness of 18 days".  He was sixteen years old "when he died at 11:15 o'clock".  "He was of great promise and departed in perfect hope of immortality." His father described him as "A most remarkable youth -- the hope of his Parents" and noted that he was 6' 1" tall, weighing 165 pounds at age 16.  ".. as remarkable for his mental as his physical precocity, and as remarkable for his piety as for either."  He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • John Field Buck (1833-1834) was born on May 21, 1833 in Woodford County, Kentucky "at 9 min. after 8 a.m." He died on July 20, 1834 in Woodford County, Kentucky of "cholera-infantum" according to the notes of his father. He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • Charles Willis Buck (1835-1900) was born September 26, 1835, Woodford County, Kentucky; married Susan Croom Sparrow, September 13, 1857, in Greene Co., Alabama; died April 8, 1900, Phenix City, Russell, Alabama, USA.  He was a Baptist minister, a Chaplin in the Civil War, a publisher and a dentist.
  • Emma Buck (1837-1933) was born June 29, 1837 in Louisville, Kentucky; married Gen. Richard Harrison M.D., March 2, 1871, at the Wm. C. Buck farm in Waco, Texas; died January 18, 1933 in Waco, Texas.  Richard Harrison (1821-1876) was a native of Alabama. One of a trio of brothers who all gained rank of general in Confederate Army.  He attended Kentucky Medical College and was a physician prior to his army service. His first marriage was to a Miss Ragsdale of Mississippi. After her death, he married Mary Tompkins. His third marriage was to Emma Buck.  He served as president of the Baptist State Convention of Mississippi. Moved to Texas in 1866. A trustee of Waco University. Served as chairman of the deacons of First Baptist Church of Waco.
  • Giddings Judson Buck (1840-1912) was born April 4, 1840 in Lexington, Kentucky; married Mary Cottingham Halbert, July 3, 1865, Texas; died March 25, 1912, El Paso, Texas.  An educator, soldier, lawyer and author.  Author of the Free Christian in 1907.
  • John Samuel Buck (1842-1846) was born on July 14, 1842 in Lexington, Kentucky at "about 7 a.m." He died on October 14, 1846 at the age of 4 in Louisville, Kentucky "inflammation of the stomach and bowels" at "20 min. after 11 o'clock a.m." according to the notes of his father. He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • Willis Field Buck (1845-1888) was born June 26, 1845 in Louisville, Kentucky; married Anna William Harrison, October 27, 1872, Waco, Texas; died August 14, 1888 in Texas.  All of his children died young and he committed suicide a few months after the death of his wife.  He was a doctor.
  • Silas Calmes Buck (1847-1908) born November 1, 1847, Louisville, Kentucky; married Georgia Rebecca Titus, July 25, 1877, Texas; died 1908, Erath County, Texas.  He was a lawyer.
  • Paul Buck (1847-1848) was born on November 1, 1847 in Louisville, Kentucky.  Paul and Silas were twins.  Paul was born at "20 min. after 5 and Silas at half past 7." He died on July 5, 1848 of "cholera-infantum" at "about half past 1 o'clock". He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • Thomas Buck (1849-1850) was born on November 22, 1849 in Lexington, Kentucky.  He died on July 3, 1850. He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • (stillborn) Buck was born and died in 1850 in Lexington, Kentucky and was buried in Louisville, Kentucky.

Wm. C. Buck noted in his memoirs that the health of his wife began to decline after the birth of the twins, Silas and Paul.  Following the death of Paul, her mother died in the same year.  Apparently, she became severely depressed.  Isabella Miriam Field Buck died on March 18, 1852 at the age of 42 in Nashville, Tennessee.  She was buried in the Versailles Cemetery, Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky alongside five of her children.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Wm. C. Buck: Marriage to Maria Lewright


(continuing the series of posts about William Calmes Buck)

William Calmes Buck married Maria Lewright on December 1, 1815 in Jefferson County, Virginia.  Maria Lewright, daughter of Robert Lewright and Elizabeth Price, was born 1795 in Virginia.

Wm. C. Buck wrote of Maria LeWright "She was a lady of fine appearance, an excellent mind and unusual amiability."

William Calmes Buck and Maria Lewright had the following children:
  • Robert Luther Buck (1816-1866); born in Virginia on August 4, 1816; married Elizabeth Stewart; died on January 15, 1866 in Jackson, Mississippi; buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi.  A doctor.
  • Maria Louisa Buck (1818-1822); born in Virginia on April 13, 1818; died in Union County, Kentucky on December 13, 1822; buried in Old Highland Cemetery, Union County, Kentucky. 
  • Mary Elizabeth Buck (1819-1901); born in Virginia on September 11, 1819; married Rezin Davidge (a merchant), 1839; died September 19, 1901 in Washington, D.C.; buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.  Lived in New York and was very supportive of her father and siblings during and after the Civil War.  By 1900, Rezin had retired and they moved to Washington D.C. living with their nephew Charles Davidge.
  • (unnamed infant) was born and died on January 8, 1822 along with her mother.

Maria Lewright Buck died in childbirth on January 8, 1822 at the age of 27 in Union County, Kentucky.  Her husband wrote, "She deceased from consumption, having previously given birth to a daughter, which lived only three hours and a half and died of her mother's disease".  She was buried in Old Highland Cemetery, Union County, Kentucky. 

(more to follow...)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

William Calmes Buck (1790-1872)





Following a brief introductory post, this is the first more detailed post in a series about William Calmes Buck, my 3G Grandfather.

William Calmes Buck was born on August 23, 1790 in Shenandoah County, Virginia near what is now the town of Front Royal.  In spite of having only a basic formal education, he became a prominent Baptist minister, editor, author and denominational leader serving in Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas.  Self-taught, he became fluent in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and was known as “Dr. Buck” at Baylor University where he was a lecturer in his later years.

Wm. C. Buck (as he typically signed his name) wrote that his father was an “extensive farmer”.  His grandparents, Charles and Letitia (Sorrel) Buck were among the early settlers of the Shenandoah Valley and had owned about 3000 acres of land.  The Bucks were Baptist and donated land for the Water Lick Baptist Church and a cemetery.  The original Water Lick Church no longer exists but the cemetery is referred to as the Buck Cemetery 

Water Lick Baptist Church was organized on April 15, 1787.  It was about seven miles from Front Royal and about a half mile from the Buck homestead.  It was a one room church made of logs and said to have comfortable seats, and a high pulpit.  Between the Buck homestead and the church was a log house in which Wm. C. Buck lived for a time after his first marriage.

Buck wrote that he was "baptized by Rev. Benjamine Daws on the North branch of the Shenandoah, on the fourth Sabbath in April, 24th day, 1808." He was ordained in Shenandoah County, Virginia.  "The day that I was licensed was the 22nd of August 1812, and the next day I was just 22 years of age.  From that time I have devoted myself to the work of the ministry."

William Calmes Buck was a 1st Lieutenant in the Second regiment of the Virginia Milita in the War of 1812.  He preached his first sermon in uniform.  After the War of 1812, he returned to Water Lick Church as pastor.

(... more to follow)


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mary Richardson Buck (1792-1823)


Mary Richardson Buck was born on December 10, 1792 in Virginia to Charles Buck II and Mary Richardson.  She married William Mountjoy Bayly on May 25, 1814.  He was a doctor, the son of Pierce Bayly and Mary Payne born October 10, 1796.

Apparently, Mary was called “Polly”.  Sometimes “Bayly” is spelled “Bayley”.

William Mountjoy Bayly and Mary Richardson Buck had the following children:
  • Richard Beverage Bayly (1817- 1844); married Elizabeth Mauzey Blakemore; died in Virginia. 
  • Charles B. Bayly (1818-1880); married Matilda Russell; died in Missouri.  A farmer.
  • Jane Letitia Bayly (1820-1898); married Marcus Blakemore Buck; died in Virginia. A farmer.



Mary Richardson Buck Bayly died in Virginia in 1823 at the age of 31.  William Mountjoy Bayly died in 1830.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

William Calmes Buck I (1790-1872)


William Calmes Buck I is perhaps the most notable member of the Buck family.  He was born on August 23, 1790 in Shenandoah County, Virginia to Charles Buck II and Mary Richardson.   William Calmes Buck I and Maria Lewright were married on December 1, 1815 in Jefferson County, Virginia.  Maria Lewright, daughter of Robert Lewright, was born in 1795. Maria Lewright Buck died on January 8, 1822 at the age of 27 in Union County, Kentucky.   After the death of his first wife, William Calmes Buck I and Isabella Miriam Field were married on June 30, 1829 in Woodford County, Kentucky.  Isabella Miriam Field, the daughter of Willis Field and Isabella Miriam Buck, was born on August 16, 1809.  She died on March 18, 1852 at the age of 42 in Nashville, Tennessee.  She was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.

The life of William Calmes Buck will be discussed in more detail in future posts.  In the meantime, Wikipedia includes an article on William Calmes Buck.