Sunday, January 6, 2019

William Calmes Buck: His Children

William Calmes Buck fathered 15 children – four with his first wife Maria Lewright and 11 with his second wife Isabella MiriamField.  Both of his wives died relatively young:  Maria at age 27 and Isabella at 42. 

Two of his children were stillborn and unnamed.  Another six of his children did not live to adulthood.
  • Thomas Buck, son of Isabella, lived only 9 months.  He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • John Field Buck, son of Isabella, only lived less than a year before dying in Woodford County, Kentucky of "cholera-infantum" according to the notes of his father. He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • Paul Buck, son of Isabella, was a twin to Silas.  Paul lived less than a year before dying of "cholera-infantum".  He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • Maria Louisa Buck, daughter of Maria, died at age four in Kentucky from “eating pecans with the pith” only a few weeks after her mother died.
  • John Samuel Buck, son of Isabella, died at the age of 4 in Louisville, Kentucky of "inflammation of the stomach and bowels" according to the notes of his father. He was buried in Woodford County, Kentucky.
  • William Thomas Buck, son of Isabella, died at age 16 while at Georgetown College, Kentucky.  Apparently, his parents had high expectations of him, noting that "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.

Little is known of these children who died so young.

The next several posts will focus on the adult children of William Calmes Buck.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

William Calmes Buck: References

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

More information and details on William Calmes Buck can be found in the following references:

  1. Buck, David E., Jr.,“A Talk on Southern Baptist History”, Davidson College, 1977. 
  2. Buck, William Calmes, "A Brief Statement for the Satisfaction of My Children", transcribed by Dorothy Nan McLean, Kerrville, Texas, n.p.
  3. Buck, William Calmes, Bible of William Calmes Buck (copied from the original by his granddaughter Emma Virginia Buck, Stephenville, Texas, May 10, 1969.) (n.p.).
  4. Buck, William Calmes, "The Slavery Question", Harney, Hughes & Hughes, Louisville, Kentucky, 1847.     
  5. Buck, William Pettus, “The Buck Family – Virginia”, Buck Publishing Company, Birmingham, Alabama, 1986.
  6. Harlow, Luke Edward, “From Border South to Solid South:  Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880”, Dissertation, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 2009, Cambridge University Press, 2014.  
  7. Pendleton, James C., “Letters to Rev. Wm. C. Buck in Review of His Articles on Slavery”, Louisville, Kentucky, 1949.  
  8. Spencer, J. H., A History of Kentucky Baptists, 1886, reprinted 1984, Vol 2, pp 171-177.          
  9. Yager, Arthur, “Sketch of the life of WIlliam Calmes Buck”, C. T. Dearing Printing Company.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Acrostic

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

William Calmes Buck was known for his ability to compose an acrostic.  An acrostic is a form of writing in which the first letter of each line spells out a message when read vertically.  Here is an example, written in his own hand for his future mother-in-law, Mrs. Miriam Buck Field.

The vertical message of the acrostic is “Thomas M Field” reading down from the first line and then reading up from the last line.  Wm. C. Buck has cleverly interchanged “I” and “j” in order to use “Jesus” as a first word in the upwardly read portion of the message.  His acrostic is also a poem.

Isabella Miriam Buck Field and her husband Willis Field had a son named Thomas born in 1816 but who died in 1823.  In 1825, they had another son whom they also named Thomas but gave him the middle name of McClanahan.  Thomas M. Field married Susan Mary Higbee in 1850.  He was a farmer and raised horses in Kentucky where he served in the State Legislature.  He died in 1908.

William Calmes Buck married the daughter of Willis Field and Isabella Miriam Buck, Isabella Miriam Field, on June 30, 1829.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Precepts for My Son

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

In late November of 1856, Wm. C. Buck gave his son Charles Willis Buck his "Precepts for My Son".  Charles Willis Buck's twenty-first birthday was September 26, 1856 and I've always wondered if the Precepts was perhaps a birthday gift.  I don't have the original but typed the Precepts in a sort of script, added the photo of Wm. C. Buck and also added his signature from another document.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

William Calmes Buck: A Brief Defense of the Antiquity, History & Practice of the Baptists

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

While in Columbus, Mississippi, William Calmes Buck wrote "A Brief Defense of the Antiquity, History & Practice of the Baptists" which was then published by McDowell & Kimbrough, Columbus, Mississippi in 1854.  This book was actually two sermons.  Each sermon was said to be three hours long!  It appears that Wm. C. Buck delivered these sermons in response to a sermon delivered by a local pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  He then edited his sermons for a wider audience.

The book begins with a quote from Psalms 23.23:  “Buy the Truth and Sell it not”.  Wm. C. Buck then wrote “This is a divine aphorism; teaching the superior value of TRUTH above all other human attainments of possessions.  I adopt it as an inspired maxim, and lay it down as the foundation of the discourses which I am to deliver before you this day.  I have not quoted the text for exegesis, but as an exemplar to be followed and imitated in all that I may say.” 

Wm. C. Buck was adamantly against pedobaptism and pedobaptists (which he always wrote as Pedo baptists and Pedo baptism) and much of his sermon and book argue against pedobaptism.   

Pedobaptism is the practice of baptizing infants whereas Wm. C. Buck believed only in credobaptism; that is, a believer’s baptism.  This belief put him strongly opposed to Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists and many other religions. 

Wm. C. Buck goes into some detail to point out that the first Christians were baptized believers and therefore essentially the first Baptists.  Pedobaptism developed centuries later (amazing that he could even find some of his references and sources). 

"A Brief Defense of the Antiquity, History & Practice of the Baptists" is an extremely difficult book to read and must have been virtually impossible to follow as a sermon.

Wm. C. Buck ends his book with “I say in all earnestness, to all who truly love our Lord Jesus Chris; do you not know that infant baptism – infant sprinkling, is an invention of ‘the man of sin’, a tradition of the papacy and the mark of the Apocalyptic Beast?  Why not abandon this pernicious heresy, and take the Word of God, alone, for the rule of your faith and practice; upon which we may all meet ‘in the unity of the Spirit and the bonds of peace’.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Extracts from The Philosophy of Religion

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

William Calmes Buck wrote his "The Philosophy of Religion" in 1856 while he was pastor at the Baptist Church in Columbus, Mississippi.  It was published in 1857 by South-Western Publishing House, Graves, Marks & Company, Nashville, Tennessee.

"The Philosophy of Religion" begins with a chapter entitled “Introductory Essay”.

“That department of Philosophy which is designated by the technical term, Theology, seems to have received but little attention, as a subject of pure science, on the part of those who have modernly professed to write and speak upon the subject. Few readers, on opening a modern work on Theology, would understand them­selves as opening a scientific work—a work professing to treat upon the most sublime and important depart­ment of the science of Philosophy. The word, theology, as modernly used and understood by the many, conveys no idea of science; it is understood, merely, as import­ing a system of didactics in religion, and too often a merely controversial treatise. Some twelve or eighteen months since, I was in company with two learned doc­tors and two learned members of the bar; when, in answer to an inquiry made by one of the gentlemen, I was explaining some point in Theology, the senior phy­sician turned to the others and remarked with surprise: “Why, Theology is a profoundly philosophic science!  I never thought of it in that light before, and I am re­solved to study it."  His surprise was not diminished, however, when I told him that, if he would look into his dictionary, he would find that the term theology, technically indicated that department of philosophy which treats of the existence, the attributes and govern­ment of God.”

A modern (2018) definition of theology from Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially: the study of God and of God's relation to the world”.

After the introduction, "The Philosophy of Religion" contains seventeen chapters:

  1. Justification                      
  2. The Mediatorial Reign                                                                                                             
  3. Man’s Relation to the Mediatorial Government    
  4. The Person of Christ – The Son of Man                                                                
  5. The Holy Spirit                                                                                                            
  6. The New Birth                  
  7. Belief – Faith                    
  8. Confession:  A Doctrine                
  9. Hope                   
  10. Justify – Pardon – Forgive             
  11. Good Works      
  12. Chosen – Elected – Ordained – Predestinated       
  13. The Resurrection and Final Judgment       
  14. The Kingdom of Heaven – The Kingdom of God;  or, the Church and its Economy
  15. Baptism                             
  16. The Lord’s Supper
  17. Supplementary Essay.

The “Supplementary Essay” begins

“As the topics which it is proposed to discuss in this Essay, do not, in a strict sense, pertain to the Philosophy of Religion, I have deemed it most appropriate to treat of them under a separate head; but as they are so intimately, not to say inseparably, connected with Didactic Theology, it seemed to me and to others, that the work on the Philosophy of Religion would be essentially defective, were these important topics not treated of in connection with it; hence the Essay is added, by way of supplement.”

Saturday, November 24, 2018

William Calmes Buck: Publications

(Continuing posts about William Calmes Buck)

William Calmes Buck was the author or editor of
  • “The Baptist Banner and Pioneer”, Louisville, Kentucky, 1839 – 1850.
  • "The Baptist Hymn Book", J. Eliot & Company, Louisville, Kentucky, 1842.
  • "The Baptist Hymn Book", revised and enlarged, 42nd edition, G. H. Monsarrat & Co., Louisville, Kentucky, 1847.
  • "The Slavery Question", Harney, Hughes & Hughes, Louisville, Kentucky, 1847.
  • "A Brief Defense of the Antiquity, History & Practice of the Baptists", McDowell & Kimbrough, Columbus, Mississippi, 1854.
  • "The Philosophy of Religion", South-Western Publishing House, Graves, Marks & Company, Nashville, Tennessee, 1857.
  • “The Science of Life”, 1858.
  • “Are You a Backslider?”, A Tract for the Army, 1861.
  • “Confession, A Fundamental Doctrine of the Gospel Economy”, ca 1861 – 1865.