Keeping it all in the family, Robert Gwyn Mitchell (1852-1909) as well as his daughter, Margaret Gwynette Mitchell (1892-1933) both wrote prize winning DAR essays.

* * * * *


Condition and influence of Our Navy During the War of the American Revolution

When a British officer shouted to the patriots at Lexington on the morning of April 19, 1775, “Disperse, ye rebels,” the colonies did not possess a single ship with which to form a beginning of a navy.

For many years the colonies had been actively engaged in coasting trade and had aided England in her wars with France. They had a good many hardy, skilledseamen with which to man a navy, but no ships to put them on. Congress was not long in seeing theneed of a navy and in the same year ordered the construction of 13 vessels, one for each state. Two of these vessels carried 24 guns each. The rest of the 13 consisted of six brigs, carrying from ten to 12 guns; two schooners, each of eight guns and three sloops of ten guns. All of these were poorly equipped.

Early in 1776 Congress issued “letters of Marque and Reprisal” which authorized private parties to fit out ships and to attack the enemy’s ships and to do anything that a “Man o’ War” might do. It also authorized them to seize English merchantmen and to divide the spoils of prize money as it was called, among themselves.

It was a very tempting field for the brave and enterprising young American. It was not very long, after these letters were issued, until the swift sailing privateers put to sea. They helped the new Republic far more than we give them credit for.

In the year 1776, they captured 342 British ships, some of which were supply ships for the English army. This of course wrought a great damage to English shipping, and thus hurt the British land forces as well as her naval forces, for, to a certain extent, it cut off supplies from the outside.

Among the harvest of our Revolutionary naval heroes was an (unintelligible). He was a Scotchman and at the age of 12 years began a career as a sailor on a merchant vessel. After a good many years as a sailor he went to Virginia and made his home with his brother. When the war broke out he was among the first to offer his services on the side of liberty.

Paul Jones was the first man to hoist an American flag on an American Man of War. It was the well known rattle snake which bore the motto, “Don’t tread on me.”

Very few of our ships were up to the standard of the English ships, but we made the best of what we had and did it so effectively that when Jones sent to England he was looked upon with great terror. It was not our small, old ill-equipped vessels that frightened them, it was our unerring gunners. Bravery and skill that made them sit up and take notice. There is one exploit of Jones’ which shows his skill in baffling the enemy. One day he saw an American ship returning from the West Indies, heavily laden with supplies for Washington’s army. A British frigate was in hot pursuit and was gaining rapidly. Jones ran in between them and induced the British vessel to let the American vessel go and chase him. The British took advantage of this and started for Jones. Jones dodged them and thus the British frigate lost both.

England, thinking that her ships would do some good in America, sent most of them over here. I do not imagine she took into consideration that we might have a force on the water too.

From the time they came our ships kept them busy, not in actual fighting all the time, but in continual nagging and interferring, which kept the British from doing very great damage.

England, with France and Spain allied against her, Holland hostile to her and her navy over here in America, was a good place for us to strike. Jones saw this and sailed in the eighteen gun ship “Ranger” for Nantes, Frances. From here he went to Brest, refitted there, and in April, 1778, sailed for the British coast.

After taking (unintelligible) but failed. (unintelligible) fought a superior ship by the name of “Drake”, won the battle and returned to France.

From France he wrote for a larger and better ship. The ship that Franklin sent was an old Indiaman in which forty-two guns were placed. The original name for the ship was “Duras,” but at Jones’ request it was changed to “Bonhomme Richard.” It was in this ship that John Paul Jones had his famous fight with the “Serapis.”

In this fight with the “Bonhomme Richard” suffered from her own guns as well as those of the enemy. Two eighteen pounders out of a battery of six exploded killing the men that served them and tearing the deck away above them. The English shot a great hole through the hull of the American ship, but still Jones kept on. An explosion on the “Serapis” caused by the effect of a hand-granade thrown from the yard arm of the “Bonhomme Richard,” stopped the fight. At the same time the American ship was on fire and in danger of blowing up at any minute.

Of course, no matter how daring our cruisers, they did not always escape disaster. At the end of the warwe had lost twenty-four vessels, carrying four hundred and seventy guns; several of these were ship-wrecked. Contrast this with the loss of Great Britain: they lost one hundred and two vessels carrying two thousand, six hundred and twenty-four guns. The total number of vessels of allkinds captured by our cruisers and privateers was about eight hundred.

The influence of our navy in the war for independence was very great as I have shown. Some people go so far as to say we would not have gained our independence if it had not been for the navy. I hardly believe this, but at any rate, the war would have been longer and more disastrous had it not been for the timely and effective service rendered by our navy.


Margaret Gwynette Mitchell (1892 b. , Macon, Missouri to 1933) was the daughter of Robert Gwyn Mitchell and Lena Bell Carhart. Later she married Warner B. Hagan.

* * * * *


Why the Americans were Victorious in the Revolution

Last year Miss Louise BROCK won the Ann Helm chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution essay. On Tuesday evening the prize at the second annual contest was awarded to Miss Gwynette MITCHELL. Her theme was “Why the Americans Were Victorious in the Revolution.” She wrote as follows:

Among the many historic arts and political deliverances there is probably none more eighty in significance and results, none more famous in the annals of the world than the war of the American Revolution; and we who can now call ourselves Americans, refer with a great deal of interest to the reasons for the success of our forefathers.

The story of the Revolution is not a beautiful one, but it is one, the issues of which, even today, greatly affect this American commonwealth; for nations, like individuals must be governed by justice. As Theodore Parker beautifully says “Justice is the keynote of the world and all else is out of time.”

In the story of the war for independence, there are two things that equally surprise the reader–first, that the Britain should ever have deemed it possible to subdue their revolting colonies; and second, that having attempted it, they should fail.

The American colonies were separated from the mother country by almost three thousand miles of sea, and as England’s navy had been impoverished during the Seven Year’s War, it was difficult for her to provide transportation for her troops. The colonies too, possessed one thousand miles of seaboard with many fine ports, and the possibilities of the unexplored regions were many. England with her naval power might destroy their commerce, attack their seaports and deprive them of many of the luxuries of life but she could strike no vital blow.

During the long wars with the French and Indians the colonists had been subject to the most severe privations and had undergone many hardships, but these only served to make more firm their already noble characters and to awaken in their breasts the determination to free their country from oppression and to leave to their sons that most enviable inheritance which they themselves had so long desired–a country in which all might be born equal and where justice should prevail.

To anyone who judged the question from an unprejudiced standpoint, it was evident that should the colonies resolve to sever their connections with her mother country, it would be useless to resist. England at the beginning of the war underestimated the force of the movement but she was soon to learn the firmness and resolution with which she must contend.

Popular feeling in England against the seeming useless expense of keeping a large standing army and navy had caused these to be much reduced. This condition forced them to hire large troops and to depend on them for a great deal of their strength; so the government bargained with some German princes for the sale of their subjects and a large number of unhappy Germans were sent like so many slaves to aid George III in conquering the Americans. Could these indifferent forces expect to cope with a people rising as one man to advance a noble cause? It did not occur to Great Britain that she was trying to crush true English spirit with her mercenary troops.

Lord Carlisle, speaking of the great scale of all things in America, said, “We have nothing on a great scale with us but our blunders, our misconducts, our ruin, our losses, our disgraces and misfortunes.” One of these great “blunders” was the idea that the spirit of the American colonists could be quelled by mercenary troops; for thousands of colonists who had hitherto hesitated about consenting to independence now decided it to be necessary; tens of thousands who had doubled the advisability of accepting aid from France were now convinced of the necessity of the policy. The king had called the Germans to his aid; why should the colonists not accept the aid proffered them by their old enemies, the French? So it was argued and an alliance was formed. Spain and Holland, following the example of France, offered aid which was accepted.

England now realized the real significance of the rebellion, but her strength was averted by the dangerous European wars. Her old enemies, France, Spain and Holland had joined the war against her and she was again having trouble over her colonies in India. Instead of being merely a war for the possession of thirteen unruly colonies it had become a struggle for the preservation of her whole empire. Had the Revolution been merely a contest between England and America it would doubtless have been a temporary failure for the Americans, but England was not prepared to contest with a league of the strongest European powers.

The English claimed that their failure was largely due to incompetent generals. In a measure this was true; though England cannot lay all the blame on her military leaders. Their plan, of campaign was wrong, as they sought to occupy territory rather than to crush resistance. But the Americans were on the defensive and although the English should gain a few victories they would not prove fatal as long as an armed resistance was maintained. Lord North, with his quaint humor said, “I do not know whether our generals will frighten the enemy, but I know that they frighten me whenever I think of them.”

Nor did America possess many brilliant generals, but they were sincere, and when supervised by the great commander, George Washington, they accomplished much. Washington’s ability to hold large armies in check with small forces imperfectly equipped and his readiness to take advantage of the slightest opportunities mark him as one of the world’s great military commanders. His victories were few and unimportant and his only important battle, a failure, but his success lies in his skill to do much with little, to take advantage of very opportunity and rise superior to every disaster. He seemed to be a gift of providence to carry out a work, the success of which was destined to play an important part in the future history of nations.

Washington has been compared to the Duke of Wellington. True, their military ability and successes are similar, but had Washington been merely another Duke of Wellington the history of the war of the Revolution would have been very different. Long after Washington, the general, was no more, Washington the patriot and statesman was an important factor in the formation of the nation; for his also was the ability to mold the will of congress to suit the needs of the war.

We, who take such great pride in calling ourselves Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution do not do so merely because independence was fought for and won. It would have meant little to us had our forefathers, favored by the advantages of good fortune, fought only for their own personal gain. But when we think of the difficulties they so courageously overcame to establish the commonwealth which they themselves could scarcely live to enjoy, we can, in part, realize the great sacrifice they made for us. It would have been easier for some people to have endured some oppression rather than to purchase freedom at so precious a price as their own lives. But we know with what valor they fought and could wish to be known by no more honorable title than Daughters of the American Revolution.

Robert Craig Mitchell Biography

Robert Craig MITCHELL

Mr. Mitchell, an influential farmer of Chariton township, is of Scotch-Irish descent, and was born, as his parents before him, in Washington County, W. Va. He had the honor of having the natal day, 22nd of February, of the great father of his country, George Washington. In the year 1811 began the career of Mr. Mitchell. He grew up in Virginia where he attended the common schools and in time became a farmer. In 1839 he moved to Randolph county, Mo., and settled on Dark Creek, five miles north-west of Huntsville, but in a few years moved again, this time to St. Louis, where he embarked in the steam-mill and lumber business. This he continued for 16 years, then went to Mexico, Mo., where he lived until 1869. Since that time he has been farming near College, Mound, Macon County. He owns 52 acres of land, well improved and in a good state of cultivation. In 1838 Mr. Mitchell chose for the precious partner of his bosom, Miss Elizabeth Wright, who moved from Kentucky to Missouri with her father, Walter Wright, when she was three years of age. There were 10 children born of this marriage, of whom seven are living: James Waller, who married Miss Emily Turner and lives in Mexico; Susan Ann, wife of Ben Eli Guthrie, a prominent lawyer of Macon City; Marie Louise, wife of Lloyd McIntosh, a farmer in Audrain County; Robert Craig, a physician of Sue City, Macon county, who was educated at College Mound and graduated at the Missouri Medical College in St. Louis; Leonidas Mathias, in a store in Macon and married to Miss Lavinia Harris; Sarah Harriet, wife of L. H. Moss, attorney-at-law at St. Joseph; and Edmond Thomas at home. All of Mr. Mitchell’s children were educated at McGee College. Mr. Mitchell was formerly in politics a Whig, and is now a Democrat. Honest in his convictions and unswerving in his adherence to what he knows to be right, Mr. Mitchell’s utterances are esteemed of the profoundest value by his neighbors, and a word from him goes a long way toward forming their opinions. He belongs to the A.F. and A.M. including the Chapter. He is also a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

“History of Macon County” pg. 1111
Provided by Mitchell Noll.

James Dysart Mitchell Obituary

The obituary for James Dysart Mitchell, the second son and third child of Robert Gwyn Mitchell and Lena Bell Carhart.

Their location would have been Macon City, Macon, Missouri.

* * * * *

James Dysart Mitchell

Born April 27 1897, Died Jan 6. 1900.

James Dysart MITCHELL, the little 3 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Robt. G. MITCHELL was taken suddenly ill Wednesday evening of last week with diphtheria, and although all that medical aid and kind loving hands could do was done for the little fellow, nothing could assuage his suffering, and on Saturday morning at one o’clock he succumbed to the dread disease. James Dysart was a bright, playful boy and he will be sadly missed by his parents and little brother and sister, Robert and Gwynette. Yet with the hope of the Christian they await the resurrection morn when they shall be reunited in the Father’s house. A Scripture lesson and prayer was read at the grave by Rev. R. T. CALDWELL.


Written by the Rev. James Bourne Mitchell b. 1821 June 27 in Abingdon, Washington, Virginia, died 1901 March 21 in Kirksville, Adair, Missouri.

* * * * *



Published in “The Observer” date unknown

Thus wrote a dear brother in the Lord who is in the strength of Christian manhood and usefulness, and it will be granted that it is a blessed thing to have the heart undivided, set on heaven from the day we are born of God.

When I was a small boy my oldest brother left our Virginia home to seek employment in Missouri, as mother agreed with him that his services were no longer needed on the farm. After several years had passed he arranged to make us a visit of which he wrote mother in such terms as suggested that his heart was yearning to be in the home circle again. On the day he was expected mother could not await his arrival, hence ordered her horse saddled and taking me up behind her, she went to meet him. The meeting occurred where the view on the road was unobstructed for quite a distance. As we rode along mother said in tones of animated tenderness, “James, I see your brother William coming,” and just then we heard him exclaim, “O, my dear mother! Have you come to meet me?” Quickening the movement of their horses, they were soon in each other’s embrace. What a joyous meeting between mother and son. While I was not overlooked the mother and the long absent son were the crowning of the scene.

That devout Christian mother who taught my young heart to seek and serve the Lord has been in her heavenly home many years, but that has not lessened her maternal love, hence I expect her as certainly to meet and welcome her youngest son somewhere on the confines of heaven, within the pearly gates, as she did her oldest child on his arrival from the far West. The whole trend of divine revelation is in evidence of personal recognition in heaven and tends to sweeten the anticipations of the blessed home of God’s family.

It is accepted, however, that all Scriptural thought about those heavenly mansions cluster around the Lord Jesus Christ who has gone thither to prepare places for His redeemed ones. He will be their all and in all amidst the infinite glories, as the mother was the chief joy to the home-bound son. Paul speaks of the believer’s departure from earth as being absent from the body and present with the Lord, and the dying Stephen cried out, “Lord, Jesus, receive my spirit.” No wonder then that Paul should say, “I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.”

Notwithstanding the richness of heaven’s experiences it would be a great mistake to serve the Lord simply or mainly in order to enjoy its blessedness; yet we despoil ourselves of much of spiritual good if we fail to take in a large field of heavenly meditation as a daily habit of life. No one of earth has been more unselfish than was Moses, and of him in connection with his self-denials, it is sad that “he had respect unto the recompense of reward.” There is no reason to doubt that his mind-picture of Canaan, as in some delightful sense a type of heaven, made him all the more persistent in his entreaty to the Lord to be permitted to pass over into the promised land. While we should not desire to leave the earth for heaven because of present labors, trials or suffering other than in entire submission to the will of the Lord, yet having “our conversation in heaven from whence we look for the Savior,”greatly enlivens and strengthens us for present labors, and wondrously sustains us under the afflictions and sorrows incident to this life.

It may, therefore,be safely said that in an important sense heaven is the goal of the Christian’s race the consummation of his most cherished hopes. It is set before us in the Bible in such terms as evidently intended to have a molding influence upon our lives. To be heavenly minded is a blessed state, and may be enjoyed by all God’s children in every possible condition of life, and certainly not less as the evening shades are lengthening toward the opposite horizon. As to Paul, so to all His dear ones, the Lord makes the straits of the present yield the sweet experience, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain!” Hence “a desire to depart and to be with Christ” when then Father so wills, fills the heart of God’s faithful servants with solid comfort and unspeakable joy as they near their heavenly home.

Kirksville, MO

James Bourne Mitchell Autobiography

James B. Mitchell was born 27 June 1821, died March 12, 1901. He was the grandson of Robert Craig–son of John Mitchell and Ann Middleton Craig. He married Martha C. Dysart, born 5 March 1825–died February 19, 1912. They resided in Randolph Co. MO.

This autobiography is had courtesy of Mitchell Noll.

* * * * *

James Bourne Mitchell Autobiography


In response to an urgent and repeated request of my son, Dr. John T. MITCHELL, the following sketch has been written after much hesitation and prayer as to whether the paper should be prepared and if so, what should be its contents.

To write about ones self is a very unpleasant talk to me and may be a temptation to think and say of ones self more highly than we ought to think or say. How far this has been avoided in these pages the reader will decide; but if this error has been committed, a sad failure of a fixed purpose has occurred.

To be true to history and therein to honor the Lord has been the rule of thought and expression. May the Lord honor himself in any gratification these pencilings may give to this son, his brothers and sisters, or their beloved Mother is my earnest desire.

Nativity and Parentage

James Bourne MITCHELL, youngest child of John and Ann M. MITCHELL, was born in Washington County, Virginia, June 27th, 1823. His Father was a native of Donegal County, Ireland, and his Mother was born and grew into womanhood in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Her maiden name was CRAIG, daughter or Robert and Jane CRAIG.

John MITCHELL became a sailor in early boyhood and so continued for a number of years, being the Captain of a merchant ship for several years before he left the sea. He was born on a farm and had three brothers, James, Robert and George and one sister, Sarah. John and Robert, and a nephew, Andrew MITCHELL, were the only members of the family known to have emigrated to America. Robert and Andrew died without families. John died when his son James, the subject of this sketch, was only a few weeks old. The family resided on the farm where James was born until he had passed his fifteenth year. He was there taught habits of industry and economy; and the practical workings of a Christian life was inculcated by his Mother, who was an intelligent, energetic and self-sacrificing Christian. Her wisdom, good management and devoted Christian life were a rich heritage to her four sons and dour daughters. Though rather feeble for a number of years before her death, she made farm life attractive to her children resulting in the home being stored with sufficient plenty and the scene of family development and enjoyment. It so occurred,however, that the two younger sons had no other school advantages than the rural schools which were much less equipped for efficiency then now to be found in the common schools generally. Four miles had to be walked daily in going to and from the rude log school house of the community. Such things were not then considered a hardship, however, but merely facts of life to be met and mastered notwithstanding. James, like his father, was rather feeble physically until he passed his sixteenth year.

Removal to Missouri

In the fall of 1836, the family moved to Missouri and settled on a farm in Randolph County, where the devoted Mother died July 12, 1837, peacefully trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. On the evening of her death, she gave a Christian Mother’s parting counsel to each of her children present, and left words of loving advice for those away from home, offering an earnest prayer audibly for the salvation and Christly living of all her dear ones. Humanly speaking, her departure was a heavy loss to her children, as under her wise counsel and firm but loving government they had felt safe and happy. Her sweet Christian spirit and strraightforward womanly lifehad been a great inspiration to them, and to her they all, young and older, looked up with filial reverence and tender affection. Hence to be bereft of her personal presence and influence was a berevement no greater than which can befall an ungrown child. She left a precious motherly letter laid away by her ownloving hands in her trunk for them, written only a few weeks before her death, and not known to them until she had gone up to her heavenly reward.

His Youth under a Brother’s Care

At this time, James was only sixteen years old, the age at which the daily influence of the parent has so much to do in developing the future character. His second brother, Robert, had remained with the family and under the Mother, was the business manager. James shared fully in Robert’s warm brotherly care and supervision. Though not then a Christian, Robert was upright and scrupulously observed the rights and interests of others so far as social and secular relations go. In their now motherless home, farm life had its usual ups and downs as well as its impressive lessons of industry, frugality and self-reliance, which features are never lost on the well disposed and considerate youth.

The country being comparatively new, educational facilities were limited. Between the attention needed to be given to the farm and the infrequent and short school terms, mental culture from this source was necessarily slow and had to be supplemented by private home study at leisure hours. These hours a youth can utilize to good results if it is the determination to make the best possible personal improvement.

For several years after the Mother’s death, two brothers–Robert and James and two sisters–Ann and Louisa constituted the home family. Robert being much from home on business, the care and labor of the farm were mostly in the hands of James, and it may be added that his management and labor received Robert’s warm commendation.

The Origin and Working of his Christian Life

Up to this time, none of the brothers and sisters were Christians. In the spring of 1838, James accompanied his sisters to a sacramental meeting held at Sugar Creek Church in that county, under the pastoral care of Rev. Samuel C. DAVIS of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, on the last day of which he went forward for prayer and religious instruction. While as the result of his Mother’s teaching and practical Christian influence,he had been accustomed from early childhood to say his evening prayer, and read the scriptures, this had been mainly a formal habit, ripening however into a conviction of duty. From this time, he became prayerful in a better cause and read the Bible to learn the will of God. He trusted in Christ for personal salvation at home, in July 1838, while out on the farm at his usual work, and was very happy in his clear view of Jesus Christ as present to save him.

After the meeting referred to, it was his custom to carry a small Testament in his pocket in which to read short passages at leisure moments. Being alone at the time just mentioned and feeling greatly oppressed by a conviction of personal sinfulness,went to an adjoining wood and bowed in prayer with his Testament open at Matt. 11:28-30, which specially helped him then and there to look to Jesus for personal salvation. Thus going to the Savior, he was so richly blessed as to constrain him to speak out the Redeemer’s praise. Robert was from home when this precious experience of grace was realized. That evening, James told his sisters of his joyous experience and proposed to have family prayer which had been the daily custom of the household in their Mother’s lifetime. To this they readily consented, uniting within each evening in the service. Though these services were conducted in much weakness they were a rich feast to his young heart. When Robert returned home, James told him of his conversion and asked him if he might hold family worship every evening. To this Robert assented though he would sometimes retire before the service was held. Thus the fallen-down family altar was rebuilt and sought to be honored while the family remained together.

He Unites with the Church

Having informed himself relative to the doctrines and policy of the several churches in thatportion of the country, James united with the Eldad congregation of the Cumberland Presbytian Church of which Rev. S. C. DAVIS was pastor, in May of 1839. His parents were Presbyterians.

Conviction of Duty to Preach the Gospel

Coincident with his conversion, James felt it to be his duty to preach the Gospel which conviction was as clear and forceful as the evidence that he was a child of God. Of this however, he made no mention to anyone for some months, indeed not until some time after he had joined the church. This deeply felt conviction was a matter of daily thought and prayer. Though there was the consciousness of personal unworthiness for so holy a work and many serious difficulties confronting him, from the very first, it was as well settled in his mind that he ought to preach the Gospel as that he should pray, read the word of God, or engage in any other religious duty. While there was no light as to how he could become prepared for so responsible a work, he felt that he dared not say “No” to the Spirit’s deep conviction. When tempted to let the attending difficulties become an embarrassment, the”Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel” would ring in his heart in tones of controlling warning. But when he sought grace to trust the Lord Jesus Christ for help in the undertaking he was always filled with comfort and hopefullness.

Struggles, Hopes and Disappointments

One day while out on the farm with his brother, he told him of his conscious duty to preach, for which Robert did not seem at all prepared. Though he spoke kindly in his response, his words showed plainly that he suggested that it involved a very laborious and self-sacrificing life, having but small pecuniary renumeration, especially in a new country as that then was, reminding James that he was yet quite young to be thinking of entering upon so responsible a work, and more, that he did not have the needed education or the means of securing it. He added that he would not be in his way of living a consistent Christian life but thought it best to lay the matter of preaching till he reached riper years, closing with the remark that the impression, as he called it, might pass off after a time. The reference to youthfulness and the need of the necessary education without the means to procure it were recognized as important considerations to be had in mind, but the conviction that he must be true to the Lord’s leadings remained unimpaired in its authoritative force. he continued to read his Bible and to pray daily for light and strength to do the Lord’s will.

It was not long after this conference with his brother that from an unexpected source a proposition came to James to place him in a good school and this without the friend’s knowing anything about his feelings of duty to preach. Indeed, it came from a man who did not claim to be a Christian. Robert said to him that he could not do well without his aid on the farm that year and he readily consented to continue that assistance, for Robert had from his early life been much as a father to him. The purpose for which his aid on the farm having been realized the friend above referred to renewed his proposition to help James obtain an education, to his surprise and delight. This blotted out the unhappy regrets of the late disappointment as Robert said tohim that in a few weeks he could spare him from the farm. He prosecuted the work of these weeks full of cheer and bright expectations; but his brother in the meantime embarked in a business to which he could not give his personal attention and asked James to take charge of it and become equal sharer in the profits. This was an unlooked for obstruction and without any unkind reflection toward Robert as intruding to do him an injustice, James reminded him of the repeated and very generous offer of the family friend to assist in his education which he so much needed and desired, and which was much more to him than the prospect of making money. His brother replied that he had closed the contract which he could not honorably recall and he hoped he would consent to take charge of the business. James again informed his friend that circumstances were against his practically accepting his great kindness, which he therefore declined with thanks but with a heavy heart. As he was yet a minor and Robert had exercised such affectionate care over him, he thought it best to yield to his brother in the matter. It developed afterward that these moves of Robert were made no doubt largely at least to wear James off from the thought of preaching. His other brothers were very much opposed to his entering the Ministry, which may have had something to do in the course taken by Robert.

The new business was not remunerative as might have been expected,its practical workings being arrayed against God’s will so far as James’ connection with it was concerned. It involved heavy responsibility and much hard manual labor and bodily exposure as well, the last of which brought a long and dangerous illness to James, after being thus employed for six months. This he considered a chastisement by the Lord for permitting himself to be turned aside from what was evidently a providential opening to his becoming well educated thus early in life. As he slowly recovered from his protracted sickness, he informed Robert that he could not conscientiously resume the business, however legitimate in itself, that it must be disposed of at whatever financial loss to himself. There was really neither gain nor loss financially.

His Decisive Stand for the Lord

While James was greatly relieved in being honorably freed from what he had for these months felt to be against the Lord’s will, still there was a fearful darkness over him. He had during these months aimed to live a true Christian life but it was without his former joy, or even comfort, of an abiding character. He now went to God in deep humility and supplication, promising the Lord that if in His great grace He would restore divine light and strength, from that day he would by His gracious help let no person or thing come between him and the Gosepel Ministry. The Lord in His infinite love at that time and place filled his whole being unutterably full of light and comfort. The cloud of darkness then removed had been more oppressive than any ever upon him even before he was converted. In this darkness the devil’s temptation was as forcible as if spoken to the ear–“You are not a child of God else you would have been obeying him. You have just as clear evidence that you are called of God to preach the Gospel as you have that you are born of God. You have neglected the former, hence you have no sufficient reason to claim the latter”. Satan here made a strong case. He had vantage ground in the neglect that had been tolerated. Never had the determination been reached by James that he would not preach. Indeed, he had never entertained such a thought. Had the devil charged him with this he could have candidly pronounced it a false accusation; but he could not deny culpable neglect which through not self suggested had been permitted by him to control his actions. Indeed, the prospective privilege of inviting the unsaved to come to Christ had all the time been very dear to him.

The Divine Victory

Never after the Lord removed that cloud was there another upon him in reference either to his being accepted of God in Christ, or of his giving up all for the Gospel’s sake. Hence the Lord got to Himself complete and final victory over Satan in this battle as to whether His young servant should yield his life to preaching the Gospel of Christ. Wondrous in the power of God’s grace in the deliverance He brings to His weak and struggling ones when subject to temptations! Wondrous is His restoring and sustaining grace even to the most unworthy of all His servants!!

While these neglects should never have occurred, the lessons which they by the help of the Holy Spirit impressed were not without much worth in all after life, making James stronger in will to obey the Lord it may be than he would have been without some such trial of faith. The following message of the apostle doubtless thereby came more fully into his reckonings and doings:–“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this that the trying ofyour faith worketh patience; but let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Autobiography courtesy of Mitchell Noll

Transcribed by JMK 2001

Residences of the Charles James Family of McClures 1900-1930

According to the census, Albert H. and Dorothy McClure were living at 7925 Maryland Ave. in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois in 1930. I’ve seen a photo and I do think this is the apartment complex.

I should take a screen shot as well.

View Larger Map

In 1930 the family of Charles James McClure, father of Albert, was at 335 Davison St. in Chelan, Leavenworth, Washington. Googlemaps doesn’t even find a Davison St.

1920 found the family of Charles James McClure at River Front Street in Chelan, Leavenworth, Washington, no address. Again, Googlemaps doesn’t find a Riverfront or a River Front Street.

View Larger Map

In 1910 they were in Boundry, Bonner, Idaho, no address. I don’t even find the town of Boundry, which I believe was a logger’s town.

In 1900 they were in Utica, Winona, Minnesota. No address.

View Larger Map

Utica is a TINY place. In the 2000 census there were 230 people.


This is the transcript of the journal kept by Anne Middleton CRAIG MITCHELL of her travel from Abingdon, Washington, Virginia to Randolph County, Missouri in 1836. This was passed to family by John T. MITCHELL of Kansas City, MO, as given by Anne’s son, Rev. J. B. MITCHELL. Mitchell NOLL passed it along to me.

Ann Middleton Craig, b. 1786 March 22 in Abingdon, Virginia, was married to Capt. John Mitchell in 1808 July 26. After his death in 1821, she next married Dr. Stephen Bovell on 1824 Oct 20.

When Ann made her trip to Missouri she was 49 years of age. The trip took two months. She died less than seven months later on 1837 July 12 in Huntsville, Randolph, Missouri.

* * * * *


Monday, September 26th, 1836. This day we left Clover Hill near Abingdon, VA and reached Capt. GIBSON’S and Capt. DAVIS’. Fine weather.

Tuesday, September 27th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SENIKA’s. Heavy rain in the morning, fine afternoon.

Wednesday, September 28th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. CLARK’s at North Fork River. Fine weather.

Thursday, September 29th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. NEILL’S at Clinch River. Fine weather.

Friday, September 30th,1836. Crossed POWELL’s Mountain and lodged at Mr. ALLEN’s. Fine weather.

Saturday, October 1st, 1836. Crossed WALDEN’s Ridge. Lodged at Jacob FULKERSON’s Less Court House. Fine weather.

Sabbath, October 2nd, 1836. Came to Col. FULKERSON’s. A little rain in the morning. Fine evening.

Monday, October 3rd, 1836. Dined at Joshua EWING’s. Returned to Col. FULKERSON’s. Fine weather.

Tuesday, October 4th, 1836. Col. FULKERSON’s. Very snowy, stormy day.

Wednesday, October 5th, 1836. Left Col. FULKERSON’s. Very clear and cold. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. LAVV’s, fifteen miles.

Thursday, October 6th, 1836. Passed Cumberland Gap and crossed a part of Loaf Mountain. Lodged with Mr. JONES fourteen miles. Very cloudy and raining a little.

Friday, October 7th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Lodged comfortably with Mr. CAIN. Crossed Loaf Mountain and Cumberland River. Very cloudy and light cold rain. Turnpike part of the way.

Saturday, October 8th, 1836. Came to Mr. Willis BURTON’s. Passed through Barbersville, crossed big Laurel River. The morning very cloudy and damp. Afternoon clear and moderate. Twenty four miles.

This would be Barbourville, Kentucky, rather than Barbersville

Sunday, October 9th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles, crossed Little and Big Rock Castle. Passed through London, Laurel County. Lodged with Mr. John GRIFFIN. Clear fine day. Wretched lodging.

View Larger Map

Monday, October 10th,1836. Traveled 23 miles. Passed through Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard and Walnut Flat. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. WOOD. Clear, beautiful day.

Tuesday, October 11th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through Stanford and Danville. Fine day. Lodged with Mr. VERBRYCK.

Wednesday, October 12th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles and a quarter. Passed through Harrodsburgh. Visited the celebrated Springs of that place. Passed through Salvicey (sp?) and lodged with Mr. MCCALL. Fine, clear day.

Thursday, October 13th, 1836. Traveled twenty one miles and three quarters. Passed through Lawrenceburgh and Hardensville. Lodged with Mr. SHANNON. Pleasant morning. A little rain at evening.

Friday, October 14th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Passed through Claysville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston. Clear, pleasant day after a very rainy night. Lodged with Mr. John GORMAN, Floyed’s Fork.

Saturday, October 15th, 1836. Passed through Middletown, Louisville, New Albany (in Indiana). Crossed the Ohio River, in a steam (ferry) boat. Pleasant morning. Very rainy evening. Traveled some time in the night. Lodged very comfortably with Mr. ARMSTRONG on banks of the Ohio.

View Larger Map

Sabbath, October 16th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Clear, cold morning. Cloudy evening. Passed through Zanesville. Lodged with Mr. James JAMISON.

Monday, October 17th, 1836. Traveled eighteen miles. Clear, cold day. Crossed the Blue River. Lodged with Mr. TOWEL, Quakers.

Tuesday, October 18th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Lost River. Rainy, stormy morning. Cloudy all day. The worst roads I ever traveled. Lodged with Mr. FRENET.

Wednesday, October 19th, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Severe blowing rains. Lodged with Mr. MARTIN. Desperate roads.

Thursday, October 20th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Fine, clear, cold day. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. HAYS. Kindly treated. Crossed the eastern branch of White River.

Friday, October 21st, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles. Crossed North Fork of White River. Passed through Washington, Haysville. Fine weather. Bad roads. Lodged with Mr. John STEEN. Kindly treated.

Saturday, October 22nd, 1836. Illinois, Lawrence County. Traveled thirteen miles. Passed through Vincennes. Crossed the Wabash River. Good weather. The roads still worse. Lodged with Mrs. SHULAR on the bank of the river. Beautiful view of the town and river.

View Larger Map

Sabbath, October 23rd, 1836. Traveled three and half miles. Lodged with Mr. Jacob MAY. Very kindly treated. Crossed over a part of the place called Purgatory which is worse than anything I ever saw to be called a road. Our wagon sunk above the hub of the wheels. Three of the horses mired down. The coupling pin of our carry all broke. We were taken out on a horse. A number of our fellow travelers came to our assistance. With all our help we were until nearly sunset getting out, although we got into it about ten o’clock, notwithstanding all our difficulties we had hired a pilot by the name of Neilson CARPENTER who engaged to take us through safely. We had but little rain until we got in the house. We were all crowded into one little room. Amanda and Louisa both sick.

Monday, October 24th, 1836. Traveled eight miles and a half. Rained all day. The roads no better. Lodged in Lawrenceville with Mr. MARNVEY’s.

Tuesday, October 25th, 1836. Traveled ten miles. Dreadful roads. Got the tongue of our wagon broke and new one made. Lodged with Mr. CHRISTY very comfortably.

Wednesday, October 26th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Crossed Fox River on a bridge. Bad roads still. The tire of our wagon wheel broke and mended again. Lodged with Elijah NELSON.

Thursday, October 27th, 1836. Beautiful morning. Traveled twelve miles. Crossed the muddy fork of the Little Wabash River. In the bottom between the two, know by the name of Hell, which is the worst piece of road I ever saw. Lodged with Mr. McCOLLEY. Very comfortably.

Friday, October 28th, 1836. Traveled fourteen miles. Passed through Maysville and a prairie of twelve miles in length. The roads a little better. Lodged with Mr. Thomas ELLIOTT.

Saturday, October 29th, 1836. Traveled thirteen miles and three quarters. Dreadful roads in the morning. Better in the evening. Our wagon stuck fast. Had to delay some time getting out. Left part of our load at Dr. John DAVENPORT’s. Crossed the Skilletfork of the Wabash. Lodged with Mr. Dunning BAKER. Very well treated.

Sabbath, October 30th, 1836. Traveled twenty four miles. Fine day. Saw the prairie on fire, passed through twelve miles of the Grand Prairie. Lodged with Mr. CONE. In the prairie passed through SALEM.

Monday, October 31st, 1836. Traveled twenty miles. Passed through the Grand Prairie and Carlysle. Crossed a toll bridge over Shoal Creek. Fine roads and beautiful weather. Lodged with Mr. DOYLE.

Tuesday, November 1st, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles. Passed through Lebanon. Very fine day and good roads. Lodged with Mr. STITES. Very well treated.

Wednesday, November 2nd, 1836. Traveled fifteen miles. Bad roads. Crossed the Mississippi River in a handsome steam (ferry) boat. Stayed at Mr. WRIGHTS.

Thursday, November 3rd, 1836. Still at Mr. WRIGHT’s. Visited the Catholic Church. Part of the family went on board of a steam boat. Saw several land and several start.

Friday, November 4th, 1836. Left Mr. WRIGHT’s, traveled sixteen miles. Lodged at Mr. MARTIN’s. Tolerable roads. Good weather.

Saturday, November 5th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles after our wagon crossed Missouri River in a steam boat. Passed through St. Charles. Good roads. Fine weather. Lodged very comfortably at Mr. BAILEY’s at Pond Fork.

View Larger Map

Sabbath, November 6th, 1836. Traveled eight miles to Mr. SPIRES for breakfast. Passed through Warrenton. Traveled thirty miles. Lodged with Mr. JONES. Very kindly treated. Breakfasted there.

Monday, November 7th, 1836. Came to Nathaniel DRYDEN’s seven miles. Met with Cousin Patsy there. All well and glad to see us.

Tuesday, November 8th, 1836. Came to Thomas DRYDEN’s. From there to Danville. Dined at Mr. SHARP’s. Returned to Mr. DRYDEN’s and spent the night.

Wednesday, November 9th, 1836. Mrs. SHARP spent the day with us at Thomas DRYDEN’s. Susan, Ann and Margaret and myself went home with her. Stayed with her in company with Mrs. CARPENTER.

Thursday, November 10th, 1836. Stayed at Mr. SHARP’s until after dinner. Returned to Mr. Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Friday, November 11th, 1836. Mr. BOWELL and Margaret STILL at Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Saturday, November 12th, 1836. Still at Thomas DRYDEN’s.

Sabbath, November 13th, 1836. Attended preaching in Danville.

Monday, November 14th, 1836. Went to our home four miles, directly went from Danville.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, November 15th, 1836. Started to John DAVIS’, in company with William MITCHELL and Susan, his wife. Traveled twenty miles. Bad roads. Stayed at old Mr. HARRISON’s. Very hospitably treated. Fine day.

Wednesday, November 16th, 1836. Traveled thirty two miles through prairie. Tolerable roads. Fine weather. Lodged at Mr. PALMER’s. Called at Craig FULKERSON’s twenty miles beyond before reaching Mr. PALMER’s.

Thursday, November 17th, 1836.. Traveled twenty five miles through prairie. Roads good and weather. Lodged in Huntsville at Mr. Walter CHILD’s.

View Larger Map
Friday, November 18th, 1836. Came four miles to breakfast at Mr. DOODING’s. Traveled twenty miles through prairie to what is called the Narrows. Lodged with Mr. CAMMON’s. Rainy, disagreeable day.

Saturday, November 19th,1836. Traveled thirty five miles through Prairie. Rain all day. Lodged at Mr. MYERS’.

Sabbath, November 20th, 1836. Traveled twenty five miles chiefly through prairie. Reached John DAVIS’. Found all well.

Monday, November 21st, 1836. At John DAVIS’. Visited Mr. EASTON’s family.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 1836. Spent the day and night at Mr. EASTON’s.

Wednesday, November 23rd, 1836. Returned to John DAVIS’.

Here the daily journal closes. From November 11th, the date is one day in advance of the real time.

At the close of her little book Mother kept the names of the States, Counties and Towns we traveled in and through.

States: Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri

Counties: Virginia: Washington, Scott, Lee
Tennessee: Sullivan
Kentucky: Harland, Knox, Laurel, Rock Castle, Lincoln, Mercer, Anderson, Shelby, Jefferson
Illinois: Lawrence, Clay, Marion, Clinton, Sinclair
Missouri: St. Louis, St. Charles, Warren, Montgomery, Callaway, Boone, Randolph

Towns: Scott Court House, Jonesville, Barbersville, London, Mount Vernon, Crab-Orchard, Walnut Flat, Stanford, Danville, Harrodsburgh, Salvicey, Lawrenceburgh, Hardensville, Clayville, Shelbyville, Simpsonville, Boston, Middletown, Louisville, New Albany, Greenville, Paolis, Mount Pleasant, Washington, Maysville, Vincennes, Lawrenceville, Salem, Carlysle, Lebanon, St. Louis, St. Charles, Warrenton, Danville, Williamsburg, Huntsville

My mother signs her name N. M. BOVELL in this book. Some years after the death of my father she was married to Rev. Dr. Stephen BOVELL who survived her a few years.

There was one child, a daughter–Juliain, they named Margaret, born to them. She was a sweet spirited child and I loved her as I did my full sisters. She died in early married life.

* * * * *

Google’s present plot of a trip from Abingdon, Virginia to Huntsville, Howard, Missouri. It will now take all of 13 to 15 hours by car.

View Larger Map

What became of McGee College’s Building

There is nothing left of McGee College at College Mound.

View Larger Map

The building was, however, purchased and used many years thereafter by other institutions. It was apparently still in service in 1903 according to this article in “Reading Eagle” out of Reading, Pennsylvania, on Sunday July 19, 1903.

* * * * *


A Missouri Sect About to Test Its Faith in Prayer — The Holiness People Expect to Settle a Dispute Thereby

Macon, Mo. The Independent Holiness People of the Church of God will hold a notable yearly meeting in this county next month. The sect is found chiefly in Missouri, Kansas and Iowa. Its members will begin their annual Feast of the Tabernacle at College Mound on Aug. 6 and conclude it in a park near this city on Aug. 23.

There will be several thousand people at the two camps if the weather is good. No ordinary preacher will meet the requirements of the worshippers. Last year one service began shortly after sun-up one morning, ran all through the day and night following, and concluded at 10 on the morning of the second day, when the audience and preachers quit from sheer weariness. it was pronounced the most glorious meeting that had been held during the 14 years of the organization’s existence.

The village of College Mound is worth a line or two. It gets its name from an immense brick school building on the brow of a hill.

Before the war this college was conducted by the Presbyterian Church in Missouri, and ranked with the best of the State’s higher schools. Two stage lines ran to the town. When the war began nearly all older students lay down their books and picked up muskets.

The war found College Mound and McGee College prosperous and progressive. It left the one a forgotten, isolated hamlet and the other a mammoth square of time-defying masonry.

The spot was ideal for people who shunned the world. The Holiness people purchased the old building cheap, and installed a faculty to teach all the necessary branches of the ordinary school, and to qualify students for business. It has been run with fair success, but has never regained anything like its old time prestige as a hall of learning.

Link to article

Lena Carhart Mitchell a Member of Annie Helm Chapter of the NSDAR

Lena Bell Carhart Mitchell was a member of the Annie Helm Chapter of the NSDAR.

* * * * *

Organized October 20, 1908


Anne Helm Chapter was organized by a group of 23 patriotic women on October 20, 1908, in Macon, Missouri

Charter Members were: Louisa William Brock, Maude Dysart Brock, Ethel Coulter Brown, Mary Craddock Doneghy, Kate Campbell Doneghy, Martha Prewitt Doneghy, Carrie Stewart Duffy, Emma Turner Dysart, Susie Mitchell Guthrie, Mattie Blincoe Howe, Hettie Coulter Lamb, Martha Gilstrap Matthews, Mary Anderson Matthews, Corrine Matthews, Lena Carhart Mitchell, Lena Trowbridge Payson, Emily Pipkin Simmons, Amy Simmons, Lucy Simmons, Mary Van Cleve, Hallie Wilkinson Wardell, Stella Turner Wilson, and Elizabeth Stickney Wilson.

The name Anne Helm was chosen in honor of Mrs. John T. Doneghy’s great-great grandmother who assisted and sacrificed members of her family for the cause of the Revolutionary War.

The Macon Public Library was founded on March 23, 1912, with Miss Sarah Larrabee as librarian. It was located in the Howe Building opposite of the Jefferson Hotel. DAR members raised funds by having “Tap Day” and several “Macon County Banquets.” The response to the library was so great that it soon became too large for the Howe Store. The library moved several times until, in 1915, the trustees voted to build a permanent library. The Anne Helm Chapter purchased the lot on the corner of Rutherford and Butler where the present library building is located.

The Anne Helm Chapter was instrumental in forming the first Red Cross Chapter in Macon and helped to raise funds to sponsor Herbert English, a volunteer for ambulance service in France during W.W.I.

On November 11, 1934, a bronze plaque was unveiled at the Macon County Court House to honor four Revolutionary Soldiers who are buried in Macon County. They are James Howell, James Lynch, Bennett Tilley, and Nicholas Tuttle.