Biography of Rev. David Caldwell (1725-1824) by David A. Caldwell

A Light in the Wilderness
David Andrew Caldwell


Copyright (c) 2002, 2006 David A. Caldwell. All rights reserved.

My father, Isaac Pearson Caldwell, Jr., grew up in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and loved to tell me stories about Rev. David Caldwell and his relatives. My mother, Elisabeth, of Scotch-Irish and Pennsylvania-German descent, grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and encouraged me to learn more about that County’s early settlers.

I acknowledge the assistance of Marie Morrison, church historian of the Rocky River Presbyterian Church, North Carolina; Barry Robertson, church historian of Caldwell Parish Church, Uplawmoor, Scotland, and Robert M. Calhoon, Professor of Colonial North Carolina History, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina, each of whom kindly provided me information and encouragement. Others whose suggestions are much appreciated and deserving of a pat on the back, a high five, and gold star in their permanent record include John Caldwell (California), founder of webpage, Tom Caldwell (Australia), David Caldwell (Manitoba), Gwen Caldwell Quickel (Texas), Plunkett Caldwell (Ireland), Brian Caldwell (Scotland), Barbara Randolph (Kansas), and Marilyn Janda (Alabama), editor, Caldwell Family Newsletter.


On March 3, 1768, “born-again” Rev. Hugh McAden installed 42 year-old David Caldwell as minister of two Presbyterian congregations at Buffalo and Alamance deep in the Piedmont backcountry of North Carolina, in what is now Greensboro, North Carolina. The proud members of these congregations dwelled in humble log cabins. They raised fat pigs and lean children, harvested crops and hunted game, girdled trees and guzzled corn liquor. These salvation seekers split Sundays between scripture, sermons, sedition, and socializing. Throughout the backcountry, consciousness-raising clergy confronted congregations complaining of creditors, courts, colonels, commissioners, councils, and corruption. Despite its humbleness, the ministry provided David Caldwell a rich opportunity for his agenda, aura, and amiability to capture the attention, admiration and affection of the alienated throughout the Piedmont region of North Carolina.

Just before the Battle of Alamance in 1771, Rev. Caldwell served as a mediator in a desperate last minute effort to avoid bloodshed between the British militia and American backcountry farmers known as the “Regulators.” Historian Sallie Walker Stockard describes the Regulators as the first colonialists to petition for home rule. (Sallie W. Stockward, The History of Guilford County, North Carolina, 1902, pp. 115-117.)

In December 1775 delegates of the Continental Congress met with Rev. Caldwell. Although seemingly isolated on the frontier, Rev. Caldwell joined an intercolonial movement that aided attainment of America’s independence. Beginning in January, 1776, his sermons from the pulpit inspired wary and disaffected Scotch-Irish to take up arms and fight against British oppression. During the Revolutionary War, Rev. Caldwell hid in a swamp while British Lt. General Charles Cornwallis offered a substantial bounty for his capture, £200, ironically enough to buy hundreds of acres of river bottom land.

Rev. David Caldwell became a leader of the anti-federalist Republican Party in North Carolina and was among the first to speak at a North Carolina convention in 1788 to determine whether North Carolina would vote to adopt the Federal Constitution that lacked a Bill of Rights that his fellow backcountry Piedmont farmers and he were determined to have.

By 1800, at age 75, Rev. Caldwell was recognized as one of the south’s foremost educators. Historian Burton Alva Konkle, 1861-1944, said that Caldwell “was one of the greatest natural teachers that America has ever produced,” and that his school was “a veritable ‘seminary’ to the whole South.” (Burton Alva Konkle, John Motley Morehead and the Development of North Carolina, 1796-1866, Spartanburg, S.C., Reprint Co., 1971, c. 1922, p. 399.) Almost all of the Presbyterian ministers in the south until then were graduates of or had taught at his Log College. Graduates of the Log College included five future governors of southern states, numerous U. S. senators and congressmen, physicians, lawyers, and over 50 ministers.

Among those who graduated from or taught at the Log College were the ministers that initiated the Second Great Awakening, beginning with revivals in 1791 in Guilford County, North Carolina, then 1801 at Logan County, Kentucky and 1802 at Cane Ridge, Tennessee. This revival movement had a strong impact in shaping the Bible Belt evangelical movement throughout the South and Mid-West that remains a potent political force to this date. The Second Great Awakening emphasized personal conversion and regeneration, “moral values,” and invigorated the temperance and anti-slavery movements. (See John B Boles, The Great Revival: Beginnings of the Bible Belt, University of Kentucky Press, 1996; Charles Crossfield Ware, Barton Warren Stone, Pathfinder of Christian Union; a Story of his Life and Times, by Charles Crossfield Ware, with introduction by Elmer Ellsworth Snoddy, St. Louis, Mo., The Bethany Press, 1932; Eric Foner, Politics and Ideology in †he Age of the Civil War, New York: Oxford University Press, 1980, pp. 64-65; Vernon L. Parrington, The Romantic Revolution in America, 1800-1860, New York: Harcourt Brace/Harvest Book, 1954; Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972, pp. 419-428, 637-638.)

In 1812 Rev. David Caldwell used his oratorical skills successfully to persuade the youth of Guilford County to volunteer for a militia that would defend Virginia from a British invasion.

In 1818 the first Underground Railroad “depot” for transporting runaway slaves was established in the woods just to the north of Rev. David Caldwell’s farm, with his own slaves feeding the runaways. The “railroad” extended north to a “depot” at Drumore Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of David Caldwell.

David Caldwell first stepped into history in 1765 as a missionary on the Great Wagon Road [1], among pioneers who shared a common past and had supped full with kings and tyrants, land speculation, religious discrimination, and overcrowding. The vast majority was Presbyterian Scotch-Irish [2] relocating from Pennsylvania at the end of the seven year French and Indian War, through a five-hundred mile corridor along the Appalachian mountains. Their journey took them across swollen rivers, muddy banks, ridges, ruts, and roots, south past Maryland and Virginia, to the cool parasol pines of the Piedmont backcountry of North Carolina, distal from the sun-scorched Atlantic littoral. They traveled in more than 1000 Conestoga wagons, armed with Pennsylvania rifles, and lured by hopes of cheap land available on the North Carolina frontier and the expectation that they would be free to practice their religion.

[Footnote 1: By the early 1740s, a road had been built between Philadelphia and Lancaster, called the Lancaster Pike. It was a segment of the Great Wagon Road that continued through York and Gettysburg to Harper’s Ferry, and beyond. The Great Wagon Road (originally a buffalo trail) was used by most Scotch-Irish migrating from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley, between the Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Blue Ridge mountains to the east, into North Carolina. This road began near Ft. Chiswell (Chissel), where roads converged from Philadelphia and Richmond. (Parke Rouse, The Great Wagon Road, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1973.) The Cumberland Gap was discovered in 1750 by Dr. Thomas Walker, who called it Cave Gap. In 1796, the road through the Cumberland Gap was renamed the Wilderness Road, when it was widened to allow passage of the Conestoga Wagon. Daniel Boone did not reach the Cumberland Gap until 1769. He passed through the gap to reach the Blue Grass region, an Indian hunting ground. He returned in 1775 to blaze the first trail through the Cumberland mountains into Kentucky.]

[Footnote 2: In Scotland and Ireland, the preferred term is “Scot-Irish” or “Ulster-Irish.” Only the beverage is Scotch. Although the term “Scotch-Irish” became an American idiom, it was first printed in a 1573 proclamation by England’s Queen Elizabeth. The term was in common use in the American colonies long before the famines of the 1840s in Ireland caused an intense influx of Catholic Irish, and an alleged need of the Protestant Irish of Scottish ancestry to distinguish themselves. In September 1723 an Anglican minister George Ross wrote from New Castle, Delaware: “They call themselves Scotch-Irish — and the bitterest railers against the church [of England] that ever trod upon American grounds.” (Quoted in James G. Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History, Second Edition, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2002, p. 330.) In 1772 a newspaper advertisement reported a runaway African slave named Jack who was “said to speak the Scotch-Irish dialect.” (Virginia Gazette, October 22, 1772.) In an affidavit recorded on March 15, 1689/90 in the Somerset County Court, Maryland records in a hearing to bring charges against Matthew Scarbrough is this reference: “I William Pattent was at worke at James Minders and one night as I was at worke Mr Matt: Scarbrough came into the house of sd Minders and sett down by me as I was at work, the sd Minder askt him if he came afoot, he made answer again and sd he did, saying that man, meaning me, calling me Rogue makes me goe afoot, also makes it his business to goe from house to house to ruinate me, my Wife and Children for ever. I made answer is it I Mr.Scarbrough(@f0) and he replyed and said ay you, you Rogue, for which doing ile whip you and make my Wife whipp to whipp you, and I answered if ever I have abused (you) at any time, or to any bodies hearing, I will give you full satisfaction to your own Content. (At which Scarbrough said) You Scotch Irish dogg it was you, with that he gave me a blow on the face saying it was no more sin to kill me then to kill a dogg, or any Scotch Irish dogg, giving me another blow in the face. now saying goe to yr god that Rogue and have a warrant for me and I will answer it. Wm. Patent”. Although the second, third, and fourth generation Scotch-Irish immigrating to America often thought of themselves as Irish rather than Scottish (James G. Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History, supra, pp. 1-4), their culture, manner of speech, dress, and customs were quite similar to those of the Scots and English living in the counties bordering England and Scotland, i.e., the English shires of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and parts of Lancashire on the western side of the Penninines, North Umberland, Durham, the northern part of Yorkshire, and the Scottish counties of Ayr, Renfrew, Lanark, Dumfries, Wigtown, Kirkculbright, Roxburgh, and Berwick. They spoke English, not Gaelic. (David Hacker Fisher, Albion’s Seed, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp. 621-622.) Some of the Scotch-Irish resented the designation. “We’re not Eerish bot Scoatch.” (Wayland F. Dunaway, Scotch Irish in Colonial Pennsylvania, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1944, p. 10.) Only about 4,000 Scotch-Irish had emigrated from Northern Ireland to America between 1700 and 1730. More than 60,000 arrived between 1730 and 1770. By the time of the revolution, 100,000 had relocated to America. (Jon Butler. Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776. Harvard College, 2000, pp. 23-25.) The majority was comprised of agricultural workers and general laborers. Only a few were skilled. (Ibid, p. 24.) They made up the largest European ethnic minority in America by 1776. (Ibid, p. 25.)]

Since at least 1725, hardly any Native Americans had resided in this Alamance region. Only the wind whistled in vacant villages and shook the buds of wildflowers in meadows where corn, beans, and squash had once grown. By 1701 smallpox and other communicable diseases against which the tribes had no immunity had reduced their numbers to one-sixth. The largest tribe that had settled in Alamance had been the Sissipahaw, a branch of the Sioux family that crossed the Mississippi River centuries before. The tribe gave its name to the Haw or Saxapahaw River. Most of their villages had been built alongside streams and rivers. In 1712 the Tuscarora killed 16 of the Sissipahaw because they refused to join and fight the English. The surviving Sissipahaw retreated deeper into the forest, leaving no archeological traces except their former dwellings, burial mounds, and scattered arrowheads. The tribe abandoned a region where there were so many buffalo that three or four men with their dogs could kill from 10 to 20 in a day. (Douglas L. Rights, “Traces of the Indians in Piedmont North Carolina,” North Carolina Historical Review 1 (July 1924): 277-288.) Deer were so plentiful that a rifleman with a little powder could easily kill 4 or 5 in a day. A common hunter could kill in the autumnal seasons as many bears as would make from 2000 to 3000 weight of bear bacon. The waters abounded with beavers, otters, and muskrats. (John Lawson, A New Voyage to Carolina, edited by Hugh Talmadge Tefler, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1967; Robert W. Ramsey, Carolina Cradle: Settlement of the Northwest Carolina Frontier, 1747-1762, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1964, at p. 305.)

As so often in the past, Presbyterians were looking for the Promised Land, if not Edenic Paradise. They coveted land so much that cynics would say they kept the ten commandments and everything else they could get their hands on.

Presbyterianism thrived on the road farthest from Anglican Bishops. No Anglican minister had visited the Piedmont backcountry until 1766. Neighbors included Quakers, Moravians, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, and Reformed Germans, all of whom sought to stay clear of Anglican interference. In 1714 an Anglo-Irish archbishop wrote that the Scotch-Irish had a particular aversion to Anglican curates and called them hirelings. (Charles K. Bolton, Scotch Irish Pioneers in Ulster and America, Baltimore, 1967, p. 68.) Upon his tour in 1766 of the North Carolina backcountry, Anglican itinerant preacher Charles Woodmason complained that when he preached, Presbyterians disrupted his services, started a pack of dogs fighting outside the church, loosened his horse, stole his church keys, refused him food and shelter, and gave two barrels of whiskey to his congregation before a service of communion. (Charles Woodmason, “An Account of the Churches in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and the Floridas” [1767], in: Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution: The Journal and Other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1953, pp. 20, 30, 31, 39, 45.)

The population in backcountry North Carolina grew from a few hundred in the 1740s to 39,000 European Americans and 3,000 African Americans by 1767. (Kars Marjoleine, Breaking Loose Together, The Regulator Rebellion in Pre-Revolutionary North Carolina, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002, p. 16.) In 1750, the assembly created Anson County, which spanned the entire western Piedmont. In 1752 Orange County was erected, located between Rowan to the west and Granville to the east. In 1753, the assembly split Anson and renamed the northern part Rowan County. In 1762, it formed Mecklenburg County from the western part of Anson County. In 1771 the counties of Wake, Guilford and Chatham were created from parts of Orange and Rowan Counties, perhaps in an effort to gerrymand and concentrate the voting power of the backcountry farmers in one county while the others would remain in control of loyalists. The town of Hillsborough, located in the central Piedmont, was founded in 1754, incorporated in 1759, and given its current name in 1766. It served as the seat of the Orange County lower court and hosted meetings of the superior court of the Hillsborough District. It was located on a wagon road from Salisbury to the market town of Cross Creek (now Fayettville). A 1768 map shows the location of the courthouse, the jail, the Anglican church, numerous taverns, stores, and craft shops, and the layout of 140 lots, of which perhaps 45 were settled. (Kars Marjoleine, supra, p. 17.) A single wagon road spanned the distance between Hillsborough (Orange County), Alamance (Guilford County), and Salem (Rowan County). The Scotch-Irish named two of the creeks Great Troubleforme and Little Troubleforme.

HIGH EXPECTATIONS At the giving of the March 1768 installation sermon, no “eddies of a mighty stream rolling to its appointed end” (William Cullens Bryant) alerted Rev. Hugh McAden that David Caldwell was likely, if not certain, to play a significant role as educator, religious leader, and politician, not only for the local congregation, but as well for the Piedmont backcountry farmers throughout North Carolina, of whatever denomination. But Rev. McAden could have made a well educated guess that Rev. David Caldwell’s future was bright.

First, Rev. McAden could not have overlooked the charisma possessed by Rev. Caldwell, a trait commonly associated with strong leaders. In Rev. Caruthers’ biography of David Caldwell, Rev. Caruthers wrote:

“There was something about him which was unique, and which language cannot define…His facial expression and manner were such that with very few words he was able to make his listener understand how he felt on whatever question was placed before him. His response was given with such calmness and good humor that no feelings of disapproval were excited, even if his point of view was different on the subject under discussion.” (Eli W. Caruthers, 1793-1865, A Sketch of The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., Near Sixty Years Pastor of the Churches of Buffalo and Alamance (Swaim and Sherwood, Greensborough, North Carolina, 1842, pp. 30-31. Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell has been cited in support of the theory that the frontier played a major role in forming a distinct American character. (See Fredrick Jackson Turner, The Frontier in American History (New York: H. Holt & Co, 1920.)

Secondly, Rev. Caldwell had already established a reputation as an effective and inspirational educator. To supplement his salary, Rev. David Caldwell purchased a 550 acre farm [3] near the Buffalo Creek Church, and in 1767 commenced a classical school in his own two-story log house, attracting 50 to 60 young men per year, teaching them much more than reading, reckoning, and religion, which he continued, with interruption only during the Revolutionary War, until he was too infirm to continue teaching. (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, pp. 30-31; Rev. E. H. Gillett, History of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1864, in: Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms [n.d.], American Culture Series, Reel 372.4, p. 227; William Henry Foote (1794-1869), Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, New York: Robert Carter, 1846, p. 235.)

[Footnote 3: E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 29. A copy of the deed (Deed Book 6, p. 39, Register of Deeds Office, Rowan Co., North Carolina) and a plot of the farm are shown in the Caldwell Family Newsletter, Daughters of American Revolution Library, Washington, D.C., pp. 49-50. Rev. David Caldwell subsequently deeded 275 acres to his brother Alexander, in 1771. Alexander’s son, Samuel, sold the land back to David after Alexander’s death at the original price. (Id.)]

Rev. Caruthers wrote of David Caldwell: “His usefulness as a teacher was scarcely inferior to his usefulness in the pulpit…The most important service which David Caldwell rendered, as a teacher, was to the church, or to the cause of religion; for nearly all the young men who came into the ministry of the Presbyterian church, for many years, not only in North Carolina, but in the States south and west of it, were trained in his school.” (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 37.)

Rev. Caruthers observed that after the Revolutionary War, Rev. Caldwell charged $10 to $12 per annum tuition, but dispensed with it for those unable to pay. (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 271.) This was then equivalent to approximately 160-200 bushels of wheat.

John Motley Morehead (1796-1866), one of Rev. Caldwell’s privately tutored pupils in 1811, and governor of North Carolina in the 1840s, recalled that Rev. Caldwell applied a soft hand and firm principles: “He must have measured about five feet eight or ten inches…enveloped in a large cape made of bear skin with a net worsted cap on his head…supporting himself with a cane not much shorter than his own body…had a well formed head and strong features…broad Scotch accent which he often assumed, when he desired to be humorous) or to worry a laggard pupil with a bad lesson…an exceedingly studious man…a man of admirable temper, fond of indulging in playful remarks, which he often pointed with a moral; kind to a fault to every human being, and I might say to every living creature…He seemed to live to do good.” Morehead added: “I was not long in Dr. Caldwell’s hands, before I became satisfied of his remarkable excellence as a teacher…I applied myself to my studies with great zeal, with which he was much pleased; and often has he made me recite, from four to six hours a day, parsing every difficult word, and scanning nearly every line, when the recitation happened to be in any of the Latin poets. Indeed you could not get along with him with any comfort, without knowing accurately and thoroughly everything you passed over.” (quoted in William Buell Sprague, Annals of the American Pulpit, New York, R. Carter and brothers, 1857-[69],Vol. 3, pp. 266-267.)

Third, Rev. McAden knew that Rev. Caldwell came from a family background that would appeal strongly to backcountry farmers.

David Caldwell’s parents came from Scotland, went directly to the Colonial Pennsylvania frontier, cleared the land, prospered, obtained title despite ever increasing land prices from the influx of new settlers and land speculation, survived the perils of the frontier, raised four sturdy sons, and with the help of David’s brothers, provided for his education. At his death in 1757, David’s father owned one of the larger farms in Drumore Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and was able to provide David enough money with which to buy a large tract of land in North Carolina backcountry. All of David’s brothers became Presbyterian church elders of the congregations to which they belonged. This is precisely the outcome these backcountry Scotch-Irish sought. Perspiration, perseverance, piety, and passion —— these were qualities the typical backcountry Piedmont farmer admired.

Rev. David Caldwell’s father Andrew is buried at the “old cemetery” of two cemeteries at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church, 1068 Chestnut Level Road, Drumore Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. More likely than not David’s mother Martha is buried there as well, at a site that has lost its grave marker. The church records of any burial were consumed in a fire. Drumore Township is located about 7 miles southwest of Quarryville. The cemetery is located at Chestnut Level and River Roads 1 mile west of Pennsylvania Highway 222 and south of Highway 372 in the southern part of Lancaster County, near Hensel, about 8 miles north of the Pennsylvania-Maryland state line.

In Rev. Caruthers’ biography, Rev. Caruthers explained why it was difficult to say much about Rev. Caldwell’s parents. When the British militia burned Rev. Caldwell’s library during the Revolutionary War, it destroyed the family bible and his correspondence. (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, pp. 1, 223.) Rev. Caldwell had lived nearly a century, and among those who knew him personally at the time Rev. Caruthers was writing the biography, they were advanced in age, and their memories of Rev. Caldwell’s family history were hazy. (Id.)

David’s brothers, Alexander, Andrew, and John, were all disaffected with the abuses of the British government. During the Revolutionary War the farm inherited by John and Andrew likely was called to supply food for the troops. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, became the major supplier of guns, hand-fabricated goods, and grains to feed the continental armies. On September 27, 1777, the Continental Congress, fleeing from the British invaders of Philadelphia, arrived in Lancaster and held a regular session there, making Lancaster the temporary capital. The Pennsylvania government also took up residence in Lancaster and remained there for the duration of the British occupation of Philadelphia.

David Caldwell’s brother Alexander Caldwell moved to Guilford County, North Carolina, and bought land next to the farm of his brother, David. His wife was Margaret. Alexander fought for the North Carolina militia under Gen. Nathanael Greene in the Carolinas. Over eighty percent of military actions during the War were fought in the South. Alexander Caldwell is listed in the Patriot Index as No. 0672271. He attended Buffalo Presbyterian Church. The loss of church records by fire and missing grave markers prevents us from knowing whether he is buried at the Buffalo Presbyterian Church cemetery. He was appointed as the Justice of Peace in 1776. He died in August 1784, due to a fever that he had acquired during the Guilford County Courthouse Battle. After the settlement of his estate, his surviving wife and children, along with many Scotch-Irish, moved to Greene County in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains, which later became a part of the State of Tennessee in June of 1796. Presbyterianism became the first religion among white settlers established in that State. Today about one in five Tennesseans can trace their ancestry to the early Scotch-Irish settlers.

Andrew served as a “court martial man” in the Lancaster Co. Militia, 2nd Battalion, 7th Company, in the Revolutionary War. Beginning in 1781 Gen. Washington began having deserters executed. Possibly Andrew Caldwell was involved in this process. He never married. Andrew died at age 74 on March 11,1808 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

John served as First Captain of the Lancaster County Militia 6th Battalion during the Revolutionary War. John was born about 1736 in Lancaster Co, Pa. He served as a Ruling Elder of the Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church. Additional information about John Caldwell might be found in the personal papers or correspondence of fellow officers of the same battalion. He died at age 76 on June 12, 1812 in Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania. He never married.

Given their supplementary income derived from their farm, neither Andrew nor John likely lacked boots, uniforms, food or shelter. The same was not true for many of the non-officers, dispirited because of inadequate clothing, shelter, and nutrition, even hay on which to sleep. Their number dwindled away through death, desertion, and disgust. (George F. Sheer and Hugh F. Rankin, Rebels and Redcoats, Da Capo Press, 1957, reprint, 1987, p. 303.) Andrew and John’s Pennsylvania rifles were formidable weapons. They could repeatedly hit a bullseye or shoot out a man’s eye at 250 yards.

Growing up on the frontier exposed the Caldwells to the perils of Indian attacks. As the Scotch-Irish and others increasingly relocated west of the Susequehanna River, and moved across the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains into the Ohio Valley, they intruded upon the territory of Native Americans who already had well established settlements, crop lands, and fishing grounds. Some of the Native Americans were able to live alongside the immigrants, some retreated, but many sought to terrorize the unwelcomed settlers, by scalping, burning at the stake, and kidnapping.

The words of Gov. Dinwiddie echoed through the colonial newspapers in 1754:

“Think you see the Infant torn from the unavailing Struggles of the distracted Mother, the Daughters ravished before the Eyes of their wretched Parents; and then, with Cruelty and Insult, butchered and scalped. Suppose the horrid Scene compleated, and the whole Family, Man, Wife, and Children (as they were) murdered and scalped…and then torn in Pieces, and in Part devoured by wild Beasts, for whom they were left a Prey by their more brutal Enemies.”

In the May 9, 1754 edition of the Pennsylvania Gazette, Benjamin Franklin printed a woodcut of a disjointed snake whose parts represented the separate colonies, and the words, “Join” or “Die.” The movement toward colonial unity began while Andrew was still alive.

In July 1755, British Gen. Edward Braddock’s troops were gunned down as they marched in close formation through a clearing within ten miles of a French Fort Duquesne, near present day Pittsburgh. Gen. Braddock died within a few days from his wounds. Twenty-three year old George Washington, appointed that year to replace Gen. Braddock and put in charge of defending Virginia’s 350-mile frontier, wrote to his mother about the event:

“Honored Woman: As I doubt not but you have heard of our defeat, and, perhaps, had it represented in a worse light, if possible, than it deserves, I have taken this earliest opportunity to give you some account of the engagement as it happened, within ten miles of the French fort, on Wednesday the 9th instant.

“We marched to that place, without any considerable loss, having only now and then a straggler picked up by the French and scouting Indians. When we came there, we were attacked by a party of French and Indians, whose number, I am persuaded, did not exceed three hundred men; while ours consisted of about one thousand three hundred well-armed troops, chiefly regular soldiers, who were struck with such a panic that they behaved with more cowardice than it is possible to conceive. The officers behaved gallantly, in order to encourage their men, for which they suffered greatly, there being near sixty killed and wounded; a large proportion of the number we had.

“The Virginia troops showed a good deal of bravery, and were nearly all killed; for I believe, out of three companies that were there, scarcely thirty men are left alive. Captain Peyrouny, and all his officers down to a corporal, were killed. Captain Polson had nearly as hard a fate, for only one of his was left. In short, the dastardly behavior of those they call regulars exposed all others, that were inclined to do their duty, to almost certain death; and, at last, in despite of all the efforts of the officers to the contrary, they ran, as sheep pursued by dogs, and it was impossible to rally them.

“The General was wounded, of which he died three days after. Sir Peter Halket was killed in the field, where died many other brave officers. I luckily escaped without a wound, though I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me. Captains Orme and Morris, two of the aids-de-camp, were wounded early in the engagement, which rendered the duty harder upon me, as I was the only person then left to distribute the General’s orders, which I was scarcely able to do, as I was not half recovered from a violent illness, that had confined me to my bed and a wagon for above ten days. I am still in a weak and feeble condition, which induces me to halt here two or three days in the hope of recovering a little strength, to enable me to proceed homewards; from whence, I fear, I shall not be able to stir till toward September; so that I shall not have the pleasure of seeing you till then, unless it be in Fairfax…I am, honored Madam, your most dutiful son.”

In November 1755, 400 to 500 armed men gathered in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, demanding a scalp bounty from the Quaker government, to reward them for killing any Indian, friend or enemy. They accused the government of “selling out to a race more alien than the French.” The Quakers responded by printing pamphlets caricaturing the Scotch-Irish as rawboned, ill-educated, uncultured hicks.

The conflict between the Indians and white settlers intensified during the French and Indian War, 1756-1763, as measured from the declaration of war by Great Britain in 1756 to the Treaty of Paris ending the war that was signed in February 1763. Some historians use 1754 as the commencement, when the first skirmishes occurred between the French and British. Churchill described it as the first world war. At the close of the War, the later French ambassador, Comte de Vergennes, commented: “The colonies will no longer need Britain’s protection. She will call on them to contribute toward supporting the burdens they have helped to bring on her, and they will answer by striking off their chains.”

Rev. Caruthers mentions that Rev. Caldwell received payment in 1762 for delivering several Indian scalps. (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 113.) He notes that Rev. Caldwell’s wife, Rachel Caldwell, recalled an episode when Indians were coming in through the front door while she fled through the rear door.

Beginning in May of 1763, Chief Pontiac and an alliance of Indian tribes captured virtually all of the British forts from Lake Superior to the Mississippi, burned churches and log cabins to the ground in Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, and slaughtered settlers. No troops were immediately available to resist the Indians. Survivors poured eastward expressing bitterness against the people who thought the Indians should be treated fairly. (Edmund S. Morgan & Helen M. Morgan, The Stamp Act Crisis: Prologue to Revolution, 3rd Edition, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995, p. 252.) The British regained the lost territory but sought to secure peace by eliminating the primary cause of Indian attacks.

In October, Britain declared in a Proclamation of 1763 that colonists were prohibited from migrating west of the Alleghenies. A standing army of ten thousand soldiers were stationed to enforce the Proclamation. This was done not merely to placate the Indians but to protect them from settlers all too ready to shoot an Indian on sight without regard to whether he was hostile or peaceful. One effect of this prohibition was temporarily to divert migration of Scotch-Irish south into the Piedmont region of Virginia and the Carolinas. More importantly, the Proclamation united Americans both wealthy and landless against Britain. Wealthy speculators, including George Washington, were frustrated that the Proclamation locked them out of hoped-for profits to be gained through selling land in Ohio. The Proclamation angered many landless Scotch-Irish and other colonists who saw westward expansion as their only hope for an escape from poverty. Former members of the militia who had served during the French and Indian War felt the Proclamation deprived them of free land that had been promised to them as payment for their services. The use of a standing army to stop the land grab led to quartering of the redcoats in the homes of colonists despite their protests. The expense of the War and maintenance of a standing army led to more vigorous enforcement of existing laws relating to collection of taxes, as well as attempts to impose new taxes, all deeply resented by the colonists. For the first time there was a wide-spread perception among the colonists that independence from Britain would enhance their prosperity. (cf. Robert Harvey, A Few Bloody Noses: The Realities and Mythologies of the American Revolution, Woodstock & New York: The Overlook Press, Peter Mayer Publishers, Inc., 2003, pp. 39-44.)

Between November 1763 and February 1764, furious Scotch-Irish Presbyterian backcountry settlers massacred small groups of Conestoga Indians in and around Lancaster before marching on the capital intending to slaughter Moravian-associated Indians, including men, women, and children who had been provided shelter by the Quakers at a barracks on the Delaware. An alarmed governor placed Benjamin Franklin in charge of a militia to fend off the Scotch-Irish. (Carl Van Doren, Benjamin Franklin, New York, 1941, pp. 306-311.) Benjamin Franklin deplored the attack in Lancaster County, and observed that all of the Indians were peaceable and had Christian names. (Benjamin Franklin, “A Narrative of the late Massacres in Lancaster County, of a Number of Indians, Friends of this Province, by Persons Unknown,” Philadelphia, 1764, reprinted in Albert H. Smith, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, New York, 1905-1907, IV, pp. 284-314.)

These riots were the first instance of “white rage” and mass political awareness in Pennsylvania. Hostility towards the Indians brought about increasing anger by the Scotch-Irish towards the Quakers who sought to maintain harmony with the Indians and a profitable fur trade. For every Indian killed, fifty Scotch-Irish had been killed. Newspapers and anti-Quaker pamphlets were filled with stories of Indian mutilation, murder of women and children, kidnaps, and sexual torture. Surprisingly, among those whites who had remained captive of the Indians for a long time, many acclimated themselves and resisted repatriation to the white settlements.

Rupp’s “A History of Lancaster County: to Which is Prefixed a Brief Sketch of the Early History of Pennsylvania,” Spartanburg, South Carolina, Reprint Co., 1984, composed by Israel Daniel Rupp (1844), reprinted by the Lancaster County Historical Society in its quarterly, provides a fairly good account of the relationship between the Lancaster County settlers and the Native Americans, and the rivalry between the Pennsylvania-Dutch and the Scotch-Irish for political power, and the divisiveness of a great variety of religious orders that James Madison would later characterize as factions advancing their private interests over the public interest.

Perceiving the proprietorship form of government too weak, Franklin led the Assembly to petition the King for a establishment of a royal government in Pennsylvania. (Morgan, supra, p. 253.) The Presbyterians counter-petitioned and launched scurrilous broadsides attacking Franklin and the Quakers. (Id.) In the October elections, Franklin was ousted from the Assembly. (Id.)

Some historians have expressed the opinion that the counties on the Indian frontier of Pennsylvania “forged a self-conscious religious and national community,” by drawing people from diverse origins, religions, ethnic groups, and cultures, all white, focusing their anger on the Indians and their allies, and against the King who failed to protect them and was even accused of setting the Indians upon them. In writing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson charged that King George III “has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, & conditions of existence…”

Fourth, Rev. McAden likely recognized that Rev. David Caldwell’s congregations strongly wanted what he hoped to provide. Rev. James Geddes Craighead wrote:

“[W]herever [the first Scotch-Irish immigrants] formed a settlement, they promptly organized a congregation for Christian worship. The Westminster Confession of Faith and its Directory of Worship was endeared to them. They were resolved to maintain the doctrines and polity of the Presbyterian Church for themselves and their children. They were zealous in preserving their ecclesiastic organization as an offspring of religious liberty. Youths in this early period were taught at home, and under parental instructions, and trained to obedience and subordination, as the unbending law of the family. The schools established by the Presbyterian ministers, confirmed and extended the family education.

“The mass of these emigrants were men of intelligence, resolution, energy, religious, and moral character, having means that enabled them to supply themselves with suitable selections of land, on which they made permanent homes for their families.

“They were a God-fearing, liberty-loving, tyrant-hating, Sabbath-keeping, covenant-adhering race; trained by trials, made resolute by oppression, governed by conscience, and destined to achieve a mission and place in history of the Church and the race.” (Rev. James Geddes Craighead, The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir, 1876, p. 52; see L.D.S. film 897112, Item 3.)

In actuality, many Scotch-Irish emigrated without ministers, and less than 1/15th in the middle colonies, including Pennsylvania, were church members as of 1740. (Richard Hofstadter, “America at 1750: A Social Portrait,” N.Y. Knopf, 1971, p. 181.)

In Rev. Caruthers’ Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, Rev. Caruthers mentions the scarcity of ministers in North Carolina before 1760. While Rev. James Geddes Craighead’s description may be an exaggeration as to the lowland Scots (the majority of whom were from Ayrshire and Renfrewshire) and Scotch-Irish generally who migrated to America, it does appear to be an accurate portrayal of Andrew and Martha Caldwell and the Buffalo and Alamance congregations which invited their son David Caldwell to be the minister of those congregations.

David’s brother, Alexander Caldwell, might have been named after an Octorara Presbyterian minister, Alexander Craighead, whose religious perspective and strong anti-British sentiments may have especially appealed to David’s parents, Andrew and Martha Caldwell. Alexander Craighead’s arrival as minister in Lancaster County preceded the birth of David’s brother, Alexander, by one year. In contrast to Rev. John Thomson, an Old Side minister at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church in Drumore Township since 1732, who vehemently opposed the emotionalism of revivalism, but not the concept of born again conversion, Alexander Craighead was a passionate New Sider. (cf. Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity: Scots-Irish Piety and the Great Awakening, 1625-1760, New York: Oxford University Press, 1988, pp. 200-203, 208.)

Finally, Rev. McAden likely recognized that David Caldwell had absorbed valuable theological lessons from some of the most renowned ministers in the American colonies.

Between the age of 7 in 1732 to age 19 in 1744, David attended sermons of Rev. John Thomson at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church at Drumore Township.

Rev. John Thomson was born about 1689, County Down, Ireland. He attended the University of Glasgow. He was licensed by Ulster Synod at Antrim 23 June 1713. He arrived in America 1713 to 1715. He was ordained by Presbytery of Philadelphia meeting at New Castle, 1717. He served as pastor at Lewes, Delaware, 1717-1729, and provided services at Snow Hill, Maryland. 1729-1733. He served four Pennsylvania communities; Newcastle, Nottingham, Fishing Creek and Drumore. Between 1733-1744 he was a full time pastorate at Chestnut Level. In 1734 he wrote “The Poor Orphans Legacy,” published by Benjamin Franklin.

Rev. Thomson had a strong reputation as a forceful speaker.

A schism occurred in Rev. Thomson’s congregation in 1741, with a sizable portion of the congregation initially seeking his removal by means of a petition. (Westerkamp, supra, p. 200.) The presbytery did not act on the petition, after it was discovered that many of the signatures on the petition were forged, but for the next three years, Rev. Thomson had increasing difficulty getting his salary, and in August, 1744, he petitioned for and obtained his dismissal. (Id.)

Charles Briggs wrote: “Thomson was a narrow and opinionated man. He became the father of all the discord and mischief in the American Presbyterian Church.” Others praised Rev. Thomson as “reasoned, temperate and firm,” and attribute the discord and rancor to Rev. Gilbert Tennent, a contemporary of Rev. Thomson, and at whose log college David Caldwell received his formal theological training. Westerkamp’s book, Triumph of the Laity, delves into the devisive issues. Rev. Thomson sought to model the colonial Presbyterian churches on the Church of Scotland, which was rejected by Presbyterians of English and Welsh origin. He insisted that every minister and member of the congregation affirm in writing adherence to the Westminister Confession, a “subscription” resisted by those who strongly believed that any heresy be best assessed by trial, not tested by a loyalty oath.

During his ministry at Chestnut Level Church, Rev. Thomson was absent for months at a time, while making itineraries through the frontier of Virginia. He served Virginia communities of Winchester, Staunton, Opekon, Rockfish Gap, Cub Creek in Brunswick, and others. It is likely that during these long absences of Rev. Thomson, David Caldwell would have attended sermons at other nearby Presbyterian churches, such as that of Rev. Alexander Craighead, and Alexander’s father, Rev. Thomas Craighead. Rev. Thomson complained that Rev. Alexander Craighead had diverted members of the Drumore Presbyterian congregation to Craighead’s New Side beliefs.

In 1744, following Rev. Thomson’s release from his ministry at Chestnut Level, he moved to Buffalo (now Prince Edward County, Virginia). In 1747 he was granted “full powers in ecclesiastical matters in Virginia.” In 1751 he relocated to Centre Church, Anson County (later Rowan, later Iredell), North Carolina, and died in 1752. Rev. E. F. Rockwell, of Statesville, North Carolina, called John Thomson “the first missionary and gospel pioneer in this section of North Carolina, who traversed this region before McAden, McWhorter, Spencer, and Craighead,” and wrote concerning him this epitaph: “Born by the side of the River Foyle, in the North of Ireland, where he first opened his eyes on the world, he closed them, in the wilderness, on the banks of Catawba: an ocean rose between his cradle and his grave, an emblem of his stormy life. Ireland gave him birth; Iredell County a grave; the heavenly Jerusalem a final rest.” Quoted from John Goodwin Herndon, “John Thomson, Presbyterian Constitutionalist Minister of the Word of God, Educational Leader and Church Builder,” p. 60. (Printed privately in 1943 by The Lancaster Press, Inc., Lancaster, Pennsylvania.)

During David Caldwell’s years as a child, a movement within the Presbyterian Church towards a revivalist “New Side” had begun, that led to disenchantment with the Old Side views of John Thomson. In 1734 congregationalist Jonathan Edwards had popularized the New Side beliefs. (See, Mark Noll, America’s God: Theology in America from Jonathan Edwards to Abraham Lincoln, Oxford University Press, 2002; Mark A. Noll, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Erdmans Publishing Co., 1992; George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2003, pp. 153-157.) Rev. Edwards had given a series of sermons to Northhampton, Massachusetts parishioners directed to individuals of the ages of Andrew and Martha Caldwell. (Marsden, supra, p. 153.) One of these sermons was given in April 1734 at a funeral to mourners grief-stricken because of the death of a young man. Rev. Edwards quoted Psalm 90:5-6: “In the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth and groweth up. In the evening it is cut down and withereth.” He warned the youth in attendance of squandering their lives in vanity. (Marsden, supra, p. 154.) “How unreasonable is it,” he argued, “for one who is so much like the grass and flowers in the field…to spend away the prime of his opportunity in levity and vain mirth in inconsideration and pursuit of carnal and sensual delights and pleasures…If you should die in the flower of your youth when the body is most active and beautiful it will rise again a thousand times more active and beautiful…” He told the members of the congregation their happiness would be far greater than that of simply being fondly remembered for a time. Their glory would last. Rev. Edwards conveyed to them the evangelistic notion not to be squeamish about death if they were true believers, and that they could stare death in the eye and rejoice, while friends and family could consider it a privilege to watch the departing Christian’s last moments and hear the beating of approaching Angels’ wings. (Id.)

Rev. Edwards published in 1734 a sermon entitled: “A Divine and Supernatural Light.” In that sermon, Rev. Edwards said that a “spiritually enlightened” person does not “merely rationally believe that God is glorious, but that he has a sense of the gloriousness of God in his heart.” (Marsden, supra, p. 157.) “Persons of mean capacities and advantages” can apprehend this spiritual light “as well as those that are of the greatest parts and learning.” If the Gospel “depended only on history, and such reasoning as learned men only are capable of, it would be above the reach of the greatest part of mankind.” (Id.) Rev. Edwards’ sermon had particular appeal to the youth, especially women fearful of death associated with childbirth, the poorer elements lacking obvious indicia of social status, and those of the new commercial class and landowners who viewed themselves as self-made men.

A decade earlier before a Presbyterian congregation in what is now New York City, Rev. Edwards had begun using the metaphor of light throughout his preaching and sermonizing to describe God’s love. To Rev. Edwards, regeneration meant to be given eyes to see the light of Christ in hearts that had been hopelessly darkened by sin. (Christ The Light of the World, ca. 1723, cited in Marsden, supra, p. 55.) His father Rev. Timothy Edwards had used the word “awakening” as a means to distinguish a true conversion from self-deception, but had not published his sermons. Jonathan described his own boyhood experience as a “remarkable season of awakening,” and published sermons in which he frequently used “awakening” to refer to conversion. (Marsden, supra, p. 26.) This helps dispel the claim by some historians that the term “awakening” was first used in the nineteenth century to refer to conversion and new birth.(cf. Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening,” Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999; Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People, Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 165-167.) Rev. Edwards’ sermons had a strong impact upon William Tennent, Sr., who established the first academy in America for teaching future Presbyterian ministers, and his sons, New Light preachers Gilbert Tennent, Charles Tennent, William Tennent, Jr., and John Tennent, all emigrants from Ulster Ireland.

William, Sr., William Jr., John, and Gilbert Tennent became the best known ministers among Scottish Presbyterian congregations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and Charles Tennent among English Presbyerian congregations in Delaware. Each of them emphasized “personal regeneration” through “born again” conversion, a Calvinism that exuded warmth rather than coldness, and a belief that faith could heal life-threatening illnesses and produce other miracles. In the 1740s, Gilbert Tennent compared his own recovery from a nearly terminal illness to the biblical raising of Lazarus. One of his brothers had lost all of the toes of one foot [presumably due to diabetes], lapsed into coma, ceased to have a palpable pulse, and was presumed dead and about to be interred, when he suddenly regained conciousness. Gilbert Tennent attributed each of these “miracles” to his own prayers. (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People, Harvard University Press, 1990, p. 185.) Non-revivalist Presbyterian ministers, such as Rev. David Evans, criticized Gilbert Tennent for his claim of supernatural powers. Rev. Evans compared Rev. Gilbert Tennent to an astrologer and fortune teller. (Jon Butler, Becoming America, supra, pp. 201-202.)

In 1743, Gilbert Tennent had inveighed against Rev. John Thomson’s “The Doctrine of Convictions Set in a Clear Light” (1741) as a “detestable and inconsistent performance….Hardly anything can be invented that has a more direct tendency to destroy the common operations of God’s Holy Spirit, and to keep men from Jesus Christ.” But six years later, in his Irenicum (1749), Tennent praised Thomson’s “Government of the Church” (1741) for breathing “the candid, humble spirit of true Christianity,” and declared that Thomson’s writings spoke in a “candid charitable Strain, to the Honour of the late Revival of Religion, as well as the Honour of the ministers he opposed.” Milton Coalter portrayed Tennent as if he had been the incarnation of Satan in Milton’s Lost Paradise, and described the controversy between Thomson and Tennent as a clash between “the advocates of order and doctrine and the disciples of terrors and conversion.”

The term “New Sider” derives from a division of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland and Ulster Ireland that had spread to the colonies. In the American colonies, the Presbyterian Church was divided into the Synod of New York, constituting the New Side, and the Synod of Philadelphia, representing the Old Side. The New Side was led by a ministry most of whom were trained in the colonies, while the Old Side was led by ministers largely trained in Scotland. As dissenters, Presbyterians would not have been pemitted to attend Cambridge or Oxford University. The New Side was evangelistic, while the Old Side opposed revivals. The New Side welcomed itinerant evangelists, such as George Whitefield; the Old Side shunned them. The New Side opened its membership to anyone who converted, including black Americans. The Old Side sought a church that was exclusively Scotch-Irish. The New Side emphasized that the minister must earn the esteem, admiration and affection of his local congregation, while the Old Siders emphasized the congregation’s duty to obey the Church Elders and minister. The New Side emphasized those portions of the New Testament that declare any one could be saved through a process of conversion and grace, while the Old Siders stuck with the more rigid Calvinist doctrine that the vast majority was predestined to go to hell. The Old Side derisively called the New Siders “enthusiasts,” meaning that they were resting belief upon emotion and disputed claims of direct divine revelation rather than scripture. The New Side favored converted ministers; the Old Side insisted upon formally educated ministers. The seminaries at Harvard and Yale favored the Old Side. Princeton (known in the colonial era as the College of New Jersey) was for the New Side.

The New Side reflected New Light elements of Congregationalism (Puritanism) brought by New Englanders, and reinforced by interest in the Great Awakening of 1738-42 among Presbyterians who had been born and raised in the colonies. In 1741 the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia excluded the New Brunswick Presbytery for “irregularities.” Four years later the schism came. The divisive issues were the revival and its extravagancies, the evangelistic training which the Reverend William Tennent taught at his Log College on Neshaminy Creek, Pennsylvania, and the question of the right to itinerate. Harvard and Yale would not admit any pupils to their seminaries except Old Siders. The New Siders established the College of New Jersey to train their evangelists. (G. H. Ingram, “Erection of the Presbytery of New Brunswick,” Journal of the Presbyterian Historical Society, VI, 225-331.) The College of New Jersey might not have been established but for the expulsion of a Yale divinity student David Brainerd (about whom Jonathan Edwards would write a biography, The Life of David Brainerd, that became one of the best selling books in America during the colonial period) for attending services at a New Side church. In 1758, these two groups of Old Siders and New Siders reunited, by achieving a compromise on matters of governance, if not theology. The Compromise derived from a Plan of Union of 1729, which included this clause:

“When any Matter is determined by a Majority Vote, every Member Shall either actively concur with, or passively Submit to Such Determination; or, if his Conscience permit him to do neither, he Shall, after Sufficient Liberty modestly to reason and remonstrate, peaceably withdraw from our Communion, without attempt to make any Schism: Provided always, that this Shall be understood to extend only to Such Determinations, as the Body Shall judge indispensable in Doctrine or Presbyterian Government.”

Congregationalism was chiefly a religion of the northeastern United States, whose members were among the elite, mostly of English and Welsh descent. Congregationalism went where Yankees went. Congregationalist Jonathan Edwards, preached revivals in Massachusetts in the 1730’s and 1740’s, and had formerly done so as a Presbyterian preacher in New York in 1723. Congregationalists were among the first sects to divide into New Lights, favoring revivalism, personal conversion, and itinerant preachers, and the Old Lights, shunning the singing, ranting, rejoicing, and emotionalism exhibited during church services by the New Siders. The great legacy of congregationalism was church organization, theology and concepts of world mission. The congregationalists differed from Anglicans in emphasizing local community control of churches without Bishops. They differed from Presbyterians in not having Synods. Eventually Unitarians and Trinitarians evolved from Congregationalism. The congregationalist churches were the first among North American Protestant churches to send missionaries worldwide. (Martin Marty, “North America,” Chapter 11, The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners, ed., Oxford University Press, 1990, pp. 395-6.) Jonathan Edwards is widely regarded as the most brilliant of American theologians. (George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, supra, p. 1.) At least three of sermons have been identified as masterpieces of Christian literature — “Religious Affections,” “Freedom of the Will,” and “The Nature of True Virtue.” He authored Colonial America’s most widely known Protestant sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” in 1741. He discussed the Great Awakening in his 1742 work, “Some Thoughts Concerning the Present Revival of Religion in New England.”

Before David Caldwell turned age 21, he had the opportunity to listen to New Sider William Tennent, Sr. (1673-1745), whose Log College he attended, during the time that his son, New Light preacher Gilbert Tennent, taught there. William Tennent, Sr., was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (1695), and a close friend of Rev. Thomas Craighead, grandfather of David’s future wife, Rachel Craighead. William Tennent, Sr. had emigrated from Scotland to America in 1718. Rev. Gilbert Tennent served Presbyterian congregations at New Brunswick, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Rev. Thomas Craighead moved to Lancaster County in 1733, and was installed as pastor of the Pequea Presbyterian Church in September of that year. Like William Tennent, Sr., Rev. Thomas Craighead shared the Scottish Enlightenment view that sought to reconcile reason and religion and encouraged study of both science and scripture. Rev. Thomas Caldwell’s medical training and William Tennent, Sr.’s favorable attitude toward science may have induced David Caldwell to look to medicine, not magical amulets, Freemason Druid-like ritual, or faith healing.

Rev. Thomas Craighead’s son, Rev. Alexander Craighead (David Caldwell’s future father-in-law), was licensed by the Presbytery of Donegal Township, Lancaster County, on October 3, 1734, and installed as pastor of Middle Octarora Church in 1735, and at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, in what is now Cabarrus County, North Carolina, 1758-1766.

David Caldwell also met Alexander Craighead’s mentor and close friend, Rev. George Whitefield, formally an Anglican, but preaching a nondenominational evangelism. Rev. Whitefield encouraged local church autonomy. Rev. Whitefield roamed the frontier as a “circuit rider.” He conducted many revival meetings beginning in and near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1739-1740, attended by as many as 15,000 to 20,000 a day, as well as throughout the colonies, including Christmas Day, 1739, in New Bern, North Carolina. He brought about in David Caldwell a great awakening of religious piety and a desire to help others.

Rev. Whitefield was the most famous among a group of “spellbinders,” a type of minister who sought to emphasize brotherhood and the plight of the poor, compassion rather than condemnation, involvement rather than indifference. He could make people weep or tremble by the way he spoke. In almost every sermon he would ask: “Are you saved@f1” “Playing on fear and stirring passion, Whitefield harangued individuals into being empathetic, charitable, and socially responsible. “Whitefield was a fiery spark in the driest tinder.” (Jack Cady, The American Writer, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1999, p. 68.) His message appealed to those who were alienated from their various churches and to the democratic-minded who responded to Whitefield’s call for humanitarianism.” (Web page, the Presbyterian Historical Society.) “[He] created a popular intercolonial movement, the first that stirred the people of several colonies on a matter of common emotional concern.” (Richard Hofstadter, America at 1750: A Social Portrait, N.Y. Knopf, 1971, p. 217.) He was among the first modern revivalists, popular preachers, and A-list celebrities, using open camp meetings, assemblies on weekdays in direct competition with secular events, drama, spectacle, singing, and his own popularity, to gain converts. (George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicalism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991.) He differed from Gilbert, Charles, John and William Tennent, Jr. in not proclaiming that he was a faith healer or that he had any power to elicit divine intervention. (Jon Butler, Becoming America, supra, pp. 202-203.)

In the sermon, “Marriage of Cana,” 1742, Rev. Whitefield said:

“What if you are miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, that is no Excuse: —— Faith is the only wedding Garment Christ requires; he does not call you because you are already, but because he intends to make you Saints. No, it pities him to see you naked. He wants to cover you with his Righteousness.”

Benjamin Franklin wrote of attending one of Whitefield’s Philadelphia sermons in 1740 with initial skepticism, having read that Whitefield was enriching himself from the donations during his sermons. After the sermon began, Franklin felt the need to donate a few copper coins, and at mid-way, his silver coins, and at the end, greatly moved by Whitefield’s eloquence and emotional appeal, all the gold coins he carried on his person. (Kenneth Silverman, ed., Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography and Other Writings (New York, 1986), pp. 116-119.) Franklin and Whitefield thereafter remained lifelong friends.

Though Rev. Whitefield had a facial tic that produced an intermittent conjugate gaze (crossed-eyes), women were said to be quite attracted to him. A 1760 cartoon has a woman saying: “I wish his Spirit was in my Flesh.” (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith: Christianizing the American People, Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1990, pp. 188-189.)

The Great Awakening initiated by Revs. George Whitefield (Anglican), Gilbert Tennent (Presbyterian) and Jonathan Edwards (Congregationalist) has been described as the second reformation, restoring the terrors and consolation of Christianity to unchurched persons at a time of greater secularism and religious indifference. (Richard Hofstadter, America at 1750: A Social Portrait, supra, p. 218; cf. Harry S. Stout, The Divine Dramatist: George Whitefield and the Rise of Modern Evangelicism, Grand Rapids, Mich., 1991; and Frank Lambert, “Pedlar in Divinity”: George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals: 1737-1770, Princeton, 1994.) George M. Marsden describes Whitefield’s tour as the first intercolonial cultural event, the beginning of a common American cultural identity. (George M. Marsden, Jonathan Edwards: A Life, supra, p. 209.) Historian Frank Lambert espouses the view that revivalists of the 19th century exaggerated Whitefield’s impact and even invented the notion of a Great Awakening. (Frank Lambert, Inventing the “Great Awakening,” Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999.) Lambert mentions that Whitefield visited only 7 of the 13 colonies. In Virginia, where Anglican domination was strongest, Whitefield confined himself to just a few counties. Ignoring the writings and sermons of Jonathan Edwards, Harvard professor Jon Butler asserts that the first use of the term “Great Awakening” in print appeared in Joseph Tracy’s “The Great Awakening,” published in 1841. Butler derides the term “great awakening” as one of “interpretative fiction.” (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, supra, p. 165.)

New England Professors Lambert and Butler omitted any mention of the effect that George Whitefield had upon prominent Scotch-Irish ministers and educators at the College of New Jersey, who encouraged independence, such as Rev. John Witherspoon and Rev. Samuel Davies, and ministers Rev. Alexander Craighead, who had settled temporarily in Virginia before relocating to North Carolina, and his son-in-law, Rev. David Caldwell.

Critics have called the Great Awakening “the last gasp of the Middle Ages…a departure from a religion calling for study to a religion asking for cant.” (Jack Cady, The American Writer, supra, p. 69.) Harvard Professor Jon Butler calls Whitefield a “catechist.” But these opinions cannot be corroborated by review of 23 Whitefield sermons that survive. They are gems of persuasion, applying all of the principles set forth in Cicero’s writings on oratory.

Upset clergy who lost their congregation because of the influence of George Whitefield complained that in trafficking for the Lord, Whitefield trampled on every religious regulation imposed by civil and religious authorization. (Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, supra, p. 136.) Rev. Whitefield was equally contemptuous of unconverted ministers who he claimed “knew no more of true Christianity than did Mohamet.” (Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, supra, p. 144.)

Professor Westerkamp asserts that Whitefield was successful primarily where the congregations were of the New Lights, and that the “Great Awakening represented neither the effectiveness of the itinerants nor the spirit of clerical-lay cooperation, but the ultimate power of the laity.” (Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity, supra, p. 213.) Harvard Professor Jon Butler draws boundaries around this interpretation. He points out that hardly any lay persons participated as members of the Synod. For example, in 1775, twenty five ministers and five laymen attended the Synod of Philadelphia. In contrast to the ministers, who were permanent members, the laymen held only transient positions on the Presbytery and Synod. No layperson ever chaired a Synod. The Phiadelphia Synod censured congregations that hired unqualified ministers without its approval. The Synod supervised 9 Presbyteries and 120 ministers by 1770. The most well known “new side” ministers sought to protect clerical privilege. Jonathan Edwards wrote: “The common People in exhorting one authority ought not to clothe themselves with like authority, with that which is proper for Ministers.” In 1742, Gilbert Tennent lamblasted lay preachers: “They were a dreadful consequence to the Church’s peace and soundeness in principle…[F]or Ignorant Young Converts to take upon them authoritatively to Instruct and Exhort publickly tends to introduce the Greatest Errors and the greatest anarchy and confusion.” (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, supra, pp. 124-135, 185.)

The letters and sermons of Whitefield were a subject of discussion at David Caldwell’s Log College. Among Rev. Caldwell’s pupils who became preachers, William Hodge became well known for espousing Whitefield’s ideas. James Smith, a Cumberland Presbyterian historian, said that Hodge “was the reverse of Mr. McGready . . . His [Hodge’s] great excellency appears to have been in his skill, under God, to heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.” (James Smith, History of the Christian Church, 1835, p. 668.)

Historian Patricia U. Bonomi has argued that the Great Awakening did not contribute significantly to the Revolutionary War, mostly because of the time lag. (Patricia U. Bonomi, Under the Cope of Heaven: Religion, Society, and Politics in Colonial America, New York, Oxford University Press, 1986, reprint 2003.) Professor Jon Butler makes the same argument, and as an example, cites the inability of “new sider” Rev. William Tennent III (son of William Tennent Jr.) to persuade Scot immigrants in South Caroina to join the Patriots. (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, supra, p. 205.) He also notes that most of the members of the Philadelphia Synod remained silent. In a pastoral letter of 1775 to its congregations, the Synod acknowledged: “it is well known…that we have not been instrumental in inflaming the minds of the People, or urging them to do acts of violence and disorder.” (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, supra, p. 203.) Professor Butler briefly mentions Rev. Witherspoon president of the College of New Jersey, as an “agitator,” but does not describe his impact. Each of these historians overlooked the contributions of Whitefield followers Rev. Alexander Craighead, Rev. David Caldwell, Rev. Samuel Davies, and preachers like them. Unlike William Tennent III, Revs. Witherspoon, Craighead and Caldwell were far more effective in using religion to foster anti-authoritarian sentiment. Professor Butler states that the earliest history of Presbyterian ministers supporting the Patriot cause was written to serve the needs of the 1860s. He cites the following texts: John W. Thorton, Pulpit of the American Revolution, 1860; Frank More, Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution, 1862; and Joel Headley, The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution, 1864. He makes no mention of Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell. (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, supra, p. 195.)

The argument that the Great Awakening substantially contributed to the Patriot Cause is presented by Alan Heimert, Religion and the American Mind from the Great Awakening to the Revolution, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1966; William G. McLoughlin, “The Role of Religion in the Revolution,” in S.G. Kurtz and J.H. Hudson, eds., Essays on the American Revolution, Chapel Hill, 1973; and J.C.D. Clark, The Language of Liberty, 1699-1832: Political Discourse and Social Dynamics in the Anglo-American World (Cambridge, Oxford, 1993). Historian Richard Middleton observes that the open camp meetings at which itinerant evangelists spoke lent themselves to discussion of politics and social problems. (Richard Middleton, Colonial America, 3rd edition, Blackstone Press, 2002, p. 265.)

Prof. Gary B. Nash argues that the Great Awakening inspired women to become exhorters of public prayers and run separate women’s meetings. The Great Awakening inspired the men to act more boldly opposing British oppression, because of belief that such resistance was linked to their salvation. (Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution, Viking Press, 2005, pp. 76-77.)

The evangelical new side religious views of Rev. Caldwell and his consitutents likely contributed to his emergence as an uncompromising Whig leader combating Eastern Norh Carolina interest groups and his participation in the North Carolina provincial Congress as an elected official. (See, Charles D Rodenbough, Governor Alexander Martin: Biography of a North Carolina Revolutionary War Statesman, McFaraland & Co., 2004, p. 49.)

During his youth, David Caldwell may have witnessed first hand the laity’s strong disapproval of the refusal by Rev. Thomas Craighead of allowing his wife to participate in communion, because she had slighted her stepson and the stepson’s family when they visited Rev. Thomas Craighead’s home. The congregation obtained the dismissal of Rev. Thomas Craighead.

Rev. Caldwell’s congeniality was reflected in his acceptance of others not of his Presbyterian denomination. Several of his close friends were Anglicans, Quakers, Methodists, and Moravians. Dr. Caruthers writes that David Caldwell was greatly impressed with a sermon that George Whitefield gave in Philadelphia in 1740 touching upon the subject of toleration. In that sermon, Whitefield said:

“Father Abraham, whom have you in Heaven@f2 Any Episcopalians@f3” “No.” “Any Presbyterians@f4” “No.” “Have you any Independents or Seceders@f5” “No.” “Have you any Methodists@f6” “No, no, no!!!” “Whom have you there@f7” “We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians believers in Christ men who have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.” “Oh, is this the case? Then God help us, God help us all, to forget party names, and to become Christians in deed and in truth.”

This invitation to any peaceable Christian believer regardless of sect would have been particularly welcomed by the founder of the Pennsylvania colony, William Penn, were he alive, who had embraced heterogeniety and inclusiveness, hoping for utopian brotherhood, in contrast to Puritan John Winthrop’s efforts to establish an exclusive sectarian colony in Massachusetts. By 1740, William Penn’s utopian dream was a failure, for the colony of Pennsylvania was deeply divided politically by Anglicans, Quakers, Presbyterians, and other denominations, whose elected representatives carried their divisive religious beliefs with them into the legislative assembly. (Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, Princeton Univ. Press, 2003, pp. 101-102.) Non-sectarian toleration was born again in the revivals of Kentucky and Tennesee at the beginning of the nineteenth century, where preachers of several denominations cooperated closely to give sermons in open camp meetings. (cf. John B. Soules, The Great Revival, 1787-1805: Origins of the Southern Evangelical Mind, Lexington, 1972.)

The term Great Awakening is commonly used to describe the religious zeal that began with Englishman George Whitefield’s first tour of the American colonies in 1739-42. Some historians prefer a starting year of 1740, when Whitefield first toured New England, than 1739, when he first arrived in America by ship and began sermonizing in Pennsylvania. Rev. Whitefield continued these tours intermittently for decades, up to his death in 1770, even making stops at most of the larger settlements in North Carolina in 1764. Revivals were common to Christianity, dating back to at least the Crusades. The first revivals among Scotch-Irish began in 1625 and spread from Ulster Ireland to Scotland. As the Scotch-Irish migrated from the middle colonies of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey into North Carolina, their ministers brought the Great Awakening of revivalism with them. Rev. McAden and his protégé David Caldwell were among the first clergy carrying the message of the Great Awakening into the backcountry. The Great Awakening encouraged participation of common people in church affairs and theological debates, thereby gaining a stronger sense of self and collective power. (Kars Marjoleine, supra, p. 83.)

Benjamin Franklin observed that the itinerant preacher had an advantage over the settled minister. By preaching the same sermon over and over to different audiences, the itinerant preacher was able to improve his performance. (Kenneth Silverman, ed., Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography and Other Writings (New York, 1986), pp. 119-120.)

Anglican minister Charles Woodmason complained that the religious radicalism of the New Insiders poisoned “the Minds of the People —— Instilling Democratical and Common Wealth Principles into their Minds —— Embittering them against the very Name of Bishops, and all Episcopal Government and laying deep their fatal republican Notions and Principles.” (Charles Woodmason, “An Account of the Churches in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and the Floridas,” 1766-1767, in: Richard J. Hooker, ed., The Carolina Backcountry on the Eve of the Revolution: The Journal and Other Writings of Charles Woodmason, Anglican Itinerant, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1953, pp. 240-241.) “Afrik never more abounded with New Monsters, than Pennsylvania does with New Sects, which are continually sending out their Emissaries,” observed Woodmason in 1765. These “new Lights or the Gifted Brethren,” who “pretend to Inspiration,” he wrote, “now infest the whole Back Country.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, p 78.)

Woodmason was critical of the aggressiveness of the Presbyterian itinerant ministers on the frontier. He wrote: “If there is a Shilling to be got by a Wedding or Funeral, these independent fellows will endeavor to pocket it.”

DAVID CALDWELL LOG COLLEGE The David Caldwell Log College Site in Greensboro has been a National Registered Historic Site since 1982. The Academy opened in 1767. A plaque at the site indicates that it closed in 1824. Rev. Caldwell continued teaching at the academy until 1816. His successor may have been Rev. Caruthers. The Log College served as a boarding-room academy, a college, a theological seminary, and one of the few schools on the frontier anywhere. It served as a nursery of both piety and science, a place at once to train ministers and statesmen, a promoter of character, social order, Presbyterian orthodoxy, and revivalism and political well being. Rev. Caldwell’s better students completed in what then amounted to college-level courses, although his academy never granted degrees. The Log College has been metaphorically described as “a fortress between the frontier and the spiritual and cultural pattern it had brought to the frontier” as well as “a bridge that connected succeeding generations of Presbyterian pastors to the long history of Presbyterian revivalism,” the roots of which can be traced back to outdoor, sacramental, revivalist gatherings in Ulster Ireland and southwest Scotland in the late sixteenth century. (Helen Turnbull Waite Coleman, Banners in the Wilderness, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1956; Leigh Eric Schmist, Holy Fairs: Scottish Communions and American Revivals in the Early Modern Period, Princeton University Press, 1989; and Marilyn J. Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity, supra, pp. 15-42, 208-213.)

Archibald Debow Murphey (1777-1832), one of the pupils who attended the Log College in the 1790s, after the burning of Rev. Caldwell’s library by the British in the Revolutionary War, remembers: “There was no library attached to it; his students were supplied with a few of the Greek and Latin Classics, Euclid’s elements of mathematics, and Martin’s Natural Philosophy. Moral Philosophy was taught from a syllabus of lectures delivered by Dr. Witherspoon in Princeton College. The students had no books on history or miscellaneous literature. There were indeed very few in the state except in the libraries of lawyers who lived in the commercial towns.” (quoted in Charles Lee Smith, 1865-1951, The History of Education in North Carolina, by Charles Lee Smith, Washington, Govt. Print. Off., 1888.) Murphey’s father had fought as a Colonel under Gen. Washington during the Revolutionary War. Archibald Debow Murphey become a large plantation owner with more than 100 slaves, a land speculator buying and selling more than 25 tracts, exporter of commodities to Virginia and South Carolina, lawyer, financier, senator, and was among the founders of the University of North Carolina, at which he served one year as a professor of languages. Unlike David Caldwell’s academy, the university lacked a seminary and did not train ministers. Archibald Debow Murphey encouraged the development of public schools and sought to foster roads and bridges to ease transportation. While serving as a representative from Orange County from 1812-1818, he championed a system of public education, including primary school, high schools, schools for the deaf and dumb, and the university, as well as proposals for more productive agriculture, elimination of slavery, and improved transportation, communication, and social conditions. (See generally, Archibald D. Murphey, The Papers of Archibald D. Murphey, 2 vols., edited by William Henry Holt, Publications of the North Carolina Historical Association, Raleigh, E.M. Uzzell and Company, 1914.) Decades passed before Murphey’s ideas on public education were accepted and implemented. Former Governor William A. Graham in 1860 wrote of Murphey that he was the one who “inaugurated a new era in the public policy of this State” and left to posterity “the noblest monuments of philosophic statesmanship to be found in our public archives since the days of the revolution. (William S. Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries, supra, p. 253.) He became known to North Carolinians as the “Father of Internal Improvement,” the “Father of the Common Schools,” and North Carolina’s “first native historian.” (John A. McGeachy, A Dreamer’s Speculation: The Financial Plight of Archibald Debow Murphey, North Carolina State History, 2002.) A vast number of biographies about Archibald Debow Murphey and collections of his correspondence illuminate North Carolina’s early history as a State.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century Rev. David Caldwell had already changed his neighbors from rustic to refined. “Many of the well-to-do in his neighborhood and from most distant lands…sent their sons to his academy because of his knowledge of the subjects of Latin and Greek and his talent for educating youth.” (Salem Diary, June 30, 1804, in: “Records of the Moravians in North Carolina,” North Carolina Historical Commission, p. 2708.)

In Mark F. Miller’s investigation of Rev. David Caldwell’s educational contributions, Miller was able to find documentation identifying by name only 65 of the pupils at the Log College, and was not able to corroborate Rev. Caruthers statement that Rev. David Caldwell had taught five future governors. (Mark F. Miller, “David Caldwell: The Forming of a Southern Educator.” Ph.D. Thesis. University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1979.)

Miller did not imply that Rev. Caldwell taught only a handful of pupils each year and 65 in his lifetime. The far greater likelihood is that Rev. Caldwell had to turn applicants away, and the classroom was full, perhaps with 1/2 day sessions to serve the morning and afternoon pupils. A teacher typically handles classes today ranging between 20 and 30 pupils per class, so Rev. Caldwell could have easily taught 40 to 60 pupils per day. In Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell, Rev. Caruthers specifically mentions that Rev. Caldwell usually had 50 pupils attending a school year. In his memoirs, Barton Stone wrote of 50 students attending the Academy at the time he enrolled in 1790. This number would also explain the need for 8 to 9 slaves, to wash the clothes, prepare and serve the food, and do housecleaning. Caldwell’s reputation as an effective educator rules out the likelihood that the college was shunned and tottered on closure. The burning of his large library in the Revolutionary War implies that the College was well established at that time. Descriptions about the impact of the academy can be found in biographies of several of his pupils, including Barton Stone, John Rankin, James McGready, Samuel McAdow, and William McGhee. (cf. Aubrey Lee Brooks, “David Caldwell and his Log College,” North Carolina Historical Review, Issue No. 28, October, 1951, pp. 399-407.)

More than 33 such log colleges had opened their doors by 1770, but David Caldwell’s academy endured the longest and became the most prominent. (cf. Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideals, Columbia, 1971, pp. 281-84.) It was the first academy in North Carolina. (John W. Moore, School History of North Carolina, Kessinger Publishing, 2004.)

Rev. Caruthers wrote that the school “had a goat that possessed a strong taste for books, and if ever a student, from thoughtlessness, left a book exposed, this goat was certain, if he came on it, to appropriate the whole, or part, to his own use.” He cited an instance of a dictionary thus left to the goat, and about to disappear before the unfortunate student, when he rushed at the goat with a vocal imprecation. The monitor of the week charged the offending student, “verbatim.” On Friday afternoon, as usual, the monitor’s notes came before “Prexy” for his judicious administration. The offender remembered the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. He was ready. Said he: “They are a dammed creature; and I can prove it from Scripture.”

A discussion of archeological discoveries is set forth in John C. Baroody’s “Archeological Investigations at the Site of David Caldwell’s Log College,” located in the Caldwell Jones Collection, Greensboro Public Library. A sketch of the stone foundation of the Log College is provided in the Caldwell Family Newsletter, Fall, 1999, DAR Library, Washington, D.C., p. 335. The classroom on the second floor of the Caldwell Log College measured 20 x 20 feet, the same as that of Tennent’s Log College, among the first Presbyterian academies in the American colonies, and perhaps of the same dimensions as that of the classrooms at the College of New Jersey (Princeton), at each of which Rev. Caldwell received his education. The first floor served as the living quarters of the Caldwell family.

No eighteenth or nineteenth century sketches or paintings are known to portray the David Caldwell Log College. Its exterior may have closely resembled that of William Tennent’s Log College at Neshaminy, Pennsylvania, for which on-line sketches do exist. (See, In Vail, Colorado is a full-scale reproduction of the Tennent Log College. Originally the name “Log College” had been used by Old Siders to scorn Tennent’s academy. But the name endeared itself to New Siders, who built numerous Presbyterian Log Colleges on the colonial frontier. The one room log cabin measuring 17 to 20 feet in width and length was the most common structure built by the Scotch Irish on the frontier. (Fisher, Albion’s Seed, supra, p. 657.) Mark Miller points that in Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell, Rev. Caruthers always referred to David Caldwell’s school as the “Academy.” More likely than not this was the name preferred and chosen by Rev. Caldwell, just as Tennent did not refer to his own school in Pennsylvania as a Log College. History has favored the name Log College, because it highlights the contrast between the primitive conditions and the profound educational impact of the school. Barton Stone recalled being instructed on Latin grammar with Rev. Caldwell seated at one end of a log bench and he at the other.

Pupils boarded in a number of log cabins clustered near the David Caldwell Log College. This small community was situated adjacent to a small stream and located about 400 hundred feet to the north of a road spanning the distance between Guilford Courthouse and what is now Guilford College. All around the Log College, in its infancy, were “soft Japanese Clover, buffalo grass, and abundant wild flowers.” (Sallie Walker Stockard, History of Guilford County, Knoxville, Tennessee, Gaut-Ogden Co., printers, 1902, p. 132.)

A textbook on Latin grammar was used at Caldwell’s school, but its title remains unknown. Charles Crossfield Ware surmises that the grammar may have been a copy of that which is said to have been published by James Davis in New Bern, North Carolina, in 1778, no longer extant, or Thomas Ruddiman’s The Rudiments of the Latin Tongue: A Plain and Easy Introduction to Latin Grammar, a twenty-fifth edition of which was published in Raleigh in 1809. “It is more probable that it was The American Latin Grammar: or a complete Introduction to the Latin Tongue, which was “originally compiled,” October, 1780, “by the late Presidents Burr, Finley, and others, with further improvements and Illustrations,” and was thereby “recommended as excellently calculated for the general Use of the Schools.” (Charles Crossfield Ware, Barton Warren Stone, Pathfinder of Christian Union; a Story of his Life and Times, by Charles Crossfield Ware; with introduction by Elmer Ellsworth Snoddy, St. Louis, Mo., The Bethany Press, 1932.) By ensuring that his pupils were proficient in Latin, Rev. Caldwell enabled them to keep abreast of the scientific, medical, and philosophical literature, the majority of which was then published in Latin. Latin was admired for the conciseness and unchanging meaning of its vocabulary over time (“Veni, vidi, vinci”) compared to English (“Been there, done that”) and its universality as a language at a time when English had not yet attained such status. Latin provided Rev. Caldwell’s pupils access to the ideas of the enlightenment.

Pupils who went on to become historically prominent preachers consisted of both brimstone and fire orthodox Knox Calvinists, such as Rev. James McGready and Rev. Thomas B. Craighead, and Whitefield evangelists such as Rev. William Hodge and Rev. Barton Stone, who, like Methodist John Wesley, emphasized that “God is Love,” the words that appeared on the platform at the Alamance Church. (Charles Crossfield Ware, Barton Warren Stone, Pathfinder of Christian Union; a Story of his Life and Times, ibid.)

The caricature of Presbyterian educators as dour disciplinarians described by James Boswell finds no home in Rev. Caruthers biography. He quoted one pupil, Dr. B, saying:

“In his school he governed as a parent, without any of that imperiousness so often witnessed in those who are “clothed with a little brief authority.” He appeared to be always pleased when we were attentive and made good progress in our studies. In case we did not, through inattention or want of capacity, make that progress he had a right to expect or wished, we only experienced a mild reproof, or a little scorching sarcasm. When a student made a classical author utter the most absurd nonsense he would cry out, ‘Murther Dherring’; and then ask him perhaps if he understood Irish.” (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 33.)

Rev. Caldwell was reputed to have inflicted corporal punishment on only two or three pupils, and one was “sufficiently salutary” that Rev. Caruthers delved into it.

“Samuel D, whose father kept a public house at the county seat, was sent to Dr. Caldwell’s school at age of 14 or 15; but brought with him all those habits of idleness and dissipation which he had formed at the tavern. Being naturally what is called a “smart boy,” and having a good share at that dexterity at mischief which boys of his age readily acquire in such circumstances, he was exerting a very unhappy influence on other scholars, especially on those who were younger than himself. After every other means had been tried in vain, the Dr. took him one day into a private apartment of his school house, and there applied “the rod of correction” until he accomplished his object: Samuel was subdued, and promised obedience. From that time on he was a reformed boy; and was thenceforward as orderly in his deportment and as attentive to his studies as any of the rest. When he arrived to maturity he removed to Georgia, where he married and settled; but having lived to bury his wife and all his children, he felt the loneliness of his situation; and hearing that his old preceptor was still living, he resolved to pay him a visit…The old man was sitting in the chimney corner… in meditations…and nearly severed from all ties of earth, from which he was roused by some bustle among his servants and by the footsteps of his visitor entering his apartment and approaching toward him. His sight had been once renewed, and was faded again beyond the assistance of art. His faded eyes were now directed towards the object that attracted his attention; and he waited in silence for some announcement that would let him know who was before him. “Dr. Caldwell, don’t you recollect me?” was the enquiry of Mr. D as he reached out his hand. “I do not,” was the reply. “Don’t you recollect that very bad boy whom you once had in your school and whom you had to whip so severely?” “O yes! Samuel D. With that they seized each other by the hand; and for a moment tears were the only expression of feelings which were too deep for utterance. Mr. D. then concluded a brief history of his life —— his fortunes and misfortunes, his connexions and bereavements, by saying that he had not one relation living in North Carolina, and no business to call him into this part of the country; but as he considered that Dr. Caldwell had done him more good than all other men, and having learned that he was still living, had come all the way here, a distance of two or three hundred miles, to see once more before he died.” (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, pp. 35-36.)

In his letter VI, titled “On the Presbyterians,” Voltaire described the Scottish Presbyterian clergy as effecting a serious gait, putting on a sour look, wearing a vastly broad-brimmed hat, and a long cloak over a very short coat, and giving the name of Babylon to all churches, where the ministers are so fortunate as to enjoy ample annual revenue, and the people are weak enough to suffer this, and give them titles of my lord, your lordship, or your eminence. Rev. David Caldwell did not have any aspect of this caricature.

DAVID CALDWELL’S MENTOR, REV. HUGH McADEN. Rev. Hugh McAden, a moderate New Sider, was licensed in 1755 by New Castle Presbytery, and was immediately sent out as a missionary to the Carolinas. His journal is set forth in William Henry Foote (1794-1869), Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical, Illustrative of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, New York: Robert Carter, 1846. In 1759 Rev. McAden became pastor at Hanover Presbytery, which then included the greater part of Virginia. Among the members who formed Hanover Presbytery was Alexander Craighead, an extreme New Sider. (See, Rev. E. H. Gillett, History of the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America, Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Publication [1864] Microfilm. Ann Arbor, Mich., University Microfilms [n.d.] (American Culture Series, Reel 372.4.) Alexander Craighead, the first minister in the vicinity of Sugar Creek, North Carolina, was a member of New Brunswick Presbytery when it withdrew from the Synod of Philadelphia. (W. H. Foote, supra, pp. 184-186; Westerkamp, Triumph of the Laity, supra, p. 208; Samuel Blair, Animadversions on the Reasons of Mr. Alex. Creaghead’s Seceding from the Judicatures of this Church, Philadelphia: William Bradford, printer, 1743.) McAden and Craighead were admirers of the evangelist George Whitefield, and likely met with him when he toured North Carolina in 1764.

Historian Robert M. Calhoon observed that Rev. McAden’s installation sermon of David Caldwell called for the congregations at Buffalo and Alamance “to submerge their New and Old Side affiliations in reciprocal relationships with each other and their new minister based on diligence, respect, and spiritual discipline.” (Robert McCluer Calhoon, “The Scotch-Irish and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, vol. 1, Issue No. 3, Fall 2002, pp. 122-141.)

BUFFALO PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH Most of the original congregation at Buffalo Presbyterian Church was comprised of Scotch-Irish families from Nottingham Presbyterian Church of Rising Sun (then known as Summer Hill), Pennsylvania (now Maryland), many of whom who had known David Caldwell in his youth and had asked for him to be installed as their minister. During the period of the great migration to the Carolinas, a group of Scotch-Irish Pennsylvania Presbyterians formed an organization known as the “Nottingham Company,” which sent agents and purchased a tract of land in what is now Guilford County, on the banks of Buffalo and Reedy Fork Creeks. The Buffalo Church was organized about 1758. (cf., Rev. Samuel Meek Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Her People. Greensboro, N.C.: Joseph J. Stone & Co., 1934.) Part of their motivation in emigrating was the inability to obtain clear title. Maryland and Pennsylvania had not yet resolved their dispute whether portions of Cheshire and Lancaster County were in Maryland or Pennsylvania. Nottinghamshire, England had been the site where the first battle of the English Civil War of 1640 began, pitting the royalists against the parliamentarians. It was also one of the few locations in England where dissenters and non-conformists, including Presbyterians, were powerful enough to control the local municipalities.

The initial Buffalo congregation may have been influenced by New Siders Gilbert Tennent and Samuel Finley.

The Nottingham congregation in 1740 invited Presbyterian New Sider minister Gilbert Tennent to give a sermon. He spoke on the dangers of an unconverted ministry. Tennent castigated Old Siders as enemies of Christ, and as obstacles to conversion. His call for conscientious objectors to separate themselves from the unconverted ministers offended New Sider clergy, as well as the intended target, the Old Sider clergy, in Philadelphia and Boston, both of whom perceived that no pastor’s authority would be secure and congregations would break up simply to get a minister to their liking. There were in fact numerous separations and breakups of congregations following this sermon. (Richard L. Bushman, ed., “Trouble in the Churches,” The Great Awakening: Documents n the Revival of Religion, 1740-1745, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970, pp. 85-93.)

Nottingham Presbyterian minister Samuel Finley (1715-1766) had been one of supporters of Gilbert Tennent and George Whitefield’s teachings, and likened those ministers who opposed Whitefield as false prophets who persecuted the true ones, the Scribes and Pharisees who persecuted Christ and his Apostles, and vain ministers whose ecclesiastic pride hindered them from embracing the Reformation. (Samuel Finley, “A Letter to a Friend, 1741,” in The Great Awakening: Documents of the Revival of Religion, 1740-1745, Richard L Bushman, ed., supra, p. 111.)

Rev. David Caldwell served as the first pastor of Buffalo Presbyterian Church for 56 years. (Samuel Meek Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and her People, Greensboro, N. C., 1934; Raymond Dufau Donnell, Buffalo Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, Greensboro, North Carolina, Guilford County Genealogical Society, Greensboro, North Carolina.)

In the history of the Buffalo Presbyterian Church, entitled Buffalo Presbyterian Church 1756-1981: 225 Years of Christian Service, published in 1981, authored by Moire M. Ayers, Ayers states:

“He was a strong preacher, a sympathetic pastor, a great patriot, an efficient physician, a wise counselor, a statesman, and an outstanding teacher in church and state, loving and loved by his people.” (Ayers, supra, p. 3)

Rev. Caldwell favored the hymns and theological writings authored by Isaac Watts (1674-1748), pastor of a Church of Christ in London. Watts is recognized as the John Phillip Souza of Protestant hymn writers, and best known as the author of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “Am I a Soldier of the Cross?”, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” and “Joy to the World” (based on Psalm 98). He published his first hymn book in 1707. Benjamin Franklin first published Watts’ psalm paraphrases in America in 1729. The hymns were first published in America in 1739. During the American revivals known as the Great Awakening, Rev. George Whitefield used Watts’ hymns and songs in his meetings.

Barton Stone recalled discussing with Rev. Caldwell and other pupils at the Log College Watts’ text with the cumbersome title: The Glory of Christ as God-man, displayed in three discourses; viz.: Discourse 1. A Survey of the visible appearance of Christ as God, before his incarnation, with some observations on the texts of the Old Testament applied to Christ. Discourse 2. An Enquiry into the executive powers of the human nature of Christ, in its present glorified state; with several testimonies annexed. Discourse. 3. An Argument tracing out the early existence of the human soul of Christ, even before the creation of the world, with an appendix, etc.” This book dealt with the concept of Trinity, a subject on which Stone was examined by Rev. Henry Patillo in order to be ordained.

“A story is told of Rev. James Caldwell, a Presbyterian minister during the American Revolution. At the Battle of Springfield, New Jersey, the colonial militia ran out of wadding for their muskets. Rev. Caldwell rode back to his church in Elizabeth. Returning with the hymnals, he gave them to the soldiers and shouted, “Give ‘em Watts, boys! Give ‘em Watts!” They proceeded to rip pages from the hymnals and use them as wadding, as they continued fighting the British.”

“Watts was one of the most popular writers of the day. His educational manuals —— the ‘Catechisms’ (1730) and the ‘Scripture History’ (1732) —— were still standard works in the middle of this century. His philosophical books, especially the ‘Logic’ (1725), had a long circulation; so also had his ‘World to Come’ (1738) and other works of popular divinity. The best of his works is ‘The Improvement of the Mind’ (1741), which Johnson eulogises. In two fields his literary work needs longer notice. His ‘Horae Lyricae’ (1706) gave him his niche in Johnson’s ‘Lives of the Poets.’ It was a favourite book of religious poetry, and as such was admitted into a series of ‘Sacred Classics’ (1834), with a memoir of Watts from Southey’s pen. But his poetical fame rests on his hymns.” (Id.)

In Englishman Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, Johnson assessed the contributions of Isaac Watts, and that assessment possibly parallels what Rev. Caldwell admired about Watts and his writings. Consider the following excerpts:

“He was one of the first authors that taught the Dissenters [e.g., Presbyterians] to court attention by the graces of language. Whatever they had among them before, whether of learning or acuteness, was commonly obscured and blunted by coarseness and inelegance of style. He showed them, that zeal and purity might be expressed and enforced by polished diction.

“Such was his flow of thoughts, and such his promptitude of language, that in the latter part of his life he did not precompose his cursory sermons, but, having adjusted the heads, and sketched out some particulars, trusted for success to his extemporary powers.

“By his natural temper he was quick of resentment; but, by his established and habitual practice, he was gentle, modest, and inoffensive. His tenderness appeared in his attention to children, and to the poor. To the poor, while he lived in the family of his friend, he allowed the third part of his annual revenue, though the whole was not a hundred a year; and for children, he condescended to lay aside the scholar, the philosopher, and the wit, to write little poems of devotion, and systems of instruction, adapted to their wants and capacities, from the dawn of reason through its gradations of advance in the morning of life. Every man, acquainted with the common principles of human action, will look with veneration on the writer, who is at one time combating Locke, and at another making a catechism for children in their fourth year. A voluntary descent from the dignity of science is perhaps the hardest lesson that humility can teach.

“As his mind was capacious, his curiosity excursive, and his industry continual, his writings are very numerous, and his subjects various. With his theological works I am only enough acquainted to admire his meekness of opposition, and his mildness of censure. It was not only in his book but in his mind that orthodoxy was united with charity.

“Few books have been perused by me with greater pleasure than his Improvement of the Mind, of which the radical principles may indeed be found in Locke’s Conduct of the Understanding; but they are so expanded and ramified by Watts, as to confer upon him the merit of a work in the highest degree useful and pleasing. Whoever has the care of instructing others may be charged with deficience in his duty, if this book is not recommended.

“I have mentioned his treatises of theology as distinct from his other productions: but the truth is, that whatever he took in hand was, by his incessant solicitude for souls, converted to theology. As piety predominated in his mind, it is diffused over his works: under his direction it may be truly said, Theologiae Philosophia ancillatur, Philosophy is subservient to evangelical instruction: it is difficult to read a page without learning, or at least wishing, to be better. The attention is caught by indirect instruction, and he that sat down only to reason is on a sudden compelled to pray.

“It was therefore with great propriety that, in 1728, he received from Edinburgh and Aberdeen an unsolicited diploma, by which he became a doctor of divinity. Academical honours would have more value, if they were always bestowed with equal judgement.

“He continued many years to study and to preach, and to do good by his instruction and example; till at last the infirmities of age disabled him from the more laborious part of his ministerial functions; and, being no longer capable of public duty, he offered to remit the salary appendant to it; but his congregation would not accept the resignation.

“Few men have left behind such purity of character, or such monuments of laborious piety. He has provided instruction for all ages, from those who are lisping their first lessons, to the enlightened readers of Malbranche and Locke; he has left neither corporeal nor spiritual nature unexamined; he has taught the art of reasoning, and the science of the stars.

“His character, therefore, must be formed from the multiplicity and diversity of his attainments, rather than from any single performance; for it would not be safe to claim for him the highest rank in any single denomination of literary dignity; yet perhaps there was nothing in which he would not have excelled, if he had not divided his powers to different pursuits.

“As a poet, had he been only a poet, he would probably have stood high among the authors with whom he is now associated. For his judgement was exact, and he noted beauties and faults with very nice discernment; his imagination, as the Dacian Battle proves, was vigorous and active, and the stores of knowledge were large by which his fancy was to be supplied. His ear was well-tuned, and his diction was elegant and copious; but his devotional poetry is, like that of others, unsatisfactory. The paucity of its topics enforces perpetual repetition, and the sanctity of the matter rejects the ornaments of figurative diction. It is sufficient for Watts to have done better than others what no man has done well.”

ALAMANCE CONGREGATION Many of the Alamance congregation were Scotch-Irish who had emigrated from Lancaster and Chester Counties, Colonial Pennsylvania. The original congregation was mostly Whitfield followers and New Light Presbyterians. (Sallie W. Stockard, Thge History of Guilford County, North Carolina, 1902, pp. 14, 116.)

Calvin Henderson Wiley, 1819-1887, author of Alamance; Or, The Great And Final Experiment, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, 1847, pp. 11-12, asserts that Rev. David Caldwell told a visitor some three-quarters of a century previously (c. 1777):

“Alamance,” said he, “was one of the first places settled by the whites in middle Carolina. The lands are fertile, the climate pleasant, and the country healthy, and thus this section of the state early attracted the attention of emigrants. Those who came to settle here were, generally, men of character and substance, and were seeking, not so much to advance their worldly fortunes as to promote their happiness, which was intimately connected with the enjoyment of civil and religious freedom. They were mostly ‘Scotch-Irish,’ a race of men who, the world over, have been proved to be true to their country, to their friends, and their principles, which are always of a liberal cast. They are Presbyterians in religion, republicans in their political notions, and are ever ready to fight or go to the stake for their opinions. Such were the original inhabitants of Alamance, who, far removed from cities and their fashionable follies and vices, were distinguished in their manners by a primeval simplicity, while their characters displayed the prisca et incorrupta fides, the incorruptible integrity, candour, faith, and singleness of heart attributed by the poets to a fabled pastoral age. There was originally in the neighbourhood (and it is a large one) but one merchant, and not a single trader at large, by which last term I mean that sort of professional character that prowls about society, flourishing on the vices which he propagates, and the necessities he creates. Nearly every family in the whole community was, and even now is, in independent circumstances, and some are even rich. Still there are no grades and coteries in society; no parties in politics; and no hostile religious sects warring rancourously on each other, and claiming as their object the diffusion of a spirit of Christian philanthropy. My parishioners are generally severe in their judgment on themselves, charitable to the failings and shortcomings of others, and, though frugal in their expenditures, ever ready to entertain the stranger and relieve the necessitous. It is, sir, a remarkable and honourable fact, that every one in my congregation, over ten years old, can read and write; some are even well read in history and the belles-lettres, and in every house you are sure to meet with well thumbed copies of ‘Fox’s Book of Martyrs,’ ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress,’ ‘The Balm of Gilead,’ ‘The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,’ and other kindred books. The learning of my people is thus generally of a theological character, and the midwife, and several other good old ladies in my cure, could hold their own against the famous Aquinas, and put to flight all the doctors of the Sorbonne. Thus religious subjects, with tales of religious persecutions, of Indian massacres, and of civil usurpations, exactions and oppressions, while away the winter evenings at every fireside, and tinge with a devotional hue the sentiments and feelings of the Alamancers. Our people, as I have before intimated, would make excellent republicans, for there is among them a deep-rooted aversion, I may say detestation, of every species of tyranny, and an attachment to liberty — real, true, genuine, and well regulated liberty — stronger than the love of life or the fear of death. They have the virtues becoming citizens of a democracy — that first-born hope of philanthropy. The old men are sedate, just, free-hearted, and single-hearted, well understanding their rights, thinking for themselves, and extremely jealous of those who cultivate popularity: the matrons are chaste, dutiful, and affectionate; the maidens pure, simple, artless, pious, tender, and beautiful; and the young men brave, ingenuous, and modest. Among all there is no one aspiring to take the lead. There is none of that restlessness, that reaching for family aggrandizement, that desire of change, which characterizes every community, even in perfect democracies.” (

Alamance Presbyterian Church was founded in 1764 near its present site. The original church was a log structure that had been built around 1762 on land donated by William Cusach. Its first congregation included many people who had moved from Chester and Lancaster counties to North Carolina. They had invited David Caldwell to be their first minister. He served the church from 1768-1820. (Rev. E. C. Murray, D.D., “A History of Alamance Church, 1762-1918”, pp. 10-11.) The second structure was a large frame building built around 1800, which could hold up to a 1000 people. This was replaced by a brick structure in 1844 that was smaller and stands near the present manse. In 1879 a new rectangular structure was built. In 1955 the present structure was built. The first manse was built in 1892.

The growth of the Alamance Presbyterian Church during David Caldwell’s lifetime to the point that it could seat 1000 (far more than resided within Greensboro area during his lifetime) seems to corroborate his reputation as an effective and popular speaker. The two sermons selected for Caruthers’ biography appear neither extemporaneous nor embellished, but of a plain and highly structured nonevangelical style, “more like a lawyer’s brief than a work of art.” (Perry Miller, The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1954.) Nathan Hatch noted that in the eighteenth century, many popular ministers, including revivalists, preached a more extemporaneous style. He called these popular preachers “communication entrepreneurs who stripped the sermon of its doctrinal spine and rhetorical dress” and who assiduously refused to “abide by traditional theological etiquette” in any part of their sermons. (Nathan Hatch, Democratization of American Christianity, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), pp. 135, 138.) Hatch’s criticisms cannot be construed to encompass David Caldwell’s published sermons. Rev. Caruthers notes that after the Revolutionary War, David Caldwell usually gave extemporaneous sermons.

Biographer Ethel Stephens Arnett writes that David Caldwell’s congregations “developed a democratic, individualistic, self-reliant society very different from that of the older settled coastal region. They have been characterized as having three distinct loves: religion, democracy, and education.” (Ethel Stephens Arnett, David Caldwell/Ethel Stephens Arnett, Junior League of Greensboro, Inc. Greensboro, North Carolina, 1976, p. 9.) There were differences noted: the Buffalo congregation was comprised of Whitefield followers and “favored revivals as a soul-saving technique” (E.W. Caruthers, The Life of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 28), and the Alamance congregation was non-evangelical. (Ethel Stephens Arnett, David Caldwell, supra, p. 9.) “Although Dr. Caldwell was placed over congregations which were thus divided in sentiment, and under the influences of strong religious feeling, he managed so as to prevent a rupture or any serious difficulty. He did not profess to belong to either party, but to both.” (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 29.) His adaptability may explain why he succeeded where others did not.

Differences were observed between churched Presbyterians such as David Caldwell’s congregations and the backcountry communities of loose hogs, lewd women, lay-about drunks, corn-crib chapels, and the flotsam of English and Irish prisons, stereotyped as deprived and depraved by the Anglican clergyman, Charles Woodmason. Woodmason wrote:

“Among this Medley of Religions —— True Genuine Christianity is not to be found. And the perverse persecuting Spirit of the Presbyterians, displays it Self much more here than in Scotland. It is dang’rous to live among, or near any of them —— for if they cannot cheat, rob, defraud or injure You in Your Goods —— they will belye, defame, lessen, blacken, disparage the most valuable Person breathing, not of their Communion in his Character, Good Name, or Reputation and Credit. They have almost worm’d out all the Church People —— who cannot bear to live among such a Sett of Vile unaccountable Wretches.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, supra, p. 43.)

Woodmason called the Presbyterians “ignorant, mean, worthless, beggarly Irish Presbyterians, the Scum of the Earth, and Refuse of Mankind.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, supra, pp. 60-61.) Woodmason mentioned arriving at a Presbyterian meeting house which “had a large Congregation —— but according to Custom, one half of them got drunk before they went home” that evening from the service.

Woodmason found many of the inhabitants of the backcountry “living wholly on Butter, Milk, Clabber, and what in England is given to the Hogs and Dogs…[They] are reduc’d to the sad necessity of gathering Apples Peaches & green from the Trees, and boiling them for food.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, supra, p. 34.)

As to their attitude toward sex, Woodmason wrote:

“The Young Women have a most uncommon Practice, which I cannot break them off. They draw their Shift as tight as possible to the Body, and pin it close, to shew the roundness of their Breasts, and slender Waists (for they are generally fairly shaped) and draw their Petticoat close to their Hips to shew the fineness of their Limbs — so they might as well be in Puri Naturalibus —— Indeed Nakedness is not censurable or indecent here, and they expose themselves often quite Naked, without Ceremony —— Rubbing themselves and their Hair with Bears Oil and tying it up behind in a Bunch like the Indians…They delight in their present low, lazy, sluttish, heathenish, hellish Life, and seem not desirous of changing it.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, supra, pp. 30, 61.)

Woodmason noted irreligosity among the majority of southern backcountry settlers as of 1767. The majority asserted that it did not belong to any denomination. The backcountry settlers “complained of being eaten up by Itinerant Teachers, Preachers, and Imposters from New England and Pennsylvania —— Baptists, New Lights, Presbyterians, Independents, and a hundred other Sects.” (Woodmason, Carolina Backcountry, supra, p. 13.) Woodmason claimed that the Presbyterians were erecting churches in a pattern “imitating the French —— who by making a Chain of Forts from Canada to Louisiana endeavor’d to circumscribe the English and prevent extension of their Trade.” (Marjoleine, supra, p. 87.)

A more neutral description of North Carolina colonial society can be found in Alan D. Watson, Society in Colonial North Carolina, rev. ed., Raleigh, Division of Archives and History, 1996; James G. Leyburn, The Scotch-Irish: A Social History, Second Edition, Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 1962, 2002; and Rev. L. C. Vass, History Of The Presbyterian Church In New Bern, N.C., Richmond, Va., 1886.)

THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF RACHEL CALDWELL Rev. McAden must have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support provided by Rev. Caldwell’s wife, Rachel Caldwell, and her family.

In 1766, Rachel Craighead (1742-1825), age 24, the third daughter of Scotch-Irish Presbyterian pastor, the fiery Rev. Alexander Craighead (1705-1766), and his wife, Jane, married 41 year old Rev. David Caldwell (1725-1824). (Chalmers Gaston Davidson, The Plantation World around Davidson, The Mecklenburg Historical Association, Philadelphia PA: Sherman & Co. Printers, 1876, reprinted by the Davidson Publishing Company, Davidson, North Carolina, 1969, p. 80.)

Rachel’s two older sisters had married before she did. It was her turn. Rachel married at an age by which the vast majority North Carolina women was already married. The average age of marriage for females was 20.5 in the southern colonies, in contrast to a median age of 24 for those residing in the northern colonies. (Bertram Wyatt- Brown, Southern Honor: Ethics & Behavior in the Old South, 1982, p. 203.)

David had a commanding physique that was part of his charisma: he was 6 feet tall when he married Rachel. He was accustomed to swinging an axe to chop firewood and hand sawing as a carpenter, all contributing to his broad shoulders and narrow waist. Other single women of the upper class may have envied Rachel. There was a scarcity of eligible men for them to marry. Gazing eyes may have fixated upon David as he rode on horseback past their cabin porches and barking dogs on his way to Rachel’s house.

The strongest motivation for the marriage likely was mutual affection – each one had fallen in love, honored, and cherished the other. David had first met Rachel when she was about 4 years of age, while he attended her father’s church services in Lancaster County, Colonial Pennsylvania. Possibly during Rachel’s teenage years they had kept in touch with one another by correspondence. For a few years she resided at Windy Cove, Virginia, when her father served as a minister and lived here between 1755 and 1758. David Caldwell was studying to become a minister at a Princeton, New Jersey Presbyterian seminary within a few days ride of the Windy Cove location.

The age difference between David and Rachel was not uncommon, although it was more common for a man age 41 to marry a women in her 30s. Southern professional men tended to marry late while choosing young brides. (Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor, supra, p. 204.)

Some consideration likely was given by Rachel to the belief that David would not treat her as a mere ornament or plaything but as an equal who would welcome her presence in the classroom where David taught his students and in the church where David rendered sermons to his congregation.

Everything written about David indicates that he showed great respect towards a woman’s talents. Southern women were credited with restoring piety at a time when there was a strong anti-clerical tradition among the upper classes of the Carolinas. Instead of prioritizing family honor and southern gentlemen code, the women were fostering greater interest among men in Christian morality. (Betram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor, supra, p. 100.) Likely David’s own mother had never shown undue rigidity, domestic discipline, or submissiveness enveloping her mind. If David’s mother regarded him as her favorite, she may have instilled in him the confidence to lead others and possess that charisma that can make even a 3 month old baby smile.

Rachel may have been comforted in knowing that David was fearless. In 1762 David turned in some scalps to the colonial government to receive the bounty. His courage would be of particular value to Rachel, subject during the French and Indian War to frequent and murderous Indian attacks. During the early days of the French and Indian Wars, 1754-1763, while living with her father in Windy Cove, Virginia, Rachel was almost scalped. Indians came through the front door with tomahawks as she exited from the rear. (E. W. Caruthers, The Life of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 27.)

The similarities of David to Rachel’s father, Alexander Craighead, are obvious. Each had completed a seminary education. They shared markedly similar religious perspectives: both were evangelical and compassionate “New Light” or “New Side” Presbyterians concerned about the plight of the less fortunate and determined to overcome the oppression of clerks, courts, counselors, and crooks. Both encouraged formation of the Regulators, an interdenominational group of Piedmont farmers. Historian Gary B. Nash states that the majority of Regulators in the North Carolina backcountry was influenced by the Great Awakening to resist those who oppressed because of a belief that each of them was responsible for his own salvation. (Gary B. Nash, The Unknown American Revolution, Viking, 2005, p. 76.)

David probably gave little regard to whether or not Rachel had a dowry nor she to whether he was a man of sizable wealth. His own parents had come to America, gone to the frontier of colonial Pennsylvania, acquired a 300 acre parcel, cleared the trees for crop land and grazing, prospered, and raised a family. He may have seen in Rachel some of the qualities that he admired most in his own mother.

To pay for his education, completed in 1761, David had received funds from his brothers, in exchange for waiving any right of inheritance to his father’s farm in Drumore Township, Lancaster, Colonial Pennsylvania.

Without incurring any debt, David acquired 500 acres of rich alluvial soil in what is now Greensboro, North Carolina, donated by his congregation to entice him to establish a ministry there. He had saved enough money to build a two story structure as an academy to supplement his income as minister.

This marriage lasted almost 60 years, with Rachel surviving her husband. This long duration of marriage was rather unusual, because of the high mortality rate associated with childbirth. David’s knowledge as a country physician may have helped with her survival of serial childbirths.

This couple had twelve or thirteen children, the most well known of whom was the first born, the Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, born 1767, died August 25, 1824. Several children died in infancy. David’s other children were Rev. Alexander Caldwell, born 1769, died October 2, 1841; Andrew Caldwell, born 1771, educated at Princeton, a minister, died June 12, 1845; Martha “Patsy” Caldwell, born 1775, died January 27, 1826; the twins Thomas Caldwell and David Caldwell, M.D., born October 7, 1777; John Washington Caldwell, born 1780, died December 8, 1844; James Edmund Caldwell, born 1772, died July, 1836; and Robert Craighead Caldwell, born 1786. Their only daughter, Martha “Patsy” Caldwell, born 1775, lost her reason in 1792 and remained in a state of derangement until her death. (E. W. Caruthers, 1793-1865. Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D, near Sixty Years Pastor of the Churches of Buffalo and Alamance, Greensborough, NC. Printers: Swaim and Sherwood, 1842, p. 258.) Thomas Caldwell married Elizabeth Doak on March 24, 1813 in Guilford Co. and died July 3, 1857. David Caldwell, M.D., married Susan Clark on July 15, 1811 in Guilford Co. John Washington Caldwell married twice, first to Martha Davis 1800. After her death, he married Margaret Cabe on October 1, 1822 in Guilford Co. Robert Craighead Caldwell married in succession Maria B. Latta 1823, Marjorie Woodburn 1850, and Mary Clancy, 1855. James Edmund Caldwell sustained brain trauma at age 6 or 7 became deranged about the age 21, never married, and remained confined until his death, in 1836. (E. W. Caruthers, Life of David Caldwell, supra, p. 260.)

Rachel’s son Andrew Caldwell, a minister, never married. He sustained a mental breakdown as an adult that required that he retire from his position. He died shortly after the onset of this breakdown, suggesting a death arising from some progressive life-threatening neurologic deficit.

The number of infant mortalities and adult brain dysfunctions suggests the possibility that the children may have died or sustained brain damage from either birth asphyxia associated with the mother’s narrow birth canal, or hydroencephalus (blockage of CSF drainage from brain ventricles with resulting enlargement of the ventricles and rise in intracranial pressure exceeding arterial pressure, causing disruption of circulation of intracranial arteries leading to fatal brain asphyxiation). Rev. Caldwell consulted with physicians who were specialists in hydroencephalus in seeking treatment for Patty and Andrew Caldwell.

Rachel’s fecundity would have added to her social status and that of her husband. (Bertam Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor, supra, p. 205.) Bareness would have brought her shame, and regarded by most others in the south with either contempt or pity. (Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Southern Honor, 1982, p. 236.)

When a bounty was placed on Rev. Caldwell during the Revolutionary War, he sought refuge in a nearby swamp. Rachel managed the farm, directed the college, and assisted with the functions of the church.

At is paraphrasing of excerpts from E.W. Caruthers biography, Life of David Caldwell, D.D. (1842), telling of these times:

“For some days before the battle at Guilford Courthouse, the army of Cornwallis was encamped within the bounds of Dr. Caldwell’s congregations; and most of the men being with General Greene, the distress fell on the defenceless women and children. In the detail of spoliation and outrage, their pastor suffered his share. He had been repeatedly harassed by the British and tories, who bore him special enmity; a price had been set upon his head, and a reward of two hundred pounds offered for his apprehension. On the 11th of March, while he was in Greene’s camp, the army was marched to his plantation and encamped there, the officers taking possession of his house. Mrs. Caldwell was at home with her children when they arrived. They at first announced themselves as Americans, and asked to see the landlady; but a female domestic who had ascertained by standing on the fence and seeing red coats at a distance, that they belonged to the army of Cornwallis, quickly communicated her discovery to her mistress. Excusing herself by saying that she must attend to her child, Mrs. Caldwell retired within the house, and immediately gave warning to two of her neighbors who happened to be there, that they might escape through the other door and conceal themselves. She then returned to the gate. The party in front when charged with being British soldiers, avowed themselves such, and said they must have the use of the dwelling for a day or two. They immediately established themselves in their quarters, turning out Mrs. Caldwell, who with her children retired to the smoke house, and there passed a day with no other food than a few dried peaches and apples, till a physician interposed, and procured for her a bed, some provisions, and a few cooking utensils. The family remained in the smoke house two days and nights – their distress being frequently insulted by profane and brutal language. To a young officer who came to the door for the purpose of taunting the helpless mother, by ridiculing her countrymen, whom he termed rebels and cowards, Mrs. Caldwell replied, “Wait and see what the Lord will do for us.” “If he intends to do anything,” pertly rejoined the military fop, “’tis time he had begun.” In reply to Mrs. Caldwell’s application to one of the soldiers for protection, she was told she could expect no favors, for that the women were as great rebels as the men.

“After remaining two days, the army took their departure from the ravaged plantation, on which they had destroyed every thing; but before leaving Dr. Caldwell’s house, the officer in command gave orders that his library and papers should be burned. A fire was kindled in the large oven in the yard, and books which could not at that time be replaced, and valuable manuscripts which had cost the study and labor of years, were carried out by the soldiers, armful after armful, and ruthlessly committed to the flames. Not even the family Bible was spared, and the house, as well as plantation, was left pillaged and desolate.

“On the fifteenth was heard the roar of that battle which was to compel the retreat of the invaders, and achieve the deliverance of Carolina. The women of Dr. Caldwell’s congregation met, as has been mentioned, and while the conflict was raging fiercely between man and man, wrestled in earnest prayer for their defenders. After the cold, wet night which succeeded the action, the women wandered over the field of battle to search for their friends, administer the last sad rites to the dead, and bear away the wounded and expiring. One officer, who had lain thirty hours undiscovered, was found in the woods by an old lady, and carried to his house, where he survived long enough to relate how a loyalist of his acquaintance had passed him the day after the battle, had recognized him, and bestowed a blow and an execration, instead of the water he craved to quench his consuming thirst. Conscience, however, sometimes avenged the insulted rights of nature; – the man who had refused the dying request of a fellow creature, was found after the officer’s death, suspended on a tree before his own door.

“The persecution of Dr. Caldwell continued while the British occupied that portion of the State. His property was destroyed, and he was hunted as a felon; snares were laid for him, and pretences used to draw him from his hiding-place; he was compelled to pass nights in the woods, and ventured only at the most imminent peril to see his family. Often he escaped captivity or death, as it were, by a miracle. At one time when he had ventured home on a stolen visit, the house was suddenly surrounded by armed men, who seized him before he could escape, designing to carry him to the British camp. One or two were set to guard him, while the others went to gather such articles of provisions and clothing as could be found worth taking away. When they were nearly ready to depart, the plunder collected being piled in the middle of the floor, and the prisoner standing beside it with his guard, Mrs. Dunlap, who with Mrs. Caldwell had remained in an adjoining apartment, came forward. With the promptitude and presence of mind for which women are often remarkable in sudden emergencies, she stepped behind Dr. Caldwell, leaned over his shoulder, and whispered to him, as if intending the question for his ear alone, asking if it was not time for Gillespie and his men to be there. One of the soldiers who stood nearest caught the words, and with evident alarm demanded what men were meant. The lady replied that she was merely speaking to her brother. In a moment all was confusion; the whole party was panic-struck; exclamations and hurried questions followed; and in the consternation produced by this ingenious though simple manuvre, the tories fled precipitately, leaving their prisoner and their plunder. The name of Gillespie was a scourge and terror to the loyalists, and this party knew themselves to be within the limits of one of the strongest whig neighborhoods in the State.

“Sometime in the fall of 1780, a stranger stopped at the house of Dr. Caldwell, faint and worn with fatigue, to ask supper and lodging for the night. He announced himself an express bearing despatches from Washington to General Greene, then on the Pedee river. He had imagined that he would be free from danger under the roof of a minister of the gospel; but Mrs. Caldwell soon undeceived him on this point. She was alone; her husband was an object of peculiar hatred to the tories, and she could not tell the day or hour when an attack might be expected. Should they chance to hear of the traveller, and learn that he had important papers in his possession, he would certainly be robbed before morning. She said he should have something to eat immediately, but advised him to seek some safer place of shelter for the night. This intelligence so much alarmed the stranger that his agitation would not permit him to eat, even when the repast was prepared and placed before him. But a short time had passed before voices were heard without, with cries of “Surround the house !” and the dwelling was presently assailed by a body of tories. With admirable calmness, Mrs. Caldwell bade the stranger follow her, and led him out at the opposite door. A large locust tree stood close by, and the night was so dark that no object could be discerned amid its clustering foliage. She bade him climb the tree, thorny as it was, and conceal himself till the men should be engaged in plundering the house. He could then descend on the other side, and trust to flight for his safety. The house was pillaged as she had expected; but the express made his escape, to remember with gratitude the woman whose prudence had saved him with the loss of her property.

“One little incident is characteristic. Among such articles as the housewife especially prizes, Mrs. Caldwell had an elegant tablecloth, which she valued as the gift of her mother. While the tories on one occasion were in her house collecting plunder, one of them broke open the chest of drawers which contained it, and drew out the tablecloth. Mrs. Caldwell seized and held it fast, determined not to give up her treasure. When she found that her rapacious enemy would soon succeed in wresting it from her, unless she could make use of some other than muscular force to prevent him, she turned to the other men of the party, whose attention had been attracted by the struggle, so that they had gathered around her. Still keeping her hold on the tablecloth, she appealed to them with all a woman’s eloquence, asking if some of them had not wives or daughters for whose sake they would interfere to cause her to be treated with more civility. A small man who stood at the distance of a few feet presently stepped up, with tears in his eyes, and said that he had a wife – a fine little woman she was, too, and that he would not allow any rudeness to be practised towards Mrs, Caldwell. His interference compelled the depredator to restore the valued article.

“Rachel Caldwell’s contributions were as significant as those of her husband toward the success of David Caldwell’s Log College. When the pupils faltered in their studies, she encouraged them.” (Paula Stahls Jordan, Women of Guilford County, North Carolina: A Study Of Women’s Contributions, 1740-1979 / Paula Stahls Jordan, author; Kathy Warden Manning, researcher, 1979, p. 18.)

Unlike the common portrayal of the ante-bellum Southern women as restricted to sitting room conversations with women and daughters, keeping their distance from boys lest the boys become too effeminate and bring shame to their fathers, Rev. Caruthers’ biography states that Rachel Caldwell’s intelligence, prudence, and kind and conciliating manners were such as to secure the respect and confidence of the young men in David Caldwell’s Log College, while her concern for their future welfare prompted her to use every means, and to improve every opportunity, for turning their attention to their personal salvation; and her assiduity and success in this matter were such as to give rise and currency to the remark over the country that “David Caldwell made the scholars, but Mrs. Caldwell made the preachers.” (E. W. Caruthers, Life of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 38.)

There are conflicting accounts as to whether Rachel Caldwell attended the wounded at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. One historian states that on the day of the Guilford Courthouse Battle, Rachel Caldwell and a number of women of the Buffalo Congregation met at the house of Robert Rankin and spent the greater part of the day in prayer. (Paula Stahls Jordan, Women of Guilford County, supra, p. 18.) Another reference states that Rachel cared for the sick and wounded soldiers on Guilford Battleground; she inspired both soldiers and civilians to resist the British and aid in the fight for freedom. (From 75 Years of Service, supra, at p. 124. See also, E. F. Ellet. 1818-1877. Revolutionary Women in the War for American Independence: a one volume revised edition of Elizabeth Ellet’s 1848 Landmark Series/edited and annotated by Lincoln Diamont. Wesport, Conn. Praeger, 1998. Library of Congress Headings: Women–United States– History–18th century; United States–History–Revolution, 1775-1783–Women.)

In 1968, more than 200 years since the founding of the David Caldwell Log College, Duke Power Company placed a full page story in various North Carolina newspapers about the courage of Rev. David Caldwell and his wife, Rachel, when the log college libary was destroyed by Tories and British Soldiers.

In Rev. E. W. Caruthers’ 1842 biography of Rev. David Caldwell, he credits the Rachel with encouraging many of the men who were later to be the leaders of the Great Revival in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina between the 1790s and early 1800s, who had joined the ministry under Rev. David Caldwell’s teaching. Rachel Caldwell was of the religious conviction that a person had to exhibit in his or her personal life a compassion for those less fortunate but genuine in acceptance of Christ as their savior. She chose this theme when she had Rev. Caruthers give a funeral sermon upon the death of her husband. She shared in beliefs that were the beginning of the Second Great Awakening.

The Second Great Awakening was not limited to New Side Presbyterians, but included virtually all of the Methodists from 1772 and Separate Baptists from 1755. Substantial factors contributing to the revival were ex-soldiers who refused to put away the ways of tent life during the Revolution, the post war prevalence of gaming, card-playing, heavy drinking, and profane swearing, declining church attendance, and the apostasies of the French Revolution. (W. H. Foote, supra, pp. 370-72; Ebenezer Porter, Letters on Religious Revivals, pp. 8-9.)

Numerous web sites indicate that the Second Great Awakening also contributed to the abolitionist movement and the feminist movement.

Rev. Caruthers’ biography singles out one of David Caldwell’s assistant teachers at the Log College, Rev. James McGready, as the individual most influenced by Rachel Caldwell. He wrote A Short Narrative of the Revival of Religion in Logan County in 1801. It was widely disseminated through two religious journals. It had a great impact upon evangelical Christianity.

Historian Guion Griffis Johnson,1900-1989, Ante-Bellum North Carolina: A Social History: Electronic Edition, gathered together excerpts from prime sources to retell the Revival:

“James McGready was the immediate forerunner of the Great Revival among North Carolina Presbyterians. When he returned to North Carolina in 1788 after completing his course of study under a Presbyterian minister of Western Pennsylvania he began at once to evangelize. McGready was born of Scotch-Irish parentage in Pennsylvania about 1760. While he was still a boy, his parents moved to Guilford County, North Carolina, and settled in Buffalo congregation where the boy came under the influence of David Caldwell. An uncle took him to Pennsylvania to study for the ministry, and it was while in school there that he had the shock which influenced his later evangelism. Since the age of seven he had never failed to pray regularly; he had never been guilty of profanity, intoxication, Sabbath breaking, or anything which he considered sinful. Thus he had begun to think himself sanctified from birth. Yet to his great astonishment he overheard a conversation between two of his friends in which both declared that he had “not a spark” of sanctification. McGready at once began to examine himself and had no rest until “his heart tasted some of the joys of the Holy Ghost.” (W. H. Foote, op. cit., pp. 368-69.) ” On his return to North Carolina the young preacher, who had been licensed by Redstone Presbytery in Pennsylvania, passed through places in Virginia which had recently been awakened under the preaching of the Reverend John Blair Smith and the Reverend William Graham, leaders of the revival of 1787-1789 in Virginia,” (Gewehr, op. cit., pp. 179-84) and he visited Hampden-Sydney College, the center of the revival movement.

“Fresh from these revival scenes, young McGready began preaching along Haw River. He wanted to alarm church members and all those who long since had become comfortable in the hope of sanctification. “An unworthy communicant in such circumstances as yours,” he declared, pointing his finger at members of the church, “is more offensive to Almighty God than a loathsome carcase crawling with vermin set before a dainty prince.” (W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 372.) This “Son of Thunder” soon alarmed piedmont North Carolina. People wept under his preaching. From Hawfields the excitement spread to Cross Roads, Alamance, Buffalo, Stony Creek, Bethlehem, Haw River, Eno, and the churches in Granville, and those along the Hyco and the Dan. (Ibid., p. 374.) Other preachers joined the young evangelist in the work. The Reverend David Caldwell, the veteran revivalist, stirred his own congregations. William Hodge, “the Son of Consolation,” who had attended Caldwell’s log college, joined McGready and frequently made preaching tours with him. William McGhee, a minister of Orange Presbytery, and Barton W. Stone, a licentiate, also began spreading the gospel. While these men were carrying on the revival in Orange and Guilford counties, two young evangelists from Virginia, converted during John Blair Smith’s revival, visited the congregations in Granville County. So great was the excitement which they created that many followed them into Virginia to hear more of the Word.

“Opposition soon appeared from those who had favored the Old Side during the schism. At Stony Creek in 1796 McGready’s enemies made a bonfire of the pulpit and left him a warning written in blood. (W. H. Foote, op. cit., p. 375.) Shortly afterward McGready moved to Kentucky. (MSS, Minutes of Orange Presbytery, September, 1796.) In August, 1796, McGready applied for an intermediate presbytery, “alleging that he had sufficient reason to lay before them to grant him a dismission from his charge.” The presbytery dismissed him on August 9, 1796, although it disapproved of his “hasty preparations for a removal, his not giving his people timely and public notice of his intended departure.” In 1797 he and William McGhee, who had preceded him to the West by several months, had the Great Revival of the West underway. By 1800 Barton W. Stone, William Hodge, Samuel McAdo, and John Rankin [all graduates of David Caldwell’s Log College] had all followed McGready to the West.

“Those whom McGready left in North Carolina carried on the work of revival as best they could, but the people had strangely closed their ears to religious excitement. Word of McGready’s remarkable work in Kentucky drifted back to North Carolina, and the Presbyterian preachers renewed their efforts. The Reverend Samuel McCorkle preached constantly on the necessity of a revival sermons printed in pamphlets and scattered through the neighborhood. (Caruthers, “Richard Hugg King and His Times,” pp. 22-23.) The women joined in the work. In Buffalo Church, three women, led by Mrs. David Caldwell, met once a week for a year to pray for a revival of religion. Women in other churches followed their example (Ibid.)

“During the summer of 1801 the Reverend William Paisley, pastor of the churches at Hawfields and Cross Roads in Orange County, worked feverishly for the coming of a revival. He and his elders met in the session house every Sunday between services and prayed earnestly for a “refreshing.” On communion Sunday in August, the Reverend David Caldwell, the Reverend Leonard Prather, and two licentiates, Hugh Shaw and Ebenezer B. Currie, all of whom had either assisted in McGready’s revival in North Carolina or had joined the ministry under his influence, were present to assist the pastor. On Monday the communion season was about to come to a close after the final sermon without any unusual manifestation of religious interest. The pastor arose to dismiss the congregation, but his disappointment was so great that he could not speak. “All was still as the grave and every face looked solemn, . . . it was a solemn moment and pregnant with most glorious results. A man, by the name of Hodge, happened to be there who had seen something of the work in the west and he, rising slowly from his seat, said in a calm but earnest voice, Stand still and see the salvation of God!” (Ibid.)

“The congregation spent the rest of the day in singing, prayer, and exhortation, and it was midnight before they would return home.

“By 1802 the revival had spread throughout the south. (C. C. Cleveland, The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805, pp. 104-8.) (See generally, James McGready, The Posthumous Works of the Reverend and Pious James McGready (ed. James Smith). “There was never so great a stir of Religion since the day of Penticost,” wrote an “Old Soldier” from Caswell County in 1804, “. . . and it still goes on with rapidity throughout the union.” (Raleigh Register, October 1, 1804.)”

After Rev. McGready and pupils of David Caldwell’s Log College established revivalist churches in East Tennessee, Rev. Caldwell and Rachel continued to meet with them at Buffalo and nurture the evangelist movement in the new frontier.

Lancaster County, Pa, the birthplace of Rachel and David Caldwell, became the center of the abolitionist movement in Pennsylvania. The Underground Railroad began literally in the backyard of David and Rachel’s residence in Greensboro, North Carolina, about 1817-1818. It extended north to an underground depot at Drumore Township, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Rev. Caldwell.

Rachel’s children were devoted to her. “Rachel died June 3, 1825, her children beside her bed, just after she folded her arms over her breasts, and with next breath meekly passed away.” (E. W. Caruthers, Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D, supra, p. 269; Library of Congress Subject Heading: David Caldwell, 1725-1824.) Of her children, three had become ministers and one a physician. There were many more ministers and physicians among her grandchildren.

The Daughters of American Revolution publication, 75 Years of Service, History of National Society Daughters of American Revolution of North Carolina or The First One Hundred Years 1898 (1998), mentions the Rachel Caldwell chapter. It was organized in 1933. It is the only DAR Chapter named after a Caldwell and still continues today, in Greensboro, North Carolina.

An intensive study of the Craighead family can be found in The Craighead Family: a Genealogical Memoir Of the Descendants of Rev. Thomas and Margaret Craighead, 1658-1876, by James Geddes Craighead. Philadelphia PA: Sherman & Co. Printers, 1876, and in his book, Scotch and Irish Seeds in American Soil, Philadelphia, 1878.

Rachel’s younger sister, Jane Craighead (1743-1766) married Patrick Calhoun. Jane died after miscarriage of twins. Patrick’s second wife, Martha Caldwell, daughter of a Lancaster County Andrew Caldwell (1692-1752) often confused with David’s father, Andrew, gave birth to John Patrick Calhoun (1782-1850), famous South Carolina statesman and orator, member of the U.S. Congress, and Vice President of the U.S. (1825-32) under John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson.

Rachel was the sister of Rev. Thomas B. Craighead, the founding pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Rev. Thomas B. Craighead (1775 graduate of Nassau Hall of Princeton University) was one of the founders of Davidson Academy, which afterwards became Nashville University. He became the first President, holding the position from 1785 to 1806. Andrew Jackson was his close personal friend and served on his Board of Trustees. Having succeeded at Davidson Academy, Thomas B. Craighead served as president of Cumberland College from 1806 to 1809. He served as pastor of a Shiloh Kentucky congregation between 1805-08. For fifteen years at his Nashville church he was known to speak of the elect, the preordained and the predestined, but never of spiritual repentance or new birth. He was a bystander to the Kentucky Revival of 1800. (E. H. Gillet, History of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 2 vols., Philadelphia, 1864, p. 158.) He has been called the founder of Presbyterianism in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rachel’s brother Robert Craighead, born June 27, 1751, became one of the first settlers of Knoxville Tennessee, and built the first jail there. There is a Craighead-Jackson house in Knoxville and there was a “Craighead Cavern” now known as the “Lost Sea” tourist attraction near Knoxville. Robert served in the American Revolution under General Sumpter.

Rachel’s sister Agnes Craighead (c1740-1831), married John Alexander (1733-1814). The Battle of Gettysburg was fought on John’s former farm. John’s parents were Francis Alexander (1693-1760), son of Joseph Alexander and Abigail McKnitt, and Martha Blair (daughter of Samuel Blair and Martha C. Lyle @f8). Samuel Blair was a high ranking Presbyterian Minister who had accused Rachel’s father, Alexander Craighead, of “irregularities before his Presbytery” in 1740.

Rachel’s sister Nancy Craighead, b. Mar. 17, 1740 in Octarora PA; d. Nov. 9, 1790, Waxhaw S.C., married (1) in 1759, Rev. William Richardson (1729-1771) and (2) in 1772 married George Dunlap (1736-1796).

Rachel’s father, Alexander Craighead, has been the subject of numerous biographies and history books covering Colonial America history. (e.g., Rev. William Henry Foote, Sketches of North Carolina Historical and Biographical of the Principles of a Portion of Her Early Settlers, New York: Robert Carter, 1846; Thomas Hugh Spence, The Rocky River Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, Rocky River Presbyterian Church, undated; and Neill Roderick McGeachy, A History of Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, 1954. There is also a number of websites discussing this man.)

Although a child of Rev. Thomas Craighead, Alexander was described by Thomas Hugh Spence as “a son of thunder,” a preacher spiritually descended from Elijah, John the Baptist, and John Knox. Thomas Hugh Spence, The Rocky River Presbyterian Church, supra, p. 7.

Alexander Craighead emigrated as a child from Donegal, Ireland, arriving in Boston during the first week of October, 1714 (some say 1715), with his parents on the ship Thomas & Jane (William Wilson, Master) to Boston. He served as the pastor of a Presbyterian church located at Rocky River in the eastern region of what was then Mecklenburg Co, North Carolina, between 1758 and 1766, and another at Sugar Creek, Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, where he died and is buried at Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery No. 1 (Elmwood Cemetery). That cemetery is located on West Craighead Road, Charlotte, North Carolina. Although current references state that Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in Mecklenburg County, Foote gave that honor to Rocky River Presbyterian Church, overlooking the fact that Mecklenburg Co. had been subsequently subdivided. Mecklenburg County lies south of and adjacent to Rowan County, North Carolina, and west of Cabarrus County, in which Rocky River is presently located.

Alexander was accused in 1740 before his Presbytery of Donegal by Samuel Blair of irregularities but not any offence of moral turpitude, and his case was heard by the Philadelphia Synod in 1741. Members complained of his admiration for the teachings of Whitefield and preaching to a New London congregation contrary to the wishes of a neighboring pastor. During his trial he exchanged epithets with his accusers. He renounced the authority of the Presbytery, resigned, and preached in Octorara, Pennsylvania. (See, J. S. Futhey, History of Upper Octorara Church, Philadelphia, 1870.) In January 1742, he led his congregation in a revival of the old Scottish Covenants. Both the National Covenant of 1580-81 and the Solemn League and Covenant of the days of the Westminster Assembly were distributed and read.

In 1743, Alexander Craighead presented a sermon that was a precursor to the Declarartion of Independence: Craighead, Alexander, Renewal of the Covenants, National and Solemn League; A Confession of Sins; An Engagement to Duties; and a Testimony; As They Were Carried on at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania, November 11, 1743 (Philadelphia: n.p., 2nd ed., 1748, 1743), (Cerlox Bound Photocopy Series. Edmonton, AB, Canada: Still Waters Revival Books). This sermon gave rise to a complaint to his Synod that it was full of treason, sedition, distraction and grievous perverting of the sacred oracles. Although the Synod criticized him, he continued to malign the King, but eventually elected to move to Virginia and served as the pastor for the Windy Cove Presbyterian congregation, Bath County, Virginia (which church celebrated its 250th anniversary in 1999). Anglicism was the official faith of Virginia. He was forbidden to celebrate Communion with his congregation. An Anglican priest had to repeat his marriage ceremonies to be valid.

After the defeat of Gen. Braddock in July 1755 during the French and Indian Wars had thrown the frontier to the mercy of the Indians, who were instigated to murder and plunder by the French, such that “terror reigned throughout the valley,” he moved to NC, taking many members of the Windy Cove congregation with him. Eventually, Indians burned the Windy Cove church down to the ground. It was rebuilt in 1766.

Alexander Craighead was installed in 1758 as the pastor of Rocky River Presbyterian congregation and Sugaw Creek congregation. Almost all of the Rocky River settlers were Scotch-Irish New Side Presbyterians. An appreciable number had emigrated from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. As his congregation became increasingly displeased with the uncompromising and uncomprehending British government, he became an inspiring and fiery spokesman of the people of Mecklenburg County and their protests.

Neill R. McGeachy, in his History of the Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, Rock Hill, South Carolina, Record Print Co., 1954, wrote: “Sugaw Creek Congregation loved [Alexander] Craighead…Time and talent both fail as we try to assess the worth and contribution of this man whose life and work set the mold for Sugaw Creek Church and whose family and descendants have extended his influence through a large part of the Southland and its institutions.” Arnett states that he has been cited by a number of writers as one of the most foremost leaders for American Independence in North Carolina. Ethel Stephens Arnett, David Caldwell, supra, p. 12. Rev. A. W. Miller, D.D., in a centennial discourse given May 20, 1875, in Charlotte, stated that Alexander Craighead found in North Carolina what he had been denied in Pennsylvania and Virginia — sympathy with the patriotic views he had been publicly proclaiming since 1741.

Alexander Craighead was the son of Thomas Craighead. Thomas Craighead was educated at Scotland as a physician. After practicing medicine for some time, he abandoned the practice, studied divinity, and was a pastor for several years in Ireland, principally at Donegal. He emigrated to New England in 1715. He served as pastor at several churches before accepting a position as pastor of the Church at Pequea, Lancaster County, PA, in 1733, and in 1736, at Hopewell, Cumberland County, PA. He persuaded thousands of his countrymen and sympathizers to come to Pennsylvania. Rev. James Geddes Craighead, The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir, supra, pp. 35-37.

Thomas Craighead was the son of Robert Caldwell. Rev. Robert Craighead, a Scot, went to Ireland as early as 1657 or 1658, and was pastor first at Donoughmore, where he labored for thirty years, and then at Londonderry, when the gates of the city were closed against the Papal forces of James II, whose purpose was to massacre the Protestants, and escaped during the second day of the siege, and made his way to Glasgow, Scotland. He then returned to Ireland and died in Londonderry, 1711. He was the author of several volumes on practical religion and on the controversy with the prelatists of Ireland. Rev. James Geddes Craighead, The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir, Philadelphia 1876, pp. 35, 83; J. S. Reid, History of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, 3 vols., 2d ed., Belfast, 1867.

Rachel appears in the DAR Patriot Index. The DAR has a collection of papers relating to her. The DAR Library, 1776 D St., N. W., Washington, D.C. 20006-5392, 202-879-3229. The Buffalo Presbyterian Church library in Greensboro, North Carolina, has information on David and Rachel Caldwell, as does the Greensboro Historical Museum. (Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro, North Carolina 27401. 336-373-2043.) The Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro, North Carolina 27402 (336) 335-5430 (Reference Division) [www. greensborolibrary. org] has in its North Carolina Collection a book entitled History of Rachel Caldwell Chapter, National Society of Daughters of American Revolution It also has the pedigree charts of the Guilford County genealogical Society.

POLITICAL ACTIVISM Rev. McAden likely recognized from the beginning that Rev. Caldwell had already become a person to whom others turned with respect to redressing grievances the backcountry farmers had with the colonial government.

David Caldwell’s biographer, Rev. Eli W. Caruthers, placed a benign spin on Caldwell’s early years attending to the Buffalo and Alamance congregations:

“When once installed and permanently settled his object seems to have been to adapt himself to the circumstances and wants of his community to which his lot was cast; and to pursue such course as would, in the end, be most for their improvement and welfare.” (E. W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 29.)

In actuality Rev. David Caldwell began to water the seeds of organized political dissent planted by his father-in-law, Rev. Alexander Craighead, upon his first arrival as a missionary to this region in 1765.

Shortly before his marriage to Rachel Craighead in 1766, David Caldwell had lived with her father, Rev. Alexander Craighead, in Sugar Creek, North Carolina (now called Sugaw Creek), in present day Carrabus County, until establishing his Log College in Greensboro. Virtually all of Rev. Craighead’s congregation had become members of the Regulators, by 1766. By April of 1768, two thirds of Rev. David Caldwell’s congregations at Buffalo and Alamance were members of the Regulators. Rev. Caldwell’s arrival in 1765 would have been contemporaneous with the uproar created by Parliament’s recent imposition of the Stamp Act. (Donna J. Spindel, “Law and Disorder: The North Carolina Stamp Act Crisis.” North Carolina Historical Review 57 (April 1980): 1-16.)

In North Carolina the Assembly rebuked the Governor for not convening the Assembly to elect delegates to meet in a congress in New York to consider petitioning the King for repeal of the Stamp Act. (Morgan, supra, p. 108.) In a message to Governor Dobbs, on October 31, 1764, the Assembly expressed its objection to the “new Taxes and Impositions laid on us without our Privity and Consent, and against what we esteem our Inherent right, and Exclusive privilege of Imposing our own Taxes.” (William L. Saunders, ed., The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Raleigh, 1886-1890, VI, p. 1261, cited in Morgan, supra, p. 39.) Mobs gathered to force the Collector of Customs to clear ships despite nonpayment of taxes. The Governor wrote that the merchants of the colony were “as assiduous in obstructing the reception of the Stamps any of the Inhabitants.” (Colonial Records of North Carolina, VII, especially 143, 168-183, 199, cited in Morgan supra, p. 189.)

In these endeavors, the Rev. Caldwell may have cooperated closely with Quakers, some of whom might have migrated to the Greensboro area from Lancaster County, Colonial Pennsylvania. The established Anglican church in Virginia had forbidden their residence in that colony. Pennsylvania and the Carolinas were among the few colonies that not merely tolerated, but encouraged immigration of nonconformists, such as Presbyterians and Quakers, to fill up the backcountry. The Quakers valued peaceable assembly and petitions to government officials seeking redresses of grievances, resorting to violent protest only as a last resort. The Scotch-Irish tended to be more prone to fight. Regulator leader James Hunter quit Rev. Caldwell’s congregation because he disagreed with what he perceived as Rev. Caldwell’s naivete in hoping that the British government would ever reform when its self-interests were at stake.

In 1768, the same year that Rev. David Caldwell became the minister of the Buffalo and Alamance congregations, Philadelphia physician Benjamin Rush persuaded Rev. John Witherspoon, then a minister at Beith, Scotland, to become President of the College of New Jersey at Princeton. Benjamin Rush had met Witherspoon while Rush attended medical school at the University of Edinburgh. Using a letter of Benjamin Franklin, Rush convinced Witherspoon that his services would be apprecated. Rev. Witherspoon had gained fame in Scotland for lampooning moderates who had labeled the Westminster Confession as outdated. Rev. Witherspoon became one of the foremost minister-educators advocating political activism in America. Among his pupils were James Madison, fourth U.S. President, ten cabinet officers, sixty congressmen and senators, and over one hundred future Presbyterian ministers. He trained his pupils and encouraged Presbyterian ministers to persuade their congregations to oppose British dominion of the American colonies. During the Revolutionary War, the British militia destroyed much of the College and its library, consuming whatever correspondence might have been sent between Rev. Witherspoon and Rev. Caldwell. Historian Robert M. Calhoon is of the view that Rev. Witherspoon served as a profound influence upon Rev. Caldwell, shifting him from political moderate ideas, positioned between Lockean ideals of the social compact and pragmatism, towards a more radical and rebellious ministry. But unlike Witherspoon, Rev. Caldwell never was a Federalist. His political views were aligned with those of Jeffersonian democracy. (Robert M. Calhoon, “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, 2002.) In Rev. Caruthers biography, Rev. Witherspoon is barely mentioned.

Rev. Witherspoon was the only minister to sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence. At that opportune moment, he urged the Continental Congress to consider the strategic importance of the crucial decision before them —— whether to sign the Declaration of Independence that morning of July 4, 1776, or not —— with these words: “To hesitate is to consent to our own slavery. That noble instrument upon your table…should be subscribed this very morning by every pen in this house…For my own part, of property I have some, of reputation more. That reputation is staked, that property is pledged, on the issue of this contest; and although these gray hairs must soon descend into the sepulchre, I would infinitely rather that they descend thither by the hand of the executioner than desert at this crisis the sacred cause of my country.”

In place of British rule, Rev. Witherspoon called for a confederacy of states to preserve the union. He exhorted his fellow patriots to imitate the cantonal autonomy of the Swiss confederacy. Rev. Caldwell espoused similar ideas at the North Carolina convention debating whether or not to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

Like Rev. John Witherspoon, David Caldwell was renowned for his sense of good humor and knack for getting along with people of diverse creeds, convictions and communities. This may in part be due to an upbringing in Lancaster County at a time that it became one of the leading cosmopolitan centers in colonial America, with rapid influx of settlers of distinct creeds, faiths, nationalities, and languages, sharing common hopes and circumstances. Indian attacks had compelled them to set aside differences and forge communal ties in their defense. Both men possessed a rich supply of anecdote, both amusing and instructive.

The personal characteristics that had endeared Rev. Witherspoon to others were also found in David Caldwell. Both men were affectionate husbands, tender parents, kind masters, and a sincere friend.

PRINCETON EDUCATION David Caldwell was among the best educated and most well read individuals in the colony.

After a 3R’s English education, David Caldwell served an apprenticeship to a house-carpenter to age 21, and subsequently was self-employed as a carpenter until age 25, when he decided to become a Presbyterian minister. He attended Rev. Robert Smith’s classical school in Lancaster County, and the Log College of William Tennent, Sr., at Neshaminy, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, before attending the College of New Jersey at Princeton, New Jersey. For more than two decades William Tennent, Sr. drilled students in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the classics (e.g., Caesar’s Commentaries and Virgil’s Aeneid), the Westminster Confession of Faith, and the Bible (as John Knox had encouraged clergy to do). He trained pupils with evangelical zeal not only to become ministers of the gospel as envisioned by the Great Awakening teachings of George Whitefield (1714-1770), but to become the next generation of educators to pass on Presbyterian revivalist theology and methodology. As said by Rev. Richard Webster, Tennent possessed “a rare gift of attracting to him youth of worth and genius, imbuing them with his healthful spirit, and sending them forth, sound in the faith, blameless in life, burning with zeal, and unsurpassed as instructive and successful preachers.” In Rev. Caruthers’ biography, Rev. Caruthers mentions that Rev. Caldwell had all of these qualities.

William Tennent, Sr., and other leaders of the Log College at Nashimany, Pennsylvania, had been expelled from the New Brunswick Synod in 1741. This Synod adhered to the “Old Side” theological orthodoxy, rooted in the stricter Presbyterianism of Scotland and favored by more recent immigrants who arrived directly from Scotland and North Ireland. Tennent joined the Synod of New York, formed in 1744. The New York Synod favored a “New Side” form of Presbyterianism.

David Caldwell graduated from the College of New Jersey (renamed Princeton University in 1896) in 1761, at age 36, the year in which the college’s President Samuel Davies died. Samuel Davies has been called the father of Southern Presbyterianism and leader of the Great Awakening among the Presbyterians in Virginia. Subsequently David Caldwell maintained a life-long correspondence with fellow students, many of whom became historically prominent.

After graduating, David Caldwell was engaged as a teacher for a year at Cape May and briefly at a few other places. He then returned to Princeton, and acted as assistant teacher in the college, in the Department of Languages. It was during the period, 1761-1765, that commencements at the College of New Jersey became politically focused and critical of the British Parliament. While the 1640 Civil War of England had established the supremacy of parliament, the academics at the College of New Jersey were raising concerns about the consent of the governed. Taxation without consent was criticized as a threat to property.

Rev. Caruthers noted that as part of his examination for the ministry David Caldwell was required to lecture on the 87th Psalm. (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of Rev. David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 21.) No document provides any evidence about what David Caldwell said. I can only speculate. In the King James Version, the word “dancers” had been substituted for “players of instruments,” reflecting a then prevailing view at the beginning of the 17th century (when the King James Version was first published) that musical instruments should not be played in church, and that only singing would be permitted. Instruments had been used in the early Church history, but had been criticized by Thomas Aquinas as being too Judaic and not appropriately Christian. By the 18th century, many Presbyterians had adopted the view that no one but the apostles were authorized to interpret the Psalms. In the absence of any criticism expressed by them of musical instruments, many Presbyterians favored reinstating the original words, “singers and players of instruments,” for church gatherings. This receptivity likely contributed to the popularization of Negro spirituals and church hymns accompanied by piano.

As part of his examination on September 2, 1762, David Caldwell was also asked to give an exigesis on the meaning of 1 Peter 1.15: “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord and holy.” (Caruthers, supra, p. 21.) Likely David would have said this verse means that a deep commitment must be made; Christ must be honored, revered, and obeyed, and never profaned. This verse is similar to Isaiah 8:12-13 v.15: “Set apart the Lord himself, and fear him.”

Rev. Caruthers reports that on May 10, 1763, David Caldwell was asked to give a sermon on the meaning of 2 Cor. v 17 (“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of Rev. David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 21.) While Dr. Caruthers does not report what David Caldwell said, it likely would parallel what David later said in one of the sermons related to Rev. Robert Archibald. The prevailng teaching among New Side Presbyterian preachers of the 18th century was that this verse meant that one does not receive Christ’s redemption simply by outward profession of accepting Christ, but must undergo a genuine conversion and inward change, “a true and lively faith.” Mere baptism with water would not suffice. This particular verse was the principal subject of sermon No. 49 of Rev. George Whitefield. He recognized that this notion of conversion (being “born again”) was not as readily accepted as orthodox statements, such as there is only one God, and that ministers had to convince their congregation of the need for this conversion. Rachel Caldwell had Rev. Caruthers touch upon this theme in his sermon at David’s funeral.

Rev. David Caldwell was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, June 8th, 1763.

In 1794, Rev. Caldwell gave a sermon entitled “Universal Salvation Unscriptural,” appended to Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell. The intent of that sermon was to defend the decision of the Orange Presbytery to defrock the Rev. Robert Archibald, minister of the Rocky River church. Rev. Archlbald advocated the belief that all could be redeemed through God’s grace, even those of unrepented pride, not solely those whose lives, piety, and testimony confirmed their conversion (Spence, supra, pp. 27-28; Robert M. Calhoon, “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, 2002.) Rev. Caldwell spoke to Archibald’s former parishioners:

“We would fondly appeal to this large and attentive congregation whether they will risk their everlasting welfare on…the scheme of universal salvation…or whether they will embrace the present salvation which is offered to them and in doing which they will run no risk…If sin is evil, you need to be delivered from it now; if holiness is necessary at any point in your existence, it is necessary now; if the hopes and consolations of the gospel are ever desirable, they are desirable now.”

Rev. Caruthers sets forth an anecdote relating to Rev. Archibald’s embracing and propagating the notion that future punishment after death would not be eternal, but only of limited duration.

“In one of his rambles…he met with a shrewd old Irish lady, between whom and himself some dialogue as the following is said to have taken place: Lady —— ‘I’m tauld, sir, you preach that a’ men will be saved. Is that your opinion?’ Mr. A. —— ‘Yes: I think that, after enduring some punishment, all will at last be saved.’ Lady–‘D’ye you think that some will gae to hell, and stay there for a while, and then come oot again?’ Mr. A- ‘Yes: that is my opinion.’ Lady —— ‘And d’ye expect to gae there yourself?’ Mr. A. —— ‘Yes: I expect to go there, for a time.’ Lady —— ‘Ah man! Ye talk strangely: ye’re a guid man, and a minister. I wad think ye couldna gae there. But what will you gae there for?’ Mr. A. —— ‘I expect to go there for preaching against the truth.’ Lady —— ‘Ah man! That’s an unco’ bad case. And hoo lang d’ye expect to stay there? Mr. A. —— ‘Just as long as I preached against the truth.’ Lady —— ‘And hoo lang was that? Mr. A. —— ‘About fifteen years.’ Lady —— ‘Ye’s be a pretty singed deevil, to come oot, after being in sae lang!”

Robert Archibald was replaced by Rev. David Caldwell’s son, Rev. Alexander Caldwell, at the time of his ordination on October 3, 1792. Dr. Foote described him as of “superior endowments…portly gait, engaging manners, and eminent Christian character.” (Foote, supra, p. 481.) Unfortunately, Rev. Alexander Caldwell suffered a mental breakdown and was relieved of his duties in 1797. (Spence, supra, p. 31.)

The fact that David Caldwell’s early education was by Presbyterian clergy with college degrees reflects the importance that early American Presbyterianism placed on providing a clergy-taught education so that pupils would, in their view, know the grace of God as well as God’s work of creation and providence. This was in keeping with the philosophy of Calvin and Knox that men had to be converted from their natural sinful predisposition and from a belief that college-educated clergy were the best men for that task. (See, Douglas Sloan, The Scottish Enlightenment and the American College Ideal, New York Teachers College Press, 1971; Elwyn Allen Smith, The Presbyterian Ministry in American Culture: A Study in Changing Concepts, 1700-1900, The Westminster Press, 1962.)

The emphasis upon education and evangelism gave Presbyterian New Side clergy an advantage as propagandists and pastors able to walk among and address their congregation as a shepherd among his flock, guiding and inspiring them. A disproportionate number of U.S. Presidents have been Presbyterians.

ORDINATION After spending some time as a missionary in North Carolina, David Caldwell was ordained at Trenton, New Jersey, July 6th, 1765 and assigned to the New Hanover Presbytery of Virginia, which had jurisdiction over the territory of North Carolina. He served as a missionary to North Carolina for one year, beginning in 1765.

REV. CALDWELL’S PORTRAIT A portrait of David Caldwell is on display at the Buffalo Presbyterian Church. In the mid 1960’s my great aunt Caroline Caldwell, born in the 1880’s, had taken me to Greensboro and shown me his portrait. She explained that it had been painted after his death by use of one of his sons as a model. The portrait was altered based on description to more closely match his appearance. She had been told this by a percipient witness to the making of the portrait. The portrait has David Caldwell dressed in the apparel typical of a Southern gentleman of the 19th century. The absence of physician’s instruments or books and the plainness of the background is fitting for a portrait intended to be hung in memory of his service as a minister. The clean shaven face provides a clue as to when the portrait was painted. In the Minutes of Orange Presbytery, 1830, p. 45, mention is made that shaving, a common practice after the Revolution, had come under the ban of the Presbyterian churches. The Orange Presbytery instructed the church sessions under its care “to institute an inquiry as to the practices of the communicants…on this subject, proceed to such measures, as Christian prudence may dictate, to correct this evil.” Another way to date the painting is to examine the portraits of other individuals painted in the first quarter of the nineteenth century. A portrait similar to that of Rev. Caldwell is one of Archibald Debow Murphey, posted online, and shown in William Henry Hoyt, editor, The Papers of Archibald Murphey. Vol. 2. Raleigh: North Carolina Historical Commission, 1914.

The high cheekbones and lean and sinewy facial characteristics resemble those seen in portraits of Scotch-Irish John Caldwell Calhoun and Andrew Jackson, and in marked contrast to the portraits of David Caldwell’s adversary, plump and powdered British Lt. General, Lord Charles Cornwallis.

Rev. Caldwell’s portrait shows him wearing a cotton shirt. This may have been Sea Island cotton that grew wild in and was cultivated in North Carolina. The cotton shirt symbolizes the transformation of David Caldwell from buckskin frontiersman. In the 1760s James Hargreaves and Richard Arkwright had developed a spinning machine that greatly reduced the labor required to turn cotton hairs into thread. In 1765 only one half million pounds of cotton was spun in England but by 1784 sixteen million pounds were produced annually. In 1794 Eli Whitney patented his invention of a mechanical gin for separating the cotton hairs from seed. What before would require a laborer a day to gin a pound of cotton could be processed fifty fold. These two inventions heralded the industrial revolution. Ironically, these labor saving devices greatly increased the demand for labor as cotton fabric became affordable, and contributed to the ante-bellum plantation slave economy of the deep south.

ORANGE PRESBYTERY Orange Presbytery was established at Buffalo in March 1770, to serve as a general body organized for the entire state. The founding members were David Caldwell, Hugh McAden, Henry Patillo, James Cridswell, Hezekiah Balch, Hezekiah James Balch, and Joseph Alexander. Eastern Tennessee was within its bounds. Originally it included even South Carolina. The early records of the Orange Presbytery, predating November 18, 1795, were consumed in a fire on January 1, 1827. A single volume, containing the minutes of proceedings for 1795-1812, were saved. (L. C. Vass, History Of The Presbyterian Church In New Bern, N.C., supra, p. i.)

In the Minutes of Orange Presbytery for 1861, a record is made of David Caldwell’s grandson, Rev. Cyrus K. Caldwell, voting in favor of the establishment of an independent Presbyterian Church in the southern states that had withdrawn from the union. Rev. Caruthers and numerous other ministers abstained.

PATRIOT Rev. David Caldwell is closely linked to the shedding of the first American blood by the British. Considerable sectional hostility arose between western small farmers and the coastal planters of North Carolina as a greater percentage of newcomers settled in the western counties. In 1750 only one-third of the population of the Province lived in the western counties. By 1770, almost two-thirds resided there, many of them squatters without legal title to their homes and farms, and regarded as social inferiors by the eastern planters.

Through malapportionment of the assembly, the coastal counties held onto political dominance. The eastern planters viewed the western settlers “as sheep to be shorn by colonial officials.” (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, New York, Doubleday, 2000, p. 109.) The western settlers complained of excessive taxes, abusive courts, patronage, inefficient and dishonest local government in Orange, Granville, Halifax and Anson counties, and grew discouraged over failure to resolve matters by peaceful means. “This included what is now Guilford County, formed in 1771 from part of Orange and Rowan Counties. Long before the Revolutionary War, North Carolina colonials were protesting “taxation without representation.” (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, supra, p. 110.) They also complained that the royal governors and officials were spending public revenues that appeared to the westerners unnecessary luxuries that only the easterners could enjoy. Petitions expressing their grievances were largely ignored. (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, supra, p. 111.)

In 1759 a group of armed men seized a government collector and forced him to refund what he had taken illegally. Other groups began terrorizing officials. Governor Arthur Dobbs had the leaders jailed, but a mob set them free. Dobbs reported to his superiors in London that he discerned “a republican spirit of independence rising in the Colony.” In 1767 Gov. Tryon expressed the opinion that “the sheriffs have embezzled more than one-half of the public money ordered to be raised and collected by them.”

The very month of Rev. Caldwell’s installation, farmer meetings took place in protest of word that a huge amount of tax money —— enough to buy 100,000 acres —— had just been appropriated to build a palace for Governor Tryon. Paintings show the palace as truly grandiose. Carriages would approach by passing through an iron gate, and travel circumferentially around a landscaped area as large as a football field to reach the main entrance of a three story mansion, comparable in size to San Francisco’s City Hall, a magnet today for tourists struck by its grandness. The settlers further were distressed by official Edmund Fanning’s denial of their right as English subjects to know how their tax money was being spent. The farmers avowed not to pay any further taxes.

The Regulator Association —— with substantial Scotch-Irish participation —— was formally organized in March 1768, armed with bibles, bullets, beans and bandannas. The Regulators differed from vigilantes in that the focus of their attention was not common criminals but corrupt officials; the Regulators interfered with court proceedings and threatened those who administered the law.

On April 8, 1768, one of the regulators on route to Hillsborough had his mare seized for collection of back taxes. Some one hundred regulators overtook the sheriff and took back the mare. County official Edmund Fanning characterized these farmers as “rebels, insurgents, &c, to be shot, hang’d, &c, as Mad Dogs & c.” Governor Tryon ordered them to quit using the borrowed Title of Regulators, assuming to themselves Powers and Authorities unknown to the Constitution.”

This Regulator Movement led to riots at Granville in 1769. Judge Richard Henderson described the events of September 24, 1770 at Hillsborough:

“Early in the morning the town filled with a great number of these people, shouting, hallooing and making a considerable tumult in the streets. After eleven o’clock the Court was opened, and immediately the house filled as close as one man could stand by another, some with clubs, others with whips and switches, few or none without some weapon. When the house became so crowded that no more could well get in, one of them (whose name I think is Fields) came forward and told me he had something to say before I proceeded to business. Upon my informing Fields that he might speak on, he proceeded to let me know that he spoke for the whole body of people called Regulators. That they understood that I would not try their causes, and their determination was to have them tryed, for they had come down to see justice done and justice they would have, and if I would proceed to try these causes it might prevent some mischief. . .

“After spending upwards of half an hour in this disagreeable situation the mob cried out, ‘Retire, retire, and let the court go on.’ Upon which most of the Regulators went out and seemed to be in consultation in a party by themselves. . .

“In a few minutes Mr. Williams, an attorney of that court, was coming in and had advanced near the door when they fell on him in a most furious manner with clubs and sticks of enormous size, and it was with great difficulty he saved his life by taking shelter in a neighboring Store house.

“Mr. Fanning was next the object of their fury, him. they seized and…dragged by the heels out of doors, while others engaged in dealing out blows with such violence that I made no doubt his life would instantly become a sacrifice to their rage and madness. However Mr. Fanning by a manly exertion miraculously broke holt and fortunately jumped into a door that saved him from immediate dissolution. During the uproar several of them told me with oaths of great bitterness that my turn should be next…

“Messrs. Thomas Hart, Alexander Martin, Michael Holt, John Litterell (Clerk of the Crown) and many others were severely whipped. Col. Gray, Major Lloyd, Mr. Francis Nash, John Cooke, Tyree Harris and sundry others persons timorously made their escape…

“In about four or five hours their rage seemed to subside a little and they permitted me to adjourn court and conducted me with great parade to my lodgings. Col. Fanning, whom they made a prisoner of war in the evening, was permitted to return to his own house on his word of honour to surrender himself by the next day. At about ten o’clock that evening, I took an opportunity of making my escape by a back way…”

Next morning when Judge Henderson’s escape was discovered, Fanning was again whipped by the mob. Surging on to the despicable clerk’s home, they burst in the door, hacked the furniture to pieces, carried Fanning’s clothing and papers into the street and burned them, and proceeded to the wine cellar, where they poured out all of the stock they could not drink. That afternoon they wrecked several other hordes in Hillsborough, including the house of Isaac Edwards, the Governor’s secretary.

The “Field” referenced here was either William Field, Jr. or one of his brothers: John, Robert, Jeremiah, or Joseph. (John Field Pankow, private correspondence, Dec. 20, 2004.) Pankow writes that their father William Field (c. 1698-1748) had died in Lancaster Co., Pa., and sometime between his death in 1748 and 1755, his widow, Jane, and her seven children, had moved to North Carolina. “The Field brothers cast their lot with the Regulators, and…were among the more outspoken of them. After the Battle of Alamance…they were forced to swear an oath of allegiance to the King. William Field, Jr. wrote that, when the Revolution began, he felt compelled by honor, because of the oath he had made, to remain loyal, and he wound up as a Colonel in the Britiish army, of all unlikely things.”

As event followed event, the governor got the Legislature to declare what amounted to martial law in February 1771.

On May 16, 1771, Gov. William Tryon and 1400 troops under his command confronted about 2000 Regulators. The Regulators had no leader, no artillery, and many were unarmed or lacked ammunition. They were divided as to whether do battle or merely make a show of resistance. “[R]eflecting an aversion to social chaos…as strong as his love for order,” Rev. David Caldwell and Alexander Martin (who later became Governor of North Carolina) fruitlessly sought to mediate the hostilities between the two groups but could not prevent the Battle of the Alamance. (Robert M. Calhoon, “Religion and the American Revolution in North Carolina,” North Carolina Bicentennial Pamphlet Series: North Carolina in the American Revolution, North Carolina State University Graphics, Raleigh, 1976, p. viii, p. 7; see generally, William S. Powell, The War of the Regulation and the Battle of Alamance, May 16, 1771, 6th printing, 1976.) Gov. Tryon opened fire with artillery and ordered in his infantry, set fire to the woods in which wounded remained who were too disabled to flee, defeated the insurgents, and brought an end to the War of Regulation.

Each side in the Battle at Alamance lost the lives of at least nine men on the day of the two-hour skirmish. Rev. Caruthers reports that there were conflicting accounts about the number of casualties. (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, pp. 149-150.) According to the Concise D.A.H., the Regulators had about 20 killed. A large number of Regulators were wounded —— perhaps as many as 150 —— and an unknown number died later of infection. The British had at least 61 wounded. (William S. Powell, North Carolina Through Four Centuries, Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989, pp. 146-149.)

Gen. Tryon took about fifteen prisoners, hung a boy, and later executed six other prisoners, under a recent act of the Assembly that converted the offence of riot to treason. Rev. Caldwell traveled 46 miles to attend the trial of the prisoners —— although none belonged to his churches —— for the purpose of testifying to the character of each of them as he personally knew, and to be present, as a minister, to intercede on their behalf. Among the six that were executed were Robert Matear and Robert Thompson, both of whom had accompanied David Caldwell in a visit to Gen. Tryon’s camp the morning of the battle and were seized by Gen. Tryon and charged with treason. Gen. Tryon was determined to decapitate the Regulator movement. According to Rev. Caruthers in his Life and Character of David Caldwell, Matear had never committed any overt act and was not a member of the Regulators.

Just before he was hanged from the gallows for treason, in June 1771, James Pugh, a hero of the Battle of Alamance, exclaimed: “The blood that we have shed will be as good seeds sown in good ground —— which soon shall reap a hundredfold!” He recapitulated the causes of the late conflict; asserted that the Regulators had taken the life of no man previous to the battle; nor had they aimed at anything other than a redress of grievances, charged the governor with having brought an army among them to murder the people instead of taking sides against them against a set of dishonest Sheriff’s clerks and roguish sheriffs and be a friend to the people whom he was appointed to govern. When he said that Col. Edmund Fanning was unfit to hold any office, Fanning had a soldier turn over the barrel on which Pugh was standing and he was hung. (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 165.)

After the Battle, three other ministers and Rev. David Caldwell helped mediate a settlement between Gen. Tryon and the opposing Presbyterians. The Regulators failed in their attempt to achieve reform in their local government. Many moved to other regions; those who stayed made an oath of allegiance to the government. They resented the seaboard plantation class who had suppressed them. The battle served as an object lesson for the later outbreak of the Revolutionary War; the colonies recognized that they would need a well trained militia or continental army under the command of an officer, not simply a motley assembly of farmers and congregation members turned soldiers for the day. Rev. Caruthers expressed the opinion that it was fortunate that the British won the Battle of Alamance. “If the regulators had been victorious, it would have brought on the province the whole power of the British government, before the other provinces were prepared to make common cause with it; and in that case, the consequences must have been still more unhappy.”

When General Tyron initially refused to pardon those Regulators from the Rocky River congregation who had disguised themselves as Indians, discolored their faces, intercepted General Waddell’s wagons loaded with ammunition, and blown up supplies, the signature of a David Caldwell appears in a petition presented to the Governor, that began: “That wheareas a Certain No of young men, riotously Assembled in a wicked manner,” and proceeded to attribute th destruction of the powder, not to a commendable patriotism, but at least partially to an overindulgence in spiritous liquors.” (Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. IX, pp. 98-99, cited in Spence, supra, at p. 25.) It is not yet affirmed whether this signature is that of Rev. Caldwell or simply someone else of the same name affiliated with the Rocky River congregation.

On May 29, 1880 a simple granite monument was placed to mark the site of the Battle of Alamance, six miles southwest of Burlington on N. C. Highway 144. Carved on the monument are these words: “Here was fought the Battle of Alamance May 16, 1771 between the British and the Regulators,” and on the reverse side, the single word, “Liberty.” Alamance Battleground State Historic Site (Alamance vicinity) has been a National Registered Historic Site since February 26, 1970.

While some historians have viewed this Battle of Alamance as the first battle of the American Revolution (E.g., W. E. Fitch, Some Neglected History of North Carolina, 1905), others have observed that it was not a battle for independence, but rather, a protest against oppression of unjust officials and violation of their inherited rights. Among those who signed the Oath of Allegiance after the battle, many fought on the side of the Tories during the later battles of the Revolutionary War. (Walter Whitaker, Centennial History of Alamance County 1849-1949,Dowd Press, Inc. Charlotte, North Carolina.)

After the battle of Alamance, Tryon was transferred to the Governorship of New York, and he left North Carolina to the mutual satisfaction of himself and the people. He declared in a dispatch to his Government, that “not all the wealth of the Indies could induce him to remain among such a daring and rebellious people. This region is surely not of earth.” (Wheeler, Reminisences, supra, p. 41.) A key difference between Tryon and Rev. Caldwell was that Tryon came to North Carolina because he saw an opportunity to get rich; Rev. Caldwell just saw an opportunity.

MECKLENBURG RESOLUTIONS AND CONVENTION In August of 1774 North Carolina organized a Provincial Congress to plan resistance against the Crown. When shooting broke out at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts in 1775, North Carolina’s last Royal Governor fled and the Provincial Congress took over. The British made no attempt to reoccupy North Carolina for several years. They hoped that the Scot Highlanders who had immigrated to Cape Fear region of North Carolina would side with them, as many did.

The following account is excerpted from Walter Whitaker, Centennial History of Alamance County 1849-1949, Dowd Press, Inc., Charlotte, North Carolina:

“A lone courier rode into the village of Charlotte in Mecklenburg County on May 19, 1775, bringing news of the Battle of Lexington, which had occurred a month earlier in far-off Massachusetts. Like wildfire the word spread-war! Early the next day a large group of Mecklenburg citizens gathered in the village to discuss this startling but not unexpected report. The majority of them were in sympathy with the New England Patriots, and someone suggested that they let the Continental Congress in Philadelphia know of this feeling. The result was an important set of resolutions that they called the Mecklenburg Declaration, and which stated:

“That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and independent people; are, and of right ought to be a sovereign and self-governing association, under the control of no power, other than that of our God and the general government of the Congress; to the maintenance of which independence we solemnly pledge to each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our most sacred honor.”

“As Alamance had been the birthplace of the Revolution, Mecklenburg thus became the birthplace of Independence. It was not until six weeks later that the Continental Congress signed Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.

“Among those at the Mecklenburg Convention were a few Regulators. The scars of the Battle of Alamance were still fresh in their minds, and when the Declaration was passed to them they did not sign it. They wanted no part in Revolution.”

No record remains indicating whether David Caldwell attended the 1775 Mecklenburg Convention in which certain North Carolina colonialists declared their severance of all ties to England and proclaimed their independence on May 20, 1775 (“Resolved That we the citizens of Mecklenburg County do hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the mother county and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance to the British Crown…”), the first such declaration of independence among the American colonies. The minutes of the proceedings of the Mecklenburg Convention were lost when the residence in which they were stored went up in flames. Had they been preserved, they likely would have had as much historical importance as the Federalist Papers. Perhaps the memoirs of others who attended the convention or editions of The North Carolina Gazette in New Bern, which printed the Mecklenburg Resolves on June 16, 1775, reveals what contributions David Caldwell made, if any, at the Mecklenburg Convention.

The Mecklenburg Resolutions stated among other things that all laws and commissions derived from royal or Parliamentary authority were suspended and that all legislative or executive power henceforth should come from the Provincial Congress of each colony, under the Constitutional Congress. In article XX, the Resolves directed the purchase of 300 lbs. of powder, 600 lbs. of lead, and 1000 flints, for the use of the militia of the county.

There were hundreds of local groups about the same time passing resolutions demanding independence throughout the colonies but the Mecklenburg Resolves are the most famous.

The members of the Mecklenburg committee immediately sent one of their members, Captain James Jack, to Philadelphia to present the Resolves to the delegates of North Carolina to the Continental Congress. At that time the Continental Congress was seeking accommodation from the king and did not want anyone to disrupt this olive branch diplomacy. While published elsewhere, the Resolves were never presented to the delegates of the other colonies in Philadelphia, and word was sent back to North Carolina not to take any immediate action.

When the 3rd North Carolina Provincial Congress met in August 1775 to prepare a plan “for internal peace, order, and safety,” and at the same time, enacted a test to be signed by all members, “professing our Allegiance to the King,” the Congress set up simultaneously a Committee of Secrecy to gather and encourage the production of war materiel. (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, supra, pp. 116-117; see generally, George Washington Graham, The Mecklenburg Declaration of independence, May 20, 1775, and Lives of its Signers. New York, Washington, The Neale Publishing Company, 1905.)

CALL FOR INDEPENDENCE Rev. Caruthers describes Dr. Caldwell’s initial call for independence:

“After the difficulties became serious, and especially after the meeting of the continental congress, Dr. Caldwell often preached on the subject of existing difficulties between England and the American colonies; and although he was a great lover of peace, and would make any reasonable sacrifices to maintain it, yet when fundamental principles or important interests were at stake, and he saw any prospect of success, he was decided, firm, and perservering. Hardly a Sabbath passed in which he did not allude to the subject in some way or other; and while he denounced, in the strongest terms, the corruptions and oppressions of the existing government, he exhorted his hearers, with equal energy and zeal, to value their liberties above all else; and to stand up manfully in their defence; but although he preached so much on the subject, and at that period generally wrote his sermons, only one remains, and that is somewhat mutilated.” (E.W. Caruthers, Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 183.)

Sometime in early 1776, likely before the February 27 skirmish at Moore Creek Bridge, which is not mentioned in his sermon, Rev. Caldwell told his congregation:

“We have therefore come to that trying period in our history in which it is manifest that the Americans must either stoop under a load of the vilest slavery, or resist their imperious and haughty oppressors…our foes are powerful and determined on conquest; but our cause is good; and in the strength of the Lord, who is mightier than all, we shall prevail.”

This is the “The Character and Doom of the Sluggard” sermon appended to Caruthers’ biography. Perhaps it would have been better remembered had Rev. Caldwell named it “We Shall Overcome.” The sermon argued that scripture supported independence. History supported independence. Reason supported independence. Professor Robert M. Calhoon has noted that the sermon recited classical, British and colonial history as a background of the present crisis, discussed the applicability of Proverbs 12:24 (“the slothful shall be under tribute”), and provided analogies to persuade the congregation to exercise greater vigilance and effort to avoid captivity and ruin. Rev. Caldwell warned them not to expect God’s miracle to rescue them from bondage. Prof. Calhoon noted that Rev. Caldwell invoked an oft quoted Biblical curse favored by Calvinist clergy: “Curse ye bitterly…because you did not come to help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty” (Judges 5:23). Prof. Calhoon describes it as a “7,000 word jeremiad detailing the sinfulness of political indifference and the wickedness of cowering before a tyrant.” (Robert M. Calhoon, “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, 2002.) Many Protestant clergymen sought to convey to their congregations the idea that self-denial in the cause of liberty, zealousness for the common good, and a refusal to profit personally by the upheaval of the times were Christian duties. Only then might God consider them worthy of His assistance against British tyranny.

On January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published his “Common Sense,” a fifty-page pamphlet that sold more than 100,000 copies —— some sources say 500,000 —— within a few months. This pamphlet touches upon several of the arguments presented in David Caldwell’s sermon, even citing the Old Testament, but emphasizes mostly the economic advantages of independence. “We are not the little People now, which we were sixty years ago…It is repugnant to reason, to the universal order of things, to all examples from the former ages, to suppose that this continent can longer remain subject to any external power.” The plain title gave no hint of the passion, ferocity and invective in the text. He wrote of the British monarchy that “it rested on a rascally original. It certainly had no divinity in it.” His pamphlet “turned hearts less by pragmatic argument than from its pulsing excess.” (A. J. Langgeth, Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution, A Touchstone Book, New York, 1989, p. 340.) The passionate appeal for patriotism by down-on-his-heels Thomas Paine, who had been a failure in previous business endeavors, may have given rise to Englishman Samuel Johnson’s remark that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Historian Frank Lambert writes that only 10% of American political pamphlets and treatises in the late 18th century cited Biblical references in support of independence. He argues that the American Revolution was primarily secular and economic in origin. (Frank Lambert, The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, supra, p. 246.) The flaw in Lambert’s argument is that ministers communicated to their congregations chiefly by oral sermons, not writings. Professor Jon Butler finds significant the decription of the Revolutionary War as a throughly secular events by historians David Ramsay and George Bancroft. (Jon Butler, Awash in a Sea of Faith, p. 195.) This view overlooks the need of school boards and teachers to use school texts that avoided any discussion of denominational controversies.

David Caldwell’s sermon preceded the famous sermon of John Witherspoon on the congressional Day of Fasting, May 17, 1776, “The Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men,” which expounded the same themes of resistance to leaders who forego justice, liberty, common humanity, and which proclaimed God’s ability to bring good out of the unrestrained excesses of British tyranny.

The Sluggard Sermon likely was triggered by a visit of Presbyterian ministers Elihu Spencer and Alexander McWhorter in December 1775 to North Carolina. They had been sent by a committee of the Continental Congress concerned that backcountry Piedmont farmers were disaffected and unsympathetic to the talk of armed rebellion against the British. Spencer and McWhorter were hopeful that Rev. David Caldwell could deliver a sermon that would arouse the sympathies of his congregation to the Patriot’s cause. Many of these were former Regulators who had sworn an oath of loyalty to the Crown after the Battle of Alamance of 1771. Prof. Calhoon is of the view that David Caldwell was part of an inter-colonial movement coordinated by Presbyterian itinerant ministers such as Spencer and McWhorter. His ability to inspire his congregation was crucial to North Carolina’s willingness to join in signing the Declaration of Independence.

Prof. Calhoon believes that the Sluggard Sermon was autobiographical. Rev. Caldwell must have recalled painfully the executions of Regulators in May and June 1771. The McWhorter-Spencer intervention rekindled his political activism. (Robert M. Calhoon, “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, 2002.)

By analyzing the Sluggard Sermon, Prof. Calhoon advances the opinion that Rev. Caldwell likely had used as sources for his sermon his Princeton reading notes on English history, probably from Paul Rapin, the Huguenot historian and author of the History of England (1725-1731) and the Dissertation on the…Whigs and Tories (1717). Additionally Prof. Calhoon contends that Rev. Caldwell likely looked at everything he had on the impact of the Coercive Acts on Boston in 1774 and the two Continental Congresses in Philadelphia in September and October 1774, the Declaration of Rights and Grievances issued in October 1774 by the First Continental Congress on the Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765), expanded Vice Admiralty Jurisdiction Act (1767), and infringement on trial by jury in the Administration of Justice Act of 1774. (Robert M. Calhoon, “Scotch-Irish Presbyterians and Political Moderation,” Journal of Scotch-Irish Studies, 2002.) Prof. Calhoon provides neither analysis, citations, nor any particulars as the basis for this opinion. The sources and traditions most often cited in the speeches, pamphlets, newspapers, broadsheeets, and books of 1775-1776 in favor of the American Revolution are discussed in detail by Bernard Bailyn, the Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard University Press, 1967. Bailyn’s book invites consideration of a number of possible sources other than those listed specifically by Prof. Calhoon.

Rev. Caldwell’s sermon might have been inspired in part by a speech that James Otis, Jr. had made in 1764 and a pamphlet, “Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved,” against the Stamp Act and writs of assistance. Otis insisted that no distinction could be made be made between internal taxes or external taxes; in either case, the Parliament had no authority to levy them. Without American representatives, Parliament had no more right to tax Americans than to make two plus two five. The Massachusetts House of Representatives listened to Otis’ statements again and again, and sent a representative to London with a letter expressing the same views. John Adams, then a lawyer and later the second President of the United States, described it in these words:

“Otis was a flame of fire. With a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance of his eye into futurity, and a torrent of impetuous eloquence, he hurried away everything before him. American independence was then and there born; the seeds of patriots and heroes were then and there sown, to defend the vigorous youth. Every man of a crowded audience appeared to me to go away, as I did, ready to take arms against writs of assistance. Then and there was the first scene of the first act of opposition to arbitrary claims of Great Britain. Then and there the child Independence was born.” (quoted in Thomas Harvey, A Few Bloody Noses, supra, p. 60.)

The emotions elicited in Rev. Caldwell’s sermon would be similar to those that poet Robert Burns targeted when he subsequently wrote the poem and song, “Scots wha hae wi Wallace bled, published in 1794.

SCOTS wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,
Scots wham Bruce has often led,
Welcome to your gory bed,
Or to Victory!

Now’s the day and now’s the hour,
See the front of battle o’er,
See approach proud Edwards power,
Chains and slavery,

Wha will be a traitor knave,
Wha can fill a coward’s grave,
Wha will be so base a knave

Traitor coward turn and flee,
Wha for Scotlands King and laws
Freeman’s sword will strongly draw
Freeman stand or freeman fa
Caledonian on wi’ me

By oppressions woes and pains
By your sons in servile chains
We will drain our dearest veins
But they shall shall be free

Lay the proud usurper low
Tyrants fall in every blow
Liberty’s in every blow
Forward let us do or die!

Rev. Caruthers described David Caldwell as “judicious, vigilant, firm, and uncompromising in defence of whatever he regarded as important to the present or future benefit of mankind.” (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 201.)

Rev. Caruthers claims widespread support among members of the Buffalo and Alamance congregations for the patriot cause. “Although a large proportion of the men of Dr. Caldwell’s congregations were not only Regulators, but took an active part in that conflict” (The battle of Alamance, 1771) yet so far as the writer has been able to ascertain, none of them became Tories, nor is it known that there was a single Tory belonging to these congregations during the war.” (E.W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 170.) Samuel Meek Rankin has observed that the number of companies, each comprised of 30 to 40 men, formed under officers from these congregations substantiate this contention (Col. John Paisley; Capt. John Donnell, Capt. Daniel Gillepsie, Col. John Gillepsie, and Capt. Arthur Arbis). (Rankin, Samuel Meek. “Rankin and Wharton Families and their Genealogies,” Greensboro: Stone, 1931, citing Caruthers, supra, at pp. 171, 232.)

MOORES CREEK BRIDGE On February 27, 1776, the 4th North Carolina regiment —— many of which were from David Caldwell’s congregations —— gained success over Loyalist troops —— composed mostly of newly arrived Highlanders —— at Moores Creek Bridge. (——. “The Moore’s Creek Bridge Campaign, 1776.” North Carolina Historical Review 30 (January 1953), 23-60.) The list of participants can be found in B.G. Moss, Roster of the Patriots in the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge (Blacksburg, S.C.: Scotia-Hibernia Press, 1992. I have not checked whether David Caldwell’s brother, Alexander, appears on the roster. Only a few hundred soldiers were involved in this skirmish, but it gained historical significance because it ended the hopes of Loyalist supremacy in North Carolina. The Loyalists were identified and could not return home. (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, supra, p. 136.)

A FUGITIVE WITH A PRICE ON HIS HEAD Although many Presbyterian ministers suffered during the War, Gen. Cornwallis singled out Rev. David Caldwell and offered a £200 reward for his capture. Strong efforts were made to overtake and arrest him when he had fled for his life. The British soldiers plundered his house and burned his library and furniture. All the livestock were killed except one goose. Ramrods were driven into every square foot of ground around the house looking for buried valuables. His wife and eight children were forced by a British commander to confine themselves to a smokehouse for two days. They fed themselves by eating dried peaches that Rachel hid in her clothing. (Paula Stahls Jordan, Women of Guilford County, North Carolina : A Study Of Women’s Contributions, 1740-1979 / Paula Stahls Jordan, author; Kathy Warden Manning, researcher, 1979, p. 18.) A fighting companion of David Caldwell, Thomas McCuiston, stampeded some cattle across a bridge, at a bend in the road that could not be seen from David Caldwell’s house, creating a great deal of noise that frightened the soldiers away from the house.

During this time David Caldwell hid in a hut in a swampy area alongside Buffalo Creek about two miles north of his home. To trick Rachel into disclosing his whereabouts, Tories went to her and said that they needed David’s services to attend to the wounded. After she told them where he was hiding, she realized that she had been tricked. She prayed all night for his safety. David moved from his hut early the next day and escaped being caught by the British. Many in the community thought that he had been saved by divine intervention.

Rev. Caldwell’s success in eluding capture may have possibly contributed to the selection of this area as the location of the first undergound railroad depot in 1818 by his Quaker neighbor, Virgil Levi, for transportation of fugitive slaves north.

Although Rev. Caruthers biography described the efforts to capture Rev. Caldwell as the “harshest,” that is not really the case. “The war in the south was largely a civil war between Loyalist and Patriot former neighbours, and was characterised by brutality and cruelty on both sides. Massacres such as General Tarleton’s British Legion’s execution of Patriots attempting to surrender at Waxhaw in the Carolinas, and the killing of Loyalist and British prisoners of war by the Patriot Forces after the battle of King’s Mountain, came to overshadow the conflict. The whole region appears to have been in a state of anarchy, and an Irish officer on the British side observed that the “violence and passions of these people are beyond every curb of religion and humanity.” He left a graphic account of conditions prevailing in the Carolinas: “They are unbounded and every hour exhibit dreadful wanton mischiefs, murders and violence of every kind, unheard of before. We find the country in great measure abandoned, and the few who venture to remain at home are in hourly expectation of being murdered, or stripped of all their property.”(Robert A. McGeachy, The American War of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell of Inverneill, 2001, citing C. Hibbert, Redcoats and Rebels: The American Revolution Through British Eyes, New York, 1991, p. 272.)

HALIFAX CONVENTION On April 12, 1776, the 4th North Carolina Provincial Congress, in the first such act by a colony, authorized its delegates to the Continental Congress to vote for independence. North Carolina became the first of the colonial governments to call for total independence. Among the substantial factors contributing to this outcome is the inspiration provided by David Caldwell.

The 83 delegates at the Halifax Convention unanimously voted to accept the Halifax Resolves, which were recommendations directed to all colonies and their delegates assembled at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and which read:

“The Select Committee taking into Consideration the usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the King and Parliament of Britain against America, and the further Measures to be taken for frustrating the same, and for the better defence of this province reported as follows, to wit,

“It appears to your Committee that pursuant to the Plan concerted by the British Ministry for subjugating America, the King and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a Power over the Persons and Properties of the People unlimited and uncontrolled and disregarding their humble Petitions for Peace, Liberty and safety, have made divers Legislative Acts, denouncing War Famine and every Species of Calamity daily employed in destroying the People and committing the most horrid devastations on the Country. That Governors in different Colonies have declared Protection to Slaves who should imbrue their Hands in the Blood of their Masters. That the Ships belonging to America are declared prizes of War and many of them have been violently seized and confiscated in consequence of which multitudes of the people have been destroyed or from easy Circumstances reduced to the most Lamentable distress.

“And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the United Colonies and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother Country on Constitutional Principles, have procured no mitigation of the aforesaid Wrongs and usurpations and no hopes remain of obtaining redress by those Means alone which have been hitherto tried, Your Committee are of Opinion that the house should enter into the following Resolve, to wit

“Resolved that the delegates for this Colony in the Continental Congress be empowered to concur with the other delegates of the other Colonies in declaring Independency, and forming foreign Alliances, resolving to this Colony the Sole, and Exclusive right of forming a Constitution and Laws for this Colony, and of appointing delegates from time to time (under the direction of a general Representation thereof to meet the delegates of the other Colonies for such purposes as shall be hereafter pointed out.”

Rev. David Caldwell was a member of the convention at Halifax that formed the Constitution of the State of North Carolina, in 1776 (Stephen E. Messingill, North Carolina Votes on the Constitution: a Roster of Delegates to the State Ratification Conventions of 1788 and 1789, Raleigh, North Carolina: Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1988), and took an active interest in the political concerns of the country, “his opinion always carrying with it great weight.” (John Hill Wheeler (1806-1882), Historical Sketches of North Carolina, from 1584 to 1851, Philadelphia, Lippincott, Grambo and Company, 1851, p. 181.)

THE BATTLE AT THE GUILFORD COUNTY COURTHOUSE In moving to Guilford County, North Carolina, expecting to avoid the Indian attacks of western Pennsylvania and Virginia, Rev. David Caldwell was to find himself ironically at the center of one of the greatest battles of the Revolutionary War, the Battle at the Guilford County Courthouse. (See John Buchanan, The Road to Guilford Courthouse. The American Revolution in the Carolinas, New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1997; John Hairr, Guilford Courthouse, De Capo Press, 2002.) Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis’ more than 2000 British troops had been pursuing American General Nathanael Greene’s ragged 4,400 militia for months and achieved a Phyrric victory in March of 1781, when Greene was compelled to withdraw. Cornwallis suffered more than 500 dead and wounded, constituting one-fourth casualties among his own troops. Greene sustained about 300 dead and additional wounded, but the losses did not cripple his ability to continue fighting. The casualties of Cornwallis contributed to his defeat seven months later at Yorktown. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse was the clash that turned the tide of the Revolution.

The muskets fired lead slugs that left huge gaping wounds or mangled limbs. Many of the wounded were bayoneted, stripped of their boots and coats, and left naked. (William R. Polk, Polk’s Folly, supra, p. 119.) Charles Stedman wrote of the horrors of the battle:

“The night was remarkable for its darkness, accompanied with rain, which fell in torrents. Near fifty of the wounded, it is said, sinking under their aggravated miseries, expired before the morning. The crys [sic] of the wounded and dying, who remained on the field of action during the night exceeded all description. Such a complicated scene of horror and distress, it is hoped, for the sake of humanity, rarely occurs, even in a military life.” (Quoted in Thomas E. Baker, Another Such Victory: The Story of the American Defeat at Guilford County Courthouse That Helped Win the War of Independence, Eastern National, 1981, p. 76.)

While surgeon general at Valley Forge, physician Benjamin Rush had met Nathaneal Greene and regarded him as “timid, speculative, without enterprise.” British Lt. Col. Cornwallis saw another side of Greene and described him as a formidable and elusive adversary. Greene summed up his own abilities in a letter to French Minister, the Chevalier La Luzerne: “We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again.” (Christopher Hibbert, Redcoats and Rebels, W.W. Norton and Company, 2002, p. 313; Charles Bracelen Flood, Rise, And Fight Again. New York, 1976.) One biographer, Janie B. Cheaney, said of him: “If all the generals on both sides of the Revolutionary conflict were piled up and evaluated, Nathanael Greene should probably emerge at the very top for all-around generalship. Benedict Arnold was a better field commander; Sir William Howe may have had him beat for overall strategy; for sheer moral presence and character, nobody tops George Washington. But Greene combined all these qualities with practicality and shrewdness.”

The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in the vicinity of Greensboro has been a National Registered Historic Site since 1966. Located on the grounds is the Allen House, constructed about 1780, a log dwelling typical of the dwellings used by the early settlers. A Caldwell monument is erected along historic New Garden Road between the Visitor Center and the Guilford Courthouse. (Thomas E. Baker, The Monuments of Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, for sale at the Visitor Center.)

HILLSBORO CONVENTION Rev. David Caldwell also attended a North Carolina convention that met in a Presbyterian church in Hillsboro (formerly Hillsborough) beginning on July 21, 1788, that took under consideration whether to ratify the proposed U.S. Constitution. (John W. Moore, History of North Carolina, supra, p. 382; see generally, Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of North Carolina, convened at Hillsboro, on Monday the 21st of July, 1788, for the purpose of deliberating and determining on the Constitution recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia, the 17th day of September, 1787, to which is prefixed the said Constitution, Edenton, printed by Hodge and Wills, 1789.) He was the one of the leaders of the Republican Party, which favored the interests of small farmers in the western counties seeking a weak central government and a Bill of Rights to prevent government oppression. (John W. Moore, History of North Carolina, supra, p. 385.) The Federalists represented the interests of the eastern counties dominated by large plantation owners. (John W. Moore, History of North Carolina, supra, p. 381.) David Caldwell opposed ratification of the new Constitution unless it contained a Bill of Rights. He also objected to the phrase, “We the People,” rather than “We the States,” by pointing out that when the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, it cited each of the thirteen states separately, not the United States. The Republicans opposed the power to Congress to levy direct taxes. The scarcity of currency in North Carolina’s western counties was used as an argument against this provision. The anti-federalists expressed concern that reserving impeachment to the Congress would deprive the States of the ability to impeach their own representatives to Congress. Also of concern was a clause giving Congress control over the times, places and manner of holding elections. The anti-federalists feared consolidation of the States. The anti-federalists denounced the clause preventing suppression of the slave trade until 1808. The Federalists conceded that some of the criticism was valid, but stated that it would be better to adopt the Constitution first and amend it afterward. Ratification was defeated by a vote of 184 to 84. The convention voted to recommend a Bill of Rights and 26 other amendments. When a subsequently elected government took office, it voted to ratify the Constitution in 1789, the twelfth colony to do so. (Louise Irby Trenholme, The Ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina, etc., New York, New York, AMS Press, 1932, reprinted 1967.) During the time that North Carolina had been a holdout, some newspapers of other colonies that had already ratified the Constitution referred to North Carolina as a “foreign country.”

One historian supportive of David Caldwell’s anti-federalist views said of David Caldwell’s role in the convention: “No wiser or better man was known and his addresses were a tower of strength to any cause he favored.” (John W. Moore, History of North Carolina, p. 385, quoting Wheeler, vol. II, p. 131.) Another historian —— failing to disclose that David Caldwell was one of the leaders of the anti-federalist views that ultimately prevailed at the convention and ignoring the possibility that everyone’s mind was made up before the Convention —— stated that David Caldwell, “acquainted with books, rather than with men and the times, could not make much headway against men of more practical experience.” (Louise Irby Trenholme, Ratification of Federal Constitution In North Carolina, AMS Press, Inc., New York, 1967.) Rev. Caruthers wrote in his biography of Rev. Caldwell that the federalists seemed to have all the eloquent speakers but Rev. Caldwell had the majority of votes in the first convention, but not in the second, which ratified the Constitution, notwithstanding Rev. Caldwell’s opposition. Shortly afterwards, the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution.

Any assessment of David Caldwell’s impact should include a review of the press, something I have not yet done. The first newspaper issued in North Carolina after the Revolutionary War was the North Carolina Gazette published at New Bern by Robert Keith in 1783. (Stephen B. Weeks, The Press of North Carolina in the Eighteenth Century, Brooklyn, N.Y., Historical Printing Club, (1891), p. 35.) The four issues of the Fayettville Gazette for 1789 now in existence contain articles favoring and opposing the ratification of the federal constitution. (Louise Irby Trenholme, The Ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina, etc., New York, New York, AMS Press, 1932, 1967, p. 27). The State Gazette of North Carolina was published in both New Bern and in Edenton, North Carolina prior to 1790. Copies of North Carolina items in the State Gazette of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.) and Gazette of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.), Connecticut Courant (Hartford, Conn.), and Norwich Packet (Norwich, Conn.) are in the archives of the North Carolina Historical Association, Raleigh, North Carolina.

During the debates, of the first convention the Federalists, led by the eloquent speaker, James Iredell, soon to be one of the Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court appointed by President Washington, argued that the power of the federal government was limited by its enumerated powers, none of which permitted it to restrict the right of peaceable assembly, freedom of speech, religion, or redress of grievances. The federalists argued that a Bill of Rights was not necessary to guarantee that the federal government would not deprive the people of such rights. Recognizing that the anti-federalists had an uncertain majority of votes and hoping to persuade those who were undecided or weak in their opposition to swing their vote toward ratification of the proposed Constitution, as had been accomplished by federalists in Massachusetts, the federalists insisted that the individual provisions be discussed one by one.

Rev. David Caldwell’s principal comment was that each provision must be assessed by a seemingly innocuous criteria that served as a springboard for others to launch into criticism of ambiguities —— real or imaginary —— that would invite abuse of power. He stated:

“Mr. President, the subject before us is of a complicated nature. In order to obviate the difficulty attending its discussion, I conceive that it will be necessary to lay down such rules or maxims as ought to be the fundamental principles of every free government; and after laying down such rules, to compare the Constitution with them, and see whether it has attended to them; for if it be not founded on such principles, it cannot be proper for our adoption.

“Mr. Chairman, those maxims which I conceive to be the fundamental principles of every safe and free government, are —— 1st. A government is a compact between the rulers and the people, 2d. Such a compact ought to be lawful in itself. 3d. It ought to be lawfully executed. 4th. Unalienable rights ought not to be given up, if not necessary. 5th. The compact ought to be mutual. And, 6th. It ought to be plain, obvious, and easily understood. Now, sir, if these principles be just, by comparing the Constitution with them, we shall be able to judge whether it is fit for our adoption.” (Jonathan Elliot, ed., The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, “Debates in the Convention of the State of North Carolina, on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, July 24, 1788,” 2d ed.; 4 vols., Washington, D.C., 1836.)

Mr. Iredell was the first to respond:

“[I] am convinced we shall be involved in very great difficulties if we adopt the principles offered by the gentleman from Guilford. To show the danger and impolicy of this proceeding, I think I can convince the committee in a moment, that his very first principle is erroneous. In other countries, where the origin of government is obscure, and its formation different from ours, government may be deemed a contract between the rulers and the people. What is the consequence? A compact cannot be annulled but by the consent of both parties; therefore, unless the rulers are guilty of oppression, the people, on the principle of a compact, have no right to new-model their government. This is held to be the principle of some monarchical governments in Europe. Our government is founded on much nobler principles. The people are known with certainty to have originated it themselves. Those in power are their servants and agents; and the people, without their consent, may new-model their government whenever they think proper, not merely because it is oppressively exercised, but because they think another form will be more conducive to their welfare. It is upon the footing of this very principle that we are now met to consider of the Constitution before us. If we attempt to lay down any rules here, it will take us as much time to establish their validity as to consider the system itself.”

Mr. Goudy sided with Rev. Caldwell after one other federalist had expressed support for Mr. Iredell’s reply.

“Mr. Chairman, I wonder that these gentlemen, learned in the law, should quibble upon words. I care not whether it be called a compact, agreement, covenant, bargain, or what. Its intent is a concession of power, on the part of the people, to their rulers. We know that private interest governs mankind generally. Power belongs originally to the people; but if rulers be not well guarded, that power may be usurped from them. People ought to be cautious in giving away power. These gentlemen say there is no occasion for general rules: every one has one for himself. Every one has an unalienable right of thinking for himself. There can be no inconvenience from laying down general rules. If we give away more power than we ought, we put ourselves in the situation of a man who puts on an iron glove, which he can never take off till he breaks his arm. Let us beware of the iron glove of tyranny. Power is generally taken from the people by imposing on their understanding, or by fetters. Let us lay down certain rules to govern our proceedings. It will be highly proper, in my opinion, and I very much wonder that gentlemen should object to it.”

Mr. Iredell:

“Mr. Chairman, the gentleman who spoke last mistook what the gentleman from Wilmington and myself have said. In my opinion, there ought to be a line drawn, as accurately as possible, between the power which is given and that which is retained. In this system, the line is most accurately drawn by the positive grant of the powers of the general government. But a compact between the rulers and the ruled, which gentlemen compare this government with, is certainly not the principle of our government. Will any man say that, if there be a compact, it can be altered without the consent of both parties? Those who govern, unless they grossly abuse their trust, (which is held au implied violation of the compact, and therefore a dissolution of it,) have a right to say they do not choose the government should be changed. But have any of the officers of our government a right to say so if the people choose to change it? Surely they have not. Therefore, as a general principle, it can never apply to a government where the people are avowedly the fountain of all power. I have no manner of objection to the most explicit declaration that all power depends upon the people; because, though it will not strengthen their rights, it may be the means of fixing them on a plainer foundation. One gentleman has said that we were quibbling upon words. If I know my own heart, I am incapable of quibbling on words. I act on as independent principles as any gentleman upon the floor. If I make use of quibbles, there are gentlemen here who can correct me. If my premises are wrong, let them be attacked. If my conclusions be wrong, let me be put right. I am sorry that, in debating on so important a subject, it could be thought that we were disputing about words. I am willing to apply as much time as is necessary for our deliberations. I have no objection to any regular way of discussing the subject; but this way of proceeding will waste time, and not answer any purpose. Will it not be in the power of any gentleman, in the course of the debates, to say that this plan militates against those principles which the reverend gentleman recommends? Will it not be more proper to urge its incompatibility with those principles during that discussion, than to attempt to establish their exclusive validity previous to our entering upon the new plan of government? By the former mode, those rules and the Constitution may be considered together. By the latter, much time may be wasted to no purpose. I trust, therefore, that the reverend gentleman will withdraw his motion.”

Rev. Caldwell expressed concern that the Constitution permitted a standing army that potentialy might weaken or even lead to elimination of the state militia. “Those things which can be, may be.” (quoted in Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard: Belknap Press, enlarged edtion, 1992, p. 340.)

One cause of its rejection by this Convention was a letter of Thomas Jefferson, which was read in the Convention; that while the most philosophic of our statesmen were desirous that nine states should ratify, and thus secure the new government, still he recommended that four should reject, and thus insure the proposed amendments. (Wheeler, Reminisces, supra, 1884, p. 324.)

The ambiguity in the Constitution that Rev. Caldwell feared would leave federal power unchecked today is viewed by most constitutional scholars as one of the Constitution’s virtues, by allowing adaptation to changing needs. The first amendment, encompassing the right of free speech, assembly, and practice of religion, has lived up to its objective as a major restraint of governmental power. The second amendment, protecting the people’s right to bear arms, has been rendered virtually useless as a limit upon government power. The fourth amendment, relating to governmental searches and seizures, has been so watered down by the courts, that it is news when the Supreme Court unexpectedly renders a decision strengthening it. Because of a number of Supreme Court opinions rendered in the last fifty years, the fifth and sixth amendments’ provisions, intended to ensure a fair judicial process, have never so strongly limited governmental power as they do today. The eighth amendment’s bar upon cruel and unusual punishment continues as an effective restraint of limited applicability. Some legal scholars regard the tenth amendment, reserving to the States the powers not expressly granted to the federal government, as unable to pass the giggle test, but it has recently been strengthened by Supreme Court conservative justices favoring diversity among the states (federalism) as a restraint upon congressional power. The Court retreated from past decisions that went far in upholding an enumerated congressional power to regulate any activity “affecting” interstate commerce. The Constitution’s checks and balances have well served to prevent abuses of executive power, yet permitted the expansion of executive power that Rev. Caldwell sought to avoid.

Virtually all of the arguments that Rev. Caldwell presented at the debates were previously published by Richard Henry Lee, The Observations of the Federal Farmer, 1787, as reprinted in The Anti-Federalist, ed. by Herbert J. Strong, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1981, pp. 27-30, and Forrestr McDonald, ed., Empire and Nation, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1962, pp. 110-111, 120. Lee was a signator to the Declaration of Independence and before Patrick Henry, the leader of the House of Burgesses in Virginia. (See, The Anti-Federalist, ed. by Herbert J. Strong, supra, pp. 26-27.) Unlike Rev. Caldwell, Lee openly adovcated freedom for slaves. (A. J. Langgeth, Patriots, supra, p. 343.) Lee is also said to have whipped some of his slaves.

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH In 1788, as a preliminary step to establishment of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, the Synod of the Carolinas was established, which included Rev. David Caldwell and others. Caruthers declared: “These learned and godly men had been without exception, active agents in procuring the liberties of America.” (John W. Moore, History of North Carolina, supra, p. 404.)

In 1789, the Synod enjoined heads of families to provide religious instruction of slaves and teaching them to read the Bible.

In 1800 the Presbyterian General Assembly appointed John Chavis, a “free negro,” to work in North Carolina and Virginia to serve as a missionary to other African-Americans.

In 1812 the Presbytery of Fayetteville was formed by a division of the Presbytery of Orange. Within seven years this presbytery has grown from eight to thirty two congregations, but the number of ministers had grown from eight to eleven.

The Synod of North Carolina was organized at Alamance Church on October 7, 1813. The first pastor, Dr. David Caldwell, served as the first Moderator of the Synod of the Carolinas and served as the host pastor when the Synod of North Carolina met at Alamance Church. This was the precursor to the Presbyterian Church of the United States. This event occurred at a time when the United States was engaged in debate over whether or not slavery should be permitted in territories seeking admission as states.

In 1818 the General Assembly declared in an unanimously adopted report:

“We consider the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another…utterly inconsistent with the law of God…and…totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the Gospel of Christ…It is manifestly the duty of all Christians who enjoy the light of the present day…as speedily as possible to efface this blot on our holy religion, and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery throughout Christendom, and if possible, through the world.” Freely admitting the dangers of immediate emancipation, the report exhorted Presbyterians to increase their exertions for a “total abolition of slavery,” and cautioned against the danger of the demand for delay being used as a “cover for the love or practice of slavery, or a pretence for not using efforts that are lawful and practicable to extinguish the evil.” (Lewis G. Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1932, p. 25.)

In 1825, the Assembly commended the increasing attention of the Presbyterian Church to the religious instruction of the slaves: “No more honored name can be conferred on a minister of Jesus Christ than that of Apostle to the American slaves…” (Id.)

The Presbyterian Church congregations became increasingly divided over the issue of slavery. A resolution before the Presbyterian Assembly in 1835 stated that the Church should take no position on such a divisive question. (Lewis G. Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, supra, p. 32; Edmund Moore, Robert J. Breckinridge and the Slavery Aspect of the Presbyterian Schism of 1837, Chicago, 1935; Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Synod of Kentucky, An Address to the Presbyterians of Kentucky, proposing a Plan for the Instruction and Emancipation of Their Slaves, by a Committee of the Synod of Kentucky, Cincinnati, Taylor and Tracy, 1835; Lewis George Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1932.)

ENSLAVER OR ABOLITIONIST? Rev. David Caldwell was brought up in a family that did not own slaves.

His father, Andrew Caldwell (aka Calwell) died in 1757, survived by his wife, Martha, and four sons, David, Andrew, Alexander, and John Caldwell, all residing in Drumore Township, Lancaster County, Colonial Pennsylvania. Lancaster County was to become a major source of the abolitionist movement by 1775. An underground railroad depot was established at Drumore Township. (An Underground Station in Drumore Township / by I. C. Arnold. Lancaster, Pa: Lancaster County Historical Society, 1951.) The “depot” was comprised chiefly of root cellars of farm houses.

Included in Ellis Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, vol. 2, 1883, available at the LDS Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, are the assessor’s return of all the heads of households of Drumore Township, Pennsylvania, and their acreage, for the years 1759, 1769, and 1780. In 1759 Alexander Calwell [third son of Andrew and Martha Caldwell] is listed the head of the household of a 300 acre farm. His oldest brother, David Caldwell, is listed as a freeholder.

As shown by the 1759 Lancaster County survey, Scotch-Irish owned more slaves in Drumore Township than owned by anyone else anywhere in Lancaster County. Yet none were owned by any of the Caldwells in Lancaster Co. as of 1759. Other sources are to the same effect — the Lancaster County Septennial [every 7th year] Census. The 1780 Lancaster census does not show any slaves owned by John and Andrew Caldwell. (cf. Slaves in Lancaster County in 1780. Handwritten copy of the 1780 Slave Register for that county. Not dated. Manuscript collection of the Lancaster County Historical Society; MG-240, “The Slave Records of Lancaster County Collection,” Box 1, Folder 2.)

The return for 1780 has Andrew and John Caldwell [2d and 4th sons of Andrew and Martha Caldwell] listed as owning 400 acres, the most anyone then owned in Drumore Township. By then purchase of slaves had been outlawed in Pennsylvania, and the existing ownership of slaves was expected to fade away within a generation. Under the Pennsylsvania Emancipation Act of 1780, any children born of slaves were to be emancipated on their 28th birthday. Indentured servitude continued for decades. This gradualist approach respected the property and economic interests of existing slaveowners, did not require government compensation for the taking of property, but displeased those abolitionists who regarded slavery as a Biblical or moral sin, for which nothing but immediate freeing of the slaves would suffice.

The Rev. David Caldwell, while living in what is now known as Greensboro, North Carolina, is known to have owned 8 to 9 slaves, according to the 1790 and 1820 U.S. census. The price of one slave was approximately equal to 100 acres in 1800. It is unknown precisely what were his reasons for owning slaves. Perhaps indentured servants and plentiful supply of labor were unavailable, and slaves were far more economical. An alternative reason might have been to own slaves so that he could allow them as much liberty as the law would allow. The so-called slaves were in actuality free to leave should they express that desire. In 1808, Greensboro Quakers were prosecuted and convicted for liberating slaves but not compelling them to leave the State, as required by statute. Thereafter, the Quakers, and many in David Caldwell’s congregations, owned slaves, but treated them as family, and allowed them as much freedom as they desired. (Peter Kent Opper,“North Carolina Quakers: Reluctant Slaveholders,” North Carolina Historical Review 52 (January 1975): 20-36.) Families of slaves were not broken up. Any who wanted to leave for a free state could. The majority of David Caldwell’s congregations adopted this practice. (Samuel Meek Rankin, History of Buffalo Presbyterian Church and its People, privately printed, 1910.)

About 100,000 slaves fled to the North during the War of Independence from Georgia, the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia, but apparently David Caldwell’s slaves stayed with him. Possibly his slaves may not have wanted to flee, especially if they were aged, their work duties were light, or Rev. Caldwell treated them with respect and kindness. Observers noted that black Americans were more integrated with the whites in the South than in the North. In the South, white and black Americans could be seen working alongside one another, whereas in the north, the blacks would be shunned by their white counterparts.

Mere ownership of slaves did not necessarily mean that David Caldwell was not critical of slavery and unwilling to work toward its abolition. It was not uncommon for prominent slave owners, such as George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson, to own slaves and yet denounce the institution of slavery. (Paul Johnson, The Birth of the Modern, Harper Collins Pub., 1992, pp. 303-305.) Virginia was the first colony to prohibit the importation of slaves. Jefferson wrote that he feared abolition of slavery would lead to a race war. The master-servant relationship provided no assurance of support for blacks in their old age. Free black Americans had far greater unemployment than similarly situated whites. Jefferson might be regarded as an antidisestablishmentarianist, a term used in reference to individuals in England who had opposed the establishment of a state-religion but rejected its immediate abolition on the grounds sudden disestablishment would be too disruptive. Jefferson offered bounties in newspapers for the capture and return of runaway slaves and is said to have them flogged. In contrast to Washington, he did not free his slaves upon his death, except the children of one of his servants. DNA evidence has established he fathered these children. No evidence has ever been revealed that Rev. Caldwell ever offered a reward for the return of a runaway slave, much less that any had fled him.

In 1818 the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church declared in an unanimously adopted report, “We consider the voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another…utterly inconsistent with the law of God…and…totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the Gospel of Christ…It is manifestly the duty of all Christians who enjoy the light of the present day…as speedily as possible to efface this blot on our holy religion, and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery throughout Christendom, and if possible, through the world.” Freely admitting the dangers of immediate emancipation, the report exhorted Presbyterians to increase their exertions for a “total abolition of slavery,” and cautioned against the danger of the demand for delay being used as a “cover for the love or practice of slavery, or a pretence for not using efforts that are lawful and practicable to extinguish the evil.”(Lewis G. Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1932, p. 25.)

Rev. David Caldwell may well have been of the same view. Similarly, his son, Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, a slave owner, was known to have voiced criticism of slavery.

In 1818, Quaker Vestal Coffin organized the Underground Railroad, setting up the first depot in the thicket behind David Caldwell’s farm, to transport refugee slaves to the free states north of Kentucky. Levi Coffin, his cousin, was the leader of the national organization. (See Levi Coffin, 1798-1877, Reminiscences of Levi Coffin, the Reputed President of the Underground Railroad, Cincinnati, 1876, reprinted by AMS, New York, 1971.)

Levi Coffin describes some incidents in his youth that were significant in forming his anti-slavery belief. One of these involved Rev. David Caldwell. During his younger years he lived about a mile and half from Rev. David Caldwell’s farm in Greensboro. He recalls that the Rev. Caldwell decided to make a present of a slave Ede (owned by a third person) to his son, Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, a Presbyterian minister, who resided about 100 miles away, in Charlotte. The change in ownership meant that Ede would be forced to leave her husband (owned by yet another master) and three of her four children, taking only the youngest, a baby a few months old. Upon learning of the impending separation, Ede ran away and hid in the woods, taking her baby with her. After provisions ran out within a few days, she made her way to the house where Levi Coffin resided. Faced with penalty of death for harboring a slave, Levi Coffin returned her to her master, but pleaded for leniency. The master relented and Ede was not sent away. Shortly afterwards, the Underground railroad was established.

Levi Coffin reports that the thickets between Caldwell’s farm and that of Coffin’s father thereafter served as a “good hiding place for fugitive slaves.” Coffin states that Caldwell’s slaves helped the fugitives with supplies while they remained hidden in the woods.

In 1821 Levi Coffin decided to teach slaves to read. “We knew that the Caldwell family —— the old doctor, and two or three of his sons who lived on their own plantations —— and a few other slaveholders, were lenient and would have no objection to our teaching their slaves to read the Bible.” Their desired permission was obtained. He quotes a prayer at one of these Bible classes from Uncle Frank, one of Thomas Caldwell’s slaves: “Oh, Lord, teach us to be good sarvents, and touch our massas’ hearts and make’em tender, so dey will not lay de whips to our bare backs, and you, great Massa, shall have all de glory and praise. Amen.” The Bible teaching was discontinued when other slaveowners objected, and “threatened to put the law in force against us.”

Rev. Coffin writes: “Strange as it may seem to us now, there were then no Sabbath schools in that part of the country, either among Friends or other religious denominations.”

In actuality, by 1818, Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell had set up Sunday schools at almost every church in Mecklenburg “at which Black people are taught to read.” (Letter of Samuel C. Caldwell, September 22, 1818, reprinted in Religious Intellingencer, Nov. 14, 1818, p. 377, cited in Ernest Thompson, Presbyterians in the South, Vol. 1, p. 206.)

Levi Coffin’s book implies that Rev. David Caldwell, through his employees, indirectly supported the underground railroad. But Coffin never went so far as to credit Rev. Caldwell with being a sponsor or more active participant in the underground railroad.

Levi Coffin mentions perplexity that whenever searches were made of the thicket looking for fugitive slaves, they were nowhere to be found. Recent excavations revealed a 120 foot long tunnel west of the house foundation of the Rev. David Caldwell’s Log College. 000531a.htm. Perhaps this served as temporary shelter for refugee slaves.

An outspoken local advocate of the abolitionist movement was a Greensboro resident and Quaker, William Swaim, 1802-1835. (See generally, Ethel Stephens Arnett, William Swaim: Fighting Editor; the Story of O. Henry’s Grandfather, Greensboro, North Carolina, Piedmont Press, 1963; Ethel Stephens Arnett, William Swaim: Fighting Editor; the Story of O. Henry’s Grandfather, Greensboro, 1963; Manumission Society of North Carolina, An, North Carolina, Piedmont Press, Address to the People of North Carolina on the Evils of Slavery/The Friends of Liberty and Equality, William Swaim, printer. Greensborough, North Carolina 1830) His publishing company eventually published David Caldwell’s biography in 1842. (Eli W. Caruthers (1793-1865), A Sketch of the Life And Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D, near Sixty Years Pastor of the Churches of Buffalo and Alamance, Greensborough, North Carolina, Printers: Swaim and Sherwood, 1842.)

Rev. David Caldwell’s close friend and mentor, Benjamin Rush, M.D., (1745-1813) in Philadelphia, was a prominent abolitionist. Rush published a pamphlet on the inequity of the slave trade in 1773, “An Address to the Inhabitants of the British Settlements in America upon Slave Keeping,” in which he claimed that the black American was not racially inferior —— his skin color was a mere adaption to the climate ——- and with the aid of education, religious training, and founding of Negro churches, would reach the same level of achievement as any white man of similar opportunity. In 1774 Rush helped organize and a society for abolition of slavery and served as its President in 1803 and for several additional years. (cf. Donald J. D’Elia, “Dr. Benjamin Rush and the Negro,” in The American Enlightenment, ed. by Frank Shuttelton, University of Rochester Press, 1993, pp. 116-125.)

During the time that Rev. John Witherspoon served as President of the College of New Jersey, he had both a black and an American Indian enrolled as pupils. He advocated equality of opportunity regardless of race.

Rev. David Caldwell had been a colleague of Rev. Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith, D.D. (1751-1819), who served as President of the College of New Jersey (renamed Princeton University) from 1795 to 1812. David Caldwell had graduated from that College in 1761. Dr. Smith’s teachings included the idea that slavery was incompatible with the Bible and a moral sin. (See George Bourne (1780-1845), The Book and Slavery Irreconcilable, with Animadversions upon Dr. Smith’s Philosophy, Philadelphia: J. M. Sanderson, 1816; Mark A. Noll, Princeton and the Republic: The Search for a Christian Enlightenment in the Era of Samuel Stanhope Smith, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.)

Many of the New Side Presbyterian churches in East Tennessee welcomed blacks into their churches, provided schooling, and supported the abolitionist movement, including underground railroad stations.

Among this circle of friends, Rev. Caldwell may well have expressed sympathies to the abolitionist cause.

Since David Caldwell was not a large plantation owner growing crops for export, but what I would affectionately characterize as a Piedmont pea-picker growing only for consumption on his farm, he had a minimal if any economic stake in preserving slavery and his congregation of small farmers were predisposed to avenge perceived injustices attributed to large plantation owners

The Rev. David Caldwell was succeeded at the Buffalo and Alamance Presbyterian Church by Rev. Eli Washington Caruthers. Rev. Caruthers, born in Rowan County, had graduated from Princeton in 1817. He served as pastor of the Alamance Presbyterian Church from 1821 to 1861, and is believed to have had his employment terminated because of his opposition to slavery. (cf. John Spencer Bassett, Anti-Slavery Leaders of North Carolina, Baltimore: The John Hopkins Press, 1898.) He avoided all discussion in his biography of David Caldwell about David’s attitudes towards slavery and whether David ever had an African-American congregation.

As a successor pastor to David Caldwell, Rev. Caruthers possibly may have himself been a participant in the Underground Railroad. His stove pipe hat helped him resemble Abraham Lincoln. He wrote a book advocating abolition of slavery which he never published, entitled “American Slavery and the Immediate Duty of the Slaveholders.” He quoted Matthew 25:35-40 (duty of providing food, drink,clothing, and shelter) and Deuteronomy 25:15-16 (forbidding returning escaped slaves to masters). When the Underground Railroad was established, he would have been only age 26, just one year after graduation from Princeton, idealistic, and deferential to Rev. Caldwell. Congress had passed the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, making it illegal to assist escaping slaves, but it was widely defied by abolitionists who deemed it as anti-Biblical.

Attitudes towards African-Americans became harsher after the death of David Caldwell and his son, Samuel Craighead Caldwell. In 1830-1831, North Carolina legislature voted to prohibit teaching slaves how to read. In his book opposing slavery, Rev. Caruthers strongly criticized this legislation. In 1835 the North Carolina Constitutional Convention of 1835 voted to abolish “free Negro” suffrage. (See generally, Thomas D. Morris, Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860, University of North Carolina Press, 1996.) Among reasons for the increased hostility towards African-Americans may have been the fears attendant to a greatly increasing number of slaves between 1790 and 1830. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 coupled with increased migration into the territory west of the Alleghenies had increased production of cotton and the demand for slave labor.

The Presbyterian Church became increasingly divided over the issue of slavery. (Lewis G. Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, supra, p. 32; Edmund Moore, Robert J. Breckinridge and the Slavery Aspect of the Presbyterian Schism of 1837, Chicago, 1935; Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Synod of Kentucky, An Address to the Presbyterians of Kentucky, proposing a Plan for the Instruction and Emancipation of Their Slaves, by a Committee of the Synod of Kentucky, Cincinnati, Taylor and Tracy, 1835; Lewis George Vander Velde, The Presbyterian Churches and the Federal Union, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1932.) The congregations in western North Carolina tended to be much more anti-slavery than those of the east coast.

The national assembly of the Presbyterian church made several formal declarations against slavery between 1787 and 1836, culminating in the 1837-1838 schism in which the southern congregations formed their own southern branch, distinct from the northern organization. Today these branches have reunited, and are known as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A).

COUNTRY DOCTOR Biographer Rev. Caruthers reports that David Caldwell practiced medicine as a “country doctor” though not formally trained as a physician, and became commonly known as Dr. Caldwell, long before he acquired the degree of Doctor of Medicine. A visiting physician, Dr. Woodsides, had died and bequeathed his books to David Caldwell. Rev. Caruthers states that David Caldwell read all of the medical books he could obtain and sought to learn as much as he could of medicine because there was no physician nearby to serve his congregation.

It is unknown what happened to Rev. Caldwell’s collection of medical books upon his death. There were several kin with interest in these books. One of his sons, David Caldwell, was a physician, and resided in Greensboro. David Caldwell, M.D., married Susan Clark on July 15, 1811 in Guilford Co. Perhaps they became part of the collection of his grandson, David Thomas Caldwell, a resident of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. The University of North Carolina has a special collection of papers related to David Caldwell, as well as the medical journals and family correspondence of David Thomas Caldwell.

David Thomas Caldwell received his early education from his father Samuel Craighead Caldwell at the classical school at Sugaw Creek. He attended and obtained an A.M. Degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He obtained a M.D. from the State University of Pennsylvania circa 1820, studying under Dr. McKenzie, and served as one of Mecklenburg County’s few doctors.

Harriet and David Thomas Caldwell’s son, Dr. William Davidson Caldwell (1829-68), was a surgeon in the Confederate Army. He married Abigail Dunlap. Their daughter, Miriam Abigail Caldwell (1860-1927), married James Hall in 1884.

There are numerous books delving into Colonial American medicine. E.g., Oscar Reiss, M.D., Medicine and the American Revolution, McFarland & Company; Zachary B. Friedenberg M.D., The Doctor in Colonial America, Rutledge Books, Inc; Oscar Reiss M.D., Medicine in Colonial America, University Press of America; Guy Williams, The Age of Agony, Academy Chicago Publishers; Morris Harold Saffron, Surgeon to Washington, Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807, Columbia University Press; Susan Neiburg Terkel, Colonial American Medicine, New York, Franklin Watts, 1993; C. Keith Wilbur, M.D., Revolutionary Medicine 1700 – 1800 (Second Edition), 10-13, The Globe Pequot Press, Old Saybrook, Conn., 1997.

Eighteenth century doctors did not know of effective treatment for cholera or tuberculosis, but they had learned how to treat smallpox. Jesuit Peruvian Bark, which contained the agent quinine, was found to work. Medicine had not yet recognized the need to avoid high cumulative doses, associated with delayed onset of severe loss of hearing (hypoacusis) in later life. By 1808 the first vaccines were coming into use.

The medical books of the late eighteenth century attributed malaria to swamp water. Typical of available medical texts used by country practitioners was that of William Buchan, Domestic Medicine, 1785. The text is available on the internet: http:// americanrevolution. org/ medicine. html [spacing inserted to preserve webpage reference] There had not yet been a recognition of the role of the mosquito. In his 1785 textbook, Domestic Medcine, William Buchan wrote: “Agues [malaria] are occasioned by effluvia from putrid stagnating water. This is evident from their abounding in rainy seasons, and being most frequent in countries where the soil is marshy, as in Holland, the Fens of Cambridgeshire, the Hundreds of Essex, &c. This disease may also be occasioned by eating too much stone fruit, by a poor watery diet, damp houses, evening dews, lying upon the damp ground, watching, fatigue, depressing passions, and the like. When the inhabitants of a high country remove to a low one, they are generally seized with intermitting fevers, and to such the disease is most apt to prove fatal. In a word, whatever relaxes the solids, diminishes the perspiration, or obstructs the circulation in the capillary or small vessels, disposes the body to agues.”

Rev. David Caldwell might have been among the few doctors who recognized the symptoms and knew how to treat opium addiction.

Medical knowledge of midwifery or obstetrics was very limited. The leading textbook was by William Smellie (1697-1763), a native of Lanark, Scotland, who first began to teach midwifery in 1741, and considered the founder of modern day obstetrics. The first volume of A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Midwifery was published in 1742, with the third volume of the fourth edition appearing in 1764.

During Rev. David Caldwell’s lifetime, only arsenic and mercury, in the form of vapor baths, ointment, and orally, were available for treatment of syphilis. These agents proved effective if given early enough. More effective potassium iodide did not become available until more than a decade after David Caldwell’s death. The antibiotic properties of Penicillin remained undiscovered for more than a century .

When Rev. David Caldwell began practicing medicine, the notion that clinical practice should be based upon evidence of the efficacy of the practice rather than tradition had already taken root. James Lind, a ship’s surgeon, had conducted a clinical trial in 1747, testing whether the dreaded disease of scurvy could be cured. He divided twelve seamen into six groups, each receiving different treatment. The group that ate two oranges and one lemon daily were cured after six days, a far better outcome than achieved with any of the alternate treatments.

The oldest known clinical trial is described in the Bible:

“Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, ‘Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.’ So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and
better nourished than any of the young men who ate the
royal food.”

—— Daniel 1:11-15

Morphine became available as a pain killer at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Although drug addiction was a common ailment among physicians, there is no hint that the Rev. David Caldwell ever abused the substance or became addicted.

Rev. David Caldwell might have subscribed to the Philadelphia Medical and Physical Journal.

Rev. David Caldwell corresponded often with Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) a Professor of Chemistry at the school of medicine at the College of Philadelphia, whom he had first met at the College of New Jersey. (E. W. Caruthers, The Life and Character of David Caldwell, D.D., supra, p. 41.)

Dr. Rush had grown up nearby and had attended West Nottingham Academy in what is now Rising Sun, Maryland, and probably knew a lot of the first members of the Buffalo Church congregation who had migrated from Rising Sun to what is now Greensboro, North Carolina.

Dr. Rush is considered one of the greatest physicians in American history. Dr. Rush was a man of contradiction: he practiced the backward art of bloodletting and purging, yet was far ahead of his time in the treatment of the mentally ill. He served a year as Surgeon General of the Middle Department of the Army during the Revolutionary War but resigned in 1778 when Gen. George Washington did not support his complaint that his superior was mismanaging military hospitals. Rev. Caruthers reports that Dr. Rush treated one of David Caldwell’s daughters, who had some undefined brain pathology. It might have been hydrocephalus, a congenital or acquired disorder in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates within the ventricles of the brain and applies increased pressure against the adjacent brain tissue, gradually depriving it of its blood supply. Dr. Rush was considered the leading authority on hydrocephalus.

Dr. Rush wrote the first American textbook on psychiatry, Medical Inquiries and Observations upon the Diseases of the Mind. The American Psychiatric Association has designated him as the “Father of American Psychiatry.” The association’s official seal bears his portrait.

Dr. Rush founded the Philadelphia Dispensary for the relief of the poor, the first of its kind in the United States. He founded Dickinson College in 1783, a Presbyterian sectarian college, and thereafter served as one of its trustees. He was a Professor of Chemistry at the medical school of the College of Philadelphia (known today as the University of Pennsylvania).

Dr. Rush is credited with discovering that alcoholism is a disease. He called for restriction of alcohol and tobacco use. He worked to treat the sick during the outbreak of yellow fever in 1793 in Philadelphia, successfully applying certain medications, but was censured for his debilitating practice of bloodletting. He resigned his position from the College of Physicians in 1793 because of a dispute over this practice.

Dr. Rush published a pamphlet on the inequity of the slave trade and in 1774 helped organize and a society for abolition of slavery and served as its President in 1803 and for several additional years. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Convention in 1776 that advocated independence, the Continental Congress in 1776, and was one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. President Adams appointed him Treasurer of the Mint, an office that he held until his death. He was a vigorous proponent of prison and penal reform (including attacks on capital punishment, and advocating replacement of public punishment with solitary confinement), free public schools, and other social progress. (Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, Princeton University Press, 1978.)

The curriculum of the College of Philadelphia, which included practical studies and science, may have influenced the curriculum of David Caldwell’s Log College. The College of Philadelphia was the first college in the United States that introduced a curriculum not deriving from a medieval tradition nor intending to serve a religious purpose, but reflecting the ideas of the Enlightenment. The College supported professorships of mathematics, physics, medicine, and chemistry.

Without application for it, but in recognition of his knowledge of medicine, David Caldwell received a medical diploma from the medical department of the College of Philadelphia, now known as the University of Pennsylvania. (Ethel Stephens Arnett, Greensboro North Carolina, The County Seat of Guilford, Chapel Hill, Univ. of North Carolina Press, pp. 343-344.) The University’s collection includes correspondence between Dr. Rush and David Caldwell.

We have no information how successful Rev. Caldwell was in treating patients. If we give substantial weight to his near 100 years of life, we would have to say he knew well how to maintain health. Perhaps he avoided the bloodletting favored by Dr. Rush, but which contributed to the death of President George Washington.

Rev. David Caldwell’s mentor, Dr. Benjamin Rush, was never charged with murder, witchcraft, vampirism, or quakery. But he did realize that the procedures he favored —— bleeding, blistering, purging, and vomiting, all intended to counter what he suspected or presumed was the cause of illness, overstimulation —— were being strongly challenged. In Benjamin Rush’s Medical Observations and Inquiries, J. Conrad & Co., 1805, he defended these practices.

“Bleeding was usually the initial treatment. It consisted of venesection (opening up a vein), scarification (using a spring-loaded instrument to produce a series of small cuts), or cupping (placing a warmed glass cup over a cut which filled with blood as the pressure inside dropped). Blistering involved placing hot plasters onto the skin to raise blisters, which were then drained. The most common purgative was Calomel, a form of mercuric chloride which worked as a laxative in small doses, but usually was prescribed in large doses to purge the system.”

Rush favored bloodletting as treatment during a time in which the ability of a doctor to make an accurate diagnosis for purposes of selecting a specific effective treatment was extremely limited.

Today any favorable response to such treatment would be attributed to the placebo effect, which for some illnesses may improve the outcome or quality of life in up to 30% of the patients.

The placebo effect is particularly helpful in treatment of chronic pain. In the 18th century, the only pain relievers were Willow Bark, alcohol and opium, and addiction induced by prescribed opium was a common problem.

Because of the risks of infection associated with bloodletting at a time when 18th century practitioners did not recognize the need for sterilization of their instruments, the risks of bloodletting arguably outweighed the anticipated benefits.

As scientific medicine advanced, improved diagnostics and more effective treatments became available which ultimately led to the demise of bloodletting.

Today the FDA will allow certain pharmaceutical drugs –especially those intended to treat cancer — to be approved as effective because the illness is life-threatening, no more effective treatment is known, and evidence has been presented that the drug under investigation shows a significant improvement over the placebo effect. There is no requirement that the drug be effective in the majority of patients. Drugs with a response rate as little as 10% have been approved for treatment of certain malignant cancers.

In the 18th century, many more illnesses were life-threatening with no known effective treatment for the majority of patients. In this context, it is understandable why bloodletting was accepted and also why country doctors, such as Rev. David Caldwell, were esteemed.

Historians have surmised that the greater church attendance in America in the first quarter of the 19th century, compared to the 20th century, was due in part to the inadequacy of medicine. Deaths of fetuses and newborn, children, and teenagers, were more common. Many more marriages ended during childbirth. Anesthetics were unavailable to alleviate pain of surgery. The high morbidity might have fostered greater concern about mortality and the meaning of life.

GREENSBORO In 1808 the Commissioners of Guilford County, which included David Caldwell’s son, David Caldwell, a physician, determined the site of the new county seat, as near as practical to the exact center of the county. They had to avoid a duck pond and swamp. On December 15, 1808, the General Assemble passed a decree designating the new county seat “Greensborough,” in honor of General Nathanael Green. There was not a single dwelling. In 1829 there were five retail stores, three liquor stores, and one licensed stud horse. The county had a population of 369 in the town limits, and 115 just outside. The change in spelling to Greensboro was gradual. The U.S. post office began use of the spelling Greensboro in 1810, but the town did not officially change the spelling until decades later. As of 1842, when Rev. Caruthers’ biography of Rev. Caldwell was published, the publisher used the spelling, “Greensborough.”

CENTURY LIFESPAN David Caldwell lived 7 months short of the age of 100 and remained actively engaged for more than a half century as a teacher and pastor until age 95. Rev. Caruthers wrote of David Caldwell being so frail by age 85 to 90 that he needed assistance climbing the courthouse steps, but remained so vigorous in intellect and inspirational in a courthouse speech to the youth of Greensboro that they ceased their reluctance and exceeded a quota of volunteers sought to defend Virginia from invasion by British forces during the War of 1812. (Caruthers, Life and Character of David Caldwell, supra, p. 266.)

LEGACY Upon David Caldwell’s death, the Raleigh Star and other newspapers throughout the Deep South likely eulogized him. The concluding words of A Sketch of the Life and Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D., by the Rev. E. W. Caruthers, has these words:

“It is said that [David Caldwell] was never known to be in passion, to show a revengeful spirit, or to lose his self possession; but the most striking trait in his character, perhaps, was that of overcoming evil with good; and so much was this a habit with him as to give rise and currency to the remark that no man ever did Dr. Caldwell an injury without receiving some expression of kindness in return. Such a man could not live in vain: and he, being dead, yet speaketh.”

Rev. Caruthers delivered the funeral sermon. It is preserved among his papers at Duke University. He began by saying that death brought rest to one who had labored to carry out God’s work, yet that work will still live.

David Caldwell’s background first as a carpenter and then as a itinerant missionary, teacher, healer, and minister, defiant of the Empire, suffering great personal loss but forgiving of his enemies, is richly symbolic. David’s prime function was to be a bearer of a radical tradition of individual liberty free of government oppression and a person who revitalized the Jeffersonian democratic process in America through the committed philosophy of participatory democracy and individual rights. His family history explains how he acquired an intensity of protest and positivism that overshadowed the American landscape. His death occurred at a time when the South was changing “from a position of great power in national affairs to the position of a conscious minority.” By viewing the civil war as a breakdown of political moderatism and growth of southern nationalism, we can better appreciate the political contributions of David Caldwell.

By helping to achieve a separation of church and state, David Caldwell ensured that religion had to become competitive in America and meet the needs of the congregation. (See generally, Jack Cady, The American Writer, supra, p. 69.) In serving the diverse needs of his two congregations in Buffalo and Alamance, David Caldwell displayed this flexibility. In educating future ministers, he taught them to emphasize practical ideas in their sermons and let metaphysical theological questions “take care of themselves.” The diversity of religious creeds and sects that developed during Rev. Caldwell’s lifetime has been identified as a salient feature of American church history.

David Caldwell’s ideals of kindness, liberty and justice helped create a nonviolent democracy free of the murder, mayhem, and turmoil that infected the French Revolution. The U.S. Minister to France, Gouverneur Morris, explained why the French and American Revolutions diverged: “[The French] have taken Genius instead of Reason for their Guide, adopted Experiment instead of Experience, and wander in the dark because they prefer Lightning to Light.” (See generally, R.D.W. Connor, “Historical Foundations of Democracy in North Carolina,” North Carolina Historical Commission Publications, Bulletins 10-15, Raleigh, North Carolina.)

Many American Presbyterian clergymen (including David Caldwell) were recognized as important contributors to creation of an American nationalism, democratic principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution and the rebellion against the King and British Government. Resettlements in new lands, all day gatherings at Church on Sundays, and non-denominational communal camp meetings broke down social barriers. Having helped to make productive the land they lived in, the Scotch-Irish came to regard themselves as self-made men. Perhaps the isolation of homes on the American frontier, in contrast to the more crowded pattern of settlement in Ulster, and long distance of the frontiersmen from the Anglican Church ministers who preferred to live in the coastal counties rather than reside in the back country, contributed to a sense of independence.

In 1778 an unknown Hessian officer recorded his observations on the war. “Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American Rebellion: it is nothing more or less than a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Rebellion.” As the late Chalmers Davidson of Davidson College once wrote, “The seeds of resistance to British authority were sown in the Presbyterian Churches that made captains and colonels out of deacons and elders.” One noted English historian of the 19th century later remarked that, “Throughout the revolted colonies…the foremost, the most irreconcilable, the most determined in pushing the quarrel to the last extremity, were the Scotch-Irish…” Presbyterians. Even George Bancroft, the great religious historian of the late 19th century once claimed that “the first voice publicly raised in America to dissolve the connection with Great Britain came, not from the Puritans of New England, nor the Dutch of New York, nor the planters of Virginia, but from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians.” A significant portion of the words and ideas found in the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence derive from the Arbroath Declaration of 1320 (under Robert the Bruce) and of Scotland’s National Covenant.

Max Weber, in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, argues that Calvinism espoused by the Presbyterians played an essential part in creating conditions favorable to growth of capitalism.

Some historians are of the view that Calvinist views of predestination (first addressed in the writings of St. Augustine centuries before John Calvin) contributed to ethnic and race-based claims. (Joseph R. Washington, Puritan Race, Virtue, And Values, 1620-1820: Original Calvinist True Believers’ Enduring Faith And Ethics Race Claims (in emerging Congregationalist, Presbyterian, and Baptist Power Denominations), New York, P. Lang, 1987.) The split among Presbyterian churches about slavery establishes the attenuated nature of any such claim. In the frontier many Presbyterian ministers expressly rejected the theology of predestination.

In 1800, 85% of all Christians were found in North America, Europe and Russia. By 1900, 40% of all Christians resided in other parts of the world. By 2000, 60% of all Christians resided in Africa, Asia and Latin America. (John Taylor, “The Future of Christianity,” The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity, John McManners, ed., 1990, Oxford University Press, p. 637.) The largest Presbyterian church congregation in the world today is located in Korea —— 500,000 members. To a large degree this shift can be credited to the impact of missionaries from Europe and America. Some of the graduates of David Caldwell’s Log College were among the first of these missionaries.

One of David Caldwell’s legacies, shared with southern Protestant clergy in general, is that “southern Protestantism and southern culture are as inseparable as bourbon and fruitcake.” (Charles S. Sydnor, The Development of Southern Sectionalism, 1819-1848.) “The South stands out both as a discernable cultural entity and as an equally unique religious region. Indeed it is the most religious and Protestant region of an extraordinarily religious nation.”(Dennis E. Coven, “Protestantism,” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, supra, p. 1302.) “Protestantism is to the South as Islam is to Iran and Judaism is to Israel.” (Patrick Gerstes, “Religion and Mythology,” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, supra, p. 1122.).

Some historians are of the opinion that “Baptists and Methodists were more adaptive to frontier conditions than Presbyterians and Episcopalian competition and thereby became the dominant organizations and remain so today. (Dennis E. Coven, “Protestantism,” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Charles Regan Wilson & William Ferres, eds., University of North Carolina Press, 1989, p. 1302. In 1860, the Baptists and Methodists each had respectively 65,000 and 61,000 members in their North Carolina congregations, and the Presbyterians had about 15,000 members. (William S. Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries, supra, p. 326.)

If we were to have visited David Caldwell’s world we would have seen much of the modern age: buttered toast and pancake breakfasts, two party politics, partisan newspapers, paper currency, a national debt, bookstores, roadside taverns and inns, Sunday picnics, cooling walks through the shaded gardens, dogs napping on the front porch, congregationalists fanning themselves, and friends sipping estate bottled Jamaican rum. None of these observations would have alerted us to North Carolina’s relative isolation and backwardness as of 1824, with the smallest per-capita wealth of any state in the Nation, poorly maintained roads, a rarity of bridges, no public services, migration of one-third of the population to other states between 1815 and 1850, especially, Alabama, Tennessee, and Ohio, and a much higher illiteracy than found in the north. The 1850 U.S. Census showed that only eight out of ten native whites in the South were literate, while in the North, practically everyone could read and write. In North Carolina, the statistics were worse: one-third of the whites could not read and write. On the other hand, the planters, defined as those owning twenty or more slaves, were completely literate and more likely to have attended college more than men in any other part of the country. These people were less likely to study science or technology than their northern counterparts and were more apt to focus on the classical world. Some historians have concluded that a factor contributing to these problems was North Carolina’s rural isolation, agrarian philosophy, and individualism. (William S. Powell, North Carolina through Four Centuries, supra, p. 247.) Whether a small homestead comprised of a single family or a large plantation resembling an English medieval manor, all of the farms and plantations were largely self-sufficient. North Carolina residents resisted any efforts to impose or collect taxes. When tax collectors from North Carolina came to collect taxes from residents along the border, they would say they lived in South Carolina. When the South Carolina tax collector came, they said they resided in North Carolina.

I am a great-great-great-great grandson of Rev. David Caldwell and his wife, Rachel Craighead, and blood descendant of David’s son, Rev. Samuel Craighead Caldwell, and grandson, Rev. John McKnitt Madison Caldwell, as well as Rev. Alexander Craighead and Rev. Thomas Craighead, the father and grandfather of Rachel Craighead, all prominent figures in Colonial America history. I cannot claim to be a disinterested observer in offering praise about Rev. David Caldwell. Rev. David Caldwell captured my interest because his life appears so honorable and fulfilling. During a time of social and cultural dislocation and economic turmoil scarcely matched in American history, he inspired confidence and earned the trust of others. He found greatness by doing good. Friends of religion heralded his work among Presbyterians, and friends of liberty cheered his contributions to their cause. As a Pennsylvania pioneer, Princeton pupil, Presbyterian pastor, Piedmont professor, and pious patriot, he was wholly American. His incurable rebelliousness against British tyranny was American. Above all, he was an American in his curious mixture of piety and politics, his mingling of religion and revolution, his reconciliation of revelation and reason, and his rejection of a life of preferment, promotion, and privilege.


The published biographies of Rev. David Caldwell (1725-1824) provide little information about his parents and youth. (E.W. Caruthers, 1793-1865. A Sketch of the Life And Character of the Rev. David Caldwell, D.D, near Sixty Years Pastor of the Churches of Buffalo and Alamance, Greensborough, NC. Printers: Swaim and Sherwood. 1842, p. 10. Library of Congress Subject Heading: David Caldwell, 1725-1824. Ethel Stephens Arnett, David Caldwell/Ethel Stephens Arnett. Greensboro, North Carolina Media, Inc. (distributed by Straughan’s Book Shop). 1976. Published by Junior League of Greensboro, Inc. Library of Congress Heading: David Caldwell, 1725-1824; Presbyterian Church — Clergy — Biography; Clergy — North Carolina — Biography; North Carolina — History — Regulator Insurrection, 1766-1771).

Neither biography mentioned that when Andrew acquired fee title to his farm, he spelled his surname Calwell.

The evidence that David Caldwell’s parents immigrated to America in 1725 is circumstantial. According to Rev. Caruther’s biography of Rev. David Caldwell, Andrew and Martha came from Scotland. Their first born son, David, was born in Drumore Township in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, March 22, 1725. Andrew’s grave marker states he died in 1757 at age 45. Because Andrew was either age 12 or 13 when David was born, it is unlikely he migrated to America at an earlier age — especially without kin. The year 1725 coincides with one of several bursts of emigrations of Presbyterians from North Ireland and Scotland. The year 1725 was also the year of a food shortage in Ayrshire-Renfrewshire in midst of a prolonged drought, the year of Leveller’s Riots throughout southwest Scotland by dispossessed tenants destroying enclosures erected by landlords, introduction of linen factories leading to overcrowding and rises in rents in Glasgow and its suburbs, and the year that one of the Loch Libo Caldwell Estate’s was sold — all suspect reasons that may have led to a decision to emigrate. Because Andrew was only age 12 when Martha became pregnant, they likely were not married at time of conception. They would have been subject to discipline or fine by the Kirk if they stayed put but could have avoided Kirk discipline by migrating to America. In contrast, were they attempting to resettle elsewhere in Scotland, they would have had to get a certificate of good character from the minister of their Kirk. The fact that the next child was not born until 1734, implies that Martha became pregnant with her second child shortly after Andrew turned age 21. Martha then had 2 more children, Alexander, b. 1735, and John, b. 1736.

At time that a deed was issued to Andrew Caldwell’s first farm in Drumore Township in 1742, the surname on the deed was spelled Calwell. There is no record of any Andrew Caldwell, Calwell or Calwall born or baptized in Scotland in or around 1712 in the online records of the L.D.S. Family History webpage. Because it was the custom of many Scottish fathers to name their first born son after their own father, and their second son after themselves, I surmised there was a strong probability that Andrew’s father had a given name of David. I assumed that Andrew’s father likely was about age 18-21 when Andrew was born, a common age for most fathers at the time of their first son’s birth, and therefore would have likely been born in the early 1690s. There is a listing for a David Calwell, baptized in 1693, in Lochwinnoch, an area that lies virtually adjacent to the Caldwell-Coldwel Estates. There is no other listing in the early 1690s for any other David Calwell.

The earliest records of any Andrew Caldwell, Calwell, or Calwall are Scottish church records listed by Latter Day Saints Family History genealogical index showing that an Andrew Calwall was born about 1579 in Glasgow and married Janet Muir. Muir is one of the variant spellings for the Mure family residing near Glasgow, at what has been known as the Mure of Caldwell Estate for over five centuries, and currently included with Caldwell Parish at Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire, Scotland. There were numerous Caldwells (with variant spellings) residing in this region and Ayrshire in the medieval ages, certainly at least by the 13th century, if not earlier. Surnames of gentry based upon their possessions were first required by Scottish King Malcolm (Canmore) in the 11th century.

In Rev. Caruthers’ biography, Rev. Caruthers states that the Rev. David Caldwell’s father was a reputable and prosperous farmer. Ethel Stephens Arnett’s biography of David Caldwell describes Andrew and Martha as “successful, respectable farmers.” It struck me that growing profitable crops for nearby expanding markets would have enabled Andrew and Martha to escape subsistence farming and the hardship associated with it. Increasing prosperity and the ability of an individual through perseverance to elevate his social status likely contributed to David’s positive mental outlook.

All available historical evidence indicates that David’s parents were a far cry from the depiction of the lowland Scots living near the England/Scotland boundary as rootless rovers, cattle thieves, highway robbers, and illiterate peasants, the terms selected by British Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in his famous History of England (1849).

The Caldwell Family Newsletter indicates that Andrew Caldwell has not been linked specifically to any other Caldwell immigrant to America.

Survival of all of Andrew and Martha’s children past infancy was unusual on the frontier, and suggests that by 1734-1736, when the second, third and fourth sons were born, Andrew and Martha had attained a life of comfort rather than remaining engaged in a bitter struggle for existence.

The use of single Christian names for each of the children was the prevailing practice before the American Revolution. This is readily confirmed by examining the lists of officers in the Revolutionary War.

Martha likely adhered to the common practice of making home-spun linen garments, knitted woolen stocking caps, and cloaks or shawls of wool for David. The Kirk might have fined Martha if she fitted David with clothing of cotton, silk, or apparel variegated in color.

Between 1732, at age 7, and 1744, when David was age 19, Chester Level Presbyterian Church had a resident minister and prolific author of religious pamphlets, Rev. John Thomson. David likely enhanced his ability to read by attending church services.

Few parents could afford paper by which their children could keep school notes. Although any school notes that David may have preserved likely were burned when his library was burned during the Revolutionary War, the school notes of his contemporary, George Washington, have been preserved.

Unless they contemplated their child joining the clergy or becoming a physician, or pursuing some other profession, many well-to-do Pennsylvania farmers saw little benefit in having their children engage in any extended scholarship. Children were regarded as producers rather than liabilities. The Quakers, in particular, regarded extended schooling as fostering undue pride and provoking idleness. (Alice Morse Earle, Child Life in Colonial Days, 1899, reprinted Berkshire House Publishers, 1993, p. 71.) As Bayard Taylor wrote in his Pennsylvania Farmer: “Book learning gets the upper hand and work is slow and slack, And they that come long after will find things gone to wrack.” (Earle, supra, p. 72.) The German Calvinist and Lutherans turned to indignation meetings and litigation to oppose public schooling, in the belief that children should read only scripture. A much higher percentage of Scotch-Irish sought to leave the family farm and join some profession as Pennsylvania became increasingly cosmopolitan. The majority of physicians and educators in Colonial America were of Scottish ancestry.

The protestant Scotch-Irish referred to their country schoolhouses as an “academy,” whereas the Catholics preferred the term, “school.” The typical Pennsylvanian Academy was made of logs forming a single room, 20 feet per side, or a “score” in length and width. The teacher usually sat in the middle of the room, with the pupils turned toward the walls. The pupils did not have desks at which to write. Instead, their writing surface consisted of planks laid upon pegs that were thrust between the logs around the walls. (Earle, supra, p. 75.)

The typical academy did not have a blackboard, map, or globe. Lead pencils were not available until about 1740. (Earle, supra, p. 78.) The Pennsylvania Scotch-Irish often used birch bark as a surface on which to write. (Earle, supra, p. 79.)

Andrew and Martha would have been among the first white settlers. There were about 2,660 settlers in 1725 in the region that became Lancaster County in 1729. (Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania, A History, 4 vols. Ed. H.M.J. Klein (Lewis Historical Pub. Co. New York and Chicago: 1924); see generally, Solanco Heritage, History of Southern Lancaster County, 1729-1991, Devon, Pennsylvania: W.T. Cooke Pub., 1990.)

I have my own conjecture, derived not from specific evidence, but from typical and ordinary events of that era, relating to Andrew and Martha.

The day is June 22, 1724. This is the day that the Scottish paid the quarterly rents and celebrated the summer solstice. Tenants and cottars gathered together in open camp meetings to sell their farm products, obtain supplies, and attend revival meetings. Andrew looked forward to the open camp meeting. He did not often get together with others his age. Hundreds of families would gather together to listen to Presbyterian evangelists. There would be more than 17-1/2 hours between sunrise and sunset. A number of stern ministers would hector the attendees about the dangers of idle talk rather than devout reading of the scripture, but afterwards, there would always be hours of drinking, singing, dancing, and story telling, and for some, loss of their virginity. Although only 12 years of age, Andrew had already taken an interest in girls. He hoped to see Martha again. She had just turned 13, and had flirted with him.

Soon after Martha became pregnant, Andrew and Martha took their marriage vows in a private home. Neither had access to a family Bible to record the event. Marriage in the local church was out of the question. Martha’s parents had no money to pay for the church services. Human bones protruded through the dirt floor of the church. Water dripped from the leaky roof. There was no place to sit and no kitchen to prepare a meal for the guests. Beggars beseeched anyone who neared the church for whatever they could spare. Bandits lay in wait on roads for anyone who dared travel alone or unarmed to church.

Among the early pioneer settlers in Pennsylvania a high proportion of women were pregnant when they got married; even if they were not, if the baby was born before the normal term, they were considered guilty of fornication. (Pennsylvania Births: Lancaster County, 1723-1777, by John T. Humphrey, 1997.) Anglican itinerant minister Charles Woodmason reported that during his tour of the Piedmont backcountry, 19 out of 20 Scotch-Irish women were pregnant at the time a couple undertook their marriage vows. (Fisher, Albion’s Seed, supra, p. 681.)

Andrew and Martha decided to emigrate from Scotland before their child was born. Such a relocation would not require a certification of good character from the local minister and no fine or penance would be due the local kirk. The voyage would have been perilous. Barbary pirates roamed the coasts of America, Scotland, and Ireland, and murdered or placed into slavery thousands of sea travelers. Geographer Richard Hakluyt’s book, “Divers Voyages Touching the Discoverie of America,” printed stories of shipwreck, starvation and cannibalization. Rats, lice, stench, vomiting, many kinds of seasickness, scurvy, dysentery and heat constipation afflicted the passengers. Children who had not previously acquired immunity to smallpox often died at sea during the voyage. Survivors carried the virus to America, where it devastated the Native Americans.

It is unknown whether Andrew Caldwell arrived in America as an indentured servant. Some historians make a disputed assertion that only about 1% of the Scotch-Irish came to America as indentured servants; reportedly even the poorest among them was commonly regarded as too proud to work as an indentured servant; four out of five could sign their name and read. The cost of the voyage was between £3 and £4, and the daily wages of a laborer usually about one shilling Many tenant farmers from Scotland and North Ireland paid for their passages by serving four years as an indentured servant. Pennsylvania employers typically offered the best terms: After service had been completed, the former servant was granted fifty to eighty acres of land, an axe, two hoes and two suits of clothing. Ironically those seeking freedom in America achieved it by becoming servants. Indentured servitude in eighteenth-century Pennsylvania was overseen chiefly by merchants rather than by land agents. The merchants needed craftsmen and tradesmen (e.g., carpenters, bricklayers, masons, blacksmiths, tailors, coopers, hatters, silversmiths, weavers, shoemakers, barbers, butchers, brushmakers, etc.) for the burgeoning city of Philadelphia and required unskilled labor to load flax seed, lumber, rum, and other products for export to Great Britain. The pre-arranged specifics of the indenture were reinforced by colonial law that sought to prevent abuses. In 1700, for example, Pennsylvania stipulated “That no servant, bound to serve his or her time in this province, or counties annexed, shall be sold or disposed of to any person residing in any other province or government, without the consent of the said servant, and two justices of the peace of the county wherein he lives or is sold.”

Many of the first people leaving from Glasgow to tobacco-growing regions abutting Chesapeake Bay were young single males, salaried sojourners rather than family settlers. Upon their return to Glasgow, they would have shared with Clyde River Valley inhabitants their observations about the advantages of immigrating to America. (D.W. Meing, The Shaping of America, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1986, Vol. 1, p. 158.)

In Scotland as well as in Ulster Ireland many landowners were enclosing and consolidating their lands at the close of a lease and evicting the tenants, or offering new leases double or triple the old rents that made tenant farming unprofitable. The growing textile industry had increased the demand for local wool, and the raising of sheep required enclosure. The runrig system that had served Scotland well in times where land was used largely for local consumption was increasingly recognized in the eighteenth century as unsuitable for a market economy with increased productivty brought about improvements of the land.

Presbyterian preachers proclaimed to the pews that the Anglican clergymen and landlords were screwers of the tithe and rackers of rent. A common theme was that God had appointed a country for the Presbyterians to dwell in (naming America) and “desire them to depart thence, where they will be freed from the bondage of Egypt and transported to the land of Canaan.”

In 1636 the first Scotch-irish Presbyterian Calvinists arrived in New England from Belfast on the ship, Eagle Wing, after an earlier launch that year from Dublin had to return because of storm damage. (Fisher, Albion’s Seed, supra, p. 606.) The name of ship was inspired by Exodus XIX:4-5, in which the Lord said to Moses: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians and how I bare you on Eagles Wings, and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.”

Many Scots and Scotch-Irish headed to the frontier about 50 miles west of Philadelphia, following in the path of fur-trappers who had developed the first trading posts along the Susquehanna River.

The immigrants landed mostly at Boston, Philadelphia, New Castle or New Brunswick, Delaware (then a part of Pennsylvania), and Charleston. Comparatively few entered the country by way of Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, or Vermont.

In Massachusetts, a law of 1700 forbid the admission of the “impotent, lame, or otherwise infirm, or [those] likely to be a charge to the place.” It also obliged ship captains, “under penalty of £5 for every name that was omitted,” to provide the local custom house with the name, description and “circumstances so far as he knows,” of their passengers. From 1722, captains also had to guarantee that their passengers would not become “manifold inconveniences and [a] great charge” on the local community and to transport them out of the province if they did. The selectmen of Boston also took bonds from Irish immigrants “to save the town harmless from all charges” and on occasion, used the money to deport those who were being “maintained at the cost of the province,” back to Ireland.

The first large group of immigrants was Scotch-Irish who settled in Donegal Township, Pennsylvania, around 1710. (See generally, Wayland F. Dunaway, The Scotch-Irish of Colonial Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981, p. 51.) In 1711, a Presbyterian Society formed in Drumore Township, Pennsylvania, meeting in the homes of settlers. Reportedly Drumore was named for Druim Muir, a fortified location in County Down, Ireland, rather than Drumore, a village near Campbeltown, Scotland, where the channel separating Scotland and Ireland is at its narrowest. (H. M. Klein, Lancaster County Pennsylvania, A History, Lewis Historical Pub. Co., 1924, p. 93.)

The second large immigration to this frontier occurred in 1717-1719, and the third during the years 1725-1729. These immigrations to Pennsylvania occurred before the Pennsylvania Privy Council passed the Servant Act in 1729, requiring that detailed passenger lists had to be entered at the Philadelphia custom house and bonds posted for the good behavior of the immigrants. This may explain why there is no known passenger list including the names of Andrew and Martha Caldwell.

A minister of Ulster, writing to a friend in Scotland, in 1718, lamented the desolation occasioned in that region “by the removal of several of our brethren to the American plantations. Not less than six ministers have demitted their congregations, and great numbers of the people go with them.” Ten years later Archbishop Boulter wrote to the English Secretary of State respecting the extensive immigration to America: “The humor has spread like a contagious distemper; and the worst is that it affects only Protestants, and reigns chiefly in the north.” (Rev. James Geddes Craighead, D.D., The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir, 1658-1876, Philadelphia, Sherman & Co., 1876, p. 23.)

William Penn had paid the natives to relocate west of the Susquehanna River and let the land to the east of the river be settled by white settlers. As a Quaker, Penn appreciated the value of having Scots and Scot-Irish pioneers serving as buffer for the more urbane Quakers who would get preferential selection of lands closer to Philadelphia.

Ship masters, factors and agents roamed the country, tempting and ensnaring people to migrate to America. The “richer sort” were being assured that “their posterity will be for ever happy,” “the poorer sort” were being “deluded” by accounts “of the great wages given there to laboring men.”

In March 1725, the Drumore residents already had erected a jailhouse, tavern, and churches of several denominations. Unlike Philadelphia, the township had no newspaper and no paved streets. Lancaster County resembled the lowland country from which Andrew and Martha had emigrated, rolling hills and limestone/sandstone plains, suitable for both crops and livestock, with dependable rainfall year round, high water tables, and numerous artesian wells and springs. In both regions the alluvial soil was productive and prevailing winds turned the windmills that powered the sawmills. The biggest difference were the immense forests in Lancaster County, which went on as far as the eye could see.

Andrew’s parcel contained over 300 acres, well recessed from any waterway by which Pirates could come ashore. He would have been able to plow with his own labor only about 15-20 acres a year. Each year he would likely plow a new section and leave the existing fields fallow for several years. By fencing in cattle and other farm animals, he would be able to gather the manure and spread it in the orchards. Andrew likely built a lean to, then a round log cabin, with an axe-hewn plank floor, rather than mill-shaped lumber. A common practice among the early settlers was to girdle the trunks of trees, so that the leaves and needles would fall and let the sunlight reach the corn that had been planted.

In 1725, Andrew had not yet acquired title to his land. This was true of many first generation settlers of Lancaster County, who were known to seize the land first, and then negotiate purchase of a fee title after they had saved the money. Mortgages were unavailable to Pennsylvania pioneer settlers. The land office was closed until 1732 following William Penn’s death. After Penn’s heirs reopened the land office and raised the price of land in Lancaster County in 1732 from £10 to £15 per hundred acres, many Scottish and Scotch-Irish families decided to move west into the Ohio Valley, and south through the Cumberland Valley and Shenandoah Valley to North Carolina, and beyond, where land was much cheaper and less populated.

Movement of white settlers beyond the Susquehanna River provoked Indian hostilities that were significant by the 1730s. (Henry Frank Eshelman, Lancaster County Indians, Lancaster, PA, 1908.) Worshipers went to church with the Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. “The settlers were obliged frequently to carry their rifles with them to their fields, as they turned up the virgin soil to receive the seed, or as they sought to gather the golden grain. And with all their precautions, they were oftentimes surprised while engaged in their peaceful occupations and murdered in cold blood, or what was more terrible still, reserved for protracted and cruel tortures.” (Rev. James Geddes Craighead, The Craighead Family: A Genealogical Memoir, supra, p. 52.)

James Logan, Secretary of the Province, in writing of the Scotch-Irish immigrants to Pennsylvania in 1724, states that they had generally taken up the southern lands near the Maryland boundary, and were “bold and indigent strangers, saying as their excuse, when challenged for titles, that we had solicited them for colonists and they had come accordingly.” The other ways by which land could be obtained were by rent, grant from the crown, church congregation (the system favored in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and by the initial Presbyterian settlers at Alamance), head right system (land given to those who paid passage), and purchase of crown lands. The text of the warrants and sketch of the boundaries of the land acquired by Andrew and Martha are reproduced in the Caldwell Family Newsletter, Summer, 1982, pp. 10-12.

Because of the relative closeness of Philadelphia and Lancaster, and establishment of a road in the early 1740s, Andrew Caldwell would have been able to drive any cattle and haul any crops to market with relative ease by then. A horse could carry twenty bushels of corn distilled into liquor, but only seven bushels of grain.

The soil and climate of Lancaster County is especially beneficial for the growing of corn. Corn would not have required as much labor as some other farm products. Corn was used chiefly to fatten swine. Unlike wheat, corn can be ground with a hand mortar.

For the first ten years of his life, David had no siblings. He would not attend a school until he was a teenager. Despite his isolation, he developed a gregarious, sociable personality that would serve him well for the rest of his life. Part of this may be to the influx of immigrants to Lancaster of all creeds, languages, skills, and interests. Lancaster County was to become one of the leading cosmopolitan areas in colonial America between 1725 and 1750. David’s childhood taught him that the backcountry small American family farmers had interests distinct from those of the large plantation owners, shippers, bankers, and merchants.

Andrew and Martha would have had their daily lives subject to scrutiny by “kirk sessions” (local church courts).

“Kirk sessions dealt not only with matters of conscience and religion but also sought to discourage excesses of drunkenness and style of dress, fornication, oppressive taxation of the poor, deception in matters of buying and selling, and lewd behavior. The main offense heard by the kirk session was adultery and fornication.

“The kirk session also assumed responsibility for helping the deserving poor –the victims of old age and misfortune, the sick, the elderly and widows and fatherless but was strongly opposed to helping the idle and beggars. With this came a proposal for a national education scheme in Scotland to help educate the young and provide a teacher in every church. Free education for the poor would be reflected in time in a relatively high literacy among emigrants to America.

“From these roots grew a respect for sobriety and industry, positive attitudes and sense of purpose.” (Brian Orr, Internet web page, History of Covenanter.)

Andrew Caldwell died in 1757. On his tombstone, and in his last will and testament, his surname was spelled Caldwell. He has often been confused with another Andrew Caldwell, who married Ann Stewart and was born in 1692 or 1693. The father of this other Andrew was Joseph Caldwell. This other Andrew emigrated from Ballibogan (Ballyboggan), Donegal County, about 1717, and died in 1752 in Pequea, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. All of this has been confirmed by Ethel Stephens Arnett, who compared the last wills of the two Andrew Caldwells. The other Andrew Caldwell was an innkeeper and a distant cousin of John Caldwell Calhoun. This other Andrew Caldwell is mentioned several times in the Orphan’s Court Abstracts of Lancaster County, Misc. Documents, 1742-1760. On September 4, 1742, he charged £5 10s for rum and beer, £1 for a coffin, and 5s for a grave, related to the funeral of a particular father whose orphaned child was placed in care of others. By the time of the Revolutionary War there were more than a half dozen Andrew Caldwells enlisted in the Pennsylvania militia.

Included in Ellis Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, vol. 2, 1883, available at the L.D.S. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, are the assessor’s return of all the heads of households of Drumore Township, and their acreage, for the years 1759, 1769, and 1780. In 1759 Alexander Calwell is listed as having 300 acres. Only two others had more acreage. In 1769, Alexander and John Caldwell are listed as having 100 acres. The return for 1780 has them listed as owning 400 acres, the most anyone then owned in Drumore Township.

Although writing only of the churches known to have been attended by David Caldwell while growing up in Pennsylvania, Rev. E. W. Caruthers (1793-1865) implies that Andrew and Martha attended services at (1) the Donegal Township Presbyterian Church (organized 1719); (2) Pequea (pronounced Peek-way) Church, Salisbury Township, (whose first minister was Rev. Robert Smith, 1723-1793, father of Samuel Stanhope Smith, 1750-1819, President of Princeton College; and John Blair Smith, President of Union College; (3) Octara Presbyterian Church, where his future father-in-law, Alexander Craighead was a preacher, and (4) Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church (organized 1717) at Drumore Township, all now in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

The first meetings at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church were held by itinerant ministers, beginning in 1711. About 1717, a log church was built near Centerville (now Hensel) on a chestnut tree-covered plain, and may have been located at what is now Morrison Graveyard at Site 5. A second church was built on a site opposite of the old cemetery on the road to Hensel in 1729. The church’s name was changed from Mt. Pleasant to Chestnut Level. The first appointed minister was John Thomson, who arrived in 1732, and served until 1744, at which time he relocated as a missionary to West Virginia and North Carolina. His successors at Chestnut Level were David Thom (1747-1752), Samuel Smith (1752-1771), and James Latta, who served as minister for the next three decades. Rev. Thomson authored several religious works (e.g., Explication of the Shorter Catechism, 1740), and ranked with Blair and Tennant. (Ellis Evans, History of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1883, vol. 2, p. 794.) He was a hard-line “Old Side” minister.


Rev. Caruthers’ biography of David Caldwell reflected no interest in Rev. David Caldwell’s ancestry other than to say his parents, Andrew and Martha Caldwell, had migrated from Scotland before David Caldwell’s birth, March 22, 1725, in Drumore Township, Pennsylvania. This is surprising, because Rev. Caruthers’ ancestors migrated from Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland, in the heartland of Caldwell country.

Exploration of Rev. David Caldwell’s “cultural roots” leads to four discoveries:

• The Scottish Caldwell surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin.

• The Caldwell’s in England and Scotland had long preferred the rural farm lifestyle rather than professional careers, military, or commerce.

• David Caldwell’s ancestors likely resided in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, the two shires (counties) where the Protestant Reformation in Scotland was strongest.

• The Renfrewshire-Ayrshire Caldwells occupied a region of Scotland where the resistance to the Anglican/Episcopalian Church of England and to the Catholic Pope was strongest. The earliest Catholic preachers had come from Ireland and had founded monasteries virtually autonomous from Rome, and are today considered the founders of the pre-Reformation Presbyter church organization.

ANGLO-SAXON ORIGINS OF CALDWELL SURNAME I believe the Scotch surname Caldwell more likely derives from the Old English/Anglo-Saxon words, “caeld weille,” or “caelde waellen,” meaning cold water welling from a fissure in the earth, i.e., artesian well, than from the many alternative explanations.

The alternatives include possible derivation from 5th century King Coel; 7th century West Saxon King Caedwalla buried at the Vatican after acquiring the Christian name Peter; “kaldr-a,” a Viking/Danish spelling; “kaltes quellen,” German for cold spring-fed well; “Baden frae Calw,” German for artesian wells in southwest Germany; Colville, the French surname of an early Renfrewshire landholder; “keld,” the Gaelic word for wood or forest, such that Caldwell with Gaelic input meant “well in the wood”; “coll,” Gaelic for hazel, the three brother knights from France who assumed ownership of the Caldwell Estate in 1558 (just after the Scottish Reformation) and purportedly brought the surname Cauldwell with them; and the legendary Waldenses Caldwaldi clan of northern Italy fleeing Catholic persecution, probably the most publicized explanation, although not without criticism (see Michael Caldwell’s web page at Heartland/Estates/6455/).

I aim to distinguish between probable (evidence from many independent sources is supportive of the conclusion), possible (scintilla of evidence), and conjectural (no known documentary or archaelogical evidence, but hypothesis has not been disproven).

I have never been to Scotland. I never looked at the primary documents of Scotland, as have others, in researching the issue. I am neither a genealogist nor credential historian. So I am not an expert. But this is my story and I am sticking with it.

The Evidence:

The Oxford New English Dictionary, 20 volumes thick, with more than 12 pages devoted to the word, “well,” indicates that the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) spelling for “cold” was “caeld,” and for “well,” “weille,” “waelle,” or “wyllan. ”

The early settlers of Great Britain favored locating their dwellings near sources of fresh water, i.e., artesian wells, springs, etc. This leads to a simple explanation why there are so many place names based upon the words, “cold well,” throughout Great Britain, settled by people totally unrelated to one another, and why attempts to locate the oldest patron father of Caldwell family, is doomed to failure, although, ironically, the oldest recorded Caldwell is Adam de Caldwelle, 1195, of the Caldwell hamlet (a few buildings at a crossroad) in present day Derbyshire, England. (The Pipe Rolls of 1195 (Dec. Comm. 3 vols. 1833-44.)

In ‘The History of Neilston’ (1910) by Doctor David Pride, there is an item covering the Estate of Caldwell, in present day Scoland, stating:-

‘In 1294, the boundaries marched with the Steward’s forest of Fereneze.’” (Barry Robertson, Caldwell Mystery, 2-23-02)

Dr. Pride was referring of course to the Terra de Caldwell located in the Levern Valley beside the Levern River, about 10 miles southwest of Glasgow, along the main road between Glasgow and Ayr.

Likely Dr. Pride utilized the year of 1294 in the “Tabula” (Table of Contents) that was affixed in a reprint of the Registrum Monasterii de Passelet.

Historian Rosanna E. Folk interpreted this Tabula as showing the year of the recording in the Registrum. (See: The “Right in Front of Your Face” Award, Rozanne E. Folk — 17:12 12/22/05, at

There is a subtle difference, however, between these two interpretations. Dr. Pride looks upon the Registrum entry as earliest documentary evidence of the boundaries of the Terra de Caldwell. Rosanne E. Folk utilizes 1294 as the year of the recording in the Registrum.

I wonder whether 1294 was the year in which a license or permission was conveyed to Paisley Abbey but the conveyance was not recorded until 1306 or 1307. As observed by Tom Caldwell (, the Registrum’s entry refers to the name of the King as Robert I. Robert was not King in 1294. John Baliol held that title then. Robert I reigned from 1306 to 1329. A witness to the recording was Ayrshire Sheriff Reginald Crawford, who died in 1307.

I suspect that it was not the practice for the Cluniac monks at Paisley to make any reference in the journal to the year before and after Christ’s birth, i.e., B.C. & A.D., a calendar system favored in England, ever since the Northumbrian monk, Venerable Bede, popularized this calendar system in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People.

The Cluniac monks at Paisley Abbey possibly rejected the year of birth chosen by Bede as disputable or unproven, or necessitating approval by the Pope. Instead, the Registrum uses a non-controversial and easily verifiable system of calendaring by the year in which the King reigned.

This Registrum entry no longer appears to be the earliest known record in Scotland of the name Caldwell. There is a previous 13th century charter (1274?) establishing the Cluniac Crossraguel Abbey. The charter included conveyance of Caldwellstoun’s rental income and leases to the Abbey. The Cluniac monks did not create the place name “Caldwellstoun.” Its existence predated the Abbey. Omitted from this grant was another place in Carrick, called Caldbeck.

Caldwellstoun is not included in the ordinance surveys of place-names of Scandinavian and Gaelic origin. (cf. Place-Names on Maps of Scotland and Wales, Ordnance Survey: glossary of common Gaelic and Scandinavian place-name elements.)

The suffixes -toun or “-ton” derive from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) word meaning “farm” or “ferm-toun.” This Anglo-Saxon word was appended to both Gaelic and Britonic (Gaelic) place names, so we cannot determine merely from the suffix that the name Caldwell originates from Anglo-Saxon.

Although inhabitants of these farms or fermtouns were usually relatively immobile, as successive generations tended to remain in place, it is unknown whether or not there were any Caldwells residing at Caldwellstoun in the 13th century.

Possibly a walk-through inspection of the nearby Kirkoswald cemetery to the south of Caldwellstoun or through any of the Maybole graveyards to the east would reveal gravemarkers with Caldwell surnames. But those cemeteries were not built until the late 13th century, and acid rain probably has effaced many names. Perhaps someone has published a CD or book with the gravemarkings.

According to, “Kirkoswald…is named after Saint Oswald, king of Northumbria in the 7th century. He visited the area after which St Oswald’s church was named in his honour….The village was given a market charter in the 13th century.”

The decline of Caldwellstoun might be traced to the Reformation. All of the lands of Crossraguel Abbey were seized and distributed to a baron. Caldwellstoun would no longer have received any free seed, sheep, or cattle delivered by the Abbey.

Another factor could have been overgrazing and lack of soil amendments, as the owner enclosed grazing land, replaced cattle with sheep, ignored manuring the land, and sought to maximize short term profit. It was not until the late 19th century that agricultural reform sought to undo the harm done by these destructive practices.

Caldwellstoun likely suffered severely from the Plague of 1598. The plague killed 2/3 of the people of Kirkoswald in 1598.

Caldwellstoun does not lie adjacent to the A77 Glasgow-Stranraer trunk road within sight of Crossraguel Abbey, and would not have been frequented by nearly the number of travelers that passed by or rested at Caldwell Estate in the Levern Valley. In the eighteenth century, the Mures at the Caldwell Estate hosted gatherings attended by the leading figures of the Scottish Renaissance (Adam Smith, David Hume, et al.) The Mure of Caldwell Estate was renowned for its gardens.

In July 1818, John Keats explored the Crossraguel Abbey, as part of an extensive walk covering Northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, confirming that by then, the Abbey was a ruin. Robert Louis Stevenson passed by in 1876, dismissing the Abbey as “dilapidated.”

The Levern River traversing Terra de Caldwell powered numerous mills at the beginning of the Industrial revolution in the 1800s and likely contributed to the proliferation of Caldwell surname in Neilston Parish. The nearest mills serving Caldwellstoun possibly were those on Raven Beck that runs through the village of Kirkoswald. Its water power was once used for three corn mills, a paper mill, and a mill for carding and spinning wool.

Any Caldwells attending grammar school at Kirkoswald might have been in the same classroom as Robert Burns.

Maybole, capital of Carrick, derives from Old English.

Maybole is among the oldest Carrick settlements and accordingly, existed when the Northumbrian Old-English influence was strongest.

“When Girvan was a sandy knowe
And Crosshill lay beneath the plough,
And Dailly stood-no one knows how-
Stood the auld toon o’ Maybole.”

— Anonymous

A search of the historical literature indicates that Carrick, during the 7th and 8th centuries, was a blend of English and Gaelic speaking inhabitants.

In the early seventh century the expanding English kingdom of Northumbria reached the Irish Sea and occupied much of Lowland Scotland. (Northumbria 500-1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom by David Rollason, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 63; The Safeguard of the Sea: A Naval History of Britain: 660-1649, by N A M Rodger, p. 6.)

Northumbria’s English culture was distinct from that of the Celtic and Nordic amalgram of northern Scotland. (Internal Colonialism, by Michael Hechter, Transaction Publishers, 1999, p. 112.). By the beginning of middle ages in the 12th century, the Northumbria English dialect and culture were barely distinguishable from that spoken in lowland Scotland. (Northumbria 500-1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom, by David Rollason, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 65.) Anglo-Saxonspeaking Northumbrians had remained in Carrick despite the Gaelicization of the prevalent speech. cf. Lane, Alan (Dec. 1996) “Saxons in the first Scottish Kingdom” British Archaeology 20

It was during the seventh and eight century that most of the settlements in Great Britain acquired the place names that remained with them to this date, including the dozen or settlements in England called Caldwell or variant spelling thereof listed in the Domesday Book of 1088 (e.g., Colwela, Cauldwel, Caldwylan, Cauldueille, etc.)

Gaelic became more prominent in Carrick after the Kingdom of Northumbria declined to a mere earldom in the latter eighth century and loosened its hold on Carrick. cf. Brooke, D. 1983 ‘Kirk-Compound Place-Names in Galloway and Carrick’, Transactions of the Dumfries and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society 58, 56-71. Brooke, D., 1991, ‘The Northumbrian settlements in Galloway and Carrick: an historical assessment’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 121, 295-327.

According to Percy H. Reaney and M. Wilson, the surname Caldwell derives from Old English/Anglo-Saxon words meaning “cold spring or stream.” (A Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd edition, by P H Reaney, M Wilson, 1991, p. 80.) Reaney and Wilson also mention that Caldwell has been used in Celtic to refer to a “dweller near the hazel trees.” (Reaney and Wilson, supra, p. 88.)

Contributor David Caldwell from Manitoba and Ayrshire contends that the Scottish surname Caldwell likely comes from the Celtic word “coll” for hazel. A similar claim was made in the Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names, With an Essay on Their Derivation and Import, by William Arthur, M.A., Sheldon Blake & Co., New York, 1857, reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, 2005, P. 89, acknowledging Caldwell as a common English surname but attributing the local Scottish surname to “Col-wold,” i.e., the wood of hazels. The author provides no reference to back up this interpretation.

In Place-names of Scotland, by James B. Johnston, the author identifies Celtic, Norse, and English Place-Names. He says of Caldwell (Renfrew): “Presumably “cold well.” Sc (cauld); OE (cald); Icel (kald-r). Cf. Coldwell, Calder.” Johnston’s book has been criticized for flawed methodology. He fails to back up many of his interpretations.

An Old English “cold well” derivation is listed in Scotland’s Place Names: Expanded Edition. David Dorward. Published by Mercat Press, 1995.

Supportive analysis that Caldwell derives from OE words for cold well can be found in Jacobsson, Mattias, Wells, Meres and Pools: Hydronomic Terms in the Anglo-Saxon Landscape (Uppsala, 1997).

About the late eighth or early ninth century, much of western Northumbria was retaken by Britonic occupation, including Renfrewshire and Ayrshire. The Gaelic-speaking Britons formed the Kingdom of Strathclyde. When this area was seized by the Scottish Kings in the late 10th or early 11th century, the area was renamed Cumbria. Before becoming King of Scotland, David I held the title of Prince of Cumbria.

As to the Anglicization between 1000-1306, G. W. S. Barrow explains:

“In this area [Cumbria] a slight but unmistakable Gaelic settlement and an appreciably denser settlement of people of English (or Anglo-Scandinavian) speech seem to have taken place between the mid-eleventh century and the end of the twelfth. By 1200, at least, southwest Scotland had become a melting-pot of races and languages, with English beginning to dominate in the valleys of the Clyde (save for Lennox, northwest of Glasgow (and already fully dominant in Eakdale, Annandale and lower Nithsdale, while Gaelic remained the ordinary language of Carrick and Galloway.” (G.W.S. Barrow, Kingship and Unity: Scotland 1000-1306, Edinburgh University Press, 1998 reprint, p. 15.)

Barrow’s description of this transformation supplies a clue how Terra de Caldwell in the Levern Valley and at Caldwellstoun in Carrick (southern Ayrshire) possibly might have acquired their place names several centuries after most most settlements in Great Britain had acquired the names that remain with them until today. But we cannot place high confidence in favoring this theory to the alternative that the place names were acquired when those lands were part of Northumbria during the seventh and eight century.

I reject the legend of the three Caldwell brothers arriving in Scotland from France as an explanation for origin of the Caldwell surname in Scotland, although I can accept the notion that in the 16th century a Cold Well or Caldwell Estate — not the first such Caldwell Estate — was acquired, but in Annandale Colliery, Ayrshire, rather than in the Annandale of the Annan River Valley near Solway Firth [Bay], in present day Galloway, Scotland. Two books have dealt with this subject, authored respectively by Bell (1927) and Perrin (1887). By the time Bell and Perrin published their findings, depopulation had extinguished the Annandale of Ayrshire and its presence would be known only from ancient maps and charters. Galloway had originally encompassed Ayrshire, all under the control of the same sheriff. Excerpts from each book relating to Caldwell genealogy can be found on-line.

Author Landon C. Bell’s book focused largely on the history of Lunenburg County, Virginia. (Landon C. Bell, “The Old Free State” (A Contribution to the History of Lunenburg County and Southside Va) By Landon C. Bell. Vol II The William Byrd Press, Inc. Printers, Richmond , Va 1927). He claims that the surname Caldwell came from the Cold Well Estate near Toulon, then part of the Holy Roman Empire, now within southeast France. He identifies no documentation to support this interpretation.

Perrin states that the surname derived from what he claimed was the first such Caldwell Estate in Scotland (William Perrin, Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 4th ed., 1887, Boyle Co.)

Bell links the first Caldwell, Alexander, to the Waldenses. At page 182, Bell writes:


“This family is a very ancient one. It is said to be descended from Albigenses and Waldenses of the Piedmont section of Italy, who were driven into France by the Roman Catholic persecutions.”

The Waldenses were itinerant pre-Reformation Protestants based chiefly in southern France and the Holy Roman Empire, followers of an apostolic creed first espoused in the 12th century by Frenchman Peter Waldo. Perrin makes no such claim, although he is a noted historian of the Waldenses.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition, 2001, provides a useful overview about the Waldenses.

“They originated in the late 12th cent. as the Poor Men of Lyons, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant of Lyons, who gave away his property (c.1176) and went about preaching apostolic poverty as the way to perfection. Being laymen, they were forbidden to preach… they were formally declared heretics by Pope Lucius III in 1184 and by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. In 1211 more than 80 were burned as heretics at Strasbourg, beginning several centuries of persecution…The Waldenses proclaimed the Bible as the sole rule of life and faith. They rejected the papacy, purgatory, indulgences, and the mass, and laid great stress on gospel simplicity. Worship services consisted of readings from the Bible, the Lord’s Prayer, and sermons, which they believed could be preached by all Christians as depositaries of the Holy Spirit. Their distinctive pre Reformation doctrines are set forth in the Waldensian Catechism (c. 1489). [See study by E. Cameron (1984).]” (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. 2001. http:// www. bartleby. com/ 65/ wa/ Waldenses.html)

The linkage of Caldwells to Waldenses would be especially appealing to Anti-Papist Scotch-Irish recalling the terrors of Ulster Ireland in 1640, when Catholic Irish rebelled against Protestant abuses and sought to exterminate them, as well as Huguenots who had resettled first in Ulster Ireland and then in America, and traced their Protestant roots to the Waldenses. Toulon is also the site that was populated by the earliest migration of Damnonii Celts from Austria and southern Germany into the Rhone Valley.

In Perrin’s History of the Waldenses, book ii., chap. 3, Perrin described “a most barbarous persecution” that was carried on against the Waldenses in the valleys of Loyse and Frassiniere. “It is held as unquestionably true,” says Perrin, “amongst the Waldenses dwelling in the adjacent valleys, that more than three thousand persons, men and women, belonging to the valley of Loyse, perished on this occasion. And, indeed, they were wholly exterminated, for that valley was afterwards peopled with new inhabitants, not one family of the Waldenses having subsequently resided in it; which proves beyond dispute, that all the inhabitants, and of both sexes, died at that time.” [Perrin’s History of the Waldenses, book ii., chap. 3.]

Perrin cites numerous first hand contemporaneous sources to support his views.

“In the year 1545, a large tract of country at the south of France, inhabited chiefly by the Waldenses, was overrun and most cruelly desolated by the popish barbarians, under the command of a violent bigot, named baron Oppede. A copious account of this persecution is given by a candid Romish contemporary historian, Thuanus, in the history of his own times. As a specimen of the cruelties perpetrated upon the heretics at this time, we can only extract the description of the taking of a single town, Cabrieres. “They had surrendered to the papists, upon a promise of having their lives spared; but when the garrison was admitted they were all seized, they who lay hid in the dungeon of the castle, or thought themselves secured by the sacredness of the church; and being dragged out from thence into a hollow meadow were put to death, without regard to age or the assurances given: the number of the slain, within and without the town, amounted to eight hundred: the women, by the command of Oppede, were thrust into a barn filled with straw, and fire being set to it, when they endeavored to leap out of the window, they were pushed back by poles and pikes, and were thus miserably suffocated and consumed in the flames. (Id.)

“About the year 1560, during the suspension of the council of Treat, a most violent and bloody persecution was carried on against the Waldenses of Calabria at the south of Italy, by direction of that brutal tyrant, Pope Pius IV. Two monks were sent from Rome, armed with power to reduce the Calabrian heretics to obedience to the Holy See. Upon their arrival, at once to bring matters to the test, they caused a bell to be immediately tolled for mass, commanding the people to attend. Instead of complying, however, the Waldenses forsook their houses, and as many as were able fled to the woods with their wives and children. Two companies were instantly ordered out to pursue them, who hunted them like wild beasts, crying, “Amazzi! Amazzi!” that is, “murder them! murder them!” and numbers were put to death. Seventy of the heretics were seized and conducted in chains to Montalto. They were put to the torture by the orders of the inquisitor Pauza, to induce them not only to renounce their faith but also to accuse themselves and their brethren of having committed odious crimes in their religious assemblies. To wring a confession of this from him, Stefano was tortured until his bowels gushed out. Another prisoner, named Verminel, having, in the extremity of pain, promised to go to mass, the inquisitor flattered himself that, by increasing the violence of the torture, he could extort a confession of the charge which he was so anxious to fasten on the Protestants…The manner in which persons of the tender sex were treated by this brutal inquisitor, is too disgusting to be related here. Suffice it to say, that he put sixty females to the torture, the greater part of whom died in prison in consequence of their wounds remaining undressed. On his return to Naples, he delivered a great number of Protestants to the secular arm at St. Agata, where he inspired the inhabitants with the utmost terror; for if any individual came forward to intercede for the prisoners, he was immediately put to the torture as a favorer of heresy.

“Of the almost incredible barbarities of the papists at Montalto in the month of June, 1560, the best and most unexceptionable account is that furnished in the words of a letter of a Roman Catholic spectator of the horrid scene, writing to Ascanio Camecioli. This letter was published in Italy with other narrations of the bloody transactions. It commences as follows:—”Most illustrious sir—Having written you from time to time what has been done here in the affair of heresy, I have now to inform you of the dreadful justice which began to be executed on these Lutherans early this morning, being the 11th of June. And, to tell you the truth, I can compare it to nothing but the slaughter of so many sheep. They were all shut up in one house as in a sheepfold. The executioner went, and, bringing out one of them, covered his face with a napkin, or benda, as we call it, led him out to a field near the house, and, causing him to kneel down, cut his throat with a knife. Then, taking off the bloody napkin, he went and brought out another, whom he put to death after the same manner. In this way, the whole number, amounting to eighty-eight men, were butchered. I leave you to figure to yourself the lamentable spectacle, for I can scarcely refrain from tears while I write; nor was there any person who, after witnessing the execution of one, could stand to look on a second. The meekness and patience with which they went to martyrdom and death are incredible. Some of them at their death professed themselves of the same faith with us, but the greater part died in their cursed obstinacy. All the old men met their death with cheerfulness, but the young exhibited symptoms of fear. I still shudder while I think of the executioner with the bloody knife in his teeth, the dripping napkin in his hand, and his aims besmeared with gore, going to the house and taking out one victim after another, just as the butcher does the sheep which he means to kill.” (Id.)

John Milton was, as of 1658, Latin secretary to Oliver Cromwell. He wrote this sonnet.

“On The Late Massacre In Piedmont

“Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughter’d saints, whose bones
Lie scatter’d on the Alpine mountains cold;
Ev’n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones
Forget not: in thy book record their groans
Who were thy sheep, and in their ancient fold
Slain by the bloody Piedmontese that roll’d
Mother with infant down the rocks. Their moans
The vales redoubled to the hills, and they
To heaven. Their martyr’d blood and ashes sow
O’er all th’ Italian fields, where still doth sway
The tripled tyrant; that from these may grow
A hundred fold, who having learned thy way
Early may fly the Babylonian wo.”

Bell’s claims about the origin of the Caldwell surname do not pass the test of probability, analogy or correlation. It is not probable that an Estate in southern France or Holy Roman Empire would have the English name, Cold Well. Personal surnames in France and Scotland began in the 11th century (e.g., Peter Waldo), and were near universal by the 14th century, so by analogy it doubtful that three brothers in France or Scotland in the 16th century lacked a surname at birth. Bell provides no facts evidencing an association or correlation between the so-called Cold Well Estate near Toulon and similar use of English place names at other locations near Toulon. In short, Bell offers only a scintilla of evidence, not a compilation of evidence from independent sources that cumulatively make it more probable than not that what he says is true.

Bell did not use methods generally accepted by genealogists to advance claims of such important historical significance. Oral retellings of family lineage may well serve to patch the lacunae in the family tree, but inevitably invite skepticism when they purport to leap centuries back, without any family tree of names, dates, and place, to link present day Caldwells to Apostolic Waldeneses.

Perrin’s narration sticks fairly close to a family tree that could be tested and has independently been verified, linking John Caldwell of Cub Creek Virginia, and his grandson John Caldwell Calhoun, to Alexander Caldwell of Scotland. Unfamiliar with Scotland, Bell may have mistakenly confused the Annandale in Galloway (where Gaelic remained the predominant language) with the English-speaking Annandale Colliery of Ayrshire. Old maps show an Annandale Colliery slightly west of Annanhill in Ayrshire. Records of the L.D.S. Family Library show numerous Caldwells near Annanhill, Ayrshire, as far back as records are available, even into the 14th century, and hardly any in Galloway. Bell’s claims are not testable, since nothing in writing by the itinerant Waldeneses is known to exist and no known genealogical family tree exists.

While I see a particularized bias in Bell’s work, I am not suggesting that Bell and Gustave Anjou are of the same cloth. Anjou falsified documents and deliberately interwove family lineages in a quest to satisfy his wealthy patrons. Robert Charles Anderson, a Certified Genealogist, and a fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, published in Volume 19, Numbers 1 & 2, 1991 of a Genealogical Journal, Salt Lake, Utah, an article entitled, “We Wuz Robbed!” The article indicates that a genealogy authored by Gustave Anjou, entitled “Caldwell Family,” Call No. 929.273 C127, at the Family History Library of L.D.S. in Salt Lake City, Utah, may be spurious. Included is another detailed article about Gustave Anjou’s life and forgery methods, entitled “Gustave, We Hardly Knew Ye: by Gordon L. Remington.” Remington was editor of the Genealogical Journal. Bell is publishing a book for public sale, where the financial link to the prospective Caldwell purchasers was attenuated rather than closely connected. He may simply have been motivated to tell what he had learned that he thought would be of interest to his anticipated audience — a rather benign and common motivation of nearly all authors.

Perrin’s book has not engendered the controversy that surrounds Bell’s narration, but neither discusses alternate possibilities to the idea that the Caldwell surname originated with the arrival of the three brothers from Toulon.

Perrin and Bell overlooked the Mure of Caldwell Estate near Uplawmoor, successor to the 14th century Caldwell Estate, when Gilchrst Mure married an heiress of Caldwell. Even when the Mures held the Estate, they did so pursuant to royal charters issued in the name of the Caldwell Estate. The Mures were part of the House of Caldwell, and the estate owner was known as Lord Caldwell.

Perrin and Bell also ignored the widespread existence of Caldwell place names throughout England preceding the Norman Invasion of 1066.

When Perrin published his book in 1887, the Mure of Caldwell Estate was in decline, and for most purposes, off the map and out of mind. It was soon to be converted to a psychiatric institution. It was not until 1890 that a portion of Neilston Parish would be renamed Caldwell Parish. The hamlet of Caldwell had ceased to exist, at least as a post office address, although its former location is still shown on some maps even to this date.

By the time Bell published his book in 1927, the Caldwell Parish of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian Church) had come into existence encompassing the former Caldwell Estate near Uplawmoor, Scotland, but that fact would be rather obscure. Barry Robertson posted at a really well-researched story on the origins of the Caldwell name for the Caldwell Parish Church and adjacent Mure of Caldwell Estate, entitled “Caldwell Mystery,” citing documents available to but overlooked by Perrin and Bell. Barry lives in Scotland, in a far better position to explore the origin of the Caldwell name.

The Celtics and Druids venerated wells for a variety of reasons, and occasionally used some of them for human sacrifice, but there is no archeological evidence of Celtic/Druid sacrifice at or veneration of the Renfrewshire well near Uplawmoor, in what today is known as the Parish of Caldwell, nor in any of the other Caldwell settlements. I realize absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but I do believe this omission affects the balance on the scale weighing the evidence pro and con.

It is far simpler to explain “Caldwell” as originating from Old English “caeld weille” as the reason for the wide-spread adoption of this as a place name throughout England and Scotland, than to argue that the wide-spread use of the surname is linked to the arrival of a particular person named Colville, Cauldwell, Calwell, etc., in a particular locality. Some people have asserted that the name Caldwell derived originally from deColville or deCoville, a Norman family who reportedly accompanied William Conqueror, whose successor generations assumed the surname of Caldwell, but these people overlook the existence of the Caldwell hamlets in Great Britain before the arrival of William Conqueror.
The earliest recorded change of surname from Colville to Caldwell that I have found did not occur until 1758 (John, 8th Lord of Colville, named all of his children by the surname, Caldwell).

“Occam’s Razor” is the term for the concept that the simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation. I do not mean that this rule be applied mechanically. It simply reflects the notion that more weight should be given to the simpler explanation, in evaluating all of the evidence pro and con.

Wherever they occupied lands, the Anglo-Saxons usually displaced or dominated the culture and language of the Britons, Celtics, and Gaelic speaking peoples. Virtually all present day place names in England are of Anglo-Saxon rather than Celtic or Briton origin. Stream names in former Kingdom of Strathclyde are largely British, as Daer, Nethan, Medwin, Cander, and Elvan. (W.J. Watson, History of the Celtic Placenames of Scotland, 1926 (reprinted 1993 by Birlinn, Edinburgh, ISBN187474406. htm. However, the Clyde and Calder Rivers in close proximity to Caldwell, Uplawmoor, appear to have Celtic origins.

The following timeline may assist.

In 43 AD Emperor Claudius ordered the invasion of Britannia. During the first century AD, Roman general Agricola occupied the region surrounding Glasgow. In 84 AD. the Romans erected the fort of Vanduara on high ground, now covered by houses and streets in Paisley. The 800’+ peaks of the hills (Laws) surrounding the Levern Valley provided a military advantage. Roman soldiers could see Solway Firth to the south, Ireland and the undulating plains of Ayrshire to the west, the Firth of Clyde and Highlands to the north and what eventually developed as Glasgow, Renfrew and Paisley to the northeast, and much of the lowlands to the east that was more densely settled.

Agricola’s secretary, Tacitus, wrote that a Britannic iron-age tribe or people called Damnonii hunted in and resided at the Fereneze Forest that covered much of the present day Neilston Parish, and another tribe, Maeatae on Mearns Moor, in present day East Renfrewshire. He describes them as barbarians, drinking to excess and sacrificing innocents.

The Damnonii were simple farmers, forming small settlements, combining pastoral and crop farming, and hunting when crops were poor. The Damnonii built huts on logs on shallow lakes, as a means of protection. They built hillforts to protect their settlements. One of the largest was a 17-1/2 acre iron age hillfort at Wall’s Hill in Renfrewshire. They had successfully resisted several invasions by the pagan Picts. The unconquered Damnonii were relatively powerful at the time of the Roman invasion.

Like most Celts, the Damnonii worshipped many God and Goddesses under a highly sophisticated religious system governed by the Druids. Druids sacrificed criminals or tribal outcasts in wicker baskets, an early form of the Wicker Man burning ceremonies which developed in the third century A.D. In the century following the reformation, burning witches and heretics at the stake was particularly enduring in Renfrewshire. The last burning at the stake in Scotland for heresy occurred in Renfrewshire in 1698.

The Damnonii were sun worshippers, and celebrated the summer solstice by ceasing all work and gathering together in large open-air camps meetings for the last week of June. When the Damnonii became Christianized, these summer solstice gatherings lent themselves to evangelical revivals. “The lunar month which takes its name from Jupiter, the Oak-god, begins on 10th June and ends on 7th July. Midway comes St John’s Day, 24th June, the day on which the Oak King was sacrificially burned alive. The Celtic year was divided into 2 halves, with the second half beginning in July, apparently after a 7-day wake, or funeral feast, in the Oak King’s honor.

The Druids revered the birch and oak trees. These trees abounded in the Levern Valley. The oak trees were mighty, strong, enduring and steadfast, living generation after generation. Until men devised iron-cutting tools, the oak resisted all attempts to fell it. The oak tree reached from earth to heaven. Touching a piece of oak wood was thought to bring good luck. The shade of the oak tree was favored for gatherings of large numbers of people. The etymology of the word “Druid” derives from “dru-wid,” meaning “knower of oak trees,” but “deru” also means truth or troth and so could also give the meaning “knower of the truth.”

The groves of birch trees were recognized to be a single plant. The Celtics regarded the birch grove as the lady in the Woods, displaying graceful femininity and light-filled grace. Today’s Green Movement shares with the Druid-Celts this tree-hugging cult, willing to sacrifice jobs on the altar of environmentalism. A tree of extreme hardiness, birch thrives in places where oak would die. Although the wood of oak is used for building due to its strength and durability, the resilience and specific magical properties of Birch lend the use of its fiber to very specific ends. Maypoles were often of Birch, as were the twigs used to ignite the Beltane fires, signifying new beginnings and a fresh start. The Yule log is, traditionally, Birch also. Cradles made of Birch are said to protect the infant from harm, particularly of a psychic nature. For the same reasons it is said that a small piece of Birch carried upon a person will prevent kidnapping of the individual by the sidhe, or the Faerie Folk.

The Damnonii formed an alliance with the Romans, to prevent southward movement of Picts and other wild highland tribes. When the Damnoniii hillfort at Wall’s Hill was excavated by archeologist Frank Newall in 1960, he reported that no Roman coins or pottery were found. He interpreted this as evidence corrobating Tacitus’ history of an alliance by which the Romans tolerated the continued presence of Wall’s hillfort. The hillforts of the Damnonii were initially wooden pallisaded, then timber-framed, and in succession, stone walled forts, hillforts with multiple ramparts, up to large tribal capitals. Among the largest Iron Age hillforts was the 17-1/2 acre Iron Age fort of the Damnonii at Walls Hills (Frank Newall, The Walls Hills Excavation Report (Paisley Museum, 1960); Frank Newall, “Early Open Settlement in Renfrewshire,” Proceedings Society of Antiquaries S, 1961-1962, Vol. XCV, pp 159-170; Frank Newall, Renfrewshire in Prehistory: the Iron Ages,” Western Naturalist, vol. 7, 1978; A.L.F. Rivet: The Iron Age in Northern Britain, Edinburgh University Press, 1967, and G. Guilbert (ed.) Hillfort Studies, Leicester, 1981.

In 128 A.D. the Romans completed Hadrian’s Wall and erected a line of forts throughout Renfrewshire in order to protect themselves from the Picts, the inhabitants of Caledonia. The Romans constructed a mini-fortress on the hill overlooking Loch Winnoch, the future site of Castle Semple. The remaining mound is still visible today. A Roman road is built on one of the hills adjacent to the Caldwell Estate for access to the peak. There may have been a Roman wooden fort at what later was used as the site of the Caldwell castle. From the peaks of adjacent mountains the Roman scouts would have in view more than half of the population of Scotland in the 1st century. The main advantage of a stone castle is that a smaller garrison can be used to withstand a siege. The Levern Valley is particularly narrow at Caldwell, so it would have been an ideal location for a Roman fortress, especially given the ample supply of fresh water from its artesian springs.

In the later centuries of their occupation of Scotland, the Romans took children of local chiefs to Rome, where they were held as hostages, insuring the continued allegiance of their families to Rome. While there, they were educated in Roman ways and the Christian faith.

410 A.D. The “Peace of Roman” or Pax Romana, of the island ends as troops are recalled by Emperor Honorius to protect the Roman Empire. Bloody conflict is quick to fill the void that is left in its wake. The Picts and the Scotti (the Roman word for bandits or raiders), unruly barbarians who lived in the unconquered lands north of Hadrian’s Wall, spill over the borders in droves and roam about the countryside freely, raiding unprotected British villages, killing inhabitants, carrying off women and children to be their slaves or sacrifices for their gods.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica provides a brief summary of subsequent events: “{A]fter the Romans retired (410) the territory was overrun by Cumbrian Britons and formed part of the kingdom of Strathclyde, the capital of which was situated at Alclyde, the modern Dumbarton. In the 7th and 8th centuries the region practically passed under the supremacy of Northumbria, but in the reign of Malcolm Canmore became incorporated with the rest of Scotland. During the first half of the 12th century, Walter Fitzalan, high steward of Scotland, ancestor of the royal house of Stuart. settled in Renfrewsbire on an estate granted to him by David I. Till their accession to the throne the Stuarts identified themselves with the district, which, however, was only disjoined from Lanarkshire in 1404. In that year Robert III. erected the barony of Renfrew and the Stuart estates into a separate county, which, along with the earldom of Carrick and the barony of Kings Kyle (both in Ayrshire), was bestowed upon his son, afterwards James I. From their grant are derived the titles of earl of Carrick and baron of Renfrew, borne by the eldest son of the sovereign. Apart from such isolated incidents as the defeat of Somerled near Renfrew In 1164, the battle of Langside in 1568 and the capture of the 9th earl of Argyll at Inchinnan in 1685, the history of the shire is scarcely separable from that of Paisley or the neighboring county of Lanark.”

450s. The Britons hire the Anglo-Saxons as mercenaries for protection against the Picts and Scots. Under Hengist and Horsa, the heathen, but civilized Anglo-Saxons begin making plans for their own conquest of Britannia. After many years and a seemingly miraculous (for the Britons) setback at Badonsward, the Anglo-Saxons possess Britain. Anglish (or English) becomes the official language of the state.

The Anglo-Saxon word for artesian spring is “Cauld Weille.” The possibility therefore exists that from the time that the Romans withdrew and the Angle mercenaries remained, there was a place in the Levern Valley named “Caldwell,” however spelled. The clergy using the Latin alphabet would have spelled it “Caulduellis,” as the Latin alphabet had no “w.” A Celtic scribe unaccustomed to pronouncing the letter “d” might spell it “Calwell.”

Two reasons come to mind for a heavy influx of Anglo Saxons into Great Britain between 450 A.D. and 600 A.D. This was the period of the invasion of Europe by the ruthless Huns. Additionally a warming climate and melting glaciers brought about a rise in sea level, inundating the marshlands and estuaries of southwest Denmark (occupied by Angles) and northern Germany (occupied by Saxons). These Anglo-Saxons emigrated west to Britain and settled throughout the midlands of England, distal from the estuaries, forcing out the original inhabitants, the Bretons. The Domesday Survey of 1086 (written in Latin) identifies more than a dozen settlements in the midlands, called Caldwell, or variant spelling thereof, all established before the Norman Conquest of 1066, thereby refuting the notion that the place name Caldwell is of Anglo-Norman origin.

In the 6th century, Bretons and Celts attempted to oust the Saxons. Arthur Pyndragon (the legendary King Arthur) might have been in the Levern Valley seeking to expel the Anglo-Saxons. Few could rival the successes of Rhydderch Hael, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Much of the information we have for this King comes from the medieval chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth. According to him, Rhydderch Hael, or Roderic the Generous, was of Roman descent, although he had strong allegiances with the Welsh Kings, and like most other people in Strathclyde at that time he spoke the Welsh language. After uniting the Celtic tribes of the Damnonii, Votadini, Selgovae and Novantae, King Rhydderch seems to have come to the throne of Strathclyde sometime around 550, while he was still a relatively young boy, possibly no older than sixteen. Like the other Roman Britons, he retained a strong devotion to the Christian religion introduce by his Imperial predecessors. However, the Saxon tribes and the Britons in the south, under the leadership of Gwenddolau, were still strong followers of the Druid religion, and even in Strathclyde, there existed strong support for the pagan teachings. Eventually these dissentions broke into open battle, with the Christian forces of Rhydderch Hael meeting the pagan warriors of Gwenddolau at Arderryd, some eight miles north of Carlisle. Here the King of Strathclyde’s forces overran the invaders and today the battle is widely regarded as the decisive victory of Christianity over paganism, a marking point in British history. The following years of Rhydderch’s rule saw him establish peace and prosperity throughout his Kingdom, the centre of which was regarded as Dumbarton Rock, where he is thought to have held court. Unlike most Kings of the time, he is said to have died peacefully in his bed, having reached a considerable age. The alliances with Welsh Kings might explain the presence of Welsh names in vicinity of Caldwell.

During the 560s and 570s A.D., Christian missionaries, St. Ninian, St. Kentigen, and St. Columbia began their work in Britannia (Mercia, Wales, etc.), Caledonia (Scotland), Northumbria, and Hibernia (Ireland). The Celtic church was a powerful missionary body sending missionaries throughout Europe.

St. Columba came to Scotland from Ireland at age 42, around 563 A.D. He was a churchman and politician, the first statesman of the Celtic church in Scotland. He helped convert the Picts to Christianity and thereby unite the highlands with the lowlands. Much more than did the Church of Rome he quoted from scripture. He established a presbyterian form of church organization without a lay Kirk of Elders, based upon monastic administration governed by an abbot — called a presbyter. The Presbyterian Church of Ireland credits him with being the founder of the modern day Presbyterian church, while the Scottish Presbyterian Church reserves that honor to its native son, John Knox. Although there was an office of bishop he had no authority over the abbot, and was used purely for ordination and consecration. Columba showed no regard for the papacy. The first churches were simple buildings of wood and wattle, with hatched roofs. Columba was a man of action, not pious sloth. Like John Knox, he was hungry for influence and power, but lacked the printed Bibles that gave Knox an immense advantage in converting Catholics to Protestant. Columba established a community on Iona that included church, refectory, a hostel for travelers, a common room for relaxation, kitchens, a sickbay, a library, a writing house, and a seminary where he taught pupils to become priests. His students copied scriptures – gospels, psalms — and from these the ordained brothers preached, in the Gaelic tongue, to the people about, and beyond He fostered a personal religion of prayer and meditation, rather than mere attendance at mass and performance of rituals. Local children were taught t o read, write, count, and sing. Some people would say that he should have been honored as the patron saint of Scotland, rather than St. Andrew, upon whom that title was granted in 1320 by Papal clergy. Venerable Bede wrote this we know for certain, that he left successors renowned for their persistence, their love of god, and their observance of monastic rites. The impact of St. Columba aids in understanding why the Scottish Reformation and conversion to Presbyterianism was so strong in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire.

In 655 A.D., Venerable Bede wrote that after King Oswy defeated Penda of Mercia, he gave the church 10-hide estates, including what became known as the Parish of Colewell, then known as Colwela, in Northumbria. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of Scots, 2003, p. 27.)

During the eighth century A.D. monastic fervor swept the island. An Anglo-Saxon church was erected at Caldwell, North Riding, Yorkshire, remains of which can still be seen. Another one was built in Caldwell, Derbyshire.

Strathgryffe (strathclyde) by then extended to North Riding, Yorkshire, where there was a Caldwell settlement in North Riding. A road — Dere Street — extended from Edinburgh to the Caldwell settlement in North Riding and the port at York. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2d edition, 2003, p. 113.)

During the 800s Normans were fierce and warlike tribes who made piratical expeditions to all parts of the European seas (primarily Britain, Germany, Friesland, Flanders, and France), plundering by land and sea, and often overrunning large tracts of land. The poverty of their country (Sweden, Norway, Denmark) compelled them to adopt this mans of subsistence, and their religion inspired them with a love for daring enterprises, assuring them that warriors fallen in battle were admitted to Valhalla, the northern paradise. For 200 years the Normans invade Britannia. Although there is much devastation, many Normans, including a famous leader Canute, are converted to Christianity by their victims. (Encyclopedia Americana: “Normans”, 1986.)

In 843 A.D. many of the Pict and Scot clans unified under Kenneth I against the invading Normans.

In 871 A.D. the Saxon king, Alfred the Great, played an important role in defending Britannia from the Danes. After repelling them, he turned his attention to rebuilding his war-ravaged country. Trade flourished, as well as education and research. The Saxon Chronicles take shape during this time.

In 911 the Treaty of St.-Claire-sur-Epte was signed where King Charles III the Simple of France ceded the lands of Neustria (Present day Normandy) to the Norman leader Rollo in order to save France from further Norman invasions. Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy, embraced Christianity and was baptized under the name of Robert. His followers similarly abandoned their roving and piratical habits and confessed Christ. However, they still retained their marks of Scandinavian origin and their warlike ardor.

9th century Norsemen raid Strathgryffe –which straddles Lanark and Renfrewshire–as far as Paisley.

10th century Gaelic speech is still current in the Levern Valley, Scotland among the peasants, but English was becoming prevalent.

Danes from Dublin, Ireland, invade the lowlands, and seize land to protect a trade route from Dublin to York. Scottish King Malcolm I (943-54) agrees to be a vassal of English king Edmund, in exchange for help. A succession of English Kings seeks to prevent these incursions by erecting a line of forts in Renfrewshire. The possibility exists that a stone Caldwell Castle, the first of several, was erected in the Levern Valley in the 10th century, and an Anglo-Saxon band of soldiers or knights established a community called Caldwell. This is speculation, not proof.

Between 500 and 1000 A.D., the Angles from Kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria increasingly settled in Scotland, inhabiting new lands as their existing population expanded. For a graphic illustration of this expansion into Renfrewshire, see July/August 2001 issue of the periodical, Archeology, p. 49. DNA surveys have shown a high concentration of Viking genetic material in the inhabitants of York, but little among the lowlanders of Scotland.

1034 A.D. Upon the death of Aethelred the Unready, Scottish King Malcolm II seizes Strathclyde
The clans of Scotland unify for the first time under Malcolm II against their common enemy, the Danes.

1066 A.D. Led by William I the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, the Normans invade the British Isles and defeat the Angles and Saxons (in England) at the Battle of Hastings. William I did not see himself as conquering, but rather as reclaiming the throne that was deprived of his kinsmen when the Saxons recaptured the throne. Among the regions most devastated by William I are Derbyshire and Yorkshire, within which are located two of the chief Caldwell settlements.

1072 A.D. Radical cultural shifts begin to occur in Britannia. Changes include a complete transition of customs, manners, and entertainment as well as a transition of language from English to Anglo-Norman. Highland Dancing originates in the Highlands when Margaret, the wife of King Malcolm Canmore, introduces Norman entertainment at the Scottish Court. It is likely that modern ballet and Highland Dancing have common roots in the classical dances of the day. It is during this time that Malcolm promises, vaguely, allegiance with William the Conqueror.

1086 A.D. Domesday Book lists about a dozen Caldwell settlements in the midlands of England. The Domesday Survey does not cover territory above the River Tees, and thus, would not have recorded the presence of the settlement of Colewell (Colwela) in Northumbria or Caldwell in Renfrewshire, if present.

1092. William Rufus cleaved Northumbria and sends peasant colonists from the south to settle in the north and cultivate the area around Carlisle. Upon Henry I’s death, Scottish king David I takes over Carlisle, the capitol of Strathclyde.

1097-98. Priory of Coldingham founded by Edgar, King of Scotland, and attached to the convent of Durham, north of Berwick.

In 1161, the Name “Neilston” was first mentioned in documents as the name of a manor. It derives from Neil’s ”tun” or “manor.” Neil is a Gaelic name.

In 1163, Walter Fitzalan (1136-77) [a Bretonic name] from Shropshire, England, was appointed High Steward of Scotland and was the first of four hereditary “Stewarts” of Scotland. (R.W. Eyton, History of Shropshire (1854-60); G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2d edition, Edinburgh Press, 2003, p. 314.) Walter I was the feudal overlord of Strathgryffe (intially a region within Renfrewshire and Lanarkshire), including the Levern Valley. He has to be distinguished from but has been often confused with his elder brother, William Fitz Alan, a large landowner in England.

Walter I was succeeded as steward by his son, Alan,1177-1204, who in turn was succeeded by Alan’s son,Walter II, 1204-41. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2d edition, Edinburgh Press, 2003, p. 315.)

The lands of the Stewarts included what today is known as the Forest of Ferenze and Ferenze Hills, in Neilston Parish, as well as virtually all of modern day Renfrewshire, and the region encompassing Prestwick and eastward within Ayrshire. They also owned lands in the highlands (Bute), and in various pockets in the eastern lowlands (Innerwick, Mow, and Ledgewood). These are all shown in a sketch. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2d edition, Edinburgh Press, 2003, p. 313.)

Walter I originally granted 1/10th of his venison from this forest to the monks at Paisley Abbey, taken by him “in fermison,” a French derived word meaning “the close season for stags and time for hunting hinds, 11 November-2 February.” In subsequent charters and cartularies, “Fermison” became known as a location with a variety of other spellings, e.g., Forineisum, Ferineisun, Formeson, and ultimately, Ferenze. (Barrow, supra, p. 316.)

The fact that the Stewarts owned lands in both Renfrewshire and in Ayrshire likely eased the ability of Caldwells from Renfrewshire to relocate to Ayrshire, particularly near Prestwick and eastward, that Tom Caldwell has identified as part of “Caldwell country.”

In 1163, Cluniac monks – known originally for rejection of material possessions, in contrast to the St. Benedictine Order that had been at Dumfermline since the 7th century A.D. — relocated from Renfrew and founded Paisley Abbey. The austere Cluniac monks ironically persuaded the wealthy landowners to cede much of their land to the Abbey in exchange for promises that candles will be lit for their souls for eternity. The Cluniac monks were soon to own most of the land in Renfrewshire and becoime one of the most propserous orders in Christondom. The acquired lands are cleared of the forests so that the land can be leased or “farmed” to tenant farmers.

Within a few centuries vast tracts of land in Renfrewshire are denuded of any trees. The enclosure of the lands to aid the raising of the sheep leads to the dispossession of many tenant farmers. Sheep do not provide the manure that cattle had, and gradually the soil becomes more impoverished. Henry Graham writes that the people blamed Providence rather than their own improvidence. The inability of the tenants to leave their land without permission of the landowner, and the obligations they owed their landlord in services and food, served to shape the determination of many Scots to immigrate to lands where they would owe no obligation to church or government, the Promised Land that would deliver them from slavery and humiliation. This was not an easy task. The medieval mappamundi, which shows the world as a disc with Jerusalem at the center and the ocean on its rim, shows Scotland diametrically opposed to Paradise. (J.D. Mackie, A History of Scotland, 1964, …
In 1170 Sir Robert le Croc was granted a fief of the Levern Valley by Walter I.

1124-53 A.D. The reign of Scottish King David I. The King granted the lands within the Parish of Colewell in Northumbria to Walter Corbet, a knight. In 1124, David I, who grew up in England and married a Norman wife, said to be the wealthiest woman in England, and renovated the Celtic (Pictish) form of government of “Scotland” to introduce many of the Anglo-Norman formalities in church and state (e.g. sheriffs and clergy). These changes attract many more Norman and Flemish settlers to the Lowlands of Scotland.

1165 A.D. William the Lion, Celtic King of Scotland, after unsuccessful negotiations with Norman King of England, Henry II, sets a precedence by aligning with Louis VII, King of France against England (in what would become known as the Auld Alliance). In a boundary dispute with England over Northumbria, William is captured and forced to sign a treaty in Normandy recognizing the superiority of the English Archbishops over the Church of Scotland. Scotland’s independence is retained in 1193 due to the war between England and France and the diligence of William, and his successors. As William and his advisors work to secure restoration of Scottish independence, many civil improvements are made. For instance, Thomas a Becket founds the abbey at Arbroath, the Church of Scotland rebels and is granted direct access to the pope, and many burghs in Scotland are chartered. The Scottish flag has a lion recognizing William’s 49 years of tremendous service.

1180 A.D. Lazar House founded by Sir Robert de Croc between Crookston and Neilston, probably at Chappell. It is surmised that the original Lord Caldwell was a vassal of Robert Le Croc.

1200 A.D. Marion de Croc married to Walter, grandson of the High Steward.

Before his death in 1204, Walter II granted a large portion of Neilston Parish as a prebend to Cluniac monks settled at Paisley. The term “prebend” means an estate devoted to support the church, monastery, or cathedral. He also granted a large portion of lands he owned southeast of Castle Semphill Loch. I do not know whether or not this resulted in any diminution in the size of or splitting of the Caldwell estate, but it certainly meant that the Caldwell estate was surrounded by land under control of the clergy. By the 14th century the Abbots and Bishops owned most of farmland in Renfrewshire and their annual rental income far exceeded the rental income going to the nobles. Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay in the mid 19th century authored his famous History of England, in which he observed that before the reformation, many Scottish men entered into the service of the Catholic Church because of the opportunities for great wealth.

1214-1286 A.D. The years of relative prosperity due to the work of William are considered, by the Encyclopedia Americana, the Golden Years of Scotland.

1246 A.D. Robert de Sempill of Eliotstoun, Chamberlain (steward) of Renfrewshire, witnessed a charter to the Paisley Abbey.

1200-1300 A.D. All important civil disputes were formerly settled either by arbitration or in ecclesiastical tribunals, according to the approved laws and customs, but during the 13th century, the king’s Justiciar acquires increasing authority. Cf. Regesta Regum Scottorum. In 1305, King Edward I formerly provides for four justiciars, one part for Lothian, one for Galloway, and two for lands beyond the Scottish Sea. (Barrow, supra, p. 81.) The significance of this means that if we seek to identify writings referring to Caldwells prior to 1300, we need to examine ecclesiastical records carefully.

A charter or other document of Paisley Abbey in the late 13th century was issued to a Caldwell. The status of this Caldwell is unknown. Tom Caldwell says he is “associated” in some manner with Paisley Abbey. This suggests to me that he may have been a Prebendary, i.e., manager of the property held to support the Abbey. For castles, the property manager would have held the title of “butler.” William Caldwell, Lord High Chancellor (1349-1354), was one such Prebendary. Centuries later mention will be made of another Caldwell who was a property manager or servant for the Earl of Lennox. The earl’s son, Lord Darnley, had been murdered, and the earl and his servant, Caldwell, visited Mary, Queen of Scots, held in prison, seeking her confession. This story is told in Alison Weir’s book, Mary Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley.

In a book by George Crawfurd, History of the Shire of Renfrew (1710), he concluded that a Caldwell clan resided in Renfrewshire long before the ascension of Robert I (Robert Bruce) as King of Scotland and his death in 1329.

Crawfurd drew his conclusion from records of a marriage in 1332 or 1333 (I forget the exact year) of the Caldwell heiress “of that ilk” to Godfrey Mure, by which ownership of a large Caldwell Estate located at present day Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire, Scotland. The Scottish words “that ilk” refer to landed gentry “in all respects substantially the same.”

Hypothetically King David I might have chartered a fief in the 11th century to an Anglo-Norman knight that became the first Caldwell Estate. King David I invited more than 1000 Anglo-Norman knights to settle in southern portion of Scotland. King Alexander III did the same But books have been published reproducing the known charters of David I and Alexander III, and if any mention is contained therein of any Caldwell, I assume someone would have publicized that document.

By the 11th century, English-speaking people of Angle ancestry had migrated from Northumbria and Yorkshire into and occupied much of Renfrewshire. Many of the place names in Renfrewshire of settlements established by the 11th century reflect this migration. The suffix -ton as in “Houston”, or Hewe’s Town, is of English origin. Celtic place names remained more common in Ayrshire.

A pattern emerges in which the given Christian names are characteristically English (e.g., John, David, Andrew, Alexander), rather than Scandinavian, Norwegian, Gaelic or Celtic, and the Caldwell surname is found virtually only among the Angles or their descendants, first in the Kingdom of Mercia, followed by Northumbria & Yorkshire, then Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, and virtually absent in areas of pure Viking settlements, such as in northern Scotland and the Hebrides, or strictly Gaelic speaking regions of Scotland, such as Galloway. This implies to me that the Caldwell place name is more likely derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Old English word, “cauld weille,” meaning artesian spring, rather than from any Scandinavian or Norse word, such as “kelda” or “kald,” for spring.

There is ample reason to conclude that the earliest use of the place name and surname of Caldwell within Scotland originated in the Levern Valley of East Renfrewshire, and spread along the course of the Levern River into Ayrshire.

Tom Caldwell objects by asserting : “The places of greatest concentration are not around the place Caldwell but rather in the area from Paisley-Kilbarchan through the Lochwinnoch area to Beith and Dalry then Saltcoats and Irvine down to Ayr. With outliers into Maybole, Coylton, Ochiltree and up the south bank of the Irvine River to Kilmarnock. Why it almost looks like a re-run of the lands held by the Stewarts (amazing). Funnily enough the Caldwells are found nearly everywhere the Wallaces originate. Perhaps they were Stewart followers from the Welsh Borders who spoke some recognizable form of Gaelic but different enough to be regarded as “Galdwallys” (foreign Welsh from Wales) in the land of the “Wallys” (the original Strathclyde Britons).” I have no weapons to deflect a blow, but maybe I can duck one by some quick dodging. In the 10th to 13th century, Ayrshire and Renfrewshire were sparsely settled and no records were kept of the individuals. No one really knows where the greatest concentration lies in those centuries. When Scottish King Malcolm Canmore ordered landowners to adopt surnames based on their possessions, someone assumed the title of Lord Caldwell, if a member of the nobility, or Laird Caldwell, if of lesser status, and the people who worked on or resided at the Caldwell Estate became known in Anglo-Norman as “de Caldwell” and in English as simply, Caldwell.

1286 A.D. Alexander III’s infant daughter, last of Scotland’s royal bloodline, dies, leaving political unrest between the clans and competition for the “throne”. King Edward “Longshanks” of England, still ruling over Scotland, appoints John Balliol as “vassal” king. Balliol, goaded into defiance, begins war with England but is quickly defeated because of lack of support from the other clans vying for power.

1305 A.D. William Wallace, later knighted Sir William Wallace, hero of the recent movie “Braveheart”, routed the English at Stirling Bridge. He later lost at Falkirk and was martyred by Longshanks.

1314 A.D. Robert the Bruce I, whose father was an Anglo-Norman noble but whose mother was daughter of a Celtic Earl of Carrick, who had taken up the cause to free Scotland, together with 30,000 Scots, routed 100,000 English soldiers at the Battle of Bannockburn and recaptured Stirling Castle from the hand of King Edward Longshanks. This seats Robert the Bruce as Sovereign of Scotland. Scotland is a united kingdom once again. Men of Levern were present under the High Steward, and it is hypothesized that the last remaining male heir to the Caldwell Estate died.

Early 14th century. Neilston Parish emerges as an administrative unit.

In 1314 at Bannockburn, men of Levern Valley were present under the High Steward and aided in the defeat of King Edward II and creation of Scottish independence. This might explain why the all the male Caldwell heirs to the Caldwell estate died, leaving only an heiress.

The Caldwell surname does not appear on the Declaration of Arbroath, of 1320, signed by over 2000 Scottish nobles and clergy. This makes sense if Caldwell was a mere vassal of the Le Croc clan, and not part of the nobility or a high-ranking clergyman.

The years 1296-1328 encompass the War of Independence, initiated by William Wallace and Robert Bruce. Because Edward I’s policy of filling Scottish benefices with English incumbents, Scottish bishops and clergy sought ecclesiastical freedom and applied the enormous wealth of the church to aid the Scots in their War of Independence. The Scottish Bishops were relatively independent of the Pope. (Barrow, supra, p. 214.) As far as I can tell, the Caldwell Uplawmoor, Scotland did not sustain any forfeiture of the Caldwell Estate during these Wars. This suggests to me that the Caldwells either avoided the wrath of King Edward I, or that the male Caldwells who were the targets of his wrath had died in the War of Independence and Edward I elected not to forfeit the Estate that passed to the Caldwell heiress or which held as prepends to support the Glasgow Diocese.

In 1329 King Robert I died and is succeeded by David II.

In 1333 Caldwell Estate heiress marries Mure.

Between 1349-1354, at the peak of the Black Plague, William Caldwell served as Lord High Chancellor of Scotland. He served during a period when the Scottish King David II was being held for ransom, 1346-57. Scottish nobles initially rejected Caldwell’s plea for ransom money refused to pay ransom and tried to retake Berwick but are defeated. Caldwell’s successor paid part of the ransom, David II is released, but the nobles reneged on full payment. He was a prebendary of the one of several prebends supporting the Glasgow Diocese. He may have been one of the ambitious men to whom Lord Macaulay referred. As Prebendary he would have been among the most wealthy. As Lord High Chancellor, among the most powerful. Usually the Lord High Chancellor was selected from the best educated among the clergy.

1399 A.D. King Henry IV is the first English king to learn English. The Anglo-Norman language begins loosing common usage and is used in civil services only until 1422 when English is reinstated as the official language of England.

1414 A.D. Shire of Renfrew mentioned in the records.

1456 A.D. The Guttenberg Bible is released; the first mass produced Bible.

1477 A.D. Lands of Glanderston in possession of Sir John Maxwell of Pollok.

1505 A.D. Lord John Sempill I (founded the Collegiate Church of Lochwinnoch (Castletoun, Renfrewshire). This was one of the first schools in Scotland. Later he builds Castle Semple. The ruins of the peel tower and Collegiate Church are still very much in evidence today although Semple Castle was destroyed in 1560.

1513 A.D. (1519?) Flodden Field. Men of Levern present. James IV and Scottish Knighthood bite the dust

1540s. John Knox, Protestant clergyman, begins preaching reform. This movement gains political as well as religious prominence. Knox later preaches against Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth of England as the “monstrous regiment of women.”

1540s. While Mary, Queen of Scots is growing up in France, French garrisons are established to manage Scotland. National resentment to foreign rule, reinforced by the movement toward Protestantism, result in riots in which churches are burned.

1560. Scottish Parliament denies papal supremacy and forbids the celebration of Catholic Mass.

1565. Marriage of Henry, Lord Darnley to Mary Queen of Scots. Lord Darnley owns lands in Neilston Parish and may have been allied with or friends of a Caldwell residing in Neilston Parish. During Mary’s imprisonment, a Caldwell acting on behalf of the father of Lord Darnley sought to get Mary to confess to his murder. This story is told in a book authored by Alison Weir, Mary, Queen of Scots and the Murder of Lord Darnley. Mention of Caldwell’s visit to Mary is made in a Letter allegedly written by Mary (she said it was a forgery). A reproduction of the text of the letter is attached as an appendix to Antonio Fraser’s book, Mary, Queen of Scots.

1572. Rev. Patrick Hamilton is the first minister of the combined parishes of Neilston, Mearns and Kilbarchan. He is Presbyterian.

1574. Scripture Reader in Neilston Parish. Parish school, under Scripture Reader.

1588. Plague and Famine in Neilston Parish. This might explain how portion of the former Caldwell estate was acquired by three Protestant knights recently arriving from France. The National Library of Scotland has 1654 map that can be seen on-line, that shows three Caldwell castles in East Renfrewshire.

1607. Union of the Crowns.

1650. Cromwell in Glasgow. Sermon by Rev. Zachary Boyd.

1666. Covenanters muster at Shitterflats near Beith, Rullion Green. Local Covenanters rounded up and shipped to America. Ship was wrecked on Orkney Islands.

1672. Conventicles at Mearns, Eaglesham and Lochgoyne.

1676. Conventicles at Communion Hill, Neilston.

1686. Rullion Green. Local Covenanters rounded up and shipped to America. Ship was wrecked on Orkney Islands. On board was a John Caldwell. The Mure of Caldwell Estate was forfeited to Sheriff Dalzeill but restored a few years later. (G. Crawfrd, The History of the Shire of Renfrew, 1710.)

The present day Caldwell Parish of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) lies about midway between the seaport of Ayr to the southwest and the City of Glasgow about 15 miles to the northeast. An on-line search for an ordnance map showing its location under the name Caldwell will be fruitless, but the name Uplawmoor will do the trick. Caldwell has ceased to exist as a community or postal address. Uplawmoor is the only village within the Parish.

The name of Caldwell was assigned to the Parish in 1890, when it was spun off of Neilston Parish, established centuries beforehand. Caldwell Parish took its name from the Caldwell Estate that been in continuous ownership of the Mure family between the 14th and 19th century, and prior to the Mures, in the ownership of a Caldwell clan. (G. Crawfurd, History of the Shire of Renfrew, 1710.) Many of the people who worked at or resided on the estate assumed Caldwell as their surname by the coincidence of living or working within the boundaries of the Estate. The Anglo-Normans would refer to them as “de Caldwell,” meaning from Caldwell. As English became the dominant spoken language, the ”de” was dropped, and Caldwell became a true surname, passed from father to son, even if neither lived or worked on the Caldwell Estate, but were simply descendants from people who had formerly lived on the Estate. (Id.)

The earliest estate lands were far more extensive than the area of the present Parish. Portions had been transferred to the monks at Paisley Abbey and the Diocese at Glasgow as a Prebend, i.e., land devoted to support of the Abbey or Diocese. William Caldwell, who served as Lord High Chancellor of Scotland between 1349-1354, was a Prebendary of Glasgow Diocese. Virtually all of the lands surrounding the Caldwell Estate, owned by people other than Caldwells, were conveyed to these religious houses by the 14th century. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2003.) One possible explanation for this “good work” is climatic change at the start of the 14th century, when glaciers began to advance, rivers froze in winter, the growing season shortened by 5 weeks, crops had to be switched from wheat to oats, vineyards perished, population declined, and the Scottish landowners experienced a relative decline in the prosperity, compared to those in England and France. Another possible explanation is the donor had no male heirs.

Despite the ownership by the Mures, mapmakers continued to designate the location as Caldwell, or variant spelling thereof (e.g., Colwel, Cauldwel, Caldwal, etc.). The Mures who acquired ownership held title as Lord Caldwell, and were members of the House of Caldwell. (G. Crawfurd, History of the Shire of Renfrew, 1710.) Three Caldwell Estates in proximity to one another as of 1654 are shown in the following map: Title: Praefectura Renfroana, vulgo, dicta Baronia. The Baronie of Renfrow / Timotheus Pont Auctor; Imprint: [Amsterdam : Blaeu, 1654].

Several reasons come to mind to explain how a rural community as small as Caldwell could have been the “mother church” to so many Caldwells elsewhere in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire, and eventually, Ulster Ireland, America, Canada, and Australia.

First, the settlement of Caldwell was well visited. Pilgrims, purveyors, and purloiners have long plodded the road that spans the distance between Ayr and Glasgow and passes through Caldwell. A vigorous person could walk the entire distance in a day were the road dry, but carts of goods took longer to escape the muddy ruts and cross the ridges of the undulating hills. Caldwell is situated at about 400 feet above sea level and the walk uphill from Ayr might have been especially fatiguing if any load were being carried. The artesian springs and the shade of the trees within the Firenze Forest at Caldwell provided a welcome respite.

Secondly, much of the original Caldwell Estate as well as surrounding land owned by others was donated as a prebend in the 13th century to support the Cluniac monks at Paisley Abbey and at the Diocese of Glasgow. In exchange for these bequests, the monks promised to keep a candle lit for eternity for the souls of the donor. Most of these lands were covered with forests that had to be cleared and the meadows rented to tenants in order to provide income and food for the monks. This creation of fee-farms provided an opportunity for the people with Caldwell surnames to become farmers. A large family was an asset, providing the labor essential to their well-being. The farm-life style was conducive to an exponential growth of Caldwells.

Third, the Caldwells likely had a greater opportunity than tenants generally to relocate to those portions of Ayrshire extending from Prestwick eastward into the uplands, an area that Tom Caldwell calls “Caldwell country,” owned by the Stewarts or their vassals. In the 13th and 14th century, tenants usually required permission of their Lord or Laird to move to another location. The Caldwells spread out to reside wherever the Stewart clan or their vassals owned land in either Renfrewshire or Ayrshire.

Fourth, the deforestation of the lands in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire (leading to loss of topsoil and pollution of streams by runoff) and the substitution of sheep for cattle (depriving the soil of manure), fostered an impoverishment that favored emigration to Ulster Ireland, then to America, Canada, and Australia, that allowed the early pioneers, among whom were many Caldwells, to prosper and multiply far out of proportion to their original humble beginnings. None of the Caldwells in America are known to have become sheepfarmers.

Fifth, the relative sparse population in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire in the 14th century and isolation of one farm house from another probably was helpful in permitting the Caldwell surname to survive the Black Plague of 1350, and several successive ones, as late as 1558.

Sixth, the people of Renfrewshire and Ayrshire never experienced the waste and genocide that was inflicted on the lowlanders residing at Berwick and adjacent province, where English King Edward I had all the men, women, and children killed to set an example. The land to the east of Renfrewshire had far more fertile top soil, avoided the excessive rainfall characteristic of the western lowlands onto which the warm Atlantic air dumped much of its moisture and acidified the soil, and the area most densely occupied and coveted by immigrants from England. In Northumbria in the area wasted by King Edwards I was the Parish of Colewell (originally Calwyla), originally founded by Anglo-Saxons, that was depopulated by Edward I.

Tom Caldwell expresses reservation that the place name Caldwell would serve as explanation for the surname for so many Caldwells who never worked at or resided at the Caldwell Estate. He points out there far larger settlements have not given rise to surnames. I concede he has a point. I cannot really explain why there are so many Caldwells yet so few Glasgow or Edinburgh surnames. One has to remember, however, that in Scotland prior to the 18th century, Glasgow was relatively small—10,000 inhabitants, and almost everyone else lived in a rural setting. The fact that the Caldwell Estate endured in name for so many centuries, whereas many other Estate names disappeared, may have something to do with the popularization of the name. The eminence of Lord High Chancellor Caldwell and his role as Prebendary of Glasgow during the height of the Black Plague of 1350 suggests a possible interaction with those who sought civil or religious intervention.

The surname Caldwell has been common in Neilston Parish for centuries, Many Caldwells are buried or in tombs at Neilston Parish Church in Neilston. Weathering has obliterated the names from most of the gravestones prior to the 18th century, but within the walls of the Neilston Parish Church are bodies of much earlier Caldwells whose memorials are unweathered. An 1851 census of Barrhead in Neilston Parish revealed 45 Caldwell heads of households. The Family History Library of Latter Day Saints reveals Caldwells back to the 16th century throughout Scotland, when recordkeeping began, the vast majority of whom lived in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, a smaller number in Lanark, and scarcely any elsewhere in Scotland.

For the reasons stated, I question Tom Caldwell’s reasoning that “Caldwell” is “too small a place” to have been the mother place of so many Caldwells, although he has raised a challenging point. Let me be the Devil’s Chaplain. I invite Tom to identify a single village in Ayrshire, or elsewhere in Renfrewshire, with anywhere close to that number of Caldwells who lived within the Parish of Neilston. Why else would the Neilston Kirk spin off and erect the Caldwell Parish in 1890 and call the Presbyterian Church in Uplawmoor the Caldwell Parish Church of Scotland? No other village in Ayrshire or Renfrewshire has a Caldwell Parish Church. Compared to other parts of Scotland, the highest concentration of Caldwells from the Reformation to present have resided within 15 miles west and downhill and downstream from Caldwell. Caldwells following the Levern River into Lugton likely spread throughout Ayrshire and this provides a plausible explanation for the many Cal dwells who came to reside there.

Caldwell Parish surrounds Loch Libo, a shallow, small lake, a few miles in breadth and length.. The on-line 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica article on Renfrewshire states that the climate is variable. As the prevailing west and south-west winds come in from the Atlantic warm and full of moisture, contact with the land causes heavy rains, and the western area of the shire is one of the wettest districts in Scotland, the mean annual rainfall exceeding 60 in. The temperature for the year averages about 48 F., for January 38.5 F., and for July 58.5 F. The hilly tract contains much peat moss and moorland, but over those areas which are not thus covered the soil, which is a light earth on a substratum of gravel, is deep enough to produce good pasture. The porous volcanic and limestone rock combined with continuous rainfall has created artesian springs that supply a generous amount of water year round, up to 43 gallons a minute, an obvious attraction to early settlers. The shallow lake would favor the construction of huts on poles standing upright in the water, a defensive strategy.

The Parish is situated at the northern part of the Levern Valley, now entirely within East Renfrewshire, Scotland (but formerly a part of Ayrshire). The Levern River flows through the Parish to Lugton Water, located in Ayrshire. Adjacent to the south side of the Lake Libo is the small village of Uplawmoor. A few miles to the southwest and west are the settlements of Lochwinnoch and Beith in Ayrshire. Lochwinnoch is named after St. Winnoch, a Christian ascetic, Beith is the Celtic word for birch tree, the name of the first letter in the Celtic alphabet, and the name of the first rank of wizards among the Druids.

The Caldwell Parish encompasses the site of the former medieval Caldwell Castle. The castle was dissembled as a sign of good faith when the McDonald clan assumed power, and the stones used to create the still standing Caldwell Tower at the ridge of a hill as well as a Caldwell House and manorial Hall of Caldwell. (G. Crawfurd, The History of the Shire of Renfrew, 1710.) The medieval Caldwell Tower overlooks the Caldwell Golf Course, built in 1907. Travelers can stay at the Caldwell Lodge. Woods surround the Tower. The relatively higher location of the Tower likely avoids the dampness and mildew of the lower locations. Caldwell Law is the name of a hill that is situated further northeast of the Caldwell Tower. Caldwell Law is located to the north of Lake Libo, whereas as the Golf Course lies to the south of the lake. A lime pit a quarter of mile southwest of Caldwell House likely provided lime that Caldwells used to combat the acidity of the soil induced by the high rainfall. A fire of recent origin attributed to vandals has destroyed the wood structure within the Hall [Manor House] of Caldwell, leaving the outer stone shell. A smaller residence, Caldwell House, to the southwest of the Hall, remains occupied. Woods and orchards surround the House.

Tom Caldwell has commented that northwest of Caldwell lies an iron age fort on Walls Hill, 229 meters high. There is an unobstructed line of sight between Glasgow and Walls Hill. A similar name can be found in Wales, called Caerwal. Tom Caldwell explains that “Caer” means fort. He states that in Scotland, Caldwell has a nickname, Ker-wahl, and advances the idea that Caldwell may possibly have Welsh origins. My own theory is that Caldwell more likely derived from the Anglo-Saxon word, “Cald Weille,” which means “artesian spring.” The similarity in names between Caerwall and Caldwell might possibly be due to a flight of nobility from Renfrewshire to Wales in the 9th century.

Historian Geoffrey Barrow states that “caer” is Primitive Welsh word meaning “fortified center,” and preceded the common usage of the word “shire” in Scotland. (G.W.S. Barrow, The Kingdom of the Scots, 2003, p. 54.) “Kirkaldy” derives from “caer,” and means “fort of hard-fort.” (Id.) In Bede’s “Ecclesiastical History,” neither “caer” or “shire” is used, but instead, the Latin word “urbs,” meaning royal center plus the surrounding district, or appendicia. For the district itself, as distinct from the center, Bede usually used the word, “regio” or “provincia.” But on his travels preaching through Northumbria, Bede used the phrase “per cuncta et urbana et rustica loca.” This was too early to designate cities, but it does convey the notion that he was preaching in the rustic backcountry. The word “shire” came into usage in Scotland, according to Barrow, after 1200 A.D., to designate a subdivision of a royal desmense already existing. (Barrow, supra, p. 53.)

Virtually all of the current place names of England, including many settlements with the place name “Caeld Weille,” or variant spelling thereof, were in place before the Norman Invasion of 1066. This works against the notion that the name is linked to the arrival of someone from France, either as a grantee from William Conqueror, or as a post-Reformation refugee.

There are historical documents showing references to the place name Caldwaellen, 942 A.D., in present day Derbyshire, according to Kenneth Cameron, “The Place Names of Derbyshire,” Cambridge, England, Cambridge University Press, 1959, p. 625.

The Domesday Book of 1086 A.D. constitutes the first census of England. Written in Latin, it describes a hamlet of Caldewelle (today spelled in English, Caldwell) in the southwest region of Derbyshire, within the Repton and Gresly Hundred (an Anglo-Saxon administrative unit that, along with the “shire,” survived the Norman Conquest). (Domesday Book, English & Latin, text and translation edited by John Morris. Chichester: Phillimore, 1975-1986, vol. 27.” “In Caldewelle, Aelferic had 2 c. [caraucates] of and taxable. Land for 2 ploughs. Now in Lordship 1 plough; 6 villagers with 1 plough. Value before 1066 and now, 20 s. King William gave this manor to the monks for his well being.” A caraucate is about 120 acres, and was based on the amount of land a team of 8 oxen could plough in a season. The monks to which reference is made were those of Burton Abbey. Burton Abbey was founded as a Benedictine monastery by Wulfuric Spot during the reign of King Æthelred the Unready (978-1016 A.D.).

The present church in Caldwell, Derbyshire, dates back to the 14th century, but there are remnants of the earlier Anglo-Saxon church of the 8th century.

In J.E.B. Glover, A. Mawer and F.M. Stenton, “The Place Names of Worcestershire,” Vol. IV (English Place Name Society, University of Nottingham, 1927), the authors cite historical documents referring to a Caldan Wyllan, in 972 A.D, renamed as Caldewelle, in 1198 A.D, and most recently known as Caldwall Hall and Caldewell. “Wyllan” is another Old English word for “spring-water” or “well.” Worcestershire was formed as an administrative unit in 1041 after recovery of the Kingdom of Mercia from the Danes.

In Nottinghamshire there is a settlement called Caldwell Brook. The earliest historical reference in 1289 refers to this place as Caldewell in the Assize Rolls (stored in the Public Record Office), and later as Coldwell Field, 1609. (John Eric Bruce Glover, Allen Mawer, and F.M. Stenton, “The Place Names of Nottinghamshire,” Cambridge (Eng.), The University Press, 90, p. 2.)

The Domesday Book lists a hamlet of Caldeuuella (lost today) in Birdforth Wapentake, [North Riding, Yorkshire], and another in Gilling West Wapentake located in the Parish of Stanwick Saint John, [North Riding, Yorkshire], still in existence, then spelled Caldewelle, consisting of one manor with 6 ploughs and about 720 acres owned by Thoir at the time of the Conquest of 1066, and transferred by King William to Norman French Count Alan Fergant (Alan the Red).

In Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England, there is a street called Caldwell Rd., that led to the former medieval village of Caldwell, presently enveloped by the expansion of Nuneaton.

Burke’s Peerage (which has passed through more than 100 editions since 1826) states that John Caldwell de Grebson, 3rd Baron, a landless knight claiming to be of Scots descent, married Alicia in 1278 and by her had one son, John Caldwell, who served as 4th Baron of Grebson, Warwickshire.

Some historians claim that the 3rd Baron was, in actuality, Richard, son of King Henry III, known at one time as Norman of Torn (see Edgar Rice Burroughs, Outlaw of Torn). Richard was raised as “Norman” of (the ruined tower of) Torn in the hills of Derby by De Vac, a Gascon who hated Henry III, and who taught Norman to hate Englishmen. Richard, or Norman, fell in love with Bertrade, daughter of Simon de Montfort, Henry’s brother-in-law and enemy. Richard fought with Simon against Henry at the Battle of Lewes. Richard was recognized by Henry and was reconciled with his father and mother.

After Henry’s death, King Edward accused Richard of treason, and Richard became an outlaw again. Disguised as Caldwell, he married Alicia. But when adopting new arms, he was unable to resist an example of “punning arms.” A spinning wheel was then known as a torn, and his shield bore “Sable, a torn or,” i.e., a black field on which is a golden spinning wheel. Edward, hearing of this, sent five knights to arrest him. They caught the outlaw alone, but he killed all of them, though he died of wounds immediately after. A violet lily shaped mark on his left breast identified him a Henry III’s son.

The Domesday Book omits mention of the Prior of Cauldwell in Bedford and Worcester County (Bedfordshire prior to 1974). (See Hundreds, Manors, Parishes & The Church: A Selection Of Early Documents For Bedfordshire, edited by John S. Thompson. Vol. 69 (1990).) Bedfordshire lies immediately southwest of Derbyshire, and not far from the hamlet of Caldwell om Derbyshire that is mentioned in the Domesday Book.

The Bedfordshire Coroners’ Rolls refer to a murder in 1269 involving assailants from the Prior of Cauldwell.

All of these settlements are located in regions that were peopled by the Angles and were part of either the Kingdom of Mercia or Northumbria.

During the Roman occupation of Great Britain, York was initially a garrison settlement by which the Romans administered the north of England beginning in the 1st century A.D. In the 2d century, York served three years as the capital of the Roman Empire, while the Emperor Severus resided there and commanded a Roman army that sought to defeat the Celtics. By the 3rd century, York was one of several provincial capitals of England and a thriving cosmopolitan port, with merchants from