Joseph Hart and His Descendants
By Rev. Charles Coffin Hart (Published 1901)
About the year 1735 a Mr. Hart and his wife, both Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, started
from Wales to emigrate to America. They left their native land on account of persecution
directed especially against Presbyterians and Covenanters, and sought a home in the
American Colonies, that they might worship God without molestation.
The vessel on which they sailed was more than four months on the voyage, and during
this period of time the husband died and the widow gave birth to a son, whom she named
Thomas. The widow and child landed at Bordentown, N. J., where the mother brought up her
son till he reached the age of manhood.
Nothing more is known by us of the mother.
The son, Thomas Hart, married Mrs. Nancy Butler, nee Miss Nancy Stout, a native of
Scotland, also a Presbyterian, but had no children by her first husband. Mrs. Butler had
two brothers, John and St. Ledger Stout. These four, Mr. Hart and his wife and her two
brothers, moved from Bordentown, N. J., to Loudon County, Virginia, where, on June 16,
1761, a son was born to Thomas and Nancy Hart, whom they named Joseph, and who became the
patriarch of the family. He was the only child of his mother, as she died while Joseph was
yet in his infancy. After the death of the mother the father placed Joseph under the care
of a kind Christian neighbor, with whom he lived until he was sixteen years old. When ten
or eleven years of age, Joseph became a Christian, and this gave character and was the
keynote to all his future history. The father, Thomas Hart, married a second wife. To this
union two sons, Isaac and Alexander, and one daughter, Jane, were born. Isaac, a farmer,
married, lived and died in Monroe County, Tennessee. Nothing is known by us of his family.
Alexander married and moved to Georgia, where he became a successful cotton planter,
and brought up a numerous family. But little is known of them, except that they are
scattered throughout the West and Southwestern States. Jane and her marriage will be
noticed further on.
In the early part of 1777 the foster father of Joseph Hart was drafted into the Army of
the Revolution from Loudon County, Virginia. Joseph said to him: "You have a family,
and should you be killed, your family will have no protector. You took care of me in my
childhood; I will now be your substitute in the army, for I have no one dependent on
Record and Pension Office,
Washington, Oct. 11, 1895.
The records of this office show that Joseph Hart served in Captain Holcomb's company of
the Fourth Virginia regiment, commanded by Colonel Thomas Elliot, and also in Captain
Thomas Ridley's company of the Virginia regiment, commanded by Colonel Robert Lawson,
Revolutionary War. His name is first borne on the rolls of the Fourth Virginia regiment
for April, 1777, and it appears also on subsequent rolls to February, 1778, when he is
reported "Discharged, Feb. 16, 1778." Neither the date nor the term of his
enlistment is shown by the record.
By authority of the Secretary of War.
F. C. AINSWORTH,
Col. U. S. Army, Chief of Office.
Soon after his enlistment, April, 1777, his regiment was ordered to South Carolina. In
September following, Captain Holcomb's company was engaged in a moonlight battle with some
British and Tories, near Guilford Courthouse, S. C. In this battle Captain Holcomb and
several of his officers were killed; also many of the privates were either killed or
wounded, and the muster roll of the company was lost. And this fact accounts for Joseph
Hart's appearing in Captain Ridley's company, commanded by Colonel Lawson.
Joseph Hart was wounded in the right hip by a musket ball. After the battle he was
placed on a horse and taken to a barn, two miles distant, to which place several other
wounded soldiers were taken, where he lay until morning. He wore buckskin breeches, and
when the surgeon came to examine him, he found the right leg of this garment so stiff with
blood that it could not be removed until it was cut from top to bottom. The wound was
found to be of such a nature as to disable him for further military service. The ball had
lodged deep in the groin and was not extracted; and hence he carried British lead in his
body to his grave. He was never afterwards able to do a day's hard labor, but was a very
industrious man, even up to old age. After his discharge he returned to his home in
Virginia. When nineteen years of age he left Loudon County and went to Tygert's Valley, in
Greene County, Virginia. Here we lose sight of the foster father, to whom he owed much for
his Christian kindness to him in his infancy and youth, but whose name is unknown to us.
Joseph's Christian principles led him to regard human slavery as a wrong to his
fellow-man, and therefore a sin against God, and this is assigned as a principal reason
for leaving Loudon, where slavery existed, to seek a home in Greene County. But in
Tygert's Valley there was much fertile unoccupied land which attracted the attention of
slave-holding tobacco planters. On the influx of slave-holders, Joseph left Tygert's
Valley and moved to Washington County, Virginia. Here in 1788, at the age of twenty-seven,
he was married to Miss Nancy Shanklin, of whose history we have not been able to learn.
Here their first son, Edward, was born in 1789. But the fertile lands of Washington County
drew the slave-holding planters to this part of Virginia. With the hope that the colony of
Tennessee would become a free state, Mr. Hart made a journey to Blount County, Tennessee.
Being pleased with the country, he returned to Virginia, and in the spring of 1790, with
his wife, infant son and his half sisterJane Hartmoved to Blount County,
Tennessee. The Cherokee and Creek Indians had been removed to Georgia, but a few would
return to their old haunts, steal horses and kill any white people exposed to their raids.
To protect themselves, Mr. Hart and Arthur Greer united with other pioneer settlers in
building a blockhouse and fortknown as "Old Fort McTeer"a part of
which is still to be seen, and is within the corporate limits of Maryville. The family
lived in the fort four or five years. During this time Mr. Hart bought 320 acres of land,
three and a half miles northeast of the fort, where he cleared land and built the first
two-story frame house in Blount County. The house was located near the "Big
Spring," and a part of it is still standing1900and has ever since been
occupied by some member of the Hart family. Here he planted an apple orchard, some of
which was bearing fruit one hundred years after planting. When it was considered safe from
Indian raids, the family moved into their home and there continued to reside until
September, 1821. In 1797, soon after moving into their new home, Arthur Greer and Jane
Hart were married at the home of the bride's brother. Mr. Greer and his wife lived many
years in Blount county, where they reared a numerous family, many of whom are still
living1900---in Blount and Knox Counties, a noble race of Presbyterians of
Though converted in early youth, Joseph Hart did not make a public profession of
religion until about the year 1796, when, under the ministry of Rev. Gideon Blackburn, he
and his wife united with New Providence Presbyterian Church. Soon after he was made an
elder in the church and Clerk of Session. He often "set the tune" and led the
singing in the church, and for want of hymn books he read and sang two lines at a time. He
also took a deep interest in the education of young men for the ministry, a work begun
here by Rev. Isaac Anderson, D. D., pastor of New Providence Church, which developed into
(Note: The original book has a major typo here. The line above actually ends Mary-
and is followed on the next line with a repetition of "also took a deep interest in
the education of young men for the." Someone has pencilled through the repeated line,
and finished the word "Maryville." My guess is that the line above was supposed
to end with "Maryville College." -- BA.)
In 1807, after a short illness, the mother died, leaving the father with five sons
and one daughter, viz: Edward, born in Washington County, Virginia, 1789; Thomas, born in
the fort, 1791; Joseph, Jr., born in the fort, 1793; Silas, born in the farm home, 1796;
Gideon Blackburn, born on the farm, 1798; Elizabeth, born in the farm home, 1802.
In 1809 Joseph Hart was married to Miss Mary Means, of Blount County, a maiden lady,
thirty-two years of age, whose parents left the north of Ireland about the year 1780 to
escape persecution, they being Presbyterians, and settled in East Tennessee. To this union
were born five sons, viz: William, born in 1810; Samuel, born Feb. 17, 1813; James Harvey,
born Sept. 21, 1815; Isaac Anderson, born in 1817, and deceased when about sixteen months
old; Charles Coffin, born March 1820. These were all born in the family home in Blount
County, Tennessee. Thus we see that the subject of this sketch was the father of ten sons
and one daughter. A remarkable fact in the history of the family may be mentioned here,
viz: The second son, Thomas Hart, was the father of ten daughters and one son.
Mr. Hart was a teacher as well as farmer. He taught the first school in Blount County.
The school-house stood on land afterwards owned by David Eagleton, about two miles from
Maryville. He also owned the first four-horse team known in the county. After the country
began to be settled and there was no longer danger from the Indians, and for the want of a
home market, this enterprising pioneer started his four-horse team to carrying country
produce into the gold-mining region of Georgia. There the merchants would receive his
produce and load his wagon with cotton for Baltimore. At Baltimore he was loaded with
goods for the merchants of Maryville and Knoxville, the round trip occupying about three
months. This team, with six horses, was often sent for salt to the salt works on Goose
Creek in Virginia, about 80 miles from Maryville. Though never able, on account of his
lame hip, to do such work himself, yet he found willing substitutes in his older
sonsone of whom says "he was always in the saddle." About the year 1818,
while Mr. Hart was having a vicious horse shod, the horse jumped on him, injuring his
right shoulder, so that he was never afterwards able to put on or take off his coat
without help. This horse belonged to his sister, Mrs. Arthur Greer. During the twenty-six
years that Mr. Hart lived on his farm near Maryville there was no occasion for calling a
physician except twice, once to see one of the boys who was suffering with "white
swelling," and again on account of the injured shoulder of the father.
Tennessee having become a slave State, Mr. Hart determined to seek a home beyond the
reach of that institution. In the spring of 1820 his son, Gideon Blackburn, went to
Indiana, visiting Vincennes, Terre Haute and the central part of the State, and finally
proposed Bartholomew County, Indiana, as the future home of the family. About the middle
of September, 1821, the family was prepared for the great eventto emigrate to a new
country. They had said good-bye to the old home, to old and familiar scenes, to old
neighbors, to the old church, and to the dear old pastor. Neighbors and friends came to
see them start. The company consisted of the father, the mother, Silas and Elizabeth of
the first family, the four boys of the second family, and Robert McClure, a young man
hired for the occasion. They were provided with two wagons, each with two horses, and an
extra horse with saddle (which the father rode), a large tent and two cows, which answered
the twofold purpose of furnishing milk for the journey and a supply of that much needed
article in their new home. The first evening the tent was pitched by Will's Creek, seven
miles from the starting place. Supper being ended, the stock cared for, a chapter in the
Bible was read, prayer was offered and the pilgrims took their first night's rest in the
wilderness. The next morning before daylight William Trotter, a young farmer, a leader of
the singing in New Providence Church, accompanied by his brother, Isaac, came to the camp
on horseback. William Trotter was engaged to be married to Elizabeth Hart, and had
promised to go to Indiana the next spring, to be married there. But after consultation it
was agreed that Silas and his sister should return with the Trotter brothers to Dr.
Anderson's, where the marriage took place that morning; Silas overtook the family at the
next camping place. The journey occupied about four weeks. And when the tent was pitched
on Saturday it remained so until Monday morning, religious service being held in the tent
on the Sabbath.
Gideon Blackburn, being in the region of Vincennes, and having learned that the family
was moving, followed the military road opened by Gen. William Henry Harrison, Governor of
Northwest Territory, from Vincennes to the Tobacco landing on the Ohio River, near
Leavenworth, Ind., and met the family in Kentucky in the region of Cumberland Gap, and
accompanied them to their destination, near Clifty Creek, five miles east of Columbus,
Bartholomew County, Indiana, which they reached on the 8th day of October, 1820, the
journey having occupied nearly four weeks.
At that time the government would not sell less than one quarter section160
acres---of land, and that at $2 per acre. But by paving $160, the purchaser could get a
certificate of entry and have five years in which to pay the remainder, and no taxes could
be collected during these five years. At the end of the five years the balance was paid
and the government issued a patent for the land. This pioneer father, having selected a
quarter section, sent his son Gideon with $160 in silver to the land office at
Jeffersonville, Ind., 100 miles distant, and entered the land according to law. Silas,
Gideon and McClure cut the logs for a cabin, rived the boards for the roof, split and
hewed the puncheons for the floor. Mr. Elijah Sloan, an enterprising neighbor, with his
oxen, hauled the timbers to the building spot. The neighbors came together and built the
cabin and put on the roof in one day. The next day they laid the puncheon floor, built the
chimney, the window and door were put in place, and the family moved into their Western
home. Such was the good will of the neighbors that this work was done with dispatch and
The cabin was 16x18 feet, had the ubiquitous outdoor "mud and stick chimney,"
one window and one door. The window had nine 8x10 lights, two sash. There was no sawed
lumber except the sash and window frame, and these were brought from Tennessee. No nails
were used except a few made by a blacksmith in Tennessee and brought with the family.
These were used in making the door, the hinges and fastening of which were made of
hickory. From the time of arrival to the moving into the cabin (about six weeks) the
family lived in the tent and the wagons. The three menSilas, Gideon and
McCluredug a well, built a stable, cleared and fenced twelve acres of land and had
it ready by May 1st for planting corn, flax and potatoes. Early in May, 1822, Silas and
McClure, with one of the wagons and two horses, returned to Blount County, Tennessee.
There was an abundance of wild game in the region of the new home, such as deer, foxes,
raccoons, opossums, squirrels, turkeys, quails and pheasants. Wolves, bears and panthers
were occasionally seen. The creeks and rivers abounded with fish. The father, however, was
so much opposed to hunting, because it encouraged an idle, shiftless manner of life, that
he would not have a gun about the house. In this cabin a chapter of the Bible was read, a
hymn was sung and prayer offered morning and evening. In the absence of the father the
mother conducted this service.
Here by the blazing fire of beech and hickory in the winter evenings, and in less cold
weather by the light made by the dry bark of the great poplar trees, the mother spun flax
on the "little wheel'' or engaged in knitting; while the father and the boys
committed to memory the questions and answers of the Shorter Catechism. Many chapters of
the Bible were also committed to memory. After these tasks were donethough they were
not tasks. but always a pleasant pastimethe boys would engage in some simple play,
while the father would sing hymns from memory, such as "How Firm a Foundation, Ye
Saints of the Lord," "\When I Can Read My Title Clear," "There Is a
Fountain Filled With Blood, "Awaked by Sinai's Awful Sound," "Am I a
Soldier of the Cross,' "There Is a Land of Pure Delight," and many others. Once
a week the Cincinnati Journal. a secular and religious paper, was read by one of the boys,
the others giving strict attention. Once in two weeks a grist of corn (two and a half
bushels) was shelled, to be taken to mill on horseback the next day. In this cabin the
preacher was often entertained, notably Rev. John M. Dickey. On these occasions the boys
were examined as to their knowledge of the catechism. This cabin was also the only
preaching place in the neighborhood for several years. A traveling preacher would arrive;
the neighbors were notified. All would leave their work, come to this humble dwelling and
hear a sermon.
As to food and clothing, these were of the simplest kind. The clothing was made almost
wholly of wool and flax. Each family kept a few sheep and raised a "patch' of flax
each year. These articles were spun, woven and made into garments at home or by exchanging
work with some neighbor. The father made the shoes for the family, both shoes for each
person being made on the same last. Hats for summer were made of rye straw or splits from
the buckeye tree. Corn bread, mush and milk and vegetables, with a limited amount of hog
meat, supplemented with eggs, fowls, fish and wild game caught in traps, constituted
almost the entire food. Tea and coffee were almost unknown. Some buckwheat was raised and
ground in the corn mill. For the first five years there was but little wheat raised, as
there were no mills for making flour. There was no fruit until it could be grown from seed
brought from the old home. In the spring a supply of sugar was made from the sap of the
sugar maple, which grew abundantly in that region.
The following note is from the history of Bartholomew County: "On the third day of
July, 1824, the Presbyterian church of Columbus was organized, consisting of seventeen
members. Joseph Hart and his wife, Mary Hart, are the first names on the roll. Mr. Hart
was made Ruling Elder, and for many years was the only Ruling Elder, and was Clerk of the
Session until the time of his death. Presbyterianism and Christianity in this community
owe a great deal to this godly man."
In those days whisky was cheap, 18 3/4 cents per gallon, or six gallons for a dollar;
and was used at all neighborhood gatherings, such as log-rollings, house or barn railings,
harvestings, corn huskings, and sometimes at weddings. This pioneer, seeing the evils of
this custom, determined to abolish it from his premises. In the spring of 1825 a
half-day's log rolling was to be done and the neighbors were to be invited. The messenger
was directed to say to each one: "There will be no whisky, but father says he will
try to treat you well." All came. About the middle of the afternoon the mother sent
to the field a pot of hot coffee, milk, sugar, tincups and pewter spoons; also a large
tray of hot corn pone. The father said: "Come, men, let's have some
refreshments." All, seated on logs, partook of this substitute for whisky, and all
seemed well pleased. The work was done before sunset, and the men were called to supper,
after which they voted it the best log rolling of the season. Thus, quietly and without
the neighbors knowing it, a most important temperance reform was happily inaugurated, and
in a few years no whisky was seen at any neighborhood gatherings. This pioneer served
several years as magistrate. In those days the magistrates of the county met twice each
month and held County Court. Much of the judicial business of the county was transacted at
these meetings. Mr. Hart taught school both winter and summer, but mostly in the summer.
The text books used in these pioneer schools were "Noah Webster's Elementary Spelling
Book," "Introduction to the English Reader," the New Testament and
"Pike's" or "Smiley's Arithmetic." The only classes formed were in
spelling. Those who could spell words only in one or two syllables were drawn up in line
and exercised in spelling "for head" just before the noon recess. All others
went through a similar exercise before dismission in the afternoon. The readers, one at a
time, read to the master several lessons each day. Those studying arithmetic seldom did
any other work, except to spell and write. Writing was done with quill pens, made by the
master, each scholar furnishing his own quills. All scholars were required to study aloud,
and this constituted a loud school. And a loud school it was. In the spring of 1826, Mr.
Hart organized in his neighborhood the first Sabbath School in the county. The exercises
of this school consisted of reading the Scriptures, singing a hymn, prayer, and reciting
verses of Scripture committed to memory during the week; some reciting from twenty-five to
fifty verses each Sabbath. He also engaged occasionally in work for the American Bible
Society. There are Bibles in Bartholomew County to this day furnished by this pioneer
On the afternoon of June 6, 1826, a dark cloud overshadowed this Christian household.
The father was teaching in the neighborhood school house; the three younger boys were in
school. Mrs. Sloan. a Christian neighbor, was spending the afternoon with the mother. A
boy came to the school house, and looking in, exclaimed, "William is drowned !"
The father and two of the boys hastened to the creek, half a mile distant; the other was
sent home to break the sad news to the mother, who was then preparing supper. The message
was conveyed to her in a whisper. She turned to Mrs. Sloan and said: "My son is
drowned." And kneeling by a chair that mother poured forth a full heart to Him who
alone is a present help in trouble. After inquiring about the sad affair, she went on with
her work, ate supper and calmly waited until the lifeless body of her first born was
brought home. There was no outburst of lamentation, but a quiet resignation to the will of
her heavenly Father. The burial took place the next day, the first laid in Sand Hill
graveyard, for up to this time the neighbors had buried their dead on their own land. For
more than a year nothing unusual occurred in the uneventful history of this humble pioneer
About the first of September,1827, (Note: the year was pencilled by someone over a
typo in the original book) the mother was attacked with bilious fever. Dr. Kiser was
sent for, the first time a physician was called to this home. Some of the ladies of the
church in Columbus came on horseback to show their sympathy and render such help as they
could. The ever-ready and faithful Mrs. Sloan was with her during the night of the 10th of
September, but went home at daybreak to prepare breakfast for her own family. At the
rising of the sun, Sept. 11, 1827, the mother gave a parting message to each of her
children. The father, in a clear voice, sang
Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are;
While upon His breast I lean my head
And breathe my life out sweetly there.
And good Mary Hart was not, for the Lord had taken her. Then followed a simple
breakfast and family worship. The day following she was laid in Sand Hill graveyard by the
side of her son. The two older boys went to live with two families in the neighborhood
during the coming winter. The father and the younger son made their home with Gideon B.
Hart, who had married and was living on a farm one mile northwest of the home place. And
the dear little cabin home, that had sheltered us for six happy years, passed into the
hands of strangers.
In March, 1828, James Harvey was apprenticed to John B. Abbot, of Columbus, to learn
the tailor's trade. Here he served six years. In May, 1828, the father and his son Samuel
made a journey to Columbia, Maurey (sic) County, Tennessee, where Joseph Hart, Jr., was
then residing. To prepare for this journey a onehorse Jersey wagon was bought. The women
of the church spun and wove the cloth, and then came together at the house of Gideon B.
Hart and made a suit of clothes for each and a Scotch plaid coat for the father, which had
a belt and velvet collar. So stylish a cloak had not been seen in the neighborhood before.
This journey occupied two weeks, and was the only journey the father ever made with a
wheeled vehicle. The father remained in Tennessee two years, engaged in teaching the
greater part of the time, and then returned on horseback and made his home with his son
Gideon the remainder of his life.
After his return from Tennessee in 1830, Congressman William Herod visited this
Revolutionary soldier to induce him to apply for a pension. But he said "No: I did
not go into the army for money, and I served only a short time." The lawyer replied,
"But you were wounded in the service and partially disabled for life."
"True, but I did very little service for the country. The government is now in debt,
and I cannot ask for money." The subject was then dropped, though renewed several
times, but always with the same result.
After his return from Tennessee, Mr. Hart taught school several summers, either in his
own neighborhood or in the Haw patch. In February, 1836, he sent his youngest son, a lad
of sixteen, to Salem, Washington County, sixty miles from home, to learn a trade. In the
following May the father went to Salem and apprenticed his son to David T. Weir to learn
the cabinetmaker's trade. The papers of indenture were carefully drawn by the father,
binding the lad to four years' faithful service. They were signed by the father and Mr.
Weir, and then recorded in the office of the recorder of deeds and indentures. The father
then returned home.
William Trotter, his son-in-law, having moved to Walnut Ridge, ten miles north of
Salem, Mr. Hart visited his daughter in the spring of 1837 and taught school in their
neighborhood. This was the last school he ever taught. He spent the fall and winter at
home, and returned to Walnut Ridge, Washington County, in the spring of 1838, expecting to
teach again; but a suitable house could not be procured. In a letter written to his sons
in Tennessee, from Walnut Ridge, he expresses great distress of heart on account of the
strife and division in the Presbyterian church into Old School and New School, claiming
that the division was unnecessary and a violation of the constitution of the church. He
became a decided New School man, but always was charitable to the opposite party. His
return from Washington County, June, 1838, was the last journey he made on horseback, his
favorite mode of traveling. A considerable portion of his time in past years he spent in
work for the American Bible Society.
As to his person, Mr. Hart was five feet, eight inches in height, weight about 130
pounds. He was always neat in his person and dress. Never had a pair of boots, never wore
suspenders; wore a low hat with broad rim. His letters, written to his children from 1825
to 1838, were very lengthy, correct in spelling and grammar, clear and concise in
composition, while the handwriting is a marvel. The paper used was large and unruled, yet
the lines are as straight as if written on ruled paper, the letters well formed, every
"i" is dotted and every "t" crossed. Postage, twenty-five cents.
In September, 1839, he was stricken with paralysis in his right side, from which he
never fully recovered. About a year later he had a second stroke of paralysis, which
rendered him almost helpless. After this he never left his room; and for six months before
his death could not lie down on account of a dropsical affection. During this time his
granddaughter, now Mrs. Mary E. Braden, of St. Louis, Mo., was his most faithful,
efficient and affectionate attendant, administering to his wants during the day. At night
his son Gideon was his nurse. Here let it be recorded that during all the years this
father made his home in the family of his son Gideon, Hetty, the good and faithful wife of
Gideon, was ever and always a most kind and affectionate daughter to her father-in-law;
anticipating his wants and always ready to make any sacrifice for his comfort. During all
the time of his helplessness he manifested the greatest cheerfulness and patience, with
unabated trust in his heavenly Father; often repeating the hymn, "How firm a
foundation, ye saints of the Lord, is laid for your faith in His excellent word ;"
or, "There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood," and many others; also many passages
of Scripture committed to memory in his youth.
The writer of these lines visited him five weeks before his death, and at the final
leavetaking the father said: "My son, I shall live but a short time. When you hear of
my death do not put on any outward sign of mourning; it will be a time of great joy to
me." On the morning of June 20, 1841, he passed into the presence of his Lord whom,
not having seen, he loved. Thus ended the earthly life of this remarkable pioneer and
patriarch, at the age of eighty years and three days. Remarkable in that he was converted
in his early youth; remarkable in that he volunteered to take the place of his foster
father, who had been drafted into the army; remarkable in that, although he had been
wounded and thereby partially disabled for life, yet he refused to apply for a pension;
remarkable as a pioneer teacher, as a temperance reformer, as a Sabbath School and Bible
Society worker; remarkable for his cheerfulness, enterprise and industry, notwithstanding
his infirmities; remarkable, above all else, for his simplicity of life, integrity and
uprightness in dealing with his fellow-men, and in his modest Christian life. He lived the
Golden Rule. And for more than fifty years he truly walked with God. His life was a
manifest illustration of God's faithfulness to His covenant with Abraham, viz: "And I
will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee in their
generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and thy seed after
thee." (Gen. 17: 7.)
The writer has seen and baptized one in the sixth generation of this patriarch, and
knows personally more than one hundred of his descendants. He has also, by correspondence,
some knowledge of about five hundred others. Of this number, at least two hundred are, or
were when living, Christians. Many of them are active in the Lord's service, and a very
large majority are members of the Presbyterian church. Ten are preachers, many are ruling
elders, superintendents of Sabbath Schools and other officers of the church.
"Let the righteous be had in everlasting remembrance."
The above sketch was compiled1899 by James Harvey and Charles C. Hart, the only
surviving sons of Joseph Hart.