Today in Restoration History: 14 August 1842

Pardon that this is three days late, but just this evening saw the below reference in John R. Howard’s Bible Advocate:

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Nashville, Ten. Aug. 14, 1842.

Bro. Gist–I was at Gallatin* at a meeting held by bros. J. T. Johnson, G. W. Elley, and R. C. Rice.  Some 40 or 45 made the good confession.  Bro. Johnson will be in Nashville in Oct., on his way to the south.

Your bro. in the Gospel,

NICK HACKWORTH.

–>Cannot our beloved brother Johnson visit us as Paris, and at Dresden, [both are west/northwest of Nashville, MI] when he shall have left Nash?  He has been frequently solicited; and it cannot be much out of the way going to the south.  We are rejoiced to hear that he is going to the south, and hope he will spend the winter there.  He will no doubt effect much, particularly at Russellville, Ala., and Columbus, Miss.  Can he not on his rout [sic] also visit Tuscaloosa and Marion, Ala.?  J. R. H.

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*This town was a few years since the scene of one of the celebrated Mr. Maffit’s “revivals.”–But we believe that the effects, like those of the rest of his revivals, have since vanished away like the morning vapor before the sun!–And so do all such mere animal excitements.  J. R. H.

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“Progress of the Gospel, News &c.” Bible Advocate 1:3 (October 1842), 44.

Gist is C. H. Gist, one of a committee of three who publish Bible Advocate.  J. R. H. is John R. Howard, editor.  Nick Hackworth is a new name to me.  Who is he who rides up to Gallatin to hear preaching by Johnson and company?  An evangelist?  An elder or deacon in the Nashville congregation?  Whence and whither?  All good questions.

Gallatin is northeast of Nashville in Sumner County, a principal city of that county.  Even in 1842 that area has a half-century of ‘history’ under its belt…or at least a half-century of Anglo presence.  Young Barton Stone held forth in the very same neighborhood in 1796.   By 1842 Restorationist preaching was certainly not unknown in those parts.  Tolbert Fanning was active in and around Gallatin and Castalian Springs in the 1840’s.  On John Rogers, The Biography of Elder J. T. Johnson. 2nd ed. (Cincinnati: Author, 1861), 188 mention is made of Gallatin and Hopewell, among others places on this very preaching tour.  Details, however, are lacking as Rogers moves quickly to other matters and does not even mention the Nashville visit.  It may be that Johnson did not visit Nashville as Hackworth expected…perhaps plans changed..doors closed or opened.  Perhaps he held forth from the Nashville pulpit with eloquence and power and Rogers just did not record it.  We’ll see what else may turn up.

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