Table Of Contents
General William Clark, as pastor of the Grindle Creek Church, and later as pastor of the Rountree Church, played an active part in the rise of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in North Carolina. The fuller booklet is available online at Eastern North Carolina Digital Library (link above: click title). The following are gleanings of information taken from the booklet entitled:
by Charles Crossfield Ware
The North Carolina Christian Missionary Convention
Box 1164, Wilson, North Carolina
New Bern, N.C. ,
Chronology: Rountree Church
1832 -- January 21 - General William Clark called as pastor.
October 5 - Clark's Grindle Creek resolution adopted, thus aligning Rountree
with the Reformers,
1833 -- October 21 - Clark, Rountree's pastor, excommunicated by Neuse Association.
1834 -- February 22- Sermon by Thomas Campbell, father of Alexander Campbell.
(On Feb. 14, 1834, Gen. Clark received Thomas Campbell in his home on Second St., between Catanch and Reade, in Greenville, N.C. (Page 21 in "Ninetieth Anniversary Memorial First Christian Church, Jackson, Mississippi"
1834 -- October 20 - Rountree church excluded by Neuse Association.
—Rountree Chronicles, p.5
—Rountree Chronicles, p.5
About General William Clark In North Carolina
"Allen Blount, Rountree clerk, throughout his records, said 'Lord's Day' never the 'Sabbath'. The only Rountree pastor he calls 'beloved' is General William Clark (1832-'33), who associated with John Patrick Dunn and Abraham Congleton, decisively turned this congregation to the Christian Church, (Disciples of Christ), which was then originating spontaneously on a wide front in America.
It is contended by not a few that Alexander Campbell was the head and front of the movement. Campbell was indeed a glamorous person, an indefatigable leader. So the Disciples were profanely called 'Campbellites' or more profanely 'Campbellite Baptists'. Thomas Meredith, through his Baptist journal at Edenton, first gave general currency to the name 'Campbellites' in North Carolina. (Page 12). In October, 1833, he led in expelling Clark, the 'Campbellite' pastor at Rountree from the Neuse Association and at the next association meeting, October 1834, his influence was again felt in expelling Rountree church itself from that Association. (Page 12). Here are the first steps of Disciple history in North Carolina. Some Rountree members went out in August, 1828, to found a branch of Rountree, named Little Sister. It was in Lenoir County, about seven miles north of Kinston, known today as the Airy Grove community. John Patrick Dunn, his brother, Walter, and Arthur Tull were the leaders at Little Sister. These and William Clark soon found that the reform principles of the Disciples had so spread as to necessitate some formal, systematic fellowship for maintenance and growth. Thus, the first of all such meetings was called at Little Sister in February 1831, resulting in an association of kindred minds later to be called the Union Meeting of Disciples of Christ. At first, there were enlisted only the five churches: Rountree, Little Sister, and Grindle Creek, (which up to this time had been Baptist churches, members of the Neuse Association), and Old Ford and Tranters Creek from the Kehukee Association. For this action, Old Ford and Tranters Creek were dropped from the Kehukee in 1833, and the first three were put out of the Neuse the following year.
In the summer of 1832, Clark had turned against the Calvanistic (Baptist) tenets
of the Kehukee faith and had come to a firm conviction, holding it throughout
the remainder of his life that the article in the Baptist Creed affirming that
the Bible is the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian, should be
interpreted simply and with dynamic sincerity, to be put into all out practice.
Accordingly, he flamed with this in his pulpit at Grindle Creek, his home
church. It stood on the western fringe of the village of
As the next obvious step Clark carried his reformatory resolution (known as Clark's Grindle Creek Resolution) to such sister churches as were amenable to his approach. It came to Rountree August 25, 1832 and was adopted on October 5, 1832. Technically and officially from that date, it should be listed with the new ecumenical movement, known as the Disciples of Christ.
Clark was called as pastor by the Rountree church January 21, 1832. In 1833 General Clark issued a pamphlet setting forth his religious views, known as the “Clark Pamphlet.” This "gorgeously rare" document has never been found. (From "Foreword," p. 10). At the October 20, 1833 meeting of the Neuse at Fort Barnwell, Clark, along with Dunn and Congleton, were branded as heretics and excommunicated by the Neuse Association. On October 20, 1834, the Rountree church was excluded by the Neuse Assocation. In 1835, Clark removed to Jackson, Mississippi, (from "Ninetieth Anniversary Memorial," First Christian church, Jackson, Mississippi, Chapter IV, Historical).
(Page 16). Times depressed, Rountree's candle burned very low. Little Sister fared worse. In May, 1839, she gave up and came back to the original ground at Rountree. There the fellowship remained until January 21, 1843. Then from this "seedling of the Reformation," the Little Sister growth was transplanted to Kinston. There the roots struck deeply into the soil. Like the "mustard" of Luke 13:19, it became a great tree. Verily the Kinston Disciples, building one of the skyline churches of their world fellowship, trace their Nineteenth Century genesis to this primal Rountree on the Little Contentnea (name of river or creek on which the Rountree church stood).
—From Chapter 1, Page 11 of "Rountree Chronicles"
GENERAL WILLIAM CLARK
As the Restoration movement spread in the older states, some of its members came
to Mississippi with the tide of immigration from the Carolinas, Kentucky and
Tennessee. These were pioneer folks, seeking new homes, and not purposely
intending to carry a new movement to a fertile field. The proportion of
Christians or Disciples to the entire population was small, and it was not often
that a sufficient number could be gathered into one community to form a
But about 1835 there came to Mississippi one General William Clark of North Carolina, who located in Jackson. General Clark had been a Baptist preacher of the "Hardshell" group. A division in his own religious body, forced him to a study of the New Testament, and to the conclusion that both parties to the dispute were in error. For expressing his views, and advocating a return to New Testament Christianity, General Clark was "turned out" of the Baptist church. He later became affiliated with the Campbells, and moved to Mississippi. General Clark does not appear to have come to this state for the purpose of preaching, or serving as a missionary, and yet almost simultaneously with his coming we find the beginnings of a church in his home town.
General Clark was a well-to-do man of considerable educational attainments, and
marked qualities of leadership. He was a Whig in politics, and must have been
active in his party because he served as Treasurer of the State of Mississippi
for two different periods; first from 1843 to 1847 and again from 1851 to 1854.
The following story of General Clark, and the early history of the Christian
Church in Mississippi is taken from THE NORTH CAROLINA CHRISTIAN of January,
1925, and was prepared by a member of the brotherhood in that state as a part of
the history of North Carolina's share in the Restoration movement:
We present General William Clark, first North Carolina reader of the Millennial Harbinger. He and his wife, Louisa Pearce Lanier Clark, were the first fruits of the “Restoration Movement” in North Carolina. He was the son of William Clark and Mary Ann Woodard Clark and was born May 15, 1790, and died in Jackson, Miss., August 15, 1859. The first forty-five years of his life (1790-1835) were spent in Pitt County, N.C., at Pactolus and Greenville. His “Tavern Home” in Greenville stood at 209 Cotanche’ St. in this home on February 14, 1834, he received Thomas Campbell on his tour to Eastern North Carolina. He was also “long a devoted friend” of Alexander Campbell. He married Jane Roe Fuller, July 26, 1810. His first wife having died, he married Louisa Pearce Lanier, September 29, 1814. When Thomas Campbell came, “she readily united in the work of the reformation.” She died in 1841. General Clark later married Miss Sarah Gordon Patton, of Hopkinsville, Ky. The general was a consistent prohibitionist and never allowed any strong drink in his home. But this Kentucky wife smuggled in some brandy occasionally for seasoning of her wonderful dishes. A large portrait of the General hung in his Jackson, Mississippi, home during the War Between the States. When the Federal soldiers occupied the city, one of them ran his sword through the painting against the tearful and spirited protests of the widow.
General Clark was first a Primitive Baptist preacher belonging to the Kehukee Association. He was Clerk of this Association and played a historic part in the memorable session at Kehukee in 1827, when the missionary movement forced an issue, resulting three years later in the formation of the Baptist State Convention at Greenville, and the progressive isolation of Kehukee as an anti-missionary group. The General, finding a better contact for his more liberal mind in the Neuse Association, comprised of twenty-three churches situated for the most part within the triangle bounded by Greenville, Kinston and New Bern, united with it. His deep and earnest study of the New Testament, however, led to his independent and decisive rejections of the creeds of the day. For preaching this conviction the Neuse Association excluded him from the Baptist Church at Fort Barnwell, October 21, 1833, together with John P. Dunn and Abraham Congleton, two others of a like militant loyalty to the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures as the Christian’s Creed.
After General Clark went to Jackson, Mississippi in 1835, he owned seventeen acres in the heart of the city. He gave tow of these acres for our church lot and it is said built up the most prominent and flourishing church of the city before the War Between the States. He was Treasurer of the State from 1843 to 1847, and again from 1851 to 1854. In North Carolina he was an active “old line whig,” a follower of Henry Clay, and made many a stump speech against secession. He preached to his numerous slaves and baptized them. These blacks in the topsy-turvy days of Reconstruction repudiated “Ole Massa’s” baptism, and were rebaptized by a negro. It is said that his six daughters “were all beautiful, brilliant, talented women, shone as stars in society, and lived up to the best of the old traditions.” His oldest great-granddaughter, Mrs. James Craig Cowan, was in Germany when the World War broke out. She has written a book describing conditions there as of that period, and brought out recently by the Christopher Publishing House of Boston. Another great-grand-daughter, Miss Elaine Thompson, is now in Texas Christian University, preparing for a life devoted to religious service. (From North Carolina Missions, ed. Charles C. Ware, January, 1925. p.4)
—From Chapter IV, "Historical," of a booklet published by The Christian
Church of Jackson, Mississippi, Compiled by The Reverend James N. Faulconer,
B.D., Entitled: Nintieth Anniversary Memorial First Christian Church, Jackson,
Mississippi with Annual Report For Year Ending, September 1, 1925
—From Chapter IV, "Historical," of a booklet published by The Christian Church of Jackson, Mississippi, Compiled by The Reverend James N. Faulconer, B.D., Entitled: Nintieth Anniversary Memorial First Christian Church, Jackson, Mississippi with Annual Report For Year Ending, September 1, 1925
Land Patented To Christian Church, Jackson, Mississippi
Block 3 North.
Lots 5 & 8 patented to Gen. William Clark Feb. 12, 1848 0.58 acres.
Block 32 patented to Gen. William Clark Feb. 12, 1848 Contents 16.43 acres - Total 17.01.
By Act of Legislature October 20, 1852, Patent conveyed to Armstead Burrwell for
40 feet off of the north end of Lot 7 in Square 4 north against his deed to the
state for a
Lot 8 and block 32 re-patented to Gen. William Clark May 2, 1853.
By Act of Legislature February 22, 1888 the above mentioned property was patented to the Christian Church.
from records in the new Capitol, Jackson, Miss.)
General William Clark -married- Mrs. Sarah G. Sutton, all of Hinds County at the residence of Dr. Wm. J. Dulaney at Society Ridge, June 21, 1846. Notice appearing in the Jackson Mississippian June 24, 1846.
—copied from "Newspaper Notices of Mississippians 1820-1860 Book No. HR929.3 (M72mN) Genealogy Department, Downtown Dallas Public Library September 10, 1977.
Civic Activities Of General William Clark
General William Clark appointed State Treasurer by Governor Tillman Mayfield Tucker, Page 167.
First Christian Church in Mississippi, founded at Jackson, by General William Clark, Page 159.
Helped to bring public education to Jackson when he served on a committee, whose members were representative of the leadership of Jackson, appointed to establish public schools in the City on August 5, 1845. As a result of its work, Jackson Male Academy and Jackson Female Academy were opened March 15, 1847, the first public schools in Jackson, page 110.
Served as President of the Board of Inspectors charged with the administration of the newly built State Penitentiary, April 13, 1840, Pages 47-48.
Served as member of the Board of Trustees of Jackson College, chartered by the Legislature, January 24, 1846, Pages 104-105.
Served on committee to invite Richard M. Johnson, Vice-President of the United States, 1837 to 1841, and candidate for President (Martin Van Buren) to visit Jackson, April 5, 1843, Page 138.
Addressed the dinner meeting of Jackson Fire Company No. I, which organization contributed much to the social and ceremonial life of Jackson on July 20, 1847, Page 144, in celebration of the acquisition of a new fire engine, name "Magnolia."
From "The Story of Jackson," History of the Capital of Mississippi, by Wm. D. McCain, Vol. I, published 1953, by J.F. Hyer Publishing Company, Jackson, Mississippi
Bibliography Of General William Clark
History of the Disciples of Christ in North Carolina by Chas. C. Ware, Box 1164, Wilson, N.C.
The Christian Church, "Heart Of The South"
"The Story Of Jackson" History Of The Capital Of Mississippi, 1821 to 1951
Encyclopedia Of Mississippi History, Vol. 1 by Dr. Dunbar Rowland
A History Of The Christian Churches In Mississippi by M.F. Harmon, Pastor of the First Christian Church, Jackson, Miss., 1894 to 1906. Published 1929, Page 110, Paragraph 2 and Chapter 3, ending on Page 114.History Of Mississippi, "Early Settlers Of Hinds County" by Robert Lowry and William H. McCardle, 1891.
General Lost In The Woods
When you take off through fields and forest, joining the red bugs, ticks and snakes on the trail of once prominent Mississippians, you’re bound to wish you could see the land as they saw it. Just where were the roads in those days, where did the house stand and what did it and its yard look like?
It has been that way many times as we’ve trekked remote places, but never more so than the other day when we followed Willard Lewis Jr. Of Ridgeland as he led the way to the cemetery where Gen. William Clark is buried.
Lewis had stumbled over the graveyard when he was exploring some land that adjoined his place, and became intrigued when he found the marker that listed Gen. William Clark, born May 15, 1790 and died Aug. 18, 1859.
When he asked Elbert Hilliard, curator of the Old Capitol Museum, about this man Clark, Hilliard became interested. He told us about it and we went along to see the plot.
It had been a couple of years since Lewis had been there and he intended to point out the direction to us and let us go on while he took care of the farm. However, more than a mile from the site, the road ran out and the forest in the southwest corner of Madison County, almost on the Hinds County line, didn’t lend itself to pointing out. Lewis went along as a guide.
It is a good thing he did. We would still be out there trying to find our way back, to say nothing of finding a small cemetery, if we had been left to our own. We would never have believed there could be a graveyard in such a remote spot. It looked like there had never been any habitation close by until we found some cactus in bloom, a few old plum trees, some lonely iris and some tangled rose bushes.
These gave the clue that once upon a time someone had lived here, had enjoyed the fruits of an orchard and the blooms of a flower garden. The cactus is not native. It must have been brought in and cultivated, given good car for a time.
Then we spotted the heave iron fence that surrounds the cemetery. Inside the stones were askew, General Clark’s once tall and stately monument now just pieces that are strewn over the ground.
The markers, some of them almost buried in the debris of the forest floor, told of Louisa P. Clark, “consort of Gen. William Clark, born Dec. 24, 1797 and departed this life Sept. 27, 1841”’ of Ermine Miller, wife of W.T. McKay, born 12-26-46; of Elizabeth Clark, wife of U. Miller, born Feb. 9, 1819 and died May 6, 1888; and of several children.
William Clark-we never found where he got the title of “general” was a leading figure in Mississippi in the era before the Civil War. A native of North Carolina, he was a Christian preacher who had many interest. He founded the Battle Springs Christian Church eight miles from Jackson in 1836 and preached there once a month for years.
A plantation owner, with over 1000 acres in Madison and Hinds Counties, he had as many as 67 slaves, and he served one term as state treasurer, 1843-1847.
He was also president of the board of inspectors for the State Penitentiary at the time of construction of the prison in Jackson in 1840. He was a member of the board of trustees of Jackson College when the charter was issued on Jan. 24, 1846 after having been a member of a committee to look into establishment of a public school in Jackson.
Other records show that after the death of his wife Louisa, Clark married Mrs. Sarah Sutton of Kentucky in a ceremony at Society Ridge.
It is surmised that Clark, before coming to Mississippi, may have served in the North Carolina militia and received the General rank in such manner. There are not Mississippi records that give him any connection with the military.
—The Clarion-Ledger-Jackson Daily News, 9th June, 1968, The Weekender Edition, by Carl McIntire, Sunday Editor.
1859 Millennial Harbinger, page 717 (transcribed below)
Death of Gen’l. Wm. Clark, of Jackson, Mississippi. — We did not learn in time for an earlier insertion, that this eminent public servant of the Lord, has passed on to his reward. He died on the 15th of August last, aged sixty-nine. Full of faith and good works, he fell asleep in the Lord. He was an ardent and uncompromising advocate of apostolic Christianity. With a mind characterized by the most fearless sincerity and honesty in all that he believed or said or did, he was naturally fitted to be a pioneer in the Reformation, and both in his native State, North Carolina, and in Mississippi, the State of his adoption, he was distinguished for his advocacy of the principle for which we plead. Early in life be adopted them with all his heart, and throughout a long career of great public and private influence, he continued to defend them with all his might. When in Jackson, last Spring, we enjoyed much of the generous hospitality of his princely heart, and were deeply impressed with the transparency and manly virtue of his nature. He was then almost a paralytic, and had to be borne into church, in the arms of his servants, but this did not deter him. His zeal was greater than his weakness, and, like a tried soldier of the cross, he stood to his post to the last.
From his affectionate and pious daughter, Sister Boddie. we have received the following interesting particulars of this noble servant of the Lord:
“He left his plantation on Lord’s day morning, after an attempt to preach to his servants, and called here on his way home. We were all preparing for meeting, and all went except Mr. Boddie. When I returned, I found him still sitting in his chair, but almost unconscious. We laid him down, and I do not think he was scarcely conscious, only perhaps, momentarily again. It was the third attack of Apoplexy; or something similar. It was gratifying that all his children, (except one) and most of his sons-in-law and children were present; and during his eight days of sickness, if he had not the power to exhort and talk to his family, we could watch the progress of a good man, nearing the haven of rest, changing faith into sight. I would I were eloquent, that I could portray the deep love, and the strong faith he had in the Saviour and his promises. The untiring zeal, with which he proclaimed the gospel. The deep love and pity with which he looked upon a dying world. A lady standing by, remarked, “surely he will be an arch-angel,—for a host are awaiting him in heaven.” Ah, yes, many a poor sinner has been persuaded to flee from the wrath to come, by his arguments and entreaties. Instant in season and out of season, he is ready to say a word for the Master’s cause.
Preaching about forty years, at his own expense, he offered the gospel truly, without money, and without price. Always ready to aid the needy, and comfort the distressed, he did not let his left hand now the charity of his right. He had finished his work. His house had been set in order for a long time, and, although now unconscious of the approach of the grim messenger, he was borne across the Jordan of death, by the Saviour, whom he loved, and in whom he trusted.”
So pass away the mighty men of faith! Bro. Clark was long a devoted friend of our beloved Father Campbell, and were he now at home, we know it would be grateful to his feelings to mingle his words of sympathy with these natural expressions of filial, admiration and sorrow,—which, fall so tenderly, from the pen of his beloved daughter. I, too, know how they loved and honored him, and sorrow with them in a bereavement that can have no relief, till the blessed re-union which awaits the faithful in the heavens. W. K. P. (William Kimbrough Pendleton)
—The Millennial Harbinger, Vol. II No. XII, December, 1959, page 717
General William Clark Of Mississippi
Readers of the Gospel Advocate will naturally ask the question, "Who was Gen. William Clarke?" The plantation home of General Clarke was at a country village known as "Battle Springs," in Hinds County, eight miles west of the city of Jackson. On March 31, 1843, General Clarke was appointed treasurer of Mississippi by Governor Tucker, which position was held for four years on a salary that was then only fifteen hundred dollars per year.
In the Millennial Harbinger for May, 1851, Alexander Campbell refers to General Clarke as the "venerable Elder William Clarke, of Mississippi." In historical documents preserved in archives of Mississippi he is credited with the establishment of a congregation of Christians at Battle Springs as early as 1838, only a short time subsequent to the establishment of congregations in Wilkinson and Franklin Counties by William E. Matthews, all of which is interesting because of the fact. that it gives information concerning the earlier efforts to plant in Mississippi the truth of the gospel in the simplicity of its uncorrupted teaching.
It was near Battle Springs that T. W. Caskey worked at his trade as a blacksmith when he came to this State as an uneducated young man from the State of Tennessee, and Gen. William Clarke has been credited with being the one who first discovered the native and commanding talents of this untutored young man. In records preserved in the State Library at Jackson, and quoted by Dunbar Rowland in his "In the Heart of the South," it is stated that Clarke preached for the congregation at Battle Springs for a number of years, and that he organized a congregation in the city of Jackson in the year 1841. These records show that T. W. Caskey was the first regular preacher for this Jackson congregation. These congregations, as the first in this State, were in the midst of a section where aristocratic ideas prevailed and wealth and easy living made it possible for people to devote attention to reading and study.
Early records show that William Clarke was a Baptist preacher in his early life. This does not mean that he was a Baptist in all respects like the Baptists of Mississippi today, for the first Baptist congregations established in this State were strictly Calvinistic in the principles of their teaching. Becoming dissatisfied with his Baptist teaching for a time, Clarke was at sea as to what he should religiously believe and teach. He appears to have been in search of the truth, but his difficulties were about what has been termed" truth in the abstract," rather than the objective truth of Bible revelation. Seeing the inconsistencies of the teachings and practices of the Baptists, Clarke became greatly troubled regarding what should be believed about things that he thought of as revealed in the Bible, and in this state of mind he made an open confession to his congregation in assembly that he had been wrong in his teaching, whereupon he offered his resignation to the congregation where he lived and preached. This created astonishment among his brethren. But this action had its effect and ultimately led to the banding together of a number of the members for Bible study and independent worship as a religious organization. Clarke tells us that two Baptist preachers, John P. Dunn and Abraham Congleton, joined him in this move. Mr. Clarke says that they were greatly puzzled over the question of faith as the gift of God and yet the duty of man. Their idea of the object of faith was that of a system of doctrinal items to be determined by Bible teaching. Thomas Campbell, the father of Alexander, offered to preach to them while on a visit to Louisiana, but they were afraid of “Campbellism," or the "new schism," and so they rejected his offer.
The salvation of William Clarke and company from utter confusion and religious ruin appears to have been in the fact that they realized that they knew very little of the Scriptures. "Cocksureness" in matters of Bible teaching on the part of unlearned reformers and preachers has been a great stumblingblock in the way of progress in Bible knowledge. Some friends of Clarke who were acquainted with the Millennial Harbinger induced him to read it, and this set him right on the all-important subject of faith. Others of his company became regular readers of Campbell's writings, and soon they were enthusiastic in their stand for a restoration of the primitive order in teaching and practice. J. T. Johnson, of Kentucky, spent a month or more in Mississippi in 1850, preaching in Jackson, Brandon, Fayette, and Raymond, in addition to a short series of sermons preached at Battle Springs. This preaching of Johnson, though it made but few additions to the congregations, was fruitful in giving light on the plea for the gospel, edifying the members and giving encouragement for perseverance and future efforts. Yet, even after this, Clarke, in writing to Campbell, said that he was then the only preacher of "our denomination in this section of the state." This shows that his mind was yet imbued with the idea that a return to New Testament teaching meant the formation of another religious denomination, and that this new denomination was equal to the restored church of Christ.
These early movements in isolated sections of our country by men and women seeking to learn the truth are worthy of a sincere study. They point out the difficulties that are in the way of those whose minds are beclouded through centuries of nurturing and training in ecclesiastical training. These early congregations have been charged with retaining and propagating teaching and practices unknown to the New Testament. Even admitting the charges to be correct, we are to remember that, in so far as many of these early congregations are concerned, such teaching and practice have not been introduced by anyone; they were held over by these congregations from the very beginning of their existence. Church practices and ecclesiastical teachings were retained by these early congregations because they could see no difficulty in reconciling them with the gospel teaching for which they were pleading. Their minds had become beclouded and a veil was upon their hearts, and we are not to censure them too severely.
-Lee Jackson, Gospel Advocate, August 2, 1928, p.724,725
Location Of Grave
The final resting place of General William Clark is in the Clark Cemetery, in Madison County, Mississippi.
Coordinate: Sec. 7 T7N R1E
Location: Southwest of the town of Madison on the old George Boddie place. Note: From the intersection of Livingston Rd. and Lake Cavalier Rd. go north on Lake Cavalier Rd for 2.8 miles where Ancient Oaks Dr. intersects from the left. Turn left and go .3 miles to a cattle gate. This is the entrance to the Boddie property. The graveyard is only accessible by a four-wheel drive, and is about 3 miles into the woods on a ridge.
—Pictures provided by General Clark's Great-Great Granddaughter, Frances Clark Cronin
Recent Picture Of The Grave Location
Inscriptions on Stones at Grave of Gen. William Clark near Jackson, Mississippi
(Opposite side of square marble block that appears to have been part of the tall
marker. Now on the ground and separate from the rest of the marker.)
Louisa A. Clark
(This was on a large flat stone to the right of the tall marker described above.
We did not see a similar flat marker for the General.)
Sacred to the memory of
(The Forbes stones are to the left of the larger marker for the Gen. and Louisa).
To the memory of
(Two other stones were about ten feet away and looked like they might have been outside the iron fence when it was all standing. I believe Bettie Lane Clark copies the inscription on them.)
Ermine Miller )
Obituaries Of Louisa Clark
Vol. 1, No 39, P. 3
Sept 30, 1841
"died-- In this city on Tuesday last, Mrs. Louisa Clark, consort of Gen. Wm Clark. In the death of this lady society has sustained a great loss; but to her family this bereavement is most afflicting-- the loss irreparable; for it was in the domestic circle of a numerous and interesting family that every virtue which could adorn the life of the wife, the mother, and the Christian shone brightest. To the fashionable world she was less known; but to her numerous friends and relatives she was indeed a jewel."
Departed this life in this city, on the 27th ult., after a short and painful illness, Mrs. Louisa P, Clark, in the 44th year of her age, consort of Gen. William Clark, formerly of Greenville, North Carolina.
Truly a most excellent one of the earth has fallen. Humanity has lost a friend, the Church of Christ a mother in Israel, and language fails when we would speak of the loss sustained by the family of which she was a member. Their loss however is her great gain--for “blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, they cease from their labor and their works do follow them.”
Mrs. C. was a philanthropist by nature, and the cold policy of the world never checked the impulse of her generous heart, or held back her hand from extending relief where the same was within her power. It was sufficient for her to know that humanity suffered and that she could relieve, to insure comfort to the afflicted. Long, long will she be remembered by many, very many, with the liveliest emotions of gratitude, who have felt the influence of her kindness and benevolence.
Possessing naturally a strong, active and inquiring mind, that thought for itself and acted on its own conclusions, she early in life made herself acquainted with the doctrines of the Gospel, and breaking loose from the prejudice of education and the trammels of the scholastic creeds of the day, she embraced them in their simplicity and purity. When, therefore, the principles of the reformation, as promulgated by Mr. Campbell, were first presented to her mind, finding them in exact accordance with the conclusions of her own judgment, she readily united in the work of the reformation. She with her husband were the first that espoused that cause in North Carolina, and continued a zealous, active and effective disciple up to the hour of her departure. She lived to see four of her children become obedient to the Gospel, and numerous friends and acquaintances join in the glorious work, influenced by her forcible arguments and Christian deportment. Her pious and devoted husband, who was first a preacher in the regular Baptist church, and afterwards a teacher of the reformation, in the many trials, difficulties and troubles that beset his part in consequence of joining the reformation, always found in his beloved companion one that could counsel, aid and comfort him. Of her it may with truth be said, that she “gave all her diligence to add to her faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience Godliness, and to Godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity;” and, doubtless, “an entrance has been ministered unto her abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Could infidelity have witnessed her
deathbed, it would have retired abashed at its own folly and presumption, and
ceased to scoff at the religion that can “make a dying bed fell soft as downy
pillows are.” It was a scene most interesting and affecting. The
light of eternity seemed to have burst upon her soul even while it yet lingered
in this tenement of clay. Surrounded by her family and numerous friends she
exhorted them in the most pathetic and impressive manner, “To prepare for
death:” “To live for God:” “That she was going to Heaven, and wanted
to meet them in glory.” She assured them “that the Bible was Sufficient to
live by and die by.” Her husband she exhorted to firmness and vigilance in
proclaiming the Gospel; and her children and servants, one by one, to the
discharge of all their respective duties, being in the full possession of all
her mental faculties. She last asked that her youngest child, a sweet little
girl about three years old, be brought to her, and although in the agonies of
death, she clasped her to her bosom, smiled and caressed her, then desired that
she be taken away. She audibly and firmly then said---
and exclaimed “Glory, Glory, Glory,” and soon after expired. so affecting, imposing and triumphant was her death, that two unconverted ladies, who were present, said they would freely take her place to die her death.
Jackson, Mississippi, October 2d, 1841
—Added by permission, Frances Clark Cronin, July, 2008
Special Thanks: In January, 2008 it was a pleasure to receive an email from Susan Fernie of Beaumont, Texas. She is a descendant of General William Clark. She has been studying the family genealogy for a few years. I called her and we spent about an hour on the phone talking about her family history. She kindly scanned and sent much of the information that appears on this webpage. Many thanks to Susan. She is planning a trip to Jackson, Mississippi at some stage to visit the grave of her ancestor. While speaking to her she informed me that some of General William Clark's direct descendants include Tom C. (Thomas Campbell) Clark, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1949-1967, and his son William Ramsey Clark, former Attorney General of the United States (from 1967-1969). So more information is being released as we learn more about General William Clark.
Also, special thanks are extended to Francis Clark Cronin. She is a great, great granddaughter of Gen. William Clark, descending through his son, Dr. Samuel Clark. In July, 2008 she sent good photos of the graves.
In May, 2009, I received a photo taken of Susan Fernie standing by the Clark plot. She had emailed me in the winter of her intentions of visiting the Jackson, Mississippi monument. This picture was sent to me by Susan's friend Mark Ruysenaars, a copy of which is displayed above. Also, he sent much needed, and useful GPS coordinates of the grave location. With them, in the future perhaps it will not be essential to need hunters familiar to the area to help find the grave location.