Rutherfordiana/Source Material Extracts/Extract from Sprague, 1858

< Rutherfordiana | Source Material Extracts

213,815pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0


Sprague, 1858:78


On the 9th of October, 1798....Mr. Brown was married to Mary Moore, who was distinguished not only for her intelligence, energy, and general excellence of character, but for having spent several years of her hlife in captivity, and for belonging to a family, most whom, shortly after the Revolution, fell victims to Indian barbarity....She was a lineal descendant of the celebrated Rutherford, who was a member from Scotland of the Westminister Assembly of Divines, and of the scarcely less celebrated Joseph Alleine, the author of the "Alarm to the Unconverted." Rutherford's pocket Bible is still in possession of one of the family who resides in Kentucky.

Sprague's SourcesEdit

Sprague tells us that Rev. Brown's wife, Mary Moore, was connected to the Reverends Samuel Rutherford of Scotland, and Joseph Alleine author of Allein's Alarm. We are interested in where he obtained that information.

Sprague cites five sources in his article about Rev. Brown.

1. MS from Rev. Dr. Archibald Alexander
2. MS from Mr. Brown's family
3. Foote's Sketches of Virginia, 2nd series
4. Brown, 1854 cited without author as "Captives of Abb's Valley".
5. An account of his funeral by the Rev. Dr. J.H. Rice originally published in the Evangelical Literary Magazine, and quoted by Sprague

The material from Rice appears to be confined to a description of Reverend Brown's funeral. Foote, 1855 makes only slight mention of "a connexion traced back to the Illustrious Rutherford, of Scotland", without going into detail. Likewise, Brown, 1854 makes only slight mention of the connection to the Rutherford family, stating only that "James [Moore] married Jane Walker, a descendant of the Rutherfords of Scotland". He does mention a family bible that still existed somewhere in Kentucky; that bible may be what Sprague refers to when he mentions "Rutherford's pocket Bible [that] is still in possession of one of the family who resides in Kentucky". Overall, neither Brown, 1854, nor Foote, 1855 make direct mention of Rev. Samuel Rutherford, or Rev. Joseph Alleine.

That leaves the "MSS of Rev. Archibald Alexander and the Brown Family", as the likely sources of Sprague's information about the connection to Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Rev. Joseph Alleine. The content of the MS from Alexander is unknown; it may still be extant, but may not be recoverable. From the context it seems likely that the materials taken from Alexander related to Brown's ministry; it may or may not touch on the family relations of Brown's wife Mary Moore. Also, Alexander does not seem to be connected to the immediate family, and would not be a likely source of direct personal information about the family history. In any case, this would seem to be a dead end.

That leaves the MS from "Mr. Brown's Family" as Sprague's likely source of information about the Rutherford and Alleine connection. This could be almost anything, including letters from various members of Rev. Brown's family. If so, its doubtful that the original material's Sprague used for this would have survived. However, there is a manuscript that is known to have circulted among the extended Walker-Moore-Houston-McPheeter's families during this time period, namely the McPheeters MS. Sprague's presentation contains some of the same information, coupled with a similar imprecision that marks the McPheeters MS; namely, while they both indicate that the Walker family was connected to Rev. Samuel Rutherford and Rev. Joseph Alleine, butthey are both very vague about the exact nature of that connection. McPheeters, for example, only says that his great grandmother (name unknown) was "of the family of Joseph Alleine". It seems likely that if someone were enquiring about the family history, that it would be the McPheeters MS that would be provided. Certainly, other authors, such as S.R. Houston, Undated, and Grasty, 1871 made use of this document.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki