Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/164

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158 Southern Historical Society Papers.

absentees, pacing back and forth, watch in hand, he asked to be ex- cused for a while, and darted off to the house of one of them. Ringing the door-bell violently the gentleman came out, and Jack- son accosted him with : " Mr. , it is eight minutes after eight

o'clock" (the hour appointed for the meeting). " Yes, Major, I am aware of that, but I didn't have time to come out to-night." "Didn't have time!" retorted Deacon Jackson; "why, sir, I should not suppose that you had time for anything else. Did we not set apart this hour (only one in the month) for the service of the church? How, then, can you put aside your obligation in the matter?" With this he abruptly started back to the meeting, and his brother deacon felt so keenly the rebuke that he immediately followed. There was no difficulty in the finances of that church as long as " Deacon " Jackson managed them.

The venerable pastor said to me, with deep emotion, "Oh, sir, when Jackson fell I lost not only a warm personal friend, a consistent, active church member, but the best deacon I ever saw."

He was once collector for the Rockbridge Bible Society, and when the time came to report (to the surprise of his colleagues) he re- ported contributions from a number of free negroes, remarking in explanation, " They are poor, but ought not on that account to be denied the sweet privilege of helping so good a cause." He also re- ported : " I have a contribution from every person in my district ex- cept one lady. She has been away ever since I have been collector, but she will return home at 12 o'clock to-day, and I will see her at I o'clock." The next day he reported a contribution from her also.

He frequently sought the counsel and instruction of his pastor, upon whom he looked as his " superior officer," and to whom he would sometimes " report for orders." He was never blessed with large pecuniary means, but was always a most liberal contributor to every charitable object, and ever ready to " visit the fatherless and the widow in their distress."


Jackson was one of the most thoroughly concientious masters who ever lived. He not only treated his negroes kindly, but devoted himself most assiduously to thier religious instruction. He was not only accustomed (as were Christian masters generally at the South) to invite his servants into family prayers, but he also had a special meeting with them every Sunday afternoon in order to teach them the Scriptures. He made this exercise so interesting to them that