The Life of Dr. Daniel Hook
Edited With a Foreword
By J. Edward Moseley, 1955
Dr. Daniel Hook (1795-1870) was the first state evangelist of the Disciples of Christ in the State of Georgia. He was chosen at the first state cooperation meeting of brethren from the Christian Churches at Griffin in 1849. Subsequently, his evangelistic preaching took him across Georgia and into South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee. He was responsible for organization of the following Georgia Christian Churches: Augusta First, Griffin, Atlanta First, Berea near Hampton in Henry County, Acworth, and Sandersville First.
Born in Maryland at Point of Rocks, Frederick County, on April 6, 1795, he was christened an Episcopalian and became identified with the Disciples in Georgia. He was graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 1820 with the M.D. degree and began his practice in Georgia. His wife was the former Miss Catherine Schley, whose brother, William Schley was the eighteenth Governor of Georgia during 1835-37.
Dr. and Mrs. Hook were the parents of two sons and four daughters. One was Mary D., who became the wife of Judge Clark Howell, I. Another was Judge James Schley Hook (1824-1907).
Dr. Daniel Hook died near Atlanta, Georgia, on July 27, 1870, at the age of seventy-five years. A more detailed account of his life and career may be found in Disciples of Christ in Georgia by J. Edward Moseley (St. Louis: Bethany Press, 1954).
This biography was written by Mary Hook Howell in about 1875, and is a consortium of her personal memories as well as information the came from Hook's personal diaries.
These memoirs were inherited by Mrs. A. Park Woodward, one of Dr. Hook's grandchildren, when Mrs. Howell died in April, 1886. The other grandchildren desired a copy. The unknown person who made errors and transcribed the original, handwritten manuscripts made errors and omitted words, including names and dates, when she could not decipher them because of the faded ink. The original copy was eventually lost, and one of the typed copies was apparently the only one saved for posterity.
This present copy of the memoirs is a transcription of that original typed copy. There has been only a minimum of editing. The punctuation remains unchanged as does the varying use of capital letters and abbreviations. A few misspelled names and words have been corrected since it was not thought advantageous to perpetuate such errors forever. Certain dates, names and other missing words have been supplied for accuracy and clarification as a result of my research for writing the history of The Disciples Of Christ in Georgia. All such additions have been inserted in brackets, not parentheses. Occasionally, paragraphs have been made as noted, and quotation marks supplied or corrected.
Permission to transcribe the manuscripts was graciously given by Beverly Hook (Mrs. Jack) Frierson, great-granddaughter of Dr. Hook and by Miss Sue Steiner Hook (1873-1957). Miss Hook, daughter of Judge James Schley Hook and grand-daughter of Dr. Hook, served as superintendent of the Southern Christian Home for Children in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1922-1947.
An exact typed copy of the original typed transcription and the original copy of this transcription are being deposited with the Disciples of Christ Historical Society, Thomas W. Phillips Memorial, 1101 19th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee, 37212
Carbon copies of this edited transcription are being placed in
the following depositories:
Bosworth Memorial Library, Lexington Theological Seminary, (The College of the Bible), Lexington, Kentucky, 40508.
Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514.
Carolina Discipliana Library, Atlantic Christian College, Wilson, North Carolina, 27893.
Georgia Historical Society, 501 Whitaker Street, Savannah, Georgia, 31400.
Discipliana Collection of Christian Theological Seminary, Butler University, P.O. Box 88267, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46208.
J. Edward Moseley
July 1, 1965
The Life of Dr. Daniel Hook
Mrs. Mary D. Howell
We open this volume of life, with its seventy-five years and three months, which will call chapters; and the days as leaves. It is a volume filled with goodness, all the years devoted to righteousness, and dedicated to God. We pause with reverence, for we know that he was a good man, and we love him; and as his life was lived through the many years it was permitted him to be a blessing to all with whom he had to do. His life grew richer and ripe!' (A shock of corn it was ready for the reaper, "Who soweth good seed shall surely reap")
''The year grows rich as it groweth old. And life’s latest sands are its sands of gold.
What an influence for good he exercised all his noble life, and the influence, like a sweet odor, still lingers with the generation that has come after him. There is no telling the value of such men to the human race. It cannot be measured, but it leaves its mark, and the conduct and destiny to many a man has been shaped by them. He ought to have a monument where it could be seen and where the fathers could say to the children, “There lies a man who was an ornament to humanity—a man who served his day and generation as man should serve. He did not die rich, but he died with all the honors that became a man and a Christian."
But, when we steadily engaged in considering one character, and have before us an exact and regular view of him in every age and circumstance of life from infancy to manhood, and in all the various relations which. if duly improved, Will make us both wiser and better than we were before; we behold in men of like passions and placed in similar with ourselves, the advantages which are the result of early piety, of virtuous resolution, of loveliness of mind, and of religious integrity: We may then see the "beauty of holiness” as it were embodied, and exhibiting its graces in a variety of forms, and under numerous circumstances, which in the bustle of public life would pass by lost and unheeded. The religious character is contemplated to advantage in prosperity and adversity, bearing the one with an humble and thankful heart, and the other with calmness and resignation. And in death does religion look through the gloom, and as she smiles upon the dying Christian, kindness in the bosom, even of the vain and irreligious beholder, a wish to "die the death of the righteous, and to have his latter end like His.” In this the grand point is that the excellency of biography is strikingly displayed, by introducing us not only to the acquaintance of the wise and good in their meditations, and in their labors of piety and love, but also to their dying beds, where we behold the triumph of faith over the fears of death, and see them breathing their souls with joyful hope into the hand of their Heavenly Father.
In writing the Biography of my Father I am greatly indebted to his nephews and nieces of Maryland, who have kindly sent me his early letters, and have gotten all information of his Northern early life and surroundings from all sources in their power. I also am indebted to his son, Judge Jas. S. [James Schley] Hook, of Augusta, and to J.S. [James Sanford] Lamar, S. J. [Samuel J.] Pinkerton, and Nathan [Williamson] Smith.
All of whom I am under many obligations to for their great kindness in this matter
[Mary D. Howell]
Dr. Daniel Hook, my Father, was born at Point of Rocks, Maryland, at the home place, “Potomac Hills;” in the year of 1795,·in the month of April, on the sixth. He was the youngest of four children, three sons and one daughter, who were born to his father, John Hook, and his Mother, Sarah, formerly a Miss Burgess. Soon after Daniel's birth she died. His father afterward married again, and removed to Kentucky. Two daughters were born to him after their marriage: Emily and Annie. Daniel was adopted by his Uncle James S. Hook, and the romantic and beautiful country surround his home was well calculated to instill into his youthful mind those sublime and courageous thoughts that attended him through life. Rocks and Hills and mountainous country were all around. Horse-back riding was the only means of reaching “Potomac Hills," and grandeur and sublimity greeted the beholder as far as the range of vision could extend, and on and on until the horizon bounded the view. And now his joyous childhood was spent in the joyous freedom of the healthful playfulness of his sister Mary D. Hook" his constant companion, for she, too, had been adopted by the same uncle—he being a bachelor and well off, owning many slaves and much land. He was very devoted to these two children, and no parent could have been fonder and more indulgent. His parents and also his uncle were members or the Episcopal Church, and he was christened in infancy in this church, and brought up in its teachings and practices. As 8 boy he was full of fun and frolic; the little negroes on the plantation being also his playmates most of the time, which made him rather dictatorial, as he was looked up to as controller general in everything, but he was never unkind to them.
As the years rolled on he attended school and when old enough, was sent by his uncle to Carlyle College in Pa. After his return from this college it was his uncle’s desire that he should study law, and practice it in some city near; but his inclination was for medicine and with his uncle's consent, but not approval, he attended several courses of Lectures in the Medical College [University Of Maryland School of Medicine] of Baltimore. While attending these lectures his letters to his uncle and sister breathe a spirit of love and gratitude that is beautiful, and which was characteristic of his nature and disposition throughout his life. He never forgot his uncle’s kindness and every letter written in his youth to him acknowledged his obligations, gratitude, and love. After graduating he settled in Louisville, Ga., in 1817, and as I read an old letter written at that time by him to his uncle, (Which I was so fortunate to obtain recently from his niece—with others also) and gaze on its yellow tint made by age, (folded and sealed with sealing wax, and twenty-five cents in large figures denoting the amount of postage paid at that time for letters,) visions of the long ago pass before me, and these dear old letters written by that cherished hand that has lain still so long are indeed a treasure. In writing to his loved uncle, July 8th, 1817, he says, “I have at last established myself, and I may say with justice my prospects are flattering. I am received with politeness and attention by the first families and invited to their homes almost every day. Dr. Belt has been like a friend and brother to me." After some business matters, and mentioning the kindness of Judge Charlton of Savannah to him while there, he concludes with, "My dear Uncle, you have always been to me the kindest benefactor, that God will grant you long life and happiness is the sincere wish, dear uncle, of your Affectionate nephew.”
This village, Louisville, Jefferson Co., Ga. was of some note at that time as having but recently been the capital of the state. It had a number of prominent and leading physicians who had the confidence of the people; the prospect for so young a man, and an entire stranger all the way from Maryland had, of course to be tested—but by energy, strict attention to business, perfect sobriety, and a natural fondness and wonderful fitness for the profession of' his choice, he soon established a fine practice end won quite an enviable reputation, which caused him to be gent for far and wide through the surrounding country. He was yet quite young, and had the appearance of a boy. An amusing anecdote is told of his having seen sent for by an old gentleman by the name of Turner, who had an only daughter lying dangerously ill of bilious fever.
He had heard so much of the new doctor (whom as it chanced he had never seen) and of his wonderful success in the treatment of fevers, that he determined to call him to his daughter's bed-side. When the Doctor arrived, seeing no one, and knowing no one there, he hailed from the front gate. Mr. Turner came out and inquired what he wished. The reply was "I Suppose this is the Turner who has a very sick daughter and sent for me to see her." "Yes," said the ole gentleman, “My name is Turner and I have a dangerously ill daughter, but I did not send for you; I sent for Dr. Hook of Louisville.” "Well, sir, said the Doctor, I am the only man in Louisville bearing that name and your message was left at my house.” “Why,” said the old man, with utter surprise depicted in his face, "You can't be the Doctor I hear so much talk about, he must be an older man than you. You're nothing but a boy, and I don't want to risk my daughter's life in the hands of so young a doctor.” This stumped Dr. Hook, and his first impulse was to ride away, but a moment's reflection caused him to say, Well, if you are so disappointed in your doctor, I can go away" but perhaps you had better" let me see her now, as I have come so far from home for that purpose.” Turner still hesitated, and as Dr. Hook was in the act of turning his horse to ride away, the old man said, "I hardly know what to do about it I but I reckon as you've come this far to see her you must come in. He had not been long around the sick couch before Turner discovered that he bad more experience as a physician than his youthful appearance had led him to suppose. The daughter soon recovered from her severe illness, and Dr. Hook remained the loved and trusted family physician in that house-hold until he moved from Louisville.
In the Spring of 1818 Dr. Hook married Miss Catherine Schley, a daughter of John Jacob Schleys and a sister of William Schley, Esq., who became eminent in his profession as a lawyer, distinguished as a judge, and later held the responsible positions of Congressman and Governor of Georgia. She also had several other brothers who became distinguished, judge John Schley and Dr. Thos. Schley; a distinguished physician, and George Schley of Savannah, Who was Postmaster of that place Thirty years. Also Col. Philip Schley of Columbus, Ga. This was the most fortunate alliance for the young Doctor, since the Schleys, at that early date in their history, were noted for their earnest industry, sobriety, and their rising and growing influence. But far above and beyond this his life and labors were blessed and inspired by the love and counsel of this good wife, who was one of the noblest of sex, lovely in person, gentle in disposition, refined in sentiment, devoted in her affections, bright and intelligent, unselfish in all her aims, and ever fervent in her constant and unchanging desire "to do good, love mercy and walk humbly before God.” As the writer recalls the whole, pure noble, unselfish life of this truly Christian woman, and how all loved her that knew her, and how the fragrance of her sweet character pervaded the whole social circle in which she moved like a loving sanctifying presence, she is not surprised that Dr. Hook found her loved society and his dear home such sweet and powerful incentives to urge him forward in his career of distinguished usefulness.
Having grown up in the Episcopal church twenty-eight years of age he was confirmed in that church, going to Augusta, Ga. for that purpose. He was devoted to that church, and after his confirmation he became very pious, studying the Scriptures constantly, and talking and thinking much upon divine truths. His wife was a Presbyterian of the strictest sort, and together they lived lives of the strictest tenets of the doctrines of their respective churches. As there was no Episcopal church in Louisville he attended the church of his wife and the Baptist church; but as his practice vas very heavy he could not attend any regularly. His mind and feelings, however, were undergoing the most remarkable awakenings. He constantly read his Bible when he had a leisure moment, and regularly had family prayer. He had two sons and an infant daughter at this time, and with his servants, his house-hold began to assume proportions that rendered discipline and religious instructions necessary; this was in 1827. And with that spirit of inquiry which was then abroad, and confined to no sect, "but originating almost simultaneously in widely separated regions," he was convinced that there was a better way—a more perfect way—than the one be had chosen. He became convinced that immersion of believers was the only proper baptism, and that all names were wrong. He contended that God's children should be called by His name, and not by the multiplicity of names that they had assumed. He talked this constantly at home and abroad. A gentleman of acquaintance said to him one day, "Doctor, have you ever read any of Alexander Campbell’s writings? He said, “No. Why?” “Because,” said he, “You and he entertain the same opinions, and if you will read his writing, I will gladly lend them to you.” “I will read them with pleasure.” This was in 1828, and for the first time he saw the Christian Baptist, edited by Alexander Campbell. He became fascinated with the plea therein made for a return to the doctrine end practice of the primitive church. Always prompt to act upon his convictions, he determined to be immersed upon a simple profession of faith in Christ. And he chose to act at once upon his convictions, “As a man who wore a soul of his own in his bosom, and did not wait till it was breathed into him by the breath of fashion.” The Baptists required in that day a recital of experience as preliminary to immersion and church membership. He apprehended trouble on the point, and was not mistaken; but finally old Mr. [Jonathan] Huff, a Baptist minister, greatly loved for his excellence of character and earnest Christian life, consented, and accordingly baptized the Doctor at the Ford of Brushy Creek, near Ways Meeting House, on a simple and public confession or his faith in Christ as the Savior or men. As the Ozzias church was the nearest Baptist church to Louisville, Dr. Hook attended it, and acted with them in full fellowship. As he never failed to be instant, in season and out of season and to make known the faith that was in him, it was not long before the Baptist Minister [J.H.T. Kilpatrick, 1793-1869] who held forth at that place became alarmed at the strong hold these views took upon some of his flock. He soon took occasion in a sermon masked by sectarian bitterness to warn his brethren against him, "As one who had came among them as a prophet in sheep’s clothing, etc.” This had the two fold effect to engender suspicion of him and his views on the part of most of that body of worshippers, and to isolate him from all church membership in that community. Bitterness toward him was great, for in their pride and love they had honored him greatly as a burning and shining light among them; but the attempt to ostracize him socially was a failure, for his elegance of person, suavity of manner, fine educational advantages, and general knowledge on all the topics of the day, political, social, religious, etc. made him such as sought after, and greatly beloved. His wife lamented his change in religious views, and could not acquiesce in them, but firmly maintained her Presbyterianism, and many were the conversations between them on these subjects, but only to and in each maintaining their distinctive beliefs. Her family were bitterly opposed to his espousing so warmly, the cause or Christ and feared it would interfere with his very large and lucrative practice; but nothing daunted by tear or worldly losses; or human opinions of like or dislike he became more and more zealously engaged in the work—preaching when he could, and disseminating his views in conversations and letters. He felt doubtless as Mr. Campbell did in the first year of his religious awakening, "as placed on a new eminence, a new peak or the Mountain of God, from which the whole landscape of Christianity presented itself to his mind in a new attitude and position." His zeal knew no bounds, his desire to see all the children of God united, seeing "face to face" the same truths, and obeying them loving as brethren indeed, heart beating in unison with heart, singing and making melody in their hearts to God, all calling themselves Christians, and worth of the exalted title; no more strife of opinions, no more animosity and hatred cloaked under the name of religion. He became an enthusiastic on the subject, and those who most bitterly opposed him respected the honesty, earnestness, sincerity, and purity of his efforts to make all see the glorious truths of the Gospel as he saw them. But "in some communities, the diffusion of either truth or error is extremely slow. The local circumstances, the character of the original settlers; the chief occupations; above all, the religious views and habits of thought at first prevailing, and the sympathies which belong to the people of every district mutally associated and allied, often give to it a certain unity of sentiment which resists innovation and is opposed to change.” And this was especially so in those days in that community.
In 1832 he left Louisville for Augusta, Ga., and built his nice home six miles South of the city on an elevated point which he named "Richmond Hill," which name it bears till now, although the residence has in later years been burned down, and the place is but a wreck of its former self. Two more daughters had been born to him in these years, and soon after moving to this place another daughter was born, making in all six children, two sons and four daughters. When not too busy with his practice he would attempt to teach his older children, but so absorbed would he become with the Millennial Harbinger [that] seeing this, [they] would slip out noiselessly one by one, and have a genuine romp in the yard or lot, and when he would rouse up after concluding a piece, he would look around for his scholars, but none answered the roll call. With a switch in hand he would go around cutting under the tables and chairs in the hall and bedsteads in the chambers, but all to no purpose. When he would find them, he enjoyed their taking advantage of him, and their merriment at the same as much as they did. His religious life was a steady growth, and his family government throughout was beautiful. Wife, children, visitors, servants, all partook of its spirit, all were devotional; family prayers were never neglected, the servants coming in and kneeling down with that devotion so characteristic of their giving expression to their feelings at time. Mammy Liza, dear good old Mammy Liza! The nurse! How her whole heart and soul was in her religion, and what a pure, good, true woman she was! A daughter of an African Prince. She was stolen when a young woman by her own countryman, and sold to the whites. Leaving husband and two children behind, she was brought to this country and sold into slavery and after many changes and trials, she at last became the property of Dr. Hook, and remained his during her life.
During the Doctor's practice in 1834 or 5 he contracted scarlet fever, a disease then almost unknown in Georg1a, and was very ill. Every member or his family had it; and two of the youngest children, Emily and America, died with it, the others narrowly escaping with their lives. Sadness and gloom for awhile brooded over the home that had been so happy, and his wife was so grieved that grave fears were entertained of her recovery. Mammy Liza, who had been devoted to little Emily, would come in and try to console her mistress, while her own grief was little less than hers, and with tears rolling down her cheeks, she would say, “Missus, we musn’t do this way. We can’t bring our child back, but we can go to her. Oh, Missus, Missus, let us live so we can go to our baby.” Overcome with her feelings she would cry aloud and leave the room. The practice of the Doctor sooner diverted his mind from the sad surroundings, and business of differ kinds now began to till up his whole time. Soon after this his brother-in-law, William Schley, having been elected Governor of Georgia, Dr. Hook, who was part owner of the property, was called to the Presidency of the Richmond Factory, located ten miles from the city, which caused him to leave the city of Augusta, where after he had sold "Richmond Hill" to his brother-in-law, Judge John Schley, he had resided and pursued the practice of his profession. He remained at Richmond Factory some years, and while attending to the duties it imposed upon him, he became much interested in the silk culture. He built a cocoonery and planted out quite a large place in the Worm Multicaulis trees, and was quite successful in rearing the silk worms, and they produced very fine large cocoons. The results were all good, and afforded quite an industry for his children as well as a pleasure. During one of his tri-weekly visits to the City to look after the Agency of the company, late in the summer or of 1839, he accidentally, as it were, discovered the existence or Yellow Fever in the City. The Agent whose residence was just over the office of the Company, asked the Doctor to steip up stairs and see his old Mother, who he said, had been taken very sick that morning. He found the patient indeed very ill and, to his great astonishment, with Yellow Fever. This latter fact he did not mention to the family, as it might prove a sporadic case, and it would, in that event, De unwise to mention it, and thus produce consternation, not only in that family, but throughout the entire City. He never-the-less, treated it promptly, left written instructions to be pursued until he should return the next day, and impressed upon the family the great importance of pursuing the advised treatment strictly. He had hardly left the office two minutes to transact some business in the streets, before leaving for his home in the country, when another citizen accosted him with these words, "Dr., I am in search of a physician, and although you do not live in the city now, my son was taken so very ill a short time since, without going further for a Doctor, I will ask you to see him at once for me.” He found this to be another case, treated it as the first, and promised to come in and see the young man again the next day. The next morning, finding both patients doing well, he walked out upon the streets, and was asked by another citizen to step in and see his daughter, very ill, just taken; this proved to be another case. He then inquired of the gentleman who had last called him in if there was much sickness in that part or the City. He replied, "Yes, a great deal; it looks like everybody in the first and second wards or the City has some sickness in their families in the last few days." Taking the gentleman away from the sickroom, he then told the man his daughter had Yellow Fever, and that he had already been called to two other cases, and that he should go out home, make his arrangements, and at once come to the City to help treat the disease. Accordingly on the next morning he arrived in the City, and placed a placard at the then most prominent corner of the City, near the Post Office, declaring the disease to be Yellow Fever that was afflicting the people or the two lower wards or the City, and that it would, in his opinion, spread over the entire City, and that he had come to offer his services to such as might wish to employ him, but that all such must apply to him in the first twelve hours of the attack, and that it would be safer if they applied in the first six hours of the attack, or as soon as taken. This placard produced severe criticism from all the other physicians, who did not regard the disease as Yellow Fever; and the business men, who feared the effect on trade. Many harsh things were said, and even threats made, but he calmly replied to all of them, “If the treatment of these physicians who are condemning me is not changed the hearses will not be able, in a week from now, to carry the dead to the cemetery, but drays and wagons will be needed.” The prediction was fearfully verified in the week, and no more assaults were made on the Doctor, who had left his healthy country home to come to the City and aid the suffering with his unselfish devotion and unquestioned professional skill. The fearful ravages of the fever in 1839 in Augusta is known not only in Georgia, but throughout the United States. Dr. Hook treated over two hundred cases before he was taken down with the disease himself, and lost but two out of this number. When he found the fever coming on him, he sat down on the steps he was ascending to see a patient, and wrote his own treatment, and directed his driver when he returned to his carriage, to give it to Dr. Johnson (who had adopted his treatment) and tell him to pursue it strictly. He was very ill for several weeks, but finally recovered. This magnanimous course of Dr. Hood, so full of self abnegation in behalf of a suffering and sorely afflicted community, gave him great popularity as a physician and a man in the City, and he found that both interest and duty required that he move back at once to August. Soon he and Capt. Edward Campfield and wife, who had learned the way more perfectly, and had left the Baptist, united with Mrs. [Emily H.] Tubman, who had long been a member of the Christian Church in Kentucky. They met in the parlor of Mrs. Campfield and read the Scriptures, sang praises, breaking the loaf with fellowship and prayers. Dr. Hook soon began to expound the scriptures at these meetings, and finally began regularly to preach in an "upper room" that they, and a few who united with them in the course of a few years, rented. Thus he began to put on the harness that was to remain on him the rest or his life, for while he attended to secular business, his mind and his heart were in the work of the Lord, and he was talking on the subject or preaching the faith once delivered to the Saints. “In 1837, Dr. Daniel Hood, father of Hon. Jas. S. Hook of this City, who was an Elder in this Church, with Mrs. [Emily H.] Tubman, Edward Campfield, and Mrs. Margaret Campfield organized the Christian Church in Augusta in Mrs. Tubman’ place.” Enthusiasm, “Fervent in spirit,” says Henry Ward Beecher.” This signifies a glowing quality, not mere brightness, but flame. It is rising into that state in which men create thought and feeling in a higher range than that which belongs to ordinary life. Now, it is as well, perhaps, to give a more familiar name to this fervency of mind. There is a popular phrase, not altogether acceptable but better perhaps than any other. Enthusiasm, a word derived from the ancient idea that the gods breathed into man.” In the pursuit of religion there can be not question that the enthusiasm is called for. “Whatever is worth doing is worth doing well,” and as the New Testament adds, “As unto the Lord.” It is worth doing with all your might, and the lowest duties become exalted when you exalt them by putting a magnificent mentality into them, and the highest duties requires it for their perfect fulfillment.
In the winter of 1840 his name was proposed for Mayor of the City by some writer in one of the City papers, who alluded in beautiful and pathetic terms to his unselfish proffer of his services to the City in the hour of her dire necessity; and the result was his election over the two other very popular candidates (citizens) by a vote lacking only ten of doubling both of them. He filled the office two terms with great satisfaction to the people. The great "Harrison Freshet," as it was called, occurred during his term of office; the city was completely inundated, so much so, that the large Petersburg Boats were used in the principle streets to aid the suffering. He met it bravely and with heroic energy, and won the plaudits, as well as the thanks of the people, over whom he presided. Always an humble Christian, and with a heart overflowing with kindness, Dr. Hook was, nevertheless, a cool self-possessed, fearless, bold, courageous man. Two instances showing his self possession and courage in danger will suffice. Before the freshet had reached its worst, and shen the water in broad Street was only knee deep to his house, he had received notice of some seriously threatened danger in the upper part of the city, and made all the haste he could toward the indicated point. When he reached Colock Street, a cross street intersecting Broad, on which he was traveling, he found the water rising in a bold torrent from the river through that street into Broad. Not suspecting any serious washout at that point he pressed rapidly to cross the current, and before he was aware of it, horse and rider were over their heads in the Strong current, but when the horse came to the surface, the rider was in his position, and without the slightest demonstration of excitement, had his horse out of the ugly hole into which they had plunged, and pursued the even tenor of his way to his appointed destination. At another time, a large bully, who had committed a gross outrage, and was pursued by the officers of the town, backed himself up against the wall of the Georgia R.R. Building On Broad Street, and with a pistol in each hand, defied the officers and the crowd, saying he would kill whoever tried to arrest him. This was about nine o’clock at night. The Mayor's residence, at that time, was only fifty yards below on Broad Street. The Marshall, Foster Blodgett Jr., one of the honest men of his day, instructed the crowd to keep watch until he should take counsel whether to use violence to capture the bold criminal. He found Dr. Hook with the New Testament in hand, with his family around him, reading a chapter preliminary to prayers. The Doctor laid aside his book, saying, "Let us use no violence, if it can be avoided. I will go with you." When they reached the crowd that stood around the desperate man, the Mayor asked the crowd to permit him to pass through, and space being made for him, he stepped, without hesitation, to the bully, not-withstanding his threatening gestures with the pistol, placed his hand upon his shoulder, and said, “You are my prisoner, deliver those pistols up.” The desperado hung his head saying, “You can arrest me, but no other man could.”
“In 1832, soon after the Doctor's removal to Richmond, [Hill, near Augusta], he found that Capt. Edward Campfield of Augusta, a member of the Baptist Church, was also deeply impressed with the views and sentiments of the Reformation, and these two held meetings—first at the house of one, and then of the other. Capt. Campfield’s wife, [Margaret] also a Baptist, soon united with them, and Mrs. [Emily H.] Tubman, of August, who was already a disciple, united with them; and thus the Christian Church had its origin in [Augusta,] Georgia.” In 1842 the membership numbered thirteen or fourteen in all the City of Augusta.
Not long after this, Mrs. Tubman, whose name is the synonym of all that is noble in Christian devotion, charity and goodness, built a church in which the little flock worshipped, Dr. Hook being their earnest, pure, and ever devoted Minister. He had preached at different times in various portions of the State, and had valuable accessions to the cause. In ·Columbus, Georgia, he preached, and among his auditors was a young lawyer, who at once took deep interest in the truths presented, and upon full consultation with Dr. Hook, who saw in him the elements of great usefulness in the future of the Church, and after uniting with the church, he consented, if managements could be made, to go to Bethany College and be educated for the Ministry, under Alexander Campbell, its illustrious President. Mrs. Tubman at once, on hearing of this plan from Dr. Hook, sent him to Bethany. Today one of the greatest scholars, publicists and preachers in the now large connection in the U.S. is the J.S. Lamar of Augusta, Ga. “Dr Hook was an able and successful physician, a gentlemen of polished address, and most pleasing and affable manners. As a speaker, he was pointed logical and strong; as a preacher, earnest and devout; as a Christian, humble, trustful, and sincere; as a man, fearless and brave, but always gentle and kind. He was the first physician who introduced the use of quinine in the practice of Medicine in the state or Georgia as a Medical Journal published in Augusta at that early day fully attests. As a writer he was clear, terse, impressive, and forceful. An address delivered before the Masonic fraternity, of which fraternity he was a very high officer, attracted much attention, and was widely published and distributed by the order. Many of his essays on Medical Themes were highly esteemed, and his written debate with a Methodist Minister named Mysick, in Sandersville, Ga., displayed great power, and was esteemed by his friends as a great victory over his adroit antagonist. His essays on Religious Themes, as well as his sermons, always breathed the pure spirit of Christian excellence, and carried conviction by their earnestness, ability and force. While he did not aspire to the art of the orator and the sophistries of the mere debater, he was often very eloquent, and always potent in argument, and persuasive in style. His record is full of high aims and noble work, and he has left the sweet memory of a beautiful and useful life as a dear heritage to his family and friends." Thus a dear Brother speaks.
Brother Harcum says about his Biography, "I think this is due to the memory or one who labored long and successfully among the infant churches of Christ, both in Georgia, and South Carolina. He stood high in his profession as a physician, and equally eminent as a Minister of the Gospel of Christ, in the Great Reformation of the nineteenth century. I just became acquainted with Dr. Hook about the year 1841 while he was Mayor or Augusta, and preached at the same time for the Christian Church of that place. My love and admiration for him as a Christian gentleman and Minister of the Gospel, then began and continued up to his death. He preached often times for the Old Union Church, located about 20 miles below Augusta, in S. C., and during his ministrations for that Church, Governor [James Henry] Hammond was a frequent attendant. He wrote many articles for the pages of the Morning Watch, a paper published by John M. Barnes, in the Advocacy of primitive Christianity, and at a time when opposition ran high and strong minds were needed to enter the contest and contend for the Faith once delivered to the Saints. Brother D. Hook visited the churches in the lower section of our state [South Carolina], several times. His last visit, I think, was in 1857 or 1858 when he remained with us nearly one year preaching for the Churches at Halcyondaee and Ewinton. At the same time the Methodist Church close by had a preacher named Dr. Crook, so that a gentleman in the neighbor humorously remarked that the sinners might look out now, as the Churches would have them by Hook or Crook. The memory of the just is blessed, and such can be said of our late Brother Dr. Daniel Hook."
During all these years he and the three mentioned before as the early members had met in their parlors, or in later years in an upper room that had been hired for the purpose, and also by this time, a few others had been hired for the purpose, and also by this time, a few others had united with the Church, but now a brighter outlook came for the congregation; and about the year 1841 or 2, Mrs. Tubman built a very neat and commodious brick Church on Reynolds Street, Augusta. After this the Church grew and prospered somewhat, though a great prejudice still existed, but the unvarying kindness and gentleness of the Pastor Dr. Hook had their effect, and while only few attended, still they were in earnest and believed in his sincerity and piety. Such was his zeal that he could preach to a few as much fervor as though the house had been filled with an enthusiastic audience. One night just for a little pleasantry, the seven persons who composed the congregation, seated themselves in seven pews in front of the other in a straight row. Dr. Hook saw a straight streak of faces looking at him merrily, and while his face shown for one moment with an amused expression, he at once proceeded with his duties with all the solemnity and order of the occasion. Two of his children had already bowed to the authority of [Christ], and his wife had also after overcoming the convictions of years and much prejudice, had earnestly and most thoroughly accepted the Bible alone, and the man of Christ alone.
In the year 1845, [April 3-14], Alexander Campbell visited Augusta, and his daughter [Dr. Hook’s] Mary joined the Christian Church under the preaching of that good and great man, and was baptized in the Savannah River by her Father, while the hymn was sung "Through Floods and flames of Jesus lead, I’ll follow where he goes.” [R.L.] Coleman accompanied Campbell, and of that visit it is said in the life of Alexander Campbell, “He proceeded to Augusta, [Georgia], still accompanied by Mr. Coleman. where they delivered addresses to increasing congregation, and succeeded in removing much of the religious prejudice which existed. Here they were kindly entertained by a wealthy and pious Sister, Mrs. Tubman, who sent at her own expense, a number of students to Bethany College" and contributed largely of her means to its endowment. Here they also me the excellent Dr. Hook, who had been Mayor of the City, and who distinguished himself for many years by his faithful advocacy of the Reformation in Georgia and South Carolina.
The following summer Dr. Hook visited the Churches in upper Georgia accompanied by his daughter. It was a time of rejoining, for the Churches were so full of zeal and warmth and life. While he was in Clarke County, [C.F.R.] Shehane, who had formerly been a Christian, but was then a Universalist, came there to preach. Dr. Hook, having just left to visit other counties, did not meet him, but his daughter did, and while conversing with him about his change in his views and of her recent connection with the Church, he said, “I would advise you to remain in that Church. Never change your views.” So much for his sincerity. But she was greatly pleased with his talk, for she knew that if he did not have faith in his own teachings, he certainly would not convert many to his views. This visit along the Lowes, Elders, Holloways, Smiths and others of staunch faith in those days was worth the trip taken from Augusta in a buggy. They were the most hospitable people, all good livers, good kind Christian people; their houses and Churches were plain.
On the return trip, after being absent six weeks travelling through the country, they came to an old Brother, who was very rich, and who had been an active member, but was now very old and almost helpless. He had to be wheeled about in a chair, and though rich home was an old unpainted four roomed weather boarded house, and the furniture as plain as the house, but his garden and orchard and plantation were golden with fruitage; splendid watermelons, and the most elegant clusters of grapes, luscious red apples, delicious figs and peaches. When supper was announced, I realized what I had often read that the "table groaned under the weight of good things;" a description is enough to promote an appetite, a large bowl of golden butter in the center containing eight or ten pounds; preserves, honey, biscuit, waffles, light-bread cake, milk, coffee and many other things, all delightful, fresh and sweet. His wife a second I presume, was much younger than himself, though about fifty at that time, with no children at home, if any at all. This old Brother had many years before promised to give fifty thousand dollars to the Christian Church, but he told Dr. Hook that night that he heard that there had been great changes among them, and that they had become “Campbellites and devilites” etc., and he seemed to care no more about them. This, no doubt, was brought about [by] prejudice and undue influence, as he was old and infirm and could no longer go among them and know the truth of these reports. Returning to Augusta, Dr. Hook continued to preach as usual, and while the growth of the Church was slow, it was steady, and was impressing itself upon the minds and hearts of the people. Dr. Hook's health was not very good at times he suffered much with dyspepsia, but he rarely gave up, and was always busy—preaching or travelling, or studying and writing; practicing medicine very little at this time, gradually devoting his whole time to the service of the Master; always the same good, kind man—husband, father, master. In any relation of life he was a sincere Christian, never neglecting family prayers and religious conversations and teachings. He would visit South Carolina, and he and Dr. [Wm. R.] Erwin, of Erwinton, were much engaged in efforts to build up the cause in that State.
In the year of 1847 he moved with his family to moved with his family to Jefferson Co., Ga., to a place that he and his son, Dr. E. P. Hook had bought and thought he would resume his practice, as he was financially much embarrassed. Elder S.J. Pinkerton was then called to the church in Augusta through Dr. Hook was the presiding officiant in the Church. Dr. Hook frequently returned there preaching and still travelling to different points in the state, as he was too thoroughly in the work to give up, and again gradually gave up the practice of medicine and gave his whole time and attention to preaching. But such was his anxiety to preach without remuneration, that he suffered much in mind when he could not do thus. He says, "Another way in which my adversities have operated to depress me through—perhaps my pride. I had wished to serve the Lord at [my?] own charges, and now to move only as others afford the means, wounds me very much. This ought not to be, others should partake in the Heavenly work as well as me, and it is selfishness to debar them of the privilege. All cannot speak in public and hence it is only by being at charges for those who can, that many share in this Divine undertaking. I deplore this weakness, and hope it will be forgiven. I refer to it because it has chagrined me deeply, and because it allows me to make a remark that deserves further reflections. And adversity has also been my portion. After laboring arduously and successfully all my life to secure a competency, to have the fruits thereof from me, as a ball or snow melts in one's hands, is itself calculated to depress one's spirit; to induce gloom and despondency. The wonder in such a case ought to be, how can such combined evils be borne with such equanimity! Then Christianity would be honored instead of despised, for it would be seen that through its Heavenly principles we are made to stand, when unsustained by it, we should fall. God seems in my case to have been, in the commencement, only partial,. It left me still with worldly pride, and a selfish desire of conspicuity, hence the necessity of the chastisements meted out to me; I thank God for them—may they increase in Heavenly fruits! I would not fail of the smiles of my Heavenly Father to be monarch of the earth and master of its wealth; and if nothing will fit me for his favor but the lash, I deliberately prefer that it should be applied, that I wince with agony at every stroke, though this agony end in death. Thus we learn that there is such a charm in Christianity that we cling to it with inward delight, even though it involve us in continual troubles. What is man without a Savior? What is the world without hope of Heaven? To be in Christ, to hope in His salvation, is riches in poverty, blessing in misery. This is truth in paradoxes. But to return—I have reason to think my sanctification, using this word in its common acceptation, is far yet from being complete; for while, in the dreams of possible prosperity which yet flit across my mind, I do think much of the efforts I will make to advance my Lord’s cause on the earth, I find that I am also constantly surrounding myself with those circumstances which are calculated to please and gratify self. Is it thus with others? Shall I ever be cured of this worldliness? Well has the Lord told us that we must deny ourselves. According to my experience it is indispensable, even when the head is silvered with gray." And thus this man of great humility writes of himself while his whole life was consecrated to God, and to the up-building of His cause on earth.
During that year, his health being impaired, he thus writes, "My health, though apparently good, has long been infirmed. Hepatic derangement of liver and bowels have worried me for many years.” And then he reviews his Christian life, and speaks feelingly upon the persecutions he has suffered in consequence of his religious views. He was bitterly opposed in these by his friends, patrons and relatives. And when reviewing his present surroundings he is melancholy, but firm in his belief; and though financially exhausted, he continues steadfast in the work. In an old journal of that date he says, "But it [is] thought that these misfortunes would not have occurred but for my embracing religion, or perhaps, my particular and unpopular, views of religion. In my case, former and subsequent failure, give some countenance to this opinion. Suppose it to be true—supposed I preferred being spoiled of my goods, rather than contend with the injurious, yet, the bible being true, I have been wiser and more prudent than the injurious; for while my poverty is temporary, these will be eternal.” Then he lays the blame to his own bad management, and not to his devotion to Christ. Then again he says, "Suppose again that my unpopular views have led to my pecuniary embarrassments, by making enemies and driving off friends; still in view of eternity, and the judgement unto life, or unto the second death, my course has been prudent and wise, provided these views are those which God has revealed. Of this everyone must judge for himself, in life and in the article of death—if possessed of reason, I shall believe them to be so. Mine is a practical mind, but little imagination, and fanaticism, and I examined the subject as closely as I could. They are the truths of God! Being so, and God never lighting a candle to be put under a bushel, I had no choice, I must obey or resign all hope of the favor Of God—a hope without which life would be an intolerable burden. All the examples in God's blessed Book also, require me to discharge the duty thus imposed at every hazard, at every sacrifice. What is the religious history of the world but a history of individual and personal sacrifice for the good of the world? That the good finally to result from all this suffering, is more than commensurate with it in importance, there cannot be a doubt. God permits not unnecessary sufferings on the part or those that love him, and he will bring about the good. The world is evidently in a state of rebellion against the Supreme Ruler—not a nation existing is governed by Him; and hence all the miseries of mankind. No Being but the Creator has the wisdom, power and goodness necessary to make the creature man happy; and as long as he refuses to obey the Creator, so long must he be miserable; for it is only by obedience that the blessings resulting from these attributes, can be appropriated. This is the great problem that is solved by the fortunes of humanity. I am not more convinced of any truth than of this. As soon as men practically understand it, every caste will be removed. In this truth we find the explanation of, and the motive to, personal sacrifices and sufferings. O, the Goodness of God, in subjecting even His own Son to ignominy and death fro the reconciliation and happiness of a rebellious world! O, what ingratitude to Him, what inhumanity to man it would be, in those who understand this truth, to refuse, because of temporary sufferings, to cooperate with God in effecting so much good! We call him who suffers willingly to effect temporary good, a patriot, a philanthropist; but he who suffers to effect eternal good—the emancipation of man from all evil, we call an enthusiast, a fanatic, a deluded victim of error. It is passing strange; but even this must be borne with equanimity. Here is the explanation of my pertinacity.”
Persecutions had made him timid to some extent; and too much alive too, and too sensitive to remarks and ill natured attacks; he says of this feeling, “I must try to shake off this weakness. It is an evidence of weak faith. I ought more perfectly to confide in God. His truth must prevail. There is more for it, though unseen, than against it. There is more for it, though unseen, than against it. If I am crushed, the Lord will raise up others. May He forgive my lack of faith, rectify it, and make it like that of the ancient worthies, storing and undoubting, even unto death.” And then again, in speaking of his depression of spirits he says, “The cause of this with me, is the slow progress of truth in the South, and especially under my ministrations. I have been particularly sensible of this by the improvement in my spirits, which has occurred occasionally, by more than usual success in my tours of preaching. In Augusta, our prospect at one time seemed fair, but it darkened, and now for a long time clouds and darkness rest upon it. This distresses me much, for I think there is good material in August, if they could be brought under the hammer of truth. But what with the world and the clergy, it seems entirely impossible to affect this object.” He says of this move to Jefferson County, “I arrived here with my family on the tenth of August, and here I still am, preaching in the neighborhood whenever a door is opened for m, which however, being very seldom, I am mostly engaged with my son in the practice if our profession. I am still the presiding officer in the Church of Augusta, which I attend pretty regularly in winter, and by consent, irregularly in summer. The circumstances that finally impelled me to this change of location, I must leave to be inferred from the foregoing pages other reasons operating to this end, I consider unnecessary to mention. I hope the Lord is not offended, as he has blessed me with success in my labors with the sick, except in very few instances. The population of the South is not ripe for the truth, and until it is, it may be the will of God that His little flock here, should labor to win the love of the people by doing them good, they do appreciate. At all events, I shall act upon this conclusion.”
He and Elder S. J. Pinkerton were much together, he visiting the Dr. at his home in Jefferson, Hody [Holly] Springs. Also they would travel together to different points of the State, preaching. After four years the Doctor bought a home in the rapidly growing city of Atlanta, Ga., and removed there with his family in August, 1851, and from this time, he gave his whole time to the work, preaching, travelling, and writing. After visiting Griffin, County Line, and many more, he was appointed State Evangelist in the year [1849?], and attended a cooperation meeting in Atlanta. Bro. [Shelton C.] Dunning, of Savannah, and his wife attended these meetings, and visited the up country ever summer, and he and Dr. Hook travelled together and preached, or visited each other at their home. The Doctor was now fully in the work, every moment devoted to it. Elder S.J. Pinkerton, who afterwards became an Episcopalian, was with him much during these years and in a letter he writes of recent date he says, “As you say, we were indeed much together, quite for four or five years; but it is now nearly one third of a century since that intimacy ceased. There are, however, two or three well remembered characteristics of his nature and habit, which I am enabled to here set down for your gratification. The first that occurs to me, and perhaps the most prominent, was his unvarying sincerity. I cannot recall any one, at this moment, in all my acquaintances, past or present, who seemed to me to possess a more guileless spirit. He was uniformly frank and candid in his conduct and language. He knew nothing, apparently, of the common arts of deception. During all the time of our close and confiding relations to each other, I am free to say, that I do not remember on occasion on which his sincere nature failed to assert its supremacy over any temptation to speak or act with duplicity. As it regards his personal attachments, social or otherwise, I think they were singularly free from all merely selfish motives, he was very strongly inclined—from natural disposition—I suspect, to walk on the solitary paths of life; to commune with his heart in secret. Yet, he was ever ready to give his friendship in large measure, where he was led to believe he could repose confidence, and had, at the same time, sufficient evidence of a reciprocal feeling towards him. He could not be forward in the avowal of his feeling. He shrank from all obtrusiveness at all times; but his gentle, and yet manly bearing, influenced you with the value of his friendly association, and at once opened the way to it. With reference to his preaching—it was characterized above all other things by an exalted devotion of heart. He was just as simple as a child. You could not discover the intimation, in attitude or language, of a desire to “appear well,” as we say. Either forgetfulness of self or a reverent and devout manner in the Pulpit, coupled as they were with a commanding person, made him at all times effective. There was, moreover, a certain clearness in the arrangement and divisions of his sermons, and a certain masked force and grasp of understanding through it, which never failed to catch your attention, and impress you with respect for his intellectual possessions. Which in brief are some of the characteristics of your Father as left upon my memory. I wish I could recall others with which I was familiar thirty years ago. He was, all in all, as I knew him, a very delightful man. I trust it may be our privilege to renew the intimacy, we once enjoyed so much, in the place to which his soul has fled, and in which the ties of companionship and brotherly sympathy are forever undisturbed by the inconsiderate, and wholly useless demand, of a sectarian opinion.”
Those were years of earnest struggle to plant the cause firmly in Georgia. About this time Dr. Hook was sent for to go over in Elbert County to baptized Miss Mary and [Georgia] Rucker, the first afterwards became Mrs. J.S. Lamar. After preaching acceptably from them, and baptizing them, as he was leaving one of the ladies said, “Brother Hook, here is a purse we have knitted for you.” A very pretty one it was, with steel beads, and bands and tassels, and while examining it he found that they had put one hundred dollars in it for him. His hair was very white, giving him a most venerable look and his constant devotion to the Word of God, and his holy life and walk, commanded universal respect and esteem. He had been a very high Mason, all the earlier years of his life he had taken part in all the duties and obligations of Masonry, but now he said, that to be a Christians was all that was necessary, that Christianity can contain all the good in Masonry, and so far excelled it, that there was no further use for the order, if me would only be Christians.
These absences from home, through Georgia and South Carolina, were frequent, and his wife, daughter, and little granddaughter, who composed all his family now at home, missed him sadly when he was away, for his pleasant manner, loving disposition, and entertaining conversational powers, made him an agreeable companion. Then his prayers and talks on the Scriptures so filled us with thoughts and aspirations of Heaven that it seemed nearer to us when he was at home, than when he was away. His presence gave life and joy. His house was always a home for the brethren, and no one was more hospitable and generous than he was.
Brother J.D. Erwin, of South Carolina, in writing to me about him, in these years and earlier, says, “Dr. Daniel Hook visited our brethren for the first time in November 1847, at the instance of Dr. W.R. Erwin, and Elder J.S. Havener, A.M., to attend our annual meeting at Erwinton. Brother Smith was also there (I think Bro. E.A. Smith of Ky.) His second visit was to the same place at the annual meeting held Nov. 1848. On this occasion he was in company with Brother Nathan W. Smith, of Georgia, [John] Eichbaum and [James J.J. Trott, of Tenn., and our home Minister, Elder J.S. Havener, and the lamented James Bailey. From this time he made occasional visits to our State during eight or ten years, preaching at different localities. About 1857, he and Brother A.G. Thomas, at the opening of our House of Worship at Halcyondale, in Barnwell County, conducted very successfully a meeting of several days; and in 1859-60, we had the services of Dr. Hook for about twelve months. He was occupied principally in the building up and strengthening the congregations at Halcyondale and at Erwinton. At night on the Lord’s Days he generally preached to the colored people, then in a state of slavery, a comfortable house having been prepared for their special accommodations. Many of them were members of the church of Christ. They sand with a zest and enjoyed these opportunities greatly. On one of these occasions, William Hall, a colored brother, having been requested to lead in prayer, began vociferously, yet fervently to hold forth, and warming up he went on, he concluded with what he thought was a touching reference or tribute to his Bro. Hook in these words, “Oh, Lord, bless the old Deacon who come from afar, with his head like a white blossom, standing with one foot in the grave, and no one to tell what business he had with the other one out.” Several of the white brethren, as usual, had accompanied the Doctor to this meeting, and on their way home suggested, as a piece of pleasantry, that an explanation should be called for as to this personal reflection, the “business of the other foot.” The Doctor laughed heartily, then remarked, “I am very thankful to my Brother Bill for his earnest prayer in my behalf, there may be more truth than poetry in his words, which evidently were meant for no disparagement. On the verge of the grave truly! How unworthy we all are! How dependent upon God! How necessary the preparation for such a step into the grave as will enable us to plant our feet safely within the walls of the Heavenly City!” And thus did he ever turn all things to holy account. I remember his speaking once on the danger of corrupting the Scriptures by indiscriminate “text preaching” and, “spiritualizing.” He related the following: Once in travelling, and not wishing to continue his journey on the Lord’s Day, he attended worship at a church near by the place he had stopped. The minister, having learned or suspected that he was a preacher of some denomination invited him to preach; this he declined to do, but at length consented to follow with an exhortation and ascending the pulpit, seated himself behind the Rev. Divine until his own turn should come. The minister’s text was, Isaiah 7:25, “And upon all hills that shall be digged [with the mattock] there shall not come thither the fear of briers and thorns; but it shall be for the sending forth of oxen, and for the treading of lesser cattle.” This was “spiritualized” as follows: “The hills represent the world of sin; the briers and thorns, little and big sinners, the Mattox, the Holy Ghost to cut them down; the sending forth of oxen, the Gospel ministry sent forth; the lesser cattle (here there is some difficulty) but they are most likely the exhorters who are also called upon to do their part.” With this the minister gave place, and the Doctor meekly rose to his performance, as one of the “lesser cattle.” He however, told the congregation that he proposed to simply give them a short talk on the love of God in his greatest of gifts to men—the “Gift of Christ.”
Dr. Hook was regarded by all of his brethren as an able expounder of the word of God. His discourses were logical and scriptural, profoundly sensible of the all sufficiency of the Bible in matters of religion, and of the necessity and practicability of our own pleas for the Union of Christians upon it. He labored for the restoration of primitive Christianity in doctrine and practice with great earnestness and power. His social qualities were of a high order—a Christian gentleman. His great heart always took delight in making those about him feel comfortable and happy. Indeed, he was a favorite with all, and the universal esteem and respect in which he was held by all, gave him an influence for the good, even over the irreligious, seldom attained by a Minister of the Gospel. It was my good fortune to be much in his presence; once in 1859, I accompanied him on a tour through several counties in Georgia. For considerable time he and his most excellent wife had been inmates of my humble dwelling. They were socially and religiously well matched, and both of them were beloved by all; sacredly and tenderly have their memories been treasured up in the hearts of our people. The Doctor’s manner with his flock, and with the inexperienced and less gifted in the ministry, deserves particular [mention?]. His example was worthy, his reproofs tempered with great kindness and gentleness. He always encouraged, and took great pleasure in developing any latent powers that he thought might be brought into exercise for the good of the church. To a mistake just here, on the part of many, maybe attributed the frequent inefficiency of Church officers, and the scarcity, as to supply, of a Gospel Ministry. Let those in high places consider. The sects seem to understand these matters better than we. He was a good organizer, and was one of the first to urge upon the brethren of Georgia and South Carolina, the necessity of a thorough and systematic State cooperation. Had the Churches acted according to his advice in the beginning, things with us doubtless would have been far in advance of what they are today. The account of his labors in Georgia and in Alabama, and the part he took as a contributor to our own religious literature, must be traced by others. Shortly before his death, we received a message from him through a brother, urging us all to continue steadfast in the faith; that his work on earth was done, and he was waiting for the summons, confident in his Redeemer that he would enter into the rest that remained for the people of God.” And thus Brother J.D. Erwin, Jr. in looking back over the years writes of him he loved so truly.
In 1856 “The Christian Union” was published monthly in Augusta, Ga. Editors, J.S. Lamar—A.G. Thomas. Asst. Editors Dr. S.D. Hook—P.F. Lamar. Though he was state Evangelist, necessarily travelling over the State, and very busy, he found time to write an article for every number during the year.
His first article, [January, 1856, pages 7-12] was, “Who Can Unite?” and he quotes Psalm 133, “Behold, how good, and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” And after making many good suggestions, he continues, “But the importance of this union of the good, to the welfare of society, demands yet further development. The union of the good results in a moral power, that is irresistible, in the formation of public opinion. This union in regard to the morality of the Bible, and the consecration of the Lord’s Day, is permanent and universal, and behold—all Christendom legislates to sustain both the one and the other. This remark is equally true of everything concerning which the good are unanimous; and it is equally true, in the opposite sense, concerning everything about which they are divided—For example: they differ about the means of salvation, and the world becomes apathetic on the subject! They differ about faith, and the world becomes infidel! They differ about he millennium, and the world laughs at the Prophecies of God!” And concludes the article with a most earnest appeal for the Union of all Christians.
In his second article [and third] on the same subject, after telling the objections that are urged by some—that the sight of private judgement in religion is wholly incompatible with Union, and taking a different view of himself, and giving many good reasons why, he says, “Among real Christians there are honest difference of opinion! And the simple question resolves itself into this: does the right of private judgement necessarily prevent the removal of these differences? I think not. We see the opinions of ignorance uniformly laid aside upon enlightenment in other matters, and we say surely infer the same result in this matter. Yea, the reformations that have already taken place since the midnight darkness of the middle ages, shows beyond all question, that this will be the result.
It may be remarked too, that, the differences are rapidly diminished in number and dimensions. Among the intelligent, there is now no difference of faith, for they all believe what God has revealed, and acknowledge that faith goes this far, and no further. There are no differences among them, either, as to the necessity of obedience, for they all acknowledge there is no practical Christianity without obedience to Christ. The rejection of the facts of revelation is infidelity—the belief of them is Christian faith. The refusal to obey the Lord Jesus is impiety; to obey him from the heart, is Christian practice. We greatly encouraged by the unanimity becoming daily more apparent among intelligent Christians on these vital matters. Further—Divine truth is the manna of the Christian soul, and its effects are the same in all who digest it. The same revelation cannot, does not, make both a Christian and a pagan, a Roman Catholic and a Protestant; consequently it has become evident to all, that there are other causes than divine truth in operation in the production of these opposite results, and that the remedy of the evil is the removal of all those extraneous causes. The Revelation of God will make Christians, and nothing else but Christians. This great truth is now so well understood, that the city of piety everywhere is the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible, for faith and practice. The right of private judgement, therefore, is effecting the very object we have in view, since it is causing the pious of all denominations to come to one great, divine, instrumentality of love to God, and good will to men—of union, harmony, peace and love. In the second number he gives a “Remedy for Prejudices.” “Can then any good thing come out of Nazareth?” “Come and see.” He gives this answer as the infallible remedy for prejudice saying, “The conflicts of differing religionists have resulted in much distrust; and hence, every proposal to harmonize the contending parties, is prejudiced as a partisan scheme, intended to build up one party at the expense of the rest. Scowling suspicion awaits those who presume to make such a proposition. Like Nathaniel, of our day—religious parties. In this state of public mind, I apprehend, we will find the greatest obstacle to the success of our labors, for the Union of Christians. It must, however, be surmounted, for the Lord of Heaven requires this Union; and to his faithful ones, he has committed the enterprise. Union of Christians is the great want of the world; and the glory of God, and the salvation of mankind, demand that it should be supplied. Jesus died for these objects, and if need be, his people must suffer for them. Away, then, with the timidity which would make us shrink from a duty before the frowns of men!
Fortunately for us, in this dilemma, the reply of Philip to Nathaniel suggests the divinely instituted remedy for prejudice, as well as the sure means for the discovery of what is good and true. It is—“come and see!” Prejudge nothing—subdue partisan feelings, so as calmly and dispassionately to examine into the truth of every proposition offered to the mind. Nathaniel followed this heavenly advice, and behold he found “The Son of God.”—The “King of Israel,” who instantly dissipated all his prejudices. We have much to encourage us to follow his noble examples. Luther, and a host of other benefactors of our race, came out of Romanism; and there has been, perhaps, no party in Christendom, that has failed to present to the admiring gaze of angels and men, able and efficient heroes of moral reform. Why may not present parties do the same? At all events, we should “Come and see,” when they propose what promises good to all. And we should come, recollecting that, in the early part of this century, it was proposed to give the Bible to the world without note and comment. The incalculable good which has resulted from this proposal, should admonish us that good may come out of Nazareth. The proposition, too, to revise the Bible so as to correct any and every error of translation, has been a blessing to mankind, and teaches the same lesson. Surely, these considerations will induce our contemporaries to “come and see,” when we propose a plan to effect what God commands, what Christ earnestly prays for—the Union of Christians.” And he says in conclusion of this article, “Permit me to urge the friends of this heavenly, and glorious enterprise, to remember, continually, that we must live and speak “truth in love,” if we would gain our purpose. Impudence can pull down, faster than wisdom can build up, and impatience at opposition, harshness in presenting the truth, and pride in obeying the truth, are all glaring manifestations of impudence. Surely, my dear brethren, when we consider the benefits of Union, to the whole race of men, and the widespread evils that exist, because it is wanting, we can learn to control our tongues and actions, so as not to kinder the building up of the temple of God. “With earnest prayer to God, for our success, I remain, your brother, in the good hope, through grace—D.H.”
His next article is upon “The First Resurrection,” and his mind and heart is so imbued with the thoughts of Union, that he begins with this, “As the just appreciation of the first Resurrection is well calculated to facilitate our labors for the Union of Christians, I desire now, to invite attention to this most interesting subject.” And he certainly made it so. His next contribution, “The Words Of Jesus,” like the rest is made to prove the necessity and importance of Union. This is the theme, and every subject, but give fresh proof of its [?], “The Faith,” Reconciliation,” and “The Obedience” of “faith,” “A Dialogue on Preaching,” followed in succeeding numbers, and this notice in two of them, “Christian Cooperation Meeting. This meeting will commence in Atlanta, on Friday before the second Lord’s Day in next October. A punctual attendance of Messengers on Friday morning, is respectfully requested. The brethren and friends in Atlanta, will give them a hearty welcome at the home of Dr. Hook, S.C. and I remember attending one in Griffin in company with him and Elder S.J. Pinkerton.
In the October number he writes on “election,” at the request of a Baptist congregation, for whom he had preached, and as he could not revisit them and preach on the subject, he wrote five articles, running through five numbers, on “Election.” These articles are all so good that I would like to introduce them in full in this work, but this may not be admissible, I will refer the reader to, “The Christian Union,” published in Augusta in 1856, Brother Owen, a most faithful Christian, was much with the Doctor in Georgia and South Carolina, preaching and teaching. Brother Nathan Smith, who had for years been his faithful friend, and often his coadjutor in the work, writes me as follows his reminiscences of him and his work in Georgia and South Carolina, “My first knowledge of your Father was through the “Morning Watch,” a religious paper published in Anderson District, S.C. in 1838. He wrote under the name of “Luke.” In 1843, before I ever saw him, I began a correspondence with him, and invited him to come to a meeting in Clarke County, Ga., where he was met by Brother James Shannon, then President of Bacon College, at Harrodsburg, Ky. Also Bro. John Moore, then of Anderson District, S.C. It was a glorious meeting in its results The expressions of enjoyment were such as I had never witnessed before. They preached and baptized alternately. This was in Augusta, 1843, and about the same time the next year, Bro. Hood and S.C. Dunning of Savannah, Ga., held a protracted meeting at the same place. The Church had been edified and strengthened in numbers by their meeting, that a missionary spirit pervaded it, and so wonderful was this influence that they started me out as their evangelist to preach at different point. Brother Hook was so full of loving kindness, and so exceedingly polite, that all, so far as I could hear, both saint and sinners, loved and admired him. And here I will mention a question I once asked him, “How is it that you have the reputation of being such a polite gentleman, and what is the secret of it?” I did not understand it then, but I think I do now. In 1845, Brother Hook wrote that brother Alexander Campbell was to be in the city of Augusta, and for me to come down and come directly to his house, and make it my home during my stay in the city. I did so, and shall, I hope, ever keep in mind the kind reception he gave me and it was then I became acquainted with his lovely family, all except Mrs. Tate, who was living at Long Cant, Troupe Co. Here I am reminded of an expression of your brother, Dr. Ed Hook, in his life time. He said that just him start a conversation with his Father, and it mattered not what was the subject, it would end with Heaven, and with his mother it would end in Troup. Brother S.G. Earl, of S.C., was also there, and invited Father and I to preach in Anderson, in January. According to arrangements, Bro. Hood met me at the time and place. First we held meetings in Anderson, and then in Greeville Districts with good success. Brethren much encouraged, and some additions to the churches. These country meetings were new fields of operation with Brother Hook, with all the circumstances connected with such works, yet his good sense, and quick apprehension of both men and means, together with his kind heart, made him wonderfully successful in his labors, being admired and loved most dearly by the brotherhood. Not accustomed to outdoor preaching under the bush arbors, he would sometimes break down in his voice in twenty or twenty-five minutes. I have seen him at times so at times so overcome in his feelings on these occasions, that he would put his handkerchief to his eyes an sit down, his emotional nature getting the better of him. After our labors in Carolina, we set out for Georgia, travelling about two hundred miles, over hills and dales, rivers and creeks; Brother Hook in a buggy—I on horseback. One day his horse took a great scare at a dog, and started to run, but I happened to be near enough to catch and hold him, thereby preventing what might have been a serious affair. Our first appointment was in Fayette County, Ga., which is now known as County Line Church. On Saturday we met a few friends, Sunday a little more, in a little old dilapidated log house. We left an appointment for the same place to begin on Friday, which was the fourth day of January, giving notice that Dr. Hook would preach a discourse suited to the occasion, embracing both the subject of Religious and Political liberty. The brethren built a brush arbor, and arranged for the meeting, which resulted in good success. Brother Hook was well qualified for such an occasion. That meeting was a wonderful one, and a goodly number was gathered into the Church, and some noble souls among them. Brother Hook left all the arrangements of appointments with me, in fact, I have heard brethren and sisters invite him to go home with them, when he would tell them, “I can’t say what to do, until I see Bro. Smith.” We next left an appointment with Brother Wm. S. Fears house and he was notice of the arrangement, but so great was the opposition to us, that outside of Brother Fears and family, white and black, there were only two young men that composed the congregation—to whom Brother Hook doubtless preached a good sermon, for Sister Tubman used to say, “Dr. Hook could preach to one person.” He soon got so he needed no one to pilot him, and arrange appointments in the county. I have travelled and preached with him in Clarke, Walton, Fayette, Henry, Fulton, Cobb, Bartow, Washington, Wilkinson, Laurens and Spalding Counties in Georgia. And he always found time to be one of the best companions, full of love and kindness, exercising great fortitude and patience, always disposed to take a charitable view of things, even under the most embarrassing circumstances. He was [a] noble, whole—souled Christian gentleman, whom I dearly love. I hardly ever knew a man so universally loved and admired. O, may I live so that I may meet him in Heaven.”
And thus Brother Nathan Smith writes of his friend. A sister said to me, speaking of his preaching at County Line Church, “He stayed at my house during the time, and I remember so well thinking what a grand looking man he was, as he would walk up toward the house, with his fine figure, gray hair, kind benignant countenance. And he was so dignified. He loved pure cold water better than any man I ever knew. He would say, “Well, if a man can’t preach after drinking such water as this, he don’t deserve to preach at all.” Ad I do think he appreciated my fried chicken almost as highly.” Always, a pleasant word to say about everything, and to everybody.
Bro. W.S. [William Sadler] Fears says of him, “I met your venerated Father in July or August of 1845 at the yearly meeting at County Line, in Fayette County. I think this was the first discourse from a Christian preacher in our community. The prejudice was great. He preached in this section frequently after that, and while he was State Evangelist, which was several years, the Church at Griffin was planted through his instrumentality, about the 1850 [March 11,1849]. He was present at the organization of Berea Church [near Hampton, Henry County], in my own community, Nov., 1854. He and many other preached for us during the next twelve years, and Brother Hook was always loved and venerated by his brethren, and loved and respected by the outside world. As much success attended his labors as could have been expected in view of the mountains of prejudice he had to meet with. He has often been at my house, He was, I think the most graceful and polite man I ever saw. I take pleasure today in cherishing his memory, and my dear sister, you should be thankful, as no doubt you are, that God blessed you with such a Father. May we all seek to imitate his many Christian virtues. Blessed art thou that you are Dr. Daniel Hook’s daughter.” Dear old Brother Fears thus lovingly of one who struggled to plant the Gospel in its purity in his community. These years were very busy ones with Dr. Hook. Besides his many other duties, he was greatly interested about the Church lot in Atlanta. One of the most beautiful sites in the city was given by Mrs. [Samuel] Mitchell, who had given all the churches in Atlanta, of all denominations a lot apiece, and the one to the Christian Church was particularly desirable, but one of the trustees or elders traded it away for a very inferior one. He [Dr. Hook] viewed it as a fraudulent transaction, and labored unceasingly for some time to recover it, but without success. In speaking of this effort he says, “It has been so long my official duty, as well as the joy of my heart, to build up this church in Georgia, to rejoice when it rejoices, and to mourn when it mourns, that it distresses me beyond measure to be placed, for once only, in this painful attitude, and to have this strange work to perform. But duty must not be evaded by those whose instructions and example we are bound to obey and follow—and hence, praying God to help me, I will try faithfully to perform mine on this occasion." And he certainly labored hard to that effect—but all to no purpose. The brethren of Atlanta ware defrauded out of one of the most valuable and beautiful lots in the City, through the treachery and deception of a man calling himself a brother in Christ. During these years that the Doctor lived in Atlanta, his daughter Mary married Judge Clark Howell, in 1853.
After an absence to Savannah and South Carolina, and his work in those places and at other points, can better be gathered from his notes of his travels in 1854 and 5, under head of “Diary of State Evangelist, Dr. Hook, Oct. 6th Griffin Cooperation.” He preached from Matt. 6, and on the next day from Rev-14, and the next day from Eph. 6. On the 13th, he went to Liberty, Coweta Co. After spending several days, and preaching many times, having six additions to the Church, he returned home. On the 20th he left for Elbert Co., where he visited the family of Brother Rucker. He baptized May and Georgia Rucker, visited Elberton, and preached and returned to Brother Rucker's, baptized three servants, preached at Ruckersville on the 23rd, and on the next day left for home, making for this month 520 miles that he had traversed. It rained and there was no congregation, so he worshipped at home with Mrs. [Shelton C.] Dunning, and wrote many letters. My great regret is not being able to obtain these letters, as they would add much to the interest and influence of this work. All through this diary he acknowledges very liberal and prompt payment of salary. In the next month, November , his diary continues. "At Jones in Dekalb," and he always gives the chapter from which he preached, but I think it unnecessary to mention this unless the sermon, or part of it was given, and have omitted them. “10, London, Tennessee, 11th, Bro. Lamar preached I exhorted. Organized a church of 16 members.” Then for several days he and Brother Lamar alternated in preaching and exhorting. "Ordained Elders fasting and prayer. Travelled 322 miles. 13th, went to Athens. Preached from 2 Cor. 11-3. 17th, went to Bennett Mills, Henry County. Organized a Church with sixteen members. At Berea ordained 1 Elder and two Deacons. One made the good confession." On the 22nd, travelled to Barnwell. South Carolina—over 500 miles. Preached several days there. baptized one. 30th went to Erwinton; Dec. 1st, to Allendale, 5th, 6th, to Healets and Caters. 9th, at Piney Grove, preaching every day at all three points, two and three times each day.” These notes give some idea of his work in those years. In Jan. 1856, Judge Howell and family moved out to "Walnut Grove" on the Chattahoochee, renting out their home in the City. Dr. Hook and wife spent the winter in Savannah and South Carolina. He spent his time while in Savannah, with Brother S. C. Dunning, preaching in his house and in the houses of other members, as they had no church building. These brethren were zealous and true. On his return he spent the Summer with his son-in-law, Judge Howell, and family, to whom he was devoted, loving the children, of whom there were now eight—six of Judge Howell's by a former marriage, and two by the last. He often took the boys, Charlie and Willie, when up near Marietta and other points, then preached, and they were never so happy as when accompanying "Grandpa." When at home, he would go down to the river's bank and fish, as this was the recreation he was fondest of. In fact, it was a lifelong fancy with him when he had leisure, and was near a water—course, he would always go fishing, and now his grandson would accompany him. He was always ready to deduce lessons of wisdom from surround1ng objects, and never allowed an opportunity to pass without rich and interesting conversation and instruction. His notes about this time, in pencil mark, are rather meager, but I give them, as they give and idea of his work for three months. "1856, Atlanta" October Cooperation. Dr. Hook reappointed State Evangelist. Preached at the meeting three times. At Atlanta for several weeks. At West Point once. Visited Alabama, November 1st; Lord's Day. Assisted Brother [Alvinzi Gano] Thomas. Atlanta, 2nd, preached; 3rd at Liberty, then at Mr. Gay's and Mr. Tidwell's. 4th, at home. Preached to the family and servants. Travel this far, 280 miles. 5th, at Fairburn, Saturday night. Dec. 1st Lord’s Day, preached at home. 2nd Lord's Day, in South Carolina, 3rd, in Alabama. Preached eleven times; travelled 712 miles at these two points. Preached at home Christmas, and my children visited me.” Christmas Sermon, briefly, “Luke 2; 8-14. The birth of our Saviour demands of us profound and grateful consideration. In this birth the prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah and their fulfillment—that in the Garden, to Abraham and his sons, Judah, Isaiah, David, Daniel, because of which then was, at the time of his birth, such a universal expectation. 2nd, but we commemorate this event on a day still more dear to the hearts of men—His birth from death—that gives a perfect development of life and immortality to man. The proofs of this birth: Its value to us! Aside from these, his being born as predicted could avail us nothing. See 2 Cor- 5-16. But from all this we can appreciate our text. Glory, praise ot God in the highest; Peace and happiness on earth. The first, because God is propitious to men. In giving His Son, He give us peace and happiness! God be praised! Because al these prophecies are fulfilled. 2nd, because Jesus is The Christ, The Saviour—the first born from the dead. 3rd because in Him man may find happiness now and forever. 4th, because God has thus shown that He is Love. Will we join the angels in these ascriptions of praise? Will we give our hearts to Him who has died and rose again for us? And, after praising God, from Whom all blessings flow, the rest of the day was pleasantly spent around the fireside in conversation; a fine dinner, and a happy merry evening. Gathered round the Christmas fire, brightened by its ruddy glow. Many a pleasant joke and repartee and conundrum, or a frolicsome play followed.
And now we must give a description or the little Church in the woods called, “New Hope.” Here he preached, when at home to the family, both white and black, and to the neighbors. And here many a happy Lord’s Day was spent in worship, and this spot became historical. The note continued, "January, 1857, 1st Lord's Day preached at home. 5th and 6th, went Elbert. Preached three times, baptized four. Bad weather, so returned home on 13th and 14th. On the 17th went to Davisboro, Washington Co., 175 miles. 18th, snow storm, and I only spoke a few moments. 19th, went to Sandersville—weather too inclement for meetings. 24th, went to Browns. 25th, preached at "Pious Hope." Returned to Sandersville; preached at night. Returned home on 30th or 31st. Feb. 1st, Lord's Day preached at home. 8th, again preached at home. 15th at Atlanta. 22nd, followed Brother [A.G.] Thomas, Atlanta. March 1st preached in Atlanta, 8th followed Brother Thomas, Atlanta. 15th at home—children sick. 22nd, preached in Atlanta. 29th in Atlanta. April 5th, at home. Continued to labor in Atlanta and vicinity until 23rd April, when I left home to be with Brother Alexander Campbell in Augusta. We travelled down together on [Friday] the 24th; remained over ten days there, helping Brother Campbell, [James] Shannon, [James S.] Lamar and [Nathan W.] Smith. Preached several times. Additions, thirteen. Left for Washington, whence I soon went to Effingham, where I labored for two weeks at Springfield, Goshen and Whitesville. Much interest was shown at the two last places. Returning to Washington indisposed, and taking medicine, I returned home. Preached at Atlanta the last Lord’s Day in May [31st]; held a meeting Cobb the 1st. Lord’s Day in June and Saturday before [6th &7th]. Held meetings Saturday and 2nd Lord’s Day [14th] in Fairburn, reunited the brethren, and organized the church there. Thence by home, and down to Sandersville on Wednesday [June 17]. Preached twice there, and on Saturday [June 20] went to neighborhood of Zion Hope, baptized Brother [Thomas Mercer] Harris and three others, organized a Church of seven members, took many confessions of persons, not ready to be baptized until 1st Lord’s Day in July, when Brother Harris appointed Elder of the Christian Church, as he had been before of the Methodist Church, is to baptize them. Preached twice to very attentive congregations; then returned to Sandersville; preached twice through the week, by request of the Methodist preachers and people; and once on the 4th Lord’s Day [June 28th] in reply to a rude ignorant and sophistical attack, from one of the Methodist preachers. I think he will be more cautious how he attacks us in the future. Returned home on Monday [June 29]. Rested through the week, and preached 1st Lord’s Day of July in Atlanta. I have lost or mislaid the memorandum of all set down here with pen and ink, and have thus to give the facts as memory will permit, July 6th, 1857.” The attack at last was made upon him in pamphlet form called "Campbellism Exposed,” which the Doctor answered also by pamphlet, called [“A Tract in Reply To An Attack . . .] This discussion aroused a spirit of inquiry, and study of the Bible never known before in that section, and resulted in many Christian Churches being planted down in that part of the Sate. During the Summer, he remained at home, preaching in Atlanta and vicinity, and in reading and study, and recreating by fishing. He was always holding family prayer, and talking on religious subjects, as opportunity would offer. An old gentleman said of him, "I never knew a man who imparted so much knowledge to others, and who is always so willing to do so.”
His encouragement of the colored people on the plantation in their work, and in their religious life, was beautiful. His attention to their physical wants, and as their physician, when at home all made them love "Old Master" with a perfect devotion. When walking around at night to visit a sick one,. or talk kindly to a convalescent, he would see the servants sewing their rooms, or quilting merrily, several having congregated for that purpose at one house, while all was bright and cheerful and happy. He would become enthused with their happiness and industry, and the next day, he would send and buy bolts of calico to distribute among them, that they might make quilts or comforts as they preferred. And the little colored children thought it great sport to dig bait for “Old Master,” for which they would get a reward of some kind, always kind words of approbation, and often advice for their future conduct, which they prized highly.
It was about this time that Judge Clark Howell bowed to the authority of his Saviour. He said that he had tried for years for years to experience those manifestations of the Holy Spirit in his conversion that he had been taught to believe necessary, and that he had often wished to go to the altar and be prayed for, but the feelings he thought to experience never came, and he could not go up there an honest man, and say that he had them. “But,” said he, “After I heard Dr. Hook, the plan of salvation to those who believed, repented, and were baptized, and held out faithful to the end.” Man like, he had been an earnest seeker for years, and under the influence of religious teaching, has earnestly sought for those special “experiences” in which so many trusted for their hope of salvation, and having failed to obtain them, had come to doubt the truth of religion altogether.
His notes begin again in “October, 3rd Lord’s Day,” but headed, “Evangelical Labors, of Dr. Hood, at end after Cooperation Meeting, in 1857. On the day above mentioned, he was at Liberty. “Spent 4 days, travelled 100 miles. 4th Lord’s Day, preached at Erwinton, South Carolina, and remained six days. Travelled 250 miles. November 1st, Lord’s Day, Jourdan’s, one day. At Mathews one day; 4th, at Parsons, on day at night, Bethesda. Returned home. 5th day Lord’s Day, at Fairburn. On 2nd, December, Griffin; 3rd, at Berea; 4th, Atlanta. Jan. 1st, 1859, Lord’s Day, at home. About 42 additions to date. 2nd, in Atlanta. 3rd, Atlanta, and at home. 4th in Sandersville. Seven discourses. Feb. 1st, at Bethesda, and day before. 2nd Lord’s Day, Sandersville; 3rd, Savannah. Mrs. T [Tubman] sent me $200,” in summing up the number of miles travelled, including those mentioned, 1,159. The brethren seemed to be very generous wherever he went, always coming to the front with their dues promptly. Notes continued, “Feb. 4th, at Sandersville two day. March 1st, home. Instructed the children. 2nd, at Atlanta, 3rd, at Savannah three days. 4th Sandersville, preached frequently. April 1st, Lord’s Day, at a Bethesda. 2nd, at Jourdan. 3rd, Sandersville; 4th, Atlanta. May 1st, Lord’s Day, at Liberty; 2nd, at Cobbs County for 2 days. 3rd, at Atlanta. 4th, at Fairburn, and on to West Point. 5th, Acworth, organized a Church, had one addition. June 1,2,3, and 4th, at Washington County. Assisted Brother Lamar and Harris. July 1st, Atlanta. 2nd Pleasant Grove, at Barfields. 3rd at Union, in Clark Co., between Watkinsville and Antioch. 4th, at Antioch—3 additions. Aug 1st, County Line—14 added. 2nd at Griffin.” In computing the number of mile travelled from Feb. 4th until August 2nd, Lord’s Day, it stands 2,111 miles.
He was also very strict in keeping his business affairs correct; keeping rates of all debits and credits. He was in very comfortable circumstances in life. His home, bought in Atlanta, on Decatur Street, proved a good investment, and other sales of property, both in Atlanta and Alabama, had realized fair profits on the cost, and his services as minister were highly appreciated, and paid for accordingly, so that his last days are best in every way—financially easy—and his whole heart and life consecrated to the work of God. He realized that “peace which passeth understanding,” and nothing gave him greater pleasure than helping others, and doing good in every way he could. His delight was to make children happy, and he would give them books as presents, that were instructive and interesting to them.
During the rest of the Summer he was at home. “Walnut Grove on the Chattahoochee, a lovely retreat in the midst of grand old Walnut trees, and locust of later date. In the Spring time the place was redolent with the perfume from all these trees—and the songs of birds—and the falling of the waters, as they played over the rocks of Nancy's Creek, nearby, and the gentle sounding waters of the Chattahoochee, as it lazily traversed its way to its ocean home. These scenes were admirably in keeing with his nature, and afforded that quiet and reposes, so necessary after his arduous labors, and his meditation hours were spent on the bank of the river or the creek, and he preached on Lord's Day at New Hope.
The home of Judge Howell was one of the most hospitable, and always some friends or relations of each, or both, families were there. And then, the Dr’s conversational powers shown so brightly, proved so efficacious, were so laden with goodness and wisdom, whether at home or abroad. He was ever ready to enter the lists in defense of truth, and sought ever to liberate and elevate society. After the needed rest he began his labors again, as his notes say, “Sept. 11, 1859. I arrived at Major Robert Martins, in Iola, much gratified to find his family well, and to meet a kind reception. 12th, preached twice at Halcyondale from 2 Cor. And Heb. 11. Visited Major Erwin, also Dr. J.D. Erwin. 14th, rested reading and writing. 15th, raining all day—reading. 16th, beautiful day—reading and writing. 17th, visited Brother Oneal’s family, and Brother Havener’s and the Lodge. 18th, reading and writing. 19th, preached at Antioch, and at Owen’s Crop Roads. 20th, visited Sister Clay, Brother Mim’s family and Mr. Johnson’s, also Brother J.D. Erwin Jr., 21st, visited Sister Julia Erwin’s family, on reception of the news of the death of her son, William, 22nd, went to agricultural meeting, dined with Wm. Bostick. 23rd, reading and writing. 24th, visiting, reading and writing. 25th, reading and writing. 26th, preached twice at Halcyondale. Acts 4, 11-12; Rom. 1:20-27, reading and writing. 28th, visited Sister Hewlett, and Higginbotham. 30th, went to Bro. D. Bush’s. Oct. 1st, commenced a meeting with Brethren Owen and Smith at Old Union—continued it ten days, 16 additions. Returned to Erwinton the 11th of Oct. 12th, visited and wrote letters, 13th, ditto. 14th, visited Brother Havener, [E.L.?] Whatley and Lawton. Spent the evening with Brother J.D. Erwin Jr. His wife consented to obey the Gospel. 15th, she was immersed today. Brother Owen and wife arrived. 16th, meeting commenced. Brother Owen and Havener preached, followed by me. Three confessed the Lord today. I spoke twice, last of Rev. and the Law of Pardon. 18th, preached, Acts 2:42. 19th, preached, Titus 2, Missions. 25th, followed Brother Whatley and Owen, 21st, preached 1 Jno. 3:1-3, and 24 Psalm, and followed Brother Owen. Antioch, at night. 31st, followed Brother Lamar, Nov. 2nd, followed Brother Lamar. 3rd, left for Carolina. 4th arrived at Erwinton. 5th, went 3 miles. 6th, preached morning and night, Luke 19:11. 7th, Mark 16: “Repentance.” 8th “Operations of the Spirit;” Jno. 16:9-10. 12th, rested and visited. 13th, visited, read and wrote. 14th, preached at Halcyondale and at Antioch; at night prayer meeting. 15th visited, read and wrote. 14th, preached at Halcyondale and at Antioch; at night prayer meeting. 15th visited. Also on 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20, 21st, visited Halcyondale; no congregation, owing to weather. The same at Antioch. 22nd, wrote letters and visited the sick. Spent the week in study, visiting, etc. 28th, preached at Halcyondale, a Methodist asked interest in prayer. One disciple promised to come back to duty. Preached also at Antioch, and had prayer meeting at night. Dec. 5th, preached at Halcyondale and at Antioch, and had prayer meeting at night. 12th, preached at Halcyondale. Evening at Barnwell C.H. [Court House] Math 28. 113th, Barnell, 2 Thes. 1; 14—at same place, Jno 16. 19th, Halcyondale, Matt. 12-38. Antioch, Luke 15. 26th, Halcyondale, Luke 2-14. Rain in the evening. 1859, January 2 preached at Halcyondale and at Antioch Luke 15-1: "The Lord To Effect Repentance,” "Seeking Out the Lost Sheep,” “The Lost Piece of Money,” “The Prodigal Son,” and “Rejoicing in Their Recovery.” Surely repentance is important. 2nd, the proof that he is in search for us is the increasing dissatisfaction of our pursuits. 3rd. that he had found us, is that we return to our Father full of penitence and good resolves. 'Notice, peace is not given while we remain in our [???]. 2nd, Acceptance is on our return, 3rd, God’s willingness to accept us on our return.” A continuation of the notes. “Feb. 6th, preached at Halceyondale, 1. Tim. 3: at Antioch, 1. Jno. 5. 13th, Halcyondale and Antioch, at night prayer meeting. Three additions in last three weeks.' Mis Eliza Lagoan Married by me. On 6th Feb., J.D. Erwin Jr. was ordained Elder of Halcyondale Church. Mims and Cater were ordained Deacons of same. Feb. 20th, preached at Halcyondale and at additions. Only one baptized today, 27, Rain—sick. Afternoon at Antioch, prayer meeting at night. May 1st preached at Halcyondale on “Love of the Truth,” 2 Thess. 2: at Antioch – one baptized – prayer meeting at night, one confessed. May 8th, at Halcyondale and Antioch, and at the school-house. 22nd, Halcyondale, Collins Mill and school-house. Constant and numerous additions at Antioch. 28, at Owen’s Crop Roads, preached 2 Pet. 1: also on 29th from Rom. 11 – 23 – “Love,” at Erwinton at night prayer meeting. Jan. 5th, Halcyondale, Antioch and school-house, followed by J.D. Erwin Sr. One confessed, and one baptized. 11th, visited Sister E. Gigginbotham – 22 miles. 12th, at Cater’s Mill and at school-house – followed others – one confessed. 19th at Halcyondale, Antioch, and school-house. Followed J.D. Erwin – one confessed. 26th, preached at Halcyondale and the Bridge, then went on to Georgia, where I labored until Oct. 19, 1859, then returned to Carolina, and labored at “Old Union” until the 28th, then went to Erwinton.” He left Erwinton June 26th for Georgia, and again as was his custom, he spent the remaining months of Summer at his home with Judge Clark Howell, on the Chattahoochee. He preached at the little Church in the woods called “New Hope,” and travelled to Brother Barfield’s and to other points, to preach in contiguous counties; making the hearts and lives of those at home happier for his being with them. His notes begin again thus, “Oct. 28th, returned to Erwinton, S.C.,” and then he acknowledges amounts of money from various persons, paid him for eight months services at Halcyondale, and concludes thus, “Labored at Erwinton until Nov. 6th, at night, then set out for Georgia. Dec. 11th, returned to Carolina – remained until Jan., 1860,” and then his notes close. If he had left any other, I have not been so fortunate as to be in possession of them. His notes include many meditations on different passages of the Scriptures, which I think it will be well to introduce, as calculated to benefit younger men in the cause of Christ.
"Acts 9:1-22. Selected to show that nothing in Paul's conversation or any other related in the Scriptures, contradicts the truth, in 6 John 44 Paul was drawn, or convinced, by the resurrection. Those who teach that baptism by a disciple is invalid, is converted to the Apostasy, not to Christ. Paul by a disciple! That any preaching but Christ, shows the like conversation to the Apostasy, not to Christ. All conversations, too, are alike in results. Examples. All guided by the words of Christ. All like Paul must prove conversion to Christ, by serving to extent of ability. Paul converts by the words of Christ – He only has the words of eternal life. He had to see and hear Christ – see Acts 22:14-15, 1st, what is conversion? Paul’s proved, 6 v-22: 16, such evidence always necessary. 2nd, process, faith, change, obedience. 3rd, Baptized by a Disciple. The virtue is in Christ – not a priest – vain pretensions of the apostasy. 4th, Paul preached to Christ! No-isms. Let us be wise – be converted to Christ, and nothing else, 2nd, change our minds. 3rd, beautiful all obedience.”
And now approach a period that is full of stir and strife politically, and while the sweet calm home life of “Walnut Grove” continued unbroken, still the air was full of strife. North and South, and the conflict could not long be stayed. But deep and fervent prayers ascended from around the family alter, that God would bless this highly favored land, and that we might have peace. The young people gathered around the hearth stone in winter, or sat in the moonlight on the veranda, and were never so happy as when “Grandpa” was conversing with them, and “grandma” was their companion. A gentleman who taught the children, in writing back, mentions the scenes so impressed upon his memory thus, after giving a history of each member of the family thus speaks of them, “The door opens, and there appears the form of an elderly lady, with a face indicating unusual intelligence, and great kindness and benignity of disposition. She is followed by an aged gentleman, whose locks are silvered o’er with the frosts of at least three score years. His appearance is exceedingly venerable and commanding, with a countenance winning in the extreme, and beaming with benevolence and good will to all. Immediately on their entrance the young people all rise from their seats and with a simultaneous, “Grandpa, have their chair” “Grandma, have this seat,” seem to vie with each other in their attentions to the venerable couple, who scarcely knowing which to accept, at least take their seats, at one side of the fire0place, and then lend listening ears to the young people’s questions and gayety, and the younger children often sitting in their laps, or leaning their heads fondly upon them. For awhile conversation, such as is only to be found and enjoyed within the limits of the home circle, interspersed with merry jests and good humored jokes witty repartees, etc. Now there is a call for music, and how happy are the young folks if they can persuade Grandma to take her seat at the piano, and give a specimen of the grand old tunes of days that have long passed and gone. Then the mother and grand-daughters discourse with sweet music until the wee small hours begin to draw near, and a suggestion for prayers is made—when all is quiet, and now from around the family altar ascends the evening sacrifice of prayer and praise to God the Great Creator of all good. After worship the parting salutation for the night are interchanged, and all retire to rest.”
Preaching at home at New Hope, and at various points that could be easily reached by steam cars, or by horse and buggy, occupied his time. Reading and, writing, and for recreation, fishing, occupied his leisure hours, and calmly, patiently, hopefully, he looked forward to the time when Christ would be accepted universally, for his heart was so full of the subject, that he could not see how one could reject it. From the time that he repudiated creeds and names, like Brother [Alexander] Campbell he felt as “placed on a new eminence, a new peak of the Mountain of God, from which the whole land of Christianity presented itself to his mind in a new attitude and position,” and he felt that everyone must certainly see it in the same way, and sowed the seed of the Word, patiently waiting for the fruition. "He who endeavors to plant the seeds of truth in human hearts, must wait with patience their development, and must not faint [be] discouraged, it the precious germs he has scattered should, under unfavorable conditions, long remain undeveloped and concealed. The Spring-time will surely come at last; the living truth will assert its power, and, in its Heavenward growth, furnish the cheering prospect of the harvest. Such patience of hope has been, required in no small degree of all who have broken up the fallow ground of pernicious error, in order, to the production of blessed fruits. Nor was it demanded less of those, who under various discouragement, were now seeking to revise the cause of primitive Christianity."
His whole heart was in the cause; and often to less hopeful and courageous natures, despondency and gloom would have surrounded them, for slowly did this great work proceed—but cause like this will naturally be slow—for it takes hold of the heart and understanding both—no sensationalism—but firm convictions, based on a knowledge of what are God’s commands, and then, a determination to obey them. Truth and obedience go hand in hand, and the natural man so prefers something that simply appeals to his feelings, to his sentiments, and the popular teachings of the day have so fostered these beliefs that anything to the contrary is looked upon as cold formalism—something intellectual, but that does not reach and touch the heart. And I may again quote from the life of Alexander Campbell, as it suits him so admirably, and say of him, “Such was his nature the he was ever ready to enter the lists in defense of truth, and sought ever to instruct, liberate, and elevate society in spite of all the obloquy, calumny, and reproach constantly heaped upon him. In the uncalculating and unselfish spirit of a true reformer, he sought for truth alone, and in its defense he feared no opposition.”
Still the beginning had been so small in Georgia that during the remainder of his life the results might have been considered remarkable, "for through instrumentalities the principles that he had advocated were diffused, everywhere more or less opposed, but everywhere developing the power of truth, and modifying the state of religious society. A lady in Washington County, said to Dr. Hook, once while he was preaching there, “Dr. Hook, you have put the people to reading their Bibles, if you do no other good.” He said that he thought that in itself would do a great deal of good. For when the people examine the Word of God tor themselves, and not through other people, they are apt to come to right conclusions.
He now visited Davisboro, Sandersville, and other points in Washington and contiguous counties, and, as usual, gives credit for the payment he received for his work, at the hands of the brethren down there. 1861 draws near, and the clash of arms is not far distant. In April the bitter spirit between the North and South culminated, and Fort Pulaski became the scene of the first conflict, and the peaceful home at Walnut Grove became excited and anxious for her oldest sons, though young, who had immediately enlisted, and were soon at the front, in defense of their loved South land. Now the ministrations of Dr. Hook were needed in many ways. While patriotic and anxious for the welfare of his dearly loved South, still he deeply deplored the necessity for war, and many a prayer ascended from his lips to the throne on high, that the sections might become reconciled. And while the war was actually begun, one could scarcely realize the fact; it seemed to stun us with its very mention. The Dr. returned as usual to spend the summer at Walnut Grove, and the two sons of Judge Howell, Evan and Albert, soon enlisted in the first Georgia regiment, and were soon on their way to Virginian. This caused Dr. Hook untold trouble, and his prayers went up day and night for their safety and welfare, rapidly now began the young men of the South to enlist. His son, Dr. E. B. Hook went out, as Capt. of the Sandersville Volunteers. Anxiety was in all hearts. The Dr. was so strong in the faith, and so patriotic, that it buoyed him up, when at other times he might have been despondent. The home was now always full of relatives and friends, and there were letters from the sons faraway, and news from the front kept all on the [alert?].
The morning and evening prayers were not forgotten, and the little church in the woods, was attended, and prayer and praise, and preaching, as usual, but saddened by the absence of loved ones. More stirring became the events each year, and regiments were stationed near Walnut Grove, and the soldiers and officers were frequent visitors. Dr. Hook, ever a favorite, with all, and ever ready when an opportunity occurred to put the right word in the right place, to try to impress great and living truths upon his hearers.
The guns that had been in the distance now approached nearer and nearer, and when at [last?] the roar of cannon was heard, Dr. Hook and Judge Howell thought it best for the family to leave which they did on Jan, [?], going down to Sandersville to the home of Jas. S. Hook. On the tenth of July the Dr. and Judge Howell came down, after seeing the negroes all safely off by wagons, and some on cars. While in Sandersville the Dr. preached at the church there, and in the neighborhood. The notes to these are missing, and I find it difficult to keep pace with these times, or give a correct idea of his work, or how many joined during this time. For it was a time of sadness and gloom, and men’s minds dwelt on the Eternal, and not so much on things of time, so they more readily accepted the Gospel. Many who enlisted as soldiers would be baptized on a confession of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and go their way, perhaps never to return, but rejoicing in the fact that they had openly before men confessed their faith in Jesus, and believing His promise that if they did so, He would confess them before His Father and the Angels in Heaven.
Judge Howell and his family moved out a few miles into to the country, and he and Dr. J.D. Erwin, Sr. went in to business together. It was not long before the pursuing army was again on the March and to the sea, taking Sandersville in their route, and its vicinity, and we all suffered greatly in consequence. A few notes from the Dr.'s book, found among his things, may not be inappropriate here. As it is in pencil much has been defaced, but where it can be deciphered, it begins thus,
“When the infantry made their appearance they were exceedingly numerous and were halted in every direction about us. Very soon they came into the yard to get water, as they said, but in a few minutes every part of the premises were robbed, outside of the dwelling, the storeroom pantry, smoke-house, corncrib, hen-house, cellar, and dairy. Up to this time two officers had kept them out of the dwelling. How they suddenly left, and the roughs entered the house in all directions, and stole everything that they wanted, upstairs and downstairs, and as fast as one gang left, another entered and the work of pillager [continued]. Bedclothes, ladies’ clothes, men's clothes—everything they fancied disappeared. Drawers, trunks, valises, and closets were opened, and contents scattered over the floors, in their rapid search for things they chose to appropriate. If I could persuade one of them to leave the articles he had, they would be taken by another. I finally let them alone, and looked on with as much apathy as possible. Plates, knives, spoons, teacups, saucers, etc., nearly all disappeared. One man met me with a handful of saucers, and being ashamed, said he would return them after dinner, but the promise was not kept.
“One of the officers who protected the house for the first hour, had told the women and children to go into a room, and lock the door. For this kindness [we] were greatly indebted. It was not broken open, but the door had to be opened occasionally to let them see that I was telling the truth. One who had committed other depredations, now went to the door, and putting his foot against it, was ready to burst it open when I appealed to an officer in the parlor, to protect us from this violence. His answer was a fearful oath, threatening to blow my brains out if I did not clear out. Whether my appeal had roused another officer’s attention to the ruffian, I know not, but when I returned round, one was interfering for our safety. He commanded the fellow to desist and leave the house, but this he refused to obey, he then walked off, and it was strange to notice the officer that had threatened my life for asking for protection. He jumped up, ran to the door, crying, “Yes, shoot him.” I now returned to my room, where drawers, trunks, papers, etc. were scattered over the floor, and there found at the window, a negro putting on the only find pair of cloth pants I had, threw it over his arm, and without looking at me walked off.
“In the evening, or afternoon, after they had pillaged the house until they were tired, two surgeons, a chaplain, and an officer, whose rank I did not hear, came in, and conversed with me some time. They seemed to feel a sympathy for me, and I told them the men had let us nothing to eat, and yet they sent us nothing. I appealed to the Chaplain as he left to procure me protection. He promised, but nothing came of it, that I was sensible of. Another surgeon came in and talked to me very fairly. I remember he said that he never stole anything, but after while I met him coming down the stairs with a tablecloth in his hands. When he saw me he said he would like to have it for dressing wounds.
“Towards night two men came down stairs, each with a mattress. I said, “Are you going to leave us with nothing to sleep on?” One of them answered, “We will bring them back tomorrow.” But nothing of the kind was done. On the contrary, when our servants went out to the camp for something to eat, they found the mattresses and brought them home, after women telling them that that the soldiers had given the mattresses to them.
“After a most horrible trial, night came on, and I fastened the doors, but soon a knock compelled me to open, for fear it would be forced. This crowd wanted whiskey. I told them that there was none, and they left. In a little while they returned, and said that they would search the house for it, and one took a candle and commenced rummaging a closet, where there was cotton thread, and I feared every moment that the house would take fire. This exhausted my patience and I said that I would not submit to it—that he or I should die first. Instantly he drew a long bowie knife and threatened my life, but seeing that I was entirely without arms, to which I called his attention, by saying if he chose he could strike as I was without arms. He said he would kill me, and burn my house over my head, if he or I must die, but the noise brought out the women and children, and their cries I think affected him. He said he would spare me on account of my gray hairs. He then went upstairs, promising not to burn the house. H soon came down, and he and his men left, and we were troubled no more that night.
“The next day I kept the house locked, and only opened it when compelled to do so. The house was so completely rifled the day before, that they found but little now to take, but still, in small crowds, they continued to search every place. The negroes were robbed as well as the whites, and their clothes taken. They not only robbed them and us of everything that they could find, but took nearly everything we had to cook them. Fortunately for us our servants proved very faithful, and what with having some lard and flour that they failed to find, begging some potatoes, and picking up some meat at the camps, we had something to eat, even before the army left. One of the male servants we have not heard or since they left. I presume he was so frightened that he is afraid to attempt his escape. The other was forced to go over thirty miles with them, when finding a hiding place, he concealed himself until they were gone, and then came home.
“Late in the afternoon of this second day’s stay among us, a very gentlemanly dressed man walked into the yard, and said, seeing some of the men in the houses, ‘I came in to inquire how they came here.’ I told him that some of the men were here nearly all the time, and that there were two upstairs. He went to the stairs and called the men down and scolded them very severely. He told them they were disgracing the army, and making him ashamed of it. They seemed very much scared, and while apologizing, called him, General. By this time another officer came in and the General said to him. ‘Major, I think we had best string these fellows up.’ The Major made no reply, and after a while the General said to the men, ‘Go to your posts, and let me hear of no more such conduct.’ I thanked the officer, who protected the ladies’ room from violence, and requested him to continue his protection. His answer was that he cared for neither me nor my property, but acted alone for discipline. On the third day, which was Monday, they did not disturb as much, and "the last incident that occurred in our sight was their rapid flight before our door, from the Confederate Cavalry.”
In this time or gloom and terror, Judge Howell and family had again left in company with Dr. Erwin and family, and Dr. Carr, and son, going down into the wiregrass country, taking with them as much of their effects as they could. They were over taken down in Johnson County, and shorn of almost everything, negroes, horses, mules, sheep, hogs, wagons, meat, flour, etc. On their return home to Dr. Erwin’s they found that the house had been destroyed by fire. After spending a few days at Judge Hook’s in Sandersville, he [Judge Howell] and family returned to the up country in two wagons, sent down from Gwinnett by his father, Evan Howell, and Judge Graham, his brother-in-law. After spending seven weeks there, they returned to the mill, and lived in the Miller's house, for Walnut Grove had been laid in ashes, after the Northern army had made it their comfortable quarters for six months. But they spared the mill, and by enlarging the miller’s house by adding a room, the family lived in this humble home for five years, and here Dr. Hook rejoined them as soon as he could conveniently do so. Again his presence, and that of his good wife, made this home as happy as it is possible happy as it is possible for an earthly home to be. There was a magnetism about their presence that drew all the family and visitors around them. The conversations of Dr. Hook, always instructive and pleasing, were gladly listened to, and again prayers from around the family altar arose to The Throne on High. Soon a schoolhouse was erected, and the Doctor preached to the neighborhood gatherings, and assisted in Sunday Schools; In the morning for the whites, in the evening for the blacks. Loved and respected by all, he had a wonderful influence for good. The Bible was donated by him to the colored peoples and 165 New Testaments (New version) were given as presents to the scholars and in every way he assisted to build up and maintain the schools.
The ware and its consequences had greatly depressed him, and the low ebb of religion, and the seeming stand still of the cause, so dear to his heart all continued to make him lose much of that hopefulness and cheerfulness that had so characterized his religious life. The little church, Mt. [New] Hope, in the woods, had been destroyed by the opposing army, and put into breast works or burned, and the people had been scattered. It was difficult to arouse the same earnest zeal that had been displayed, or manifested by the people before their severe scathing. The great desire to get the means of living was their absorbing thought. The negroes had been freed, and men who had been independent were almost poverty stricken, and work, work, work, with hands and brain, gives little time for earnest Holy thoughts, but as time rolled on the people became better used to the changed state of affairs. Again a great desire for preaching, and for a better knowledge of the word of God, began to prevail, and the Doctor became happy in seeing this change. Now disease began to lay her hand on him; and with old age coming rapidly on, he began to spend his winters in Augusta with Judge Hook, who had moved to that City; and his Summers at the Peach tree Mill home of Judge Howell, and wandering down to the creek, he would, after reading his Bible, sit on its banks and fish, and meditate on all he had read, and on all the glories in store for the faithful. His favorite Psalm was the 103, beginning, “Bless the Lord, O my Soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name.” He had many favorite chapters in the New Testament. His favorite version of the New Testament was the one revised by Alexander Campbell for Drs. [George] Campbell, [Philip] Doddridge, and [James] McKnight. He says of this in his last will and testament of this work, to his son, Judge Hood, “I wish him to read it with great care, all the prefaces, and all the addresses at the end of the volume. There is more religious information in it than all else I ever read—short of inspiration itself.”
"In patience possess ye your soul” was a favorite advice with him to those in trouble, and whenever a Scripture quotation was applicable to the circumstances, they were always appropriately introduced. His heart, soul, and mind were imbued with truths in the word of God. He never failed to show great interest in the troubles and joys of young people—and children were his special delight. Often he would say, “What would the world be, or life be, without innocent sweet children?” that childhood was such a time of innocence, love, mirth and glee, that it enlivened the lives and dispositions of people, and made the world better, etc.
He and his dear wife had passed the golden wedding day, and it may be said of them: “It is a beautiful scene, in the glow of opening manhood and womanhood, step from the throng, and with reverent joy, pledge to each other their lifelong loyalty and love. More surpassingly beautiful is the golden wedding day, when the reverence of children and grandchildren, and the love of life-long friends, proclaim that the vows of youth, have been kept unto age.
“Fidelity to the law of God has crowned their lives with joy, their home with peace, and their heads with a crown of glory. In nothing more than in marriage is the promise of God made good. 'Those that honor me, will I honor.”
In their old age their lives were beautiful; the most tender touching, respectful love continued ‘until death did they part.’ And now in a lonely forest together they wait the resurrection morn. No sound disturbs their repose. Together they will come forth, happy in having had part in the first resurrection.
Ever will memory carry me back to that sad time, when the dearest, the best and most righteous man, left us to go up higher. He said he would often be with us after his departure in spirit, if this privilege was granted to disembodied spirits. And how often! Oh, how often, have I felt his presence near me! Some men leave an impression that is never forgotten, and such has he left. His interest, so kind, tender, and truthful in all that concerned his family was so heartfelt and earnest that all felt they had a strong arm of sympathy to lean on. If such men could live always in this world, what a blessing it would be. We know they live always in glory in the Heaven beyond.
—Mary Howell, who wrote this biography about her father, Dr. Daniel Hook around 1875.