Dr. James Lewis MacLeod


"The author has done a genuine favor in making this interesting material available."
Richard A. Ray, Atlanta, Georgia editor, John Knox Press, official publishers of the Presbyterian Church U.S.

"This book will prove illuminating..."
Kenneth J. Foreman, Montreat, North Carolina, Director, Historical Foundation of the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches.

"I read this Presbyterian Tradition in the South and reread it. then I gave it to my daughter and son-in-law who was raise a Southern Baptist. He was so pleased to find that all his heroes were Presbyterian; he joined a Presbyterian Church the next Sunday, without even being urged.  The vocabulary... expressive."
Letter from Gladys R. Horcher, Presbyterian Towers, St. Petersburg, Florida

"A study of a selection of people of the Presbyterian tradition from the 18th century to the present. It includes such Presbyterian notables as Andrew Jackson, Stonewall Jackson, Henrietta King of the King Ranch in Texas, G.W. Cable, Woodrow Wilson, Robert Woodruff, Mrs. Billy Graham and others."
Shreveport Journal

"The book is based on the lives of 14 Presbyterians. . . Not all are famous but all appealed to McLeod. There are the crusty president, Jackson, and Georgia schoolmasters Moses and John Waddel who rose from primitive log cabin schools to head the University of Georgia and the University of Mississippi."
Savannah Morning News

"A fine, scholarly and highly interesting work."
Martha B. Burns, Secretary, The Huguenot Society of South Carolina at Charleston.


"My sound to Thy people, O Lord,
Shall call them to Thy Word."
Steeple Bell Engraving, 1808  First Presbyterian Church, St. Marys, Georgia


Dr. Neill W. Macaulay, Jr.
senior elder
First Presbyterian Church
Columbia, South Carolina



I would like to thank the following persons for invaluable help or criticism: Dr. Glover Moore, Professor of Southern History, Mississippi State University; Helen Russell Dietrich, a lady of rare historical acumen, of New Orleans, Louisiana; The Reverend Cyrus Mallard, minister of the Roswell Presbyterian Church, Roswell, Georgia; Miss Mary Jo Thompson, curator of the ante-bellum Governor's Mansion, Milledgeville, Georgia, and Miss Fannie White, Milledgeville, whose idea inspired this book. I would also like to thank Mr. J. W. Jones of Atlanta, Georgia, and Mrs. Evelyn Freeland of Montreat, North Carolina.

This book would truly have been impossible without the very gracious help of Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr., Morganton, North Carolina; Mrs. Billy Graham, Montreat, North Carolina; Mr. Robert W. Woodruff, Atlanta, Georgia; and Dean James Graham Leyburn, Martinsburg, West Virginia. To them thanks are due.

I deeply regret that my gratitude must be expressed posthumously to Mrs. Edgar Maxwell of Lexington, Georgia, a distinguished local historian and folklorist.

I would like to thank Mr. John A. Sibley and former Mayor Ivan Allen of Atlanta, Georgia.

I am also very appreciative of the efforts of my able helper, Mary Ann O'Quinn.

My thanks are due Mrs. Thelma Richard of Jennings, Louisiana, church historian.



Table Of Contents
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Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), President and Patriot

Moses (1770-1840) and John (1812-1895) Waddel, Log Cabin Schools

Charles C. Jones (1804-1863), Apostle To The Blacks

T. J. Jackson (1824-1863), Christian Hero

Moses Hoge (1818-1899), Blockade Runner

George Washington Cable (1844-1925), Prophet In New Orleans

Henrietta Chamberlain King (1832-1925), Texas Pioneer

William Plumer Jacobs (1841-1917), Three Great Institutions

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1854-1924), Covenanter

Robert Winship Woodruff (1899- ), A Cheerful Giver

Samuel J. Ervin (1896- ), U. S. Senator

James G. Leyburn (1902- ), The Dean

Ruth Bell Graham (1920- ), The Christian Family




A distinctive spirit handed down from the past is a tradition. The investigation of a tradition differs from the more accepted type of literal and conventional documentary history. The tracing of it tells who had the right attitude of spirit and passed it on. It is the delineation of an invisible and sacred thread.

Often people who have been prominent or the fashion in their day, and so make up reams of documentary history, have been people lacking. Looking back, we can see many of those people publicized in their day were off-balance or uninspired. They may make up history books, yet they have not been carriers of the best spiritual traditions.

The same can be said of church history. In the middle of church history, so often filled with men and arguments of interest once, but only to be reappraised later as peripheral, we look for the spiritual threads of high meaning and tradition to see, whatever their mortal flaws, who had some of the true spirit of a tradition and passed it on, moving faith truly onward.

This investigation was not intended to study the publicized of their day, but to examine the best, the compassionate, the responsible, and the unique. If they were writ large in the history books, good; if not, that was secondary. It was a search in social history for the symbolic best in a spiritual tradition. It has therefore brought out, along with the old, some relatively new and unknown saints. This is, I think, as it should be.



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