April In History

April 2, 1901

SN Lapsley steamboatEarly in 1901, The Rev. Lacklan C. Vass II was asked to assemble the steamship which had been christened S.N. Lapsley. Although not a shipbuilder, Rev. Vass unloaded the five carloads of parts at Leopoldville in March and worked at rebuilding the boat. On April 2, 1901, the S.N. Lapsley made her trial trip to Luebo successfully.

April 5, 1885

Rev. Horace G. UnderwoodOn Easter Sunday, April 5, 1885, Presbyterian ordained minister Horace G. Underwood (shown at right ) arrived in Seoul, Korea. Underwood joined Dr. Horace N. Allen, a medical missionary for the Presbyterian Church (USA), who had arrived in 1884.

April 7, 1867

On April 7, 1867, the Catawba Presbytery met in the Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Led by the Rev. Samuel C. Alexander (shown at left ) and the Rev. Willis L. Miller (shown right), Rev. SC Alexanderthe presbytery approved creation of a college for African-Americans with these two ministers as teachers. Mrs. Mary D. Biddle of Rev. WL MillerPhiladelphia, PA, pledged $1,400 to the school. In appreciation of this first contribution, the newly established school was named after her late husband, Major Henry Biddle. From 1867 to 1876, the school was named Biddle Memorial Institute and chartered by the state legislature. The charter of the school was amended on March 1, 1923, by the Legislature of the State of North Carolina to be renamed Johnson C. Smith University.

April 12, 1902

Rev. Thomas DeWitt TalmageOn April 12, 1902, Rev. Thomas DeWitt Talmage died. The pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, his fiery oratory led the church to a growth in membership to more than 5,000, while his sermons were printed in newspapers across the country. He was the founding editor of Christian Herald, and continued as editor of this widely circulated Protestant religious journal from 1877 until his death in 1902.

April 13, 1907

1907 Montreat Post OfficeOn April 13, 1907, Montreat's first standalone post office building was opened. Montreat's postmaster when this building opened was E. D. Lansing.

April 16, 1835

Rev. Alfred W. Wright, missionary to ChoctawsIn Little Rock, on April 16, 1835, the Presbytery of Arkansas was formed. The Presbytery included the eastern part of Indian Territory, James Wilson Moore and two missionaries to the Choctaw Nation, Rev. Alfred E.Wright (shown at right) and Rev.Loring S. Williams, were present. Wright and Williams had worked on a written Choctaw language as well as setting up schools in Mississippi, and later in Oklahoma when the tribe was moved by the Federal Government.

April 17, 1735

On April 17, 1735, the Rev. Samuel Hemphill was put on trial by the Synod of Philadelphia on charges of not adhering to the Adopting Act of 1729 requiring ministers to essentially agree with the Westminster Confession and Catechisms. The trial was highly publicized, with Benjamin Franklin defending Hemphill in his newspaper, although he did not argue that Hemphill had preached according to the Westminster Confession. The synod dismissed Hemphill later that year, and Hemphill went into obscurity. Franklin left the Presbyterian Church he attended, although he continued financial support of its ministers for some time. Franklin attended the Anglican Christ Church.

April 18, 1833

On April 18, 1833, Elijah Parish Lovejoy (Nov. 9, 1802 - Nov. 7, 1837) was ordained by the Second Presbytery of Philadelphia. The Presbyterian minister and abolitionist newspaper editor was killed in Alton, Illinois, on Nov. 7, 1827, while he was defending his printing press.

April 19, 1865

Lincoln's funeral at the White HouseOn April 19, 1865, Abraham Lincoln's funeral at the White House was held shortly after noon (drawing at right). About 600 guests entered the same way the public had the day before — through the crepe-covered South Portico and the Green Room and into the candle-lit East Room.

Rev. Dr. Phineas GurleyAt left, Rev. Dr. Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, delivered the eulogy: "Probably no man since the days of Washington was ever so deeply and firmly imbedded and enshrined in the very hearts of the people as Abraham Lincoln. Nor was it a mistaken confidence and love. He deserved it — deserved it well — deserved it all.... He was simple and sincere, plain and honest, truthful and just, benevolent and kind. His perceptions were quick and clear, his judgments were calm and accurate, and his purposes were good and pure beyond a question. Always and everywhere he aimed and endeavored to be right and to do right. His integrity was thorough, all-pervading, all-controlling, and incorruptible."


April 23, 1858

Horace Allen, MD, 1884 missionary to KoreaOn April 23, 1858, Horace Newton Allen was born in Delaware, Ohio. He became the first Presbyterian missionary to land in Korea in 1884. A doctor, Allen served as the medical officer to the Korean Court and provided medical missionary services. He held various government positions and is the author of a number of books on Korea.

April 27, 1708

On April 27, 1708,the founding "father" of American Presbyterianism, Rev. Francis Makemie (click here to read his biography) signed his last will. He died sometime between April 27 and August 4, 1708.

April 27, 1757

On April 27, 1757, Rev. John Martin — the first Presbyterian minister ordained in the colony of Virginia — was called to the Albermarle (Virginia) church. On January 25, 1758, Reverend Martin was appointed the first Presbyterian missionary to the Cherokees. But with the Cherokees joining the French, the mission was abandoned. Martin settled in South Carolina.

April 30, 1943

Japanese teenagers at MontreatOn April 30, 1943, a group of Axis diplomats, business executives and families were transferred from Assembly Inn as part of the U.S. State Department's World War II repatriation exchange program for American diplomats, missionaries and families trapped behind Axis lines. Click to see a special report.