Reverend Nicholas Murray


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, February 23, 1861

The February 23, 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly featured a number of interesting Civil War historical stories.  It includes the women and children being evacuated from Fort Sumter, illustrations of Fort Sumter and Fort Jefferson, and reports of a number of Abraham Lincoln Speeches.  Scroll down to see the complete page, or the Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to a specific page of interest.


Statue of George Washington

George Washington Statue

Wives Leaving Ft. Sumter

Good-By to Fort Sumter

Reverand Murray

Rev. Murray

Abraham Lincoln Speeches

Fort Pickens and Fort Jefferson

Lieutenant Slemmer and Gilman

Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens

Fort Pickens

Fort Pickens

Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson

Map of the Confederate States

Map of the Confederacy



FEBRUARY 23, 1861.]



(Continued from Previous Page)

ceeding down Charleston harbor, bound for New York, and having on board among the passengers the wives—about twenty in number-and children belonging to the soldiers stationed in Fort Sumter, a somewhat exciting scene occurred. On nearing the fort the whole garrison was seen, mounted on the top of the ramparts, and when the ship was passing fired a gun and gave three heart-thrilling cheers as a parting farewell to the dear loved ones on board, whom they may possibly never meet again this side the grave.

" The response was weeping and ' wavering adieux' to husbands and fathers. A small hand pent up in an isolated fort, and completely surrounded by instruments of death, as five forts could he seen from the steamer's deck, with their guns pointing toward Sumter.

" As the ship proceeded on her voyage, the earnest prayer of many sympathizing hearts on board was that no collision would ever take place between these men, so hostilely arrayed against each other, but who are in reality brothers."


THE death of the Rev. Dr. Murray, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, which occurred on the 4th of February, 1861, is a loss to the Church and the world. We present his portrait in this paper, and desire to record, in a few words, our sense of his worth and his greatness, and our personal sorrow in the decease of a valued correspondent and a beloved friend.

He was a native of Ireland, and largely endowed with the finest qualities peculiar to the noblest sons of the Emerald Isle. His warm and glowing heart, his genial humor, his sparkling wit, the ready repartee, the enthusiastic temperament, the generous disposition, were the natural traits of character that made him the best of company and the most constant of friends.

He was born on Christmas-day, in the year 1802. While he was yet a mere boy his father died, and young Nicholas was put into a store to begin, al-most without education, the struggle and labors of life. At the early age of twelve he was keeping a set of books in a store in Dublin. Induced by the reports from America to believe that his chances of success would be greater here, he came to this country in 1818, and immediately found employment in the establishment of Harper & Brothers, and a home in the family of his employers. While here, he was brought into such associations and under such influences as led him to forsake the man Catholic Church, in which he had been born, and first connecting himself as a probationer with the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church, soon after became a member of the Brick Presbyterian Church, of which Dr. Spring was and is the pastor.

While yet at work at the printing press he commenced study in preparation for the ministry, in connection with a fellow-apprentice, now the Rev. P. C. Oakley, of Cold Spring., New York. He entered Williams College, under the Presidency of the distinguished Dr. Edward Dorn Griffin, and graduated with honor in 1826; and afterward pursued a thorough course of theological study at the

Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. After a few months of itinerant service in connection with the American Tract Society, he was settled over two churches in Wyoming Valley, Wilkesbarre and Kingston, Pennsylvania. His remarkable pulpit talents and his high promise attracted attention, and in 1833 he was called and installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, one of the largest churches in the Presbyterian denomination. Here he spent the remainder of his life, twenty-eight years of eminent usefulness, untiring labor, and the most enviable of human distinction—a career marked by ceaseless devotion to the best interests of his people and the highest good of the human family. The various institutions of Christian benevolence called him to their councils, and he served them with self-denying activity. The cause of education in the Church and in the State was an object to which he gave constant attention; and colleges, seminaries, and schools found him an appreciating director, supporter, and friend.

In the year 1847 he addressed a series of letters to Bishop Hughes, the distinguished prelate at the head of the Roman Catholic Church in New York. These letters first appeared in the New York Observer, and were extensively reprinted in other papers, languages, and lands. They presented the history of the writer's progress from Roman-ism to Protestantism, and examined the reasons for adhering to the Church of Rome. The vivacious style, the genial humor, biting sarcasm, anecdotes, incidents, illustration, argument, and appeals blended so harmoniously as to give them a popularity perhaps without a parallel in religious literature. The first series was followed by a sec-end and third. The none de Prune of the writer, KIRWAN, could not conceal the New Jersey divine, and his name became familiar in all Christian lands. Crossing a ferry in Scotland the boatman approached him, and saying he had been told by some one on board that be was from America, asked " if he had ever seen a man by the name of Kirwan there ?" He had been reading his letters to Bishop Hughes, and would like to hear about the author.

Dr. Murray made two or three journeys in Europe, seeking relaxation from his arduous labors, and gathering materials for those contributions which he gave to the press. His letters have been collected in volumes, and are published under the following titles : " Letters to Bishop Hughes;" " Romanism at Home ;" " Men and Things in Europe;" "American Principles on National Prosperity ;" " Parish and Other Pencilings ;" " The Happy Home."

On Friday, February 1, he was attacked by neuralgia in the chest ; the distress continued with-out awakening serious apprehensions until Monday the 4th, in the evening, when a sudden fainting fit, under intense pain, gave him warning that his hour had come. "My work is done," he said; and giving his dying counsel to his family, send

ing messages to absent friends, commending those he loved, his church, and his country, and his own spirit to the God whom he served, he lifted up his hands, pronounced a parting blessing on all around him, and with all the calmness and composure of one " lying down to pleasant dreams," he fell asleep.

In person Dr. Murray was a model of manly vigor; of middle height, broad chest and shoulders, with a round ruddy face, a broad, high forehead, and benevolent, pleas-ant expression of countenance, his appearance was at once attractive and commanding. In conversation, overflowing with humor, he was the soul of good company. As a pastor he was always at work, ready- at every call; in the chamber of sickness, in the homes of the poor, among the young — every where he was found, and always a welcome guest. His preparations for the pulpit were made with the greatest care, his sermons being completed as if for the press, and often far in advance of the time when they were to be delivered.

His funeral was attended on Friday, February 8, with every demonstration of respect and affection that could be paid by the most affectionate people. All the places of business in the city were closed. The bells of all the churches tolled in concert as the procession walked the streets. A hundred clergymen wept over his lifeless clay. Eloquent eulogies were ?renounced in the

church that was draped in mourning and crowded to its utmost capacity by a mourning congregation. Ills remains were laid in the yard adjoining the church, in the midst of his children and his beloved flock.





THE journey from our town to the metropolis was a journey of about five hours. It was a little past mid-day when the four-horse stage-coach by which I was a passenger got into the

ravel of traffic frayed out about the Cross-Keys, Wood Street, Cheapside, London.

We Britons had at that time particularly settled that it was treasonable to doubt our having and our being the best of every thing ; other-wise, while I was scared by the immensity of London, I think I might have had some faint doubts whether it was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and smoky.

Mr. Jaggers had duly sent me his address ; it was Little Britain, and he had written after it on his card, "just out of Smithfield, and close by the coach-office." Nevertheless, a hackney-coachman, who seemed to have as many capes to his greasy great-coat as he was years old, packed me up in his coach and hemmed me in with a folding and jingling barrier of steps, as if he were going to take me fifty miles. His getting on his box, which I remember to have been decorated with an old weather-stained pea-green hammer-cloth, moth-eaten into rags, was quite a work of time. Altogether, it was a wonderful equipage, with six great coronets outside, and ragged things behind for I don't know how many footmen to hold on by, and a harrow be-low them, to prevent amateur footmen from yielding to the temptation.

I had scarcely had time to enjoy the coach and to think how like a damp straw-yard it was, and yet how like a rag-shop, and to wonder why the horses' nose-bags were kept inside, when I observed the coachman beginning to get clown, as if we were going to stop presently. And stop we presently did, in a gloomy street, at certain offices with an open door, whereon was painted MR. JAGGERS.

"How much?" I asked the coachman.

The coachman answered, "A shilling—unless you wish to make it more."

I naturally said I had no wish to make it more.

"'Then it must be a shilling," observed the coachman. "I don't want to get into trouble. I know him!" He darkly closed an eye at Mr. Jaggers's name, and shook his head.

When he had got his shilling, and had in coarse of time completed the ascent to his box, and had got away (which appeared to relieve his mind), I went into the front office with my little portmanteau in my hand, and asked, Was Mr. Jagger, at home?

"He is not," returned the clerk. "He is in Court at present. Am I addressing Mr. Pip?"

I signified that he was addressing Mr. Pip.

"Mr. Jaggers left word would you wait in his room. Ile couldn't say how long he might be, having it case on. But it stands to reason, his time being valuable, that he won't be longer than he can help."

With those words the clerk opened a door, and ushered me into an inner chamber at the back. Ilene we found a gentleman with one eye, in a velveteen suit and knee-breeches, who wiped his Dose with his sleeve on being interrupted in the perusal of the newspaper.

"Go and wait outside, Mike," said the clerk. I began to say that I hoped I was not interrupting—when the clerk shoved this gentle-man out with as little ceremony as I ever saw used, and tossing his fur cap out after him, left me alone.

Mr. Jaggers's room was lighted by a skylight only, and was a most dismal place ; the skylight eccentrically patched, like a broken head, and the distorted adjoining houses looking as if they had twisted themselves to peep down at me through it. There were not so many papers about as I should have expected to see ; and there were some odd objects about that I should not have expected to see—such as an old rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard, several strange-looking boxes and packages, and two dreadful casts on a shelf of faces peculiarly swollen, and twitchy about the nose. Mr. Jaggers's own high-



Reverand Murray



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