1826 – Frontier Evangelist, Henry Bryson – Part IV



(Transcribed from The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 42, Nos. 01 & 02, Spring and Summer 1980)



Th. After breckfast I came in company with Mr. up to Mrs. Bonner’s in Wilcox County. 25 miles.

16th. Fri. I left here after breckfast, and came on this day up to Mr. Joseph Jones’ esq. son in law to widow Bonner. Here I passed this night.

18th. Sab. We had sermon at Robert Jones’s this day after which I returned to Joseph Jones’s.

19th. Mon. I went went over to Robert Jones’s and tarried with him this day.

Tues. We went out to see some of the country, and after surveying »some of the Pine Barren [Creek] land we returned and stayed all night here again.

21st. W. Mr. Jones and I went down to James Bonner’s and here in company with Samuel Bonner, James, we took a sruvey [sic] of the land here. I stayed with James Bonner this night.

Th. After breckfast I left this, crossed Pine Barren river at Christian’s ford, and went on to Dr. James W. Glenn’s about 8 miles from the river, I found Glenn the same old thing yet as formerly.

Fri. This morning I went up to Portland a small town a small town 3 miles from Glenn’s on the Alabama River. Then returned to Jones’s esq. 25 miles from this Joseph Jones’s.

We had sermon at Robert Jones’s. There were a considerable collection of people at this place.

26th M. I came down in company with the widow Bonner and her son Wm’s family to her house, and there stayed this night.

Alabama State Map with location of Counties


Tu. This morning I started for the people of covington [County] again. I went into the old federal road (Apparently the post road not the familiar “Old Federal Road” from Georgia to New Orleans) 3 miles from here and went down it to…. 2 miles, went in by …. mills, and machine and stayed at Rab’s.

28th. W. I came on to McFarlin’s one mile from Jones’ ferry on the Sepulga River. Visited his son in law’s.

29th. Th. I came over the river and came on to D. Mitchell’s (Apparently David Mitchell, a wealthy land and slave owner. He was a cousin of Josiah Bradley (see below) who was apparently an early county commissioner. According to the Centennial History (567) Salem Church was organized in Covington Bounty in 1827 because of the heroic determination of one William J. Mitchell, though by 1835 it still had only nine members and it never had a permanent pastor m the whole 19th century. Unless there were two generations of William J. Mitchells, however, he would have been only about twenty years old in 1827. is suggests that there is confusion either in Bryson’s account or the Centennial History. Probably David Mitchell was the founder of the church. Wyley Donald Ward, Early Htstory of Covington County, Alabama 1821-1871 (Huntsville, Ala., 1976), 26, 85, 123, 143, 160, 294, 299, 300.)

F. I went this day to Josiah Bradley’s, stayed here this day and night.

April 1st. Sab. We attended preaching at D. Mitchell’s only a few collected.

2nd. M. I left here and started for Tallahassa [Tallahassee]. I went 8 miles to the falls of Conega [Conecuh] River, called Montazuma [Montezuma] and here took the left hand going on east and noreast [sic] course 16 miles to Fagan’s. 7 miles beyond this I took a little narrow path and went on to old Mr. Coon’s, was charged nothing. (In Bryson’s time Montezuma was a thriving town and the county seat of Covington, but it declined, at least in part because of a flood. Peter A. Braanon says it was washed away” by the river. Historic Highways in Alabama (Montgomery, 1929)In 1844 the legislature moved the county seat to Andalusia, a few miles to the fast. Ward, Covington County, 146-150.

Tu. I came on to P. [Pea] River 8 milee, here I had to stay all day, because I could not get over. Mr. Linsey charged me 50 cents, for my horse, supper and ferriage.

W. This day I came through a vastly poor country, came into the old 3 notch road and stopped at 2 o’clock at Claybank [sic], and preached this evening to a small company of people. — was charged 50 cents.

Thu. I came on to old Mr. Windham’s, — took breakfast, — was charged nothing. Then went on and crossed the Choctahatchey [Choctawhatchee] at……. paid 6 1/4 cents and came on to old Mr. Miller’s, a hearcdsman [sic], and a very indifferent place in every respect, he made me pay him 75 cents.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS – Volume I – IV: Four Volumes in One

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From the time of the discovery of America restless, resolute, brave, and adventurous men and women crossed oceans and the wilderness in pursuit of their destiny. Many traveled to what would become the State of Alabama. They followed the Native American trails and their entrance into this area eventually pushed out the Native Americans. Over the years, many of their stories have been lost and/or forgotten. This book (four-books-in-one) reveals the stories published in volumes I-IV of the Alabama Footprints series.


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