Martha Luallen Wofford, born 1752 PA, died 1825 SC, dau. of Hugh


Obituary, Spartanburg, SC, 18 MAY 1825
Messrs. Editors –  the subject of the following short memoir having numerous friends and relatives in some of the western, as well as the southern states, you would contribute in no small degree to the satisfaction of many, by publishing in the Magazine this account of her life and death. Benjamin Wofford.

Martha LUALLEN was born in the state of Pennsylvania in the year 1752, of religious parents, who were of the Quaker order. Her father, Hugh LUALLEN, removed to South Carolina when she was young. Here she had all the advantages in obtaining an education, which the condition of the country afforded at that early period. Neither did her parents neglect at the same time to impress on her tender mind such sentiments as were calculated to raise her thoughts to things above, and ever after influence her walk in life. But, far from trusting to percept alone, they enforced them by a godly example.
At various seasons she was solemnly impressed with the necessity of walking after God. The plainness and simplicity which generally characterized the sect to which her mother was attached, were always manifest in the daughter. When only about twelve years of age, she delighted in reading the Holy Scriptures. She read them attentively and with prayer. She wept at the name of Jesus, because he had suffered and done so much for her. About this time she had the opportunity of occasionally hearing the Baptists preach, and although she frequently experienced considerable alarm at their meetings, and had the example of her elder sister, who had united herself to that body, she refused to join them. The reason she assigned for not availing herself of the privileges then offering, was, that she at least had heard and read of other denominations; therefore, she did not feel warranted in embracing tho [sic] tenets of the Baptist, until she had seen and conversed with others. this was more especially the case, as every part of the creed of that church was not in accordance with her views. How a girl at this early stage of life should be capable, or take the pains of drawing lines of distinctions between two or more denominations, and tenaciously hold to her own opinions, may, indeed, appear somewhat strange, but is no less true.

In the month of June, 1768 she was married to Mr. Joseph Wofford, of Spartanburgh, SC. Living in a country which was but thinly inhabited, pressed with the cares of raising a family early in life, together with the approach of that eventful period, the American Revolution, and the consequent absence of her husband, who was an officer in an expedition against the enemy, were incidents, which almost entirely deprived her of the opportunity of hearing the gospel preached., enjoying the means of grace. Thus she was often brought to mourn her departed privilege.

In 1786, the Rev. John Mason and Thomas Davis were sent as Methodist missionaries to Broad River circuit, in South Carolina. Eighteen years had now elapsed since her marriage, in which time it appears she had made but little progress in the way to heaven. Their coming, however, was to her a source of much joy. Their preaching she thought a true exposition of her own opinions; therefore, without hesitation she offered the hand of fellowship. Also inquiry brought her to discover that she had been resting on false hopes, and for the long space of the time before, she had remained calm in the midst of danger. A knowledge of her true condition gave fresh vigor to her exertions. The nearest station for preaching was several miles distant, notwithstanding which she almost invariably attended the word. [unreadable] she highly valued, and always was careful to not permit domestic concerns to keep her from them. While it had the effect of drawing her closer to God, in the one of all the public and private means of grace, her deportment toward her friends and acquaintances constrained them to acknowledge the reality of the religion of Jesus. Though very young at the time, the day is fresh in recollection of the writer of this memoir, when his mother, at a private house for Methodist preaching, dedicated him to God by baptism.

She was a woman whose faith in God was so great, as generally to give direction even to the common occurrences of domestic life. Although many difficulties pressed upon her, cheerfulness and contentment were prominent features in all her transactions with others. She was instant in prayer; and the hour of her private devotions was never neglected. After the conversion of our mother, which took place in the year above mentioned, how often have we heard her lifting her voice to God, in behalf of her husband and children. Until the year 1802, she travelled alone to Zion. her children then brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, had hitherto resisted the drawings of the Good Spirit; her companion, too, until this period, strove against divine impressions. However, in the last year mentioned, under the preaching of the Rev. George Daugharty and Lewis Myers, she had the happiness of seeing her husband and most of her children converted to God, and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She had long sought the Lord that he would prepare her children to glorify his holy name, and especially, if consistent with the Divine will, to thrust one of them out as a laborer in his vineyard. The Lord answered prayer, and the unworthy writer of this memoir was made the happy subject of this grace. In the year 1804 he was licensed to preach the everlasting gospel; from that time, until his mother escaped to heighten the triumphs above, which was more than twenty years, she sat under his ministry. But one earthly wish now remained: it was that she might live to see her youngest child, a daughter, comfortably settled in the world. God granted this desire. Shortly after, being asked if she was then willing to depart, the reply was “yes, glory to God, I am ready and willing to go, any moment that he shall see best to call me!”

She was uniform in her attendance upon the Lord’s table: family prayer was maintained as long as she had strength. More than three years prior to her death, she was much afflicted with rheumatic pains, which entirely deprived her of the sue of her lower limbs. Amid all, she was resigned, and at times, when under the keenest sufferings, we have heard her rejoice in the love of God. We remember well, one Sabbath evening, after asking her many questions relative to her awakening, conversion, the progress of God in her soul, &e [sic], with a heavenly smile she said, “Why do you ask me so many questions, my son? Are you not satisfied that I am prepared to die? O, yes; glory to my God! this moment I feel Jesus in my soul, and I know he will not live in glory and leave me behind!” As the poor body became more helpless, the soul gathered strength. A complaint rarely escaped her lips; but with lamb-like resignation to the will of her heavenly Father, she seemed to endure her sufferings without a murmur.

On Wednesday the 22nd of March last, being at her house, we found her happy and cheerful, but unable to turn herself in bed. It unfortunately so happened, that I now saw her life for the last time in this world. The next day at 10 o’clock she fainted. As the symptoms of returning life appeared, her countenance exhibited the picture of serenity. Throughout the remained of the day, her soul was unusually lifted to God. She told her grandchildren to sing: –  after a short time one of them requested her to join them –  She replied, “I cannot sing now, I have not strength; but I shall soon sing with the voice of an archangel.” The next day she appeared better, and called for Dr. A Clarke’s Commentary on the New testament, a book almost constantly in her hands, and read for some time. Her husband (now 85 years of age) sat at her bedside reading the 2nd volume of the same work, having called her attention to some particular passage, to the reading of which she seemed to listen with delight until he had concluded. At this moment, rising from his chair to walk into an adjoining room, he saw her fall back on the pillows, against which she had been supported. His feeble arms were extended to her relief; but ah ! the spirit had fled, and her hand still grasped the blessed book of God. The following evening, the remains of our dear departed mother were committed to the earth, amid the tears of numerous friends and relatives. The joy which beamed from her soul had imprinted in her features an expression of triumph, which the conqueror Death was unable to efface. She was an exemplary Christian, an obedient wife, a tender and affectionate parent. Here the earthly scene must close. She is gone to her eternal rest.
Source: The Methodist Magazine, 1826, Vol. 9, published by N. Bangs and J. Emory, New York, pp. 358-359

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In: Research Data •  Tagged with: Martha, PA, SC

Kay McKinnon - Aug 1, 2009

From JBO Landrum   1900 Franklin pub. Atlanta p 107   History of Spartanburg County
" In the year 1752 there was born in Pennsylvania a daughter to Quaker parents, who, moving to Spartanbrg District with that child, wrought a great influence for good in that community and ultimately for the whole district.   Being brought up under the example and religious influence of that noted and worthy people, The Quakers, and educated in the best schools of that day, she was prepared to receive the Gospel from the mouths of John Mason and Thomas Davis in 1787" this   quote from Rev. James F. Smith of Spartanberg S.C. Landrum has in a footnote.   He also cites Shipp's History of Methodism.   Saying Martha Lewellyn wife of Joseph Wofford and mother of Rev. Benjamin Wofford converted to   Methodism but her husband and children heeded her not   until 1802 when they converted.. she "went to Heaven on the 24th of March, 1826."

There is a long chapter on Woffords starting on p.220 in it Martha Lewellyn is listed as Joseph's wife.   My Martha   Wofford who married   Moses White comes to MS ca 1839 he says and also states that Nancy W. Tucker and Samuel were the only Wofford children to stay in S.C. others going to Ga. AL & Ms   etc
a Dr. Joseph Lewellyn Wofford of Cherokee Springs is mentioned on p 232

G Leland Summer's Newberry S.C. Historical & Genealocical   lists the Bush River meeting. saying that its cemetery had 1000 gaves but few markers.   These people also came from Penn. and that Rocky Springs meeting was an off shoot of Bush River and White Lick organized out of Rocky Springs in 1800. (Newberry is to S.E. of   Spartanburg & both were formed out of old 96th Dist.)
This says to me that Quakers did come into S.C. and that altho civil records aren't what we wish there might be Quaker records, but I don't know where to look for them.     Have not found anything helpful in MS archives.

Back to Landrum:   If   the Lewellyns were fine upstanding Quakers Martha should have married a   Quaker in a Quaker meeting in June 1768 in S.C.& also and at least some of the children should be on Quaker rolls somewhere. Deduction from reading   Landrum:   Hugh   & family in Pa. in 1750s & moving to S.C.before Martha married Joseph Wofford in 1768.