It being Sunday
Staid next day to rest our horses and selves, it being Sunday.*This is the journal of William Campbell (1805-1849) leading four families from Lexington, in Rockbridge County, Virginia to St. Charles County Missouri, written in 1829. There are now 53 people in this caravan, 25 of which are enslaved, among them is Archer Alexander, born in 1806, in Rockbridge County, Virginia This journal is located in the collections of the Leyburn Library, Special Collections and Archives, located at the Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, Virginia, and for which we are deeply indebted to Lisa McCown. Editor is Dorris Keeven-Franke.
These travelers didn’t forget religion as they traveled the wagon road from Virginia to Missouri. A caravan of 53 people, with nearly half of them enslaved, most would consider it a day of rest. The Campbells, McCluers and Alexanders were all devout Presbyterians. Many of them, or their parents had served as Elders in their church in Virginia. Their religion was packed, carried and brought along and considered just as important as the feather ticks, blacksmith tools, and slaves. Sunday was considered a day for rest for most of them. The old stone church near Lexington, Virginia, called Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church was where these travelers came from.
And along the way they would stop and visit other churches as well
While the horses were rested, the meals still needed to be cooked, and babies were still nursed, while a carriage seat got repaired, by the enslaved. They would develop their own way to fulfill their spiritual needs, in songs and dance.