Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
NUMBER 22, PAGE 4-5a

Female Orphan Schools, Continued

Jno. T. Lewis

We are studying the teaching of the Pioneers on the above subject. The Pioneers established "Female Orphan Schools," but not "Orphan Homes."

In the Millennial Harbinger 1849, pages 589-591, we have a long letter from J. T. Johnson to Alexander Campbell. I quote some extracts from that letter.

"Kentucky Female Orphan School

Midway, June 13, 1849

"Brother Campbell: Since my return from the South I have limited my labors to the congregation at home, until the last ten days, during which time I have been laboring here with Bro. Dr. Pinkerton, who is still the same, ardent, able, efficient and devoted proclaimer and defender of the faith as formerly, although burdened by one of the best and most flourishing Female Schools of the West. I was particularly gratified in witnessing his vast and increasing influence in his own community .. . Here is the Kentucky Female Orphan School, originated by Bro. L. L. Pinkerton and the brethren at this place. Five acres of ground have been purchased, a most desirable and beautiful eminence, commanding a view of the country around, in all its loveliness. A most commodious, beautiful and, comparatively cheap building is in progress, and will be completed in a few weeks, so as to enable them to commence operation by the first of September. It is a favorite scheme with the entire brotherhood, so far as I have learned, and we are resolved to make it worthy of this patronage." This was to be a "Female Orphan Home." Eh?

In the Millennial Harbinger 1850, pages 37-39, we have a long letter from J. D. Dawson to Alexander Campbell. I will quote some extracts from that letter.

"Female Orphan School

Midway, Ky. November 11, 1849

"Brother Campbell: It will afford to you, and, I doubt not, to others much pleasure to be informed of some particulars relating to the brotherhood of this country . . .. Having erected spacious and comfortable meeting houses in various portions of the country, established Sunday schools, Bible classes, prayer meetings, etc., they have, you are aware, just completed a very elegant and spacious building in this village, designed as a school (not a home-J.T.L.) for the destitute, orphan girl.

"This institution, scarcely two years ago, was but in the heads and hearts of some two or three of the Midway congregations. It is now a reality — in operation. It opened its doors the first week in October last, and received some fifteen orphan girls under its fostering care." Mr. Dawson quotes some poetry, and continues:

"Many a flower is born to

blush unseen.

And waste its sweetness

in the desert air!

"To transplant such to this parterre out of the world's wilderness, as a favorable spot for the expansion of all that is lovely in woman and divine in human nature, is the design of our school. (No our home-J.T.L.). It is the object of its friends to afford the destitute orphan girl an education that shall fit her to occupy any station in society that merit may entitle her, with credit to herself and honor to her sex . . . . Before concluding this notice of the orphan school, I would observe, that the expense of its buildings, and the furnishing the same, has been borne principally by the citizens of Woodford . . . . Thus much with reference to the orphan school." (Not the orphan home-J.T.L.)

In the Millennial Harbinger 1851, page 297, we have an appeal for this orphan school.

"To The Friends Of The Orphan School

"Tis generally known, that from the necessity of circumstances, we are compelled to keep in the institution a larger number of orphans than our income will support. Brethren in Kentucky have given us assurance that an annual contribution would most cheerfully be taken up, in our congregations, for our benefit, equaling our wants. We are behind on our last year's expenses $500.00, which will give us much trouble to meet, unless by such a contribution for our benefit. Will the friends of the orphans lay this claim and our circumstances before the churches to which they preach, or of which they are members, and send as soon as possible, the collection to W. F. Patterson, Midway, Ky. J. Ware Parrish."

In the Millennial Harbinger 1856, pages 391-395, Alexander Campbell gave an account of "An Excoursion To Kentucky And Henry Female College." After telling of his visit to "The Henry Female College, at New Castle, Ky.," and a brief outline of his commencement sermon, he says: "Kentucky is a great State; not only because of its dimensions, its luxurant soil, its mineral wealth, felicitous location, in the rich valley of the beautiful Ohio; not merely because of its enterprising and energetic population, or its great statesmen; but because of its eleemosynary institutions, its many flourishing female schools and academies, not only at Frankfort and Louisville, in New Castle and Hopkinsville, but at Midway, Woodford County, that home of female orphans, under the patronage of the noblest of Christian philanthropists known to me in the valley of the Mississippi, who has had, this year, under the wings of his protection, some eighty orphans, receiving such an intellectual, moral, and Christian culture, as well make them honorable, able, and useful co-operants in the work of human redemption."

Since Mr. Campbell was one of the first that Dr. L. L. Pinkerton discussed the establishment of a "Female Orphan School" wit hand since J. T. Johnson had written him a long letter telling him about working with Dr. L. L. Pinkerton in establishing the "Female Orphan School," at Midway, Ky. He says: "Here is the Kentucky Female Orphan School, originated by Bro. L. L. Pinkerton." Mr. Campbell could not have gotten the idea from J. T. Johnson's letter that Dr. Pinkerton had established a "Female Orphan Home," at Midway, Woodford County, Ky. J. T. Johnson's letter was written June 13, 1849.

November 11, 1849, J. D. Dawson wrote a letter to Mr. Campbell about the school, he says: "It opened its doors the first week in October last, and received some fifteen orphan girls under its fostering care." Millennial Harbinger 1850, pages 37-39. With these facts before him, I do not know why Mr. Campbell referred to the "Kentucky Female Orphan School, at Midway, Woodford County," as "that home of female orphans;" but I do know that it was established by "Bro. Dr. L. L. Pinkerton" as a "Female Orphan School." Therefore, my statement stands, "that there was not an orphan home established by any of the Pioneers during the first hundred years of the 'Restoration Movement'." And my challenge still stands to Bro. Guy N. Woods to name an "orphan home" that the churches of Christ were contributing to, 60 years ago.

I have told you that Brother David Lipscomb was a trustee of the Fanning orphan school from its beginning till his death and he never one time referred to it as the Fanning orphan home; but he always spoke of it as the Fanning orphan school. That is what Mrs. Charlotte Fanning, the widow of Tolbert Fanning, establisher says, and that is what it was called as long as it was in existence. Brother Guy N. Woods was the first one that I ever heard of calling it the Fanning orphan home. In the Gospel Advocate of August 23, 1956, on the front page, W. L. Totty, another one of Brother Goodpasture's know it all Fridays, said: "If David Lipscomb were living today he would be classed as a digressive by those who are trying to adopt his influence. Brother Lipscomb was one of the trustees of the "Fanning Orphan Home." If W. L. Totty will quote one line from the pen of David Lipscomb advocating the support of an orphan home, I will write over my signature, that "I, Jno. T. Lewis, am the biggest ignoramus that ever pushed a pen." Won't Totty be glad to put that on the front page of the Gospel Advocate. Brother Totty's article was under the heading "Their Works Do Follow Them." But Brother W. L. Totty's unmitigated gall goes before him. For instance, David Bobo, a scholarly Christian gentleman, who lives in Indianapolis, Ind., recently wrote two articles and sent them to the Gospel Advocate. One of them was published and W. L. Totty blew his top, and the other article was never published.