Holston College


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Holston College


At the (Holston) Conference of 1825, the question of establishing a Conference college was mooted. Anent this enterprise Stringfield was the prime mover and headed a committee to consider the feasibility of the establishment of such a school and to select a site for it. The committee met and determined that the school ought to be established, and selected Knoxville as the place for it. In 1827 he was appointed Conference agent to carry out this purpose. He was left without an appointment at the Conference of 1823. In 1829 he was appointed agent for Holston Seminary and was continued in the agency four years.


The Conference of 1828 the school committee reported that it was not expedient to establish a school at Knoxville 
and the report was agreed to, but the Conference, nevertheless, resolved upon the establishment of a school and 
appointed a committee consisting of the presiding elder of Abingdon District, the preacher in charge of Abingdon 
Station, and the preacher in charge of Abingdon Circuit, to establish a school, select a site and erect buildings. 
The composition of the committee seemed to indicate that the Conference favored Abingdon, or some place near 
Abingdon, as the site of the school Thomas K Catlett was appointed agent.
By consulting the General Minutes, I find that the committee consisted of: Samuel Patton, Albion C Taylor and 
Isaac Lewis. At the Conference of 1829 the committee appointed at the last session to procure a convenient and 
suitable site for the seminary, and to perform other duties mentioned in the resolutions adopted at that session 
reported, and the report was adopted. I have looked in vain among the archives of the Conference for the text of this
 report. But there is evidence that New Market was selected as the place for the school, and that parcels of land 
were procured from Jacob Peck and William Dick for the use of the seminary. Thomas Stringfield and John 
Henninger were elected agents by ballot. 
A committee consisting of Jacob Peck, John Cocke, James King, Isaac Lewis, James Cumming, John Y Smith, 
William B Lenoir, William B Reese, and Elbert F Sevier was appointed to draft a constitution for the seminary.
At the Conference of 1830, a committee of seven was appointed to examine the constitution of the seminary and if 
necessary amend alter or change said constituton and publish it to the community, as such through the medium of 
some periodicals or otherwise. They were also empowered to appoint the trustees of the institution. The following 
persons were elected on that committee: Joshua Soule, Thomas Wilkerson, John Henninger, Thomas Stringfield, 
James Cumming, William S Manson, and Elbert F Sevier. It will be noticed that the chairman of this committee was 
the bishop who presided in the Conference. The salaries which the Conference allowed the agents for the past year 
were not exorbitant, and without incomes from other sources, they were not likely to become rich. Henninger was 
allowed fifty dollars, and Stringfield one hundred dollars, with traveling expenses out of moneys collected for the 
institution. The agents in their reports expressed the belief that money could be raised to purchase several other tracts
 of land adjacent to the tracts which had been procured, and recommended that if the building committee could not
 be induced to convene, the agents should be authorized to employ workmen and rent the lands of the institution, 
as its interests might require. They also suggested the propriety of making arrangements to open a preparatory school
 in the spring of 1831, and of directing the trustees to employ a suitable teacher till the next Conference. These 
recommendations were adopted by the Conference. John Bowman was associated with Mr Stringfield in the agency 
for the coming year. It appears, however, that the school was not opened during the Conference year following. 
The Conference of 1831 resolved that it was expedient to open the school as soon as possible and that, the teachers 
should depend on the tuition fees for their salaries. By act of Conference James GH Speer was elected principal of 
the preparatory department, and Henry Saffel employed as a teacher. EF Sevier, who located at this Conference, 
and Thomas Stringfield were elected agents. 
At the Conference of 1832, Stringfield was elected secretary and David R McAnally assistant. At this session a 
committee consisting of Samuel Patton, James Cumming, Thomas Stringfield, Abram Still, and William G Brownlow 
was appointed to take into consideration all the business appertaining to Holston Seminary and report to the 
Conference. Upon recommendation of the committee thus appointed, the Conference concurred in the resolutions of 
the Board of Trustees adopted at their meeting September 25, by which they determined to inaugurate the manual 
labor system in connection with the school, directed the trustees to employ an assistant teacher as soon as they 
should judge it expedient, advised them to establish the following rates of tuition: for the primary school $5 per 
session of five months, for the academic course $8, and for the collegiate course $10, provided for an agent to travel 
within and beyond the bounds of the Conference, resolved that it was highly important that the Conference should 
establish a female academy at New Market, or elsewhere, and that the trustees of Holston Seminary be authorized to
 allow a building to be erected on the seminary lands for that purpose, should the committee to be appointed by the 
Conference select that location. These resolutions were the germ of the manual labor system which was afterwards 
adopted and put into operation at Emory and Henry College, and little as the trustees suspected it, it was the origin 
of a scheme that in a short time raised up an overshadowing rival in Virginia, and eventuated in the gradual decline of 
Holston College. How true the quaint lines of the Scottish bard, "The best laid schemes o mice an men Gang aft a

The Conference of 1832 resolved upon three agents for Holston Seminary and Abram Still, and Lewis Marshall were
 associated with Mr Stringfield in the agency. 
In 1833 James Cumming was appointed sole agent of the Seminary. 
In 1834 Creed Fulton became the agent and to a coup d etat engineered by him is mainly due the removal of the 
manual labor school from New Market to the present site of Emory and Henry College. A statement of his 
connection with this scheme will be given farther on In this sketch of the origin of Holston College. I have anticipated,
 but it has been impossible to separate Stringfield from the origin of the educational movements in Holston. It is due to
 him that this sketch should be given at this point in our narrative, for he was, indisputably, the chief founder of 
Holston College, and the principal originator of the first educational movements of the Holston Conference. His 
subsequent labors for Holston College and his cooperation with Creed Fulton in founding Strawberry Plains College
 were only a continuance of that enthusiasm in the cause of the higher education which had characterized him from his 
first connection with the Conference. It is worthy of note that among the dreams of Mr Stringfield was that of a 
theological school in the South for the training of young men for the ministry. This thought had entered his mind even 
before the establishment, under Church auspices, of a school of any sort in the South. On this subject he 
corresponded with Fisk, Olin, Soule, Andrew, Paine, and others of the most prominent men in the Church. Some of 
them favored the scheme but said that the 15 

At the Conference of 1833 William G Brownlow was assigned to Dandridge Circuit. Near the close of his 
ecclesiastical year, that is to say in 1834, he attended the semiannual examinations of Holston Seminary. In his book
 entitled Exposition and Narrative, he says:
 In the close of this year I attended the semiannual examination of this institution, which took place in the hall of the 
seminary. The exercises were conducted under the special direction of Mr Saffel, the President of the institution, and
 in his usual prompt and efficient manner, who on the last day of the examination, read an eloquent, learned, and 
appropriate address. The students were all examined very minutely in the various branches of literature in which they 
had been engaged during the session, and in the hearing of a number of visitors acquitted themselves with great honor.
 On the last day of the examination, the students closed by delivering each an oration of original composition, and in 
this particularly, they did themselves great honor, and greatly delighted the listening auditory. The friends of this 
institution may rest assured that East Tennessee does not afford a finer young man than Mr Saffel, or one better 
qualified in every respect to take charge of an institution of the kind, and the Conference which appointed him to 
preside over it, has more than once expressed its entire satisfaction as to the manner in which he has performed his 
arduous duties This seminary was set on foot three years a go under the patronage of the Holston Annual Conference
 of the Methodist Episcopal Church at the suggestion of the members and friends of said Church who desire an 
opportunity of giving their children an education on reasonable terms without endangering both their religious 
principles and moral habits as is the case at our public colleges and academies Still ours is not a theological institution.
 The town in which this seminary is located is a beautiful little village situated in one of the most fertile valleys in the 
State. Once more the time has at length arrived when the trustees of the institution have found themselves able to 
commence the manual labor system in connection with the seminary by means of which industrious and promising 
young men destitute of pecuniary means may acquire an education 1 1830 1833 279  

A bill to establish and incorporate Holston College in the county of Jefferson Co town of New Market. (source: Senate Journal, Tennessee. General Assembly. Senate, 1837, p. 390)

Holston College Allen H Mathes President George Horn Agent (General Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church in the United States, Territories, and Cuba, Council on World Service and Finance., 1840, p, 32)

"The fine brick school, sitting on a hill overlooking the small town of New Market, was finished shortly before the Still family moved into their new home. Operated by the Holston Conference, it was called Holston College or Academy..)" (Source: Frontier Doctor, Medical Pioneer: The Life and Times of A.T. Still and His Family, Charles E. Still Jr., Truman State University Press, Sep 16, 2015, p.6)

New Market College

This Institution has also a well organized school. The buildings are much out of repair, but gradual progress is being made toward their complete refitting. The Committee regreat that no fuller statement of the condition of this institution has been laid before them. (Source:Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the year 1866

by Methodist Episcopal Church. Holston Conference,1866


Holston Seminary

Your committee do futher report that they had before them a paper from the Board of Trustees of the Holston Seminary, located at New Market, Tennessee, representing a property well located, worth $5,600, and a school in a very prosperous condition under the principalship of Prof. Samuel P. Johnson, and in accordance with their request we rerecommend the appointment of the following named persons as a Board of Visitors for the ensuing year, viz: Rev, Thos. H Pearne, DD, Prof. PC Wilson, J Cawood, JNS Huffaker, AJ Greer, JM Meek, and RB Owens.

It is not only a matter of gratification to report the flourishing condition of this school but real pleasure in presenting the fact that the State Legislature recently passed an act prohibiting the sale of ardent spirits within two miles of the Institution. This law being passed at the request of the students and citizens. (Source:Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the year 1867 , Methodist Episcopal Church. Holston Conference,1867)


Prof. Ralph Pierce, President of Holston College, was introduced to the Conference and mad a short address in the interest of the college.


From a report made by the trustees of the Holston College, we learn that the Institution enjoyed a successful year. The whole number of students in attendance last year was 76. The interests of Education have steadily increased, and a series of Educational meetings has been commenced, and lectures by distinguished educators have been delivered.

The religious interests are reported as good, and conversions have taken place during the year. The school is out of debt and funds have been raised for apparatus.

Your committee recommend that the request of the Board of Trustees be granted, asking the Conference to sanction the appointment of the following persons as Trustees: Col. W F Dick, Wm Haskins, and the following as Visiting and Examining Committees:

Visiting Committee- Revs. J R Eads, J B Little, J N S Huffaker, T P Rutherford, J F Spence, Geo. Dewey.

Examining Committee-Prof. H Presnell, Col J M Meek, Dr Rodifer, Rev J F Spence, and the preacher in charge of the New Market Circuit. (Source:Minutes of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, for the year 1870 , Methodist Episcopal Church. Holston Conference,1870, p. 25)


The Committee to accept the Holston College at New Market as a Seminary for upper East Tennessee unless other and better inducements be offered at some other point. When the decision is mad, it should open as early as the Fall1874.

Comfirm the appointment od the following trustees of Holston College: Rev. T R West, Dr J W Thornburgh, R I Anderson ans E A Sawyer, Esq. (Source:Minutes of the ninth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,p.33)



WEF Milburn (Greene County) of the Holston Seminary is introduced at the conference. (Source: Minutes of the tenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 17)



Holston Seminary

This institution is evidently entering upon a career of increasing prosperity. The property, now worth $10,000-neat, attractive and well furnished-- is free from debt. During the past year Prof J H Ketron, A M, rendered efficient and faithful service. There are now three teachers. The examinations at the close of the year showed a year of through and successful study and instruction. A gracious revival occurred the second session. More than a score were converted and added to the Church. A good religious influence pervaded at the school. The seminary, including the Primary Department, now numbers one hundred and ten. Our ministers and people are turning their attention to the Holston Seminary. The present and prospective patronage of the Seminary demands the immediate erection of a boarding house on the grounds. For this, funds are needed, and also one thousand dollars to increase the working facilities of the Seminary. By a judicious and faithful canvass of our territory we are confident that we can bring the school up to one hundred and fifty students. In view of the facts presented by the present condition of the Seminary we recommend: 1st. That the Bishop re-appoint Rev. R Pierce. A M, as Principal. 2d. That he appoint Rev F N Cones, A M, as Professor of Languages and Literature.(Source:Minutes of the thirteenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 30)


Holston Seminary

Is moving onward steadily and successfully in its work. The past year three teachers, Rev R Pierce, A M , Principal, Miss Nellie Bridges, M E L, and Sarah W Pierce, full time, and two assistants, a part of their timw, were engaged in the work of instruction. In the various studies pursued throughness and satisfactory success charactory success characterized the year's work. One hundred and forty were enrolled in the three departmants. Quite a number od conversations occurred in the school. A small decefit in current expenses is more than covered by assets.

The grounds and buildings are in good condition, attractive and convenient. Our dormatories are now full. Our people in the patronizing territory are turning their attention to Holston Seminary to such an extent that a boarding hall has become a necessity.

The Tristees propose this plan: To send out the Principal for a few months to raise the funds, among our on people if possible, to erect a boarding hall for sixty students; estimated cost, $1,500. Said hall when erected to be rent free to students and in the charge of a good Christian family. Students to bring in provisions when they desire, and by paying twenty cents per week to the steward they will have comfortable good board with a Christian family or in a home at a price not exceeding, all told, $1.50 per week, and that paid in provisions. This plan has been talked up ina portion of our patronizing territory and they are pleased, and they say they can and will send on this plan. We have good reasons for believing that a boarding house for sixty students can be filled in a few months. Fifty students pay the salary of a professor; hence the creation of the comtemplated boarding hall will be equivalent to endowing a professorship. After careful inquiry, Professor Reeder, of Ohio, has been selected to take charge of the school in the absence of the Principal. ( Source: Minutes of the fourteenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1878, pp. 35-36)


This institution has had a year of some reverses but closed up the last session successfully.

The enrollment reached 136--about equally divided between the Academic, Intermediate, and Primary Departments. The classes have been more advanced, and the school in its internal arrangements and working, and in its results, more satisfactory than ever.

It has reached the point where it is doing more and more through academic work. Its teaching force is treble its income. A plan was devised, by the Trustees, at the close of the session, June last, for moving out an advanced on an advanced line.

An appeal was prepared and published, and it is proposed to make a through effort to secure a Boarding Hall, needed apparatus and library, and an endowment. We ask the ministry and Church to aid us earnestly in this work. Therefore,

1. Bishop to reappoint Rev R Pierce, AM Principal and FInancial Agent

2. Approve the plan of the trustees for improving the school

2. In support, that the appropriations be the same

(Source: Minutes of the fifteenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1879, p. 27)


The title to the Holston Conference Seminary property is vested in the Holston Conference for 999 years. It is a clear, unquestioned title. The realestate is valued at $10,000. The institutionis now unembarrassed. A small defiency existing last June at the close of the school, and which was caused by the purchase of lumber, and a balance on the current expenses has been so far provided for, that the assets are now quite equal to the responsibilities. Some funds have recently been raised by the President in Washington DC, and Baltimore, and Wilmington, Delaware. The Rev Jeremiah C Hagey, of Union CHurch, Washington, DC has gien the Seminary a No 1 Estey Chapel Organ, price $275.

Rev R Pierce was reappointed President, and Professor SP Fowler, An was appointed last commencement as Principal, and Lucius H Massey, BS, as Assistant. Prof. Fowler reports the school in a prosperous condition, with brightening prospects for the future. The enrollment last year was 131 in three departments: of these 23 were music scholars. The past year the grade of the school has been carried up higher thanbefore. Classes were carried through the Freshman year of the regular college course. The moral and religious condition of the school was encouraging. A large portion of the older students were converted last year. (Source: Minutes of the sixteenth session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1880, pp. 23-24)


Enrollment 131 students

( Source:Minutes of the seventeenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1881p. 32)


Enrollment 127 students

( Source: Minutes of the eighteenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1882p. 37)


Located at New Market on the ET, VA and GA RR. For the term ending May of 1833 was 137 students. (Source: Minutes of the nineteenth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1883, pp. 42-420


The enrollment for the 1883-84 school year was 125. The attendance was better than ever. The current enrollment to date is 133. (Source: Minutes of the twentieth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1884, p. 29)



Reccomended appointing J F Spense, J A Ruble and the Presiding elder of the Knoxville Circuit full power to act in regard to the Holston Seminary. (Source: Minutes of the twenty first session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1885, p. 21)


Athens, Tennessee, October 25, 1886

A resolution relative to the sale of Holston Seminary was offered, ammended and approved. (Source: Minutes of the twenty second session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1886, p. 17)


This is under Kingsley Seminary:
Resolved: That we appont Dr Spence, Dr Mann, and W T Senter a special Committee to consider what ought to be done with our school property in New Market and report to the conference before adjournment. J F Spense, chairman, E S Lewis, secretary (Source: Minutes of the twenty third session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1887, p. unknown)


Holston Seminary

With pleasure we note the efforts being made to resucitate the Holston Semitary, formerly Holston College, at New Market, Tenn. This institution, the only Church school within the Knoxvile District, is worthy of special attentiom. Reopening under unfavorable circumstances, its success this year is under the principal leadership of M G Rambo, BS, a recent graduate of GMU, who is assisted by Miss Lille Franklin.

Resolved, The we recommend all these Seminaries to the patronage and prayerful sympathy of all our people. R J Cooke, Chairman

J A Ruble, Secretary

Cleveland, October 13, 1888
(Source: Minutes of the twenty fourth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1888, pp 28-29)


Holston Seminary

This institution is located within the bounds of the Knoxville District, and has enjoyed some prosperity during the past year. The Trustees have recently elected Prof L S Fuller as Principal. Important repairs have been made upon the property, and between fifty and sixty students have already enrolled.

Owing to a recent action of the Board of Trustees, in which they have associated an outside party in control of said property and thereby jeopardizing the interest of this Conference, we would respectfully recommend the appointment of J F Spense, L E Prentiss, and W T Senter, as a committee with full authority to protect our interests in said Holston Seminary. We also recommend the appointment of Prof L S Fuller as principal of the Seminary.

(Source: Minutes of the twenty fifth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1889 pp. 24-25)


Holston Seminary-- The oldest and weakest of our academic schools. Rev J A Kaull has been employed for the ensuing academic year. The property is under joint control of the M E Church and the M E CHurch, South. No action has been taken reference to our property interest. (Source: Minutes of the twenty sixth session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1890 p. 34)


At the request of J J Robenettem J A Caull was discontinued by the Conference. [No further information] (Source: Minutes of the twenty seventh session of the Holston Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1891, p. 15)

No mention: 1892, 1893


Holston Seminary-- Located at New Market, Tenn, has great prosperity. The school opened August 20, 1894, and enrolled during the year 103 pupils. J M Williams, Principal.

The Trustees, through J M Williams, Principal, spent about $300 in improvements on the buildings and grounds during the last vacation. The buildings are noe in good repair, javing been replastered, recovered, guttered and painted.

The school opened the present year August 12th, with an increased attendance.

The friends of this institution seem more determined than ever to maintain here a school of high grade, that should be an honor to the church.This institution, as is well known to most members of the Holston Conference, is one of the oldest schools of this State, having been erected in 1833, chartered in 1838 as Holston College, the name changed in 1874 to Holston Seminary. It has been in continuous operation since its erection, except for during the civil war and about a year in 1892-'93. Present enrollment (Source: Minutes of the thirty-first session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895, 110. p. 36)


This is a good school property in the town of New Market, Tennessee, most beautifully located. and well woth $2,500.

For several years the schools have been neglected, but during the past two years the property has been improved to the extent of $300, and the efficiency of the school greatly increased. The history of this well known institution need not be repeated to the members of the Holston Conference, who are acquainted with hundreds of people, throughout the bounds of this conference, who testufy by their business ability and Christian integrity to the effective training received at Holston Seminary.

Under the present management, with the hearty support of the church, the school bids fair to steadily increase usefulness.

Students enrolled during the past year, 138; income of the school, about $500. Present school year began August 17, and continues with increased attendance. (Source: Minutes of the thirty-second session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1895, p. 32)

1896, repeats general infomation in recent years without any additional information.

1898, repeats general information in recent years without any additional information.


Holston Seminary, in the town of New Market, Tenn. has property worth $2,500. The history is well known and many cantestify to the efficient work done.

We recommend that the Board of Trustees of our church schools be requested to employ members of of our church, and graduates of our schools--qualification being equal--in preference to others.

We gratefully record our appreciation of the work of the FA and SBS and earnestly urge our pastors to raise the entire apportionment for this cause.

We also call attention to the important work of the Board of Education, and request pastors to a more general observance of Children's Day.

During the year the Conference learned with great sorrow of the death of Rev C H Payne DD, LL D, who for many years was the faithful secretary of the Board of Education, and those labors among us are gratefully remembered. (Source: Minutes of the thirty-fifth session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1899, p. 23)


Holston Seminary--This property is located at New Market, Tennessee. Has had a long and varied history. At present exists more in some property than as a living fact as a seminary. (Source: Minutes of the fifty-sixth* session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1900, p. 48)
*With this conference, the numbering system changed.



Holston Seminary-- This institution is located in the beautiful New Market Valley, twenty-five miles east of Knoxville, on the main line of the Southern Railroad. This school was chartered as Holston College in the year 1838 and for many years was among the very best, if not the best in all East Tennessee. Later it was rechartered as Holston Seminary and had a period of success, unti a few years ago, when, for want of means, and with strong competition, it passed through a ebbing season and they lived only in name. In the spring of the present year (1901) the government paid the trustees a war claim of $3,000 and a portion of the money has been used in repairing the building, making it more comfortable and attractive. There have been some $500-$600 used on the building in the last few years and it is now more comfortable and attractive. The main building is brick and a five room brick dormatory stands nearby. The campus is about five acres, the front portion of this is well shaded. The value of this is well worth $2,500. The school opened under the principalship of Prof S D McMurray, assisted by Miss Kitty Wells, and Miss Nettie Walker, August 19, with an enrollment of 107 students the first week with a weekly increase. The outlook for the institution is more favorable than for years. (Source:Journal of the fifty-seventh session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1901, pp. 33-34)


Holston Seminary in the Knoxville District had the misfortune of losing its school building in a fire in December during the midst of a very prosperous school year. No steps have been taken toward rebuilding. The trustees are in possession of some funds, and it would be in order for the Conference to give careful consideration to its interests in New Market. (Source: Journal of the fifty-eighth session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1902, p. 19)


Holston Seminary

This seminary, after an honorable career for many years, was for a time suspended. In 1901, it was revived and a fine new building erected. But after getting fairly started the building was destroyed by fire. Another building is now being erected and it is expected that the school will enter upon an honorable career again. (Source: Journal of the fifty-ninth session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1903, p. 27)



not mentioned


School property-- G T Francisco presented a written request that L M Will, Jas A Fowler, and John Brown be apointed a board of trustees for Holston Seminary, and that they be authorized to sell the property and transfer the proceeds to the trustees of Murphy College to be used in the erection of a dormitory for the benefit of that school. On motion, the request was transferred to the Board of Education. (source: Journal of the sixty-second session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1906, p. 36)

1907, repeats intention to sell property

1908 no mention

1909 no mention

1910 no mention

1911 no mention

Mr Gibson from the Committee on War Claims submitted the following REPORT To accompany HR 1889 The Committee on War Claims to whom was referred the bill HR 1889 for the relief of the trustees of Holston Seminary at Newmarket, Tenn, beg leave to submit the following report and recommend that said bill do pass with an amendment.

It appears that the buildings and grounds of the Holston Seminary at Newmarket, Tenn, were occupied by United States troops in 1863 and 1864, the shade trees were cut down and used as fuel by the troops, and a large portion of the materials of which the building was constructed were taken away and used by the Army. The injury thus occasioned to the building and grounds is estimated to have been $6,250. The trustees of said institution present what they consider a very just and moderate bill of supplies, rents, etc and desire this sum to enable them to restore the college to its former state of efficiency, and is as follows:

1,000 trees used as fuel by United States troops at $3 $3,000

Fencing used as fuel by troops 350

Desks, doors, and window frames 250

Rent of buildings and grounds for hospital and barracks 400

Apparatus and library destroyed 2,250

Total 6,250

The circumstances of the use and occupation of said college are so concisely and well stated in an affidavit of Gen SD Sturgis of the Army that the same is here presented and is as follows:

Headquarters Mounted Recruiting Service St Louis Barracks, Mo, February 6, 1876

I certify that during the winter of 1863 and 1864, I was in command of the cavalry of East Tennessee, consisting of about 5,000 men, that a portion of the time, my headquarters were in the town of Newmarket, Jefferson County, that my troops were bivouacked much of the time in and about Newmarket, that we were dependent for supplies of fuel and provisions chiefly on the country, and these were obtained by foraging parties sent out to collect them, that I believed then, and believe now that much unavoidable injury and suffering were inflicted upon private individuals and their property, that among the sufferers on a large scale was the Holston College, now known as the Holston Seminary, that the building itself was used for hospital purposes, and necessarily suffered damage to its library, its apparatus, and its grounds, that my troops and those of the enemy were in almost daily conflict, so that the country was overrun, alternately by our own troops and those of the enemy, to such a degree that it was altogether impossible, either for the people to protect their property. or for us to protect it for them, that the weather being extremely cold especially in December, 1863, and the troops totally without tents or other shelter, fuel had to be used wherever found, and the grove of the Holston College suffered as a matter of course and necessity, that while I believe that much of this damage was inflicted by the enemy yet I am satisfied that very much of it was also inflicted by our own troops possibly or even probably to the amount of $6,000 or $7,000 that I believe such a reimbursement to the Holston College would be an act of eminent justice and especially so in view of the further fact to which I take pleasure in bearing testimony, viz, that the great mass of the people of East Tennessee were stanch friends to us and loyal to the cause in which we were engaged.

S D Sturgis

Colonel Seventh Cavalry, Brevet Major General USA

Sworn and subscribed before me at St Louis Barracks February 7, 1875.

William J Volkmark First Lieutenant Fifth Cavalry Judge Advocate General

While the Government occupied the buildings and grounds of this seminary, no care was taken to protect the property, nor were repairs put upon it, and when it was vacated and turned over to the trustees, they found the fencing and timber all gone, the windows, sashes, doors, flooring, apparatus, and library destroyed, and in fine the mere skeleton of their edifice left.

Their claim for the use occupation and damages to their buildings and grounds of 3,000 is well proven and your committee recommend the passage of the bill with the following amendment. In line 7 strike out six thousand two-hundred and fifty, and insert in lieu thereof three thousand. (Source: Congressional Serial Set, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1899,


Possible location: Link

p.40-1. The Holston Annual, 1875: Holston Annual Conference

1875 Conference: Link

Holston Conference Archives: Link


New Market News : Our physicians report a great deal of sickness in the country. Several cases of intermittent fever in town, but all are now convalescent. A new kind of measles in raging in Friend's Station. It has no particular respect for those who have once had the red measles," but it all looks alike. .Some call it the "yellow measles."

We are informed that a donation of a handsome set of school desks, for Holston Seminary,
has been secured through the instrumentality of Rev. H. Pierce, who is now in Washington. Link