THE REVEREND DANIEL WHITE THE LIFE AND FAMILY OF AN INFLUENTIAL SCOTTISH IMMIGRANT Submitted by Glenn H. McGugan October 14, 2002
The Reverend Daniel White, (or Donald Whyte, as his marriage banns in the Parish of Rothsay, Kirk of Rowe, has it), became quite an influential man after his immigration from Scotland to the Scottish settlement along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina. Daniel White was born c.1784, and is said to be from "Cowell, in the Lowlands of Scotland" (probably Cowal, the three?pronged peninsula to the east, and across the Firth of Clyde from Greenock, whose main town is Dunoon. As a young man, he heard the preachings of a certain Reverend Daniel McArthur, who was preaching the Baptist message in that area of Scotland, much against the wishes of the establishment. Young Daniel White was swayed by what he heard, as were several Campbell youths of the area. One Campbell, a young lady by the name of Catherine, joined the Baptists and soon married Daniel White. Catherine was of the Campbells of Rosneath, her father said to be the man who built Rosneath Castle (now demolished, where Eisenhour, Churchill, and Montgomery met in 1944 to concert the plans for the invasion of France. Rosneath is due north of Greenock, across the Clyde, on the shore of Gare Loch). Nothing is known of the first months, or year or so of Daniel and Catherine's married life, except that he was preparing himself for the ministry. He felt a strong calling to come to America and preach the Baptist message to the Highlanders already established here, and Catherine resisted the move. It is said that Daniel had a dream one night, and was disturbed, but Catherine could not waken him. She feared that he was dying, and prayed that if the Lord would spare her husband, she would do anything. The next morning, when Daniel awakened, he explained that he had dreamed that he was preaching to a Highland congregation in America. Catherine took this as a sign, and finally consented to the move to America. Her father converted her dowry to gold coin, which would later be used wisely, as will be seen. Daniel and Catherine White sailed from Greenock on August 28, 1807 and landed at Charleston on October 7, 1807. From Charleston, they sailed up the coast to Wilmington, and then made their way up the Cape Fear River. On the first Sunday of November, 1807, near Lumber Bridge in Robeson County, N.C., Rev. Daniel White preached his first sermon to the Highlanders in America, and the religious life of many Scottish families was soon to be changed for generations to come. Daniel and Catherine's first daughter was born in the Lumber Bridge area, but they were not to remain in that area long. Daniel received a call to pastor the Welsh Neck Baptist Church in Society Hill, South Carolina. He accepted, and was pastor of that church from 1808 until 1811. Daniel and Catherine's second daughter was born in South Carolina. There were some Scottish members at this church, as a walk through the cemetery will attest, but evidently not enough to satisfy Daniel, whose calling was to deliver the Baptist message to the Highlanders. He resigned his pastorate at Welsh Neck, and moved his young family to Richmond County, N.C., near what has become the town of Wagram in present day Scotland County, N.C. Here Daniel and Catherine invested her dowry gold, and bought approximately 2,000 acres of land, all of which was said to be still owned by their descendants as late as 1950, if not to the present date. The area is now known as "Riverton," and the rest of their children were born here. In 1813, they met with a small group of local followers, and organized Spring Hill Baptist Church (readers who were with us in October, 1989 for the bus tour of this area may remember the cemetery across the road from the home of the poet John Charles McNeill. That was Spring Hill Cemetery, and the area of the original church. John Charles McNeill and other descendants of Daniel White are buried there). As was the custom in Presbyterian churches during this time, Rev. White also preached tha same sermon twice each Sunday. The morning service was conducted in English; the afternoon, or evening service being in Gaelic. During the early days of Spring Hill, Rev. White was able to convert at least two important heads of local families: Malcolm McMillan and Archibald Graham. Daniel White was not content to be the pastor of a small neighborhood church. He travelled throughout the Scottish settlement along the Cape Fear, preaching the Baptist message, and winning many converts. "River" Daniel Blue, who lived on Little River in Moore County, wrote in 1817 to his brother Dugald in New York, that "they hear Mr. White as he preaches in their settlement. They are very expert in the scriptures as for that profession I never yet doubted but what it is true and genuine, as for my part I found no faith in it yet." (See p. 32, Scottish Blue Family, by Douglas F. Kelly for the full letter). In the fall of 1824, the Rev. White left home for one of his missionary trips among the Highlanders. He went up through Fayetteville, and was working his way down the Cape Fear. He became ill in Pender County, and was taken to the home of friends there. After several days, he died on October 28, 1824 at the young age of 40 years. He was buried near the village of Atkinson, about 15 miles west of Burgaw, in Colvin Cemetery, a family cemetery. Catherine and Charles Livingston, her son?in?law, after hearing of the death and burial, hitched a wagon and, stopping in Fayetteville to purchase a proper tombstone, travelled to the cemetery to place the monument at his grave (that original tombstone was much later moved from the neglected family cemetery and placed at Spring Hill, where it could be properly maintained). A young man by the name of John Monroe, who was a convert of Daniel White's and was already his assistant at Spring Hill, assumed all of the local pastoral duties. He did an admirable job of continuing the work begun by Rev. White, not only at Spring Hill, but also in helping to establish other Baptist Churches in the area. Catherine Campbell White did not remarry after the death of Daniel, but spent the rest of her life working with the church and promoting education in the community she and Daniel had selected to settle in after coming here. She died on Jan. 29, 1867, at the age of 81, and is buried at the Livingston/Smith family cemetery near Wagram. Not only did the lives of Daniel and Catherine Campbell White have an enormous impact on the religious life of their chosen community; their strong educational values have had an effect not only on their descendants, but children of their neighbors as well. The Riverton Community is well known for producing not only the first Poet Laureate of North Carolina, but for also producing other writers, educators, and doctors. The children of Daniel and Catherine Campbell White: 1 ? Mary ? b. 10?28?1807 m. Charles Livingston 2 ? Anna Belle ? b. 3?28?1809 m. Duncan McGugan 3 ? Jennette Euphemia ? b. c 1811 m. John Johnson 4 ? Rebecca ? b. c 1813 m. Rev. P. C. Connelly 5 ? John C. ? b. c 1816 (died Sep. 1818) 1 ? Mary White (b. 10?28?1807 - d. 10?28?1893) married Charles Livingston (b. 1787 - d. 9?21?1837) Both are buried in the Livingston/Smith Cemetery in Scotland County, NC. Their children: 6 ? Catherine ? b. c 1827 7 ? Daniel White ? b. 5?27?1828 m. Mary ? 8 ? Sarah ? b. c 1830 9 ? Ann Eliza ? b. c 1832 10 ? Euphemia ? b. 8?24?1834 m. Duncan McNeill 11 ? Caroline ? b. c 1836 (Note ? Duncan and Euphemia were the parents of the poet, John Charles McNeill. Duncan was the son of John McNeill and Catherine Johnson. John was part of a family known as the "New McNeills," immigrating in 1819 from Northampton parish,Argyll, Scotland. After Catherine died, John married her sister Mary (Polly). Both were sisters of John Johnson who married Jennette Euphemia White ? see below). 2 ? Anna Belle White b. (3?28?1809 d. 2?13?1891) married Duncan McGugan (b. 5? ?1794 d. 1?15?1862) They lived in present Hoke County, N.C., west of Lumber Bridge, and both are buried in the Duncan McGugan Family Cemetery near there. Duncan was born at Barrahormid, North Knapdale, Argyllshire, Scotland. His parents were John McGugan and Margaret McNeill, and they immigrated in 1802. The children of Duncan and Ann were: 12 ? Daniel White ? b. 7? 1?1828 n.m. 13 ? Dr. John Monroe ? b. 1?12?1830 m. Mary Louise Powell 14 ? Catherine J. ? b. 12?29?1832 m. Duncan B. McGougan 15 ? Margaret Jane ? b. 1?25?1834 n.m. 16 ? Duncan Campbell ? b. 8? 8?1837 n.m. 17 ? Mary Ann ? b. 12?22?1839 n.m. 18 ? Rebecca Eliza ? b. 4?24?1842 m. Edward Currie 19 ? James Archibald ? b. 7? 4?1844 n.m. 20 ? Jennett Euphemia b. 8? 5?1846 m. Capt. John Douglas Malloy 21 ? Rev. Charles Patrick b. 1849 m. Lillie McDaniel Graham (Note ? This writer is descended from Duncan McGugan's brother Archibald, whose 2nd wife was a sister of the above Duncan B. McGougan. Both McGugan families lived near Lumber Bridge and both families were converted to the Baptist faith.) 3 ? Jennette Euphemia White b. 1811 d. 4?22?1862 married John Johnson (b. 1804 d. 1882) They lived near Wagram, and both are buried at Spring Hill Cemetery near there. John was born at Barinlocan, Argyllshire, Scotland. His parents were McNeill Johnson and Christian Monroe. The Johnson's immigrated in 1803. John's sisters married John McNeill (see above). John and Jennette's children were: 22 ? Capt. Daniel White? b. 10?27?1833 n.m. (died in Civil War) 23 ? Neill Duncan ? b. 12?24?1835 n.m. ( " " " ) 24 ? Rebecca Ann ? b. 7?25?1838 m. William McKenzie 25 ? John Monroe ? b. 8? 9?1840 m. Emma Crider Richardson 26 ? Catherine White ? b. 6? 8?1843 m. Thomas Mervelle Watson II 27 ? Robert Archibald ? b. 11?19?1845 m. Rosa Steele Ledbetter 28 ? Mary Amanda ? b. 4?14?1848 m. Archibald Alex. McMillan 29 ? Charles ? b. 3?24?1851 m. Archie Snead Dyson 4 ? Rebecca White (b. 10?29?1813 d. 6?27?1900) married Rev. Patrick/Peter C. Connelly (b. 1811 d. 8?21?1876) Patrick (or Peter) was a Baptist minister. This family was in Montgomery County, N.C. in 1850, but by 1860 were back in the Wagram area. They are both buried in the Connelly Family Cemetery near Wagram. Their known children were: 30 ? Mary Amanda ? b. 9?25?1837 died young 31 ? Catherine ? b. c 1839 32 ? Daniel White ? b. 11?28?1841 33 ? William R. ? b. c 1843 34 ? A. Judson ? b. 4?21?1851 m. Rebecca McNatt 35 ? Jannette Euphemia ? b. 11? 9?1853 Sources: Documents and books in the Scotland County Library at Laurinburg, NC, as well as field research by the author.
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This page created October 14, 2002 Revised January 7, 2015