The following is from handwritten sheets ( 15) of an autobiography by James Armstrong Clark. Blank and question marks indicate where the writing was unable to made out.
Account of life of Rev. Jas A Clark written by himself
You ask me to give me some acct of my youthful years – tho I never kept a diary nor even noted down important events that might now have been interest to you. Yet I will comply & give a few facts.
My ancestors on the fathers side
My grandfather Walter Clark and grandmother Jenet Tarnbull were farmers at Everhu? about a mile & a half or 2 miles from Hawick. I never saw grandfather, but I remember frequently of seeing grandmother. They were said to be industrious and godly people. They had 5 children, John, Peggy, Walter. William who died in infancy & William called for the one taken so early away. William the youngest son was my father & John , Peggy & Walter were my uncles and aunt..
Uncle John had 5 children, James, John, Thomas Jenny & Betty that came over & settled around Galt in Canada.
Aunt Peggy was married to Walter Cavers(?) had six(?) children were successful farmers. He was of an obliging disposition and hurt himself in his old age by failing
Walter Clark, was married to Peggy Patterson after her decease he was married to Peggy Hunter. He had by his first & second wife 17 children in all, among them was Andrew who became deaf from fever, Uncle Walter was a elder in the Relief & a very pious godly man. (penned in – remarkable in his prayers – illus-
William Clark, my father ( after the death of his father was bot up by his mother till he was old enough to learn a trade. Born April 1791 this description better to come in under the heading, Father & Mother. He serve 4 years of apprenticeship for a Mason with Robert Scott. Borthacht Cottage, went to night school to improve his education. & read and studied when he could not work. He committed Fishers Catechism during his apprenticeship, to repeat on Sabbath evenings so that he could answer the whole in substance. That was part of his training in his masters house on every Sabbath evening.
(2nd p. of biog.)
He was married first to Bell Miller & had two children. Beatty who is married to Jas Barnet (?) Whitchesters. & Jesse(?) who was after the death of her mother was brot up by Aunt Patty Cavers, ( penned in note – & have 3 child-, Norman, Maggie & Bella.) and was married to Robt Baplic. They had several children I remember Margaret, Mary & Willie. Robt was an elder of F Ch at Denholm died of consumption. Jim died of heart disease. – a consumption-. After the death of his first wife He was married the second time to Jean Armstrong – the oldest daughter of James Armstrong & had 4 children Helen, Walter & James who died in infancy & James your? father-
I will now introduce Jas to some of my Ancestors by the Mothers side-
My great great grandfather was John Armstrong of Glenlacky hall. famous in the history of the border warfare. My great grandfather was Walter Armstrong and his wife’s name was Margaret They had 3 children James Jennet and Agnes.
My grandfather was James Armstrong & grandmother Helen. (penned in note-was shepherd at Pencharter and after was farmer of Greenriver-remarkable memory of the scriptures) Henderson, their children ____Walter now at Andes Dc Jean my Moth er. Margaret died when 5 years old Nellie __in Williamsbugh mar Jas Turnbull. John died when he was about 46 he was shepherd of Wollie(?) his son is James Armstrong of Carlisle.
Isabella died when a girl
Margaret, who was married to Watty Ormisten of Durham England. Agnes was single – Katuc housekeeper at Northhampchangs?, died a few years ago.
Jannet, married to John Armstrong of West Lee -& have a large family of sisters and Brother. 5 or ______sisters. Our family Beatty & Jessie were my half sisters. They were tall –handsome looking but what was better were consistent members of the church. The mother U. P.church East Bank Hawick the Free Ch. Denhols. My half brother in law Robt Baptie diedseveral years ago his wife did not live very long after him. Beatty & James Burnet are still living at Whitchester. He is spherd & takes charge of the Farm there for McGuires.
(3rd p.of biog.)
Helen born Mar. 26, 1824 after taking care of father till he died. Mother & sister Helen came over to the States she was married to John Z_____ a carpenter who lives in Phila then at Galt over at Owen Sound?- mother lives with them. She had two children, Jean and Bella. Bella died a few years ago with scarletina—Mother
Walter born March 4, 1827 after learning the joiner and carpenter trades at Lanton wrought sometime at Qariam in company with John Z_____and then came over to Phil. sailed from Liverpool June 7, 1847— (penned in – at To_____________ full of mechanical genius made Mill & saw mill in minature in motion) was married to Mrs. Margaret Todd. Mrs Todd had two daughters Anne who has been a teacher in Phil___and Elise Jane married to Mr. Irwin in manufactures – My? brother_____ had one child who died when in infancy. He learned to make the fly shuttles, and still continues in that business.
&/2? Father & Mother
William Clark, born April 1791, my father, was 5 feet 8 in his stock soles weighed 200 lb. was portly & well bult, of a fresh and ruddy face, I am sorry I have no likeness of father to give you. He had received but a limited education, but improved himself afterwards. He was well posted in theology, was extremely fond of reading church history. He was of a kind heart & of a quick_firy temperament. He keep up family worship night & morning & catechism on Sab evenings. Kept the Sabbath very strictly. Was regular? a joy? to church and church duties and was liberal thru? means?. He had his faults, but it becomes me to throw the mantle of charity over them. He was elected & ordained an elder at Roberton_Free?_ch. . He was a conscientious & honest tradesman(?), & would rather wrong himself than his employer. He was very fond of
fish salmon in the waters. Was a good swimmer famous for stiltz? . He was a good singer. Precentor for many gatherings/ in the church.——-died a haply death June 30, 1858 age 67.2 ( penned in – Read the letter that tells of his death & how he died.
Jean Armstrong, born Nov. 1796, my Mother, was about medium size & slender of a meek & contenteed disposition, has a very thorough acquaintance with the scriptures.
( penned in – You can see her likeness in the family album-) The Bible was her only school book. Remarkable for her strong faith-alone__as if she lived in the sunshine_of Gods. countenance all the day without any doubt & disturb or clamor & dark her ______vision-she lived happily & contented with her daughter.
(p. 4 of biog.)
birth & birth place
born Dec.4 1831. I was called James Armstrong for grandfather. I hope I may be like him in remarkable scrip knowledge ________piety & mankind integrity & moral worth & weight of character— was the youngest of the family baptized by A. Thorman. E Bank House of which father & mother were members. The place of my birth was in a cottage house at in the house nearest the Mill Betty _____ Highchester Mills, 3 miles to the west of Hawick on the B__thwick water, ( penned in – we live one year in the other house next to road) in the parish of Robertson— Two houses stand together on the top of the 1st bank overlooking the mill. One story ( penned in – _____in the ____side) high with one large room & ben closet. With an old fashion ___ clay chimney & a thatched roof. Robertson parish is in Roxburghshire, one of the bortder counties in the south of Scotland. Famous for it(s) green pastures for sheep and its valley for agriculture. It is hilly but no hills ___ not so high nor steep not the s_____so stormy as further north.
About the age of 3 or 4 I remember distinctly the nearest neighbors. Alagio Hart of ___, 1 chest, & Yong G of the Mill & distinctly remember the funeral day of Old Goerge & seeing the company. ( penned in – __ ____ with Annie George & ____Heldn & _________, an ________ _____ ___the Laird of Cockpen-)
I remember Sister Betty family furning family worship at prayer. ( penned in – Rem Mrs. Harts kindmen to father. It is well to have fried at Court) I could not be more than 5 or 6 when we remove to Harden Cottage when my recollection brought up & I can recolled all the pro_______ (penned in – _____ ____ grumflowers in the garden, when lost our mow in mist, Mother put in _________) (penned in – H____are lived to tell about)
School and School Master
1838 went to Robertson school, over two miles –I can go overin image the wood yet, Can see everyt crook and turn rise in hollow, rough or smooth of the whole way ( between 6 & 7 beforeI went to school could sy all my letter & commenced to spell in two ______ ___ in joy to school – far from school, & ______ ____ & go with_____ dull ( penned in – thought to be) notable & learn much, – our school was at Robertsonon the
Barwick waters, about 5 miles west of Harwick. The schoolwas one large recitation room with a porch & the school masters’s house was joined to it. The play ground was about_____ _____with a help on 3 sides & a st____dykes on the others. The school master had a garden ____–the g_______ ____ generally in summer ______ buttons on f/ball. Or s____ to hunt fox & we had 40 to 50 schollars in summer & from 60 to 80 in winter. The br_______ of education were the Bible & the Catechism Common English branches- read writing geogemetry arithmetic, History & Gerometry. Mathematics Latine & Greek. The New testament & old Tesament classes were prominment in the school. All committeda Psalm and Park________& the shorter catechism. & the sa_______f______ ______were special _______ ____ the catechism the scriptures & Religious instruction –( penned in – List of School Book, Tippanny or Primary ___)+++teacher was Mr. Thomas Anderson, a small nervour gentlement, bery touchy, and very _______and the _____on such as how not got _____ ______ _____ ______–
He is teaching them to this day.
(page 5 of biog)
Introduction to work
At Harden Cottage we kept only one cow (penned in – lost the cow in a mist) a Mully – & one or two pigs and a few chickens (penned in – Our meal in Scotland what we got) I have frequently to g____ eh evenings & buy them. In the summer work at howing potatoes. We about acre of land and the h ____ ___ was planted in ______, a gardeb before the _____ ____ grew ___________k & Curlies? _____ reg_____frequent work- & the working at the ______ at ________& _______ h___ for the cow & _____likes.
away from Home. I would frequently go to gall_____ stores? With m_______fo b____of the field at Harden & to T____________ at 10 pennies a doz. Then turn ______ at Harden. I help in the harvest. (penned in – Jamie Graham went to Harwick every Thursday and came home _____ _____ ______ fast a Minie his man could carry him & to what every side he ____ _____. The mare could carry him & to whatever side he was sw______. The Mare ____ expression when ____V _____ _____ ____back door.)
1845 May 1 at 13 years & 5 months I hired to be a shepherd boy at L_________with Wm Hall ___the hers of William _______. Wm Hall was __________ the back. ________depend the work & cam of 45 or 50 s_____of sheep___ Wm Hill’s were very step & high to go __________ was about 15 miles.a day. The sheep & lambs p__________. Mr. ______ was a large farmer. There was from 140 to 150 sc______ of S___________ th____ ______. He had also____ f_____Penchrist. M_______. Bring hill- the latter place was his_____ _______ ___- besides the sheep – we had to workat peats – & hay in the summers – he had a weeks clipping – for 10 to 15hands & 2 weeks of b_______ Father & I often ______ a great deal of work for this farm.
1845 Nov 22 about 16 years old I had to __ be a ______man at________, Sprout of Riddles is a large ______ a propector. He had a large establishement & had coach horses
& _______z horses & draught & farm horses – had a great many servents. Mr. Joh Scott ___ ____ his servants . L_____a ++++++++heard & I was ______to d________while _______todo little jobs – have cut wood from the saw mill & the kitchen—ran errands with h_________ cust. Have turnip? For the sheep-
1846 June 1 To _________ with Father to the ______ ______ to build stone dykes & houses & offices.—-The first work we had was to repair the cottages at HilchesterMill, where I was born – Fahtat & I did most of the workourselves. I remember of si_____sand & mixing limes –The _____we repaired the milk house at the Mill _______ _____ ____. Then we went and built mew offices at Roberton Manse – that is stable_____? W\raw. ______ house word & _____house with hay & grain barn above (penned in – The _______ were John & Frank G_____lock. Father & I with ______ to two men & se____ s with ____ ____)______then two plans we brought til Nov. 26. I went to school in the winter – at Roverton –
May 15 1847 We were enjoyed in build(ing) a coach house & other offices at Brothwich shiels – the Establishmen of Major G_____ Pott. The S________ look? Were brothers, Alex young serv______ _____-
During the summer we also overcast & white washed the Kirk at Roberton & repaired it inside,- I went two weeks to harvest at Howcl_______
June 29 I was riddly? Sand and preparing for building a wall at Hardick?_____bridge. In? _____ of July we were copping the sheep fold of Milsentin & the rest of the
Minth____ buildings & the wall at Harden _____ _______.
(p. 6 of biog.)
July & August Built Bridge in the railwad between Hawick & Ed_______
Sept. 4 This month we were building at Woodburn-
Nov 4 Built a Court wall at Tad__________-
I went to school during the winter season-
During 1848 & 1849 I do not rember the order of events – About this time. But we built a new office at Brieryhill – a pretty ____building. Cattle stables & cattle sh____ etc, we also built a large cont_____ of dyke this same place, during the winters went to school –
1850 – Spring we sent to white wash overcast plaster at Linhope?. Made some repairs – Here also we built a large amount of storm dykes. Then we went to Brieyhill to build a Court wall & paved the court.
1850 October I went to the M______school End. ___ ___ I say _____after ______ ___ educate-
1851 built sheep fold & dykes around a small part at at Lampdade? ______ John Rae- Where mother was born & brot up- also at Sik______ repaired dykes around _____park-
1851 Oct I went to teach at the F. Ch. _______- during vacation 1852 built with Father at Moss_____ ___ dyke around a large field.
During vation of 1853 built with Father at La_side & penchrist. The may ____ my ____
of manual work for the present. I built during the summers of 188.8.131.52.50.51 and 6 or 8 weeks of a cation during the summers of 52 & 53. Wages – Father charged very modestly when we work __the dayHe charged 2 shillings for each ______ & board? By the piece we made 3 or 4 shillings a day & boarded ourselves – at the Railway bridge we
pere paid 20-21 shillings a week apiece — —– It would not be fair? Me to say that I was a good workman &knew my trade,- I worked at the trade in summers to get the means to go to school in the winter, & the having of my mind? Of _____& preparing for my life work was the great object in view –
I did not go to school early. Nor could I get ______there 3 or 4 full years – after this the summers were generally apent in work & the winters in schooling – But I learned a great deal even when I was work(ing) in the summer. I studied sometime all the time & read. (penned in – I studied stenography – I wrote several _____- of which the folloing is a sample. ) half at least of my education ____be said & be self cultiv(ated. ( penned in –
Was ____ of writing letter of which ___may see some sill ____among my papers) After going this McCullough course of Rend________ & Scottish school book association so_______ I study at school & at H_____ Lennies grammars ( penned in – see the series in some of my boo__) read several as Mil____ & Hllens_____
( p. 7 of biog.)
I studied Bonnicastes? Geometry, then Ingrams c_____system of Mathematics & then pracice _____geometry. Trig. M___of solid cosmic s__tions. It had 520 pages & 340 sood cuts. I studied in A__thMent? Grays book, then Hutton & Ingrams Trotter which alsocontained Bookkeeping then the complete system of the Scottish school book association. I wrote out all the questions ___ ______all the c_____in a cor____book for future ref- Science. Chambers introduction to the sciences-
History. Chambers History of the British Empire – History of the English language & literture,-
Geography 1 the y____child geography. The outlines of Geography – then complete system of Modern geography – all by the Scottish school book association-
Latin. I commenced the latin myself & studies the rudiments from _____oldgrammer of Latin & English. Wh(ich I gotfrom Cousin David Baby_t___, and commenced to read in a Delectius/ from Robert Robertson,- after I could translate I recited to Rev. Joh Dow, who boards at my father’s house forsome time. Read ____essi Collogium, Hesop’s Fables by Phacdric . N____Intro D____ read Cornilius Nep___Caesars_____ & Virgils B______ G_______ & 3 or 4 of the Enands & Sallust, Catilin___. I had read them before I went to Edin(burgh). I read Virgil to Joh Dow in the mornings before I went away to work, and Sallust to Mc Crindle—I read Cornilius Nepes to Thomas Anderson? I went to Edinburgh October 1855- got boarding at Mrs. Crom_____A m_____place where I stayed 2 weeks. I got a room ______ to strand near Holy road castle, Mrs. Ross, where Malcholm Scoodie? And I provided for our se4lves and Mrs.____ _____cooked for us. I got potatoes & butter from Home. So we got in very cheaply. (penned in – Connecer with certif. With Dr. Candlish but frequesntly heard Dr.. Guthrie. ) _____ ____
The Normal School I studied the Higher ______hes of the English _________, Studies Whites Universal History. (penned in – (when to queen came to Edin – did not go out to see here, so intensily devoted to study) Reading in ref to ______tion, – geography Generdismes or Sullivan, had Lectures in the sciences – In classes read Virgil, then Levy. & was introduced to the Greek. Hence we use the Eden’s Acadamy’s Latin & Greek Grammar as textbook — I got an introduction to music & studied the Bible Companiaon – got a little insight to the scene of teaching (penned in -Regarding the fables & the heather literature of the classic unfit for Chr(istian) boys –) During the semester? At Edin. I wrote several Essays of which you may sill find them following forserver? Great Exhibition of 51. The Queen Visited it a ____________. Executive Emigration Learning. Honesty. Advantages of _______. In Oct. 1851 went to teach school at Y______, at the call of Rev McCrindler? & School directors – taught two years & a half- Boarded with Robert & Ann Turnbull (penned in – room at 2/6 _____ck with coal & milk) & a few month(s) with Rev. McCridler at the M______-received the tuitions fees & 12 from Deacons Court. Had 75 to 100 scholars in winter & 40 to 50 in summer.
(p. 8 of biog.)
taught the Common tranches?, – the Catechism & the Bible of so_____had a prominent part.- The Bible class became very expert in the historical parts of the Bible & were not afraid to tackle Ministers & prof(essors on some of the facts, we went 3 times thro the Hist(orical) parts & had committed the greater part of the poetical. We taught shorter catech(ism) with ________ _____ & ________ str____thers application,- (Wages (sign for pounds) 8 for the summer (sign for pounds ) 10 for the winter
15 from the Deacons Court
6 from School Maters Fund
3 from _____ _________
During the two years & a half I taught a y________fe____. I studied all I could in preparing myself for further ____ ________. I recited Latin to Rev. McCrindle in the mornings but I had not a great deal of time, for I prepared every lesson I taught in the school. Had it perfect myself & full of it. Then I taught the Bible class in the Sabbath school, & gave an address oversSabbath in a review of the lesson, a good many of these Review addresses you will find amony my papers. I precentor in the church – visited sick persons & prayed with ehem, collected missionary money & made myself generally useful – We had any annerversay of the Sabbath school every winter. They called it a service at which I made addresses — You can read the, there are 4 & a Lecture on learning from the Temperance?—Here I got an insight into Human Nature.- & commenced to learn how to teach- It does not become me to say that I excelled in my profession as a teacher, as self praise is not commendation – but I will present you with copies of certificates from others to shew you what they thought of my teaching of my social moral & regious character—
I went to the Sob school perhaps two summers____. O had committed most of the Psalms& all f the Pharagrphs of the Shorter Catechism at Common school. I committed at Sob. The sermon on the Mount, the Parables the song of Solomon & some part of the epistles — The Church wa 2 ½ to 3 miles from us. We attended regularly. About 1846 or there about I was madmitted to the Communion. It was Fathers custom to make us take part in family worship. & by the time I wa 16 or 18 I was leading in prayer meetings held from house to house where we lived — ____ _____ recol I was _________ approved & the evil ha bit of smoking , snuffing, drinking, intro______ & ________abstenance, even to tea & coffee. & I may say these good sisters? His ______with my ______strength with my ______. & ____ ;pleased to give me a f_____delicate senesitivenss against evil companion or rough & vulgar people —–All this time the office of the Ministry loomed up in life _____before me in a very desirable _______ mist, but the want of means around?up a dark cloud obscuring it all. But then appears the desire to do my best, & make myself ______in the work & if prob_____open up to way regard(ing) the means ___ ___ ____as far as ab_____ ___ per mit. Inducements & offer and sometimes to help out to me of I____go over to Kirk as got in the favor of the rich – but my
(page 11 of biog.)
principles were to firm to be sacrificed at the shrine of self interest – I had studied the Westminster Confession with the assistance of Fisher & Watsons explanation & read most of Fathers old books. The marrow of modern divinigy – Baxter & Erskin works. Bates Doct.___Henry. Books which boys think ___ dry & dull to read now. I wrote out a soleman for dedication ____ ____with resolveas the _____of Ch life—I have sign(ed) the form of several _____of my life freely conscious _____that I have come far short of these good resol(ves).——
Emigrated to the States. After making up my mind to go ovt to the U States. I told Father & Mother whose consent I obtained. Father had no objection that were not insurmountable tho it was a trial to him Mother gave her consent – the m____readily when she knew it was in? my intent to take a wife along, Helen my sister stayed with father & mother tell after Father’s death which occurred June 3oth 1858. I got the new that summer. I was preaching a protration in Prospect. After making some preparation in securing a teacher as successor in F_____school _____ in making any temporal preparation for the ____ & _____. I was married to Margaret Scott daughter of Walter Scott of Catlockburn of Y_______ on 24 April 1854. On Friday the 5 of May W with my wife left Muslen where Father & Mother & sister then lived. On Tuesday the 9 left Liverpool in the Manchester, with 8000 others of all nationality& on Friday 26 reached Philadelphia U. States. Boarded a few weeks with my brother Walter
(p. 12 of biog)
on 6 June commenced to teach Book keeping ______ Mercantile calcul____ at 182 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, first with Prof J.R. Hayes, shortly after I bot out his good will
& interest in the establishment for $400 & conducted the establishment myself– This was the year of the great drought & times were very dull, And I made but little. I bot a
house No. 11 M______st. Phil to which we removed after a few week(s) boarding at Brother.
Having secured Mr. James Fletcher as my successor. I left Z_______in April 1856. –Reason _______ _____ I had _____ & migratd to the United States,- Bro Will____had sailed to the states several years before this in June 7, 1847. He frequently corresponded with me. & told me what a very large field of usefulness was opened there in the States for the Minister,- Many? Opportunities for rising in any & every profession –
Moral & religious
Father & Mother were members of the East Bank Congregation Hawick in connection with the Associate Chruch, frequently called secession – or seceders. Rev. Andrew Thomson was the minister
(page 9 ob biog.)
of the church. Grandfather James Armstrong was and elder & James Burnet? & wifer are now members. It was Rev. Thompson that baptized me. He also ferformed my marriage ceremony – Father worship was regularly kept up in Father’s home. ( penned in – Sung 121 PS. 28 ch____ of Gen & prayer __ _____ that moring I went to Edinburgh) I ____Sabbath evenings was the regular farm? Of Catyechcising in the use of the shorter Catechism. I/& had religious impressions & dispositions at an earlyage especially do I remember this was the case when I was 12 years of age. At 13 & 14 I had taken sides with the Calvinists docs against the _______ & made a fair offer in argument on _____the 5 points. I had not concluded my 12 year when the Disruption of the Established Kirk took place & the great church question of p_______ & _____partronage was _____discussed everywhere. I soo took sides against the establishment for selling _______ without the consent of the ____ for the interference of the civil Courts in the int__________ of the ch and in the attempt to exclude all who were setted in Chapels of caase? Of _____ the will of the people ____from a seat in ch courts.
When a Free church was established in our neighborhood, Father & Mother became members. Father was selected an elder, after various ____pplies- John Dow was selled as _____pastor. At ___ ____ Roberton, & as he was an old batchelor he boarded for several year in our family & this gave me an opportunity to read to him Lat, while working at my trade. He was a find scholar – a substantial preacher but a
(p. 10 of biog.)