*Contributed by Sheila Cadwalader.

PETER CARTWRIGHT

(Founder of the Cartwright Chapel in Hamilton Co., IL)
From: Perrin's 1884 History of Christian County, KY

          Peter Cartwright, the eccentric old Methodist preacher, a kind of second edition of Lorenzo Dow, was an early settler in Christian County, and lived near where the asylum now is.  His father came from Virginia to Logan County in 1793, and settled near the Tennessee line.  After Peter became a minister he settled near Hopkinsville, where he lived until his removal to Illinois.  He is so well known, and there has been so much written about him that it would almost seem superfluous to say anything of him in this chapter.  A few words, however, may not be wholly uninteresting.  He belonged to that old school of pioneer ministers, whose sermons were measured by their length, and the brimstone odor of the awful thunderbolts they let fly at the heads of the poor frightened, credulous congregations.  Mr. Cartwright was a God fearing, good man in his way, but could picture hell so vividly that the startled sinner in his imagination could see the fiery billows roll along, one after another, hear the ponderous iron doors open and creak upon their rusty hinges, and the rusty bolts slide back and forth as the lost and doomed were shut into the seething lake of burning brimstone.  Among other things written of him is the following: "Mr. Cartwright belonged to the Church militant, fought gallantly for his religious dogmas, and had the rare good fortune to conquer in all his battles.  Baptists, Reformers, Unitarians, New Lights, Universalists, Mormons and Shakers, all fell under the blows of his battle-ax.  Nor did it fare better with the blackguards, ruffians and rowdies that hung around his camp-meeting.  They, too, sooner or later, were doomed to come to grief.  He did not see the necessity of theological schools and an education ministry, since, to use his own words, 'God, when He wants a great and learned man, can easily overtake some learned sinner, shake him awhile over hell, as He did Saul or Tarsus, knock the scales from his eyes, and without any previous theological training, send him to preach Christ and the Resurrection.'  A powerful  conviction and a sound conversion were held in high estimation by him, and these might be begun and finished in a few hours, where the good work was progressing with energy and power."

Peter Cartwright finally removed to Illinois on account of his views upon the question of slavery.  He there lived out a long and useful life devoted to the cause of his Master.  He died only a few years ao, and calmly sleeps amid the scenes of his earthly labors.  Requiescat in pace.

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