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March 10, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Rev. Poindexter Patteson Smith

Slate River Ramblings_P.P. Smith

Monument to Elder Poindexter P. Smith (1793-1845)

Fork Union Baptist Church Cemetery, Fluvanna County, Virginia

Courtesy Find a Grave

In the early 1820s, Baptist minister Rev. Poindexter Patteson Smith was ordained and devoted himself to churches in Buckingham, Fluvanna, and Cumberland counties.  They included Mulberry Grove and Buckingham Baptist.  Each month, he traveled eighty miles on horseback to serve his congregations.  He was pastor of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church from 1835 to 1845, the year of his death.

In 1840, Rev. Smith conducted a school in northeastern Buckingham County.  That year he enrolled fifteen scholars; his neighbor, Elijah G. Hanes, taught thirty-eight pupils at nearby Humanity Hall Academy.

Rev. Smith came late to his own education.  According to biographer James Barnett Taylor:

Having entered the ministry, and being conscious of the deficiency of his early education, he connected himself with a school in the vicinity of his residence, devoting himself chiefly to the study of English grammar.  He afterwards taught school. . . . The need of due preparation for the work of preaching the gospel was felt. “I would recommend,” he afterwards said, “all young ministers to strain every point to obtain a good education.  I speak from a knowledge of the want of it.”

Was Rev. Smith an adult pupil of Elijah G. Hanes at Humanity Hall Academy?  It was certainly in “the vicinity” of Smith’s Buckingham farm.

If a Slate River Ramblings reader knows more about Rev. Smith’s school and/or his education, please comment.


Leave a Comment
  1. Alice Owens / Mar 10 2014 11:06 am

    I so enjoy reading every word that you submit. I have searched and have not found the answer, so will ask you…Is there a way to search your “Ramblings” for a specific word/name? I had saved or thought I saved information on Rev. Spencer, that I thought came from one of your issues. Now I can’t locate it on my computer. Thanks so much.
    Cuz Alice over in Fluvanna

    • Joanne Yeck / Mar 10 2014 11:30 am

      Coz. Alice,

      Good to hear from you. I was happy to include Fluvanna County in today’s post about my kinsman Rev. Smith. Here is the link for the post about Rev. John Spencer:

      On any page of Slate River Ramblings, just scroll down and you’ll see the search box in the right-hand column. Try putting Spencer in the box and you will find other posts mentioning him and the Spencer family. Let me know you are successful!



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