Early Training

Early Training

The subject of this narrative sprung from parents of this race — parents who had drunk deep of the spirit of true religion. Though many of the emigrants who settled along the frontiers of South Carolina between 1765 and 1760 were reduced to select this position from a desire of peace, they were not permitted to enjoy the desired boon. They soon felt the horrors of an Indian war. The earliest recollection of Major McJunkin was in regard to things which occurred during his father’s absence from home for the protection of the frontiers. His mother prayed with him and her other children during his father’s absence and these prayers were the first things of which he had any recollection. During the period of childhood and youth he did not enjoy the stated means of grace. The Presbyterian population in a large section of country round about were dependent upon ministers of the Gospel at a distance for supplies. These supplies were ordered at meetings of presbytery, when pastors, with the consent of their congregations, agreed to spend a certain number of weeks in traveling for the supply of destitute churches and neighborhoods. They also sent out missionaries when men of suitable qualifications could be obtained. Pious people often met in those days on the Sabbath, sang and prayed together, read the Scriptures, sermons, &c. Family religion was diligently attended to. Children and servants were instructed in the doctrines and duties of religion. A rigid discipline was maintained in the family, especially so in regard to a proper observance of the Sabbath. So that although our hero received but little of the benefits of the services of the school master and minister during the period of minority, yet the foundation of a religious education was laid deep in his nature. These instructions had an abiding influence and doubtless had much to do with the actions of his subsequent life.

I have seen it stated that at the commencement of the Revolutionary War a majority of the people residing between the Broad and Saluda Rivers were Loyalists. The reason was not given by the writer, but from the statements of Major McJunkin I am of the opinion that it was owing mainly to the influence of Col. Fletcher, who resided on Fairforest at the place now known as McBeth’s Mills. This Fletcher held a Colonel’s commission under the Royal Government prior to the suspension of that Government in the Province of South Carolina. He was a man of influence among the people, had many friends, and when a commission was tendered him by the Republican Party in the State he refused it and exerted his influence among the people to induce them to continue their allegiance to the crown. At this period Samuel McJunkin, his relatives and friends, were prominent in the Liberty Party.