Beauchamp, William an early and distinguished Methodist Episcopal minister. He was born in Kent County, Del., April 26, 1772; joined the M. E. Church about 1788. In 1790 he taught a school at Monongahela, Va., began to preach in 1791, and in 1793 he traveled under the presiding elder. In 1794 he joined the itinerancy; and in 1797 he was stationed in New York, and in 1798 in Boston. In 1801 he located, from ill health, and married Mrs. Russel, "one of the most excellent of women." In 1807 he settled on the Little Kenawha, Va. Here he preached with great success until 1815, when he removed to Chilicothe, Ohio, to act as editor of the Western Christian Monitor, which he conducted "with conspicuous ability," preaching meantime "with eminent success." In 1817 he removed to Mount Carmel, Ill., and engaged in founding a settlement, in every detail of which, civil, economical, and mechanical, his genius was pre-eminent. He was pastor, teacher, lawyer, and engineer. In 1822 he re-entered the itinerancy, in the Missouri Conference; "in 1823, was appointed presiding elder on Indiana District," then embracing nearly the whole state. In 1824 he was a delegate to the General Conference at Baltimore, "and lacked but two votes of an election to the episcopacy" by that body. He died at Paoli, Orange County, Ind., Oct. 7th, 1824. By diligent study, often pursued by torchlight in his frontier life, he made himself master of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. "His preaching was chaste and dignified, logical, and sometimes of overpowering force." He possessed a great and organizing mind, and a peculiar and almost universal genius, and, with adequate advantages for study, would certainly have influenced widely the history of this country. His Essays on the Truth
of the Christian Religion is "a work of decided merit." His Letters on the Itinerancy, with a memoir by Bishop Soule, were published after his death, and he left several fine MSS., which remain unpublished. — Minutes of Conferences, 1, 474; Methodist Magazine, 1825; Stevens, Memorials of Methodism, 1, ch. 29; Sprague, Annals, 7, 235.