Bewley, Anthony

Bewley, Anthony one of the Methodist antislavery martyrs of America, was born in Tennessee, May 22, 1804. In 1829 he was admitted on trial for the Methodist ministry in the Tennessee Conference, and in 1843 he entered the Missouri Conference. On the division of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1844 on the slavery question, Mr. Bewley refused to join the Missouri Conference in its secession, and preached for several years independently, supporting himself and his family by the labor of his own hands. Other preachers, faithful to the Church, gathered about him, and he was, by common consent, their "presiding elder." In 1848 the Methodist Episcopal Church in Missouri was reorganized, and Mr. Bewley entered its service. Persecution of the "abolitionist" preachers sprang up every where in the South-west, fomented by politicians of the slaveholding class. But Mr. Bewley held on his way, and in 1858 was appointed to Texas. He was compelled by violence to leave his work, but returned to it in 1860. His friends sought to dissuade him, but his reply was to all, "Let them hang or burn me on my return if they choose, hundreds will rise up out of my ashes." Accordingly he and his family, including his two sons-in-law, one of whom lived in Kansas and the other in Missouri, returned to Texas. Within a few weeks an increased excitement broke out, when he was threatened anew by the people, and he concluded to leave Texas, believing he could do no good there; for, as mob law had been established by the Legislature, he remembered the injunction of our Lord, "When they persecute you in one city, flee to another." After his departure a reward of $1000 was offered for his capture. He was taken in Missouri in September, 1860, and carried back to Texas, and hanged on a tree at Fort Worth by the mob, on Sept. 13, 1860. — Methodist Quarterly Review, Oct. 1863, p. 626.

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