Morgan, Nicholas J B, Dd
Morgan, Nicholas J. B., D.D.
a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church of some note, was born in Bath County, Virginia, November 23, 1811. He was the oldest son of the Rev. Gerald Morgan, also a preacher of the same body, who died in March, 1846, closing a forty years' ministerial service of honor and usefulness long to be remembered among those for whom he labored. Nicholas's early educational advantages were secured at the common school, and under private tutorship at Harrisonburg, whither his parents removed when he was ten years old. He was converted in 1825, and shortly after believed himself called to preach. He taught school a while to prepare for the work before entering upon it, and in 1829 was admitted into the Baltimore Conference, and appointed to the Fincastle Circuit. After this he successively served in this Conference as follows: in 1830, Pendleton; 1831, Liberty; 1832, Jefferson; 1833-34, Winchester Circuit; 1835-36, Warrenton; 1837, London; 1838-39, East Baltimore Station; 1840-41, Harper's Ferry; 1842-45, Rockingham District; 1846-47, Foundry, Washington City; 1848-50, Baltimore District; 1851-54, North Baltimore District; 1855-56, Fayette Street Station; 1857, Winchester Station; 1858-59, Baltimore City Station; 186061, Georgetown; 1862-65, Baltimore District; 1866-69, Washington District; 1870-71, Baltimore City Station; and in 1872, First Charge, Annapolis. On the morning of his second Sabbath (March 24) in this charge he was taken with a chill while preaching. This resulted in pneumonia, and he died April 6, 1872, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. From this list of appointments it is apparent that Dr. Morgan was deemed fitted to fill the best stations in the Conference, and nineteen years out of the forty-three in which he preached he had the honor to be presiding elder, and in length of service in this office was exceeded only by Peter Cartwright. The esteem in which he was held by his ministerial brethren is best judged when it is knowu that he was regularly chosen to represent them in the highest ecclesiastical council of the Church. He was elected to the General Conference in 1844, and to every succeeding one but the last, to which he declined an election. On account of ill-health, he did not attend the session of 1868. Dr. Morgan certainly lived in an eventful period of Methodism. He had some knowledge of the agitation that produced the Methodist Protestant Church, and was an actor in the scenes through which the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, came into being. Though his district in 1844 was in Virginia, and literally upon the border, he stood by the Methodist Episcopal Church. and the Church South met with but little success in its bounds during his term upon it. It is true that while in General Conference in 1844 he voted for the so-called plan of separation, a step which he afterwards regretted, yet to his fidelity may largely be attributed the adherence of nearly that whole section to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In the great trouble which came to his Conference from the action of the General Conference of 1860, incorporating a new chapter in the Discipline against slavery, he stood faithfully for the Northern Church, and led the minority of the Baltimore Conference in 1860-61 opposed to the efforts made to take the Conference from under the jurisdiction of the Church; though, notwithstanding his efforts, it resulted in the secession of a number of preachers and a large number of members from it to the Church South. But for the efforts of himself, his brother, Dr. L.F. Morgan, and a few others, very little of the old Baltimore Conference would have remained in the Northern Church. Like a true man and patriot, Virginian though he was he stood by the government in the dark days of the Rebellion. He was antislavery in his convictions, Methodistic in doctrine, experience, and practice. All in all, Dr. Morgan's career was not that of a brilliant man, but rather that of a faithful and devoted man, endowed with more than ordinary capacity for work, and born to be a leader of his associates. " With strong intellectual endowments, there were blended in him those stanch moral qualities which made him the man he was. Mental power and moral force characterized him in the pulpit and on the Conference floor. As a preacher, he was a man of one work. To this he gave the study of life." See Minutes of Annual Conferences, 1873, page 2830; Dr. M'Cauley, in New York Methodist, May 18, 1872.