The Blind Preacher of Virginia

For your Lord's Day afternoon or evening pleasure, consider the latest addition to the Log College Press site: James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859)'s biography of his grandfather and namesake, James Waddel (1739-1805), also known as "the blind preacher of Virginia." Born in Ireland, he came to Virginia, was mentored by Samuel Davies (1723-1761), and would become renowned for his oratorical skills as a preacher (Patrick Henry and James Madison both spoke of his preaching eloquence in the highest possible terms), despite going blind at the age of 48. William Wirt's fictional Letters of a British Spy (1803) described him in largely non-fictional terms. Alexander talks about Wirt in his memoir, from which we learn that, if anything, Wirt underplayed the blind preacher's eloquence. Waddel preached throughout central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, and left his mark on the early American Presbyterian church, as well as in the remarkable family legacy of faithful ministers (it was his daughter Janetta Waddel who married Archibald Alexander (1772-1851), whose children include ministers such as J.W. Alexander, Joseph Addison Alexander (1809-1860), and Samuel Davies Alexander (1819-1894); and William Cowper Alexander (1806-1874), and Henry Martyn Alexander (1822-1899)). The life of "the blind preacher of Virginia," who left such an impression on so many of his hearers, is a story worth reading on the Lord's Day afternoon, or to be downloaded and saved for later