Grave Site of Reverend Samuel Doak (1749-1829)
On 25 September 1780, a great muster of militia was held, including forces from Washington and Sullivan Counties TN; these counties were then still a part North Carolina. To this group was added several hundred militia from Washington County, Virginia. The purpose of the muster was to form an army that would cross the mountains to do combat with a SC Loyalist militia force commanded by British Major Patrick Ferguson. The resulting battle would be known to history as the Battle of Kings Mountain and would be fought on 07 October 1780.
On 26 September 1780, just prior to its departure for South Carolina. the army was given a sermon and prayer by the local Presbyterian minister, the Reverend Samuel Doak (1749-1829). This sermon and prayer have become very famous elements in the folklore of the Revolution.
After the Revolution, Doak became famous in his own right. He was the founder of the Salem Presbyterian Church and, in 1780 at the same site, he founded an institution for higher education that is today known as Washington College. This college was chartered by the State of North Carolina in 1784 and was the first such institution of higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains. Reverend Doak is buried on the campus, near the top of the hill that is now the Salem Church Cemetery.
Washington College is located in Washington County TN a few miles southwest of Jonesborough, on TN Old State Road 34. The photos shown below were taken by Phil Norfleet in September 2000.
Washington College Marker Stone.
Washington College Marker Stone Inscription.
View of Salem Church Cemetery from Washington College. Reverend Doak's Grave Monument is visible near the upper center of the photograph.
Another view of the Salem Church Cemetery; one of the Washington College buildings is visible near the top of the photograph.
Reverend Samuel Doak's Grave Monument.
Inscription on Samuel Doak's Grave Monument.