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Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

William Bullein Johnson

1782 - 1862

 
 
William Bullein Johnson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ronald Miller, August 18, 2008
1. William Bullein Johnson Marker
Inscription.
President of Triennial Southern, South Carolina Baptist Conventions. Johnson Female University founded here in 1848 as Johnson Female Seminary was named for him because of his support for female education. From 1853 to 1858, while Chancellor of this institution, he lived in the house at the south end of this street. His grave is in First Baptist Churchyard.
 
Erected 1970 by First Baptist Church. (Marker Number 4-12.)
 
Location. 34° 30.14′ N, 82° 38.803′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on South Manning Street near East Church Street, on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 307 South Manning Street, Anderson SC 29624, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A Living Tribute (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Baptist Church Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); G. Ross Anderson Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Law Watkins (about 700 feet away); Masonic Temple -- 1889
William Bullein Johnson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
2. William Bullein Johnson Marker
(about 700 feet away); G.F. Tolly Building -- c. 1910 (about 700 feet away); St. John's Methodist Church (about 700 feet away); In Commemoration of Black Pioneers (about 700 feet away); Portman Shoals (about 800 feet away); Portman Dam and Power Plant (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The First Baptist Church of Edgefield, a church pastored by William B. Johnson.
 
Also see . . .
1. History of Anderson First Baptist Church. "On the grounds of the present church office building, formerly the church parsonage, stood Johnson Female Seminary. It was organized in 1848, and named for Dr. William B. Johnson, the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention." (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. William Bullein Johnson. South Carolina Baptist leader and first president of the Southern Baptist Convention. (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. William Bullein Johnson. William Bullein Johnson (13
William Bullein Johnson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ronald Miller, August 18, 2008
3. William Bullein Johnson Marker
June 1782 - 2 October 1862) was one of the founders of the South Carolina State Baptist Convention in 1821, and later was the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1845 to 1851. (Submitted on September 25, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. William Bullein Johnson, An Advocate of the Priesthood for Believers. pdf file containing much biographical information on Johnson. (Submitted on September 25, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a United States-based, mostly conservative Christian denomination. (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

6. Triennial Convention. The Triennial Convention was the first national Baptist denomination in the United States of America. (Submitted on November 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

7. Anderson Historic District. Located at 220 E. Morris St, Anderson, SC, the Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage was home to Dr. William Bullein Johnson and is one of the contributing properties in the district. (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

8. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage. The Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage was built ca. 1851 by Nancy M. Caldwell. (Submitted on October 5, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

9. First Baptist Church of Edgefield, South Carolina
Sketch of William Bullein Johnson image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Reneau de Beauchamp
4. Sketch of William Bullein Johnson
. It was while he was pastoring at this church that Dr. Johnson broke away from the General Baptist Convention and formed the Southern Baptist Convention. (Submitted on August 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

10. First Baptist Church of Greenville, South Carolina. Organized by William Wullein Johnson. (Submitted on November 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

11. Pilgrims Through the Years: The Bicentennial of First Baptist Church, Savannah, Georgia. Portion of the history of the church that covers the troubling three years Johnson was pastor. (Submitted on November 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

12. A Church of Christ. A sermon delivered by Johnson September 22, 1844 at Gilead Meeting House, Union Dist., South Carolina. (Submitted on November 19, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage
A "Columbia Cottage," this home was erected c. 1851 and in 1853 became the home of Dr. William B. Johnson. He was president of the female academy, later to become Johnson University, of which he was chancellor. Long a Baptist leader, he was the first president of the Southern Baptist Convention. (Source: Anderson Historic District National Register nomination
William Bullein Johnson<br>1782-1862 image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of Reneau de Beauchamp
5. William Bullein Johnson
1782-1862
form.)
    — Submitted September 26, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage
Built c. 1851, by Nancy M. Caldwell, the Johnson-Morris Cottage is a perfect example of the "raised cottage" genera of houses which were built extensively in the 19th century.

One-story, raised brick basement elevates house and gives effect of a two-story dwelling. Facade has high wooden steps which land to pedimented portico on main floor level. This central portico is supported by four, square columns and enclosed with balustrade. Entrance, flanked by four-pane sidelights, has six-pane transom above. Located on either side of portico is a pair of nine-over-nine sash windows with louver shutters. Two symmetrically spaced chimneys are set in medium gable roof.

Located on Morris Street, facing Manning Street, the house stand out for several blocks due to its situation as an "island" with access streets on all sides. Originally the house stood on a four-acre lot, however, the present lot is still quite spacious. Dimensions of present lot are 100 feet on the front, 101 feet on back and 164 feet along the sides.

Significance
The architecturally significant Johnson-Morris House is also important as the home of Dr. William Bullein
Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)<br>220 East Morris Street<br>North (Front) Facade image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
6. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)
220 East Morris Street
North (Front) Facade
Johnson, outstanding 19th century Baptist minister, leader, and pioneer in the area of female education.

In 1804 William Bullein Johnson, successful young lawyer of Beaufort, South Carolina, was caught up in the religious revival which swept through the area's Baptist churches. Following this spiritual experience, Johnson abandoned his law practice to serve as a Baptist minister throughout South Carolina. He was also chaplain for South Carolina College and pastor of the Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia.

Equally interested in nationwide Baptist activity, Dr. Johnson was credited by Luther Rice as having initiated the idea of the first Baptist Triennial Convention organized in Philadelphia in 1814. This convention was the first effort to unity the scattered, unorganized Baptists of America into one concerted drive for foreign missions and Baptist educational institutions. Johnson later became president of the Triennial Convention and remained an active member for 30 years.

Knowing that the Triennial Convention could not survive without organized support from Baptists within the individual states Johnson became a foremost advocate of the South Carolina Baptist Convention and served as its president from 1825-1853.

In 1845, the Triennial Convention met in Providence, hose Island to discuss the growing rift between Northern and Southern Baptists
Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)<br>Northeast Elevation image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
7. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)
Northeast Elevation
over the question of slavery. It was decided that the Southern Baptists should form a separate convention. Largely due to the leadership of William Bullein Johnson, the Southern Baptist Convention was founded in Augusta, Georgia in May 1845. Johnson was first president of the convention, serving from 1845-1849.

An alumnus of Brown University, Dr. Johnson was always aware of the educational needs of South Carolina, especially in the area of higher educational needs of South Carolina, especially in the area of higher education for women. In Greenville he served as principal of the city's two academies (male and female) from 1822 until 1830 when he began a twenty-two year career as principal of Edgefield Female Academy. In 1853, Dr. Johnson assumed the role of chancellor and teacher at Johnson Female University, Anderson, South Carolina, forerunner of today's Anderson College. Dr. Johnson held this position until his retirement in 1858.

The following statement concerning the house's architectural importance is by Dr. Harold N. Cooledge, Jr., College of Architecture, Clemson University:

"...the Johnson Morris House in Anderson, because of its total site, its relative completeness of fabric, the general soundness of that fabric and the relative ease with which it can be rehabilitated is probably the best standing example of mid-nineteenth residential architecture
Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)<br>North (Front) Portico image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
8. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage (ca. 1851)
North (Front) Portico
available for immediate consideration. That is not to say that it is a 'great' work; it is a good, vernacular work, and, for my part, that much more worth of preservation. We tent to concentrate on 'great' works far too frequently, and are, therefore, losing the much larger and more significant substratum of sound vernacular architecture -- of all periods -- which loss will be noticed, as a serious gap, in our material history some years hence. I sincerely hope that Johnson-Morris house can be preserved and restored, together with the upgrading of the surrounding neighborhood." (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted October 4, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

3. Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage, 220 E. Morris St.
The Caldwell-Johnson-Morris Cottage was built c. 1851 by Nancy M. Caldwell, a widow of a circuit judge. In 1853, she sold the home to Dr. William Bullein Johnson, a Baptist minister and educator who was credited for the founding of several churches and schools in South Carolina as well as being a pioneer in promoting the education of women. Dr. Johnson assumed the role of chancellor and teacher at Johnson Female University, the forerunner of Anderson University. In 1858 the home was sold again, this time to Mrs.
William Bullein Johnson Tombstone -<br>Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
9. William Bullein Johnson Tombstone -
Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery
Wm. B. Johnson
1782-1862

Preacher, Teacher Patriot, President
Tri-ennial, Southern and South Carolina
Baptist Conventions
Loyal to His Master
Honored by his Brethren
Loved by His Friends
Edward Morris and her four daughters, who were from Charleston. The Morris family occupied the home for seventy years. In 1974 the house was opened as a Museum and was converted into the Morris Street Tea Room in 1980. (Source: www.downtownandersonsc.com.)
    — Submitted October 5, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

4. Rev. William B. Johnson, D.D.
William Bullein Johnson was born at Georgetown, S.C., June 13, 1782. During his minority, he prosecuted studies with reference to the profession of law; but having, in the year 1803, removed to Beaufort, he became a subject of converting grace, and his life-purpose was changed. After his baptism by the Rev. Joseph B. Cook, the church at Beaufort called him to the public exercise of his gifts as a preacher of the gospel. About the year 1805, he was ordained as pastor of the Baptist Church at Euhaw. Subsequently, for the sake of better literary advantages, he removed to Columbia, where, in addition to studies with Dr. Maxcy, President of the South Carolina College, he was successful in organizing a Baptist Church. In 1811, he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Holcombe as pastor of the church in Savannah, Georgia. In 1823, he took charge of the Academy at Greenville, where, during eight years, he both taught and preached, being esteemed
William Bullein Johnson Tombstone - Reverse<br>Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, August 23, 2008
10. William Bullein Johnson Tombstone - Reverse
Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery
in both departments as a man of great ability and learning. In 1831, he accepted a call to the pastorate of the church at Edgefield Court-house, and, by invitation of the Trustees, assumed the office of Principal of the Female Academy at the same place. In that field of labor, through more than twenty years, the church prospered under his ministry, and his reputation as a teacher was of the highest order. His last years were spent in Greenville, where, October 2, 1862, he finished a life of faith in triumphant hope.

Dr. Johnson took an early interest in the cause of Christian Missions, and became an earnest co-worker with that noble pioneer, the Rev. Luther Rice. In 1841, he was elected President of the General Convention, then assembled in Baltimore. As a presiding officer, in various deliberative bodies, he was unsurpassed in dignity, moderation, and efficiency. He was respected by all who knew him as a man of solid excellence. (Source: The Missionary Jubilee: An Account of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the American Baptist Missionary Union, at Philadelphia, May 24, 25, and 26, 1864 by the American Baptist Missionary Union (1869) pg 138.)
    — Submitted September 26, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Churches, Etc.EducationNotable Persons
 
William Bullein Johnson Marker Area -<br>Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery image. Click for full size.
By Ronald Miller, August 18, 2008
11. William Bullein Johnson Marker Area -
Anderson First Baptist Church Cemetery
Bell that used to be mounted in the church tower beside the marker. The production date on the bell is 1859.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 19, 2008, by Ronald Miller of Gray Court, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,027 times since then and 86 times this year. Last updated on August 20, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. Photos:   1. submitted on August 19, 2008, by Ronald Miller of Gray Court, South Carolina.   2. submitted on September 25, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   3. submitted on August 19, 2008, by Ronald Miller of Gray Court, South Carolina.   4, 5. submitted on September 2, 2010.   6. submitted on August 24, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   7, 8. submitted on September 26, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   9, 10. submitted on August 24, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   11. submitted on August 19, 2008, by Ronald Miller of Gray Court, South Carolina. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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