1831–1884

Sep­tem­ber 22, 1831, Dan­ville, Vir­gin­ia.

No­vem­ber 2, 1884, Bren­ham, Tex­as.

Prair­ie Lea Ce­me­te­ry, Bren­ham, Tex­as.

portrait

His an­ces­tors were na­tives of Great Bri­tain. His father, Will­iam R. Chap­lin, was a bank­er and law­yer of the town of Dan­ville, Vir­gin­ia.

Charles Craw­ford Chap­lin was fa­vored with a ve­ry li­ber­al ed­u­ca­tion, at­tend­ing the best schools to be found in his lo­cal­i­ty. Af­ter com­plet­ing his stu­dy of the pri­ma­ry branch­es, in a well-known acad­e­my of Lynch­burg, Vir­gin­ia, he en­tered Rich­mond Col­lege, with the view of pre­par­ing him­self for the min­is­try.

In the year 1856, he was or­dained to preach the Gos­pel, and took charge of a con­gre­ga­tion in Pitt­syl­van­ia County, Vir­gin­ia. With his great tal­ent, cap­ti­vat­ing el­o­quence, and pleas­ing man­ner, he ra­pid­ly rose in fa­vor, and soon be­came one of the most po­pu­lar preach­ers of his re­gion. He was short­ly called to the pul­pit of the Dan­ville Church, and was its hon­ored pas­tor for a per­i­od of fif­teen years.

When the [Am­er­i­can ci­vil] war broke out, he served with the Eight­eenth Vir­gin­ia Re­gi­ment as Chap­lain, and per­formed his du­ties in the midst of the car­nage of war with he­ro­ic for­ti­tude.

In 1870, he re­moved to Ken­tuc­ky, tak­ing up his re­si­dence in Ow­ens­bor­ough, where he re­mained for ov­er two years, as min­is­ter of the Church in that place. He was next called to the pas­tor­ate of the First Bap­tist Church, of Pa­du­cah, which he has since so ac­cept­a­bly filled.

He was one of the found­ers of the Ro­a­noke Fe­male Col­lege, of Dan­ville, Vir­gin­ia, and was, for a num­ber of years, Pre­si­dent of the Board of Trust­ees of that in­sti­tu­tion. He has been fre­quent­ly chos­en to the po­si­tion of pre­sid­ing of­fi­cer of the Ro­a­noke Bap­tist As­so­ci­a­tion, of which he is a mem­ber. He was Pre­si­dent of the South-west­ern Sun­day school Con­ven­tion; and, as a work­er in this de­part­ment of the Church, has few equals.

He has gained con­sid­er­a­ble dis­tinc­tion as a po­et, his pro­duct­ions show­ing the pos­ses­sion of no mean abil­i­ty in that di­rect­ion. Ma­ny of his short­er pa­the­tic vers­es have been set to mu­sic, and have been ex­tens­ive­ly adopt­ed by the Sun­day-schools through­out the coun­try.

He has great mer­it as a writ­er, his style be­ing flow­ing, per­spi­cu­ous, and of ir­re­sis­ti­ble lo­gic. He has been a con­trib­ut­or to the lead­ing re­li­gious jou­rnals of the coun­try; and such of his ar­ticles as have ap­peared in the Watch­man of Bos­ton, Stan­dard of Chi­ca­go, and oth­er pa­pers, en­ti­tle him to high rank among the the­o­lo­gi­cal writ­ers of the coun­try. He has al­so fu­rnished oc­ca­sion­al ar­ti­cles to the se­cu­lar press, which have al­ways been well re­ceived.

He pos­ses­ses rare abil­i­ty as a lec­tur­er, has a hap­py, hu­mor­ous vein, which, blend­ed with pr­ecept and phi­lo­so­phy, makes him one of the most at­tract­ive, in­ter­est­ing, and in­struct­ive lec­tur­ers in the coun­try.

He is a prominent member of the Ma­son­ic fraternity, and has held some of the higher offices of that order. He also belongs to the societies of Good Temp­lars and Odd-fel­lows, and takes an active interest in their affairs.

He was mar­ried, in 1857, to Miss Lu­cy Ex­all, daugh­ter of John Ex­all, a lead­ing whole­sale mer­chant of Rich­mond, Vir­gin­ia. Se­ven child­ren have been born to them, and cheer his house­hold by their pre­sence. His wife is a most ex­cel­lent la­dy, de­vot­ed to her hus­band, striv­ing by ev­ery means in her pow­er to make light­er his cares and bur­dens.

Mr. Chap­lin is a man of un­ques­tioned abil­i­ty, cul­ture, and re­fine­ment; ear­nest, per­sua­sive, and el­o­quent, he ranks among the first men of his Church. He is a man of ster­ling so­cial worth, pos­sess­ing a kind­ly and ge­ni­al dis­po­si­tion and af­fa­ble man­ners; and is a most es­teemed and hon­ored mem­ber of so­ci­e­ty. In the do­mes­tic cir­cle, he is af­fec­tion­ate and con­sid­er­ate.

As a po­et, his abil­i­ty is not on­ly ack­now­ledged, but his pro­duct­ions have just­ly ob­tained a wide-spread ce­le­bri­ty.

The Bi­o­graph­i­cal En­cy­clo­pe­dia of Kent­uc­ky, p. 51

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