ARMSTRONG, Thomas James (1877)

Transcribed by Stephen Carroll Pearsall

Mr. Thomas J. Armstrong died on the 10th of September 1877, at his residence in Pender Co, N. C.

From a short sketch of his early life, written by himself for the information of his children, we learn that he was born at South Washington on the 21st of April 1813. His early life was marked by vicissitudes various and painful, and more like pages of a thrilling romance than incidents in the life of an ordinary man. We incline to the opinion, however, that his career was rather extraordinary, for notwithstanding the bitterest griefs and over-whelming reverses of fortune, we know that he emerged from them at the age of manhood with a spotless moral character, and equipped with the most inflexible principles for the solemn duties of life. The lessons he had learned by actual experiences enabled him to form a just estimate of men and things, and to cultivate those liberal views by which his whole life was so strongly characterized. After his conversion he joined the M. E. Church, South and remained an active and useful official member until his failing health deprived him frequently of his accustomed participation in the public worship of the sanctuary.

As a Christian he had few superiors. His house was the preachers’ resting place, where they always felt at home. Non ever doubted the sincerity of his cordial welcome, or the manifest wisdom of his counsel. He was a delightful social companion. Besides his sterling common sense and well cultivated judgment, which gave weight to his opinions and actions, he had a rich fund of humor, and a keen perception of the ludicrous, which added an inimitable charm to his conversation. His intercourse with his family and friends was most tender. One of the beautiful traits of his symmetrical character was his love of little children. He seemed to enter fully into their plans and amusements, invariably won their confidence, and attached them strongly to him, by his great love for them. Love was the ruling principle of his life. By it he rose superior to circumstances the most adverse, had a host of warmly attached friends, and daily exemplified the golden rule, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

His declining years were marked by unwavering faith in God his Saviour, and entire trust in His faithfulness. Thus lived and died one of the most irreproachable of men. We sorrow not as those who have no hope, “for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him” James B. Bailey (author)

Source: Wilmington Morning Star, April 2, 1878

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