The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952 Page: 342
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
sidered. The story centers about something which is suggestive
of nuclear or molecular fission.
Alfred W. Arrington was born in Iredell County, North Caro-
lina, on September 17, 181o. His father, H. Archibald Arrington,
was a Methodist minister. Here, where opportunities for educa-
tion were practically nil, he lived for twelve years, during which
the Bible was his only reading matter. Then a family with a
small library moved into the neighborhood; this library was made
available to the ambitious boy. He committed to memory Lindley
Murray's English Grammar in ten days and mastered a book on
arithmetic in a month. A move by the family to Arkansas, which
in those days was a rough frontier, made little contribution to
the development of his mind which was to become so brilliant in
later years. Here, however, began the growth of his wide interest
in various subjects. He read everything that came to hand: his-
tory, biography, fiction, and poetry. He was a dreamer of dreams
and often set down his dreams in poetry, none of which has been
His deeply religious feeling was manifested by his early attach-
ment to the Methodist Episcopal Church. He began to preach at
the age of seventeen and three years later was licensed as a
preacher, with his first assignment as a circuit-rider in Indiana
and later in Illinois. His territory was sparsely settled and jour-
neys on horseback were long and arduous. It is recorded that he
preached from notes; none of his sermons remain. A visitor to
Chicago thirty-five years later, however, learned that Judge Alfred
W. Arrington of that city was the same man he had heard as a
twenty-year-old preacher in Indiana. In retrospect, these were
the visitor's impressions:
He [Arrington] was then young, delicate, and as brilliant as a
comet, and almost as erratic. Without research or mental discipline,
he could electrify an audience beyond all living men, and create in
the minds of his hearers the deepest interest. This condition of man
is enthusiasm, and is created by the inspiration of moral power. I
well recollect one sermon that I heard him preach. It was upon the
truths of religion, not contradistinguished from Christianity, but in
connection with it, the religion of people and nations, in accordance
with their intelligence, worshipping in accordance with their faith,
the images being either real, mystic, or historical, the savages and
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, July 1951 - April, 1952, periodical, 1952; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101139/m1/414/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.