Archiver > LOUISIANA > 2001-06 > 0991739060

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Subject: [LOUISIANA] William Prince Ford
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 06:04:20 -0500

Re: I'm seeking information on William Prince Ford.

Years ago, Dr. Sue Eakin, asked me to speak at (LSUA) Louisiana State
University at Alexandria. Dr. Eakin was working on republishing a book, I
believe, called "Twelve Years a Slave," by Solomon Northup. Dr. Eakin
believed that the William Ford, that follows, was the same man that
bought the slave, Solomon Northup. I agree.

My ancestor, Rev. Joseph Willis (1758-1854) kept a diary. These notes were
arranged in, 1841, by William Prince Ford (A Baptist pastor) and copied by
early Louisiana Baptist author, W. E. Paxton, in 1858, for his book "A
History of the Baptist of Louisiana, from the Earliest Times to the
Present," (1888).

Paxton admits most of his facts concerning Central Louisiana Baptists are
from this manuscript and Louisiana Association Minutes. This manuscript is
lost today. Mr. Ford also made remarks in this manuscript. One of Ford's
observations, made in 1834, is recorded by Paxton and is very revealing
concerning Joseph:

"Nearly all the churches now left in the association were gathered either
directly or indirectly by the labors of Mr. Willis. Mr. Ford remarks of this
effort: ‘It was truly affecting to hear him speak of them as his children;
and with all the affection of a father allude to some schisms and divisions
that had arisen in the past and to warn them against the occurrence of
anything of the kind in the future. But when he spoke of the fact that two
or three of them had already become extinct, his voice failed and he was
compelled to give utterance to his feelings by his tears; and surely the
heart must have been hard that could not be melted by the manifestation of
so much affection, for he wept not alone."

Also, Joseph Willis was a member of the Bethel Association, in 1797, in
South Carolina. A William Ford was also a member. This William Ford was
originally from Kentucky.

This would be my family's connection to William Prince Ford.

Randy Willis

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