Rev. John Waller

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John Waller

Also Known As: ""Swearing Jack""
Birthdate: (60)
Birthplace: Newport, Spotsylvania, Virginia, USA
Death: July 4, 1802 (60)
Abbeville, Abbeville, South Carolina, USA
Place of Burial: Greenwood, South Carolina, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Edmund Waller and Mary Waller
Brother of Mary Meriweather; William Edmund Waller; Benjamin Waller; Leonard James Mourning Waller and Dorothy Jemima Stephens

Managed by: Private User
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About Rev. John Waller

Reverend John Waller (1741-1802), was a Baptist preacher who, in 1793, moved from Spotsylvania County, VA to today's Greenwood area of SC (then Abbeville District), accompanied by a large contingent of relatives and connections. He was married to Elizabeth Curtis, daughter of Rice Curtis of VA. To this union nine children were born. Rev. Waller was the founder of Bethabara Baptist Church (1794) in Laurens County, just across the Saluda River, and Siloam Baptist Church (1799), a few miles above Cambridge (Old Ninety Six). He and his wife are buried in the Waller-Hackett family cemetery which is on the Vines home place on the road from Scotch Cross to Cambridge. A monument to the Rev. John Waller was erected there in 1878. A descendant believed the Waller home was near the family burying ground.

Source - Extracted from "Virginia Baptist Ministers" by James B. Taylor (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1859, pages 78 - 85) and from pages 404 - 406 of "Greenwood County Sketches: Old Roads and Early Families" by Margaret and Louise Watson.

Known in his young manhood and before his conversion as "Swearing Jack," the Reverend John Waller is regarded today as an historic figure in the fight for religious freedom in this country. He refused to abide by the Virginia statute which forbade preaching in the colony by anyone except ministers of the Established Church, the Church of England. He spent 187 days in Virginia jails at various times after preaching the gospel as he believed it. He was scourged while in prison, and, on one occasion, struck across the back of his right hand with a sword wielded by a guard.

Source - Semple's "History of Virginia Baptists" and E. Payton Little's "Imprisoned Preachers and Religious Liberty in Virginia."

Children of John and Elizabeth (Curtis) Waller:

  • Nancy Ann (Waller) Marshall (1765 1815)
  • John Nicodemus Waller (1767 1802)
  • Benjamin Waller (1768 1804)
  • Dorothy Virginia (Waller) McGehee
  • Frances Jane (Waller) Wardlaw 1(770 1845)
  • Phoebe Waller Turner (1775 - )
  • Mary Magdalene (Waller) Watson (1774 1828)
  • Elizabeth (Waller) Chiles (1775 - )
  • Thomas Baxter Waller (1776 1869)

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Rev. John Waller's Timeline

December 23, 1741
Newport, Spotsylvania, Virginia, USA
July 4, 1802
Age 60
Abbeville, Abbeville, South Carolina, USA
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA