South Carolina General Assembly
116th Session, 2005-2006

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S. 1177


Senate Resolution
Sponsors: Senator Cromer
Document Path: l:\s-res\rwc\008john.mrh.doc

Introduced in the Senate on February 22, 2006
Adopted by the Senate on February 22, 2006

Summary: Reverend Doctor John Bachman; Newberry College


     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
   2/22/2006  Senate  Introduced and adopted SJ-18
    3/2/2006          Scrivener's error corrected

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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)



Whereas, at an early age in New York State, the future Dr. Bachman showed a strong interest in studies of natural history and religion, particularly the works of Martin Luther; and

Whereas, the esteemed Dr. Bachman traveled south in January 1815 to Charleston, South Carolina to become pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman served St. John's faithfully and honorably as her beloved pastor for an amazing and productive fifty-six years, during which time he became a true pillar of the Charleston community; and

Whereas, contrary to civil statutes and community standards of the time, Dr. Bachman educated Charleston slaves and freemen of African descent and baptized hundreds, perhaps thousands, into membership at St. John's during his tenure; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman helped form and served twice as President of the South Carolina Lutheran Synod, from 1824 to 1833 and again from 1839 to 1840; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman, as Synod President in 1831, took action that led to the establishment of a school to train Lutheran ministers, now known as the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary of Columbia, South Carolina; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman had a keen interest in the natural history of the South Carolina Low Country and discovered and described many birds and mammals previously unknown to science; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman was a seminal and active member of the "Circle of Naturalists," whose work in various natural history fields made antebellum Charleston a scientific center equal in importance to such cities as Philadelphia, Boston, and New York; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman frequently published letters and short articles about his natural history observations in local and regional publications, including the South Carolina Medical Journal, and gave public lectures on these topics to audiences of both learned and lay people; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman began a lifelong friendship and professional collaboration when he hosted famous bird artist, John James Audubon, during his 1831 visit to Charleston; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman was instrumental in founding the South Carolina State Horticultural Society in 1833; and

Whereas, various scientists have seen fit to recognize Dr. Bachman's natural history contributions by naming three North American birds, two mammals, and one butterfly in his honor, including Bachman's Warbler, Bachman's Sparrow, Bachman's Oystercatcher, Bachman's Brush Rabbit, Bachman's Fox squirrel, and the Snout Butterfly; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman encouraged African-American members of St. John's Lutheran Church to enter the ministry, nurturing nationally known clergymen such as Jehu Jones, the first African-American Lutheran minister ordained in North America, Boston Jenkins Drayton, missionary to Liberia and eventual Chief Justice of the Liberian Supreme Court, and Daniel Alexander Payne, the sixth bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman served on the Board of Trustees of the College of Charleston from 1834 until 1848; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman, in 1838, sailed for England and Europe, where he was greeted as a renowned scientist and awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Berlin; and

Whereas, in 1840 he and John James Audubon began work on the Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, an illustrated folio on mammals, equal in importance, quality, and artistic grandeur to Audubon's earlier Birds of North America; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman wrote the entire descriptive text of the Quadrupeds and, in collaboration with Audubon's sons, published the work in folio and quarto formats beginning in 1845; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman, through his marriage to Harriett Martin, produced many sons and daughters, including two that married two of Audubon's sons, and created a lineage that continues through many accomplished American families; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman was elected to a three-year term as Vice President of the Charleston Library Society in 1845 and, in 1848, began a five-year teaching position as Professor of Natural History at the College of Charleston; and

Whereas, he published numerous important natural history papers including Two Letters on Hybridity, Notice of the Types of Mankind by Nott and Gliddon, and Examination of Professor Agassiz's Sketch of the Natural Provinces of the Animal World; and

Whereas, in 1851, Dr. Bachman journeyed to Washington, D.C., meeting with President Millard Fillmore to lobby for federal action that, in a time of political unrest, would mollify the Southern states and preserve the Union; and

Whereas, in 1853, Dr. Bachman published A Defense of Luther and the Reformation, in which he countered on-going Charleston-area attacks on Protestantism; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman, in December 1856, was instrumental in founding the Lutheran-based Newberry College, a liberal arts institution in Newberry, South Carolina; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman served as first president of the Newberry College Board of Trustees beginning in January 1857, and during his tenure, took many actions at the College to assure the high quality of secular and religious education that has continued for 150 years; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman became co-editor of Southern Lutheran magazine in 1860; and

Whereas, although a Unionist, he lead the opening prayer for guidance at Institute Hall in Charleston as the State of South Carolina met on December 20, 1860 to discuss whether to vote for secession, after which he withdrew from political activities and devoted his energies to ministering the sick and needy; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman, despite a beating by Union soldiers that permanently paralyzed his left arm, continued his good work and scholarship; and

Whereas, in 1864, he published Characteristics of Genera and Species, as Applicable to the Doctrine of Unity in the Human Race, in which he argued, from a scientific perspective, that all humans, including slave and master, were the same species, a radical, controversial, visionary, and correct pronouncement that took great courage on his part, particularly amid the turmoil of the Civil War; and

Whereas, Dr. Bachman's legacy is alive and well at Newberry College, which, led by its Alumni Association, will begin its Sesquicentennial Celebration on April 20, 2006 with a major four-day symposium entitled "Nature, God, and Social Reform in the Old South: The Life and Work of the Rev. John Bachman;" and

Whereas, esteemed international authorities on Bachman will make keynote presentations during the College's John Bachman Symposium; and

Whereas, the public is invited to attend and participate in this auspicious event in the life of Newberry College; and

Whereas, as noted by the diverse accomplishments listed, Dr. Bachman had a lasting and wide-ranging impact on science, education, religion, and social progress in South Carolina, the United States, and beyond; and

Whereas, the month of February is significant because Dr. Bachman was born on February 4, 1790 and died on February 24, 1874. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate:

That the members of the South Carolina Senate designate February 2006 as "John Bachman Month" throughout the State of South Carolina, and urge all citizens to recognize this observance and to attend the John Bachman Symposium at Newberry College.

Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to Newberry College's Alumni Association.


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