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My book Two Centuries of Methodism in Arkansas, published by the Arkansas Conference and August House Publishing in 2000, has quite a few entries on Stevenson. My favorite is found on p. 29 of the book. The original source for the quote was G. W. Featherstonhaugh [pronounced Fan-shaw] in his book An Excursion Through the Slave States, p. 46. Featherstonhaugh was a visiting Englishman who passed through Little Rock in 1834. Here is just a part of his recollection of Stevenson:

“At length we heard of a clergyman who lived on the skirts of the town, and sometimes took in boarders, so we immediately hied to the Rev. Mr. Stevenson’s. It was a nice-looking cottage enough, separated from the road by a paling, inside of which was standing a somewhat dried-up looking individual, in a seedy-looking, light-coloured jacket, an old hat with a broken rim on his head, only one eye in that, and a rifle in his hand. ‘Pray, Sir,’ said I, touching my hat, ‘can you inform me if this is the Reverend Mr. Stevenson’s?’ Upon which he immediately said ‘I expect I am the Reverend Mr. Stevenson.’”

It is known that Stevenson had suffered a serious eye injury as a child, and had lost the vision in that eye.


Nancy Britton, author of Two Centuries of Methodism in Arkansas
Batesville, AR