There are two purposes for Comments in the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Comments can either add information to aid in the understanding of the entry or add information that provides an alternate interpretation of the historical record.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Comment is entirely responsible for its content.

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