Who was David Caldwell?
Return to the Caldwell Room
The history of the life of David Caldwell is very interesting. He was the eldest son of Andrew and Martha Caldwell, and was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, on March 22, 1725. After receiving the rudiments of an English education, he served an apprenticeship to a house-carpenter, and he subsequently worked at the business for four years. He graduated from Princeton in 1761. After leaving college, Mr. Caldwell taught for a year at Cape May. He then returned to Princeton as an assistant teacher in the college in the Department of Languages. He was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, June 8, 1763. After spending some time as a missionary in North Carolina, he was ordained in Trenton, New Jersey, July 6, 1765. Later that year he started a log cabin school in Guilford County. On March 3, 1768, he was installed as minister of the two churches in Buffalo and Alamance settlements near Greensboro. To supplement his meager salary, he purchased a small farm, and about the same time commenced a classical school in his own house. He continued the school with little interruption till the infirmities of age disqualified him for teaching. His home and log college were in the area where the Bicentennial Park in Greensboro is today. Archaeological investigations have disclosed the spot where the Log College stood. More archaeological work is planned to determine more details about the college, and a reconstruction will hopefully be built soon.
David Caldwell was identified with some of the most terrible events of the war of the Revolution. Gen. Cornwallis offered a £200 reward for his capture for speaking out against the crown. His house was plundered, his library and furniture destroyed, and the most vigorous and insidious efforts were made to overtake and arrest him when he had fled for his life. The family survived by hiding in the smokehouse and eating dried peaches. He was a member of the convention that formed the Constitution of the State of North Carolina in 1776, and he took an active interest in the political concerns of the country. His opinion always carried great weight. He continued to preach in his two churches until 1820. He preached often at Hawfields Presbyterian Church, east of Greensboro, where Stone later was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister. He died August 28, 1824.
Visit the nearby David and Rachel Caldwell Historical Center.