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Nathan Beard
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Birth: Apr. 1, 1810
Guilford County
North Carolina, USA
Death: Sep. 13, 1883
Henry County
Indiana, USA

He was the grandfather of noted American historian Charles A. Beard.

"The New Castle (IN) Mercury, Friday, September 21, 1883
NATHAN BEARD
The subject of this imperfectly and hastily written sketch was born in Guilford county, N. C. on the first day of April 1810, and died of disease of the heart at his home four miles west of Spiceland on Thursday evening, September 13, just as the last rays of the setting sun were fading from the distant hills. Calmly and peacefully he entered the valley of the shadow of death with the full consciousness of eternal rest. For more than a year he had received occasionally warning of his approaching fate and seemed to be fully reconciled to accept what he knew to be the common destiny of the great family of man.

He was the fourth child and only son of William and Polly Beard (formerly Brown, sister of Eli Brown, who will be remembered as one of the early settlers of the thriving city of Richmond) and was married to Caroline, daughter of Alexander and Abigail Martin (formerly Garriott[sic]) on August 5, 1830. The fruits of this union were one son and four daughters, all of whom are living except one, Lucy, wife of H. P. Roberson of North Carolina. This worthy couple began life together under the most trying circumstances, their entire outfit being two cups and saucers, one clay dish, and $3 in ready cash. They saw nothing before them but a continued course of hard physical toil; but they met it bravely, living and hoping for the dawning of brighter days. By an economical and judicious course of management, they were soon able to claim a home of their own, and as their idolized family grow up around them they began to fully realize the great joys and responsibilities of life. After thus battling with the storms of a quarter of a century, they found themselves possessed of sufficient wealth to render them comfortable in the sunset of life; but, like many others, they lived to see the fruits of their labors all suddenly swept away by the wild holocaust of civil war.

In 1861 when the South rose in armed rebellion, the deceased firmly espoused the cause of the North and many a maimed and tired unionist found in his home an asylum of pleasure and rest. Many a hunted conscript in his safely constructed cavern in the depths of the lonely forest has been the recipient of his kind and tender ministrations, and no one in distress ever appealed to him in vain. His generous heart was always open to pity, and his hand was always willing to give. He was always scrupulously honest and was always found on the side of justice and right. Notwithstanding he was brought up under the strictest surveilance of Quaker parents, he was always a doubter of some of the features of their peculiar faith. In religion, he was first a Universalist, and looked forward to a grander and better life, but for many years he had been inclined to materialistic views. He read the works of Paine, Hume, Voltaire, Comte, and all the leading liberals of a past age, and from them he learned the religion of humanity and to believe in the universal brotherhood of man. He believed there was nothing to live for but what was obtainable in this life. He regarded death as only a ceaseless round of eternal rest, acknowledged no personal Deity, no creature power, and seemed to live only to promote the happiness and general welfare of his fellowman. He has gone to his grave, but from his noble, heroic, and manly live we have carried a lesson imperishable. He has builded a monument more lasting than the towering granite that will now mark the spot where he rests, and left a cause that will even be sacredly treasured up in the shrine of memory."

September 28, 1883

MORE ABOUT THE QUAKER LIBERAL, NATHAN H. BEARD
Last week we copied from the Richmond Daily Palladium an article in memory of the late Nathan Beard, who was buried at Greensboro on Saturday, Sept. 15, 1883.

The funeral services took place in Progress Hall, Jesse Bales, J. H. Anderson and C. C. Winslow acting as committee of arrangements, and John H. Bales, J. W. Patterson, John McNew, Ed. Bowman, F. D. True and James McCory acting as pall bearers.

A number of old friends and acquaintances spoke, paying tribute to the moral worth of their old friend and neighbor.

Marshall Mendenhall, of Spiceland, said he had known him for more than fifty years; that he had always been a just and upright man and had done more for the Union soldier and cause than almost any other man.
Hugh Carmichael, a New Light minister, had known him many years as a kind neighbor and an honest man, and, having visited him in his last sickness, know that he died in the peculiar faith he had lived. Others gave like testimony.

Hon. John A. Deem read a biographical sketch of the departed, substantially as we have already published it, but fuller and more minute. The closing portion was as follows: "Believing that there was nothing for man but a continuous round of ceaseless slumber through all eternity, yet death was to him a welcome messenger, and he met the grim monster with a brave, calm expression that plainly indicated a triumphant continuance in a long cherished faith. At no time of his most intense suffering did he fear the fatal hour, and he often spoke of his approaching end with a cheerful smile and in a full consciousness that death was only rest. To many of us Athieism seems a cold and cheerless doctrine, but to him it seems to have been an abiding and satisfying faith. Firmly established as he was in his peculiar faith, he always spoke with respect of the Friends' branch of the Christian Church and continued to use the plain language taught him in early life, seemingly to reverence the memory of those whom he so dearly and devotedly loved.

Having said this, much in honor of the dead, we are willing to consign him to the ever changing elements of his own being. We shall see him no more; but from his noble and patient life, his patriotic and manly example let us learn a valuable lesson for our own guidance through all the varied changes of the coming years."

"Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side;
But in his duty prompt at every all.
He watched and wept, he hoped and felt for all;
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to better lives, and led the way."

At the close of his remarks the friends took a last view of the remains, which were then quietly laid away.

The life and death and funeral services of this rather remarkable but quite an unostentatious man contains lessons of more than ordinary significance, and we think should be utilized in teaching a lesson of tolerance at least. It should show us (what for one we have long believed) that the sincerity and zeal with which a person cling to a belief till the last moment of his life furnishes not one scintilla of evidence of its correctness. The truth is any system of belief that is earnestly held through life is satisfying in the hour of death, no matter how monstrous it may seem to those who do not receive it. The Pagan is as ready to bceome a martyr for his faith, perhaps, as any Christian. The Roman Catholic, of course, would look with horror upon the idea of dying as a Protestant does; while the Protestant is rarely liberal enough to understand that the faith of the Catholic will "do to die by." We cannot just see what comfort there is in the thought of annihilation or a state of unconsciousness, though we can readily understand that it might be quite as satisfying and cheerful as a hope for the state of existence, where one barely misses a deserved hell, in which many of your dearest friends and a great majority of the human family are writhing in horrible and limitless agony without hope or possibility of amelioration.
 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Caroline Martin Beard (1812 - 1900)*
 
 Children:
  Abigail Adeline Beard Dixon (1831 - 1911)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Greensboro Friends Cemetery
Greensboro
Henry County
Indiana, USA
 
Created by: Mary Louise Reynolds
Record added: Apr 20, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 88799556
Nathan Beard
Added by: Mary Louise Reynolds
 
 
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