The ultimate Internet source for information about
the Rev. John Bachman; clergyman, naturalist, social reformer, and founder of Newberry College
An on-line initiative of the
Alumni Association of

Newberry SC


Personal Background
Religion & Ministry
Natural History
Audubon Connection
Politics/Social Reform
Education & Academia
Newberry Connections

Bachman Timeline

Bachman Resources


Contact Info

Newberry College



Web Site Hosted As An In-Kind Gift By
Charlotte NC

The following dates & events are pertinent to the life and work
of the Rev. John Bachman

(additions on 23 Jan 2006)

1754--Aboard the ship Barclay, Pastor Johann Nicholas Martin arrives at the port of Philadelphia from Germany with family (14 Sep); soon moves to churches in Anson County NC and later in Columbia SC (Dutch Fork) area

1763--Johann Nicholas Martin answers call to pulpit of a church to be named St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston SC

1785--John James Audubon born, Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (present-day Haiti) (26 Apr)

1790--John Bachman born, Rhinebeck NY (4 Feb), son of Jacob & Eva Shop Bachman

1791--Harriet Martin born, Charleston SC (10 Aug)

1796--Maria Martin born, Charleston SC (3 Jul)

1802--Young Bachman moves from New York to Philadelphia to continue schooling

1804--Bachman begins visiting John Bartram's garden and meets bird artist Alexander Wilson (approximate date)

1804--Bachman meets Baron Alexander von Humboldt (June)

1806--Bachman shows first signs of respiratory problems, leaves school in Philadelphia and returns to parents' New York home; stays in bed for about 18 months, nursed by his mother

1808--Bachman's strength and health return

1808--Bachman decides to read for the law, changes mind after extensive prayer and commits himself to life as a minister; moves in with Pastor Anthony T. Braun in West Sandlake NY to commence religious studies

1808--John James Audubon weds Lucy Green Bakewell (5 Apr)

1809--Bachman takes position as teacher of Latin, French & German at Elwood School at Milestown, near Philadelphia

1809--Victor Gifford Audubon born to John James & Lucy Audubon (12 Jun)

1810--Bachman departs Elwood School to teach at school of the St. John's Lutheran Church, Philadelphia (summer)

1812--John Woodhouse Audubon born to John James & Lucy Audubon (30 Nov)

1813--Alexander Wilson dies shortly after publishing seventh volume of American Ornithology (Aug)

1813--Bachman licensed to preach in Lutheran churches, Philadelphia PA

1814--Bachman ordained by New York Ministerium as Lutheran minister (Dec), and almost immediately accepts call to become pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, Charleston SC

1815--Bachman arrives in Charleston (10 Jan) and assumes pastorate at St. John's (12 Jan); serves for 56 years

1815--Bachman moves in with Col. Jacob Sass and stays a year until marriage to Harriet Martin

1815--Bachman joins German Friendly Society in Charleston

1816--Bachman marries Charleston's Harriet Martin (23 Jan), granddaughter of the Rev. John Nicolas Martin, former pastor of St. John's

1816--Bachman petitions St. John's church vestry for permission to baptize and commune free coloreds (Feb); permission is granted

1818--St. John's vestry enlarges space set aside for African-American worshippers

1824--Bachman begins first term as president of Lutheran Synod of South Carolina; serves until 1833

1831--Bachman hosts John James Audubon for a month at Bachman's Rutledge Avenue home during the artist's trip to Charleston (beginning 17 Oct)

1831--Bachman's sister-in-law Maria Martin becomes John James Audubon's assistant and begins to contribute paintings of backgrounds, insects, plants, etc., used in Audubon's Birds of North America

1831--Bachman helps found what is now Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary at Pomaria SC

1831--Bachman oversees construction of new Sunday School building at St. John's Lutheran Church

1832--Audubon returns to Bachman home in Charleston after a scouting trip to Florida (10 Mar)

1832--St. John's vestry again enlarges space set aside for African-American worshippers

1833--Bachman helps found South Carolina State Horticultural Society

1834--Jehu Jones, an African-American member of St. John's Lutheran Church, is encouraged by Bachman to enter the ministry, establishes Black Lutheran congregation in Philadelphia

1834--Lutheran seminary relocates to Lexington SC

1834--Bachman is elected to board of trustees of College of Charleston; serves until 1848

1837--John Woodhouse Audubon marries Maria "Ria" Rebecca Bachman (June); they produce two daughters

1838--Bachman boards the Chicora in Charleston and embarks on a European tour (5 Jun)

1838--Bachman arrives (1 Jul) in Liverpool, England, to news that Lucy Green Audubon had been born to John Woodhouse and Maria Rebecca Bachman Audubon while he was at sea; moves in with John James Audubon and family; Bachman again meets Baron von Humboldt, receives honorary doctorate from University of Berlin

1838--Bachman departs Liverpool aboard the America (11 Nov)

1838--Bachman arrives in Charleston (27 Dec)

1839--Bachman begins second term as president of Lutheran Synod of South Carolina; serves until 1840

1839--Victor Gifford Audubon shows up unannounced on doorstep of Bachman's Charleston home (5 Apr); reportedly begins courtship of Mary Eliza Bachman shortly thereafter

1840--Bachman & John James Audubon begin work on Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

1840--Maria Rebecca Bachman Audubon dies of tuberculosis at age 23 (15 Sep); buried at St. John's Lutheran Church

1841--John Woodhouse Audubon marries second wife Caroline Hall; they produce seven children

1841--Mary Eliza Bachman Audubon dies in New York at age 22 (25 May)

1842--For third time, St. John's vestry enlarges space set aside for African-American worshippers

1845--Bachman & John James Audubon publish first of three Imperial folios (without text) of Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

1845--Boston Jenkins Drayton, an African-American member of St. John's Lutheran Church, is encouraged by Bachman to enter the ministry, becomes Lutheran missionary to Liberia; Drayton later becomes chief justice of Liberian Supreme Court

1845--Thanks to concerted effort by Bachman, black communicant membership of St. John's reaches all-time high of 200; separate African-American Sunday School has 150 pupils & teaching staff of more than 30

1845--Bachman elected vice president of Charleston Library Society; serves until 1848

1846--Bachman's first wife Harriet Martin Bachman dies after 30 years of marriage and 14 children, nine of whom survived

1848--Bachman marries his sister-in-law, Maria Martin; they produce no children

1848--Bachman becomes professor of natural history at College of Charleston; serves until 1853 when he steps down to devote more time to ministry

1848--Bachman preaches a special sermon on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Charleston Library Society, of which he was a member and officer

1849--Bachman & John James Audubon publish first Royal Octavo volume of Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

1850--Bachman publishes Two Letters on Hibridity

1851--John James Audubon dies, New York City, at age 64 (27 Jan)

1851--Bachman writes letter to Henry Summer of Newberry, discussing his views on secession and describing Bachman's visit with President Millard Fillmore (6 Sep)

1853--Bachman publishes A Defense of Luther and the Reformation

1854--Bachman, with help of Audubon sons, publishes third and final text volume of Imperial folio for Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

1854--Bachman publishes Notice of the Types of Mankind by Nott and Gliddon

1855--Bachman publishes Examination of Professor Agassiz’s Sketch of the Natural Provinces of the Animal World

1855--South Carolina Lutheran Synod votes to establish a degree-granting institution called Luther College and Theological Seminary

1856--South Carolina Lutheran Synod votes to rename the new school Newberry College

1856--South Carolina Lutheran Synod elects the first Newberry College Board of Trustees (18 members)

1856--Under petition from Bachman and others, State of South Carolina charters Newberry College (20 Dec)

1857--Newberry College board of trustees holds first meeting; Bachman elected as first board president (15 Jan); next day authorizes $2,300 for purchase of 54 acres of land for the campus

1858--Cornerstone is laid for first building at Newberry College (15 Jul)

1859--Newberry College begins operations with more than 100 students (six in college, two in seminary, and the remainder in an all-male preparatory school)

1860--Bachman begins serving as co-editor of Southern Lutheran; continues until 1862

1860--At St. John's, Bachman baptizes 67 Euro-Americans & 76 African-Americans and confirms 19 Euro-Americans and 40 African-Americans; Blacks constitute 35% of St. John's communicant membership

1860--Bachman leads opening prayer at Institute Hall in Charleston as South Carolina meets to vote for secession (20 Dec)

1860--Victor Gifford Audubon dies

1861--Confederate forces fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor (12 Apr)

1862--John Woodhouse Audubon dies, New York (21 Feb)

1863--Maria Martin Bachman dies (18 Dec)

1864--Bachman publishes Characteristics of Genera and Species, as Applicable to the Doctrine of Unity in the Human Race

1866--Bachman is instrumental in adoption of Lutheran Book of Worship

1868--Due to building damage from weather and Confederate and federal troops, Newberry College relocates to Walhalla SC

1871--Bachman retires as pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church after 56 years, but continues to preach

1874--Lucy Bakewell Audubon dies

1874--John Bachman dies of paralysis in Charleston SC, age 84 years, 20 days (24 Feb)

1877--Cornerstone for a new building is laid at Newberry SC, in anticipation of return of Newberry College from Walhalla SC (28 July)

1877--Newberry College returns to Newberry SC after nine years at Walhalla SC (19 Sep)

1962--Bachman Honor Society established at Newberry College to recognize graduating seniors in top 10% of class

1974--J. Palmer Gaillard Jr, mayor of Charleston SC, proclaims John Bachman Day to commemorate the centennial of Bachman's death (24 Feb)

2006--Newberry College Alumni Association holds John Bachman Symposium to honor the Rev. John Bachman and begin year-long celebration of the College's Sesquicentennial (20-23 Apr)

You can access detailed information about Bachman's life and work by clicking on the links in the column at left.

Please check back later as we add to this section.

Please revisit this Web site often at and plan to attend the Symposium on Nature, God & Social Reform in the Old South: The Life & Work of the Rev. John Bachman in April 2006.