April 3, 1908
[To] Elder W. C. Taylor
In reply to your inquiry will say:
Bro. Chenault's reference was concerning a conversation at Kansas City during the meeting of SBC in May, 1905. I heard the conversation referred to, I suppose and it was essentially as he gave it. During the stay there I accepted an invitation to go with Bro. (J.N.) Hall to dine one evening with a cousin of his in the out-skirts of the city. This threw us together one entire afternoon and most of time apart from any one else. During this time we talked much and he told me he could never consent to any measure that would lead to a break in the denomination, or would deprive him of the privilege of meeting with his brethren in their general meetings. He spoke especially of that occasion, and said he expected to attend the SBC as long as he was able.
I was at Texarkana, heard his last sermon, in fact suggested his theme. This was Friday night. That night after preaching he had a chill which was the beginning of the end. He worked next day though sick, I had a long private talk with him Saturday evening. He told me that some parties wanted to tack on a long preamble to the statement of principles adopted by the committee there for the Texarkana meeting, making charges against the SBC and the boards. He said he told them if they did not leave it off he would step down and out. That he would not have any thing to do with a rival institution to the SBC. That they needed a cooperative body through which they could do a work that the SBC would not do. That so far as he was concerned it was supplementary and not a rival institution. He also referred to the Kentucky General Assoc. and Tenn. State Convention, that neither of them had financial representation. He said some of the brethren seemed anxious to cut loose from the denomination, but he would not consent. He referred to T.T. Eaton and I.N. Penick with some others, and said he would never go into any thing that would deprive him of their fellowship and cooperation. He referred especially to the General Association of Kentucky and said it lacked but one little thing (Associational representation) of being his ideal of a general body. And he said that was not enough to make a kick about.
He also said concerning the Statement of Principles of the Texarkana meeting that had it not been for him to hold them in check it would have contained a long list of bitter accusations against the "organized work." When he put his veto on it or any thing of the kind they argued that they must give their reasons for leaving the SBC. He said he told them, he was not leaving the SBC, but was arranging for some extra work.
The above is the substance what passed between Bro. Hall and myself at our two last meetings the last one being only one week before he died.
Now I was only a visitor at Texarkana and was not in the Committee room, only have what Bro. Hall told me. But Bro. Stigler (I believe his initials are G.H.) who used to be at Martin, Tenn, was in the Committee room all the time and can tell you what occurred in there.
Now I say in conclusion, that I loved Bro. J.N. Hall as I have loved few men. My only boy is named for him, and I kept in close touch with him as long as he was living and think I know him. I am certain some things would have gone difference [sic] had he lived.
The Father's blessing be upon you and yours,
[Found in the J.H. Grime papers at the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, Nashville, TN. Transcribed and provided by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Scanned and Formatted by Jim Duvall.]