During the summer of 1870, while attending a camp meeting
at Epworth Heights, near Cincinnati, my attention was drawn to
a colored lady dressed in a very plain garb, which reminded me
somewhat of that worn by the Friends in former days, who was
engaged in expounding a Bible lesson to a small audience.
I was told that the speaker was Mrs. Amanda Smith, and that
she was a woman of remarkable gifts, who had been greatly blessed
in various parts of the country.
Having spent nearly all my adult years on the other side of
the globe, my acquaintance in America was by no means an ex¬
tensive one, and this will explain the fact that I had never heard
of this devout lady until I met her at this camp meeting.
Her remarks on the Bible lesson did not particularly impress
me, and it was not until the evening of the same day, when I
chanced to be kneeling near her at a prayer meeting, that I be¬
came impressed that she was a person of more than ordinary power.
The meetings of the day had not been very successful, and a
spirit of depression rested upon many of the leaders. A heavy
rain had fallen, and we were kneeling somewhat uncomfortably
in the straw which surrounded the preacher's stand.
A number had prayed, and I was myself sharing the general
feeling of depression, when I was suddenly startled by the voice
of song. I lifted my head, and at a short distance, probably not
more than two yards from me, I saw the colored sister of the
morning kneeling in an upright position, with her hands spread
out and her face all aglow.
She had suddenly broken out with a triumphant song, and
while I was startled by the change in the order of the meeting, I
was at once absorbed with interest in the song and the singer.