Samuel White Small was born at Knoxville, Tennessee, on 3 July 1851. He served for a time as a secretary to then-Senator Andrew Johnson. He was also a newspaper reporter before being converted to the church. During the Spanish-American War, he served as Captain (Chaplain) of the 3rd United States Volunteer Engineers and subsequently as Chaplain-in-Chief of the Naval and Military Order of the Spanish-American War. He died on 21 November 1932 in Atlanta, Georgia, and was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery.
A popular writer for the Atlanta Constitution, Samuel White Small was converted from a life of dissipation at a Sam Jones Meeting which he was assigned to cover for that newspaper (here pictured at age thirty-seven in 1888). He immediately distributed a message over Atlanta inviting all to the steps of Atlanta City Hall where most a most important news item would be announced. There he told of his conversion and of his dedication to sobriety and gospel service.
He became very popular with Sam as a co-evangelist. Sam Small was asked (around 1927, when he was seventy-six) to write a mission statement and statement of faith for the new college being built by Bob Jones, Sr. (who then was thirty-nine). Though some have pressed for the inclusion of Dispensationalism, not a word has been changed from Sam Small's inscription , written, immediately, upon Bob Jones Sr.'s request, on the back of an envelope. Hundreds of times a year, that Creed is repeated in the Chapel and Worship services of Bob Jones University.
Washington, D.C., [Thursday] November 29, 1877.—I came over the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad last night from Raleigh to Weldon, where we crossed the [Roanoke] river by a ferry as the bridges were down. I met Sam W. Small [Samuel White Small] on the train. “Old Si” of the Atlanta Constitution, the leading paper of the South.
He was Andrew Johnson’s private secretary, while Senator , and now has Johnson’s private papers. He was 27 years of age, and intelligent, active and quite a self-satisfied young man. (He afterwards became a famous revivalist.)
SMALL, SAMUEL W
- CAPT CHAPLAIN 3RD U S VOL ENGR
- VETERAN SERVICE DATES: Unknown
- DATE OF DEATH: 11/21/1931
- DATE OF INTERMENT: 11/25/1931
- BURIED AT: SECTION SOUTH SITE 4177-A
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
Reviewed by: Michael Howard