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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Hubbard, Jeremiah

by Algie I. Newlin, 1988; Revised by SLNC Government and Heritage Library, May 2024

13 Feb. 1777–23 Nov. 1849

Hubbard. He is older. He has a a think beard, is bald, and is wearing glasses. He is wearing a suit and bowtie. Jeremiah Hubbard was an educator, Quaker leader, and political activist. He was born in Mecklenburg County, Va., and was the son of Joseph and Ann Crews Hubbard. He was the grandson of Hardiman Crews and his wife, who was an American Indian woman. Her name is unknown. 

Soon after the Revolutionary War, Joseph Hubbard moved his family to Person County. He likely settled on the upper waters of Richland Creek, just south of the present town of Roxboro. Little is known of Jeremiah or his family during his childhood. Later in his life, Jeremiah elaborated that his mother was a source of care, discipline, and guidance in his childhood. No reference has been found to his ever having attended school, although at the height of his career he was referred to as one of the most eminent teachers and most learned persons among the North Carolina Quakers.

In 1802, Hubbard married Margaret Butler in Dinwiddie County, Va. Between the time of their marriage and 1810, they moved from Person County to Hillsborough in Orange County, and in 1815 they moved to the Deep River community near Jamestown. On 15 May 1820, Margaret Hubbard died. On 9 Oct. 1821, he married Martha Charles of Charles City County, Va.

Hubbard is remembered primarily as a leader in education, despite the fact that he had little if any formal training. He is known to have taught in two schools in Guilford County, and he also likely taught while living in Person and Orange counties. While residing in the Deep River community, he became generally recognized as an outstanding leader of the Quakers in North Carolina. As presiding clerk of the North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends for sixteen years, he routinely campaigned for the establishment of a Quaker-supported boarding school to train teachers, other Quaker leaders, and members of the general public. In this effort, he was joined by Nathan Hunt, who became known as the principal founder of the New Garden Boarding School (later Guilford College). The work of these two leaders was made more difficult by the economic depression of 1837. However, the response to their strong and extended appeal was sufficient to enable the Society of Friends to acquire a tract of land, erect a building, and launch the school upon its long history.

In February 1837, only a few months before the opening of New Garden Boarding School, Hubbard and his family moved to Indiana. There, Jeremiah continued his dual roles as a teacher and a minister of the Society of Friends. He was often remarked as an excellent speaker, well informed, and energetic.

It is not known whether Hubbard ever sought political office, but he did take a firm stand on political issues of his time. He opposed slavery and joined the Manumission Society to work for gradual emancipation. Hubbard also worked to help American Indian people during times of land confiscations. When Chief Ross and a few others from the Cherokee Nation went to Washington, D.C., to appeal to President Andrew Jackson, they stopped at New Garden to ask Hubbard to go with them. They were aware of his American Indian genealogy, and knew that he was a friend of the president. One Sunday morning after worship, the Cherokee delegates conferred with some of the prominent Quakers present in front of the New Garden Meeting House. As a result of this conference, Hubbard agreed to accompany them to Washington. It is said that they obtained Jackson's support for a treaty that would prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to the Cherokees.

Hubbard died in Richmond, Ind., on 23 Nov. 1849.


Deeds of Orange County (Register of Deeds, Hillsborough).

Willard Heiss, ed., Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, vol. 7 (1962).

William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of Quaker Genealogy, vols. 1 (1969), 6 (1947).

"Memorial of Whitewater Monthly Meeting of Friends to Jeremiah Hubbard," Friends Review 7 (12 Dec. 1853).

Minutes of Whitewater Monthly Meeting of Friends (Indiana), Abstracts of the Records of the Society of Friends in Indiana, Part One (1962, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis). Manuscript sources in Quaker Collection, Library of Guilford College: Charles F. Coffin, "Personal Recollections of Jeremiah Hubbard".

"Genealogy of the Hubbard Family with a Brief History of the Connection with the Cherokee Indians".

Minutes of Deep River Monthly Meeting of Friends.

Minutes of Spring Monthly Meeting of Friends.

Additional Resources:

Hubbard, Jeremiah. A Teacher's Ups and Downs from 1858 to 1879. United States: Palladium Steam Printing House, 1879.

Hubbard, Jeremiah. Grand River Monthly Meeting of Friends: Composed of Indians. United States: Press Book and Job Printing House [printer], 1886.

Huff-Nixon Family Papers, Friends Collection and Earlham College Archives, Richmond IN. (accessed May 8, 2014).

"Petition 11281709 Details." Digital Library on American Slavery. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (accessed May 8, 2014).

"Petition 11283104 Details." Digital Library on American Slavery. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. (accessed May 8, 2014).

"Guilford College." N.C. Highway Historical Marker J-35, N.C. Office of Archives & History. (accessed May 8, 2014).

"Indian Territory Court Cases." The Journal of American Indian Family Research 7, no.1 (1986). 46.  (accessed May 8, 2014).

Image Credit:

Hubbard, Jeremiah. Forty Years Among the Indians: A Descriptive History of the Long and Busy Life of Jeremiah Hubbard. United States: Printed and bound by the Phelps Printers, 1913. (accessed May 3, 2024).