Brown, Hallie Q.
The silhouette of Martha Payne as shown in this volume is probably one hundred and thirty years old. It represents the mother of Daniel Alexander Payne. We have meagre information of this mother and what we glean is told by her son after she had been dead more than fifty years.
We learn that London and Martha Payne were free born and lived in Charleston, South Carolina. They were earnest Christians and faithful observers of family worship. "Often," says this son, "their morning prayers and hymns aroused me from my infant sleep and slumbers." He was taught the alphabet by his father, but was bereft by death, of his paternal care at the age of four and a half years. When he was nine years old his mother died leaving him in charge of a grand aunt "whose godly lessons and holy example stimulated me to attain unto a noble character."
Of his father he says, he was one of six brothers who served in the Revolutionary War. Their father was an Englishman. Daniel had a clear recollection of the rejoicing after the close of the war of 1812 when the city of Charleston was illuminated and, that he might see the objects of interest more clearly, his father carried him through the streets on his shoulders. He describes his mother as a woman of light brown complexion, medium stature and delicate in frame. Her grandmother was of a tribe of Indians known in the early history of the Carolinas
Martha Payne was a woman of amiable disposition, gentle manners, and fervent piety. He remembers the custom of his mother which was to take "her little Daniel" by the hand and lead him to the house of God, seating him by her side. In this way he became early impressed with strong religious feelings. Again he says, "I was the child of many prayers. My parents prayed for a son and before my birth I was dedicated to the Lord. Afterward I was taken to the house of God and again consecrated to His service in the holy ordinance of baptism." When but a lad of eight years through that mother's godly example and early instruction he was converted and daily sought his closet "beseeching the Lord to make me a good boy."
Thus this mother, Martha Payne, early impressed her child with high, honorable impulses which were to develop into traits of noble character, making the name of Daniel Alexander Payne renowned on two hemispheres for eighty years as a man of deep piety, unsullied reputation, an educator of first rank, a champion for human rights and honorable prelate of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.