All Scholars

RUSSELL, Pinckney Warren

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  • Date of Birth: April 25, 1864
  • Born City: Newberry County
  • Born State/Country: SC
  • Parents: Madison & Rachel Williams R.
  • Date of Death: September 24, 1941
  • Death City: Charlotte
  • Death State/Country: NC
  • Married: Hattie E. Field, December 19, 1894.
  • Education:

    Hoge School for Colored Children (Newberry, SC); A.B. (honors), Biddle U. (Charlotte, NC) (now Johnson C. Smith U.), 1890; B. Th., 1893; M.A.; D.D., Lincoln U. (Oxford, PA).

  • Professional Experience:

    Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Biddleville, NC; Goldsboro, NC; principal, State Normal School asst. lecturer, preparatory dept., Biddle U., 1899-1908; prof. Greek New Testament, 1908-10; prof. Greek, 1910-38; dean of faculty, 1921-2; dean, School of the Arts, 1922-6. 

  • Notes:

    After the early death of his parents, Russell worked at a cotton factory at Pelzer, South Carolina. Around twenty years of age, he decided to devote his life to study and to the ministry. He entered Biddle University, a school for black Presbyterians in Charlotte, North Carolina, and graduated from the college course in 1890 with honors. In 1893, he graduated from the school’s theological course and later won his D. D. from Lincoln University. His wife Hattie had trained to become a teacher at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Caro­lina and at the Peabody Normal High School in Petersburg, Virginia. The couple would have six children.

    After a pastorate at Biddleville, an African American neighborhood in Charlotte, and seven years at Goldsboro on the eastern side of North Carolina, where he was ordained as a minister and served as the principal of the State Normal School, Russell returned to Biddle University as an assistant teacher in the college preparatory depart­ment. Then, while serving as principal of the department for three years, he earned his M.A. degree at Biddle. He was promoted to the chair of Greek and taught courses in both ancient literature and New Testament Greek. School catalogues for the academic year 1903 to 1904 list him teaching Xenophon’s Memorabilia to seniors, the Anabasis to sophomores, and the New Testament Greek to juniors. The 1908, school catalogue lists him as chair of the New Greek Testament and, in 1910, he is listed as Professor of Greek Language and Literature. Affiliated with the school from 1899 to 1938, Russell was dean of faculty from 1921 to 1922 and dean of the School of Arts from 1922 to 1926. 

    While Russell was not a publishing scholar, he clearly showed his desire to be pro­fessionally associated with Greek and Latin studies by becoming a member of the Clas­sical Association of the Middle West and South in 1917 and the American Philological Association in 1920 (TAPA 51 (1920): ix).

  • Sources:

    n.a., Thirty-Fifth Annual Session of Biddle University, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1903-1904 (Charlotte, North Carolina: Observer Printing House, 1904); n.a., “Membership List of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South,” Classical Journal 12 (June, 1917) 639; n.a., “Dr. Pinckney W. Russell Retired Professor of Johnson C. Smith University Passes,” The Carolina Times, Durham (October 4, 1941); A.B. Caldwell, ed. History of the American Negro—North Carolina Edition (Atlanta: A.B. Caldwell Publishing Company, 1921) 524-7; Inez Parker Moore, The Biddle-Johnson C. Smith University Story (Charlotte, NC: Charlotte Publishing Co., 1975) 28. 

  • Author: Michele Valerie Ronnick