their provoking and disorderly conduct. This friendly interposition of
the Governor involved him in a dispute with one Joseph Backus,
Esq. the magistrate before whom the Rogerenes were arraigned,
which was probably the means of abating, in some measure, the legal
persecutions which continually fell to the lot of this deluded and per-
secuted people. The Connecticut rulers, after inflicting on the Roger-
enes, for almost a century, their fruitless severities, learnt, at length,
what they ought to have learnt at first, that the wisest way to deal
with them, when they came to disturb them, and proclaim against the
idol Sabbath, was to remove them away, until their worship was end-
ed, and then release them without fine or correction. This method
they finally adopted, which had a much better effect than their former
One family of these Rogerenes were Colvers or Culvers,* consisting
of the father, John Colver and his wife, (who were part of the compa-
ny which was treated so roughly at Norwich, c. ) and five sons and
five daughters, who, with their families, made up the number of 21
souls. This large family, in the year 1734, removed from New-Lon-
don, and settled in New Jersey. The place they pitched upon for resi-
dence was on the east side of Schooly Mountain, in Morris county.
They continued here about three years, and then went in a body to
Barnagot, in the county of Monmouth : they continued there about
eleven years, and then returned to Morris county, and settled on the
west side of the mountain from which they had removed.
In the year 1790, the R.^erenes (in N. J. ) were reduced to two old
persons, who^e names were Thomas Colver and S.irah Mann ; but
the posterity of John Colver are yet numerous in Morris county, and
have, most of them, become reputable members of other religious so-
*' I do not find (says Mr. Edwards) that the Rogerenes have suffer-
* Mr. E:l wards spells it Culver, but I find in Governor Jenki's MS. it ie
VOL. 2. 54*
426 Indian Churcles.
ed by fines and corporal punishment in New-Jersey, more than once j
and that was for disturbing a Presbyterian congregation at Basking-
ridge : in other places, they have been taken out of meeting-houses,
with much pleasantry, and shut up in stables, pen-folds, (and once in
a hog-pen) till worship was over. Paul speaks of seme people, who
pleased not Gud, and were contrary to all men ; it were uncharitable to ap-
ply this to the Rogerenes ; but facts, for the course of 1 16 years, look
too much like being contrary to all men ; and as for the spirit that ac-
tuated them, it was as different from the meek and humble spirit of
Je-us, as any two things could be. It is surprising how principles, or
education, or custom, or something, will make people differ from oth-
ers so greatly, that it is hard to think they are of the same common
nature, or are the work of the same Maker. Had the Rogerenes lived
in the time of the Cynicks, they would have been ranked with them."
Mr. Backus says of John Rogers, that " he intermixed a number of
precious truths with many things of a contrary nature."
The Kogereaes, in their language and some other peculiarities, re-
sembled the Quakers ; hence they were often called Quaker Baptists.
They have, some time ago, become extinct as a society. But their
posterity, under the names of Rogers, Bolles, Sec. are still numerous ;
aud many of them are not only respectable, but some of them are dis-
tinguished members of many of the Baptist churches in different parts
of New- England and some of the other States.
Since the above was written, I have learnt that there is yet a small
company of the Rogerenes in Groton, near New- London.
OF these there have been a few of the Baptist denomination, but
me it 'fthem, at present, are either extinct or in a declining state.
The oldest churches of the red brethren were formed on the islands of
Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, which are included in the State of
Massachusetts. A short time previous to 1680, some of Mr. May-
hew s converts on Martha's Vineyard embraced die principles of the
Baptists, and joined to the churches in Newport. And with the In-
d';m converts to believers' baptism came an Englishman by the name
of P^ter Folger, who was a school- master among them. In 1694, two
Indian churches had been formed, one on the Vineyard, and the other
at Nantucket. Their pastor was Stephen Tackamason, who died in
1 708, and is said to have borne an excellent character, both as a preach-
er and Christian. The church at the Vineyard appears to have been
formed at Gayhead ; in process of time it branched out to Chappaqui-
on the east end of the island. It is difficult to trace the progress
of the .e three churches, which have become reduced to one at Gay-
Lead. ,md that in a feeble, declining state. Their preachers, at different
times., have been Isaac Decamy, Jonas Horswet, Ephraim Abraham,
Samuel Kakenehew, Peter Gilbert, Silas Paul, and Thomas Jeffer ;
the last of whom is now pastor at Gayhead, and is esteemed a sober,
worthy man. /ill these were ordained Indian preachers, who have left
good characters behind them ; and besides these there have been, at
different times, many unordained preachers and exhorters, whose names
are not koown.
Indian Churches. 427
Peter Folger, though not a preacher, was a successful promoter of
piety, learning, and believers' baptism, among the red men of the islands,
and a daughter of his was the mother of the famous Dr. Benjamin
At Charlestown in the Narraganset country, in the south part of
Rhode-Island, near Point Judith, an Indian church was formed proba-
bly about 1750. It arose out of a Pedobaptist church of the Separate
order, which was gathered there in the New-Light stir, under the
ministry of a Mr. Park. Its first pastor was James Simons, and after
him was the famous Samuel Niles, who \vas, in his day, one of the
most eminent Indian preachers in America. Other preachers have
succeeded him, but at present they are in a destitute and broken con-
dition. In a visit, which I paid them a short time since, I found a
number of venerable red sisters, who were much engaged in the things
of the kingdom ; three of them were about seventy years of age. The
men were ail absent on a fishing voyage. These Indians are the de-
scendants of die Nyantick tribe, whose chief, Ninegret, refused to join
in king Philip's war.f They were once a powerful tribe, but are now
reduced to a handful. The State has secured to them a tract of land
in Charlestown, which, however, they do not know how to manage to
Morgan Edwards supposes that the forefathers of this congregation
were converted by the labours of Roger Williams, which is not im-
probable, as it is known that he laboured among them with much as-
siduity and some success.:}:
Among the Mohegan Indians, near New-London, according to
Asplund, two churches were formed about 1770: they were upon
the open communion plan, and consisted of Baptists and Pedobaptists.
Connected with these, if I am rightly informed, was the famous Sam-
son Occom, who afterwards went to New-Stockbridge, in New- York.
At a place called Brotherton, now in Oneida county, New- York, an
Indian church was formed of baptized believers in 1 798. It arose in
the following manner. Not far from 1770, the Oneidas, one of the
Six Nations, granted to their destitute brethren of other tribes a large
tract of land for their settlement. To it Indians repaired from Stock-
bridge, Long-Island, from the Mohegans, the Narragansetts, and a
number of other tribes. The tract was six miles square, and was call-
ed New-Stockbridge. Rev. M. Sargeant, a Pedobaptist missionary,
has long been employed among them. Brotherton is an Indian vil-
lage adjoining New-Stockbridge, in which David Fowler, a pious In-
dian ol the Baptist persuasion, settled in 1776. Five others of his
brethren settled with him, and by them a meeting was maintained
without any church estate, until 1798; then their number had in-
creased to twelve, which were organized into a church by their neigh-
bouring white brethren. Mr. Fowler became its deacon, and was its
principal leader till his death, which happened about 1807. Since
that time they have been in a broken condition, and have, in a meas-
ure, lost their visibility as a church. Deacon Fowler was from Long-
* Backus, vol. i. p. 437, 439, and ii. p. 166.
'j Backus, vol. i. p. 437, 439, and ii. j>. 145.
'- MS. Hist, of Rhode-Island, p. 47.
428 Keithian Baptists.
Island, and sustained an excellent character through life. On the
same ground is a Baptist church on the open communion plan, which
is considerably large, and is under the care of a preacher by the name
of Wawby or Wabby.
No great success has hitherto attended the means used to convert the
American Indians. Their want of a written language has, in most
cases, proved an insurmountable barrier to those benevolent white men,
who have ardently desired their salvation. Our aged brother Elkanah
Holmes laboured for some years amongst the Tuscaroras and others
of the Six Nations. Most of their chiefs and many of the rest showed
a favourable disposition towards the gospel, but very few conversions
were effected among them.
SOON after the settlement of Pennsylvania, a difference arose among
the Quakers, touching the sufficiency of what every man has within himself
for the purpose of his own salvation. Some denied that sufficiency, and
consequently magnified the external Word, Christ, &c. above Barclay's
measure. These were headed by the famous George Keith, and there-
fore called Kcitbiant. The difference rose to a division in the year 169 r,
when separate meetings were set up in divers parts of the country, and
a. general one at Burlington in opposition to that of Philadelphia. This,
year they published a Confcs sion of Faith, containing twelve articles, much
in Barclay's strain, and signed by George Keith, Thomas Budd, John,
Hart, Richard Hilliard, Thomas Honten, and Henry Furnis, in the be-
half of the rest. They also published the reasons of the separation, &c.
signed by the same persons and others, to the number of 48. About
the same time, and afterward, were published several other pieces.
The design of those publications was,
1st. To inform the world of the principles of the Separate Quakers.
2d. To fix the blame of the separation on the opposite party.
3d. To complain of the unfair treatment, slanders, fines, imprison-
ments, and other species of persecution, which they endured from their
Whether these complaints be just or not, is neither my business nor
inclination to determine. If just, the Quakers have also shown, " That
every sect would persecute, had they but power." 1 know but one ex-
ception to this satyrical remark, and that is the Baptists ; they have had
civil power in their hands in Rhode-Island government, for an hundred
and thirty-six, (now one hundred and seventy-eight) years, and yet have
never abused it in tiiis manner, their enemies themselves being judges.
And it is remarkable that John Holmes, Esq. the only Baptist mag-
istrate in Philadelphia, at the time referred to, refused to act with the
Quaker magistrates against the Keithians, alleging, " That it was a
religious dispute, and therefore not fit for a civil court." Nay, he open-
ly blamed the court, held at Philadelphia, Dec. 6 12, 1692, for refu-
ting to admit the exceptions, which the prisoners made to their jury,
However, the Keithian Quakers soon declined ; their head deserted
them and went over to the Episcopalians. Some followed him thither j
-,ome returned to the Penn Quakers ; and some went to other societies.
Nevertheless, many persisted in the separation, particularly at Upper
Keltbian Baptists. 429
Providence ; at Philadelphia ; at Southampton ; and at Lower Dublin.
Theses by resigning themselves to the guidance of Scripture, began to
find water in the commi.-.sion ; bread and wine in the command ; com-
munity of goods, love feast, kiss of charity, right hand of fellowship,
anointing the sick for recovery, and washing the disciples' feet ; and
therefore were determined to practise accordingly.
The society of Keithians, most forward in these matters, was that
kept at the house of Thomas Powell, in Upper Providence ; which for-
wardness, it is said, was owing to one Abel Noble who visited them,
and was a Seventh-day Baptist minister when he arrived in this country.
The time they began to put their designs in practice, was Jan. 28,
1697, when the said Abel Noble baptized a publick Friend, whose
name was Thomas Martin, in Kedley-Creek. Afterwards Mr. Martin
baptized other Quakers, to the number of 1 6. To them joined one
William Beckingham, who broke off from the church at Cohan sey.
These 17 persons did, October 12, 1697, incorporate; and proceeded
to choose a minister by lot. Three were put in nomination, William
Beckingham, Thomas Bndd, and Thomas Martin. The lot fell on
the last, who, the same day, administered the Lord's supper to them,
for the first time. Shortly after, 15 more of the Quakers were bap-
tized, some of whom lived in other parts of the country. But in
1700 a difference arose among them, touching the Sabbath, which
broke up the society. Such as adhered to the observation of the Sev-
enth day, kept together at Newtown, where some of their posterity
are to this day. The rest lay scattered in the neighbourhood, till Mr.
Abel Morgan gathered together 15 of them, and formed them into a
society, now called the church of Brandyiuine, belonging to the Phila-
Another society of Keithian Quakers, who kept together, was that
pf Philadelphia, where they built a meeting-house in 1(192. Of
these, two publick persons were baptized in 1697, by Rev. Thomas
Kilhngworth, of Cohansey. Their names were William Davis and
Thomas Rutter. The fust joined Pennepek ; the other kept preach-
ing in Philadelphia, where he baptized one Henry Bernard Hoster,
Thomas Peart, and seven others, whose names are not on record.
These 9 persons united in communion, June 12, 1698, having Thomas
Rutter to their minister. They increased, and continued together
for 9 years. But some removing to the country, and the unbaptized
Keithians falling off, the society in a manner broke up in 1707;
for then the few that remained, invited the regular Baptists to join
them, and v.-eie incorporated with them.
A third society of Keithian Quakers was at Southampton, in Bulk's
county ; and a fourth at Lower Dublin. But many of these societies,
soon also found water in the commission, and were baptized ; and
having become Baptists, they were soon divided again, on the disputed
point respecting the Sabbath. Those who adhered to the observance
of the First-day Sabbath, in both societies, united with die church at
Thus have we seen that the Keithian Quakers ended in a kind of
transformation into Keithian Baptists : they were also called Qua-
ker Baptists, because they still i ruined the language, dress, and man-
430 Tanker Bap fists.
ners of the Quakers. We have seen also, that the Keithian or Quaker
Baptists ended in another kind of transformation into Seventh-day
Baptists, though some went among the First-day Baptists and other
societies. However, these were the beginning of the Sabbatarians in
Pennsylvania. A confession of faith was published by the Keithian
Baptists in 1697 : ll consists chiefly of the articles in the Apostles'
creed. The additions are articles which relate to baptism by immer-
sion, the Lord's supper; distinguishing days and months by numer-
ical names, plainness of language and dress, not swearing, not fight-
ing, &c. Morgan Edwards*
" THFY are called Tuners* in derision ; which is as much as to say,
Soft, from tunker, to fut a morsel into sauce ; but as the term signifies
Dippers, they may rest content with the nick-name, since it is the fate
of Baptists, in all countries, to bear some cross or other. They are
also called Tumblers, from the manner in which they perform baptism,
which is by putting the party's head forward under water, while kneel-
in;?;, so as to resemble the motion of tlie.body in the action of tumbling.
The Germans sound the letters t and b iike d and p; hence, the words
Tankers and Tumblers have been corruptly written Dunken and Dum-
"The first appearing of these people in America, was in the fall of
the year 1719. when about 20 families landed in Philadelphia, and
dispersed themselves, some to Germantown, some to Skippeck, some
to Cley, pome to Connestogo, and elsewhere. This dispersion incapac-
itated them to meet for publick worship ; and, therefore, they soon be-
gan to grow lukewarm in religion. But in the year 1722, Messrs. Ba-
ker, Gomery, Gantz, and the Trautrs, visited their scattered brethren,
which was attended with a great revival, insomuch that societies were
formed wherever a number of families were v/ithin reach one of anoth-
er. But this lasted not above three years. They settled on their lees
again, till about thirty families more of their persecuted brethren ar-
rived in the fail of the year 1729, which both quickened them again,
and increased their number every where. These two companies had
been members of one and the same church which originated at
Schwardzenau in the year 1708. The first constituents were Alexan-
der Mack and wife, John Kipin and wife, George Grevy, Andreas
Bhoney, Lucas Fetter, and Joanna Nethigeim. These had been bred
Presbyterians, except Kipin, who was a Lutheran ; and, being neigh-
bours, they consorted together to read the Bible, and edify one anoth-
er in the way they had been brought up ; for as yet they did not know
there were any Baptists in the world. However, believers' baptism
and a congregational church soon gained upon them, insomuch that
they were determined to obey the gospel in these matters. They de-
sired Alexander Mack to baptize them ; but he, deeming himself in
reality unbaptized, refused. Upon which they cast lots to find who
should be administrator. On whom the lot fell hath been carefully
concealed. However, baptized they were in the river Eder by
Schwardzcnau, and then formed themselves into H church ; choosing
* The word Tuckers, in German, and the word Baptists, in Greek, and the
-word Dippers, in English, are exucliy of the same si^ailicati'jn. lidrjards.
Tunker Baptists. 431
Alexander Mack to be their minister. They increased fast, and began
to spread their branches to Merienborn and Epstein, having JohnNaabS,
and Christian Levy to their ministers in those places. But persecution
quickly drove them thence, some to Holland and some to Creyfelt.
Soon after, the mother church voluntarily removed from Schward-
zenau to Serustervin in Friezland, and from thence migrated to-
wards America, in 1719. And in 1729, those of Creyfelt and Holland
followed their brethren.
" Thus we see that all the Tunker churches in America sprang
from the church at Schwardzenau in Germany; that that church began
in 1708, with only seven souls, and that in a place where no Baptist
had been in the memory of man, nor any now are. In 62 years that
little one became a thousand, and that small one a great nation.
" It is very hard to give a true account of the principles of these
Tunkers, as they have not published any system or creed, except what
two individuals have put forth, which have not been publickly avowed.
However, I may assert the following things concerning them from
my own knowledge. They are General Baptists, in the sense which
that phrase bears in Great- Britain ; but not Arians nor Socinians, as
most of their brethren in Holland are. General redemption they cer-
tainly hold ; and, withal, general salvation ; which tenets, though
wrong, are consistent. They use great plainness of language and
dress, like the Quakers ; and like them they will neither swear nor
fight. They will not go to law, nor take interest for the money they
lend. They commonly wear their beards ; and keep the First-day
Sabbath, except one congregation. They have the Lord's supper,
with its ancient attendants of love-feasts, washing feet, kiss of charity,
and right hand of fellowship. They anoint the sick with oil for re-
covery ; and use the trine immersion of laying-on-of-hands and prayer,
even while the person baptized is in the water ; which may easily be
done, as the party kneels doxvn to be baptized, and continues in that
posture till both prayer and imposition of hands be performed. But
though their baptism be well contrived for trine immersion, yet it loses
its resemblance of a burial. Their church government is purely re-
publican, and their discipline the same with those of the English Bap-
tists, except that in Maryland they have a supeiintendant, whose name
is Daniel Leatherman : to him is referred the decision of variances
among the ministers and people ; and as the Tunkers call all their or-
dained ministers Bishops, it follows that Leatherman holds the rank of
Archbishop. Every brother is allowed to stand up in the congregation
to speak, in a way of exhortation and expounding ; and when by these
means they find a man eminent for knowledge and aptness to teach,
they choose him to be a minister, and ordain him with imposition of
hands, attended with fasting and prayer, and giving the right hand of
fellowship. They also have deacons ; and ancient women for deacon-
esses ; and exhorters, who are licensed to use their gifts statedly.
They pay not their ministers, unless it be in the way of presents,
though they admit their right to pay ; neither do the ministers assert
the right, esteeming it more blessed to give than to receive. 1 'heir ac-
quaintance with the Bible is admirable. In a word, they are meek
and pious Christians, and have justly acquired the ch^rac'- r of the
432 Tunker Baptists.
" Of these there are in Pennsylvania 15 churches ; to which appe;-
tain 8 ordained ministers, and 13 exhorters or probationers, and 4
meeting-houses. The reason of their having no more places of worship
is, that they choose rather to meet from house to house, in imitation of
the primitive Christians. Their number of families is about 4 1 o, which,
allowing five to a family, contain about 2095 souls, whereof 763 are
baptized and in communion."
These Tunker churches were situated at different distances, in a
western direction from Philadelphia, and but few of them were over a
hundred miles from that city. Mr. Edwards has given a particular
history of each of them, the most remarkable of which, and the only
one whose history we shall here relate, is that at Ephrata.
" This church is distinguished by the above name, which is the
name of the village where it exists, in Cocolico township, and Lancas-
ter county, 60 miles to the westward of Philadelphia. The same vil-
lage is frequently called Tunhers town. It consists of between 30 and
40 buildings, and stands on a parcel of land containing 155 acres.
The land is formed into a triangle by the crossings of the Paxton and
Lancaster roads, and Cocolico river. The places of worship in the
village are three. One, called Sharon, adjoins the sisters' apartment
by way of chapel. The other, called Bethany, is a chapel belonging
to the apartments of the brethren, where they resort to worship, morn-
ing and evening, and sometimes in the night, as the sisters ako do in
the other chapel. The third is a common church, called Zion, built
on the summit of a little hiil, about 200 yards distant from the other.
Here the single brethren and single sisters, the married "people and
their children, meet once a week for publick worship. The brethren
have adopted the dress of the white friars, with some alteration, and
the sisters that of the nuns ; and both, like them, have taken the vow
of celibacy. But some break through the vow : then they quit their
cells, and go to the neighbourhood among the married people. All
the fraternity wear their beards. Tneir livelihood they get by culti-
vating the land, by a printing-office, by a grist-mill, a paper-mill, an
oil-mill, &c. and the sisters by spinning, weaving, sewing, &c. They
slept at first on board couches with blocks for pillows, but now sleep on
beds, and have otherwise abated much of the severity of their order.
They keep the seventh day of the week for Sabbath, to which their
founder had been proselyted by the remains of the Keithian Bap-
lists, particularly Rev. Thomas Rutter, who, in this affair, was the dis-