Maine Historical Society.

Collections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) online

. (page 22 of 34)
Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 22 of 34)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Thetis, Captured April 20th, 1814, Combattant 1. James Brown,
Seaman, Captured April 20th, 1814, Combattant 1. Andrew
Carmie, Seaman, Thetis, April 20th 1814, Combattant 1. Lewis
Reynolds, Midshipman, Captured in Catherine, April 28th, 1814,
Combattant 1. John Hayes, Seaman, Catherine, April 28th,
1814, Combattant 1. Andrew Anderson, Seaman, Catherine,
April 28th, 1814, Combattant 1. Richard Searchfield, Seaman,
Catherine, April 28th, 1814, Combattant 1. John Ramsbottom,
Seaman, Catherine, April 28th, 1814, Combattant 1. William
Williams, Seaman, Catherine, April 28th, 1814, Combattant 1.
Henry Steadall, Seaman, Catherine, April 28th, 1814, Combattant
1. Thomas White, Boy, Catherine, April 28tb, Combattant 1.

Vol. VL 21



306 maine historical society.

Remarks.

Collectors Office,
District of Portland and Falmouth,

June 8th, 1814.
I hereby Certify, that I have Carefully examined the Within
Report, and that I have Verified the same by the Prisoners on
board, who are found to be in number and description as therein
stated. (Signed) Isaac Ilsley, Coll.

Portland, June 8th, 1814.
I have this day received into My Custody twenty-nine pris-
oners agreeably to the Within Report.

(Signed) Hy. Thornton, Marshall.

Fort Scammel, June 8th, 1814.
Received of Edward Richardson, 2d Lieutenant of the private
armed brig Grand Turk, twenty- seven prisoners of War.

(Signed; Wm, A. Springer, Lieut.

34th Inf. Commanding.



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY
MAINE MINISTERS.

BY WILLIAM D. WILLIAMSON.

Presented to the Maine Historical Society, with an Introduction by Joseph
Williamson, December 10, 1891.

[continued.]
REV. ISAAC HASEY.
Rev. Isaac Hasey, Harvard College 1762, was
ordained June 25, 17^)5, the first settled minister in
the present town of Lebanon. It was then a planta-
tion called Towrook, which had been settled only
about eighteen years, and became incorporated June,



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 307

1765, into a town. Rev. Mr. Hasey early removed his
ftimily into the place, and the proprietors, determined
to have the township settled by a moral and religious
people, generously supported Mr. Hasey seventeen
years. He died in October, 1812, after a short sick-
ness, at an age above seventy years. His son, Benja-
min Hasey, Harvard College, 1790, is a counselor-at-
law^ at Topsham, which he has represented in the
state legislature several years. Though the morning
star of Lebanon was not of the first magnitude, it
shone with undiminished luster till it set ; the inhabi-
tants rejoiced in its light, and w^ere in tears at its
departure.

REV. JONAH WINSHIP.

Rev. Jonah Winship, Harvard College, 1762, was
ordained June 12, 1765, the first settled minister of
Woolwich. At that time there were only twenty fam-
ilies and two framed houses, though there had been
settlements in the place as a precinct of Georgetown
more than an hundred years before. But the planta-
tion, which was emptied of its inhabitants in the sec-
ond Indian war, lay waste about thirty-five years.

The subject of these remarks was probably a de-
scendant of Edward Winship (sometimes spelt Wind-
ship), who settled in Cambridge, and died in 1688,
leaving several sons. He was the first Congregational
minister settled in his vicinity. His salary was only
sixty-seven pounds. He received as a colleague Rev.
Jonathan Adams, February 26, 1817, and died in 1824,
upwards of eighty years old. He was in good fellow-



308 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

ship with other churches of his order in Maine, Rev.
Mr. Deane of Portland taking a part in his ordination.
Of all Mr. Winship's contemporaries his pastorate was
of the longest continuance, being about sixty years.
He was, in truth, a patriarch of the East, apt to teach,
being of an excellent spirit, full of faith and good
fruits. As the sources of earthly comforts dried up
those that are heavenly much abounded; a soul re-
fined by grace and discipline for the mansions of
blessedness.

REV. SAMUEL FOXCROFT.

Rev. Samuel Foxcroft, Harvard College, 1754,
was ordained January 16, 1765, the first settled min-
ister of New Gloucester, a church being organized
there for the first time. His grandfather was Francis
Foxcroft, who died at Cambridge in 1727, an eminent
man. His sons were Francis and Thomas, both grad-
uated at Harvard, the latter being ordained over the
first church in Boston in 1717, and deceased in 1769)
aged seventy-three. His son is the subject of this
sketch. He first preached in the garrison at New
Gloucester, there being at that time no meeting-house
in the town. All was harmony and mutual satisfac-
tion in church and parish so long as the proprietors
supported him ; afterward there was disaffection, and
in 1783 the church had a special reason for fasting
and prayer to be guided of God in the right way.
But the difficulties did not subside, but agitated the
people more or less for seven or eight years. He was
a minister of undoubted piety, and of good gifts and



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 309

sober manners, but his constitution was slender and
his health feeble ; unable amidst all his duties to make
great and persevering efforts in his Master's cause.
He acted in the spirit of a true Christian, for he was
ready to take a dismission, or relinquish his salary, or
both, as the parish might choose.

In 1791 the cloud which hung over the place seemed
for a season to break away, as the people listened to
the animated preaching of a young Mr. Cornwall
from Connecticut, who appeared to be directed thither
as by a divine ray, to publish the glad tidings of peace.
His addresses, public and private, were pungent and
powerful ; crowded assemblies hung upon his words ;
unusual emotions were oftentimes witnessed, and many
under his preaching received the hopes of salvation.
But after this young Apollos left the place the cloud
returned, and Mr. Foxcroft, in January, 1793, was at
his own request finally dismissed. But the vacancy
so effected was not followed by refreshing dews from
heaven, as if it were favored by divine providence ;
and many serious, contemplative people were so im^
pressed with the result. For, though the parish era-
ployed successively Rev. Otis Crosby, Hugh Wallis,
James Boyd and John Dane, with intention of settling
them, all their efforts were disappointed through the
lengthened period of nine years.

Rev. Mr. Foxcroft died suddenly at New Gloucester,
March 2, 1807, in the seventy-second year of his age,
having resided there to that time, after his pastoral
relationship to the parish was dissolved. He left issue :
one, the Hon. Joseph E. Foxcroft, an only son, who



310 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

has been representative of his town in the legislature,
and a senator and sheriff of his county.

From the funeral sermon of Rev. Mr. Scott of Minot,
we extract these sentiments : — " Mr. Foxcroft pro-
fessed the true faith and fear of God ; was clothed
with humility, and was much gifted in prayer. He
had a high relish for divine things, and an extensive
knowledge of the human heart and its depravity;
never satisfied with the externals of religion, nor with
flights of love springing from excited passions ; noth-
ing short of the faith in Jesus that purifies the heart
and leads in the ways of holiness could meet his large
desires. Frequently in prayer his whole heart and
soul seemed to go forth with his petitions to God."
Rev. Mr. Moseley, who succeeded him in 1802, says : —
" Though his passions were strong his disposition was
cheerful, free of everything like envy or vanity ; hum-
bled for his own unfruitfulness ; much in prayer and
enraptured in the duty." In a word, seldom do we
find a saint on earth whose zeal to do o;ood is hio-her
and warmer. For as another writer says, in the last
year of his life, " He contributed much to the bene-
fit of the people in the new settlement around him
by preparing and gratuitously distributing useful
publications."

REV. SAMUEL DEANE.

Rev. Samuel Deane, Harvard College 1760, second
settled minister in the first parish of Portland, was
ordained October 17, 1764, colleague pastor of Rev.
Thomas Smith, the Didymus of the age. Mr. Deane



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 311

was the great-grandson of John Deane, who emigrated
from England to this country in 163G, and died at
Taunton, and the eldest son of Dea. Samuel Deane of

N , Massachusetts, where he was born in 1733.

He was evidently selected as much for his talents and
scholarship as for his pastoral qualities and vital godli-
ness. A year he was tutor at Harvard, anterior to
which period he composed a Latin poem, which, with
other salutatory compositions, was presented by the
University to George the Third, on his accession to the
throne. His best poem was Pitchwood-Hill in hex-
ameter. " He was a man of good personal appear-
ance and of grave and dignified deportment," relax-
ing, however, in social conversation to indulgence in
pleasantry and wit too free for a minister of the gos-
pel. Take an anecdote of him when tutor, showing
to a stranger a very long sword, one of the curiosities
in the museum. "' Will you, "says the visitor, " please
inform me of its history?" "I believe, replied Mr.
Deane, " it is the sword with which Balaam threat-
ened to kill his ass." " no," says the gentleman,
" Balaam had no sword, but only wished for one."
" True," says Mr. Deane, "but that must be the one
he wished for."

Rev. Mr, Deane married, in 17G6, a daughter of
Moses Pearson, but left no issue. His wife deceased
October 14, 1812, aged eighty-seven years, a very
worthy woman. In the course of his ministry he pub-
lished several of his compositions, but that which was
altogether of the most celebrity was a volume first
printed in 1790, entitled a Georgical Dictionary, or



312 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

New England Farmer. Here he was in his element,
exhibiting himself a man of agricultural genius, taste
and experiment. The same year he was honored with
the degree of D. D. by Brown University. In 1809
he received Rev. Ichabod Nichols as a colleague, and
deceased November 12, 1814, in the eighty-first year
of his age and fiftieth of his ministry. Rev. Mr.
Deane was minister of the Academy of Arts and Sci-
ences, being a man famous more for his science than
for success in the conversion of sinners.

REV. EZEKIEL EMERSON.

Rev. Ezekiel Emerson, Nassau Hall,^ 1763, was
ordained July 3, 1765, and was the first settled min-
ister of Georgetown. After the town became estab-
lished and incorporated, in 1716, its inhabitants,
though desirous of gospel privileges, could not unite
in a minister, part of them being Presbyterians and
part Congregationalists. In the summer season be-
tween 1717 and 1721 inclusive. Rev. Joseph Baxter
of Medfield visited Georgetown and its vicinity as a
missionary. Of the same character was the preach-
ing for twelve succeeding years. But the town em-
ployed Rev. William McLanathan, or McLanakin, in
1734; Mr. James Morton in 1738; Mr. Robert Ruth-
erford in 1743 ; Mr. Daniel Mitchell in 1747, and Mr.
Alexander Boyd in 1748. Mr. McLanathan and Mr.

iThe college of New Jersey, now Princeton College, was opened in 1767, at
P^lizabe thtown, now Elizabeth; the same year it was transferred to Newark
whence it was removed to Princeton in 1757. The fine college building, at the
suggestion of Gov. Belcher, was named Nassau Hall, " to the immortal memory
of the glorious King William the Third," " of tlie illustrious house of Nassau." On
this account the college in its early years was often called Nassau Hall.



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 313

Boyd severally preached in the place some years,
thouo'h neither was settled.

But, though destitute of a minister, Georgetown
built a meeting-house in 1761, on Arrowsic Island,^ and
thus laid the foundation for more unanimity, sensible
that religion is a plant that can never flourish among
the briars and thorns of controversy. The establish-
ment of public worship and the regular administration
of the divine ordinances were propitious events to
Georgetown.

Mr. Emerson was from Uxbridge, Massachusetts,
and in his ordination Rev. Mr. Webb of that place
delivered the sermon, Mr. Fish of Upton gave the
charge, and Mr. Winship of Woolwich gave the right
hand of fellowship. Of the old church eight were
recognized as members, and in September thirty-seven
others were admitted to fellowship. Soon after the
house of God was thus set in order there was a great
revival of religion, witnessed by the addition of many
hopeful converts to the church, so that there appeared
more than one hundred communicants. Thus ce-
mented by life-giving religion, his people cheerfully
supported him, and for fourteen or fifteen years there
was enjoyed mutual happiness and peace. But in the
midst of the Revolutionary war his salary, which was
never more than three hundred dollars, was paid in
depreciated paper money, which became at length " of
little value " ; the public burthens and expenses lay
heavily on the people ; the towns and settlements on
large rivers and navigable waters were exposed to

iMSS. Letters of B. Riggs, Esq.



314 MAINE HISTOEICAL SOCIETY.

every annoyance from the enemy, and Mr, Emerson
was consequently absent from his people about four
years. As soon, however, as the voice of peace was
heard, he returned to the bosom of his charge. May
1, 1783. He continued his ministerial labors till 1811,
when he received assistance from Rev. Samuel Sewall,
previously of Edgecomb. He died November 9, 1815,
in the eio-htieth vear of his age. So much was Mr. Em-
erson's mental powers impaired by age and infirmity
during the last years of his life that he lived princi-
pally in retirement, quite happy as he was, much
beloved and respected. He was a man of peculiarities,
though a good sermonizer, and a truly pious minister
of the altar. If his compositions did not abound with
gems and jewels they were well replenished with
golden truths. In his parish was the haven of the
seas, where the first plantation on the whole coast was
attempted, and where the voice of Christian praises
was first heard. Georgetown being a most ancient,
was a most famous station.

REV. JOHN MURRAY.

Rev. John Murray was an Irish emigrant to New
England in 1763, educated in his native country, and
in sentiment a Presbyterian. Being, before he left
Europe, duly inducted into the sacerdotal office accord-
ing to the rights and usages of the church to which
he belonged, no formal installation after he arrived
was prerequisite to his administration of the Christian
ordinances. His connection, therefore, with a partic-
ular church, was by an union in covenant, and with a



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 315

particular parish ; it was by contract. He finally set-
tled, and became established in Boothbay toward the
close of the year 1766, the first settled minister of
that place and the only one settled in Maine that year.

Boothbay, the ancient Cape-newagen, is supposed
to have been first inhabited about 1635, perhaps ear-
lier. It was wholly overrun by the Indians in 1688,
and lay waste about forty years. A part of the town
was previously purchased of an Indian sagamore, and
subsequently claimed by one John Ludgate of Boston,
who, in 1737, surveyed and sold lots, and appropriated
parcels of lands for the purposes of building a meet-
ing-house, aiding in support of the ministry and other
public uses. But all this had more of sound than sub-
stance. Also the apprehensions of the people from
others' chiims were groundless, for no part of Booth-
bay fell within what was long known as either the
Drowne, the Tappan, or the Brown Rights. The
plantation was principally revived in 1729, and after-
ward by Col. David Dunbar, and called by him Towns-
hend ; and on the third of November, 1764, it was
incorporated into the town of Boothbay.

So peculiarly acceptable to the people of this town
was Mr. Murray in all his ministrations that they unit-
edly and strongly invited him to settle with them, five
men engaging to pay him an annual salary of ninety
pounds sterling. The obligation offered him is dated
December 22, 1763. But he declined the offer at
that time, proceeded to Philadelphia, and took the
pastoral care of a Presbyterian church in that city,
where he continued upward of two years. In the



316 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

spring of 1766 he returned, to the great joy of all his 1
former acquaintances, and ardently entered upon the
pastoral, apostolic duties of his office. He was fre-
quent and free in his visits, and his inquiries into their
spiritual state affectionate and faithful. The method
he prescribed to himself was this : first, salute the
house, compare the lists with the family, and note the
church members ; second, address the children on the
great subject of early religion, secret prayer, the sa-
cred Sabbath, public worship, God's ordinances, true
conversion, good company, love and concord, fidelity,
and reading good books ; third, address parents on
their spiritual state, on secret devotion, on family
worship, government and catechising on the Sabbath,
public worship, and the sacrament. If church mem-
bers, see what profit ; if not, remove objections ; if in
error or evil, convince, reclaim ; if in division, heal ;
if poor, help ; lastly, exhortation to all, pray.

It was thus, with system and spirit, he entered upon
the high responsibilities of his Master's work. He
felt deeply that there were hearts to be softened, affec-
tions to be melted, and souls to be saved. His sensi-
bilities, which were in constitution lively, and much
refined by grace, glowed in his expression when he
spake, and early awakened responsive sympathies.
Like Moses and Samuel, he prayed ; and like Daniel,
he labored. Quite acceptably, the Rev. Jonathan
Greenleaf in his Sketches has given us some extracts
from Mr. Murray's diary of the first year: " A dismal
prospect, truly," he says, "thirteen this day, eight yes-
terday, unbaptized, all ignorant of God and themselves,



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTEES. 317

and though they all profess otherwise, I fear, all pray-
erless ; all determined to cherish their hopes ; though
I have found but two who can rationally profess any
experience of the power of religion, and God knows
their hearts. Some of the English Church, some Sep-
arates, most of them nothing at all. Arise, Lord !
or this people perish. 0, revive thine own work, and
show them thy salvation ! Lord ! I commit the
whole to thee ; breathe on my poor, feeble attempts ;
grant the success, 'tis all of thee ! " x\t another time
he exclaims : " ' Tis true, I have met with three fe-
male professors ; one of them, I hope is really genu-
ine ; but, oh ! the midnight slumbers of the rest !
Darkness, total darkness ; darkness that may be felt,
with no desire of real day. earth, earth, hear the
word of the Lord ! Open, Great God, the ear and heart
of this people ! 0, what triumphs would grace gain if
such sinners were brought home ! "

Amidst these strong exercises and desires, he wit-
nessed some gleams of revival in the autumn : in the
winter a churcli was organized on Presbyterian prin-
ciples, and thirteen converts received, and in the
spring, April 12, 1767, the holy supper was, for the first
time, administered there to the church, consisting of
fifty members, ond to about one hundred other com-
municants from neighboring churches. It was a most
solemn and impressive celebration of that holy ordi-
nance. Convictions were deepened, souls were con-
verted, and the revival spread, and continued through
the summer. Mr. Murray shone and spake like an
angel of light. By night, by day, he sought Him whom



318 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

his soul loved, ravished to witness the converting dis-
plays of divine grace in so many hearts. The region
on every side, and the islands, were awakened or re-
freshed by this life-giving breath of Immanuel, and at
his table, in October, there were about two hundred and
twenty communicants. Truly, it might be said, the
winter is past, the time for singing praises has come,
and the voice of instruction is heard in the wilderness.
For the word of the Lord continued to have free
course, and new converts wore trophies of His grace,
so that within twelve or fourteen months from the be-
ginning of the revival, sixty-three persons were admit-
ted from the world into the church.

Of this remarkable revival there is a testimonial,
dated in 1767, and signed by Rev. Mr. Murray and
four " Ruling Elders " and three deacons of the church,
from which the following is an extract : The solemn
and thoughtful seriousness that preceded the first men-
tioned sacrament was soon followed by a " sweet and
glorious season. Many of God's children w^ere filled
with the joys of the Lord, and many poor souls brought
to see the need of that Savior they had wickedly
crucified. Immediately at the call of several of the
neighboring towns the pastor visited Pownalboro, the
Sheepscot at the head of the tide, Walpole, Earring-
ton (Bristol), and other places, and during the tour of
ten weeks he preached every day. The work of God
was glorious, for it seemed in all those places as if the
Almighty had resolved to make his word bear down
everything before it. Religion became the conversa-
tion of all companies ; the voice of opposition was



SKETCHES OF THE LIVES OF EARLY MAINE MINISTERS. 319

struck dead ; in public worship the congregation was
drowned in tears ; the pastor's lodgings were daily
crowded by poor, wounded souls, with whom he found
sweet employment day and night, sometimes to three
o'clock in the morning. There was communion with
God, and uncommon fellowship in piety and prayer
with each other ; and quiet companies would retire to
the woods to sing hymns of praise ; so that one might
almost all the time hear the wilderness sing hosannas.
It seemed, sometimes, as if heaven had come down to
dwell on earth. Children, by forty in a company,
were seen crying and weeping on account of their state,
whilst their tender parents, with bursting hearts and
streaming eyes stood by ; and at one time after the
blessing was pronounced, near thirty persons, men and
women, cried out in the agony of their hearts. Thus
the mighty work continued through all the summer
and months afterwards." In a word this was a revival
too memorable ever to be forgotten.

As a popular and successful minister Mr. Murray was
a model. In his access and address to others he was
easy and affectionate ; religion, so sweet to his taste,
was always on his tongue, and his manners were so
simple and sincere that the heart could but believe he
felt fully all he said. Still conquests, not applause,
were the ultimatum of his aims, and the incense of
praise, in his judgment, was not an attraction to be
mentioned among sinful mortals. In preaching, he
loved to take for his text the words of his Savior.
These he would sound to the hard hearted as alarms
from Mount Sinai, and then, to the broken in spirit, he



320 MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

would present them, sweet as honey drops from the
comb. Hhnself full of overflowing benevolence, when
he touched a tender strain, his sensibilities faultered in
eyery expression and his voice seemed to hang like a
vibrating harp upon the words, death, judgment and
eternity. Such a man could command the best par-
ishes anywhere. He had an invitation in 1775 to re-
move to and settle in Boston, but this he declined,
though in 1779,^ he was prevailed upon to take the
pastoral charge of the Presbyterian church in New-
buryport, vacant by the death of Rev. Mr. Parsons.
He continued there till his decease, which occured in
1793, supposed to be short of sixty years of age. But
though " his talents were of a very superior order" he
received not the cordiality and fellowship due to him
from the Congregational ministers. The venerable
and revered Mr. Smith, of Portland, says Mr. Murray
was an " extremely popular " preacher, and yet, after-
wards in 1772, remarks that his people were in " a sad
toss" because Mr. Murray, being in town, was not in-
vited into his pulpit. Nor did the Rev. Dr. Spring, of
Newburyport, treat Mr. Murray when there with the
notice and respect to which any reputable minister of
the gospel was entitled. The clergymen of the " stand-
ing order" as they were called, accused him of being
an itinerant, visiting places un requested, to distract
religious societies. But though he was too popular



Online LibraryMaine Historical SocietyCollections of the Maine historical society (Volume 1) → online text (page 22 of 34)