John Langdon Sibley.

A history of the town of Union, in the county of Lincoln, Maine, to the middle of the nineteenth century; online

. (page 19 of 49)
Online LibraryJohn Langdon SibleyA history of the town of Union, in the county of Lincoln, Maine, to the middle of the nineteenth century; → online text (page 19 of 49)
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. . 6.28

Thomas Butler* .


John Walker*

. . 5.02

Jeremiah Stubbs .


Reuben Hills*

. 16.09

Simon Drake* .


Olney Titus .

. . 3.35

William Lermond


John Clark* .

. . 4.12

Joseph Miller* .


John KiefF.

. 1.76

Hervey Maxcy


Ezekiel Clark .

. 1.62

Henry Esensa* .


Nathan D. Rice

. 2.46

James Brown .


Joshua Collamore

* . 2.28

Simeon Butters*


John Butler* .

. 2.77

Timothy Stewart*


Isaac Booth* .

. . 1.23

* Under date July 18, 1811, these persons, with Alford Adams,
Leonard Bump, Jesse Drake, David Grafton, Isaac Hills, James Little-
hale, Lewis Robbins 2d, Shadrach Snell, Vinal Ware, and George W.
West, are recorded as belonging to the Methodist Society.




Jacob Demuth

. $3.17

Jacob Sibley* . .


James Lermond''''


Thomas Daggett* .


Marble Alford


Edmund Luce . .


Abel Walker . .

. 2.04

Ezra Bo wen* .


James Sinclair* .


Richard Cummings*


Daniel Howard'^'


Abel Le Doit . . .


Simon Fuller*


Benjamin Buzzell


Nathan Carver* .


William Boggs* .


Marlboro' Packard*

. 7.60

Spencer Walcott* .


Barney Simmons *


James Littlehale .


Sterling Davis* .


Peter Fales . . .


Jacob Ring* .


Zelotes Tucker . .


William Peabody


George W. West . .


Oliver Pratt . .



In May, and also in September, 1810, unsuccessful
attempts were made to reconsider the vote relieving
the Baptists and the Methodists from paying their
taxes to the collector. Sept. 17, it was " voted to dis-
miss the Rev. Henry True as minister of the town of
Union." Nov. 5, a similar idea was contained in an
article " to see if the town will take measm-es, and
what they shall be, to dissolve the contract between
the Rev. Henry True and the inhabitants of this town
of Union, or act or do any thing relative to ministe-
rial or religious matters which may come before them."
No action was taken till Nov. 19, when the town
voted to " adopt measures to dissolve the contract,
. . . and to choose a committee of three to state their

* Together with Mary Gay, Aaron Gleason, John Hemenway,
Ziba Simmons, and Simon Wingate, are entered on the town-records
July 18, 1811, as belonging to the Baptists.

May 6, 1811, the town voted to allow Samuel Hills, Stephen March,
Daniel Walker, Amos Walker, John Clark 2d, and Stephen Childs, to
"have the appropriation of their ministerial money to the support of
their own teacher." And, April 13, 1812, a certificate, signed by Samuel
Hills and Stephen March, states that Samuel Hills, Daniel Walker,
Amos Walker, John Clark, jun., Stephen Childs, John Whiting, John
Whitney, Nathan Barnard, and Stephen March, are members of the
religious society in Union, called the Second Congregational Society.


objections against him." The committee, viz. Ed-
mund Mallard, Thomas Nye, and Herman Hawes, at
an adjom-ned meeting, Nov. 19, made the following
statement : —

" Your committee, after due deliberation, have unani-
mously agreed to report as follows : —

" From our own daily observation, and the repeated com-
plaints of our friends and many others, supporters of the
Rev. Henry True, we are led to believe that the said Henry
True is unmindful of a large portion of his parishioners,
and treats his congregation with great partiality. "We are
fully convinced that he, the said Rev. Henry True, treats
some of his parishioners in a familiar and friendly manner,
as a minister in our opinion ought to do ; while many others
are treated Avith great indifference, and, in some instances,
with an apparent studied neglect. We are of opinion that
the said Henry True's ministration and manner of instruc-
tion, for the reasons above stated, has [have] become un-
profitable, and [are] rather calculated to scatter, divide, and
wean the members of the Congregational Society in this
town from each other, than to cherish that equality, harmo-
ny, and friendship, without which the said society will be
soon broken up, and the great blessings resulting from such
regulated and properly conducted societies wholly lost.
We are fully convinced, that a large proportion of the said
Rev. Henry True's supporters ai-e dissatisfied, and the dis-
satisfaction is still increasing, which lessens the number of
his supporters to that degree, that the ministerial tax on the
few remaining is very burthensome, and in some instances
peculiarly distressing. All which is humbly submitted."

The report was not accepted. The towii adopted
the motion made by Jonathan Sibley, as follows : —

" That it is the opinion of this town that the ministerial
taxes have become too burthensome to be borne, and pray
the Rev. Henry True to aid the town in taking such mea-
sures as will have a tendency to ease the town somewhat
of the burden." Philip Robbins, Josiah Robbins, Henry
Blunt, Jonathan Sibley, Walter Blake, Edmund Mallard,
and Nathaniel Bachelor, were chosen " a committee to pre-
sent the above to Mr. True, and try to treat with him on
the above subject."



Jan. 7, 1811, the town voted ^ to accept the pro-
posal made by the Rev. Henry True, " that his parish-
ioners pay him the same tax upon the poll and the
same valuation of property as they paid him the first
year after said True's settlement."

The subject of dissolving the connection between
the town and Mr. True was often brought up, and
might have created much difficulty if he had insisted
on his salary during the whole of his ministry ; for the
town would have been obliged to pay it. Consequent-
ly, the warrants frequently contain articles in relation
to this subject. Many of them are substantially repe-
titions of others ; bvit they show the difficulty attend-
ing a dissolution of the connection between pastor and
people, and the inclination to have a legal adjustment.


June 19, 1813, the proposition was " to see if the
town will choose a committee to compromise with the
Rev. Henry True." They voted "to choose a com-
mittee to settle " with him. It consisted of Ebenezer
Alden, Nathaniel Robbins, Joseph Morse, George
Kimball, and Jonathan Sibley. The committee re-
ported, —

" That Mr. True has received nothing for his services for
his three last ministerial years ; that his legal demand upon
the town for said services is $1,273.44.

" That Mr. True makes the same proposition to the town
now that he made in January, 1811, to wit: 'that his par-
ishioners pay him the same upon the poll and the same tax
upon the same valuation of property as they paid him the
first year after his settlement;' or, in other words, if the so-
ciety will pay him the amount of the sums already assessed
for ministerial use, with the addition of $200 before the first
of March next, he will give a receipt in full for his salary up

' At the same town-meeting it was •' voted that the town consent
to have the Methodist Society petition to the Legislature " " for an
Act of Incorporation." Probably the petition was not sent.


to the present month ; which sum of $600 already assessed
with $200 added, amounting in the whole to $800, in the
opinion of your committee, is about what Mr. True would
have received the said three years, provided the said propo-
sition of January, 1811, had been projDerly met and properly
carried into eifect.

" Your committee further report, that Mr. True will not
make any further demand upon the town for his salary the
year beginning the present month, from the strength of con-
tract subsisting between him and the town, provided the
town desired that he should continue his connection with
his society that time, and that he will receive his salary by

" Your committee would recommend, that, on this pre-
sent day, an order be drawn by the proper officers upon the
treasurer for the sum of $600, and that the treasurer be or-
dered to give Mr. True a note of hand for the sum of $200,
payable next March, that Mr. True may receipt for said sum
of $800 agreeable to his proposal, which will bar all de-
mands by Mr. True upon the town for salary, up to the last
Wednesday in the present month.

" All which is respectfully submitted,

"Per order, Ebenr. Alden.

"Union, Sept. 6, 1813."

The report was accepted, with the exception of the
clause respecting the treasurer's giving to Mr. True
a note of hand.


May 9, the question was again brought forward
" to see if the town will dismiss the Rev. Henry True as
a town-minister. . . . Motioned, that whereas the Rev.
Henry True has repeatedly in the pulpit professed a
readiness to dissolve the contract between the town of
Union and himself as their pastor, whenever it was
their desire, — Voted that it is the desire of the peo-
ple of the town of Union, one of the contracting
parties, that the said contract with the Rev. Henry
True be dissolved, and expire at the expiration of
six months ; and that the town-clerk be ordered to


serve the Rev. Mi: True with an attested copy of
the above."


May 8, 1815, agreeably to an article inserted in the
warrant, the town " gave their consent " to have the
Congregational Society incorporated. Accordingly,
the Massachusetts Legislatui'e, Jan. 31, 1816, passed
the following —

"Act to incorporate the First Congregational Society in the
town of Union.

"Sec. 1. — Be it enacted by the Senate and House of
Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the au-
thority of the same, That Nathaniel Robbins, Rufus Gillmor,
Ebenezer Alden, Robert Foster, Amos Barrett, John Little,
Joseph Vaughan, Elisha Bennet, Moses Morse, Jonathan
Carriel, jun., Calvin Morse, John Fogler, Abijah Hawes,
David Robbins, James Rice, Seth Luce, Jessa Robbins,
Herman Hawes, Amariah Mero, Thomas Mitchell, Nathan
Daniels, Levi Morse, John P. Robbins, Nathaniel Bache-
lor, William Dougherty, Fisher Hart, Caleb T. Jacobs,
William Hart, David Robbins, jun., Jonathan Carriel, Mica-
jah Gleason, Whiting Hawes, John W. Lindley, Ebenezer
W. Adams, Samuel Spear, John Tobey, David Carriel, Jere-
miah Mitchell, Thaddeus Shepard, and Noah Rice, with
such other inhabitants of the town of Union as do not be-
long to any other religious society, and such as may here-
after associate with them, with their polls and estates, be,
and they hereby are, incorporated into a religious society,
by the name of the First Congregational Society in Union ;
and the said society is hereby invested with all the powers
and privileges, and subjected to the same duties and requi-
sitions as other religious societies are invested and sub-
jected to, according to the laws and constitution of this

" Sec. 2. — Be it further enacted, That if any person liv-
ing in said town of Union, who may at any time hereafter
desire to become a member of said First Congregational
Society, shall declare his or her desire and intention thereof
in writing, and deliver the same to the minister or clerk of
said society, and a copy of the same to the minister or
clerk of the religious society to which he or she may at that


time belong, such, person shall, from the time of delivering
such declaration, be considered a member of said First Con-
gregational Society in Union.

" Sec. 3. — Be it further enacted. That when any member
of the said First Cong^regational Society may think proper
to secede therefrom, and to unite with any other religious
society in the said town of Union, the same covirse and pro-
cess, mutatis mutandis, shall be had and done as is presented
in the second section of this Act. Provided, however, that in
every case of secession from one religiovis society and join-
ing another, every such person shall be held to pay his or
her proportion or assessment of all parish or society taxes
legally voted by the society, prior to his or her secession
therefrom, in manner above pointed out.

" Sec. 4. — Be it further enacted. That any Justice of the
Peace for the county of Lincoln, upon application therefor,
is hereby avithorized to issue his warrant, directed to some
member of said Congregational Society, requiring him to
notify and summon the members thereof to meet at such con-
venient time and place as may be appointed in said warrant,
to organize the said society by the election of its officers.

"Approved by the Governor, Feb. 1, 1816."

The warrant was issued by Stephen March, Esq.,
Justice of the Peace, to Ebenezer W. Adams, one of
the members of the First Congregational Society in
Union ; and the first meeting was held April 10, 1816.


After the incorporation of this society, parochial
matters were not acted upon as town-business. But
a settlement was yet to be made with Rev. Mr. True.
Nothing seems to have been done tiU April 15, 1819,
when Mr. True signed the following document : " I,
the subscriber, hereby release the town of Union from
all demands and claims whatever, and fully acknow-
ledge that I have no claim or demands against them."
Even this seems not to have been entu'ely satisfactory ;
for. May 8, the selectmen were chosen a committee to
wait on him, " and in behalf of the town to dissolve
the contract which was made with him at or about


the time of his ordination." The following report,
made at an adjourned meeting in May, was accept-

" Whereas the inhabitants of the town of Union, on the
eleventh day of November, 1805, voted to pay the Rev.
Henry True an annual salary of four hundred dollars, so
long as he should continue to be the minister of said town ;
and whereas the said vote contains conditions to be per-
formed by either party wishing a dissolution of the connec-
tion between said parties, antecedent to such dissolution ; and
whereas the said True did, in April, A.D. 1816, discon-
tinue to be the minister of said town ; and whereas doubts
have arisen Avhether said vote or contract does not remain
in force, — now, therefore, I, the said True, and we, Micajah
Gleason, John Lermond, and John W. Lindley, in behalf of
said town, chosen for that purpose, do hereby agree to dis-
solve said vote or contract, and all contracts subsisting be-
tween said town and said True ; and we mutually agree to
waive all right of notice which either party may have pre-
cedent to said dissolution ; and I, the said True, for myself,
my heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns, release
said town from all contracts heretofore made to me by said
town ; and we, the said Gleason, Lermond, and Lindley,
on the part of the said town as aforesaid, discharge the said
True from all contracts and engagements Avhich he may
have heretofore entered into with said town.

" Henky True.

" Micajah Gleason,

" John Lermond, )■ Committee.

"John W. Lindley,

"Union, May 26, 1819."


By this act, Mr. True probably relinquished all that
was due to him before the incorporation of the so-

The only other movement which the town as such
afterward made about sustaining public worship was
to " pass over an article," Sept. 8, 1823, " to see if the
town would raise a sum of money, to be divided
among the several denominations, to defray the ex-
penses of preaching the gospel."




Attempts to raise Money. — Dissolution of Mr, True's Pastoral Con-
nection with the Church and Society. — Result of the Council. —
Proposals for uniting the Congregational Churches. — Obstacles to
a Union. — Union effected.


The evils which existed while parochial business was
transacted by the town were not obviated by the incor-
poration into a society. At the meeting, April 10,
1816, called for organization, the society " voted that
$250 be raised by assessment for the support of the
Rev. Henry True." Similar votes were passed in 1817
and in 1818. No money was voted in 1819. In 1820
it was " voted to raise money by subscription for minis-
terial use." In 1821, propositions, first to raise $200,
and next $150, both failed; as did another to raise
$200 in 1824. Mr. True, however, received but a small
part of what was voted ; a few presents w^ere made to
him by friends ; and, during the latter part of his
ministry, he received a small sum for preaching as a
missionary in the vicinity.

After several indications of the necessity of a disso-
lution, the chm'ch, March 7, 1820, " voted unanimously
that they did not wish the pastoral relation between
them and the Rev. Henry True dissolved at present."
But, Sept. 21, the church " met at Brother James Rice's,
agi'eeably to previous notice ; and it was mutually
agreed that the pastoral relation between the Rev.
Henry True and the church should be dissolved,^ and
the pastor choose the council and fix the time for
effecting the object ; and that the pastor may remove
all relation from the church, if he should be desirous of

' This change in the purposes of the church was brought about by
the manoeuvring of Mr. Noah Emerson, then preaching in town.


it." The churches in Wiscasset, Dresden, and War-
ren, were sent to ; but the Dresden church was not
represented. The council met Oct. 25.

" After organization and prayer by the moderator, pro-
ceeded to business.

" Preparatory to the deliberations of the occasion, the
church was requested to communicate the several results of
council relating to ecclesiastical affairs of the town. After
examining the documents exhibited, the council came to the
following result : —

" 1. The connection between pastor and church, minister
and people, is peculiarly endearing and solemn and sacred,
and has been, in all ages in the Christian church, instrumen-
tal in building up the Redeemer's kingdom. The council
now convened deem this connection too sacred to be dis-
solved for trivial reasons ; but they doubt not that causes
may exist and circumstances occur which justify a separa-

" 2. The council, finding that, at a regular meeting of the
church, Sept. 21, 1820, it was mutually agreed that the pas-
toral relation between the Rev. Henry True and the church
be dissolved, and that the pastor choose the council and fix
the time for effecting that object, by the authority vested in
them, declare said connection dissolved accordingly.

"3. The council are happy to find the church have passed
the following vote : ' The church of Christ, of which the Rev.
Henry True is pastor, voted, Oct. 25, 1820, that they highly
esteem their pastor as a neighbor and friend, as a citizen and
Christian ; and that they regard and respect him as a consci-
entious and faithful minister of the Christ, and deeply
lament that circumstances are such that a dissolution of his
pastoral relation to them has become expedient. The church
is still anxious for his welfare, and prays for his health and
prosperity.' And the council cordially unite in giving him
their approbation as a minister of Christ, and recommend
him as such to the service of the churches, wishing him to
administer gospel-ordinances as occasions may require."
[Then follow pertinent words of counsel and of sympathy
with the pastor ; after which the fourth section contains
similar sentiments for the church.]

" 5. The council think it their duty, before closing this
result, to introduce the following statement of facts : —


" It appears from letters missive, calling an ex parte coun-
cil, that those who were erected by that council into a
church-state had, ' after long waiting and many painful
eflForts to settle difficulties subsisting between them and the
majority of the church, finally remonstrated, protested, and
withdrew.' And yet it appears from the result of the cou.n-
cil which ordained Mr. True, that, in the unanimous opinion
of said council, Mr. True's confession of faith, and the
answers he gave to questions proposed to him by the coun-
cil, obviated and did away all the objections brought against
him by the professedly aggrieved. It appears also from the
result of a mutual council, called in 1808, to adjust difficulties
subsisting between the brethren of the church in Union, that
the church manifested toward the disaff'ected a conciliatory
disposition ; and the council regretted, although a full recon-
ciliation was truly desirable, that they had not the satisfac-
tion to see all matters of diflftculty done away. It appears
likewise that the ex parte council, whose result has been
carefully examined, ' exhort and beseech the church to repent
and turn to God with all their heart, with supplication and
prayer, and to amend their ways, and return to their brethren,
and endeavor to heal the wounds they had occasioned.'
And yet great exertions have been made from time to time,
and even by members of the said ex parte council, to unite
the two churches ; thus expressing a wish to hold Christian
fellowship with those whom they had severely censured and
virtually discarded. Indeed, the council deem it proper dis-
tinctly to state, from the testimony before them, that the
original objectors to the Rev. Mr. True have, in the opinion
of the council, manifested unreasonable opposition to his
labors and ministry in this place ; and that their advisors
have been wanting in that xiniting and conciliatory spirit
which is required in the disciples of Christ, and especially in
them who are set for the preaching and defence of the gos-
pel of peace.

" Voted that the scribe read this result in public.

" H. Packard, Moderator.
" D. F. Hakding, Scribe."

This was the termination of Mr. True's ministry.
On the same day, the church chose the Rev. Jonathan
Huse, of Warren, to act as moderator, " during the
time of their destitution of a pastor."


About this time, measures were taken to effect a
union of the First with the Second Congregational
Church. Conversations were held ; but there does
not appear to have been any action till June 17, 1820,
when, at a meeting of the two churches, the Rev.
Amasa Smith was chosen moderator, and Daniel F.
Harding scribe ; and it was " voted that each church
have a copy of " certain written " proposals " for a
union. It was also voted to adjourn the meeting to
July 6, which should " be observed as a day of public
fasting and prayer ; and that the Rev. Messrs. Ingra-
ham, Mitchell, Huse, True, and Smith be requested to
attend on that day." At the adjourned meeting, Mr.
Huse was chosen moderator in the place of JVIr. Smith,
who declined ; and the First Church " resolved that
a union at that time was unadvisable."

In a communication to the Maine Missionary So-
ciety, extracts from which are published in then* four-
teenth annual report, appended to the anniversary
sermon of the Rev. Benjamin Tappan, is the follow^ing
language of Noah Emerson, who was engaged in
preaching during the greater part of this year : —

" I labored in the place six weeks, with very little apparent
success. But it then appeared that the Lord was there by
the special influence of his Spirit. On the 24th of Septem-
ber, at the close of the public exercises of the sabbath^ a
meeting of religious inquiry was appointed for the benefit
of those that might entertain a hope of renewing grace, and
for that of others who might be imder serious impressions.
Eight such individuals attended the first meeting, which was
solemn and interesting. One about fifty years of age ap-
peared, and declared, as David, ' what the Lord had done for
his soul.' One such meeting was held every week ; and, in
every meeting for six successive weeks, the number of con-
victed sinners and hopeful converts continued to increase ;
so that the cries of distressed souls and praises of renewing
grace were alternately heard, which seemed on the one hand
to increase the distress and deepen the conviction, while on
the other to temper the joy and increase the thankfulness
for saving mercy."


Oct. 25, 1820, the day when the council met to
ratify the proceedings in regard to Mr. True's dismis-
sion, the following vote was passed by the chmrch of
which he had been the pastor : —

" Whereas no regular communication has been made from

Online LibraryJohn Langdon SibleyA history of the town of Union, in the county of Lincoln, Maine, to the middle of the nineteenth century; → online text (page 19 of 49)