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Full text of "Lost chapters recovered from the early history of American Methodism. [electronic resource]"

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LOST CHAPTERS 



RECOVERED FROM 



THE EARLY HISTORY 



AMERICAN METHODISM. 



By Rev. J. B. WAKELEY 



For, inquire, I pray thee, of the former age, and prepare* thyself to the 
search of their fathers ; shall they not teaeh thee, and tell thee, and utter 
words out of their heart? — Holy "WkM. 

"There were Gyants in the earth in those days mightie men, which 

were of olde, men of renowne." — Ibid. 




CORPORATE SEAL OP THIS M. E. CHURCH IN NEW-YORK. 



Ncro-SJork : 
PUBLISHED FOR THE AUTHOR 

BY CARLTON 4s TORTEB, 200 MULBERRY-STREET. 
1858. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by 

J. B. WAKELEY, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of 
New-York. 



TO 

THE BISHOPS OP THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

TO 

THE DESCENDANTS OF THE EARLY METHODISTS, 

TO 

THE LOVERS OF PRIMITIVE METHODISM, 

TO 

THOSE WHO ARE PROMOTING "CHRISTIANITY IN EARNEST," 

AND TO 

ALL WHO DELIGHT TO FOLLOW THE ADVICE OP THE PSALMIST— 

"walk about zion, and go bound abotjt her: tell the towers thereof. 

mark ye well her bulwarks, consider heb palaces ; that ye 

mat tell it to the generation following — " 

$s tips Wahxwt most wspeetfoUg ani> affettionaidg instribb 

BY THE AUTHOR. 



PREFACE. 



When on a visit to " Sunnyside," not long ago, my friend, 
Washington Irving, said to me, in speaking of " The Life of 
Washington," that had just been published, " I feel, now the 
volumes are issued, as if I was just prepared with a knowledge 
of all the facts that are in my possession to commence writing 
the Life of Washington." I may say, without having the 
vanity to place myself by the side of this distinguished writer, 
whose modesty is equal to his talents, that I feel the same in 
regard to the work that is now placed before the reader. The 
truth is, when pursuing my studies in another direction, unex- 
pectedly, rich and rare materials were thrown into my hands 
that shed a flood of light on early Methodism in America. 
Then I came to the conclusion that I ought to write a book 
on this subject, and have done so. 

A singular old book, that for many years was lost, has re- 
cently been found. It contains the earliest authentic records 
of Methodism in this country. It is a perfect treasure. It is 
most valuable to the antiquarian, to the historian, and espe- 
cially to the great Methodist family. It has a denominational 
interest. 

The " old book " is redolent of the virgin soil of Methodism 
in America, and reproduces, in life-like naturalness, the very 
"age and body" of long, long time ago. It introduces to us 
the carpenter-preacher, Philip Embury ; the soldier-preacher, 
Captain Webb; to Boardman and Pilmoor, and the early 
trustees ; and their lifeless forms seem to be reanimated, and 
we see them living, breathing, speaking, and acting, as they 
were nearly a century ago. We behold them laying the foun- 



VI PREFACE. 

dation of the temple of Methodism in this new world, on which 
has been erected a noble superstructure. 

What associations cluster around the cradle of Methodism m 
America ! Old John-street Methodist Church is a hallowed 
place. It is embalmed in the memories and affections of thou- 
sands. There is a beauty and a charm about it that age and 
time cannot annihilate. It bears the same relation to American 
Methodism that Plymouth Rock, Faneuil Hall, and Independ- 
ence Hall do to the country. There is but one Plymouth Rock, 
though there are many rocks in the country ; there is but one 
Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, though there are many halls 
in the land ; there is but one John-street Methodist Church, 
though there are many Methodist houses of worship in Amer- 
ica. We venerate John-street Church as the mother of us all, 
the mother of numerous and thrifty children. 

The " old book " sheds light upon that part of our history 
where all before was dark as a starless midnight. It is the 
first record of the trustees and stewards of the old John-street 
Church. It is a model book, both on account of its neatness 
and exactness. They were very particular in those days to re- 
cord everything, small and great. What a reproof to the care- 
less manner in which many church records are now kept. 

The "old book" is the basis of the work entitled, "Lost 
Chapters Recovered." We do not publish all that it con- 
tains, but make extracts from year to year, from the first to 
the conclusion. 

This work is something more than a mere local history. It 
describes the early and great men of Methodism, in whom the 
great Methodist family have a common interest. To make the 
chapters as complete as possible, I have not only followed the 
" old book," but availed myself of other material that enriches 
the volume. 

Does the reader inquire where this " old book " has been ? 
I answer, I cannot tell, only it has been lost for over half a 
century, and very recently discovered. The oldest ministers now 
in New-York and the oldest trustees had never seen the book. 



PKEFACE. VH 

It is ninety years old. It contains chapters of our early history 
that were entirely new to the present generation. It extends 
from 1768 to 1*797. 

We read of the " lost Chronicles of the Kings of Israel and 
Judah," also of the " lost chapters of Livy ;" unfortunately, 
they have never been recovered. What a treasure of history 
if they could be found. But we are more fortunate with some 
of the lost chapters in the early history of Methodism. The 
title of the work is not poetic, romantic, or imaginary, but 
sober truth. Were they not lost chapters ? Have they not 
been recovered ? 

This old book has been discovered at a period when great at- 
tention is being given, not only in different states of the Union, 
but in the various ecclesiastical bodies, to gather reminiscences 
of the past; therefore the formation of so many State and 
Church historical societies. While our sister Churches are so 
busy, shall we be behind them in a work so commendable? 
They rejoice when some one fact or incident is rescued from 
oblivion. Ought there not to be greater joy among the Meth- 
odists when a whole volume is discovered that gives light on 
our early history ? 

The " Lost Chapters " will be valuable as material for the 
future historian. I have secured that which I believe deserves 
a permanent record. If nothing more, it will be used for 
future reference. Thave rescued from oblivion many a name 
in the ministry and laity that had been forgotten, and recov- 
ered chapters that had been long lost, and soon would have 
been irrecoverably. How little we knew of the first trustees 
of John-street Church; even the names of all of them were 
unknown to us ! 

The reader will, no doubt, be pleased to see a fac-simile of 
the signatures of the ministers and trustees of old John-street. 
The year connected with their name sometimes means the date 
of the signature ; for instance, Mr. Wesley's and Dr. Coke's. 
Their fac-similes were taken from letters of that date written to 
the pastor of Wesley Chapel. The other signatures of names 



Vlll PREFACE. 

mean the first time the writers were stationed in old John- 
street. 

Some may dislike the minuteness of detail into which the 
writer has gone. Let them remember that as our globe is 
made up of grains of sand, and as drops of water form the 
ocean, so history is made up of facts and incidents, small in 
themselves, which, when blended together, make the historical 
record. 

I am under obligation to many for kindnesses rendered ; 
but as I have made particular acknowledgments in the work^ 
it will be unnecessary to repeat it here. It is with unaffected 
diffidence that this volume is now submitted to the public, not 
concerning the facts recorded, but the manner in which the 
work has been performed. It must stand or fall upon its 
merits or demerits. The writer is too deeply conscious of its 
defects to expect credit for all the labor it has cost him, and 
yet has the consolation to know he has done the very best he 
could. He is aware that the deep interest and great value of 
the subject demanded a more able and practiced pen ; but 
derives encouragement from the reflection that the present 
work, while it provokes no comparison with others, will fill a 
void in our ecclesiastical history hitherto unoccupied. If any 
criticise it, I can find no fault with them, for it is public prop- 
erty ; only let it be manly criticism. 

A quarter of a century ago this day I was licensed to preach 
"the glorious Gospel of the blessed God." It is worthy of 
note, that on this anniversary I finish the volume entitled, 
" Lost Chapters Recovered from the early History of American 
Methodism." I trust it will be read when I have finished my 
course and been gathered to my fathers. 

J. B. Wakeley. 
New- York, January 6, 1858. 



FAC-SIMJLES OF SIGNATURES 



OF THE 



MINISTERS AND LAYMEN CONNECTED WITH THE EARLY 
HISTORY OF THE JOHN-STREET CHURCH. 




London, Feb. 4, 1790. 

July 6, 1789. 

MINISTERS WHO PREACHED IN NEW-IORK IN THEIR ORDER FROM 
1768 TO 1800, AS THEIR SIGNATURES COULD BE OBTAINED. 



lyf/hAsti If? 



September 16, 1769. 





January 17, 1771. 




October 1, 1769. 
1* 



FAG-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. 




January 17, 1771. 




"Wesley Chapel, 1771. 





Written May 8, 1782. 



First Book-steward. First stationed in Wesley Chapel in 1783. 




Wesley Chapel, 1785: 



^ct^C^T 



1789. First Presiding Elder of New- York District. 



FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. XI 

, — ' 

Wesley Chapel, 1789. 



I^M 




Wesley Chapel, 1789. 




Wesley Chapel, 1790. 



New-York, 1791. 1791. 



New-York, 1798. 



1794. 1797. 



1796. 



Xll FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. 



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1797. 




1799. 




1799. 



*y/icc4&*^(<?<?~#^ 



1799. 





z?nf<?r> 



1800. 



SIGNATURES OF THREE OTHER PREACHERS. 



€a ^£Ay* 



Written December 11, 1792. 



FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. X1H 




Written 1794. 





1800. 
SIGNATURES OF THE EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 




1768. 




1768. 



^/&??Z^<f %&7*VZ*S 



1768. 



<l/l4XWj%Z£*€4Z. 



1768. 



XIV FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. 






1768. 
Written September 29, 1769. 

1774. 
January 9, 1776. 




October 20, 1796. 





1795. 




^0rf^^*zjr~' 



1795. 



FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES. XV 




1795. 



^JmBptWtd&Gto-eJ* 



1795. 




October 20, 1796. 



J&t^i^. <yhnc^% 



1810. 




Written January 24, 1845, aged 80. 
Written January 22, 1845, aged 79. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



1. FRONTISPIECE. PiGB 

2. COEPOEATE SEAL OP THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL 

CHURCH IN NEW-YORK. (Title-page.) 

3. FAC-SIMILES OF SIGNATURES ix 

4. TREATY WITH THE INDIANS To face 22 

5. NEW-AMSTERDAM IN 1633 To face 24 

6. F AC-SIMILE OF PHILIP EMBURY'S ACCOUNT OF HIS 

CONVERSION 33 

7. PHILIP EMBURY'S OWN HIRED HOUSE 40 

8. THE OLD RIGGING LOFT IN WILLIAM-STREET 45 

9. OLD JOHN-STREET PREACHING-HOUSE AND PAR- 

SONAGE To face 10S 

io. mrs. Barbara hicks's candlesticks 123 

11. LIKENESS OF CAPTAIN THOMAS WEBB To face 141 

12. BAERAT'S CHAPEL To face 303 

13. LOVE-FEAST TICKETS \ 415 

14. LIKENESS OF PETER WILLIAMS :. .To face 438 

15. WESLEY CLOCK 481 

16. DUANE-STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE 497 

17. SECOND METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN JOHN- 

STREET 580 

18. SUMMEEFIELD'S CENOTAP1 \ 582 

19. THIRD METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN JOHN- 

STREET 584 

20. TRINITY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NEW- 

YORK 5 88 

21. FOURTH AVENUE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

NEW-YORK coa 

22. BROAD-STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 

NEWARK, N.J To face 594 



CONTENTS. 



OHAPTEE I. 

NEW- YORK AS IT WAS. 

Manhattan Island — Hendric Hudson — Indians — First Trading Post — 
First Schoolmaster — First House of Worship — The first Dominie — 
The first Parsonage — Sad End of the first Minister — First Stone 
Church — First Episcopal Minister — First City Lots — First Houses — 
Contrast — First Census — First Houses in Wall-street— First Quakers 

— First Jewish Synagogue — Name of the City changed — First Lu- 
theran Church — Anecdote — First Trinity Church erected — The first 
Presbyterian Church — The first Moravian Church — The first Baptist 
Church — The first Methodist Church — Condition of Things about the 
Time it was built f age 21 

CHAPTEE H. 

INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM INTO NEW- YORK. 

Methodism in the West of Ireland — ■ The Palatines — Their former State 
— Mr. Wesley visits Balligarane — Great Change in the Character of 
the Inhabitants — Why they emigrate to America — Philip Embury's 
Conversion — Acquainted with Mr. Wesley — Emigrates to America — 
Character of other Emigrants — Sinful Amusements — Effectual Re- 
proof from a Woman — Mr. Embury's first Sermon 29 

CHAPTEE III. 

MR. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 

His Enemies asperse his Character — His Friends tacitly admit his Guilt 

— No Evidence that Mr. Embury was playing Cards — Presumptive Evi- 
dence he was not — In what his Sin consisted — The House in which 
Mr. Embury preached the first Methodist Sermon 37 

CHAPTEE IV 

A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. 

His first Introduction to the little Flock — The Alarm it caused — Why 
their Fears subsided — His Usefulness — Why he attracted such Crowds 

— Manner of Preaching 42 



2 CONTEXTS. 

CHAPTER V 

THE RIGGING LOFT. 
Rigging Lofts — Singular Fact concerning them- Why the early Meth- 
odists worshiped in them— The Locality of the one in New-York 

— Its Dimensions — The Year it was occupied as a Preaching .Tlace 
An honored Place — Preserved long — When demolished — Canes 
made of its Timbers Pa S e 45 

CHAPTER VI. 

THE SITE OF THE METHODIST PREACHING-HOUSE IN JOHN- 
STREET. 

Mistake corrected — The Original Lease from Widow Barclay to Philip 
Embury — Rev. Henry Barclay — Character — Death — His Son and 
Grandson — Lots in the North Ward — William Lupton — Old Book — 
Extract from — Ground Rent 50 

CHAPTER VII. 

THE ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 

The first Deed for a Site for a Methodist Preaching-House in America — 
A Model Deed — The early Trustees business Men — The Property 
carefully secured — Record concerning it on the Old Book — How the 
Trustees were appointed — Other Property obtained — From whom — 
Singular Fact 57 

CHAPTER VIII. 

THE FIRST METHODIST PREACHING-HOUSE IN -NEW-YORK. 

Its Origin — Difficulties — How overcome — The Plan for the Edifice 
from Heaven — The Architect Divine — Truth stranger than Fiction 

— The original Subscription for the Preaching-House — The Model 
Preamble — Names of Subscribers — Amount of their Subscription. 65 

CHAPTER IX. 

THE EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

Trustees' Subscriptions — Thomas Webb — Princely Subscription — The 
first — Its Infl nonce on others — William Lupton — Merchant Prince — 
His Subscription — His splendid Motto — Treasurer — Liberality — 
Great Size — Death — Vault — Philip Embury — Entry in the old Book 

— James Jarvls, Hatter — Liberal Subscription — Treasurer — First of 
the original Trustees that died — Leader also — Mr. Asbury with him 
in his last Hours — Henry Newton — Original Trustee — Subscription 

— Principal Collector of Monteys — Bachelor — Treasurer Twenty Years 

— Mrs. Courtney — High-backed Pew — Newton's Death — Where 
buried 74 



CONTENTS. 3 

CHAPTEE X. 

EAELY TEUSTEES AND STEWAEDS, CONTINUED. 

Charles White — Original Trustee — Subscription liberal — Treasurer 
during the Eevolutionary War — Loyalist — Goes to Nova Scotia — 
Eichabd Sause — Charles White and he emigrated from the same 
Place — At the same Time — Original Trustee — Very liberal Sub- 
scription — Eichard Sause and Eichard Boardman — Mr. Sause highly 
honored — Extracts from the Old Book — Good Wife — The Name 
wrongly spelt — Stephen Sands — Very Liberal — Very Useful — Treas- 
urer — Stephen Sands and Dr. Coke — Highly honored — Eichard What- 
coat — John Staples — A Prussian — Marriage — Treasurer many 
Years — TheEecords on the Old Book — First Sugar Eeflner — The 
famous Sugar House — His House the Home of Garrettson — Singular 
Meeting at his House — His Son John — Marries a Fortune — Eieh — 
All swept away — Death of the Father — Of the Son — Burial Place — 
Paul Hick — Subscription — Early an Officer of the Church — Philip 
Embury's Name not among them — Season — Thomas Beink- 
lbt Page 84 

CHAPTER XI. 

OEIGINAL SUBSCEIBEES. 

Dr. Auchmuty, Sector of Trinity — Successor to Dr. Barclay — Char- 
acter — End — Eev. John Ogilvie — Missionary among the Mohawk 
Indians — His Subscription — Sudden Death — Dr. Charles Inglis 
• — Sketch of his Character — Loyalist — Washington and the offensive 
Prayers — Disturbance in Church — Bishop of Nova Scotia — Distin- 
guished Physicians subscribe — The most distinguished Citizens — 
Philip Livingston, Signer of the Declaration of Independence — James 
Duane, first Mayor of the City — Thomas Jones, Eecorder — James 
Delancey, Lieutenant-Governor — Oliver Delancey, his Brother — The 
Officers of Trinity Church — Sketch of them — Some of the Subscrib- 
ers poor Men — They paid in Work — Women subscribed — Widows 
— Poor Colored Girls 94 

CHAPTEE XII. 

MONEYS EECEIVED FOE PEEACHING-HOUSE. 

Money from Philadelphia, by Captain Webb — Money from Mr. Wesley, 
by Boardman — Books brought by Pilmoor — Mistake that Mr. 
Wesley sent Fifty Pounds in Money — Ee venue from the sale of Books 
• — Henry Newton general Collector of Funds — A Settlement between 
the Treasurer and the Trustees — Autographs of Joseph Pilmoor, 
Thomas Webb, and others 104 



4 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XIII. 

THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 
Wesley Chapel -Its Dimensions -Plain Edifice -Contrast -The Ded- 
ication—Memorable Occasion — The Dedicatory Sermon— Appropri- 
ate Tcxt-The Time of its Consecration- The Singing - Others 
work on the Preaching-House besides Mr. Embury— David Morris — 
John Gasner and Samuel Edmonds's Receipts — Interesting Letter — 
Antiquity of the Building — Comparison 

CHAPTER XIV 

THE ELECT LADY. 

Further Particulars of Mrs. Barbara Hick — From the same Place as 
Philip Embury — Acquainted with him in the Fatherland — His Place 
went into the Hands of her Family — Her former Dwelling — "Why she 
used such Freedom in reproving Mr. Embury — Her wonderful 
Power — Mrs. Hick a model Mother — Her Children her Jewels — Her 
Name not among the Subscribers — Her Great-grandson — The only 
Relics left — Two Extremes in regard to Relics — Wilbur Fisk and 
Francis Asbury's Cup — Dr. Fisk and Wesley's old Gown — Good 
Company— The Log Meeting-House — -Canes — Washington's old 
Chairs — Old Tables — Washington Irving and the Chain to which 
Christopher Columbus was bound — Mrs. Hick's Candlesticks — Not 
. sacred like those in the Tabernacle and Temple — What invests them 
with peculiar Interest — Bishops Morris and Janes — The Burying- 
place of Mrs. Hick — Should have a Monument 117 

CHAPTER XV 

PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 

Embury's Character as a Man — Christian — Minister — Embury and the 
Methodist Preaching-House — First Treasurer — His Successor — Embu- 
ry's Receipts for Work done to Wesley Chapel — Donation to Mr. Em- 
bury—His Usefulness— A distinguished Convert — Leaves New-York 
—Farewell Gift— Forms a Society at Ashgrove— The First within 
what is now the Troy Conference— Mr. Embury's sudden Death- 
Buried in a lonely Place— No Tombstone— His Widow— His Grand- 
son— His Descendants— Mr. Asbury's Notice of him— Removal of 
his Remains to Ashgrove— Re-interment— Address by Rev. J. N. 
Maffltt— Extracts from— Epitaph on his Tombstone , 125 

CHAPTER XVI. 

THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 

Captain Webb an extraordinary Man— His Titles — A Soldier with 
General Wolfe — Memorable Battle on the Plains of Abraham — His 



CONTENTS. 5 

Conversion — His first Efforts at Preaching — His . first Preaching 
in America — Captain Webb and Wesley Chapel — The main 
Agent in its Erection — Very useful — Visits Long Island — Captain 
Webb and Joseph Toy — Captain Webb and John Adams — Cap- 
tain Webb and Mr. Asbury- — Eeturns to England — Mr. Wesley's 
Testimony concerning him — Captain Webb, Joseph Benson, John 
and Charles Wesley — Impressions — Eem arks of Dr. James Dixon — 
Captain Webb and Mr. Shadford and Bankin — Webb and his Greek 
Testament — Webb and the well-filled Purse — Captain Webb and 
his Children — His sudden Death — Presentiments concerning it — 
Buried at Bristol — The Burying-place of many distinguished 
Persons — Captain Webb's Portrait — His Monument 141 

CHAPTER XVII. 

EOBEET STEAWBEIDGE AND THE OLD LOG MEETING- 
HOUSE. 
Mr. Strawbridge one of the Heroes of early Methodism — Eev. Wm. 
Hamilton on early Methodism in Maryland — Brief History of Mr. 
Strawbridge — The Log Meeting-House — His Family — His Death — 
Funeral Sermon — His Grave — Supposed Mistakes in the early His- 
tories of Methodism — Mr. Hamilton's Corrections — Claims Priority 
for Maryland in the Introduction of Methodism — Claims that, the Log 
Meeting-Hpuse was built before Wesley Chapel ; that Mr. Straw- 
bridge was Years in advance of Philip Embury in forming Methodist 
Societies — Evidence adduced — Bishop Asbury's Testimony — Ex- 
amination of the Testimony — Asbury against Asbury — Asbury and 
Coke's brief Account of the Eise of Methodism — They give Philip 
Embury and the Wesley Chapel the Priority — If a Mistake, it should 
have been corrected in future Editions — No Correction made— Be- 
mains in the Discipline of the M. E. Church, both North and South — 
The first General Conferences held in Baltimore — If an Error, easily 
corrected there — Many Members of that Body were acquainted with 
Mr. Strawbridge 156 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

EOBEET STEAWBEIDGE AND THE OLD LOG MEETING- 
HOUSE, CONTINUED. 

Mr. Hamilton's next Witness — David Evans — Testimony considered 
very important — It settles a grave Question — The Testimony ex- 
amined — Proves nothing as to Dates — Fugitive Paper — No Signa- 
ture — If authentic, indefinite in regard to Time — Written when 
Old — Quotation from Jesse Lee — Eev. William Fort — The Log 
Meeting-house — Canes for the Bishops and Dr. Bond — Claims that 
Strawbridge and the Log Meeting-house were in advance of Embury 
and Wesley Chapel — Under Conviction — Not Clear — Corrects Errors 
— Mistaken himself 170 



6 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTEK XIX. 

STRAWBBIDGE AND THE LOG MEETING-HOUSE, CON- 
CLUDED. 
Should be careful how we settle Dates — Documents in Possession 
that fix the Time of the Introduction of Methodism into New-York 

— Writer in the Arminian Magazine — Short History of the Early 
Methodists — Dr. Murray and the Mother of Thomas Morrell — Proof 
positive as to Dates — Witnesses probably mistaken —Proof of the 
Priority of Embury and Wesley Chapel — First Witness, Bishop 
Asbury— Second Witness, Eev. Jesse Lee — Third, Ezekiel Cooper 

— The Conclusion of the whole Matter 178 

OHAHTEK XX. 

EOBEET WILLIAMS. 

Emigrates to America — His Priend Ashton pays his Passage — Arrives 
before Boardman and Pilmoor — Mr. Williams and the infant Society 
in New- York — His new Hat — New Stockings — New Cloak — Doc- 
tor's Bill — Shaving Bill— Postage — Love-Feast Ticket— Mr. Wil- 
liams the first Methodist Minister in America that published a Book 

— The first who married — The first who located — The first that 
died — Has no Monument 190 

CHAPTEK XXI. 

THE EEV. EICHAED BOAEDMAN. 

Eichard Boardman — Joseph Pilmoor — Powerful Appeal to Mr. Wes- 
ley — The Leeds Conference — Volunteers called for — A noble Be- 
sponse by Boardman and Pilmoor — Character of Boardman — Bough 
Passage — Arrival in Philadelphia — First Visit to New-York — Solid 
Token of Brotherly Love — Letter to Mr. Wesley — Singular Agree- 
ment — Prohibitory Law — Money Account — Various Items specified — 
New Hat — New Clothes — High Transportation — High Postage — 
Boardman' s Tour to Boston — Long Time in New- York — Board- 
man and the Mother of Dr. Bunting — Usefulness in Europe and 
America — Eeturn to England — Sudden Death — Place of Burial — 
Epitaph 197 

CHAPTER XXII. 

THE EEV. JOSEPH PILMOOE. 

Letter to Mr. Wesley — Letter to the Conference — Preaches in Phila- 
delphia — Where the first Meetings wore held — Inn — Eigging Loft 

First Methodist Church in Philadelphia — Mr. Pilmoor in New- 
York — Sale of Books — John-street Trustees' Accounts with Mr. Pil- 
moor — Quarterage, Traveling Expenses, Freight — Postage —Barber 



CONTENTS. 7 

— Medicine — Travels — Usefulness — Returns to England — Revisits 
America — -Leaves the Methodists — -Joins the Protestant Episcopali- 
ans — Petition for Mr. Pilmoor to be Assistant at Trinity — Commit- 
tee Appointed — Never Eeport — Cold Shoulder turned to Mr. Pil- 
moor — Dr. Berrian's Account — Organization of Christ's Church — 
Pilmoor Pastor — Resolutions against — Schismatics — Pilmoor and 
Asbury — Personal Appearance — Pilmoor and the New- York Con- 
ference 207 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE FIRST METHODIST PAESONAGE IN AMEEICA. 

The Building invested with peculiar Interest— Its old Dutch Style — 
Its Dimensions — Good Summer House — How furnished, and by 
whom — Furniture bought — Furniture borrowed — Furniture given 
— The early Women of Methodism — Parsonages generally furnished 
~by Ladies — The old Parsonage a Home for distinguished Men — 
Thrilling Scenes have transpired there — The first Methodist Libra- 
ries were kept in the old Building — The first Housekeepers — 
The Ministers' and the People's Library — The early Methodists 
gave Attention to Beading — Fragments of the old Library- — The 
old Parsonage — Has bowed under the Hand of Time — Those who 
furnished it, and inhabited it, as well as the Furniture, all have 
passed away 219 

CHAPTER XXIV 

FRANCIS ASBUEY AND EICHAED WEIGHT. 

Mr. Wesley's second regular Missionaries — Voyage across the Atlantic — 
Reception in Philadelphia — Asbury's first Visit to New- York — Richard 
Boardman — Asbury's first Sermon in Wesley Chapel — His Description 
of the Americans — Their Readiness to receive the Word — Negroes — 
Asbury's Salary — Scenes in the old Parsonage — Wood — Candles — 
Letters —Postage — Washing — The Housekeeper — Asbury's Love 
of Order early developed — Singular Queries — Answers — Debt on 
the Church — Asbury spreading the Books— First Watch-night — 
Quarterly Collection — New- York described — Richard Wright's 
Name on the "Old Book " — Stationed in Wesley Chapel — Young 
Man — Most of Mr. Wesley's Missionaries young — Why young Men 
were sent — Wright in Virginia — His Baggage — His Quarterage — 
His Poll Tax — In Norfolk — Ee turns to England — Seven Years in 
the Work — Locates — Contrast between him and Asbury 230 

CHAPTER XXV 

THOMAS EANKIN AND GEOEGE SHADFOED. 

Wesley's third regular Missionaries to America — Captain Webb and Wife 

— Generosity of — Missionaries' Arrival — Mr. Rankin Superintendent 



5 CONTENTS. 

— Why Asbury welcomes them — Iiankin's first Sermon — Asburys 
Prediction — First Conference— Eankin stationed in New -Xor & 
Tho Itinerancy kept up -Eankin and Boardman — Eankin and the 
Classes — Eankin and the Love-feast — Revival— Shocked at JNew- 
York Extravagance-Prediction- Honorable Testimony concerning 
Mr. Shadford — Eankin and Asbury — Eankin and John Staples — 
John Jacob Staples, Jun. - Inventor - His Widow -Young Thomas 
Staples -Character of- Sick — A Voyage to Europe — Goes _ to 
London — Grows worse — Kindly entertained by Mr. Eankin— Kind 
Attention bestowed — Dr. Whitehead — Young Staples experiences 
Eeligion — Dies triumphant — Touching Letter from Mr. Eankin to 
his Father — Shows the Character of the Man — George Shadfokd 
highly honored of God — Great Eevival — Moral Miracles— Shad- 
ford and Asbury — Shadford in New- York — Name on the "Old 
Book" — Has Seals to his Ministry in Wesley Chapel — Letter from 
Mr. Wesley — Characteristic of — Sudden Termination of Mr. Shad- 
ford's Labors in America — War — Eeturns to England — Super- 
numerary — Cannot be idle — Meets three Classes — His devotional 
Habits — Dr. Bunting— Death of Shadford 238 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

JAMES DEMPSTEE. 

The last of Wesley's Missionaries to America — Preceded by noble 
Men — Birth-place — Liberal Education — Ten Years in the Work — 
Has the Confidence of Mr. Wesley — Wesley's Letter to Mr. Eankin — 
Wesley's Letters to Dempster — Their Style — Wesley's Simplicity and 
Familiarity — Dempster abandons his Work — Cause unknown — Be- 
comes a Presbyterian Minister — Field of Labor — Twice married — 
A Son a Methodist Minister — Mr. Dempster's Death — Leaves a good 
Name behind him 250 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

DANIEL RUFF. 

Successor to Mr. Dempster — First American Preacher appointed to 
Wesley Chapel — Sketch of — Eevival — Very Useful — Asbury's de- 
scription of— Freeborn Garrettson awakened — Converted— Preaches 

— Ruff encourages him to enter the Ministry — Among the First 
Pioneers in New-Jersey — Stationed in New- York — Difficulties — 
War — Battles on Long Island — Cruel Death of Major Woodhull 

— British take Possession of tho City — Declaration of Independ- 
ence — Disastrous Fire — The Methodist Ministers abandon New- 
York — Six Ycnrs without a Preacher from the Conference 255 



CONTENTS. 9 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

JOHN MANN. 

Sketch of— Birth-place — Marriage — Awakened — Moravian — Captain 
Webb's Preaching — Beneficial to — Bichard Boardrnan's — Means of 
his Conversion — Leaves the Moravians — Unites with the Methodists — 
Beasons why — Mr. Mann a Class-leader — A Local Preacher — Has 
Fruit — Commencement of the "War — Methodist Preachers leave the 
City — Mr. Mann supplies the Pulpit at the request of the Trus- 
tees — Preacher from Philadelphia — Mr. Mann still preaches in the 
Chapel — Usefulness as Trustee and Treasurer during the War — 
Leaves for Nova Scotia — Why — Place of Besidence — Ordained by 
Asbury and Coke — Part of the Society remove to Nova Scotia — 
Their Loyalty — Trustees' Election at the close of the War — Mr. 
Mann's Name in the Minutes — Mr. Garrettson makes honorable Men- 
tion of— Mr. Wesley's Letter to — Death of Mr. Maun.. 260 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK DURING THE EEVOLUTIONAEY 

WAB. 

Historical Error concerning the real State of Things — Extracts from Dr. 
Bangs's History — Extracts from "P. D. Gorrie's History — Wesley 
Chapel not closed — Not converted into Barracks — Evidence — James 
Man —Watson's Sketches of Olden Times — The "Old Book" — 
Sketch of Eev. Samuel Spraggs, Pastor for several Years — Items from 
the "Old Book" in 1778 — Preachers' Board and Quarterage — Ex- 
tracts from the "Old Book" showing the State of Things in 1779 — 
Chapel still open — Pastor's Salary — 1780 — Preaching-House still 
occupied — Increase of Preacher's Salary — 1781 — Similar State of 
Things — Samuel Spraggs still the Pastor — 1782 — Edifice still oc- 
cupied as a Place of Worship — Preacher's Salary — 1783 — Samuel 
Spraggs still the Pastor — Final Settlement — Further Extracts 
from the " Old Book," showing the State of Things during 
the War — Quiet — Wood, Washing, Sugar, Tea, all for Preachers — 
Bepairing Preacher's House — Gallery — Bepairing old Parsonage — 
Lighting the Chapel — Vast Amount of Candies used — Shows the 
true Condition of Things at that Period — Bible for Chapel — Wood 
for Classes — Love-feast Tickets — Paid William Lupton 267 



CHAPTER XXX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK DURING THE EEVOLUTIONAEY 
WAB : SAMUEL SPEAGGS. 

Samuel Spraggs — Sketch of former Fields of Labor — Brunswick Circuit 
— Philadelphia — Succeeds Thomas Eankin — Name mysteriously 

2 



10 CONTENTS. 



disappears from the Minutes — Reappears -Why he came to Ne 
York-Pastor of Wesley Chapel -No Two-Years' Rule would apply to 
him -His Name on the "Old Book" when mentioned hrst ms 
Salary in 1778 — His Salary and other Expenses in 17/9 — Wis salary 
in 1780-His Board and Quarterage in 1781 -His Board aud Quar- 
terage in 1782 -Board and Quarterage in 1783 -Total Amount re- 
ceived while in New- York 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK DURING THE REVOLUTIONARY 
WAR, CONCLUDED. 

Statistics showing how the Trustees and Stewards raised the Money to 
meet their Liabilities— "Old Book" solves the Mystery — Public and 
Class Collections — Amount of in 1778 — Public and Class Collections 
in 1779— Public and Class Collections in 1780 — In 1781— In 1782 — 
In 1783 — Whole Amount paid to Mr. Spraggs — Collections during 
the War greater than before or after — Probable Cause — Large Audi- 
ences at Wesley Chapel — British Officers and Soldiers attend — 
Statistics full of Instruction, though very dry — Lessons we may learn 
from them — Mr. Spraggs highly esteemed — His Namesake — His 
spiritual Son, Richard Ley craft — First Methodist in Newark — Oldest 
Methodist in New- York when he died' — 'Mr. Spraggs leaves New- 
York — Becomes an Episcopal Minister — Settles in Elizabethtown — 
Dies there — Marble Tablet 284 



CHAPTER XXXII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK AT THE CLOSE OE THE WAR. 

Hostilities cease — Independence of the Colonies acknowledged — 
New-York evacuated by the British — How long they had Possession 
of it — American Troops enter the City — General Washington and 
Governor Clinton, and the Procession — General Knox and the Officers 
of the Army — Festive Scenes — Splendid Banquet — Brilliant Fire- 
works—Washington's Farewell to his Companions in Arms — Affect- 
ting Scene — Tories and Loyalists obliged to leave the City — Property 
confiscated — Churches and their -Pastors who have been scattered 
re-united — Wesley Chapel — Samuel Spraggs — Rev. John Dickins — 
Asbury and Dickins — Mr. Spraggs leaves the City — Singular Items 
in the" Old Book " — Parsonage refitted — Preacher's Wants supplied 
— Charles White, Treasurer of the Board and Steward, resigns — 
Leaves New- York — The Reason why — New Election of Trustees — 
Review of the former — Francis Asbury's first Visit to New- York 
after the War of the Revolution — His Description of the Con- 
dition of Things at that Time 291 



CONTENTS. 11 

chapter xxxirr. 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1784: JOHN DICKINS. 

Wesley Chapel — John Dickins re-appointed — His Salary — First 
Married Preacher stationed in New- York — Family reside in the old 
Parsonage — Items on the " Old Book" — Mr. Asbury's Visit — 
Liberality of the Trustees — Band Rules — Arrival of distinguished 
Strangers — Doctor Coke — Eichard Whatcoat — Hospitality of 
Stephen Sands — Interview between Dr. Coke and John Dickins — 
Plan proposed — Approved of — Dr. Coke encouraged — Dr. Coke 
preaching in New- York — Meeting of Coke and Asbury — Christmas 
Conference called — Meet in Baltimore — Dickins' s Expenses to 
Conference — Has the Honor of giving a Name to the Methodist 
Church — Thomas Ware's Testimony 299 



CHAPTER XXXIY 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1785 AND 1786. 

Removal of John Dickins — His Successor — Expenses paid — Quarter- 
age — House-keeping — To Conference — Singular Entry — Habits of 
the People — Brief History of John Hagerty — Personal Appearance 
of — Resembles Fletcher of Madeley — Powerful Voice — Spiritual 
Father of Thomas Morrell — Death of — Age —Buried in Baltimore — 
John Dickins re-appointed to New-York — John Tunnel, Elder — 
.Expenses — Quarterage — Asbury and the poor Preacher — Liberality 
of the Trustees toward Mr. Asbury — Preacher's Tax — Why they 
should be exempt — Money sent to Conference — Sketch of the 
Elder — John Tunnel and the Sailor — Death of Tunnel — Funeral 
Sermon preached by Mr. Asbury 306 



CHAPTER XXXV 

METHODISM* IN NEW-YORK'lN 1787. 

Ministers stationed in New-York — John Dickins — Henry Willis — 
Mr. Willis did not come — Woolman Hickson supplied his Place — 
Mr. Hickson's Quarterage — Traveling Expenses — Mr. Hickson 
introduces Methodism into Brooklyn — Forms the first Class — The 
first Leader, Nicholas Snethen — The first Board of Trustees — 
Laying the first Corner-Stone — Dr. Phoebus — David Buck — The 
first House of Worship — Its Dedication — Joseph Totten — Numbers 
in Society — Mr. Hickson's Health fails — Silent and impressive 
Records — His Nurse — Her Wages — Death of Mr. Hickson—' 
Funeral Expenses — His Character 310 



12 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1788. 
Henry Willis, Elder — John Dickins, Pastor— Mr. Willis's Name on the 
"Old Book" — Extracts from Mr. Willis's History — Character — 
Pre-eminent — Thomas Ware — Asbury's Love for Mr. Willis — 
Death of Cornelius Cook — Singular Entries in the "Old Book" — 
The first Conference held in New-York — Not named in the Min- 
utes, or in the History of Methodism— Asbury's Testimony — 
Thomas Morrell's — New- York Methodists fixing up for the Occa- 
sion—Green Baize— Eed Marine — Asbury's Horses — Bridle — 
Freeborn Garrettson's Name first appears — How he came to New- 
York — Why he remained — First Conference in New-York an 
important one — Giants in those Days — Sketch of the Men — Great 
Plans for extending the Work — Introduction of Methodism upon 
the Banks of the Hudson — Great Eevival 316 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1789. 

Ministers stationed in New-York and Brooklyn — Thomas Morrell — 
Eobert Cloud — John Merrick — John Lee — William Phoebus — 
Birth-place — When he entered the Itinerant Eanks — Present at the 
famous Christmas Conference — Stationed in New-York — Location 
— Physician — -Death — Burying-place — His Character and personal 
Habits — Anecdotes of — Dr. Phoebus and the Masses — Moving Time 
■ — The lame Preacher— Dr. Phoebus and John Summerfield — Dr. 
Phoebus and William Lupton — Further Particulars concerning the . 
Old Trustee — His Grandson — The Eemoval of Mr. Lupton's Be- 
mains — The inexplicable Groan — Dr. Phoebus and the Irishman — 
Conclusion 325 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1789 : THE NEW-YOEK CON- 

FEEENCE. 
Session of the New- York Conference — Not the first held in New- 
York — Mistake corrected — The Minutes of the New- York Confer- 
ence for 1857 — The Conference one Year older than it is claimed to be 
— Bishop Asbury — W-hatcoat — Dr. Coke — Jesse Lee — Important 
Business transacted — Establishment of a Book Concern — John 
Dickins — Plan for introducing Methodism into New-England — 
Jesse Lee — General Washington — Inaugurated President — Con- 
gratulatory Address of the Conference — Presented by Bishops Asbury 
and Coke — Eeply of the President — Dr. Coke severely censured — 
Sails for Europe — Defended by Thomas Morrell — Censured in 



CONTENTS. i3 

England also — Mr. Asbury's Testimony in favor of the Doctor — Coke 
justified by his Biographer — Asbury's Account of the Confer- 
ence 334 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1789, CONTINUED. 

The Conference of 1789 — Other weighty Business transacted — Plan 
for the Enlargement of the Work in New- York City — Singular 
Items in the "Old Book" — Trustees fixing up for Conference — 
Bills Paid — Money sent to Conference — Record of small Things — 
Mending Chairs — Griddle — Gridiron — Spoons — Startling Eecord — 
Ticket in a Lottery — -Purchased by the Trustees- — Shows the Cus- 
tom of the Times — Houses of Worship built and paid for by draw- 

, ing Lotteries — The Necessity for a new Church — Conference order 
Thomas Morrell to build it — His Commission from Coke and Asbury 

— Singular Paper — Opposition to the Enterprise — Morrell writes to 
Asbury for Advice — The Bishop's Answer — Another Letter from 
the Bishop — Dr. Coke's Letter of Apology 343 

CHAPTER XL. 

NEW CHURCH EDIFICE : THOMAS MORRELL. 

Necessity for building a House of Worship in the right Place — Well 
understood by others — Roman Catholics — The Course they pursue 

— Methodists secured a Site for the new Church in the right Local- 
ity—From whom the Ground was obtained — When — Price of— 
The Deed a Curiosity — The Property formerly of James Delancy — 
Confiscated — The laying of the first Stone — Building soon com- 
pleted—Dedication—The Minister — The Text — Skeleton of the 
Sermon — Letter of Commendation from Bishop Asbury — The 
House greatly honored of God — Why some opposed the Erection 
of .the Edifice — Glorious Revival — William Thacher — Church in 
the Fields — Wilbur Fisk — Samuel Merwin — The Building demol- 
ished— A more noble House erected — Latterly altered and beauti- 
fied— Fathers _ gone —'Young Men who have caught their Man- 
to 3 ■ 351 

CHAPTER XLI. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1790. 

Ministers stationed in New- York — Official Members — Rev. William 
Jessop — Quarterage — Sickness — Judah — Dr. Romaine — Dr. 
Solinger — Character of Mr. Jessop — Death of— Funeral Sermon — 
Henry Boehm — Thomas Morrell— Letter from Mr. Wesley — From 
Dr. Coke — Session of the New- York Conference — Bishop Asbury's 
Account of Thomas Morrell — Singular Ttems from the "Old Book" 



14 CONTENTS. 

— Expenses for the Preachero' House — Jacob Brush — How heosme 
to labor in New-York - Extracts from Mr- Morrell's unpublished 
Journals — Brush's Quarterage — Sketch of Mr. Brush — Pies ot 
Yellow Fever — Where buried — Epitaph on his Tombs tone — Verses 
to perpetuate his Memory 

CHAPTER XLII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1791. 

Ministers stationed in New- York — The official Members — Old and 
new Church — Conference — Expenses paid — Items frorn^ the Old 
Book — Asbury's Account — Wesley's last Letter to America — Death 
of Mr. Wesley— Letter from Dr. Coke — Thomas Morrell leaves 
New- York — Travels with Bishop Asbury — Stationed in Charleston — 
Defends Bishop Asbury — Amusing Anecdote — The Benevolence of 
New- York Methodists to the Bishop ■ — James Man, Sketch of — Re- 
turns to Nova Scotia — Secretary of the Conference — Richard What- 
coat — His deep Piety — -Dr. Bond — Anecdotes of Whatcoat — What- 
coat and the Love-feast — Whatcoat and the lost Text — Sketch of 
his personal History — His Death • — His Character 371 

CHAPTER XLIII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1792. 

Preachers stationed in New- York — Sketch of Lemuel Green — Able 
Preacher — Death — George Strebeck leaves the Methodists — A Lu- 
theran Church in Pearl-street' — Next in Mott — A popular Preacher 

— Teachers' School — John Hagadorn — Mr. Strebeck leaves the 
Lutherans — An Episcopal Clergyman — Origin of St. Stephen's 
Church — Pastor rebaptizes his Children — Zion's Church — Ralph 
Williston — Runaways — Bishop Hedding's Opinion of — Session of 
the New- York Conference — Singular Items in the "Old Book" — 
Bishop Asbury and the New- York Methodists 385 

CHAPTER XLIV 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1793 AND 1794. 

The Itinerant Spirit still kept up — Morrell and Garrettson stationed in 
New- York and Philadelphia — Yellow Fever in Philadelphia— Fearful 
Ravages of — Day of Fasting in New- York — Morrell's Sermon — Ex- 
tracts from the "Old Book" — Bishop Asbury and the Suit of Clothes 

— Benevolence of the Now-York Methodists — Morrell's Doctor's Bill 

— Revs. Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers labor in New-York — Their 
Quarterage — Mr. Morrell leaves New-York — Reasons why — His Re- 
flections on so doing — Increase in the Membership' — Brief Sketch of 
Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers— Mr. Morrell's History completed ■ 



CONTENTS. 15 

His Conversion — Spiritual Father — Entrance into the Ministry — Use- 
fulness — Prominent Stations — Correspondence — Letter from Reuben 
Ellis — Mr. Morrell's Journals — Specimen of his Exactness — Location 
— Cause of advanced Age — Death of — Character- — descendants — 
Preachers in New-York in 1794 — Brooklyn and New-York united — 
Ezekiel Cooper — Lawrence M'Combs — Names often appear on the 
" Old Book " — Their Characters and End 393 



CHAPTEE XLY 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1795. 

Ministers in New-York this Year — Wilson Lee — Character of — Most 
Singular Circumstance — The Power of Faith and Prayer — Mrs . Moore 
— Singular Introduction of Methodism into Soutliold — Mr. and Mrs. 
Shotwell — Mrs. Shotwell baptized by Wilson Lee — Death of Mr. Lee — 
Burying-Plaee — Epitaph — John Clark — Sketch of his Son — Joseph 
Totten — Character of — Dedicates the first Church in Brooklyn — Sud- 
den Death of — Buried on Staten Island — Session of the New- York 
Conference — Asbury's Description of — Extracts from the "Old 
Book". 404 



CHAPTEE XLYI. 

EARLY LOVE-FEASTS IN WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 

Love-feasts not of recent origin — Were early held in the Christian 
Church — -Peter and Jude's Testimony — ■ Early held among the Meth- 
odists of England — Borrowed from the Moravians — Tickets used 
from the first — Various Kinds — The first were wholly emblemat- 
ical — The next Emblem and Scripture united — Tickets used in Wes- 
ley Chapel — -Elkana Dean — ■ Picture Ticket — Hannah Dean's early 
Tickets — ■ Change in her Name — Tickets were used during several 
Years of the War of the Revolution • — Tickets — Specimens — Variety — 
Leaders' Names — Hart — Halstead — ■ Donaldson — ■ Phoebus — Wash- 
burn — Ostrander — Sandford — Hannah Hick's singularly preserved 
for over a Quarter of a Century 412 

CHAPTEE XLYII. 

THE EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 

Importance of the Office — The Duties arduous — Not a lucrative Office — 
But few Thanks — John Murphy the first Sexton — Belthazer Creamer 
the second — Receipts — Peter Williams — Robert Duncan — His Wife 
— Where born — Emigrates to America — Shipwreck — Their Reception 
in Wesley Chapel — Poverty of Robert — Usefulness — Their Daughter 
Elizabeth — Embury and Webb — The Love-feast — Revolutionary 



16 CONTENTS. 

War ~ British bombarding tlio City - Cannon Ball passes through the 
Old Parsonage - Narrow Escape of a Boy - Bobert and the i reasures 
His Death — Ministers present — Hymn sung on the Occasion -Burj- 
ing-Place-His Widow marries -His Daughter Elizabeth and Abra- 
ham Wilson, Jr. -Death of Mr. Wilson - Elizabeth W* son and Jona- 
than Griffith — Bev. Edward Griffith -Mrs. Mary Morrell- The Meth- 
odist Seed in these Families not run out - Thomas Morrell and Bobert 
Duncan -The Sexton and the Minister -Old John-street Chureh 
reunited in their Descendants * 26 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 

PETEE WILLIAMS. 

The Colored People in New- York in the Infancy of American Methodism 

— Slavery tolerated — Many attend Wesley Chapel — Eichard Board- 
man and the Colored People — Pilmoor — Asbury — Peter Williams a 
genuine African — His Parents Slaves — Where he was born — The 
Family to whom he belonged — His Brothers and Sisters — Peter's 
Conversion — -Worshiped in the Eigging Loft — High Estimation of 
Embury and Webb — Peter's Marriage — Molly Williams — Where 
born — Happy Union — Peter's Trade — Master a Tobacconist — Ho 
commences the same Business — Very successful — Peter's Benevo- 
lence — Peter and Zion Church — Circulates the Subscription — 
Lays the Corner-stone — Peter and the old Parsonage — Molly em- 
ployed to take care of the House — Yearly Wages — Peter and Doctor 
Coke — Anecdote — Peter Williams, Jnn. — Where born — Converted 

— A Methodist — Why he leaves them — Thomas Lyell — Peter Wil- 
liams becomes an Episcopal Minister — Bishops Hobart and Moore — 
Pastor of St. Philip's — Sudden Death — His Widow — The adopted 
Daughter — Peter Williams's Likeness 438 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

PETEE WILLIAMS AS SEXTON AND UNDEETAKEE. 

Name early on the "Old Book"— Extracts from— Sexton at different 
Periods — Undertaker — Methodist Bury ing-Grounds — John-street , 
Second-street, Duane-street — Most of the early Churches had Bury- 
ing-Grounds connected with them — Peter Parks first Sexton of the 
Second Methodist Church —Undertaker also —The Methodist Burying- 
On.und in First-street — Ministers buried there — Eemoval of the Dead 
to Cypress Hills — Large Revenue from the Sale of the Ground — What 
Appropriation was made of it — Vaults under the early Churches- 
Anecdotes of the old Sexton — Ludicrous Scene 450 



CONTENTS. 17 

CHAPTER L. 

THE OLD COLOEED SEXTON REDEEMED FROM BONDAGE. 

Peter a Slave — His Master — Reasons why he must be sold — The 
Trustees ofWesley Chapel buy him — Price paid — The Time Peter 
was .purchased — Before the Organization of the M. E. Church — ■ 
While the Society was in Connection with John Wesley — The old 
Sexton pays for himself — His Watch given in part Payment — Pe- 
ter credited on the "Old Book" — -Extracts from — Peter's Eman- 
cipation Paper from the Trustees — Their Names and Seals — The 
Document on Record — Chancellor Kent — Why the Trustees bought 
him — His Emancipation Paper preserved in his Family — His Watch 
also — In what Light the Trustees regarded the old Sexton — -A 
Dilemma. 460 

CHAPTER LI. 

DEATH OP THE OLD COLORED SEXTON AND HIS WIFE. 

Reflections — Death of Molly Williams — ■ Where buried — Ministers who 
officiated at the Funeral — Rev. Tobias Spicer — Rev. Thomas Lyell 

— Epitaph upon her Tomb-stone- — Death of Peter Williams — When 

— Where — Not buried alongside of Molly — Why — Funeral Sermon 
— Doctor Phoebus — ■ Reason so much Space has been devoted to the 
old Sexton— This Class of Men seldom noticed- — Peter a self-made 
Man — His History romantic — His Name identified with early Meth- 
odism, and John-street Church and Parsonage — The Friend of the 
Preachers — An Example — ■ Peter a Model Man- — Molly a Model Wo- 
man — Cause of his Elevation 472 

CHAPTER LII. 

WESLEY CLOCK. 

The first Methodist Clock in America — Its Antiquity — Placed in the 
old Church — In the Second — Now the Third — Why valuable — Sin- 
gular Incident connected' with it 480 



CHAPTER LIU. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 1797. 

The End of the " Old Book " — The History continued — Why — Preach- 
ers Stationed in New- York in 1796. — Sketch of Andrew Nichols — 
Peter Parks the Sexton — The Love-feast — The Deaf and Dumb Boy 
and his little Friend — Conversion of both — Preachers in the City in 
1797 — Joshua Wells — Sketch of— Letter to Paul Hick — The oldest 
Traveling Preacher in America — The- New-York Conference in 1797 

2* 



18 CONTENTS. 

-Rev. Wm. Thacher's Description of- Win. Beauchamp- Brief 
History — Character and End 



OHAPTEK LIV 

DUANE-STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 
Prosperity of Methodism in New-York — Numbers in Society — Erection 
of the Third Church — The Site — Laying of the Corner-stone — The 
Minister who preached, and the Text for the Occasion— Its Dedication 
— George Roberts and the Young Man — Effectual Sermon — The 
Builder of the Church Edifice — The Nature of the Structure — Its 
original Name — Why so called — It has peculiar Charms — Why — 
Its second Dedication — The Picture of the Parsonage 493 



CHAPTEK LV 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1798. 

Ministers stationed in New- York this Year — Cyrus Stebbins — Sketch 
of — Attacks the Doctrine of Christian Perfection — John Wilson 
defends it — -Character of Mr. Wilson — Mr. Stebbins withdraws — Be- 
comes an Episcopal Clergyman — George Roberts — Sketch of — Char- 
acter — Usefulness — • Triumphant Death — Characteristic Letters — 
Sketch of John Dickins ■ — Death of — Character — Letter to Paul 
Hick 500 



CHAPTER LVL 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1799. 

Distinguished Ministers stationed in New- York — John M'Claskey — 
Sketch of — Character and End — Letter to Paul Hick — The Two-Mile- 
Stone — Dr. Thomas Sargent — Brief History — Characteristic Letters 
— His Son — Michael Coate — Sketch of — Last Sermon —End — Letter 
to Paul Hick 508 



CHAPTER LVIL 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

Ministers stationed in the City — Freeborn Garrettson — High Esteem 
in which he was held — Married to Miss Livingston — Their Home — 
Death of Mr. and Mrs. Garrettson — Inscription on his Tombstone — 
Josse Lee — The Third General Conference— Election of Bishop What- 
coat — Mr. Lee not elected —Spirit he exhibited — Mr. Lee's Commis- 
sion from the Bishops PcplinesiKveptiii- it — Stationed in New-York 



CONTENTS. 19 

— .His Account of the Churches in the City — The Two-Mile-Stone — 
Brief History of the Society at — John and Gilbert Coutant — Seventh- 
street Methodist Episcopal Church — Character and End of Jesse Lee 

— Sylvester Hutchinson — His Grandmother — Singular Epitaph — His 
Brothers — Anecdotes of Hutchinson — Cause of his Location 519 

CHAPTER LVIII. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP THE LAITY. 

Further Particulars of William Lupton — -Birth-place — An Officer of the 
British Army — Associated with Captain Webb — Soldiers together — 
His first Marriage- — Children — Death of his Wife — -His Second Mar- 
riage — Children — ■ Grandchildren — Origin of his famous Motto — 
His Death — Character — The Property he owned iir John-street still 
in the Hands of his Descendants — John Chave — Original Subscriber 

— Trustee — History — Character — End — Letter from Dr. John- 
son 533 

CHAPTER LIX. 

BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES OP THE LAITY— CONTINUED. 

Paul and Hannah Hick — -Philip I. Arcularius — Sketch of — His 
Daughter Maria — Character — Death of— Tablet — Thomas Carpenter 

— Sketch of — His peaceful End — His Wife — Honorable Testimony 
of the Missionary Board concerning these three Fathers in Israel.. 542 

CHAPTER LX. 

BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY— CONTINUED- 

Abraham Eussel — Birth-place — Sketch of his History — Character — 
Usefulness in building Churches — -His Children —Daniel Smith and 
Hester Eussel — Their triumphant Death — Death of Mr. Eussel — 
Israel Disosway — Descendant of the Huguenots — Merchant — Held 
various Offices in the Church — Usefulness — Death — Funeral Sermon 

— His Wife — Excellent Woman — ■ Distinguished for Plainness — Death 
— Their Children — • Eobert Barry — Joseph Smith ■ — History — Charac- 
ter — End — Tablet Inscription 551 

CHAPTER LXI. 

BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY— CONTINUED. 

Andrew' Mercein — His History, Character, and End — George Suckley — 
Sketch of — Character — Gilbert Coutant — Brief Description of — 
Stephen Dando — Mary Dando — William Mead — William Cooper — 
Early Women of Methodism — Longevity of the early Methodists. 558 



20 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXII. 

REVIEW OP THE PAST, CONTEMPLATION OP THE PRESENT. 

Statistics of the Growth of New-York City — The Increase of Methodism 
in New- York — Numbers in Society in 1800 — Numbers in the United 
States — Character of the early Ministry with which New- York was 
favored — Variety of Talent — All dead but one — Their last Resting- 
place— Present State of Methodism in the United States — Number of 
Traveling Preachers, of Local Preachers, and Members in the 
Methodist Church, North and South — Great Effects from small 
Causes — -Indebtedness of American Methodism to Local Preachers — 
The Debt American Methodists owe to Ireland — Conclusion 569 



APPENDIX. 

Names of Ministers who preached in Wesley Chapel from its Origin 

to the year 1800 577 

Trustees of John-street Preaching-house 578 

The second Methodist Episcopal Church in John-street 581 

The third Methodist Episcopal Church in John-street .% 585 

Methodist Churches in New-York City in 1857 589 

Father Boehm and the old Log Meeting-house 590 

New Churches— Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, New-York... 590 
Fourth Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, N. Y. 593 
Broad-street Methodist Episcopal Church, Newark, 

New-Jersey .; 594 

Corporate Seal of the Methodist Episcopal Church, New-York 594 



LOST CHAPTERS RECOVERED 



FROM THE 



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CHAPTEB I. 

NEW-YORK AS IT WAS. 

Manhattan Island — Hendric Hudson — Indians — First Trading Post — 
First Schoolmaster — First House of Worship — The first Dominie — 
The first Parsonage — Sad End of the first Minister — First Stone 
Church — First Episcopal Minister — First City Lots — First Houses — 
■Contrast — First Census — First Houses in Wall-street — First Quakers 
— First Jewish Synagogue — Name of the City changed — First Lu- 
theran Church — Anecdote — First Trinity Church erected— The first 
Presbyterian Church — The first Moravian Church — The first Baptist 
Church — The first Methodist Church — Condition of Things about the 
Time it was built. 

Two hundred and fifty years ago the site of New- 
York City was an unbroken wilderness. Instead of 
splendid streets and avenues, the hunters' winding 
paths; in the place of princely stores and magnifi- 
cent palaces, the wigwams of the savage. 

Manhattan Island was first discovered by the 
celebrated navigator, Hendric Hudson, in 1609. It 
must have been splendid in its delicious wildness, 



22 .NEW-YORK AS IT WAS. 

covered with the grand old woods, trees planted by 
God's own hand, in whose branches the birds made 
the air vocal with their melody. The Indian roamed 
here in undisturbed majesty. His right there was 
none to dispute. "Hendric Hudson," as Mr. Web- 
ster has well said, " in trying to discover a northwest 
passage to India stumbled against a continent." 

What a mighty change since the Half Moon first 
sailed up the noble river that bears the name of its 
discoverer ! 

This great commercial emporium, the empire city 
of the empire state, the heart of this great nation, 
this city surrounded by vessels which plow every 
ocean and visit every land, whose sails whiten every 
sea, whose masts look like a forest, had a very small 
beginning. 

The first trading post was established on the island 
in 1613, and consisted of only four houses. 

Rome, the eternal city, can be traced to as small a 
commencement, and so can many of the distin- 
guished cities of the old world. 

It seems incredible, and yet it is a matter of his- 
tory, that in 1626 the whole of Manhattan Island was 
purchased from the Indians for twenty-four dollars. 
The Indians were satisfied with the price. They 
doubtless thought that a large sum for it. 

The year 1633 was an important era in the history 
of New- Amsterdam. The first schoolmaster arrived 
in town. So important was the event that his name 






P" 5 



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TO 




NEW- YORK AS IT WAS. 23 

has been transmitted to us. Adam Roelansen was 
the first pedagogue on this island. At any time a 
schoolmaster is a great character, whether it be 
Ichabod Crane, whom "Washington Irving has im- 
mortalized in his "Sketch Book," or some one else ; 
but the first always attracts peculiar attention. 

The Reformed Dutch Chuech was the first organ- 
ized in New-Amsterdam. This year, 1633, the first 
church edifice was. erected on this island. It was 
built in what is called Broad-street. It was a small, 
frail, wooden building. The name of the first 
dominie is preserved, the Rev. Evekaedus Bogaedtjs. 
He came over from Holland with the celebrated 
"Woutee Yan Twillee. The Dutch and the Hugue- 
not, as well as the Pilgrims, brought the Church, the 
schoolmaster, and their Bibles with them. They 
erected a dwelling for the Rev. Mr. Bogardus to 
reside in. This was the first parsonage built on the 
island, if not in America. 

The first minister in New- Amsterdam met with a 
sad end. After spending some years in the new 
world, in returning to his native land he, with 
eighty-one others, was lost in the ocean off the coast 
of Wales. Thus perished the first minister on the 
Island of Manhattan. 

In 1642 a new stone church was commenced. 
Richard and John Ogden engaged to build it out of 
rock stone, seventy-two feet long and fifty-two feet 
wide, and sixteen feet above the ground, the church 



24 NEW-YORK AS IT WAS. 

wardens to furnish the lime. This church was built 
on the Battery, near the corner of State-street and 
Broadway. After the city was taken by the English 
this church edifice was used by the Rev. Mr. Yesey, 
of the Episcopal Church, when the Dutch minister 
did not wish to occupy it. 

This year the first city lots were granted to indi- 
viduals; before that all were "squatters." There 
were no palaces or princely mansions then ; the 
houses, were one story cabins, with roofs of straw and 
wooden chimneys. What a contrast between them 
and the noble edifices that now adorn the metropolis 
of this western world ! 

In 1656 the first census of the city was taken, and 
it contained one hundred and twenty houses and one 
thousand inhabitants. This year the first houses 
were built in Wall-street, which is now so famous 
as the great financial street of the city, with its 
numerous banks, its Custom House and Exchange. 
Real estate was not as high then as now. The 
average price of city lots was fifty dollars. There 
has been a small advance in real estate since that 
time. 

The Quakers made their appearance before the 
overthrow of the Dutch power, as early as 1657. 
This year several of this persuasion arrived from Lon- 
don, two of whom, Mary Witherhead and Dorothy 
Waugh, were confined in prison for delivering ex- 
hortations to the people. Their doctrines were 



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jstewtYORk as it was. 25 

making such fearful progress that the inhabitants 
of New- Amsterdam became alarmed, and in 1659 
appointed a day of prayer that the heresy might 
spread no further. 

The Friends built their first meeting-house- in 
Little Green-street, now Liberty Place, about the 
close of the eighteenth century. In 1819 they erect- 
ed another house of worship in Hester-street. 

The Jews made their first appearance in 1660, 
but were denied the rights of citizenship. But about 
the beginning of the last century they built their 
first synagogue on what is now South William- 
street. It was very small. Now they have a num- 
ber of splendid synagogues. 

The Lutherans early built a church edifice at the 
corner of Broadway and Rector-streets, which was 
destroyed by the great fire in 1776. Concerning 
the value of real estate and the xise in property, 
something may be learned from the following. It 
is now on record, in a trustee's book of a Lutheran 
church in the lower part of this city, that a benevo- 
lent man gave to the trustees of said church a plot 
of ground, containing six acres, near the head of 
Canal-street and Broadway. They passed a resolu- 
tion thanking him for his donation, but declined 
accepting it, inasmuch as the "land was not worth 
fencing in." No one would wish a greater fortune 
than six acres there now. 

In 1664 New- Amsterdam expired, and New- York 



26 JNEW-YOKK. A8 IT WAS. 

was born. This year it was taken from the Dutch 
by the English, who changed its name to New- York. 
The population of the city then was fifteen hundred. 
This city did not reach its maturity in a day, like 
San Francisco, the queen city of the Pacific. 

In 1693 the Dutch built a church in Garden-street, 
now Exchange Place, and on entering that edifice 
the other house of worship passed into the entire 
possession of the Episcopal Church. This first Epis- 
copal Church stood till 1741. 

The first Trinity Church was erected in 1696. 
New- York had then a population of six thousand. 

The first Presbyterian church was erected in 
"Wall-street, 1719, and re-built in 1748. A few years 
ago it was taken down and re-erected in Jersey City. 
It is the spire of this church which, catching the 
earliest and latest rays of the sun, is seen as we 
cross the Jersey City ferry. 

The Moravian Church in New-York was organ- 
ized in 1748. Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the 
society, spent a little time in New- York in 1741, but 
did not organize a society. In 1751 they erected a 
church edifice in Fair-street, what is now Fulton- 
street. 

The first Baptists in New- York were Armenians. 
The first church of the Calvinistic Baptists was 
organized in 1762, and about that time they built 
their first house of worship in Gold-street. They suf- 
fered much during the war of the Revolution ; their 



NEW-YOKK AS IT WAS. 27 

members were scattered and their church edifice was 
converted into a stable. 

St. George's Church was erected in Beekman- 
street in 1752, and St. Paul's in 1766. They were 
both branches from Trinity. 

The Brick Meeting-house was built in the fields in 
1768. Dr. Spring preached in it for more than half 
a century. It has just been torn down, and many 
looked on with reluctance as its venerable walls were 
demolished, deeply regretting that this old landmark 
of the city was disappearing, and others listened 
with deep feeling as its old bell tolled for the last 
time its final note of admonition, " We are passing 
away," " "We are passing away." 

In 1768 the first Methodist house of worship was 
erected in John-street. It was built in troublesome 
times, when business was very dull, and money 
scarce, and everything very dear, and when the 
American colonies were about to be involved in a 
war with the mother country. 

As early as October, 1765, the merchants generally 
resolved not to import goods from England, " unless 
the oppressive and unconstitutional stamp act was 
repealed." Those who c&ntinued to trade with En- 
gland were considered and treated as open enemies 
to the civil and religious interests of their country. 
Some were sent to jail for importing English goods, 
and their families ruined in consequence. 

In 1766, the patriots erected the first liberty pole, 



28 NEW-YOKK AS IT WAS. 

in what was then the fields, now the Park. Shortly 
after it was cut down by the soldiers, when another 
was erected in its place ; then that was cut down, and 
things went on from bad to worse, till the storm 
which had been gathering over our country burst 
with fury upon the people. 

I have noticed the state of things in New- York at 
that time, that we may better appreciate the great- 
ness of the undertaking. There were political 
troubles, there were financial difficulties, with which 
the first Methodists had to grapple, and it is marvel- 
ous that they met with such success. It was a stu- 
pendous undertaking to erect a house of worship un- 
der such most trying and discouraging circumstances. 
New- York was then a village, now an imperial city. 
It contained about as many inhabitants then as Jer- 
sey City does now, twenty thousand; now JSTew- 
York has seven hundred and fifty thousand, border- 
ing rapidly on a million. 

We have given the reader a mere outline, a 
bird's-eye view of New -York as it was, and have no 
space, neither does it fall in with our present plan to 
notice New - York as it is. 



INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM. 29 



CHAPTEK II. 

INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM INTO NEW-YORK. 

Methodism in the West of Ireland — The Palatines — Their former State 
— Mr. Wesley visits Balligarane — Great Change in the Character of 
the Inhabitants — Why they emigrate to America — Philip Embury's 
Conversion — Acquainted with Mr, Wesley — Emigrates to America — 
Character of other Emigrants — Sinful Amusements — Effectual Re- 
proof from a Woman — Mr. Embury's first Sermon. 

Me. Wesley spent much of his time in Ireland, feel- 
ing a deep interest in the welfare of the inhabitants 
of that fast-anchored isle. Six years of his valuable 
life were employed there. Mighty champions of 
" Christianity in earnest " were raised up to preach, 
with unusual power and success, "the glorious Gos- 
pel of the blessed God." Thomas Barber, "William 
Hamilton, Thomas Walsh, Henry Moore, Gideon 
Ouseley, Adam Clarke, and other heroes of Method- 
ism, might be named had we space. 

About one hundred and fifty years ago a colony of 
Germans from the Palatinate emigrated from their 
father-land, and settled in the west of Ireland, among 
the rich and fertile lands in the County of Limerick. 
Their descendants are still called Palatines. Mr. 
Wesley early visited this part of Ireland, and among 



30 INTEODUOTION OF METHODISM 

the class we have described labored with great 
success. He was often at Balligarane. Here 
Philip Embury was converted, and this was the 
spiritual birth-place of the mother of American 
Methodism. 

Mr. Wesley often in his Journal notices his visits to 
this place, as well as the character of the inhabitants 
and the result of his toils. We introduce it here be- 
cause of its connection with the origin of American 
Methodism. They are intimately and inseparably 
united, blended together like the colors of the rain- 
bow. Let not the reader think that I am traveling 
out of the record, or that this is far-fetched. 

Mr. Wesley says, June 23, 1758 : " I rode over to 
Count Mattrass, a colony of Germans whose parents 
came out of the Palatinate about fifty years ago. 
Twenty families of them settled here, twenty more at 
Killiheen, a mile off; fifty at Balligarane, about two 
miles eastward ; and twenty at Pallas, four miles 
farther. Each family had a few acres of ground, on 
which they built as many little houses. They are 
since considerably increased in number of souls, 
though decreased in number of families. Having no 
minister, they were become eminent for drunken- 
ness, cursing, swearing, and in utter neglect of reli- 
gion. But they are washed since they heard and re- 
ceived the truth which is able to save their souls. 
An oath is now rarely heard among them, or a 
drunkard seen in their borders." 



INTO NEW- YORK. 31 

Mr. "Wesley visited this place again July 9th, 1760, 
and records the following in his Journal : 

"I rode over to Killiheen, a German settlement 
near twenty miles south of Limerick. It rained all 
the way, but the earnestness of the poor people made 
us quite forget it. In the evening I preached to 
another colony of Germans at Balligarane. The 
third is at Count Mattrass, a mile from Killiheen. I 
suppose three such towns are scarce to be found 
again in England or Ireland. There is no cursing or 
swearing, no Sabbath-breaking, no drunkenness, no 
ale-house in any of them. How will these poor for- 
eigners rise up in the judgment against those that 
are round about them." 

What a mighty transformation the gospel must 
have made among them, when we remember the 
description Mr. Wesley gave of their former state. 
They had been " eminent for drunkenness," now 
"no drunkenness at all." They had been very 
"profane," now no "cursing or swearing." 

Again Mr. Wesley says : " Wednesday 16, I rode 
to New-Market, which is another German settlement. 
But the poor settlers, with all their diligence and fru- 
gality, could not procure even the coarsest food to 
eat and the meanest raiment to put on, under their 
merciful landlords ; '1 that most of these, as well as 
Balligarane, have been forced to seek bread in other 
places'; some of them in distant parts of Ireland, but 
the greater part m America." 



32 INTRODUCTION OF .METHODISM 

In June, 1762, Mr. Wesley preached to them again, 
and wrote thus: "They [the Palatines] i are a seri- 
ous, thinking people, and their diligence turns all 
their land into a garden." 

From Mr. Wesley's Journal we see the character 
of those Irish emigrants who came to America and 
introduced Methodism into this country, and the 
cause of their emigration. When Mr. Wesley and 
his coadjutors first visited that part of Ireland, the 
German Irish were among the first to welcome them. 
Under their labors the youthful Embury was con- 
verted to God and identified himself with Wesleyan 
Methodism. He became acquainted with Mr. 
Wesley when he visited that part of Ireland as 
early as 1752. We know not who was his spiritual 
father. 

The anniversary of the Saviour's birth was the 
anniversary of the spiritual birth of Mr. Embury. 
On Christmas the " day-spring from on high visited " 
him, as he was "sitting in darkness and in the 
shadow of death," not only to impart " light," but to 
" guide his feet into the way of peace." Then he 
looked up and beheld, 

" "Without a cloud between, 
The Godhead reconciled." 

In possession of his son Samuel was a small book 
of family records, on one leaf of which are the fol- 
lowing brief entries written by Philip Embury : 



INTO NEW-YOEK. 



33 



«*2. 



erf ^^c^rrdj^ tfhu^M^ 










The following are on the back of the same page : 

" Bro. John Embury Died on the 7th -day of April, 

1764, between 10g& 11 o'Clock in the morn, Satur- 
day. 

"My Bro. Peter Embury Died the 24th of 7ber, 

1765, about 3 o'Clock in the morning." 

3 



84 INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM 

Mr. Embury emigrated to America in the early- 
part of 1765. He settled in the city of New- York, 
and for some time resided in John-street, where 
his son Samuel was born on the 24th of September, 
1765. Mr. Embury was a carpenter and joiner by 
trade, and, like Paul, labored with his own hands 
and lived in his own hired house. Mr. Embury 
was a local preacher in Ireland before he came to 
this country. 

About the same time a number of emigrants from 
the "Emerald Isle" came to New- York, who had 
been Methodists an their own land. They were not 
only "strangers and foreigners," but were like 
"sheep without a shepherd." They were away from 
the means of grace, from a preached gospel, from 
class-meetings, and love-feasts ; and their 

" Faith forsook its hold, 
Their hope declined and love grew cold." 

Such was their fearful condition, when they were un- 
expectedly aroused from their guilty slumbers. 
Their "love had not only waxed cold," but they 
were indulging in the sinful amusements of the 
world. Mr. Embury did not join in " those diver- 
sions that could not be taken in the name of the Lord 
Jesus;" yet he was ""burying hjs talent" in the 
earth, and "hiding his light," and was, therefore, a. 
very " unprofitable servant." 

Among the emigrants who ^arrived the next yeai 



INTO NEW-YORK. 35 

was a pious family by the name of Hick, from 
Balligarane, Ireland. 

Mrs. Barbara Hick was a " mother in Israel ;" she 
felt for the honor of God, for the cause of bleeding 
Zion, and for the souls of those who were about 
making " shipwreck of faith." 

One evening she went into a company of the 
backslidden Methodists, and found them engaged in 
playing cards. She seized the pack of cards, and 
with a holy indignation threw them into the fire, 
determined to burn up their idols. Mrs. Hick then 
warned them of the danger to which they were 
exposed, and expostulated with them in the most 
pathetic and earnest manner. Then going to Mr. 
Embury, she exclaimed, " Brother Embury, you 
must preach to us, or we shall all go to hell, and 
-God will require our blood at your hands 1" 

Poor Embury ! to him it was like a thunder-peal 
in a clear sky ; it was like an earthquake shock ; it 
was like the alarm of the sound of the last trump ! 
Her manner, her countenance, the tone of her voice, 
as well as what she said; aroused, astonished, and 
alarmed him. He felt as David did when Nathan 
said to him, "Thou art the man!" And yet Mr. 
Embury wished to quiet his conscience and hush 
his fears, so he inquired, "How can I preach, for 
I have neither a house nor a congregation ?" Plaus- 
ible as this excuse appeared, she had an answer 
ready, and said with peculiar emphasis, whieh Mr. 



36 INTRODUCTION OF METHODISM. 

Embury never forgot: "Preach in your own house 
and to your, own company first." She seemed to 
him like a messenger from the invisible world, ad- 
dressing him with the impressive eloquence of 
eternity. No wonder the warning was astounding 
and her appeal irresistible, and his excuse, when 
" weighed in the balance, found wanting." His re- 
sponsibility was so pressed upon him that he could 
not shake it off, and he agreed to comply with her re- 
quest, to hold a meeting in his own house, while she 
was to collect as many hearers as were willing to 
attend. Only six attended the first meeting. They 
sung and prayed, and Mr. Embury instructed them 
in the doctrines of salvation. Influenced by a desire 
to " flee the wrath to come, and to be saved from their 
sins," and to be kept from falling, they enrolled their 
names into a class, and resolved to attend regularly 
at the house of Mr. Embury for further instruction. 
Thus their numbers gradually increased till the place" 
became too strait for them. They then obtained a 
more commodious room in the neighborhood, where 
they could worship the God of their fathers. Here 
they assembled for mutual edification. The rent of 
the room was defrayed by' voluntary collections. 
Mr. Embury continued to lead their devotions, and 
to expound to them the word of life. Yery useful 
was he to the "little flock" to whom it was their 
Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom. The 
first class was organized in 1766. 



ME. EMBTTRY'8 CHARACTER VINDICATED. 87 



CHAPTER m. 

MR. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 

His Enemies asperse his Character — His Friends tacitly admit his Guilt 
— No Evidence that Mr. Embury was playing Cards — Presumptive Evi- 
dence he was not — In what hia Sin consisted — The House in which 
Mr. Embury preached the first Methodist Sermon. 

A question arises which involves considerable in- 
terest: "Was Philip Embury engaged in playing 
cards?" His countrymen were playing for pastime, 
playing for amusement, not for money ; did Mr. 
Embury join with them ? 

It has been asserted that he was thus employed 
when Mrs. Hick reproved him. Some Methodists 
have admitted it, and the enemies of Methodism 
have said in ridicule, that "American Methodism 
originated at the card-table." I have read such an 
account. What are the facts in the case? All I 
desire is to arrive at the truth of history. There 
are two accounts of the transaction, and we will 
notice both of them. 

The first is this: "That Mr. Embury was not 
present while the emigrants were playing cards, 
and that as soon as Mrs. Hick had reproved them 



38 MB. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 

and thrown the cards away, she proceeded instantly 
to Mr. Embury's honse, and delivered a thrilling 
exhortation to him."* 

Another writer describes it thus: "Having thus 
destroyed their playthings, she went to Mr. Embury, 
the local preacher, and prostrating herself before 
him, entreated him with tears to call a meeting and 
preach to them, enforcing her entreaties by admon- 
ishing him that unless he complied the people would 
go to hell, and that God would require their blood 
at his hands? This was written, I believe, by the 
late Eev. Peter P Sandford, and published in the 
Methodist Magazine for 1823, (p. 384.) Dr. Sandford 
was the intimate friend of Paul Hick, son of the 
old lady, and obtained many particulars from him. 
This was written sixteen years before Dr. Bangs 
wrote his History of Methodism. 

Other writers confirm the statement that Mrs. 
Hick went to the house of Mr. Embury. The con- 
clusion of the whole matter is this : that Mr. Embury 
was not there when Mrs. Hick reproved the back 
sliders, and therefore could not Jicuoe been engaged 
in card playing. We therefore prove his innocence 
by proving an alibi. 

Let us look at the other version, that after having 
reproved those who were playing, "she [Mrs. Hick] 
turned to Mr. Embury and said," etc. 

* Historical Account of the Early Society of Methodists, (pub- 
lished in 1824,) page 3. 



MR. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 39 

The question arises in every reflecting mind, Why- 
did Mrs. Hick turn round to Mr. Embury? Cer- 
tainly, because he was not seated at the table or en- 
gaged in playing cards with his countrymen. If he 
had been, she could have administered reproof to him 
while she did to others without chomgmg her position. 
Admitting he was present, the very idea of her turn- 
ing to reprove him for burying his talent shows that 
he was not engaged in their sinful amusement. 

Now the reader can take either version he pleases, 
that Mr. Embury was absent or present, no matter 
which, he will be satisfied that Philip Embury is en- 
tirely innocent of the charge that has been brought 
against him, and that has been so triumphantly 
trumpeted all over the land. There is not the slight- 
est shadow of proof that he was playing cards at that 
or any other time. They do gross injustice to the 
character of Mr. Embury who thus accuse him.. This 
is a grand mistake or a vile slander. Let the ene- 
mies of Methodism never repeat it again. Let the 
Methodists never make- such an admission, but 
meet it with a positive denial and challenge the 
proof. 

The truth is, Mr. Embury was a very diffident 
man, and his 

" Sot doing was among his darkest deeds." 

" He knew his duty, and did it not." In this consist- 
ed his sin. It was more in omission than commission. 



40 MR. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 




PHILIP EMBUKY'S OWN HIKED HOUSE. 



"We have volumes entitled " Homes and Haunts 
of the British Poets," beautifully illustrated, with 
views of the homes of Spenser and Milton, Addison 
and Thomson, Cowper and Byron, and others; we 
see where they lived and where they used " thoughts 
that breathe and words that burn." "We have books 
called the "Homes of American Statesmen." In 
them we are introduced to Washington's mansion 
at Mount Vernon, and to the homes where Clay, 
and Webster, and others lived. 

We thought the reader would like to see the home 
of Philip Embui-y. It is not the home of the poet, 



MB. EMBURY'S CHARACTER VINDICATED. 41 

it is not the residence of a statesman, but the house of 
a carpenter, the home of a local preacher, the home 
of American Methodism. In this humble dwelling 
the first Methodist sermon was preached in the City 
of New- York; in this house the first class met; in this 
house the first Methodist society was formed. Hal- 
lowed place! Memorable era, never to be forgotten 
in the annals of American Methodism. To J. B. 
Smith, Esq., of Brooklyn, I am indebted for the 
sketch of the dwelling in which Mr. Embury com- 
menced the mighty work which has had no parallel 
since apostolic times. Mr. Smith obtained it from 
one of the men of olden times, It stood in Barrack- 
street,, now Park Placa. 

Since I wrote the chapter on the vindication of 
Mr. Embury's character, I have received the follow- 
ing additional information. 

Mr. A. Beninger was a Moravian minister. He 
was a native of Switzerland, from the same town- 
where the immortal William Tell lived. Mr. Ben- 
inger was very intimate with Philip Embury. He 
said Mr. Embury was not present when the company 
were playing cards ; that he was at home, and there 
the mother of American Methodism went and re- 
proved him. This I have learned from Philip Em- 
bury, of this city, who was so informed by Mr. Ben- 
inger. I am glad to receive this confirmation of 
what I have written. 



42 A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. 



CHAPTER IV 

A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. 

His first Introduction to the little Flock — The Alarm it caused— Why 
their Tears subsided— His Usefulness — Why he attracted such Crowds 
— Manner of Preaching. 

A most singular event soon brought the little band of 
Methodists into notice. It was the appearance of a 
military officer in their meeting, in full uniform, with 
his sword hanging at his side. No wonder there was 
some nerve shaking to receive a visit so unexpectedly 
from an officer of the royal American troops. What 
could be the object of his visit ? All eyes were upon 
him. Had he come to persecute them, to interrupt 
their religious services, or prohibit them from wor- 
shiping ? 

They were astonished, and their hearts overflowed 
with gratitude, as they discovered that, instead of ap- 
pearing among them from sinister motives, he had 
come to join in their devotions. When they prayed 
he kneeled down in the attitude of an humble wor- 
shiper, and his countenance sent forth a correct re- 
port of the religion that dwelt in his bosom, that 
breathed, "Glory to God in the highest, on earth 



A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. 43 

peace, and good will to men." They dismissed 
their fears ^ind threw away their needless anxieties, 
when they saw his devotional appearance; and 
though he was clad in the habiliments of war, they 
recognized in him a worshiper of "the Prince of 
Peace." 

"When the service was over, he introduced himself 
to the Methodists as Captain Thomas "Webb, of Al- 
bany, also as a soldier of the cross, and a spiritual son 
of John Wesley ; and they were overjoyed, and hailed 
him as a " brother beloved." They invited him to 
preach for them. He accepted the invitation, and 
from that time became one of the principal agents in 
establishing Methodism in America. 

At that period it was customary for military men 
on all occasions to wear their regimentals. Mr. Webb 
was a local preacher, and appeared in public with his 
coat of scarlet with its splendid facings, with his 
sword lying before him, and the " sword of the Spirit" 
alongside of it, and can we wonder that he attracted 
attention ? It was so novel, so unlike what they had 
ever seen before, that curiosity drew many to hear 
the " old soldier," and to see a military man in the 
pulpit. Then his style of preaching arrested their at- 
tention. He wielded the sword of the Spirit naked. 
He wrapped no silk around it lest it should be too 
sharp, and was careful that the point was not too 
dull. The old members used to speak of his manly 
eloquence, his holy boldness, his honest appeals, 



44 A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER. 

his faithful warnings, his tremendous home thrusts 
at the human heart. 

In a very blunt and emphatic manner, he would 
bring out in a thunder tone, " You must repent or 
be forever damned;" at the same time he would bring 
his uplifted hand down upon the desk, and thus 
thunder terror into the " hearts of the king's ene- 
mies." Many yielded to the Conqueror, and said, 

" I yield, I yield; 
I can hold out no more ; 
I sink, by dying love compell'd, 
And own him conqueror." 

In 1766, Captain Webb preached in a hired joom, 
near the barracks. 

Doubtless the reader would like to know more of 
Captain Webb, who figures so largely, and was such 
a prominent character among the early Methodists in 
America. Presently we will give a more perfect ac- 
count of this noble officer. Having said here all 
concerning him that is necessary to connect the 
history, to supply the intermediate links in the great 
historical chain, for a time we bid him adieu. 



THE RIGGING LOFT. 



45 




CHAPTER V 



THE RIGGING LOFT. 



Rigging Lofts — Singular ]?aot concerning them — Why the early Meth- 
odists worshiped in them — The Locality of the one in New- York 
— Its Dimensions — The Year it was occupied as a Preaching Place — 
An honored Place — Preserved long — When demolished — Canes 
made of its Timbers. 

We now introduce to our readers the far-famed 
" Rigging Loft," so celebrated in the early history of 
American Methodism. Bishop Scott said to me, not 



46 THE RIGGING LOFT. 

long since, " "What a propensity the early Methodists 
in this country had for worshiping in rigging lofts." 
He then stated this singular fact: that the early 
Methodists in Philadelphia and Baltimore, as w.ell as 
in New- York, worshiped in a rigging loft. I suppose 
they occupied these places, first, for want of better ; 
second, because they were convenient, large, roomy, 
long, and narrow, and could easily be fitted up for a 
place of worship ; third, because the rent was cheap, 
they not being able to hire a large, spacious edifice, 
as most of them were poor. 

This Rigging Loft was occupied by the Methodists 
in 1767. It was to the early Methodists what the 
"upper room" in Jerusalem was to the disciples 
on the day of pentecost. The hired room had 
become too small to accommodate the congregation, 
and they rented a Rigging Loft in what was called 
Sorse-and- Cart-street, now William-street. It was 
called so from the fact that there were manv horses 
and carts accommodated therein ; there was also an 
inn there that had a horse and cart painted on the 
.sign. 

The Rigging Loft was not distinguished for its mag- 
nificence or architectural beauty. It was sixty feet 
long and eighteen wide. Humble as it was, it had 
attractions for the early Methodists in this city that 
few places had, however splendid. It was their 
Bethel. God honored it with his presence. There 
he "abundantly blessed their provision, and satis- 



THE KIGGINa LOFT. 47 

fled their poor with bread;" their priests he also 
clothed with salvation, and caused their " saints to 
shout aloud for joy." Often they made its walls 
echo with the words of Charles Wesley : 

"Lo! God is here! let us adore, 
And own how dreadful is this place ; 

Let all within us feel his power, 
And silent bow before his face ; 

Who know his power, his grace who prove, 

Serve him with awe, with rev'rence love." 

In this humble place, twice on Sunday, and on 
Thursday evening, Philip Embury or Captain "Webb 
preached a full, free, and present salvation; and 
here the worshiping assemblies were "fed with the 
sincere milk of the word," and they grew there- 
by. Here they wept and prayed, rejoiced and 
praised. 

This building, thus identified with the early his- 
tory of Methodism in this country, stood until about 
three years since, an honored memorial of the trials 
and victories of earlier days. Oft I have visited that 
Rigging Loft, (120 William-street,) but never entered 
it without devotional feelings. Many hallowed as- 
sociations cluster around it. Thought was busy call- 
ing up the past. Here Embury preached, and Cap- 
tain Webb wielded the " sword of the Spirit ;" here 
sinners were awakened and converted to God ; here 
the " sons of God " presented themselves before the 



48 TOE RIGGING LOFT. 

Lord, and "devout women" wrestled with God in 
prayer, and the fires of pentecost were re-kindled in 
many hearts. These walls have echoed with voices 
long since silent in death. Mighty plans have been 
formed here, and no doubt, among others, that of 
erecting a house of worship for God. 

It is somewhat singular, that while all the build- 
ings that were erected about the time of the Rigging 
Loft had passed away, this edifice remained so 
long, alone in its glory, a time-honored relic of the 
past. It is singular that it remained thirty-four 
years after Wesley Chapel was numbered among the 
things that were. 

It was a little, plain, modest building, that stood 
with its gable-end toward the street. Our cut is a 
faithful representation of it as it appeared in its later 
days. It had been for several years used as a store, 
and was last occupied by a card engraver. It was 
taken down in 1854 to make way for a more com- 
modious building. I almost wished it could have 
been preserved longer. I looked on with mournful 
interest as they were taking it down. Memorable 
place ! rich in the associations of by-gone scenes, the 
birth-place of many souls. No doubt there are those 
in paradise who look back to the old Rigging Loft 
as their spiritual birth-place. I carried home a small 
piece of timber from the rnins, as a memento of olden 
times. Its timbers were sound, and were made into 
canes, and many availed themselves of the oppor- 



THE RIGGING LOFT. 49- 

tunity to obtain -a walking-stick, and at the same 
time secure a relic to remind them of the days of 
old. An ivory head was placed upon each stick, 
and upon the head of each cane the following 
inscription : " Eigging Loft, 1766. Philip Embury." 
Great numbers attended divine service at the Rig- 
ging Loft, and it could not contain half the people 
who desired to hear the word of the Lord ; therefore 
the necessity of erecting a house of worship. We 
bid adieu to the Rigging Loft, and introduce to the 
reader the cradle of American Methodism, or the 
first Methodist Church erected in John-street. 



50 THE SITE OF THE METHODIST 



CHAPTEE VI. 

THE SITE OF THE METHODIST PREACHING-HOUSE 
IN JOHN-STREET. 

Mistake corrected — The Original Lease from Widow Barclay to Philip 
Embury — Kev. Henry Barclay — Character — Death — His Son and 
Grandson — Lots in the North Ward — William Lupton — Old Book — 
Extract from — Ground Rent. 

The general impression made by the historians 
of Methodism is this : that the early Methodists 
talked of leasing some lots, but abandoned this plan 
and immediately purchased the site in John-street. 
This is a mistake, as "the old book" will prove; and 
not only that, but the original lease for the property 
now lies before me ; and as it is full of historical 
interest, and a part and parcel of the history of the 
times, and as the deed for the property refers to this 
lease, and some parts of it cannot be well under- 
stood without it, I insert it as one of the lost chap- 
ters recovered in the early history of American 
Methodism. On the outside of the paper is this : 

" Mart Baeolay, and others, \ 

to V Lease. 

Philip Embttby, and others." ) 



PKEACHING-HOUSE IN JOHN-STKEET. 51 



THE LEASE 

" This Indestture, made this twenty-ninth day of 
March, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and sixty-eight, between Mary Barclay, 
executrix, and Andrew Barclay, Leonard Lispenard, 
and David Clarkson, executors of the last will and 
testament of Henry Barclay, late of the city of New- 
York, clergyman, deceased, on the one part, and 
JPhitip Ernhwry, "William Lupton, Charles "White, 
Richard Sause, Henry Newton, Paul Hick, and 
Thomas Taylor, all of the city of New- York, and 
Thomas "Webb, of Queens County, of the other part : 
Witnesseth, that they, the said parties of the first 
part, for and in consideration of the sum of five 
shillings, lawful money of New- York, to them in 
hand well and truly paid at or before the sealings 
and delivery of these presents by the said parties 
of the second part, the receipt whereof they, the said 
parties of the first part, do hereby acknowledge, have 
bargained, granted, and sold, and by these presents, 
do fully, freely, and absolutely grant, bargain, and 
sell unto them, the said parties of the second part, All 
those two certain lots of ground situate, lying, and 
being in the North Ward of the said city of New- 
York, (being part and parcel of the estate of Anthony 
Rutgers, deceased, and upon a division of the said 
estate fell to the part and share of the said Henry 
Barclay,) and known and distinguished in a certain 
map, bearing date the fourteenth day of September, 



52 THE SITE OF THE METHODIST 

in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and 
ninety-six, made of the land commonly called Shoe- 
maker's Ground, by lots No. 112 and ]STo. 113, con- 
taining in breadth, in front and rear, each of them 
twenty-five feet, be the same more or less, and in 
length on both sides each of them ninety-five feet, 
be the same more or less ; the lot No. 112 bounded 
northeasterly in front on Johnrstreet, northwesterly 
by the house and lot of ground in the tenure and 
occupation of Jonathan Bleeker, southwesterly in the 
rear ground in the tenure and occupation of Jacob 
Van Woert, and southeasterly by the said lot No. 
113 ; and the lot No. 113, bounded northeasterly in 
front by John-street aforesaid, northwesterly by the 
said lot No. 112, southwesterly in the rear by ground 
of Anthony Eutgers, and southeasterly by ground of 
the said Leonard Lispenard ; together with all and 
singular the houses, out-houses, stables, gardens, wa- 
ter wells, curtilages, easements, profits, commodities, 
emoluments, hereditaments, and appurtenances to the 
same belonging, or in anywise appertaining; and the 
-reversion and the reversions, remainder and remain- 
ders, rents, issues, and services thereof, and every 
part and parcel thereof, with the appurtenances, to 
have and to hold, all and singular the said hereby 
granted premises, and every part and parcel there- 
with the appurtenances, unto them, the said parties of 
the second part, their executors, administrators, and 
assigns, for and during and until the full end and 
term of one whole year from the day of the date of 



PEEACHING-HOUSE EST JOHN-STREET. 53 

these presents next ensuing, and fully to be complete 
and ended, yielding and paying therefor unto the said 
parties of the first part, their executors, administra- 
tors, or assigns, the rent of one peppercorn, on the 
last day of the said term, only if lawfully demanded, 
to the intent and purpose, that by virtue of these 
presents, and by the force of the statute for transfer- 
ring of uses into possession, the said parties of the* 
second part may be in the actual possession of all and 
singular the hereby granted premises, and every part 
and parcel therewith the appurtenances, and be 
thereby enabled to accept and take a grant and re- 
lease of the reversion and inheritance thereof to them, 
their heirs, and assigns forever, to the only proper use, 
benefit, and behoof of them, their heirs, and assigns 
forever, by indenture, intended to be made between 
the said parties to these presents, and to bear date 
the day next after the day of the date of these presents. 

"In witness whereof the said parties to these 
presents have hereunto set their hands and seals, 
the day and year first above written. 

QTlfrrti/ yjctorv&w, [l.b.] 

" Andrew Barclay, [l. s.] 
"Leonard Lispenard, [l. s.] 
" Davdd Clarkson," [l. s.] 

"Sealed and delivered in presence of Thomas 
Barclay, Egbert Benson." 



54 THE SITE OF THE METHODIST 

This property was obtained from Mrs. Mary Bar- 
clay. She was the widow of the Kev. Henry Bar- 
clay, the second rector of Trinity Church. He was 
the successor of the Rev. William Yesey, who was 
the first pastor of Trinity Church, and who was with 
them from the first building of Trinity Church, in 
1697, to the day of his death, 11th of June, 1746. 
"He was a most estimable man. 

Mr. Barclay, for ten years previous to his being 
pastor of Trinity, was catechist to the Mohawk In- 
dians. He was father of the late Thomas Barclay, 
Consul General of his British Majesty in the United 
States, and grandfather of Mr. Anthony Barclay, late 
British consul to our government, who resided in 
this city, and worshiped in the -temple where his 
grandfather was rector a century before. Mr. Bar- 
clay was appointed rector October 22, 1746. He 
was very useful. During his rectorship, the Church 
and congregation greatly increased. The St. George's 
Chapel in Beekman-street was built during his min- 
istry, and the design was formed for building St. 
Paul's Church edifice. In St. George's, the excellent 
Dr. Milnor, of blessed memory, and the eloquent and 
noble Dr. Tyng, preached for several years. Mr. 
Barclay died deeply lamented on the 20th of August, 
1764. 

It will be seen from the lease that he inherited this 
property from the estate of Anthony Rutgers. It is 
somewhat singular that the Methodists obtained the 



PEEACHING-HOUSE IN JOHN-STEEET. 55 

ground for the site of their church from the widow of 
the second rector of Trinity Church in New- York. 
It will also be seen the lease was conveyed to Philip 
Embury and others. Mr. Embury here bears a con- 
spicuous part in securing the site for the first Meth- 
odist preaching-house in New- York. He was a 
prominent man, the prominent man. 

It is singular to us who live in the present day, and 
look at New- York City as it now is, that the lots in 
John-street were then in the " North Ward." They 
are now in the second, and in the city we have 
twenty-two wards. 

The original deed for the property dates back to 
1696. The original name of the plot to which it be- 
longed was quite singular, "Shoemaker's Ground." 
There is an entry in the "old book" that shows the 
ground was leased, and that they paid ground-rent. 
This corroborates the fact that the ground was first 
leased, then purchased. It is this: "August 1st, 
1769. To "cash paid William Lupton, which he lent 
to pay the ground-rent, £14: 10s." 

It will be perceived that there is this difference 
between the date of' the lease and the deed, the 
former is dated March 29, 1768, the latter November 
2, 1770. Two years and -seven months' difference. 
Our early Methodist fathers were prudent men; 
they acted very cautiously; not feeling able to pur- 
chase the site, they concluded that it was better in 
the first place to lease and pay the ground-rent. 



56 PREACHING-HOUSE IN JOHN-STREET. 

This they did for nearly three years, and it wats upon 
this leased property they built the renowned "Wes- 
ley Chapel. They leased the property undoubt- 
edly with the privilege of purchasing it. I know this 
account differs from all we have read on the subject 
by writers on early Methodism in New- York, but 
here are the documents that are on record ; here are 
the well-authenticated facts ; and facts are stubborn 
things, and figures will not lie. 

I find on the "old book," that the price they 
ultimately paid for it was £600. This was the sum, 
though a nominal one is named in the deed. 



ORIGINAL DEED FOE THE PROPERTY. 57 



CHAPTEE VII. 

THE ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 

The first Deed for a Site for a Methodist Preaching-house in America — 
A Model Deed — The early Trustees business Men — The Property 
carefully secured — Kecord concerning it on the Old Book — How the 
Trustees were appointed — Other Property obtained — From whom — 
Singular Fact. 

Deeds for property are generally very dry, and are 
seldom read, except by lawyers and those deeply 
interested in them ; bnt for many reasons I have in- 
serted this. The original deed I have read. It was 
written on parchment, and bears the marks of an- 
tiquity, and we have here the exact copy. This is 
the first deed for a Methodist house of worship in 
America. There are over fourteen thousand deeds 
for the sites of houses of worship for the Methodists 
in this country, but none are more carefully written 
or more carefully guarded than this. It is not only 
a great curiosity, but from it many historical facts 
can be gathered. It is a kind of model deed. It 
states the fact that " the lots were then in possession 
of the trustees." Again, '• that the lots were particu- 
larly described in a former conveyance made by 

4 



SB ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 

Widow Barclay." Furthermore that "the meeting- 
house was already built by the Methodists on those 
lots of ground." It also speaks of " the indenture of 
lease." How careful they were to have the property 
secured for a Methodist preaching-house "foeevee." 
Also that the doctrines of the Methodists should be 
preached there as long as sun and moon endure. 

This deed shows that the preachers and the trustees 
were business men. They felt that they were trans- 
acting business for those who were coming after 
them, acting for future generations, and they were as 
careful as if everlasting life depended upon it. The 
deed was endorsed thus : 

"Mr. Joseph Foebes, to the Rev. Richard Board- 
man & others. Release dated 2 November, 1770." 

THE DEED. 

The following is a copy of the deed for the ground 
on which old John-street Preaching-house was origin- 
ally built : 

"This Indenture, made the second of November, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and seventy, in the eleventh year of the reign of our 
most gracious Sovereign Lord, George the Third, by 
the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ire- 
land, King, Defender of the Faith, and so forth : 

"Between Joseph Forbes, of the city of New- York, 
in North America, cordwainer, of the one part, and 



ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 59 

Richard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor, ministers 
of the Gospel ; "William Lnpton, merchant ; Thomas 
Webb, gentleman ; John Southwell, merchant ; 
Henry Newton, shopkeeper ; and James Jarvis, 
hatter; all of the said city of New- York, (trustees 
appointed for the uses and purposes hereinafter men- 
tioned,) of the other part : 

"Witnesseth that the said Joseph Forbes, foi 
divers good and valuable consideration, him there- 
unto especially moving, and also for and in considera- 
tion of the sum of ten shillings current money of the 
province of New-York, to him in hand well and 
truly paid by the said Richard Boardman, Joseph 
Pilmoor, William Lupton, Thomas Webb, John 
Southwell, Henry Newton, and James Jarvis, the 
receipt whereof he, the said Joseph Forbes, doth 
hereby fully acknowledge, hath granted, bargained, 
sold, aliened, enfeoffed, conveyed, assured, and con- 
firmed, and by these presents doth grant, bargain, 
sell, alien, enfeoff, convey, assure, release, and con- 
firm unto the said Richard Boardman, Joseph Pil- 
moor, William Lupton, Thomas Webb, John South- 
well, Henry Newton, and James Jarvis, (in their 
actual possession now being by virtue of a bargain 
and sale to them thereof, made for one whole year 
by indenture of lease, bearing date the day next be- 
fore the day of the date of these presents, and by the 
force of the statute made for transferring uses into 
possession,) and to their heirs and assigns, all those 



60 ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 

two certain lots of ground situate, lying, and being in 
the city of New- York aforesaid, and distinguished in 
a certain map or chart made of the ground of the 
late Eeverend Doctor Henry Barclay, deceased, by 
lots ISTos. (numbers) one hundred and twelve and one 
hundred and thirteen, which said lots are particu- 
larly described in a certain conveyance made thereof 
by Mary Barclay, widow and executrix of the said 
Doctor Henry Barclay, reference to the said convey- 
ance thereof — 

" Being had, will fully appear, together with the 
meeting-house on the said two lots of ground erected 
and built for the service of the Almighty God after 
the manner of the people called Methodists. And 
also all other erections, buildings, and improvements, 
ways, paths, passages, water, water- courses, lights, 
easements, emoluments, hereditaments, and appurte- 
nances to the said two lots of ground, meeting-house, 
and premises belonging, or in any wise appertaining, 
and the reversion and reversions, remainder and re- 
mainders, rents, issues, and services thereof, and of 
every part thereof. And also all the estate, right, 
title, interest, possession, property, claim, and demand 
whatsoever of him, the said Joseph Forbes, of, in, and 
to the same, with all deeds, evidences, and writings 
which in any way or manner relate thereunto. To 
have and to hold the said two lots of ground, meet- 
ing-house, and premises hereinbefore mentioned and 
described, and hereby granted and released, with all 



ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 61 

and every the appurtenances unto the said Richard 
Boardman, Joseph Pilmoor, William Lupton, 
Thomas "Webb, John Southwell, Henry Newton, and 
James Jarvis, their heirs and assigns, forever. 
Nevertheless, upon special trust and confidence, 
and to the intent that they and .the survivors of them, 
and all other trustees for the time being do and shall 
permit John "Wesley, late of Lincoln College, in the 
University of Oxford, cleark, and such other persons 
as he, the said John "Wesley, shall from time, to time 
appoint, and at all times during his natural life, and 
no other person or persons, to have and enjoy the 
free use and benefit of the said meeting-house and 
premises. 

" That the said John Wesley, and such other per- 
son or persons as he shall from time to time appoint, 
may therein preach and expound God's Holy Word ; 
and after his, the said John Wesley, deceased, upon 
further trust and confidence, and to the intent that 
the said trustees and the survivors of them, and the 
trustees for the time being, do and shall permit 
Charles Wesley, late of Christ's Church College, 
Oxford, cleark, and such person or persons as he 
shall from time to time appoint, and at all times dur- 
ing his life, and no other, to have and enjoy the full 
use and benefit of the said meeting-house and premi- 
ses for the purposes aforesaid ; and after the decease 
of the survivors of the said John Wesley and Charles 
Wesley, then upon further trust and confidence, that 



62 ORIGINAL DEED FOR THE PROPERTY. 

the said Richard Boardman and the, rest of the here- 
mbefore mentioned trustees, or the major part of 
them, or the survivors of them, and the major part 
of the trustees for the time being, shall, and from time 
to time, and foeeveb thereafter will, permit such per- 
son or persons as shall oe appointed at the yearly 
conference of the people called Methodists in London, 
Bristol, Leeds, and the city of New- York aforesaid, 
and no others, to have and enjoy the said premises for 
the purposes aforesaid, provided always that the said 
person or persons so from time to time to be chosen 
as aforesaid, preach no other doctrine than is con- 
tained in the said John Wesley's Notes upon the JVew 
Testament and his four volumes of Sermons / and 
upon further trust and confidence, that as often as any 
of the trustees hereby appointed, or the trustees for 
the time being, shall die or cease to be a member of 
the society commonly called Methodists, the rest of 
the said trustees for the time being, as soon as con- 
veniently may be, shall and may choose another 
trustee or trustees, in order to keep up such a number 
of trustees that they may in no time hereafter be less 
than seven nor more than nine. And the said 
Joseph Forbes doth, by these presents, covenant, 
promise, and agree to and with the said Eichard 
Boardman and the rest of the trustees hereby ap- 
pointed, that he hath not done, committed, executed, 
or suffered, or caused, or procured to be done, com- 
mitted, executed, or suffered, any act, matter, or 



ORIGINAL DEED FOE THE PROPERTY. 6$ 

tiling whatsoever whereby to charge or encumber 
the said premises hereby granted and released, either 
in title, estate, or otherwise howsoever. 

" In witness whereof the said Joseph Forbes hath 
hereunto set and affixed his hand and seal this day 
and year first above written.. 

[L. 6.] 




"Sealed and delivered in the presence of us, 
" Andrew G-autteb, 
" John 0. Knapp." 

" Received this day and year first within written, 
of the within-named Richard Boardman and the rest 
of the trustees within mentioned, the sum of ten 
shillings, current money of the Province of New- 
York, being the full consideration money within 
mentioned. Joseph Forbes. 

" "Witness, Andrew Gaotter, John G. Knapp." 

The 29th of October, 1770, we find the following 
in the " old book :" " To cash paid for a deed in trust 
from Mr. Forbes, to 'the seven trustees appointed by 
Richard Boardman, £3 8s. 6d" 1. We see the trus- 
tees were appointed by Richard Boardman, instead 
of being elected by the people, as they now are ; 
and-, 2. The enormous price they paid for a deed. 
Furthermore, things have greatly changed since that 
day. The purchasers then paid for the deed ; now it 



64 ORIGINAL DEED TOR THE PROPERTY. 

is the universal custom for the seller of the property 
to pay for it. 

Afterward the trustees purchased other property 
adjoining theirs in John-street. The Reformed 
Dutch Church held a mortgage on a house and lot; 
they foreclosed, and the property was sold at auction 
and purchased by the trustees of » the John-street 
preaching-house for three hundred pounds. They 
obtained their deed from the Reformed Dutch 
Church, which was signed by their pastor, the Rev. 
J. H. Livingston. The deed was dated - 12th of 
March, 1786. 



THE FIRST METHODIST PREACHING-HOUSE. 65 



CHAPTER Tin. 

THE FIRST METHODIST PREACHING-HOUSE IN 
NEW-YORK. 

Its Origin — Difficulties — How overcome — The Plan for the Edifice 
from Heaven — The Architect Divine — Truth stranger than Fiction 
— The original Subscription for the Preaching-House — The Model 
Preamble — Names of Subscribers — Amount of their Subscription. 

The Rigging Loft becoming too small to accommo- 
date the people, the little society took into prayerful 
consideration the idea of building "a house of worship 
for God. * The undertaking was momentous ; they 
were few in number, and possessed but little of this 
world's goods and little influence. To high Heaven 
they looked for the " wisdom that is profitable to 
direct." They did not look in vain. A solitary 
woman settled the question. While the members 
of the church were deliberating as to the best course 
to pursue, and others were hesitating; some timid, 
fearing if they began to build they would never be 
able to finish, and some were doubting, Mrs. Bar- 
bara Hick, the mother in Israel, the elect lady who 
awoke the slumbering energies of Philip Embury, 

turned the scale, settled the question in favor of 

A*- 



66 THE FIE8T METHODIST 

building a church edifice. Mrs. Hick said "she 
had made the enterprise a matter of prayer, and 
looked to the Lord for direction, and had received 
with inexpressible sweetness and power this answer : 
' I the Lord will do it.' " That was not all ; she said 
" a plan for building was presented to her mind." 
This plan she revealed to the society ; they approved 
of it, and adopted it. The first house of worship 
for the Methodists in New- York was built after a 
divine plan, for the great builder of the Church was 
the architect. He certainly planned a plain, neat, 
commodious temple. 

There is something of the marvelous about this 
strange story. Poetry, fiction, romance, imagination, 
all fade before it. " Truth is stranger than fiction." 
To some it will seem as if she were visionary, fanciful, 
fanatical, building castles in the air, an old woman 
with a fruitful imagination. But did those who 
knew her best think so ? Certainly not. How high 
she must have stood in the estimation of the little 
flock ! "What a tremendous influence she exerted ! 
What confidence they had in her piety, in her 
word!!* They placed the most implicit confidence in 
all she said, believing every word of it; therefore 
they, first, resolved to build a house of worship; 
second, they immediately after circulated a sub- 
scription paper to raise the means to enable them to 
build; third, when they erected their edifice they 
adopted the plan which had been revealed to her. 



PREACHING-HOUSE IN NEW-YORK. 6? 

Mrs. Hick was not visionary; she was a plain matter- 
of-fact woman, full of faith, full of hope, full of 
courage, full of zeal ; a woman who had power with 
God in prayer, and when she prayed expected a 
direct answer; and therefore obtained it. 



THE ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS FOR THE PREACHING- 
HOUSE IN JOHN-STREET. 

The descendants of the early Methodists un- 
doubtedly would like to know who were engaged 
in erecting the first Methodist house of worship on 
this continent. It is refreshing to read the names 
of the "contributors, and the amount of their contri- 
butions to an object so commendable and praise- 
worthy. The precious " old book " gives us the 
names of every one of them. I transcribe them 
that our children and childrens' children, as well as 
others, may read the names of those noble men and 
women who were engaged in an enterprise that 
angels must have admired, and for which thousands 
will bless God in eternity. 

The preamble to the subscription list is certainly 
a model. It is brief, modest, plain, and full of 
religion, and breathes a very sweet spirit. It 
makes honorable mention of Mr. "Wesley, and Philip 
Embury, " a member and helper." It acknowledges 
they are "under the direction of John Wesley." 
It states they are "Methodists," and desirous of 



68 THE FIRST METHODIST 

" worshiping God in spirit and in truth," and believe, 
" if they had a more convenient place to worship in, 
it would be more for the glory of God and the good 
of souls ;" also, that " God has been pleased to bless 
them in their meetings." They ask assistance, not 
to build a cathedral or some splendid edifice, but 
a "small house." They were not ambitious for 
display ; a small house was the utmost of their 
desires, the height of their ambition. It is quite 
free from bigotry ; " where the Gospel of Jesus 
Christ might be preached without distinction of 
sects or parties." X' As an inducement to subscribe 
there is a motive held out — the r.eward the donors 
would receive : " not doubting but the God" of all 
consolation will abundantly bless all such as are 
willing to contribute to the same." 

We have read many preambles, prefaces, intro- 
ductions to subscriptions for houses of worship, 
but amid all the improvements of this won- 
derful age have never seen one that surpasses 
this, which was drawn in the infancy of Method- 
ism in New- York. Bishop Janes read it in the 
"old book," and expressed his profound admira- 
tion of it, and so have many others of our fathers 
and brethren. 

The following is an exact copy of the " Preamble," 
and the list of subscribers and subscriptions, as re- 
corded in this "book of the Chronicles" of early 
Methodism in America. 



PREACHIN&-HOUSE IN NEW- YORK. 



69 



"PREAMBLE OF THE SUBSCRIPTION LIST, WITH THE NAMES OF 
THE SUBSCRIBERS, AND RESPECTIYE SUMS GIVEN ANNEXT. 

"A number of persons, desirous to worship God in 
spirit and truth, commonly called Methodists, (under 
the direction of the Kevd. Mr. John "Wesley,) whom 
it is evident God has been pleased to bless in their 
meetings in New- York, thinking it would be more 
to the glory of God and the good of souls had they 
a more convenient place to meet in, where the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ might be preached without 
distinction of sects or parties ; and as Mr. Philip 
Embury is a member and helper in the Gospel, 
they humbly beg the assistance of Christian friends, 
in order to enable them to build a small house for 
that purpose, not doubting but the God of all con- 
solation will abundantly bless all such as are willing 
to contribute to the same." 





£ 


s. 


d. 




£ *. 


d. 


Thomas Webb... 


30 








Eev. Mr. English.. 


1 12 


6 


William Lupton . . 


20 








Grove Bend 


3 5 





James Jarvis. . . 


10 








John Crook 


3 5 





Charles White. . . 


5 








Paul Hick. 


3 5 





Benjamin Huget. . . . 


5 








Joseph Pearson. . 


. 3 2 





Christopher Stimets. 


5" 








Gose Courtland.. 


2 18 







1 








Mr. Graham 


1 10 





Oliver Delancy. 


6 


10 





James Jauncy.. . . 


4 13 





John Crugar. . 


5 


Q 







3 5 







3 


5 





Richd. Sause . . 


. 3 5 





James Delancy.. 


3 


5 





K. B 


..0 6 





Eobert Lake. . 


5 








Mary Arther. . . . 


8 





Eevd. Mr. Ahmuty . 


2 










16 


3 


Eevd. Mr. Ogvelsvie. 


1 


12 


6 


Mrs. Hauser 


0. 8 






70 



THE FIRST METHODIST 



£ s. 

John Velt House.. 1 

Mr. Munson Ward ... 8 

Mr. Moral.. .. 1 12 

Corns. Sebring .... 8 

Isaac Sebring 8 

Whitehead Comal.. 6 

■ — Sebring 4 

Mrs. Johnston .... 8 

Susanna Letson .... 8 

Jacob Heck . ... 1 

Hannah Holding . . 4 

Sarah Alboid. .. 16 

Mr. Glassford 8 

Lambert Garrison. ... 10 

Edwd. Light.. 1 

Peter R. Levingston . 2 

Alexr. Hutchen 1 10 

Jacob Hollet. ... 1 10 

James Beatman. 16 

Philip Levingston. 16 
Joseph Drake. . ..08 

James Peters. 10 

Nich. Quackinbush. 16 

Cathne. Frank 4 

Mrs. Colpin... 8 

John Wessel 5 

Michl. Howert 8 

Mrs. Lyon. . 4 

Abm. Mountany... 8 

Mr. Bamper . 16 

Cash o 12 

Thos. Petel.. 8 

Thos. Whaley . . 8 

Saml. Veilkinham. 8 

Cash o 12 

Mrs. Cooley o 8 
Mrs. Commin. . ..08 

Jasper Cavour. 1 o 

Thompson & Selby... 8 



G. Golet 

John Marks. 
D. Goldsmith, Junr. 
Wm. Bur ... 
Wm. Rhilander. . . 

John Clark 

Simon Brastead. . 
Girthy Hodge 
Elizh. Cusign. , 
John Brandon. 
Wm. Pearson. . 
Mr. Philander. 
Geo. Crosley. . . , 

Mrs. Slyder 

Captn. Davis. 
Eachell ... 
Margrett. .. 
Mr. Bartow ... 
Mrs. Deverix. 
Wm. Williams. 

Mrs. M'Coy 

Mrs. Heys 

Wm. Eustick. . .. 

Francis Jones 

Michl. Cross 

Mr. Stryer . . 
Mr. Ranscar 
Christian Schulass.. 
Elizh. Park. . . . 
James Hollet. . . 
Mr. Harvey 
Thos. Durham . 
Henry Van Vleck. 
James Lough . . . 
Doctr. Beard . 
Mr. Trimper. . 
Mr. Miset. 

Wm. Webb 

Geo. Hopson. . .. 






1 









£ s. d. 

8 
8 
2 
1 6 


8 

10 

10 

1 
1 
6 6 
16 
8 
4 
10 
9 
7 
10 
8 
10 

8 

1 4. 
1 

15 

1 
4 

10 

1 

2 

1 

8 

1 10 

2 

4 

1 10 
4 

4 

1 
























1 12 6 



PBEACHING-HOUSE IN NEW-YOKK. 



n 



& s. 

Adam Gilcrist. .... 1 12 

Mrs. Lispenard 2 10 

David Clarkson 1 

G. W- L.. .... 10 

Cash 1 

Thos. Bell 10 

Eev. Mr. Nizer. . . 16 

A. Beninger . . . 10 

Nancy Crosfill 1 

Mary Newton 1 

John Mountany .... 8 

Mrs. Buller 8 

Thos. Taylor.. .. 10 

Edwd. Caskallen... 1 

VallTetler. ... 10 

Benj. Ogden, in work 1 

Phill. Coughran, do. 2 

Mrs. Bartley. . . 2 

David Grim. .. 8 

Sweeny .... ... 2 

Peter Van Skiacfc. ..14 

Van Every 11 

Vander Vort 1 4 

Meeks. .. ... 2 

Giles 1 1 

David Embury 2 

Jackson 12 

Oaptn. Thos. Clark.. 1 

Capt. St. A. Crow.. 1 12 

Danl. Neal 16 

Chars. McCivers... 1 12 
Isaac Low. . ..14 

David Mathews 16 

Thos. Witter. .. 16 

Joseph Bead 13 

Garret Beatman 1 

Thos. Elison 16 

Eichd. Everts 4 

Mr. Grant 6 



i: 




£ s. 


d. 


6 


Mrs. L. L 


16 


8 


6 


John Sayre 


3 


3 





John Marstin. 


. 8 








Captn. Eandle.. . . 


16 










1 6 








Mr. Axtell 


. 3 5 








Gilbert Torbush.... 


13 








Michl. Thody 


8 








Mary Ten Eyck. 


. 8 








Henry Cuyler 


. 16 


3 





Mr. King. . 


16 








Charles Williams. . . 


16 








Nich. Steverson. . . 


1 








Joseph Eead. . 


1 8 








Cash 


2 








Thos. Marstin 


8 








Thos. Walton... 


1 








Widow McCivers . . . 


. 1 4 








John Watts.. 


. 2 








Doct. Mallet. . . 


16 


3 





Abm. Wilson . 


16 


3 





Abm. Lynson 


. 12 








Anthy. Eutcas. 


16 





3 


Timothy Hust . 


12 


6 





Thos. Barrow. . . . 


13 








Doctr. Midleton 


16 


3 





John Dunscomb. . 


16 








Eachel Crishong. . 


4 





6 


John Mott 


13 








Mr. J. Taylor 


8 





6 


Henry White. . 


1 








John Cregear . 


. 6 





3 


John Eoberts. . 


8 





3 


Thos. Moore. 


1 1 


•0 





Elias Debruce. . 


16 








John Cuk . . . 


2 








Mr. Comaline 


. 16 










13 








Eudolf Eitsman 


. 1 






72 



THE FIRST METHODIST 



Wm. Kelly 

Nathl. Marstin . 
Thos. Vandrill.. 

Chars. Barrow 

James Duaine . . 
Theods. Van Wyck.. 
Thos. Jones . . . 
John Haris Oruger. . 

— Curlraght . . . 
O 

A. U 

B. R.E. 

— Verpleck. 
Mr. Ludlow 
Wm. Ludlow. 

C. Ludlow 

T. Smith.... 

A. Hamsley. 
T. Atwood.... 

P. Bamson 

Mr. Fenton 

Mr. Faitly . . 
Mr. Banyar. . 
Mr. Yeats. 
Fredk. Depoister... 

Mr. Bull 

Mr. Beach.. 
Mr. Ludlow . . 

Capt. Long 

Mr. Van Horn.. 
Henry Holand . 
Thos. Tucker 
Bichd. Ourson. 
Ciish 

Mr. Cook 

Mr. Baise . 
David Johnston. . . 

Isaac Sears 

Lawyer Wickam., 



£ s. 
16 



12 

8 



14 



19 

1 12 

2 
1 12 
1 12 
1 4 

16 

1 4 
1 

16 

1 
16 
16 
8 

2 

1 12 
16 
16 

10 

1 
9 

8 

1 

16 

1 12 
10 
4 

4 
4 

12 


19 



& >. d. 

Henry Newton More 6 15 

John Casner 1 

Eichd. "Waldron.. .. 16 

Mr. Saml. Schuyler. 3 4 3 



£309 
15 
10 
.. 10 
. 10 
. 10 



15 












12 



John Leake. 
James Jarvis. 
Samuel Selby. . 
George Hopson. 
William Lupton., 

John Chave.... .. 5 

Charles Morse-. . . 1 

John Staples. ... 1 

Stephen Sands. .. 1 

Philip Ebert 1 

Thomas Durham. . 1 

Thomas Duncan... ... 1 

Eliz. De Forreest. . . 112 6 

Mrs. Gray 10 

Mrs. Anderson. ... 340 

K. P. , 14 

Capt. Hecht. ... 3 4 

John Bowden. ... 100 

W. X 8 

Thomas Brinkley.. 16 

Nathl. Child. ... 100 

H. N" .... .... 8 

Drx. E. . . 5 00 

W E.. ..... ... 8 

Lewis Faugers 3 4 

Bichard Sause.. . 10 
Mrs. Hickey. . ..080 

Peter Grim 10 

William Rhilander. ..100 

Benj.&Wm.Ehilander 10 

Charles White. 3 5 
Thos. Webb, given in 

interest on his bond 3 4 
£418 3 6 



PREACHING-HOUSE IN NEW-YORK. ^3 

There are not far from two hundred and fifty sub- 
scribers. The subscription-list is a great curiosity; 
something the writer and the reader never expected 
to see. Every name and the amount subscribed for 
the first Methodist preaching-house in America. 
The amount was large, when we consider the times 
in which they lived and the circumstances by which 
they were surrounded. Money was money in those 
days, and it was very scarce. 

Some of the names are abridged or spelled differ- 
ently from what they are -now ; for instance, Crosfill, 
which we spell Crossfield ; again, Rutcas, which we 
spell Rutgers. The names of families are frequently 
written differently at different periods ; they change, 
either leave out or add a letter ; and, what is more 
singular, members of the same family frequently spell 
their names differently. Widow Barclay gave two 
pounds. From her the trustees leased the lots ; but 
her name is written on the book Bartley. Mr. Moral 
gave a subscription. This, no doubt, was Jonathan 
Morrell, whose, wife was a member of the first class 
formed by Philip Embury. A. Beninger subscribed 
one pound : I learn from Philip Embury of this city, 
a relative of Philip the carpenter, that he was a most 
intelligent man, well acquainted with Embury, and 
used to relate many characteristic anecdotes and 
incidents connected with him. David Embury gave 
two pounds. He was a brother of Philip, and accom- 
panied him to Camden, N. Y.,when he removed there. 



'74 EAELY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 



CHAPTER IX. 

THE EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

Trustees' Subscriptions — Thomas Webb — Princely Subscription — The 
first — Its Influence on others — William Lupton — Merchant Prince — 
His Subscription — His splendid Motto — Treasurer — Liberality — 
Great Size — Death — Vault — Philip Embury — Entry in the old Book 

— James Jaevis, Hatter — Liberal Subscription — Treasurer — First of 
the original Trustees that died — Leader also — Mr. Asbury with him 
in his last Hours — Henry Newton — ■ Original Trustee — Subscription 

— Principal Collector of Moneys — Bachelor — Treasurer Twenty Years 

— Mrs. Courtney — High-backed Pew— Newton's Death — Where buried. 

Having read the names, on the " old book," of the 
trustees and stewards who were engaged in laying the 
foundation of the temple of Methodism in America, 
I have taken the utmost pains to learn their history, 
character, and end. I have conversed with the few 
remaining fathers and mothers to get -light on the 
subject, and have visited the descendants, of the 
official men, conversed with them, and looked over 
old documents to obtain information. Their names 
are as valuable to us, as a denomination as the 
names of the signers of the Declaration of Independ- 
ence are to the country ; names that should be 
treasured up and transmitted to future generations. 
I have obtained fac-similes of their signatures, and 1 



EAELY TEUSTEES AND STEWAEDS. 75 

know they will be looked upon with mournful pleas- 
ure, now the writers are in their sepulchers. 

In reading over the names and subscriptions of 
those who aided in building the first Methodist 
preaching-house in the New World, many thoughts 
crowd the mind, and from its perusal there is much 
to be learned. 

CAPTAIN THOMAS WEBB. 

The first name on the list, Captain Thomas "Webb, 
is one very dear to American Methodists. He sub- 
scribed the first and largest amount, namely, thirty 
pounds. This was a noble beginning. Everything 
depends on a right commencement. Many a sub- 
scription has been ruined by some narrow-souled 
man putting down a small amount to begin with. 
We are creatures of imitation, and in regard to sub- 
scriptions are greatly influenced by example. He 
afterward contributed more. 

WILLIAM LUPTON. 

The next name is William Lupton. He gave 
twenty pounds, and afterward ten more. He was one 
of the original trustees. He was a merchant and a 
merchant prince. His motto was, " The church first, 
and then my family;" not my family, then the church; 
not my farms, my merchandise, my bank stock, my 
ease, my prosperity, my popularity, and then fte 



76 EAELY TKUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

church, as an appendage. No ! no such sentiment 
pervaded the bosom or actuated the conduct of Wil- 
liam Luptpn. 

At the dedication of a church, I once heard Bishop 
Scott pronounce a most splendid eulogy upon "Wil- 
liam Lupton and the motto he adopted. The bishop 
held up his example, not only for our admiration, 
but imitation. " Love the Church !" said the bishop ; 
"would not such a man die for the Church?" He in- 
troduced his conduct and motto as strikingly illustra- 
tive of the spirit of the Psalmist when he penned 
these words : " If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my 
right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remem- 
ber thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of 
my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my 
chief joy." " It was no ordinary love Mr. Lupton 
manifested for the Church. He loved it 'above 
his chief joy.' The chief joy of some is domestic 
happiness, of others music, patriotism, worldly 
prosperity. How intense his love for the Church ! 
He loved it above his darling idol." Mr. Lupton's 
motto should be that of every child of God. It 
should be written in our dwellings over our fire- 
sides; it should be written upon the walls of our 
houses of worship, and upon our shops, stores, and 
offices, and especially should it be written upon 
the hearts of the members of the mystical body of 
Christ, in bold capital letters: "The Chtjkch first, 

AND THEN MY FAMILY." 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 77 

Mr. Lupton was an Englishman, and about the 
only man of wealth belonging to the infant church. 
He was the treasurer for several years, receiving, 
and then paying out all the money. He kept one 
of the most exact accounts I ever saw, in a plain 
and business handwriting. The earliest records in the 
"old book" were written with his hand, and they 
are models for neatness and exactness. He not only 
gave his money and time, but lent the infant church, 
in 1768, one hundred and ninety-eight pounds ; and 
very often, when treasurer, advanced money out of 
his own pocket. Afterward he lent them more, as 
can be seen by the following receipt : 

" Eeceived, New- York, December 9, 1786, of the 
Stewards of the Methodist Church, Twenty-one 
pounds, for one year's interest due the 31st of August 
last, for a bond of Three hundred and fifty pounds 
at 6 per cent. 

" For my father, "William Lupton, 

" Samuel Lupton." 

I find on the "old book," as late as 1791, where 
they still owed Mr. Lupton three hundred and fifty 
pounds, and paid him interest annually. 

Mr. Lupton was a man of great size. He had a 
noble soul in a noble body. He died in the city of 
New-York on the third day of April, 1794. He was 
buried in his vault under old John-street Methodist 



78 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS 

preaching-house. His remains still sleep there, wait- 
ing the resurrection of the just. 

A relic of the old trustee has been preserved. 
Mr. Wesley's Prayer-Book was early used in "Wesley 
Chapel. Mr. Lupton's copy, which has in it his 
autograph, has been carefully kept, and is in the pos- 
session of Dr. Johnson, pastor of the Episcopal 
church in Jamaica, L. I. He is a distant relative, 
and highly prizes the Prayer-Book on account of its 
former owner. 

In the "old book" Mr. Lupton, as early as 1770, 
speaks of " boards and carpenter work done to the 
door of my vault by Mr. Embury." Philip Embury 
did the wood-work for Mr. Lupton's family vault. 

Miss Mary Snethen, (who is now between seventy 
and eighty years of age, with a mind as strong and 
vigorous as ever, a perfect oracle in regard to olden 
times, and especially old Methodism,) the sister of 
the celebrated orator and divine, Nicholas Snethen, 
lived with her brother in the old parsonage in John- 
street, when he was stationed there in 1805, 6. Dur- 
ing this period she went into Mr. Lupton's vault, and 
saw the coffin which contained the remains of " the 
old trustee." She says " he must have been a man 
of extraordinary size, for she had seen many large 
coffins, but his was the largest she ever beheld." 
Mr. Lupton not only had a son, but a grandson 
named Samuel. Miss Snethen was well acquainted 
with the latter ; he kept a clothing store in Cherry- 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 79 

street, and used to board with her mother. This was 
about the year 1809. Samuel died many years ago, 
and thus the old trustee and this branch of his family 
passed away ; but his name should be embalmed in 
the history of the Church, and not only held in grate- 
ful remembrance, but transmitted from father to son, 
and so down to the latest Methodist generation. 

JAMES JARVIS. 

Mr. Jarvis was one of the original trustees of the 
John-street preaching-house. He signed his name 
next to William Lupton. He subscribed ten pounds, 
and afterward ten pounds more. Mr. Jarvis was 
by trade a hatter; he made Robert Williams and 
Richard Boardman the first new hats they obtained 
in America. In the "old book" is the following 
receipt : 

New-York, September 20, 1769, then received 
from Mr. William Lupton two pounds five shillings 
for a beaver hat d d : Mr. Williams. 

£2 5s. 




Mr. Jarvis succeeded Mr. Lupton as treasurer of 
the board of trustees. He was the third treasurer of 
the board, Philip Embury the first, William Lupton 
the second. He kept the account, as can be seen in the 



80 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

"old volume," with great accuracy and beauty until 
1774. Then his name suddenly disappears, and we 
Bee it no more in the " old book" in connection with 
his noble compeers with whom he was associated. I 
wondered what had become of James Jarvis, and 
was anxious to trace his history further. Alas ! it is 
brief: he died in the prime of manhood, when "his 
eye was not dim nor his natural force abated." He 
was the first of the original trustees of the John- 
street preaching-house that found a grave. He 
died November 4, 1774, at eight o'clock in the 
morning. He was forty- two years of age when he 
exchanged mortality for immortality. Mr. Jarvis 
left a widow and six children. He sustained the 
office of trustee and leader at the time of his death. 
Mr. Asbury was with him in his last hours, and 
attended his funeral. Mr. Asbury met the class 
that Mr. Jarvis used to lead the next Monday after 
the death of their leader, and says, "I found much 
love amongst them." — Journal, vol. i, p. 135. By 
general consent he appointed Richard Sause leader, 
in place of Mr. Jarvis, deceased. 

HENRY NEWTON. 

Mr. Newton was one of the original trustees and 
stewards. Next to William Lupton, he was the most 
prominent man. He was one of the first pillars in 
the temple of early American Methodism. Mr. 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 81 

Newton aided by his purse. He gave first three 
pounds five shillings, and afterward several sub- 
scriptions. Mr. Newton lent the trustees money, for 
which he received a bond. He was the principal 
collector of the subscriptions, receiving the money, 
and then paying it over to the treasurer, William 
Lwpton. He had leisure to attend to it, for he was 
not encumbered with the cares of a family. Mr. 
Newton was a bachelor, and was familiarly called 
"Harry Newton." He. took particular care of the 
preachers, seeing "that they behaved well and 
wanted nothing." The following receipt I insert to 
show the character of the times in which the preach- 
ing-house was built. 

Kec. New- York, 4th of September, 1769, of Wm. 
Lupton, Fifteen pounds three shillings and one penny 
for candles for the House and Kum to workman. 

£15 3s. Id. 




This receipt shows* how exact they were, even to 
a penny. It also shows the habits of the people. 
" Eum to workman." They could not raise a house 
or build a church without rum. The people were 
baptized with it. They thought it necessary for 
all, and for all occasions. At a birth, at a funeral, 
at a wedding, at a raising ; in the winter to warm 



82 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

them, in the summer to cool them. It is a matter 
of rejoicing that this relic of the dark ages has 
passed away. A brighter day has dawned on us. 
Mr. Newton was treasurer of the board from 1786 
to 1796?* I find his name on the " old book" as late 
as 1796. He was a faithful officer of the church 
many long years. Had it not been for the recovery 
of these lost chapters in the early history of American 
Methodism, we should have known nothing of Mr. 
Newton and his noble compeers, who were engaged 
in laying the foundation of the temple of Methodism 
on this continent, on which such a splendid super- 
structure has been erected. Most of the old Meth- 
odists in New- York are dead. I have found but two 
among the aged members who recollect Harry New- 
ton. The first is Mary Snethen, the second Mrs. 
Grace Shotwell. 

With Mr. Newton Miss Snethen was well ac- 
quainted ; she informed me that he continued to wor- 
ship in the old church in John-street till the new 
one was erected in Second-street, now Forsyth. 
Afterward he became a worshiper in the new temple, 
as it was nearer his residence. Mr. Newton was an 
Englishman, and much of a gentleman. He was a 
man of considerable property and influence. Mr. 
Newton boarded with Mrs. Courtney, who was a 
plain, neat, pretty woman. She was an English lady, 
and a person of wealth. They lived in very good 
style, and Miss Snethen, when young, was often at the 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 83 

house of Mrs. Courtney, playing with her daughter, 
who was about the same age with herself. There 
she often met with Mr. Newton, for whom she had 
the highest regard. That is over half a century 
ago. In the church in* Forsyth-street they occupied 
a pew in the southeast corner, known by the name 
of the "high back pew." It was the only pew with 
a very high back in the house. It had a crimson 
cushion, and it was the only one in the church 
that was thus honored. They were highly esteemed 
for their many excellences, and having done much 
for the church, by universal consent they were per- 
mitted to occupy this pew. They died many years 
ago, and were buried in her vault in the churchyard 
at Forsyth-street. 

There sleeps Henry Newton, the first steward of 
the first Methodist Church built in America. 



84 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 



CHAPTER X. 

EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS, CONTINUED. 

Charles White — Original Trustee — Subscription liberal — Treasurer 
during the Revolutionary War — Loyalist — Goes to Nova Scotia— 
Richard Sause — Charles White and be emigrated from tbe same 
Place — At tbe same Time — Original Trustee — Very liberal Sub- 
scription — Richard Sause and Richard Boardman — Mr. Sause highly 
honored — Extracts from the Old Book — Good Wife — The Name 
wrongly spelt — Stephen Sands — Very Liberal — Very Useful — Treas- 
urer — Stephen Sands and Dr. Coke — Highly honored — Richard What- 
coat — John Staples — A Prussian — Marriage — Treasurertwenty-one 
Years — The Records on the Old Book — First Sugar Refiner — The 
famous Sugar House — His House the Home of Garrettson — Singular 
Meeting at his House — His Son John — Marries a Fortune — Rich — 
All swept away — Death of the Father — Of the Son — Burial Place — 
Paul Hick — Subscription — Early an Officer of the Church — Philip 
Emetjbt's Name not among them — Reason — Thomas Bbinkley. 

CHARLES WHITE. 

Me. White is among the first on the subscription 
list. He gave five pounds. He was a native of the 
"Emerald Isle," and came over from Dublin near 
the close of 1766. He was one of the original 
trustees, was treasurer of the board during the 
Revolutionary War, and at its close went to Nova 
Scotia with John Mann. Mr. White furnished the 
branches or candlesticks for the preaching-house, as 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 85 

will appear by the following receipt in the " old 
book:" 

Kec. New-York, 6th of April, 1TY0, of ¥m. Lup- 
ton, seven pounds 5s. 6d., for branches, &c, for the 
Methodist Preaching-house. 

£7 5s. 6d. S^j 



RICHARD SAUSE. 

Mr. Sause and Charles White were both from the 
Green Isle, which might be an emerald of uncommon 
beauty if two things were removed from it, namely, 
popery and whisky. They were Methodists in their 
own land. They came over from Dublin together, 
and greatly cheered the heart of their countryman 
Philip Embury on their arrival. Mr. Sause gave ten 
pounds at first, and afterward three pounds five shil- 
lings. He was treasurer for a time in connection 
with his friend and brother, with whom he crossed 
the ocean, namely, Charles White. 

Mr. Sause had the distinguished honor of boarding 
the first regular preachers from the old world. What 
a privilege to board the excellent Richard Boardman. 
The " old book " introduces the reader to his first 
boarding-place in America, and we see him in the 
family of Mr. Sause. His excellent -wife did much 
toward making the preachers comfortable, and when 



86 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

the old parsonage was famished she was very active. 
On the " old book" is the following : 

Jan. 31, 1770, "To cash paid Mr. Sause for board 
and lodging Mr. Boardman, £12." April 24, 
"To cash paid Mr. Eichard Sause for preacher's 
board, £12." June 12, the trustees paid cash for 
"the preacher's housekeeping" five pounds. This 
was the first of preacher's housekeeping in ]STew- 
York, if not in America. The ' trustees might have 
supposed it was cheaper or more pleasant for the 
preachers to have a home to call their own. Or they 
had bought the house, and thought this would be the 
best way for the preachers to occupy it. 

Mr. Sause's name is spelt wrong by different wri- 
ters ; it is written Sourse and Louse, and in various 
other ways ; I have it correctly, as can be seen from 
this fac-simile of his signature : 

STEPHEN SANDS. 

Mr. Sands was one of the early trustees whose 
name appears on the subscription book ; he gave one 
pound. In 1774, Mr. Sands, together with Mr. Sta- 
ples, succeeded James Jarvis as treasurer. He was 
very useful to the church for many years. His name 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 87 

appears as treasurer as late as 1786. It frequently 
appears in the "old volume," showing the prominent 
position he held in the early days of American 
Methodism. Mr. Sands was a pillar in the beautiful 
temple they were erecting. Mr. Sands had the 
honor of entertaining Dr. Coke on his first visit to 
America, which was in November, 1784. His was 
the first house where the doctor put up in the New 
World. The parlor of Mr. Sands witnessed the hearty 
welcome his distinguished guest received.^ The 
kindness of Mr. Sands was ever, remembered with 
gratitude by the doctor. Drew, in his Life of Coke, 
says, " His (the doctor's) first care, after he left the 
ship, was to find out the Methodist preaching-house. 
In this inquiry he was assisted by one who, although 
he had no connection with the Methodists, conducted 
him to the house of Mr. Sands, where he took up his 
abode, and found himself in a region of hospitality 
and friendship." This speaks well for Mr. Sands. It 
shows he was known and read of many for being 
"given to hospitality." His house was the strangers' 
home, the preachers' abode. 

Bishop Whatcoat, in his Journal, (p. 19,) speaks of 
Dr. Coke's and his arrival in New- York, November 
3, 1784, and says: "We were kindly received by 
our Christian friends Messrs. Sands and others." 
Both Dr. Coke and Bishop Whatcoat testify to the 
Christian friendship and religious hospitality of Mr. 

San Ha. 



88 EAELY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

Mr. Sands boarded the stationed preachers, as will 
appear by the following receipt, which now lies be- 
fore me, in his own handwriting on a little piece of 
paper, that has been singularly preserved. 

Rec. January 9th, 1776, of Mr. Richard Sause, 
Five Pounds fifteen shillings and seven pence, being 
part of the Class collections to pay the Preachers' 
Board. 




& 15 *. t -/7^^/t£^ ^T^U^ 



*-> 



Mr. Sands and Mr. Staples were as- intimate as two 
brothers, and loved one another out of pure hearts 
fervently. Mr. Sands was a watchmaker, and young 
John Jacob Staples learned his trade of him. 



Mr. Staples was so identified with early Methodism 
in America, that we gladly give the reader all the 
facts we have been able to gather concerning him. 
He was a Prussian. He married Mrs. Mary Love- 
grove, and was her third husband. The first was 
Captain Lynn, the second Captain LovegrOve. They 
were masters of vessels, and both were lost at sea. 
Widow Lovegrove was a member of the Methodist 
society before Mr. Staples married her. Mr. Staples 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 89 

early became a Methodist and a trustee, and he not 
only subscribed for the John-street preaching-house, 
but the name of his wife is on the subscription list 
also. He was treasurer of the board of trustees and 
stewards in 1774. On the "old book" it reads: "The 
Methodist preaching-house, in account with John 
Staples and Stephen Sands." So Mr. Staples contin- 
ued till 1778, when Eichard Sause succeeded him. 
In 1783 on the " old book " his name appears again, 
associated with his old colleague Stephen Sands. 
Thus he continues in the "old record," associated 
with one and another, till 1796, twenty-one years. 

Mr. Staples was the first that introduced the sugar 
refinery business into this country, which is now a 
very extensive and lucrative business. His first re- 
finery was in Kector-street. The second was much 
larger; it was in Liberty-street, near the Middle 
Dutch Church. This was the famous Sugar-House, 
that could tell tales of horror and blood, in which the 
British confined the American prisoners during the 
Revolutionary War. Their sufferings were excruci- 
ating; far greater than many martyrs, for theirs were 
soon ended. A thrill of horror runs through my 
veins as I think of it. 

Mr. Staples acquired wealth, and moved in the 

very first circles of society. He was the intimate 

friend of the late Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, and it is 

said that at his house Mr. Garrettson first saw Miss 

Catharine Livingston, who afterward united her for- 

5* 



90 EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 

tune with his and became Mrs. Garrettson, making 
him such an excellent help-meet. 

Mr. Staples had a son named John Jacob. He was. 
a very accomplished gentleman; his conversational 
powers were very great. He married a young and 
beautiful Quakeress, daughter of Col. De Courcy. 
He obtained eighty thousand dollars from her by 
marriage. His father was also rich. Young Mr. 
Staples was very successful in business for a time; 
then he met with sad reverses of fortune. He went 
to England and entered into some speculations; 
then engaged in some patents.; in all these things 
he was very unfortunate. Then he indorsed heavily 
for others, and his large fortune passed away. He 
became a bankrupt. He was not only financially 
ruined himself, but involved his father also, and 
his property was swept away. The old man had 
retired to his country seat at Newtown, on Long 
Island, with, as he supposed, a competency of this 
world's goods, and thus expected quietly to spend 
the evening of life. But, alas ! the sudden and 
unexpected calamity overcame him. He died in 
1806, and was buried in Newtown. His widow 
survived him till 1,821, and then died' of old age, 
having lived ninety years, and was buried along- 
side of her husband, in the family burying ground at 
Newtown, Long Island. Their son John lived till 
he was eighty-two years old, and died in 1851, and 
was buried in the sepulcher of his father. 



EABLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 91 

PAUL HICK. 

Mr. Hick's name appears among the honorable 
list of subscribers. He gave three pounds and five 
shillings. He was a noble son of a noble mother. 
Mr. Hick was one to whom the property was origin- 
ally leased. It will be seen by the following receipt, 
which is found on the first page of the " old book," 
that he had something to do with the preaching- 
house besides giving his money. 

Eec. New- York, 29th of September, 1769, of Mr. 
"William Lupton, for Boards Bot. for the Methodist 
Preaching House, one pound 6s. 

£1 6s. Od. 




We shall have more to say of Mr. Hick before we 
finish- the volume. 

PHILIP EMBURY. 

Among the subscribers we miss the name of 
Philip Embury, who fought with Captain Webb 
the battles of the Lord. Mr. Embury could fight, 
but was unable to furnish the sinews of war. He 
was poor, as far as this world's goods were concerned, 
and not able to subscribe much, if any thing. Fur- 
thermore, Mr. Embury not only aided the society 



92 EAELY TRUSTEES. AND STEWARDS. 

in their temporal affairs, but was their "helper," 
their- under shepherd attending to their spiritual 
temple. He was their pastor. We have already seen 
that he was a local preacher, belonging to that noble 
class of men who preach for nothing and find them- 
selves. 

THOMAS BRINKLEY. 

Thomas Brinkley was a subscriber; he gave six- 
teen shillings. He was born in Philadelphia, and 
was the father of John and William Brinkley. He 
was one of the earliest Methodists in this city. Mr. 
Brinkley married Mary, a sister of John Staples. 
She early chose the good part, and joined the Meth- 
odist society. 

His son John Brinkley was an excellent man, 
whom I knew very well, an aged and honored mem- 
ber of Allen-street M. E. Church. Thomas Brinkley 
died young, and was buried in the Forsyth-street 
burying ground. Standing over his sleeping dust 
I transcribed the following from his tomb-stone : 

THOMAS BRINKLEY 
Died February 5, 1795, Aged 46. 

" Sleep on in peace, thy toil is o'er ; 
Thy happy spirit's fled, 
On angels wings convey'd aloft, 
In heavenly courts to tread " 



EARLY TRUSTEES AND STEWARDS. 93 

His beloved Mary survived him several years, and 
when she died was buried in the same grave. His 
son John died a few years ago, leaving a "good 
name," and in his will a thousand dollars for the 
Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. ''Mr. Thomas Brinkley left behind him a 
beautiful portrait of himself, which is in possession 
of his granddaughter in this city. I gazed upon it 
with interest, for the original it represents has been 
over three score years in the grave. I was looking 
upon one who, though he did not sign the Declara- 
tion of Independence, yet he put his name to the 
first subscription for the first ' Methodist Church in 
America. 

Mr. Brinkley was a soldier during the war of the 
Revolution, and one of the guard who watched over 
Major Andre, and conducted him to the place of 
execution. 



94 ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 



CHAPTEK XL 

ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 

Dr. Auchmuty, Eeotor of Trinity-* Successor to Dr. Barclay — Char- 
acter — End. — Rev. John Ogilvie — Missionary among the Mohawk 
Indians — His Subscription — Sudden Death— Dr. Charles Inglis 
—Sketch of his Character — Loyalist — Washington and the offensive 
Prayers — Disturbance in Church — Bishop of Nova Scotia — Distin- 
guished Physicians subscribe — The most distinguished Citizens — 
Philip Livingston, Signer of the Declaration of Independence — James 
Duane, first Mayor of the City— Thomas Jones, Eecorder — James 
Delancey, Lieutenant-Governor — Oliver Delahcey, his Brother — The 
Officers of Trinity Church — Sketch of them — Some of the Subscrib- 
ers poor Men — They paid in Work — Women subscribed — Widows 
— Poor Colored Girls. 

The early Methodists in New-York went on the plan 
of helping themselves, and then, inviting others to 
assist them. After the most able of the Methodists 
had subscribed, they waited upon the clergymen and 
wealthy citizens, and most nobly they responded to 
their appeal. 

The trustees displayed a great deal of wisdom in 
calling upon the clergymen first, and then upon 
others, thus showing they were acquainted with the 
truth of the old adage, " Like priest like people." 
The people followed the excellent example set by 



original Subscribers. 95 

their pastors. Not only did the clergy connected 
with Trinity Church subscribe for the Methodist 
preaching-house in John-street, but the church- 
wardens and vestry also. They exhibited great 
liberality. One reason was this : they considered the 
Methodists a part of the Church, for they used a 
prayer-book; and another reason, the Methodists 
used to commune with them. They might have 
done differently after the Methodists were organized 
into a distinct Church. 

Several clergymen of the Church of England were 
subscribers. The first on the "old book" is Db. 
Samuel Auchmutt. He gave two pounds. He was 
elected Eector of Trinity Church, in the place of the 
Eev. Dr. Henry Barclay, deceased. For nearly 
thirty years they were favored with his ministry at 
Trinity Church. He was beloved in life, and deeply 
lamented in death. He died in New- York, March 4, 
1777. The doctor was, like most clergymen of the 
Church of England, a confirmed loyalist. His son, 
Samuel, died in 1822, a lieutenant-general in the 
British army. 

The next clergyman on the subscription list is 
the Eev. John Ogilyie.- He was assistant to Dr. 
Auchmuty. He is represented as a young gentle- 
man of extraordinary good character. He was born 
in New-York, a graduate of Yale College, and could 
preach in the Dutch language. He was, for a time, 
missionary among the Mohawk Indians. He was an 



96 



ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 



elegant writer and an eloquent preacher. He ex* 

celled as a lecturer. There is a striking portrait of 

him in the vestry- office of Trinity Church, executed 

by the distinguished artist Copley. It represents 

him with an open Bible before him, at his favorite 

employment, expounding the Holy Scriptures. His 

death was sudden. He went to Church as well as 

usual, to lecture on Friday afternoon. He prayed, 

and baptized an infant. Then he read his text, 

" The Lord is upright ; he is my rock, and there is no 

unrighteousness in him." Having read his text, his 

tongue faltered and refused to do its office. He was 

smitten with apoplexy. He lingered a few days, 

and on November 26, 1774, fell asleep in Jesus, and 

rested from his labors, aged fifty-one years. In his 

will he left three hundred pounds to the charity 

school, one hundred pounds to King's College, and 

one hundred pounds for the relief of the widows and 

children of clergymen. This gentleman subscribed 

for the Methodist preaching-house, one pound, twelve 

shillings, and sixpence. 

The next name is the Eev. Charles Inglis. He 
subscribed one pound, twelve shillings, and sixpence. 
Mr. Inglis was assistant to Dr. Auchmuty, and on 
his decease was chosen rector of Trinity Church. 
Mr. Inglis resigned his rectorship on the first of 
November, 1783, and the Eev. Benjamin Moore, 
afterward Bishop of New-York, was chosen as his 
successor. 



ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 97 

JVtr. Inglis is the clergyman to whom it is said that 
General Washington, when in possession of the city, 
in 1776, sent a message, stating that he " expected 
to be at church on such a Sabbath, and should be 
glad if the violent prayers for the king and royal 
family were omitted on that occasion." The mes- 
sage reached Mr. Inglis, but he paid no regard to 
it, and prayed on as formerly. Mr. Inglis made 
himself peculiarly offensive by his favoring the cause 
of .England, and his severe opposition to what he 
called, with peculiar emphasis, " the rebels." On 
the return of peace he was obliged to leave the 
country, and, accompanied by some loyalists of his 
congregation, he went to Annapolis, ISTova Scotia. 
He was consecrated bishop of that province, August 
12, 1787. He died in 1816, aged eighty-two years. 
His son John was the third Protestant bishop of 
Nova Scotia. 

Several physicians subscribed, among whom were 
Doctors Kissam, Mekdleton, Keade, and others. 

We find on the subscription list many names that 
occupy a conspicuous place in the annals of our city 
and country. The merchant, the lawyer, the states- 
man, subscribed for this noble object. On the list 
are the names of many of the most distinguished fam- 
ilies, whose descendants are still with us, and belong 
to the first class of citizens. 

Philip Livingston was a subscriber. He was a 
man of splendid talents. He was chosen a member 



98 ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 

of the first Congress, which met in Philadelphia in 
1774:, and the following year was appointed President 
of the Provincial Congress assembled at New-York. 
In 1776 he affixed his signature to the Declaration of 
Independence, in behalf of the state of New- York. 
He was a genuine patriot. Mr. Livingston died June 
12, 1788, aged sixty-two years. Thus we see that 
one who signed his name to the Declaration of In- 
dependence, also subscribed to the first Methodist 
preaching-house in America. 

Peter R. Livingston gave two pounds. 

Patriots not only subscribed, but also those who 
were loyalists, as will be seen below. 

Herny "White gave one pound. He was a loy- 
alist, and had to leave the country for the country's 
good. 

Theodore Yan "Wick, alderman in 1756 and 1764. 

Thomas Jones, lawyer, and recorder of the city 
in 1769-72. His property was confiscated. 

John H. Gruger, merchant, alderman, and 
Mayor of the City of New- York from 1757 to 1765. 
His property was also confiscated. 

Christopher Stymets, alderman in 1763. He 
subscribed five pounds. 

James Duane was a lawyer of eminence. He 
was a member of the Old Congress, and first mayor 
of the city, under the government of the state of 
New- York. He was also the first judge of the 
United States District Court under the present Con- 



ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 99 

stitution of the United States, receiving the appoint- 
ment from. Washington. He was not only distin- 
guished in the state, but also in the church. He 
was vestryman of Trinity Church from 1772 to 1777, 
and warden of said church from 1784 to 1794. 

Elias Desbeosses gave sixteen shillings. He was 
alderman of the East "Ward many years. He was a 
vestryman and warden of Trinity Church for a long 
time, and was distinguished for his benevolence. 
He left five hundred pounds for clothing and educat- 
ing poor children of the charity school. Desbrosses- 
street was called after him. 

Petee Tan Schaick gave one pound and four 
shillings. He was an eminent lawyer, and an 
accomplished scholar, having the title of LL.D. 
He was at that time, and for many years after, a 
vestryman of Trinity Church. 

Feedeeic De Peystee was a subscriber. He 
was a relative of Sarah De Peyster, who left a 
legacy of three hundred pounds for Methodist 
ministers, who belong to the New- York Con- 
ference. 

Geove Bend subscribed three pounds and five 
f shillings. He signed his name next to the three 
clergymen of Trinity Church. He was a vestryman 
of said church from 1773 to 1778. 

Thomas Moee gave one pound one shilling. 
Mr. More was vestryman of Trinity Church five* 
years. 



100 ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 

Thomas Tucker gave one pound twelve shil- 
lings. He was vestryman of Trinity Church in 
1784. 

Andrew Hamersley gave one pound. Hamers- 
ley-street was named after him. He was vestryman 
in Trinity Church twenty years. 

James Delancy, Esq., subscribed three pounds 
five shillings. He was for some time his majesty's 
lieutenant-governor and commander-in-chief in and 
over the Province of New- York, and the territories 
depending thereon in America. 

Oliver Delancy, Esq., gave six pounds ten shil- 
lings. A very liberal subscription for art outsider. 
The Delancies belonged to a rich family, rather 
aristocratic. They owned a large farm. Delancy- 
street was called after their name, "and passes through 
a part of what was their farm. The Delancies were 
confirmed loyalists. They sided with the mother 
country, their property was confiscated, and they 
were obliged to leave the country, and not return 
under pain of death. 

Edward Laight gave one- pound. He was a ves- 
tryman of Trinity Church from 1762 to 1784. 
Laight-street was named after this family. 

David Clarkson gave one pound. He was then 
vestryman of Trinity Church. He held this office 
eighteen years, and was warden in 1770. Clarkson- 
street was named after the Clarkson family. Mr. 
Clarkson was one of the executors of the estate of 



ORIGINAL SUBSOBIBEKS. 101 

the, Rev. Henry Barclay, and signed the first lease 
for the site of the John-street Church in connection 
with Widow Mary Barclay. 

Several of the Ludlow family subscribed, among 
whom was Gabriel Ludlow, then vestryman of 
Trinity Church. He must have stood high, and made 
a very good church officer, for he held this relation 
twenty-seven years, from 1742 to 1769. He gave 
one pound. Ludlow-street was called after this 
family. 

Joseph Reade subscribed one pound eight shil- 
lings. He was at that time warden of Trinity 
Church. He was an officer in that church fifty-four 
years. Reade-street took its name from this family. 

Nicholas Stuyvesant subscribed one pound. He 
was then vestryman of Trinity Church, and held this 
office from 1760 to 1773. 

Charles Williams subscribed sixteen shillings. 
He was at that time vestryman of Trinity Church, 
which office he held twenty-seven years, from 1747 
to 1774. 

Thomas Ellison was vestryman of Trinity Church 
from 1781 to 1784. 

There are also the names of Mary Ten Eyck and 
Mrs. Lispenard. The Lispenards were of French 
extraction, but have been in the country from an 
early period. Mrs. Lispenard was the wife of 
Leonard Lispenard, who was the proprietor of the 
farm extending from what is Center-street to the 



302 ORIGINAL SUBSCRIBERS. 

North Kiver, including what is now Canal-street. 
He was one of the executors of the last will and 
testament of Rev. Henry Barclay. Mr. Lispenard 
loaned the trustees six hundred pounds, and took a 
mortgage upon the church property. Lispenard- 
street took its name from this family. The names 
of other "honorable women not a few," are 
found on the subscription list. Some of them 
were married, some single, and others widows. 
There are the names of thirty-five females who 
subsciibed. 

Not only the wealthy belonging to the first 
families contributed to aid in the erection of this 
house of worship, but also the poor. The widow 
cast in her two mites, and some men who were 
unable to pay in money, subscribed liberally to be 
paid in work. Benjamin Ogden and Philip Cottgh- 
ean were so anxious to have a place of worship that 
they subscribed, to be paid in work, the former'one 
pound, the latter two. 

"We find on " the book," among the subscribers, 
Rachel, who gave nine shillings, and Margaret, 
seven shillings. It does not say Rachel who, or 
Margaret what. Their names are unknown to us, 
but are written in heaven. From the "old book"' 
we learn they were girls hired to take care of the 
preacher's house, for we read where the trustees paid 
them their wages. They were qolored girls, no 
doubt, and therefore we have only the first name. 



OKIGESTAL STJBSCRIBEES. 103 

The servant girls gave according to their ability, and 
I have no doubt Margaret felt sorry she was not 
able to give as much as her sister Rachel. Their 
subscriptions I consider the greatest of the whole 
catalogue. 



104 RECEIPTS FOR PREACHING-HOUSE. 



CHAPTER Xn. 

MONEYS RECEIVED FOR PREACHING-HOUSE. 

Money from Philadelphia, by Captain -Webb — Money from Mr. Wesley, 
by Boardman — Books brought by Pilmoor — Mistake that Mr. 
"Wesley sent Fifty Pounds in Money — Be venue from the sale of Books 
— Henry Newton general Collector of Funds — A Settlement between 
the Treasurer and the Trustees — Autographs of Joseph Pilmoor, 
Thomas Webb, and others.. 

"We have seen the amount of moneys subscribed, 
and now will notice the treasurer's account of 
moneys received. 

In the " old book " we have the following account, 
kept with great exactness. It is headed thus : 

An Account of Moneys received by me, Wm. Lupton, for the 
use of the Methodist Preaching ■ House in' New -York, 
since the 1st Augt., 1769. 

By cash from Mr. Webb, which he brought from 

Philadelphia £ 32 00 

Aug. 1st. By cash from Mr. Philip Embury, being a 
balance left in his hands, when I was request- 
ed to receive and pay all the moneys belong- 
ing to the above house • . . . . 10 5 

Kichd. Waldron's subscription 16 

4th Sept. By collections reo'd from Henry Newton 21 1 
By do. from do.. .. 18 17 6 

9th. By do. from do.. 20 5 10 



RECEIPTS FOE PKEACHING-HOUSE. 105 

30th Oct. By cash rec'd from Mr. Boardman, one 
moidore, 48s., one do. 46s., eleven guineas 

&J£ a 36s .... £25 16 

22d Nov. By collections from Mr. Newton. .. 30 9 4 

1770, 5th Jan'y. By. do. from do 77 14 9 

16th Jan'y. By cash received from Mr. "Webb 
for Notes of the Old Testament he had from 
Mr. Franks, charged in Mr. Embury's ac- 
count £3 2s Wd. sterlg. . . 5 6 4 

By a balance received from Mr. Edmonds that he 

was overpaid ... 2 12 

1st Feb. By collections from Mr. Newton 21 6 6 

1st March. By do. from do 21 8 6 

By boards and carpenter's work for the door of my 
vault, which Mr. Embury did not separate 

from his acc't bro't in 18 8 

31st March. By cash rec'd from Mr. Pilmoor, on 
acc't of books sold, brought from England; 
seven half Jo's at 64s. each 22 8 
By cash from Philip Embury, for sermons (reprint- 
ed) sold. . . . . . . . 1 

24th. By cash rec'd from Mr. Newton .... 69 

13th June. By collections from Mr. Newton. 33 

28th July. By do. from do. including 

£20 at the Collection Sermon . 42 

1st Sept. By collections from Mr. Newton 18 

1st Octr. By do. f/oni do 17 

16th Nov. By collections do. Sermon included.. 44 
8th Jan. 1771. By collections. ... .. 44 

17th do. By cash included in a mortgage on the 
Preaching-house and premises, given this 
day by the Trustees, and assigned to me 

by John Oo. Knapp 101 15 3 

Due Wm. Lupton to balance this day.. .... 49 6. 10£ 

6 £733 3~~ 9* 



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13 





14 






106 



EECEIPTS FOE PREACHING-HOTTSE. 



The following certificate is appended : 

January 17th, 1771. A settlement this day made 
of all accounts between the trustees of the Methodist 
Preaching-house and "William Lupton, balancing in 
said Lupton's favor forty-nine pounds six shillings 
and tenpence half-penny, which is carried to a fresh 
account, Page No. 14, as witness our hand. 




These statistics in themselves are very dry, but 
they contain historical facts of much value, which 
throw light on the early history of Methodism in 
this country ; facts that never have been published 
before, and that cannot be obtained anywhere else. 
With all their dryness they are the rills that go to 
swell the stream of history. 



■RECEIPTS FOR PEE ACHING-HOUSE. 10*7 

One fact shows that all the money for the 
preaching-house was not collected in New- York; 
thirty-two pounds were brought from Philadelphia. 
This was a noble gift from the city of brotherly love, 
and sent by the faithful friend of the early Method- 
ists, Lieutenant Thomas "Webb. 

The second goes to show that Philip Embury had 
been the former treasurer of the board of trustees ; to 
him was intrusted the fund ; they then relieved him 
by appointing "William Lupton his successor. 

The third gives light in regard to Mr. "Wesley's 
donation. It has generally been supposed that 
he sent over fifty pounds in cash by Messrs. Board- 
man and Pilmoor. The " old record " shows that 
one half of that amount was in money, the remainder 
in books, which were sold by Mr. Pilmoor, and the 
amount paid over by him to the treasurer of the 
board of trustees. The record also shows that the 
Methodists in America were early engaged in the 
circulation of religious books, and in reprinting them. 
Captain "Webb sold the "Notes on the Old Testa- 
ment," and paid the money to the treasurer. Philip 
Embury "sold the Sermons of Mr. "Wesley which 
were reprinted," and the proceeds went into the 
general fund. 

"We also learn who was general collector of the 
moneys, namely, Henry Newton ; and who advanced 
the trustees money when it was necessary, their 
early faithful cotemporary, "William Lupton. 



108 THE CEADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 



CHAPTER XIH. 

THE CEADLE OF AMEEICAN METHODISM. 

Wesley Chapel — Its Dimensions — Plain Edifice — Contrast — The Ded- 
ication — Memorable Occasion — The Dedicatory Sermon — Appropri- 
ate Text — The Time of its Consecration — The Singing — Others 
work on the Preaching-House besides Mr. Embury — David Morris — 
John Gasner and Samuel Edmonds's Receipts — Interesting Letter — 
Antiquity of the Building — Comparison. 

The first Methodist preaching-house in America 
was a very humble place. There was a mighty con- 
trast between it and the noble edifices we have now. 
It stood some distance from the street. Its length 
was sixty feet, its breadth forty-two, and the walls 
were built of stone, the face covered over with a blue 
plaster, exhibiting an appearance of durability, sim- 
plicity, and plainness. Entrances to the galleries 
were subsequently added on each side of the door. 
The interior was equally plain, and remained many 
years in an unfinished state. There were at first no 
stairs or breastwork to the galleries, and the hearers 
ascended by a ladder and listened to the preacher 
from the platform. For a long while, even the seats 
on the lower floor had no backs. 



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THE OK ABLE OF AMEBIC AN METHODISM. 109 

At that period in our colonial history, no public 
religious services could be performed in churches, 
except such as were established by law. Dissenters 
were therefore compelled to accommodate their places 
of worship in some way to meet this legal obstruction. 
This difficulty was avoided by attaching a fireplace 
and chimney to the internal arrangements of Wesley 
Chapel, as it was thus considered a private dwelling. 
There were no elegant pews, no downy cushions, no 
carpeted aisles. The house was very neat and clean. 
The floor was sprinkled over with sand, as white as 
snow. 

The dedication was a season of great interest. 
They could send for no distinguished bishop or doc- 
tor of divinity to preach the dedicatory sermon, for 
there were none of their name in America. The hum- 
ble carpenter, who built the pulpit with his own 
hands, ascends the holy place, and consecrates the 
building to the worship of the Father, the Son, and 
the Holy Ghost. It must have been a sublime spec- 
tacle. We are reminded of Paul, the tent-maker ; 
Matthew, the custom-house ■•officer ; and Peter, the 
fisherman. Here was Philip the carpenter, Philip 
the evangelist, dedicating the first temple of Meth- 
odism in this new world, to the service of Jehovah. 
The 30th of October, 1768, was the memorable day 
of the consecration. This was eighty-nine years ago'. 

Mr. Embury displayed much wisdom in the selec- 
tion of his text. It was taken from Hosea x, 12 : 



110 THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 

" Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy ; 
break up your fallow ground : for it is time to seek 
the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness, upon 
you." With characteristic plainness, he declared, 
that " the best consecration of a pulpit was to preach 
a good sermon in it." 

They did sow in righteousness, they did reap in 
mercy. The seed sown was abundant, the harvest 
glorious. They remembered, that "he that goeth 
forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless 
come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with 
him." They sought the Lord, and not only did the 
gentle dews of grace descend, but showers of mercy 
and the rain of righteousness, " the early and the 
latter rain." 

There was no lecture-room, no class-rooms as we 
have now ; the classes met in private houses. No 
chorister or choir; the singing was congregational. 
They had not learned to have this part of worship 
done by a committee. Some one set the tune, and 
the rest joined in, and they made melody unto the 
Lord. They sung with great sweetness and power, 
and the new chapel echoed with their songs of joy. 
In two years after its dedication, the congrega- 
tion, which commenced three years before with 
only six hearers, had increased to a thousand and 
over, at times filling the area in front of the church. 
Their progress was so great that they sent to Mr. 
Wesley, requesting him to send them an able and 



THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. Ill 

experienced preacher. It was not called Trinity, nor 
St. Paul's, nor St. Stephen's, but " Wesley Chapel," 
from respect to the venerable founder of Methodism. 
Dr. Dixon remarks : " This was, most likely, the first 
chapel ever called by his name ; as most assuredly 
John Wesley would never allow either chapel, soci- 
ety, or anything else to be called after him in 
England, so long as he lived and possessed the power 
to prevent it." 

Me. Embury worked on the Methodist preaching- 
house as carpenter with others. 

David Moeeis did considerable work, as can be 
seen by the following receipts. They paid him over 
one hundred pounds. 

"Kec'd, New-York, 20 August, 1770, of Mr. 
William Lupton, Eighty Pounds 15*., in full for 
boards, nails, and work done for the Methodist 
Preaching-house in New- York. 

"£80 15s. David Moeeis." 

"Keceived, New- York, 15th Jan'y, 1771, of Mr. 
William Lupton, the sum of Twenty-two Pounds and 
lid., being for boards, nails, and carpenter's work 
done to the Methodist Preaching-house in New- York, 
and in full. 

"£22 05. lid. David Moeeis." 

John Gasnee did the painting and glazing, and 
here is his receipt : 



112 THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 

"Kec'd, New- York, 17th August, 1769, of Mr. 
"William Lupton, Ten pounds 12s. 10d., for painting 
anfl. glazing done to the Methodist Preaching-House. 

"£10 12s. lOd. John Gasner." 

The heaviest amount paid to any man for work 
done to "Wesley Chapel, was to Samuel Edmonds, 
the grandfather of Judge Edmonds the Spiritualist. 
He was the mason. The house was built of stone, 
and this will account for his bill being so much 
larger than that of others. 

Rec'd, New-York, 7th October, 1769, of Mr. Will'm 
Lupton, Forty-three pounds, which, with the differ- 
ent sums I have before received from Mr. Philip 
Embury, amounts to the sum of Five Hundred and 
Eleven pounds, which is in full of all demands, from 
the Methodist Preaching-house. 

£511 0. 

This was a large sum t6 pay one man; over thirteen 
hundred dollars. Most of it he had received from 
Philip Embury, before William Lupton was treasurer. 
This shows Mr. Embury handled much of the money, 
paid heavy bills, and had much responsibility. 

The following letter I copy from the Arminian 
Magazine. It was a private letter from a mechanic. 



THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 113 

It is ..written with much simplicity, and shows the 
condition of Methodism in New York at that time ; 
its antiquity invests it with interest, and it was 
written by one who worked six days on the preach- 
ing-house. 

Charleston, South Cakolina, | 
May 13, 1769. V 

" Veky dear and Affectionate Brother, — When 
I came to New York I found that our business 
was not very plentiful for strangers. Though there 
is a good deal of business in the town, it is entirely 
overstocked with trades-people; but what added 
most to my satisfaction was, I found a few of the 
dear people of God in it. There is one Mr. Emmery, 
one of our preachers, that came from Ireland nine 
years ago. Lately, there were two that came from 
Dublin. They have met together, and their number 
has increased; and they have built a large new 
house, which cost .them six hundred pounds sterling. 
They are very poor in this world. They expect assist- 
ance from England, but I often used to tell them they 
need not, for many of the people of England were 
very poor themselves; and they that had of this 
world's goods, did not care to part with them. There 
is another of our preachers who was a captain in the 
army : he was convinced of the truth before he 
left England : his name is Mr. Webb : God has 
been pleased to open his mouth. So the Lord carries 

on a very great work by these two men. They 

6* 



114 THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 

were, however, soon put to it in building their house : 
they made several collections about the towrf for 
it; and they went to Philadelphia, and they got part 
of the money there. I wrought upon it six days. 

"New- York is a large place: it has three places 
of worship of the Church of England in it, two 
of the Church of Scotland, three of the Dutch 
Church, one Baptist meeting, one Moravian Chapel, 
one Quaker's meeting, one Jew's Synagogue, and 
one French Eeformed Chapel. Among all these, 
there are very few that like the Methodists. The 
Dutch Calvinists have preached against them. 
Many of the people of America have been stirred 
up to seek the Lord by Mr. Whitefield; ,but what 
his reason could be for not forming them into classes, 
I do not know. « Thomas Bell> » 

We can form an idea of the antiquity of the John- 
street Methodist Preaching-house by comparison. 
It was dedicated to the worship of God in 1768. 
This was several years before the revolutionary war, 
years before the United States had an existence, 
before the ocean-bound republic was born, when 
they were provinces dependent on Great Britain. 
It was erected nine years before the Declaration of 
Independence was signed. Then in this country 
there were only three millions of inhabitants. ISTew- 
York, though called a city, was not much more than 
a large-sized village, containing about twenty thou- 



THE CKADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 115 

Sand inhabitants ; most of what is now the city was 
covered with trees, or used for farming purposes. 
It was built twenty-four years before the death of 
John Wesley. Many distinguished men have come 
into existence, written their names high on the pillar 
of immortality, '"and then been gathered to their 
fathers since that time. It seems almost incredible 
that Wilberforce, the philanthropist, was then nine 
years old, and Timothy Dwight, the eloquent divine, 
only sixteen ; his poems and theology were then un- 
written. Benjamin Rush, the distinguished physi- 
cian, was only twenty-three. Robert Fulton, who has 
written his name on every steamboat that plows 
our waters, was a little boy only three years of age. 
Washington was only thirty-six ; he had not reached 
his zenith, and was not yet in the prime of manhood. 
La Fayette, the hero of two hemispheres, his noble 
compeer, was a boy ten years old, whose morning 
thoughts and midnight dreams were not yet of 
power, and wealth, and fame. James Madison, the 
father of the Constitution, and the fourth President 
of these United States was yet in his minority, be- 
ing only nineteen years old. James Monroe, his suc- 
cessor in office, was only nine years of age. John 
Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson were both 
infants in their mother's arms. 

Within a few years three distinguished statesmen, 
old men, on whom the eyes of the nation and the 
world have been fixed as long as many of my readers 



116 THE CRADLE OF AMERICAN METHODISM. 

can remember, have passed away; I mean Daniel 
Webster, Henry Clay, and John C. Calhoun. This 
house was built fourteen years before the "godlike 
Daniel" was born, and fourteen years before the great 
Southern statesman came into existence, and nine 
years before the eloquent orator of Kentucky made 
his appearance in the world. It was five years 
before John Jacob Astor, the American Crcesus, was 
born. Bishop George was born the same year the 
first church was erected, and Bishop Hedding, who 
dedicated the present church standing on the old 
site, was not born until twelve years after the old 
church was dedicated. 

Many of my readers, as well as the writer, are 
familiar with " Webster's Spelling-Book." It was the 
first book from which we were taught our A, B, C. 
It is as familiar to us as the countenance of our 
mother who watched over us in infancy and child- 
hood. ISToah Webster, the great American lexicog- 
rapher, " who taught millions to read and not one to 
sin," was a boy ten years old when John-street 
Church was built. 



THE ELECT LADY. 11? 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE ELECT LADY. 

Further Particulars of Mrs. Barbara Hick — From the same Place as 
Philip Embury — Acquainted with him in the Fatherland — His Place 
went into the Hands of her Family — Her former Dwelling — "Why she 
used such Freedom in reproving Mr. Embury — Her wonderful 
Power — Mrs. Hick a model Mother — Her Children her Jewels — Her 
Name not among the Subscribers — Her Great-grandson — The only 
Relics left — Two Extremes in regard to Eelics — "Wilbur Fisk and 
Francis Asbury's Cup — Dr. Fisk and Wesley's old Gown — Good 
Company — The Log Meeting-House — Canes — "Washington's old 
Chairs — Old Tables — Washington Irving and the Chain to which 
Christopher Columbus was bound — Mrs. Hick's Candlesticks — Not 
sacred like those in the Tabernacle and Temple — "What invests them 
with peculiar Interest — Bishops Morris and Janes — The Burying- 
place of Mrs. Hick — Should have a Monument. 

Mrs. Baebaba Hick was from Balligarane, as well 
as Philip Embury. They were acquainted in Ire- 
land, lived neighbors, and belonged to the same 
society. Her name before marriage was Barbara 
Ruckle.* After Mr. Embury emigrated to America 
his little place went, into the -hands of the Ruckle 
family. Some stems of hops planted by Philip Em- 

* Some of the Ruckle family, relatives of Mrs. Hick, are now 
living near Baltimore. 



118 THE ELECT LADY. 

bury's own hand, are still shown to the curious 
visitor who goes to the place where he was horn and 
spent his early days. 

Mrs. Hick used to live in a lane opposite the 
present Methodist chapel in Balligarane. The old 
house has bowed under the hand of time, and is 
numbered among the things that were. Mrs. Hick, 
knowing the zeal of Mr. Embury in his native land, 
could most effectually reprove him for his delin- 
quency in the land of his adoption. 

Mrs. Hick was distinguished not only for stirring 
up Philip Embury to preach, and for alarming the 
backslidden Methodists, and for encouraging the 
feeble flock to build a house for God under Divine 
direction, but also for training up her children aright. 
She " trained them up in the way they should go," 
and the effect was seen in after years. Her two sons, 
Paul and John, were early converted to God, and 
identified themselves with the Methodists. 

Doctor Bangs says that Paul Hick informed him, 
" that when quite a lad, his mother used to lead him 
by the hand to meeting, and the first sixpence he 
ever called his own, he put into the plate which 
was carried round to receive the contributions of the 
people, and felt in doing so an inexpressible 
pleasure."* Her son John early professed religion, 
and early died in the triumphs of faith, while his 
brother Paul lived till his hoary head was a 
* History of M. E. Church, vol. i, p. 51. 



THE ELECT LADY. 119 

crown of glory, being found in the way of right- 
eousness. Her name is not found among the 
subscribers in the " old book." The old lady gave 
her prayers, exhortations, and advice. She may 
have been poor in this world's goods while " rich in 
faith and an heir of the kingdom." Noble, noble 
woman ! Her name and fame are world-wide. 
The only relic she has left is a pair of neat, small, 
plain, brass candlesticks, which are in the possession 
of her great-grandson, Jonathan P Hick, of New 
Eochelle. 

I know there are some who pay too much venera- 
tion to relics ; and there are others who regard them 
too little ; they are so progressive they can never look 
back, and are so taken up with new things they never 
look at those that are old. Some will laugh and 
sneer at the idea of noticing them at all, and think 
it a mark of superstition, or of a shallow mind. 
Their intellects are so imperial, that their minds, as 
the student said of his, " roll off from the subject 
like a barrel from a pin." But there are others who 
value relics of the past. The late Dr. Fisk says : 
" At Kingswood we were shown Mr. "Wesley's gown, 
now almost hanging in shreds, which I had the 
curiosity to put on ; the association was almost 
inspiring," etc.* 

Again : Dr. Fisk visited the house where Francis 
Asbury lived, and the room where his parents lived 
* Travels in Europe, p. 619. 



120 THE ELECT LADY. 

and died. He says : " The only relic I could procure 
was an earthen cup, with two handles, which served 
as the family drinking-cup, and was common for the 
parents, and the son, and the itinerant preacher, who 
always preached and lodged, every time he came 
round, at old Mr.. AsburyV* Dr. Fisk was hunting 
relics, and he was glad to find an " earthen cup " 
that reminded him of Asbury. Certainly, then, we 
are in good company when we pay a little regard to 
a pair of brass candlesticks that, no doubt, were as 
useful as the earthen cup, the one to drink out of, 
the other to impart light. 

There are others who show they prize relics. 
Canes were made of the logs in the " old log meeting- 
house," built by Robert Strawbridge. One was. given 
to each of the bishops, and another to the late Dr. 
Thomas E. Bond. They all prized them highly. This 
was the case with the timbers in the " old rigging 
loft." " The chair " in which Washington used to 
sit, " the table " on which he wrote, are held in high 
estimation. The pen with which the' " Declaration 
of Independence" was signed is preserved in the 
Massachusetts Historical Society. Some of the tea 
is still preserved that lodged in the shoe of one who 
aided in throwing it overboard in Boston harbor at 
the commencement of the Revolution. "Washington 
Irving, Esq., showed me, at " Sunny Side," a piece 
of the identical chain with which Christopher 
* Travels in Europe, p. 606, 



THE ELECT LADY. 121 

Columbus was bound when he was sent back a 
prisoner from Hispaniola to Spain. Of course I was 
child enough to gaze upon it with considerable 
interest. 

I am aware some will think it a small business to 
notice candlesticks ; but, small as it is, the inspired 
writers speak of candlesticks both in the Old and 
New Testament. Small as they are, God notices 
them, and gave direction how they should be 
made, and gave the pattern himself. Small as they 
are, the Great Teacher speaks not only of "candle- 
sticks," but of " candles " also. 

"We do not pretend that these are sacred, like the 
candlestick of gold with six branches, which Moses 
made by the command of God, to be put into the 
tabernacle; or like those of pure gold, with gold 
snuffers, that Solomon had made for the temple ; or 
like the seven golden candlesticks the holy seer 
of Patmos beheld in his sublime visions, which rep- 
resented the seven Churches; and yet these plain 
brass candlesticks do possess an interest to certain 
classes, and I belong to the number. 1. On account 
of their antiquity. ' 2. Because they were the prop- 
erty of that most estimable woman, Barbara Hick, 
the mother of American Methodism, and because 
they are the only things remaining that belonged to 
her; the only article of furniture, or anything else, 
that she has left as a memorial of her. 3. I think 
they possess an historic interest. 



122 THE ELECT LADY. 

These candlesticks not only remind us of the 
owner, who used to read her well-worn Bible by the 
light therein ; but also of by-gone days and by-gone 
scenes in which American Methodists have a deep 
and abiding interest. There can be no. doubt but these 
candlesticks were carried by Mrs. Hick to the house 
of Philip Embury, and that by the light from the 
candles in them he preached his first sermon to the 
six who came to listen to it j^and that she carried 
them to the " hired room" where next he preached, 
and from that to the " rigging loft," and from that to 
the old John-street Preaching-house. My readers of 
but yesterday remember when each hearer was ex- 
pected to carry a candle to meeting. Many a time 
have I had that exalted honor in my boyhood, 
and remember how grand I felt when I carried 
one of the candlesticks (my mother had made 
shine very bright) to the place of worship. I 
never felt much greater than when I carried a 
bright candlestick or my mother's " foot-stove " to 
meeting. 

A few years ago places of worship were not lighted 
with "gas," "fluid," or " camphene," or "oil," but 
candles. They did not give notice that service would 
commence at such an hour, but at " early candle- 
lighting." 

Through the kindness of her great-grandson, J. P. 
Hick, who lent me these relics, I am able to give to 
the reader the following engraving of the Ccmdle- 



THE ELECT LADY. 



123 



sticks. They are very correct likenesses, as any one 
can. see who looks at the original. 




Bishops Janes and Morris looked with admiration 
at these interesting relics of the past, observing that 
Mrs. Hick deserved to have a monument erected to 
her memory, and expressed a desire to contribute to 
it, if her last resting-place could be found. Some 
one who visited Ireland, where she used to live, 
asked the following, question : " Ought there not to 
be at least a tablet, recording the zeal of this faithful 
woman, to whom America is so much indebted, 
erected in Balligarane Chapel?" I ask, ought there 
not to be a monument erected to her memory in 
America ? 

To Mrs. Hick might be applied with truth the 
words of David's royal son: "She openeth her mouth 



124 THE ELECT LADY. 

with -wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kind- 
ness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children 
rise up and call her blessed ; her husband also, and 
he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtu- 
ously, but thou excellest them all. Favor is deceit- 
ful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth 
the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit 
of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the 
gates." 

Mrs. Hick died many years ago in the triumphs 
of our holy religion, and was buried in Trinity 
church-yard in New- York. ]STo stone or monument 
tells where her precious dust is sleeping. I have no 
doubt, if the place could be found the Methodists 
would erect over her remains a monument to her 
memory that would stand till the angel should an- 
nounce, " Time shall be no longer." But the name 
of this " elect lady," this mother in Israel, is em- 
balmed in the affections of hundreds of thousands, 
and she has a monument, as durable as brass or mar- 
ble, very deep in the hearts, of American Methodists. 



philip embury's history completed. 125 



CHAPTER XV 



PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 



Embury's Character as a Man— Christian — Minister — Embury and the 
Methodist Preaching-House — First Treasurer — His Successor— Embu- 
ry's Eeceipts for Work done to "Wesley Chapel — Donation to Mr. Em- 
bury — His Usefulness — A distinguished Convert — Leaves New- York 
— Farewell Gift — Forms a Society at Ashgrove — The First within 
what is now the Troy Conference — Mr. Embury's sudden Death — 
Buried in a lonely Place — No Tombstone— His Widow — His Grand- 

- son — His Descendants — Mr. Asbury's Notice of him — Kemoval of 
his Eemains to Ashgrove — Ee-interment — Address bv Eev. J. N. 
Maffitt — Extracts from — Epitaph on his Tombstone. 

We. have noticed Mr. Embury briefly in the 
former part of this volume, and yet he was so 
closely identified with early American Methodism 
that our readers are entitled to a more full account 
of this extraordinary man, whom God raised up to 
perform a peculiar work. 

As a man Mr. 'Embury was modest, diffident, 
and retiring, and possessed but little self-confidence. 
As a carpenter he was a good workman, industrious 
and honest ; like Paul the tent-maker, " working 
with his own hands." As a Christian his piety was 
deep and ardent. Often when his hands were busily 
employed in attending to his work, his affections 



126 Philip embury's history completed. 

were set on things above, and lie was heard to sing 
hymns in earnest devotion while plying the instru- 
ment of his trade. As a preacher, his talents were 
not of the highest order, and yet he was plain, prac- 
tical, and useful. Mr. Embury was emphatically a 
weeping prophet. His sermons were generally 
steeped in tears. He could say with Paul, " I have 
told you often, and tell you again even weeping," 
etc. Some suppose it a mark of weakness to 
weep. Not so. It is manly to weep ; it is Christ- 
like, when there is cause for tears. Mr. Embury's 
labors were attended with the blessing of Heaven. 
The seed sown by him produced abundant fruit. 
What he had to do in the erection of the first 
Methodist preaching-house in America, will be seen 
from the rare ." old book." 

Mr. Embury was preacher, trustee, and first 
treasurer. In the " old volume " Mr. Embury's 
name frequently appears, and often written by him- 
self. The reader is favored with a fac-simile of his 
handwriting, which no doubt he will look upon 
with pleasure. 




( Qrn^*y 



Believing that everything concerning Philip Em- 
bury will be read with interest by the lovers of the 
history of early Methodism in this country, I now 



philip embury's history completed. 127 

make extracts from the " old book." The reader 
shall have the figures first, then the comments. The 
heading reads thus : 

"An account of Moneys paid by me, Wm. Lupton, for the 
Methodist Preaching-House in New-York, since the 1st 
day of August, 1769." 

1769, Sept. 16. To cash paid Mr. Embury for work £ 7 
" " " To cash to Mr. Embury for sundry 

charges for cleaning tire Preaching-house. 1 11 8 
" October 7. To cash paid Mr: Embury for 

work, nails, &c . 5 5 

" Nov. 22. To cash paid Mr. Embury for boards 2 16 4 
" Dec. 7. To cash paid Mr. George Bell, for 

plank Mr. Embury bought 1 12 

1770, Feb. 17. To cash paid Philip Embury for 

work 14 17 3 

Philip Embury is also credited by Mr. Lupton, as 
the following shows : 

August 2, 1769. By cash from Mr. Philip Embury, 
being a,, balance left in his hands when 
I was requested to receive and pay all 
moneys belonging to the above house . ...£10 5 

Again : 
1770, March 1st. By boards and carpenter's 
work for the door of my vault, which Mr. 
Embury did not separate from his account 
bro'tin.. 18 3 

Another item : 
1770, March 31. By cash from Philip Embury for 

sermons (reprinted) sold 1 4 



128 philip embury's history completed. 

The following is a singular entry : 

1769, Oct. 17. To cash paid Mr. Newton, for three 
pair of stockings for Mr. "Williams and Mr. 
Embury 1 7 9 

Under the same date is this short record : 
To cash gave Mr. Embury to buy clothes 10 

The last entry on the " old book " where his name 
is mentioned is April 10, 17Z0. It reads thus : 

To cash paid Philip Embury to buy a Concordance 2 5 

In another part of the " old book " are receipts for 
work Mr. Embury did to the Preaching-house, cor- 
responding with the account which we have just 
given. They are in Mr. Embury's own hand- writing. 

"Eec'd, New-York, 16th Sept., 1769, of Mr. Vm. Lupton, 
seven pounds for twenty days' work done to the Preaching-house. 
"£7. Phil. Embury." 

"Eec'd, N. Y., 16th Sept., 1769, of ¥m. Lupton, one pound 
lis. 8d., for Sundries laid out for the Preaching-house. 

" £1 lis. 8d. Phil. Embukt." 

"Eec'd, New-York, 7th Oct., 1769, of Mr. "William Lupton, 
five pounds 5s., for 7 days' work," 121b nails, and 40s. paid Mr. 
Dewaine for writing a lease, &c. Phil. Embuet." 

"£5 5s." 

"Eec'd, New- York, 17th Feb., 1770, of Mr. ¥m. Lupton, 
fourteen pounds, 17s. 8eZ., for work done to the Methodist 
Preaching-house. Phil. Embubt." 

"£]4 17s. 3d." 



philip embury's history completed. 129 

The figures above, and the receipts, are full of 
historic interest, and from them many facts are 
obtained, showing the part Mr. Embury took in 
erecting the first Methodist house of worship in 
America, and also in regard to the character of the 
people with whom he was associated. 

First. We learn from these items and receipts, 
that Philip Embury had formerly been the treasurer 
of the board, and other persons might have received 
moneys and paid bills, but the trustees concluded to 
relieve Mr. Embury of what must have been a bur- 
den, with his other oppressive duties and cares, and 
to do business more methodically; therefore they 
requested Mr. Lupton to " receive and pay out all the 
moneys belonging to" the preaching-house." They 
could not have made a better selection. Mr. Em- 
bury most cheerfully paid to his successor the balance 
remaining in his hands. 

Secondly. From the. " stockings " they gave Mr. 
Embury, and from the " ten pounds " they presented 
him to "buy clothes with," we see the esteem in 
which he was held by the early Methodists. He did 
their preaching gratuitously, and for what work he 
did on the preaching-house they paid him. They 
presented these things to him, 1. To show the high 
regard they felt for the man to whom they were 
under so many obligations. Under God he was 
their founder, their father. 2. They might have 

done it because Mr. Embury was poor and unable to 

1 



130 PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTOKY COMPLETED. 

purchase new ones; or because his clothes were old, 
threadbare, faded, or patched, and to enable him to 
make a good appearance when he ministered in holy 

things. 

Thirdly. We learn that vaults were built very 
early under Wesley Chapel, in which to bury the 
dead. Mr. Lupton's vault was there, and Philip 
Embury fixed the door of it in 1770. 

Fourthly. That the Methodists in America early 
reprinted and circulated some of Mr. Wesley's Ser- 
mons, and the profit went to the benefit of the 
preaching-house. 

Again : The receipts and book accounts bear the 
same date, and mutually prove and explain each other. 
One of the receipts shows the ground on which the 
church was built was leased in the first place. Mr. 
Embury paid for the "writing a lease," thus con- 
firming what we have already said about the trustees 
leasing the lots first, and then purchasing them after. 
Mr. Embury paid for the lease, and Mr. Lupton 
paid the ground-rent. We see what Mr. Embury 
received a day for work done on the preaching- 
house, "seven pounds for twenty days' work." The 
reader can, in a moment, calculate how much that 
was a day. It was New- York currency, two dollars 
and a half to the pound. 

The last item where Mr. Embury's name is 
mentioned on the "old book," is fraught with 
instruction. It i s wh ere they gave him "two 



philip embury's history completed. 131 

pounds, five shillings, to buy a concordance." The 
trustees had bought one on the 25th of January 
of that year; what did they want of another? I 
have no doubt the former was for the minister's 
library, the latter a present to Mr. Embury, in view 
of his valuable services, and as a token of remem- 
brance, as he was about to leave the city. Mr. Em- 
bury no doubt prized the gift, and carried it with 
him into the country, and kept it as a remembrance 
of his beloved brethren in "Wesley Chapel. 

Mr. Embury had been very useful to the infant 
Church, not only in attending to its temporal, but its 
spiritual interests. God owned his ministry, and 
made him successful in winning souls. Among 
others converted through his instrumentality in 
John-street was Mrs. Morrell, wife of Jonathan Mor- 
rell, and mother of the late Rev. Thomas Morrell, 
and grandmother of Francis Asbury Morrell, of 
the New- Jersey Conference. She held fast her in- 
tegrity till the end, and died in triumph at Elizabeth- 
town, New-Jersey, July 30, 1796, in the sixty-eighth 
year of her age. 

The Methodists in New- York owed Mr. Embury a 
debt of gratitude, which they were unable to pay, and 
so gave him a small memento as evidence of their 
high regard. Mr. Embury seems to have been raised 
up by Providence to accomplish a certain work, and 
when that was done, he bade adieu to the "city full," 
and went into the rural districts. Soon after Mr. 



132 PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 

Wesley's regular missionaries, Boardman and Pil- 
moor, came from England to America, Mr. Embury 
moved from New- York to the town of Camden, 
"Washington County, New- York. He was very useful 
there, and formed a society at Ashgrove. They were 
mostly emigrants from his own country, among whom 
was Mr. Ashton, who paid Mr. Robert Williams's 
passage to this country, and left a legacy to the old- 
est unmarried elders in the New- York Conference. 

Mr. Embury continued to live a very humble life ; 
that of a faithful Christian. He worked at his trade, 
and at the same time was engaged in preaching. 
Mr. Embury was highly esteemed for his many ex- 
cellences, and held the office of civil magistrate. He 
died in the summer of 1775, suddenly but triumph- 
antly, in the town of Camden, New- York, about 
seven miles from Ashgrove. He injured himself 
while mowing in his meadow, the weather being ex- 
ceedingly warm, and this was the cause of his sudden 
death. To him, no doubt, sudden death was sudden 
glory. Mr. Embury died in the prime of manhood, 
at the early age of forty-five, and was buried in a 
lonely place on a neighboring farm in Camden. No 
monument, or tombstone, or slab was erected over 
him; not a single line, rudely carved, to tell of his 
faith, toils, or success. Nothing to. infrom the stran- 
ger that might wander there, that in that lone grave 
no common dust was sleeping, but the remains of 
Philip Embury, the founder of American Methodism. 



PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 133 

Twice in his Journal Bishop Asbmy notices Philip 
Embury. August 22, 1795, the bishop says, he 
went to "Ashgrove, where we have a society of about 
sixty members. They originated with Philip Em- 
bury, who left New- York when the British mission- 
aries came there. He continued to form societies in 
the country ; but dying in a few years, the society 
was left, and were without preaching for fifteen 
years. We have now a neat little chapel here." 

Mr. Embury organized the society at Ashgrove, in 
"Washington County, New- York; and this was the 
first Methodist society formed within the bounds of 
what is now the Troy Conference, with a membership 
at present of nearly thirty thousand, and nearly two 
hundred and fifty traveling preachers, besides many 
local preachers, who are very usefully employed. 

Bishop Asbury notices him again, July. 11, 1811. 
The bishop was in Kingston, Canada, and writes thus : 
" I learn from a conversation had with Catharine 
Deltor, that Philip Embury died about two hundred 
miles from York. He was much esteemed by his 
neighbors, and an esquire. He was a descendant of 
the Palatines who settled in Ireland. Most of 
those there, and their offspring, have given them- 
selves to the Methodists. He injured himself by 
mowing, and died somewhat suddenly, aged forty- 
five, greatly beloved and much lamented." 

The widow of Mr. Embury was afterward married 
to a member of the Methodist Church, by the name 



134 PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 

of Lawrence, who settled in Upper Canada, and they 
were the nucleus of a society in the place where they 
lived. 

I once saw a grandson of Philip Embury, from 
Canada, a Mr. Fisher, at the anniversary of the La- 
dies' Union Aid Society, in Bedford-street, in 1853, 
and proposed that the congregation should make 
him a life-member by the payment of thirty dollars. 
" Let us see him ! let us see him !" said many 
voices, so anxious were they to see a grandson of 
Philip Embury. Bishop Janes introduced Mr. Fisher 
to the audience, who made a short address, in which 
he said, "I have the honor to be the grandson of 
Philip Embury ; but I feel that I have greater honor 
than that, for my name is written in heaven." 
Sooner than I have been writing this they made him 
a life-member, all anxious to take a part in it. This 
gave evidence that the name of Philip Embury is 
enshrined in the heart's core of the Methodists. It 
is familiar as household words, and will be handed 
down from one generation of Methodists to another 
till the heavens be no more. 

Some of Mr. Embury's descendants are living in 
New- York and Brooklyn. They are persons of 
wealth and influence. Mrs. Emma C. Embury, a 
distinguished writer, well known to the American 
public, married a relative of Philip Embury, Mr. 
Daniel Embury, who is President of the Atlantic 
Bank in Brooklyn. 



PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTOET COMPLETED. 135 

Fifty-seven years Mr. Embury slept quietly in 
the grave, in a rural, unfrequented spot, when his 
remains were disinterred and removed to Ashgrove, 
and with appropriate religious services, in the pres- 
ence of a large audience, committed to their last 
resting-place till "mortality shall be swallowed up 
of life." After they took up the body of the deceased 
local preacher, and before they committed it again 
to the sepulcher, one of his countrymen delivered 
an oration. It now lies before me, and as it is a 
rare document, and its author is also in the spirit 
land, I will make some extracts from it. 

Its title is: "An Oration delivered June, 1832, 
at Ashgrove, Washington County, ISTew-York, over 
the grave of Philip Embury, the earliest minister 
in the American Methodist Church, by Rev. John 
Newland Maffitt." 

"My beloved hearers: In this sequestered spot, 
where the quiet herds have grazed in peace, where 
the robin has sung his early song and the snow-bird 
played with the descending flakes of winter, even 
here molders the frame of a man. Bone after bone 
hath here returned to the dust from whence man 
was originally taken. Dig down now, after this 
lapse of years, dig down now, and see if here we 
can find EMBURY Here the gray-headed men 
of other days laid him, the cold remains of a min- 
ister of Jesus when his day of labor was over. Here, 



136 philip bmbuey's history completed. 

one day, when the hearse slowly wound along this 
path, they gathered, not to see the man of God in 
his mightiest strength when the oil of eloquence is 
on his lips, and the anointing of the Most High 
shines upon his face, but to see a minister of the 
New Testament, cold and lifeless as was his Saviour 
when taken down from the bloody cross on Calvary. 
Cold, cold in death was the pious, warm-hearted 
Embury when they laid him here. 

"Summer and winter came and went again. The 
grass grew tall and rank over this mound. It be- 
came level with the surrounding earth. The place 
was fading from the memory of man, for lo, many 
who dug and covered this grave went themselves 
to their last resting-place and laid their time-wearied 
heads on the coarse pillow of gravel. 

"I have made these preliminary remarks, sug- 
gested as they have been by the strange circum- 
stances which have called us together. Not to bury 
the dead, not to disinter his moldering remains, have 
we come together; not to shed a tear over Embury 
dead! but to thank God that so good a man ever 
lived, and to rear a frail stone over his dust, which 
may tell his name, and our reverence for his virtues, 
for four or five generations yet to come. Then this 
very marble which we rear to-day shall gather the 
rust of years ; the gnawing tooth of time shall eat 
away our inscription, and men shall wonder at the 
ragged fragment of a monument that shall cumber 



philip emburt's history completed. 137 

this ground, and guess by what wild chance it 
strayed away from its native quarry. "We come here 
to-day, after a lapse of years, to rear a monument 
over one of the nursing fathers of Methodism in 
America. 

"No common dust molders beneath our feet. 
Here fell a harnessed warrior of the cross. Embury 
was the fouuder of Methodism in the city of New- 
York. We know not his path in another land 
beyond the blue waves of the Atlantic. He was my 
countryman, but whether his path was one of light 
or darkness, of gloom or glory, in his native isle, 
I know not. But this I know, and record it to his 
eternal honor, that he was deemed worthy by the 
Holy Spirit to institute the classis of Wesleyanism 
in the city of New-York. 

"Here let me beg the indulgence of my audience, 
while I take a farewell of the relics of the dead 
which are so near me. He had, perhaps, no sympa- 
thizing friend to say Farewell, and God he with 
thee! in the last hour. The one who echoes his 
adieu over his grave was not then born; he had not 
breathed that brea'th of life which was then de- 
parting from Embury. But now, departed shade, 
I come on my pilgrimage to speak my farewell, and 
raise a stone above thy ashes. Farewell, my brother ! 
more than brother, father in God ! Farewell ! 
until the red morning of the resurrection sparkles 
over yonder hills, and the tremendous voice of the 



138 PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 

trumpet shall bid thee come forth radiant in more 
beauty than ever earth beheld. Farewell, until I 
too shall pass to where thou art in thy resting-place 
of peace. Farewell, until shadows stretch over 
time with a gloomy magnificence, and the night 
that knows no breaking sets in upon me. Farewell, 
my countryman ! more than mine, the countryman 
of Jesus, a chosen vessel of his love, an instrument 
in his mighty hand of planting the precious seeds 
of the eternal kingdom on these western shores 
in the trying early times. Often on the journey 
of life shall my memory revert to this scene. Often 
shall I remember the once unknown and undis- 
tinguished grave. Often shall I gather, departed 
shade, from these memorials a precious lesson of 
the eternal care of the Saviour over the wasting 
dust of his chosen. Here shall I learn how worth- 
less is time, how precious is eternity! Traveling 
back from future times, my memory will often 
repose on the spot, where thou, my father, resteth 
in the full glory of recompense. And now, till 
we meet, farewell." 

The orator then took his audience onward to the 
great Easter of creation, when Embury should rise to 
life immortal, and be crowned with endless felicity : 

"But see! a heavenly form breaks from the dust 
beneath our feet, scattering the soil of centuries 
from his radiant brow, and, fresh in the glow of a 
young immortality, Embury rises to the resurrection 



PHILIP EMBURY'S HISTORY COMPLETED. 139 

of the just. This is the day he long looked for, and 
thought of, and warned sinners of when he was 
in life. It has come. He no longer needs a frail 
slab of marble to mark the spot of his grave, for 
now he is known as far as immortal souls can 
glance their untiring eyes, as far as the accents 
of Jesus' voice can echo his welcome. No more 
he fills a stranger's grave. No more he needs the 
eulogy of a man he never saw. No more he labors 
at his trade, for he has, through the strength of the 
Lord Jesus, wrought out a crown of eternal life, and 
he now takes it from the hands of celestial ones, who 
kiss his death-cold brow into the warmth of a beau- 
tiful immortality. Let me die the death, that I 
may wear the crown of Embury. Let me live the 
life, that I may win the spirit-watched grave of 
my departed countryman." 

After the touching and appropriate address of 
Mr. Maffit over the grave of his distinguished 
countryman, the dust of Philip Embury was re- 
moved to the beautiful burying-ground in Ash- 
grove. There is much of mournful interest cluster- 
ing around this sacred depository of the dead. It is 
a kind of classical Methodist burying-ground where 
the honored dead are resting. Other ministers of 
Jesus are sleeping there: David Noble and David 
Brown, both from Ireland ; they were good men and 
true, and finished their course with joy. Mr. Ashton, 



140 PHILIP Embury's HISTORY completed. 

the first Methodist in Ashgrove, the Methodist 
preachers' friend, he who gave the site for the church 
and the ground for the cemetery, was buried there 
with the distinguished men who fell at their posts, 
sword in hand. A very appropriate place for Embury 
to rest, among his countrymen and friends, till " the 
Lord himself shall descend with a shout, with the 
voice of the archangel and the trump of God." 

Over the remains of Mr. Embury was erected 
a plain, neat, beautiful marble tablet, with the 
following inscribed upon it: 

PHILIP EMBUET, 

The earliest American minister of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, here found his last earthly resting-place. 
"precious in the sight of the lord is the death op his saints." 
Born in Ireland, an emigrant to New- York, Embury was the first 
to gather a class in that city, and to set in motion a train of 
measures which resulted in the founding of John-street 
Church, the cradle of American Methodism, and 
the introduction of a system which has beau- 
tified the earth with salvation, and 
increased the joys of heaven. 



THE OLD SOIDIER'S STOKY FINISHED. 141 



CHAPTEE XVI. 

THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 

Captain Webb an extraordinary Man — His Titles — A Soldier with 
General "Wolfe — Memorable Battle on the Plains of Abraham — His 
Conversion — His first Efforts at Preaching — His first Preaching 
in -America —Captain Webb and Wesley Chapel — The main 
Agent in: its Erection — Very useful — Visits Long Island — Captain 
Webb and Joseph Toy — Captain Webb and John Adams — Cap- 
tain Webb and Mr. Asbury — Returns to England — Mr. Wesley's 
Testimony concerning him— Captain Webb, Joseph Benson, John 
and Charles Wesley, — Impressions — Remarks of Dr. James Dixon — 
Captain Webb and Mr. Shadford and Rankin — Webb and his Greek 
Testament — Webb and the well-filled Purse — Captain Webb and 
nis Children; — His sudden Death — Presentiments concerning it — 
Buried at Bristol — The Buryhig-place of many distinguished 
Persons — Captain Webb's Portrait — His Monument. 

We promised our readers a more particular ac- 
count of this remarkable man, who was one of the 
principal agents in introducing Methodism into this 
country, and one of the strong pillars of the infant 
Church in New- York. Mr. "Webb was not a travel- 
ing preacher, unless he was what Billy Dawson 
styled himself, "a traveling local preacher." Mr. 
"Webb had no Rev. prefixed to his name, nor a D.D. 
affixed to it. In the deed he is called " Thomas "Webb, 
gentleman;" in England, when they wrote of him 



142 THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 

they called him " Thomas Webb, Esq. ;" when we 
write concerning him his title is " Lieutenant," or 
" Captain." We have already seen he was a milita-. 
ry officer. On the memorable plains of Abraham, 
in the campaign of 1758, in which General Wolfe 
conquered Quebec and lost his life, Captain Webb 
lost his right eye, and was wounded in his right arm. 
Having scars that were honorable to him as a sol- 
dier, showing his patriotism, he was permitted to 
retire from active service on the full pay of a cap- 
tain. He was then a stranger to religion, not having 
enlisted among the soldiers of Jesus. In 1761, under 
the preaching of John Wesley, he was awakened to 
see his danger. He went a long time mourning, and 
his broken heart was not bound up till the next 
year, 1765, when he found redemption through the 
Saviour's blood, even the forgiveness of sins. His 
evidence was bright and clear. 

' The Spirit answer'd to the blood, 
And told hiin he was born of God." 

Like Thomas of old, he exclaimed, as the clouds 
of doubt disappeared before the Sun of righteousness, 
which arose with healing in its wings and shone 
into his soul in Godlike beauty and splendor, "My 
Lord and my God !" He identified himself with the 
Methodists, and had his name enrolled among the 
" sacramental host of God's elect." He then began 
to exhort sinners to "flee the wrath to come;" to 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 143 

repent of their sins and believe in Jesus. Mr. "Webb 
made his first appearance as a preacher in the city 
of Bath, England. His preaching consisted chiefly in 
the relation of his own Christian experience. This 
was made a great blessing, to others, which encour- 
aged the captain to talk on. In his earliest efforts 
he had fruit. The reason of his holding forth in 
Bath was this : the minister who had an appoint- 
ment to preach, did not come, and, that the people 
might not be disappointed, Mr. Webb was invited 
to speak to the congregation. He did so with 
great power and success. This was an era in his 
history. How much depends upon being suc- 
cessful the first effort. There might have been a 
peculiar providence that hindered the preacher's 
arrival. Not long after this he was appointed 
barrack-master of Albany, and came to America. 
On his arrival he regularly had family prayer in his 
own house, some of his neighbors frequently attend- 
ing. He often added a few words of exhortation, 
and the encouragement he met with emboldened 
him to extend his labors. The captain, hearing of 
Mr. Embury and a few Methodists in New- York, 
who had commenced holding meetings, paid them 
a visit. His introduction to the little band, and 
its results, we have already described. 



144 THE OLD SOLDIER'S STOKY FINISHED 
CAPTAIN WEBB AND WESLEY CHAPEL 

"What had Captain Webb to do with the first 
Methodist preaching-house in America? How far 
did he contribute toward its erection? The "old 
book" will answer these questions. Philip Embury- 
was the founder of Methodism in New- York, but 
Captain Webb was his colleague, his true yoke- 
fellow. Captain Webb was one of the chief men 
in the erection of the first church edifice. I doubt 
whether a house of worship would have been erected 
at that time, had it not been for his money and 
influence. We have already seen that he placed 
his name to the subscription first, and subscribed 
more than any one else — the noble sum of thirty 
pounds. Then he lent them two hundred pounds. 
After that he lent them one hundred pounds, mak- 
ing three hundred that he lent them in 1768. Then 
he gave them three pounds and four shillings in- 
terest. He also solicited the friends in Philadel- 
phia to contribute, and brought from them thirty- 
two pounds : he also sold books for the benefit 
of the church. He was one of the original trust- 
ees of John-street Church. Through his influence 
they procured a site on Golden Hill, which was near 
the borders of the city. Captain Webb and the 
other trustees purchased the materials, and con- 
tracted for the building in their own names, and 
upon their individual securities. He also aided them 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 145 

spiritually. He preached to them the word of life, 
and while " building them up in their most holy 
faith," woke up an interest for Methodism, and drew 
many to the place of worship, by the novelty of his 
military dress, as well as his burning zeal and 
natural eloquence. 

Captain Webb visited Long Island as early as 
1768, and "felled some trees there." His axe was 
sharp, and he hewed them down without much 
difficulty. Many were awakened by his powerful 
appeals, but political troubles and the war of the 
Revolution had a chilling effect upon religion, and 
greatly retarded the spread of the Gospel. 

After peace was restored, the people had a more 
favorable opportunity and more of a disposition to 
attend to the interests of religion. The Eev. Philip 
Cox was stationed on Long Island in 1784, and 
found a number who remembered the preaching 
of Captain "Webb. 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND THE REV. JOSEPH TOY. 

Captain Webb had many seals to his ministry in 
America. He wielded the sword of the Spirit as 
successfully as he had his sword in defense of his 
country. Among other seals was Joseph Toy of 
Burlington, New Jersey. Captain Webb preached 
in the Market-place and in the Court-house in 
Burlington, in 1770. Mr. Toy was awakened and 
converted to God, and on the 14th of December, 



146 THE OLD SOLDIER'S STOEY FINISHED. 

1770, Captain Webb formed a small class, of which 
he appointed Brother Toy the leader. Mr. Toy be- 
came a very useful traveling preacher. For twenty 
years he never disappointed a congregation. In 
1801 he entered the traveling ministry, and died 
in peace in Baltimore in 1826, aged 78 years. 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND ME. ASBURY. 

Captain Webb had formed a society of one hun- 
dred members in Philadelphia before the regular 
missionaries arrived. He preached in Baltimore also. 
Mr. Asbury often mentions him in his Journal : 

"April 23, 1774.— Mr. Webb preached an animat- 
ing discourse from Eev. vi, 17. There is great 
probability that his coming will be made a particular 
blessing to many." 

" Friday.— My. Webb preached to a large congre- 
gation. There is something very singular in his 
manner ; nevertheless, the Lord owns and blesses his 
labors." 

"Hew- York, May 31, 1784. — Captain Webb 
preached a good sermon in the evening." This was 
in the preaching-house in John-street. 

"Oct. 19, 1774— Captain Webb informed me by 
letter, the house in Baltimore was so far finished 
that he had preached- in it." 

Nov. 24, Monday, Captain Webb and Mr. Asbury 
left New-York for Philadelphia. On Tuesday they 
reached Burlington, where they visited two prisoners 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 147 

condemned to death. "Both Captain W and my- 
self spoke freely and largely to them, though there 
was very little room to hope that we should do 
them any good." 

Feb. 4, 1775, Mr. Asbury says : " I had some con- 
versation with Captain Webb, an Israelite indeed, 
and we both concluded it my duty to go to Bal- 
timore." 

This is the last time Mr. Asbury mentions him in 
his Journal, but all shows the high estimation he 
formed of Captain Webb, both as a man and a 
preacher. 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND MR. WESLEY. 

In 1772 we find, from a letter of Mr. Wesley, that 
Captain Webb was in Dublin, Ireland, and Mr. 
Wesley says of him, " He is a man of fire, and the 
power of God constantly accompanies his word." 
In 1773 Mr. Wesley speaks of his preaching at the 
Foundry, in London, and says : " I admire the wis- 
dom of God in still raising up various preachers, 
according to the various tastes of men. The captain 
is all life and fire ; ' therefore, although he is not 
deep or regular, yet many who would not hear a 
better preacher, flock together to hear him, and 
many are convinced under his preaching, some 
justified, a few built up in love." Ten years after 
this he speaks of Captain Webb's having "lately 
kindled a flame here" (in the neighborhood of 



148 THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 

Bath,) "and it has not yet gone out. Several 
persons are still rejoicing in God. I found his 
preaching in the street in "Winchester had been 
blessed greatly. Many were more or less con- 
vinced of sin, and several had found peace with 
God. I never saw the house before so crowded 
with serious and attentive hearers." In 1785 he 
bears a similar testimony to his usefulness in kind- 
ling up the fire of devotion among the people. 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND THE ELDER ADAMS. 

Some have supposed that Captain Webb was an 
ordinary speaker, and the novelty of his military 
dress was the great cause of attracting so many to 
attend his ministry. This was a capital mistake, a 
grand error. John Adams, the colossus of the 
Revolution, himself no mean orator, and a great 
judge of oratory, was attending the Continental 
Congress in Philadelphia, in 1774, and gave the 
following testimony concerning the eloquence of the 
old veteran : " In the evening I went to the Method- 
ist meeting and heard Mr. "Webb, the old soldier, 
who first came to America in the character of 
a quartermaster under General Braddock. He is 
one of the most fluent, eloquent men I ever heard ; 
he reaches the imagination and touches the passions 
very well, and expresses himself with great pro- 
priety." By another, Captain "Webb is represented 
as a " perfect "Whitefield in declamation." 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 149 



CAPTAIN WEBB AND MR. BENSON. 

Captain "Webb had an "impression" that Mr. 
Benson ought to go to America. The matter, as 
in all similar cases, was referred to Mr. Wesley, 
who, in a letter dated March 2, 1773, says : " Cer- 
tainly, you cannot stir, unless you are clearly satis- 
fied of your call from God. An impression on the 
mind of another man is no rule of action to you. 
The reasons you give on the other side are weighty, 
and will not easily be answered." 

This call upon Mr. Benson by the captain roused 
Charles Wesley, who, in his usual style of frankness 
and energy, gives his notions of the captain's charac- 
ter. "I have barely time to say, your own reasons 
for not yet going to America, and Christopher 
Hopper's, are unanswerable. Mr. F. [Mr. Fletcher, 
no doubt] is only the captain's echo. The captain's 
impressions are no more, or very little more, to be 
depended on than George Bell's. He is an inex- 
perienced, honest, zealous, loving enthusiast. God 
only knows whether you may not be called to 
America by and by. At present, your call is not 
clear; therefore, stand still, and send our friends 
a loving, explicit refusal." 

"It is singular enough," says Dr. James Dixon, 
"that while the several parties thus dealt with the 
captain's 'impression,' they all refer to the- same 
principle. John Wesley thinks the 'call,' when 



150 THE OLD SOLDIEK'S STOKY FINISHED. 

divine, must be addressed to the person concerned, 
and not to another ; he is the party to be convinced, 
and to be persuaded. Charles is not sure but the 
'call' may come some time, and Mr. Benson may 
be sent to America; while he himself evidently 
refers to the same thing, only he argues, and that 
so conclusively as to convince the brothers, that 
to himself the ' call ' is not sufficiently clear and 
explicit. It would be difficult to prove that Captain 
Webb's 'impression' in this case was a revery, an 
ill-founded piece of enthusiasm. Had his election 
fallen on some incompetent person, Charles Wesley's 
biting caustic might have been justly applied. But 
the ' impression ' referred to a man whose age, piety, 
learning, great preaching talents, practical wisdom, 
entire attachment to Methodist theology, and emi- 
nent controversial and literary attainments, seemed 
in reason to point him out as the most suitable man' 
in England for the work. Besides, there seems to 
have been a balance of judgment, two against two; 
John and Charles Wesley against, and Captain 
Webb and Mr. Fletcher in favor. How prescient 
is Providence ! Had Mr. Benson gone to America, 
and taken the superintendence of the work, as he 
must have done, it is probable that his influence 
would have altered the whole aspect of things. Dr. 
Coke, in that case, could have had no place in the 
organization of Methodism; Francis Asbury must 
have been a secondary man ; and with Mr. Benson's 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 151 

views and opinion it is extremely likely, not to say 
absolutely certain, that the Methodist. Episcopal 
Church would never, in its present shape, have 
existed. On what wonderful contingencies hang 
the greatest results." 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND MR. SHADFORD. 

Captain Webb returned to England, and made 
an appeal in behalf of American Methodists that 
was not in vain. He stirred up George Shadford 
and others to volunteer. Mr. Shadford says: "I 
went to the Leeds Conference, where I first saw 
Captain Webb, when he warmly exhorted the 
preachers to go to America ; I felt my spirit stirred 
within me to go, more especially when I understood 
that many hundreds of precious souls were perish- 
ing through lack of knowledge. Accordingly, Mr. 
R[ankin} and I offered ourselves to go in the spring 
following, when I received a letter from Mr. Wesley 
informing me that I was to embark with Captain 
Webb at Bristol." 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND HIS GREEK TESTAMENT. 

The Rev. William Duke joined the conference in 
1774, (the second conference held in America,) and 
located in 1779. He joined the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church, used to live in Elkton, Maryland, and 
died there in 1840. 



152 THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 

Mr. Duke was intimately acquainted with Cap- 
tain Webb, and often heard him preach. He was 
a great admirer of him, though he thought him a 
little visionary, and used to relate many interesting 
anecdotes concerning him. Captain Webb highly 
esteemed Mr. Duke, and made him a present of 
his " Greek Testament." Mr. Duke, after keeping it 
many a long year, presented it to the Eev. J. B. Hag- 
any, and he gave it to Bishop Scott, who keeps the 
relic in remembrance of the old soldier who fought 
so nobly the battles of the cross. 

CAPTAIN WEBB AND THE PURSE. 

Captain Webb, when any one informed him of 
the conversion of a rich man, ordinarily asked, " Is 
his purse converted?" And without the conversion 
of the purse, the good captain could give no credit 
to the conversion of the man. "This sentiment," said 
the late Jacob Stanley, " was founded on an intimate 
knowledge of human nature. For if it be true that 
where the treasure is, there the heart will be also, it is 
also true that where the heart is the treasure will be 
also." There can be no doubt but that the purse 
of Captain Webb was converted as well as his soul, 
for he gave in a princely manner. He agreed with 
Dr. Adam Clarke, who said "he did not believe 
in any man's religion that did not cost him any- 
thing." This being converted all but the purse is no 
conversion at all. It amounts to but very little. 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STORY FINISHED. 153 

Captain Webb not only wrote -to Mr. "Wesley, en- 
treating him to send preachers to America, but he 
returned to England, and made an appeal to the 
Conference, as well as to individuals in private ; and 
then he accompanied the volunteers across the Atlan- 
tic, and provided for them all the necessaries and 
comforts for their voyage. 

After Mr. "Webb's return to England for the last 
time, he took up his residence in Bristol, and there, 
as well as in many other places, was exceedingly 
useful in turning sinners from darkness to light, and 
from the power of Satan unto God. 

Captain "Webb was twice married. He had two 
sons, Gilbert and Charles. They were half-brothers. 
They emigrated to America after his decease, and 
settled in Canterbury, Orange County, New- York. 
Charles was a Quaker and a preacher. He dressed 
plain, with his broad-brimmed hat and " shad-belly" 
coat. He used the plain language, saying " thee " 
and " thou." He always professed great love for the 
Methodists. Gilbert did not profess religion. They 
lived, and died, and were buried at Canterbury. 
Some of their descendants are still living there. 

The period came when the old soldier, victorious 
in a hundred battles, must yield to the conqueror of 
conquerors. Captain Webb's death was very sud- 
den, though not unexpected by him. For some time 
Mr. Webb had a presentiment of his sudden depart- 
ure. A few days before his death he conversed on 

8 



154 THE OLD SOLDIEK'S STORY FINISHED. 

the subject, and gave direction concerning the place 
where he wished to be buried, and the manner of his 
interment. At the same time he said : " I should pre- 
fer a triumphant death, but I may be taken away 
suddenly. However, I know I am happy in the 
Lord, and shall be with him, and that is sufficient." 
Here was faith and hope, resignation and triumph. 
Blessed testimony. He knew that he 

"By dying would escape from death, 
And life eternal gain." 

On the evening of December 10, 1796, after 
supper and family prayer he went to bed in usual 
health. He retired about ten o'clock. Soon his 
breathing became difficult. He then rose, and 
sat at the. foot of the bed ; but while his wife was 
standing by him, he fell back on the bed, and before 
any person could be called, without a struggle or a 
groan he fell asleep on the bosom of Jesus, and will 
awake, in the morning of the resurrection, in the like- 
ness of his Master, and be satisfied. 

At his death Captain "Webb was seventy-two years 
old. Full of years and full of honors, the old war- 
rior conquered his -final foe. To him might be ap- 
plied with truth the sweet hymn of Charles "Wesley : 

"Servant of God, well done! 

Thy glorious warfare's past ; 
The battle's fought, the race is won, 

And thou art crown'd at last." 



THE OLD SOLDIER'S STOKY FINISHED. 155 

Captain Webb was buried at Portland Chapel. 
Bristol was the birth-place of many distinguished 
characters, among whom we name Chatterton, the 
poet, Southey, Coleridge, and Hannah More. Also 
the burying-place of illustrious personages. The 
last resting-place of Bishop Butler, author of "The 
Analogy," is here. Bobert Hall also was buried 
in Bristol. James Wood, the author of a Biblical 
Dictionary, was buried there, and so was the eloquent 
Samuel Bradburn. But no dust is sleeping there, 
however distinguished, more precious to Methodists, 
on both sides of the Atlantic, than that of the illus- 
trious Christian hero, Captain Thomas Webb. So 
highly was he esteemed, that a tablet to perpetuate 
his name and virtues was placed in Portland-street 
Chapel, Bristol, bearing this inscription : 

"To the Memory oe Thomas Webb." 

When we see what Captain Webb has done for 
Methodism in New- York, in Philadelphia, in Balti- 
more, and many other places ; what he did himself, 
and the influence he exerted in inducing other 
preachers to come to this country, he should have a 
monument here in America as well as in England. 
The name of Thomas Webb should be crowned with 
a garland of imperishable verdure. 



156 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 



CHAPTER XVII. 

ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND THE OLD LOG 
MEETING-HOUSE. 

Mr. Strawbridge one of the Heroes of early Methodism — Eev. Wm. 
Hamilton on early Methodism in. Maryland — Brief History of Mr. 
Strawbridge — The Log Meeting-House — His Family — His Death — 
Funeral Sermon — His Grave — Supposed Mistakes in the early His- 
tories of Methodism — Mr. Hamilton's Corrections — Claims Priority 
for Maryland in the Introduction of Methodism — Claims that the Log 
Meeting-House was built before Wesley Chapel; that Mr. Straw- 
bridge was Years in advance of Philip Embury in forming Methodist 
Societies — Evidence adduced — Bishop Asbury's Testimony — Ex- 
amination of the Testimony — Asbury against Asbury — Asbury and 
Coke's brief Account of the Rise of Methodism — They give Philip 
Embury and the "Wesley Chapel the Priority — If a Mistake, it should 
have been corrected in future Editions — No Correction made — Re- 
mains in the Discipline of the M. E. Church, both North and South — 
The first General Conferences held in Baltimore — If an Error, easily 
corrected there — Many Members of that Body were acquainted with 
Mr. Strawbridge. 

As one of the earliest heroes of American Method- 
ism, Mr. Strawbridge's name and fame are immor- 
tal, and everything connected with his history is 
fraught with interest. 

The Rev. "Wm. Hamilton, of the Baltimore Con- 
ference, delivered a very able discourse before the 
Methodist Historical Society in Baltimore. It was 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 157 

afterward published in the Methodist Quarterly 
Keview of July, 1856. It is entitled, " Early Meth- 
odism in Maryland, especially in Baltimore." It con- 
tains lost chapters in. the early history of American 
Methodism, and therefore I make extracts from it. 
"We are thankful for every scrap or fragment of 
history preserved, and for every ray of light in 
regard to the fathers of Methodism who have passed 
away. Mr. Hamilton says: 

" The men whom God was pleased to signalize as the instru- 
ments of introducing Methodism into Maryland were three local 
preachers, Kobert Strawbridge, Robert Williams, and John Zing. 
Of this trio, Mr. Strawbridge stands pre-eminently the first. He 
preached the first sermon, formed the first society, and built the 
first preaching-house for the Methodists in Maryland, and in 
America, being three years, perhaps, earlier than Wesley Chapel, 
John-street, New- York. As Mr. Strawbridge was the instru- 
ment, under God, of founding our spiritual house in this country, 
and as there are many misapprehensions abroad respecting his 
claim to this honor, a more particular account of him than is 
found in our various publications cannot but be acceptable to the 
Methodist reader. 

"Mr. Strawbridge was a native of Drummer's Nave, near 
Carrick-on-Shannon, ceunty Leitrim, Ireland. He emigrated to 
this country in 1759 or 1760, and settled on Sam's Creek, Fred- 
eric County, Maryland. His principal aim in leaving his native 
land was to procure a more ample subsistence for his family, 
which object, however, he never accomplished, for he died a poor 
man. Frederic, at the time Mr. Strawbridge settled there, was 
strictly a backwoods county, embracing all the country west and 
Bouth now included in Montgomery, "Washington, and Alleghany 
counties. As late as 1755, the Indians had passed the forts, 



158 KOBEET STKAWBRIDGE AND 

Cumberland and Frederic, and got within eighty or ninety 
miles of Baltimore, in parties of plunder and murder, and the 
defenseless inhabitants were greatly alarmed lest they should reach 
the town", and the women and children were put on board of 
vessels in the harbor to be rescued by flight down the bay, 
if necessary, while the inhabitants of the adjacent country were 
flying to town for safety. 

" The treaty of peace concluded in 1758, by Sir William John- 
ston, with the Six Nations, and some other Indians who had 
voluntarily gone from Maryland, and the termination of the war, 
five years after, by the expulsion of the French and Spanish from 
all their colonies on the continent north of the Gulf of Mexico 
and Mississippi, laid open all western Maryland to the whites for 
safe and peaceful settlement. It was among those hardy frontier 
settlers, many of whom had gone from the neighborhood of Balti- 
more, while others had come from Pennsylvania, that Mr. Straw- 
bridge fixed his home, and opened his house for preaching. God 
gave him favor in the sight of the people, so that a great door 
and effectual was opened to him at once for usefulness. A 
society, consisting of twelve or fifteen persons, was formed as 
early as 1763 or 1764, and soon after a place of worship was 
erected, called the ' Log Meeting-house,' about a mile from the 
residence of Mr. Strawbridge. 

" As great mistakes exist respecting the exact date of Method- 
ism in America, it is proper to correct them so far as the proofs 
in our possession will enable us to do it. It has been a general 
impression, and the histories of our Church so represent it, that 
Methodism in this country originated in New-York ; that Philip 
Embury, a local preacher from Ireland, formed the first Methodist 
society and preached the first Methodist sermon in that city in tho 
year 1766. This is undoubtedly an error, so far as priority is 
concerned. Methodism unquestionably had its origin in Fred- 
eric County, Maryland, and theirs* Methodist society was formed 
there by Robert Steawbbidge. Bishop Asbury says, (vol. iii, 
p. 2.7 of his Journal,) in speaking of the settlement of Pipe Greek, 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 159 

' Here Mr. Strawbridge formed the first society in Maryland — 
cmd America;' the words in italics being his own. Bishop 
-Asbury's early acquaintance with Mr. Strawbridge, as well as 
the information which he necessarily had of all his movements, 
gives to his emphatic remark, in settling a matter of fact, great 
weight and importance. 

" A statement now before us, written by David Evans, son of 
John Evans, one of Strawbridge's first converts, settles, we think, 
the true origin of Methodism in America. The paper has the 
stamp of age upon it, and also the appearance of being torn from 
the fly-sheet of a Bible, or from some old record book; the 
writing is quite legible, and in the style which obtained sixty 
years ago. It runs as follows : 

" ' John Evans, born 30th November, 1734, about five miles from 
Baltimore. When about fourteen years of age his father moved 
to the upper part of Baltimore County, near the neighborhood 
of Pipe and Sam's Creek, where he resided until his death. In 
his 25th year he married ; he had nine children, and six are now 
living. His parents were members of the Church of England. 
About the year 1764, he embraced the Methodist religion under 
Mr. Strawbridge; his wife also, and four others. From that 
time his house became a preaching and prayer-meeting house, 
and when the. first circuit was formed in Baltimore County, 
he offered his house, and it was accepted, about the year 1768, 
and continued a preaching-house for upward of forty years ; 
which time he was a re*gular class-leader, and continued class- 
leader between two and three years after preaching was removed 
from his house, when he requested to resign by reason of weak- 
ness and infirmity of body. 

" ' The above was written by my father, David Evans. 

' Samuel Evans.' 

" Samuel Evans, grandson of John Evans, is still living, and a 
worthy member of the Pipe Creek Methodist Society. Mrs. 



160 ROBERT 8TRAWBRIDGE AND 

Bennett, now in the eighty-ninth year of her age, and daughter of 
John Evans, states that the society was first formed at Straw- 
bridge's house, and was afterward removed to the ' Log Meeting- 
house ;' the class had been formed for some time. She remem- 
bers Strawbridge. He was of medium size, dark complexion, 
black hair, had a very sweet voice, and was an excellent singer. 
He came to this country with his wife, nephew, and niece. Our 
informant states, also, that Mr. Strawbridge had six children,. 
Eobejrt, George, Theophilus, Jesse, Betsey, and Jane. George 
died, and also two of the other children, who were buried under 
the pulpit of the ' Log Meeting-house.' George and Jesse grew 
up and became carpenters. Mrs. Strawbridge died in Baltimore. 
During his life Mr. Strawbridge was poor, and the family were 
often straitened for food ; but he was a man of strong faith, and 
would say to his family, on leaving them, ' Meat will be sent here 
to-day.' On account of administering the ordinances he was 
much opposed by the preachers when they began to circulate 
through the neighborhood. 

" The calls upon Mr. Strawbridge to go to distant parts of the 
country to preach, became, in course of time, so frequent and 
pressing that his family were likely to suffer in his absence, so 
that it became a question with him, ' Who will keep the wolf 
from my door while I am abroad looking after the lost sheep.' 
Meanwhile his friendly neighbors agreed to cultivate his little 
farm without charge, and to see that his wife and children wanted 
for nothing during his absence. In this way this zealous servant 
of Christ continued to labor in different parts of Frederic, and 
throughout the length and breadth of Baltimore County, breaking 
up new ground, forming new societies, and establishing perma- 
nent places for preaching ; God working through him by the 
word which he preached. It is delightful to look back, after a 
lapse of ninety years and upward, and recount, one by one, the 
long list of those who could claim this primitive missionary 
as the instrument of their salvation, many of them persons of 
intelligence and of influence in the communities in which they 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 161 

lived, giving themselves first to Christ, and then devocing their 
substance to build up a godly seed for generations following, and 
of these we recur with no ordinary feelings of satisfaction to the 
sainted parents of the late distinguished and able editor of the 
Christian Advocate and Journal, Dr. Bond. 

Mr. Strawbridge continued to reside at Sara's Creek about 
sixteen years, and then removed to the upper part of Long 
Green, Baltimore County, to a farm given him (for life) by the 
wealthy Captain Charles Kidgely, by whom he was greatly 
esteemed, and who often attended his preaching. It was while 
living here under the shadow of ' Hampton, (Col. Bidgely's seat,) 
that in one of his visiting rounds to his spiritual children, he was 
taken sick at the house of Mr. Joseph -Wheeler, and died in great 
peace, in the summer or fall of 1781. 

"His funeral sermon was preached to a vast concourse of 
: people, by the Rev. Richard Owings, [Mr. Owings was one of his 
converts, and the first American Methodist preacher raised up on 
the continent,] under a large walnut tree, at the northwest 
corner of the house. The text was Rev. xiv, 13 : 'And I heard 
a voice from heaven.' A number of his Christian friends from 
a distance, who had known him first on Sam's Creek, were now 
here to see the last, and sung, as they mournfully and slowly 
walked to the place of burial 

" 'How blest is our brother, bereft 
Of all that could burden his mind ? 

How easy the soul that has left 
The wearisome body behind.' 

" His grave, and also the grave of Mrs. Strawbridge, are in the 
small burying-ground in the orchard south of the house, perhaps 
some hundred yards. The graves are together, about the center 
of the ground, and as if nature we're reproving the neglect of the 
Church, she has raised up a large poplar-tree between them, as a 
living monument of their worth." 

8* 



162 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 

I have made this long extract from Mr. Hamil- 
ton's article, First. That the reader may have before 
him the whole of Mr. Strawbridge's interesting his- 
tory; facts and incidents that have been lost, and 
are now recovered. Second. That he may read all 
Mr. Hamilton has written in regard to the time Mr. 
Strawbridge introduced Methodism into Maryland. 
It is an historical question in which the great family 
of Methodists have a general interest. 

Mr. Hamilton says : " Mr. Strawbridge preached 
the first sermon, formed the first society, and built 
the first preaching-house for the Methodists in Mary- 
land and in America, being three years, perhaps, 
earlier than Wesley Chapel, John-street, New-York." 

Mr. Hamilton is very positive, though he puts in 
one "perhaps," expressive of some doubt. 

Again, he says : " As great mistakes exist respect- 
ing the exact date of Methodism in America, it is 
proper to correct them as far as the proof in our pos- 
session will enable us to do it." To this I cordially 
respond, Amen. Let us have the " proof," let the 
"mistakes" be corrected, and we will all rejoice. 
But we must have "proof;" not conjecture, not be- 
lief, nor guesses, nor surmises. "Proof" clear and to 
the point. 

Mr. Hamilton continues: "It has been a general 
impression, and the histories of our Church so repre- 
sent it, that Methodism in this country originated in 
New- York ; that Philip Embury, a local preacher 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 163 

from Ireland, formed the first Methodist society, and 
preached the first Methodist sermon in that city in 
1766. This is, undoubtedly, an error, so far as pri- 
ority is concerned. Methodism, undoubtedly, had its 
origin in Frederic County, Maryland, and the first 
society was formed there by Robert Strawbridge." 

Now for the " proof" which Mr. Hamilton ad- 
duces. The first is from Bishop Asbury's Journal. 
Mr. Asbury says : " This settlement of Pipe Creek is 
the richest in the state ; here Mr. Strawbridge formed 
the first society in Maryland and America." — Journal, 
vol. iii, p. 24. 

Mr. Hamilton on this remarks : " That the bishop's 
early acquaintance with Mr. Strawbridge, as well as 
the information he naturally had of all his movements, 
gives to his emphatic remark, in settling a matter of 
fact, great weight and importance." 

I know the bishop's testimony is good authority. 
But in regard to his Journals, which are very valua- 
ble, "they were hastily written, for it was " touch and 
go," as one of his traveling companions said to me. 
There are some errqrs in them, and the last volume 
was not corrected and prepared for the press by the 
bishop. But we will let these things pass. What 
does it prove? namely, that the first Methodist society 
in America was formed at Pipe Creek. Mr. Asbury 
does not say here, or in any part of his Journals, that 
Robert Strawbridge built the first Methodist preaeh- 
ing-house in America. It will be in vain to look for 



164 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 

anything of the kind in the writings of Mr. Asbury. 
Yet Mr. Hamilton tells us, Mr. Strawbridge not only 
" preached the first sermon," and " formed the first 
society," but he " built the first preaching-house for 
the Methodists in America." Be it remembered, Mr. 
Asbury does not say any such thing. 

Will the reader favor me with his attention while 
I bring proof against Bishop Asbury ? and the evi- 
dence I adduce is Bishop Asbury's own testimony — 
Asbury against Asbury; the historian against the 
journalist. Let us not forget what Mr. Hamilton 
has well said about "Bishop Asbury's early acquaint- 
ance with Mr. Strawbridge, as well as the informa- 
tion he naturally had of all his movements." In all 
this I concur. The sentiment is correct. He was 
early acquainted with Mr. Strawbridge, and under- 
stood all his movements. It affords me pleasure to 
agree with my brother when I can. All will admit 
the difference between a passing remark, hastily 
written in a journal, when a man is constantly trav- 
eling, and where the same person writes grave his- 
tory. 

Bishop Asbury and Thomas Coke prepared the 
first Discipline in 1785 : the seventh edition now lies 
before me, dated 1791. It commences with a short 
history of the rise of Methodism. " It is dedicated to 
the Members of the Methodist Societies in the United 
States." The bishops say : " We think it expedient 
to give you a brief account of the rise of Methodism, 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 165 

both in Europe and America." After having given 
an account of it in Europe, they go on to say : " In 
the latter end of the year 1766, Philip Embury, a 
local preacher, from Ireland, began to preach in the 
city of New-York, and formed a society of his own 
countrymen and the citizens. In the same year 
Thomas Webb preached in a hired room, near the 
barracks, and in the year 1767 the rigging loft was 
occupied. 

" About the same time Robert Strawbridge, a 
local preacher from Ireland, settled in Frederic 
County, in the state of Maryland, and preaching 
there, formed some societies." 

In regard to the period when Mr. Strawbridge 
formed societies in Maryland, Mr. Asbury, who, it 
will be remembered, was well acquainted with him, 
does not say, in this short history of Methodism, that 
he formed the first society in America, that it was 
prior ^ to that in New-York. No ; but " about the 
same time." 

It may be said that Mr. Asbury discovered his 
mistake after he had written this in the Discipline, 
and therefore made the correction in his Journal. 

An error should be corrected where it was made. 
Few have seen Mr. Asbury's Journal, multitudes 
the Discipline, and therein read Asbury's short 
account of the Methodists. We should carry the 
remedy where the disease is. In this very Discipline 
of 1791, the bishops say: "We have made some 



166 EGBERT STRAWJJ RIDGE AND 

little alterations in the present edition," -etc. ; again, 
""We think ourselves obliged to view and review 
annually the whole order of our Church, always aim- 
ing at perfection," etc. I quote this to show that they 
were in the habit of making corrections, and even in 
this edition they made alterations. If they had 
previously fallen into an error concerning the time 
when Methodism was introduced into America, why 
not correct it then ? 

If Mr. Asbury had more' historic light on the 
subject after he had written thus in the Discipline, 
and therefore makes the record in his Journal, from 
whom could he obtain it? From Mr. Strawbridge? 
he was more competent to give him information 
than any one else. 

We answer, 3STo. Mr. Strawbridge died in 1781, 
three years before the Methodist Church was organ- 
ized, and therefore some years before the Discipline 
was published which contains the short history of 
the rise of American Methodism. 

Then Mr. Asbury could get no more light from 
others than he had obtained from Mr. Strawbridge, 
and he could give him no more, for he was sleeping 
in the sepulcher. 

Again: If Mr. Asbury discovered that he had 
made such an historical error in regard to the intro- 
duction of Methodism, an error so prominent that, 
wherever the Discipline was read, it would make a 
false impression on the minds of thousands upon 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 16*7 

thousands of the succeeding generations, was it not 
due to the cause of truth, due to historical accuracy, 
and to future generations, to correct that error in the 
future editions of the Discipline? Certainly. Was it 
corrected ? No : but was continued by Mr. Asbury 
in every edition of the Discipline till the year of his 
death in 1816. 

"Would not Asbury have corrected it if such an 
error had been made? The presumption is that 
he would have done so. As he did not, have we 
not reason to conclude that he knew of no such mis- 
take to correct? Is not the conclusion most natural? 
Furthermore, it has continued in every edition 
of the discipline from the death of Asbury, which 
is over forty years, to the last edition. It is so in the 
Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. 
Let us not forget that Bishop Asbury and Dr. Coke 
were giving a brief historical account of the rise 
of Methodism. This was their deliberate object; 
they aimed to be as correct as possible in regard 
to dates, knowing the history would be referred to 
not only by that, but future generations. Grave 
testimony like this should have great weight. Think- 
ing men will pause a long time before they reject 
it or suspect its accuracy. If a record of this kind 
cannot be depended on, where shall we go for evi- 
dence that we can confide in ? 

In regard to where the first Methodist Church 
was built in America, what does Mr. Asbury say? 



168 ROBERT 8TRAWBRIDGE AND" 

that it was built at Pipe or Sam's Creek in Mary- 
land, by Mr. Strawbridge, that the old " Log Meet- 
ing-house" was built some years before Wesley 
Chapel in New- York? No! Nothing of the kind. 
He says ? " The first Methodist church in New- York 
was built in 1768 or 1769." 

"What is Mr. Asbury's object in making this 
record? to tell when the first Methodist church in 
New- York was built, or that the first Methodist 
church in America was built in New- York, such 
a year? He could not mean to tell us when the 
first Methodist church was built in New- York, in 
contrast with the second or third in that city, for 
that was the only Methodist church in New- York 
at the time; the second was not built till 1789. 
What was Mr. Asbury doing? giving an account 
of the rise of Methodism, not in New- York, but 
America. Then, by first he meant the first Method^ 
ist preaching-house in America. The words trans- 
posed would express just what the bishop meant to 
say, and would read thus : " The first Methodist 
preaching-house was built in New- York, in 1768 or 
1769."* I understand the bishop to be giving an 
account of the time when the first Methodist preach- 
ing-house was built in America. 

The Introduction to the Discipline which contains 

° I find the words thus transposed in subsequent editions of 
the Discipline. The one I had when writing the above was 
published in 1791. 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 169 

these historical facts, was signed, "Thomas Coke, 
Francis Asbury." Let it be remembered that the 
General Conference which ordered the first Disci- 
pline published, held its session in Baltimore, Mary- 
land, right where Mr. Strawbridge and his labors 
were best known, where they had the most light on 
the subject, and just where the error could have been 
corrected; for several of the early general confer- 
ences were held in Baltimore, and if the bishops had 
fallen into an error in the first, it could have been 
corrected in future editions of the Discipline. As 
no such correction was made, is not the conclusion 
most legitimate that no such error existed ? 



170 ROBERT STRAWBRLDGE AND 



CHAPTEE XYni. 

ROBERT STRAWBRLDGE AND THE OLD LOG 
MEETING-HOUSE, CONTINUED. 

Mr. Hamilton's next Witness — David Evans — Testimony considered, 
very important — It settles a grave Question — The Testimony ex- 
amined — Proves nothing as to Dates — Fugitive Paper — No Signa- 
ture — If Authentic, indefinite in regard to Time — Written when 
Old — Quotation from Jesse Lee — Rev. William Fort — The Log 
Meeting-house — Canes for the Bishops and Dr. Bond — Claims that 
Strawbridge and the Log Meeting-house were in advance of Embury 
and Wesley Chapel — Under Conviction — Not Clear — Corrects Errors 
— Mistaken himself. 

We now call the reader's careful attention to Mr. 
Hamilton's second witness, Mr. David Evans. He 
was one of Mr. Strawbridge's converts. He is a 
very important witness. Mr. Hamilton considers his 
testimony very conclusive, and gays : " His [Mr. 
Evans's] statement, now before us, settles, we think, 
the true origin of Methodism in America.'''' 

It is well to have it settled. Let us examine the 
witness and look a little at the testimony. I confess, 
after Brother Hamilton's and others' bold assertions 
and confident remarks, I thought they had proof 
strong and clear, especially that of Mr. Evans; but 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 171 

upon examining it I am forced to a different con- 
clusion. Where was this statement of Mr. Evans 
made ? Let Mr. Hamilton answer : " The paper has 
the stamp of age upon it, and also the appearance of 
being torn from the fly-sheet of a Bible, or from 
some old record-book; the writing is quite legible, 
and in the style which obtained sixty years ago." 
These are the remarks that precede the important 
historical document that is to settle the origin of 
Methodism in America. 

On this we observe: 

First. It is a fugitive piece of paper. It was 
not found in the old family Bible, amid the permanent 
records there, but it " has the appearance of being 
torn from the fly-sheet of a Bible, or from some old 
record-book." There is great uncertainty about 
where this paper came from ; there is nothing defi- 
nite, and we are left to conjecture. 

Second. It is without date. Remember this. 

Third. It is without a name. "Was David 
Evans's name to that paper ? No. His son Samuel 
writes under it : " The above was written by my 
father David Evans. Samuel Evans." Even Sam- 
uel Evan's testimony is without date. Whether he 
saw his father write it, or knew that it was his hand- 
writing, he does not inform us. But let us admit the 
paper genuine. David Evans wrote it somewhere. 
Let us take it as it is; what does it say, and what 
does it prove? We are after the truth of history. 



172 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 

If it decides the question that Methodism existed in 
Maryland years before it was introduced into New- 
York, we bow to the record, and rejoice that it is 
settled. "We honor the name of Kobert Straw- 
bridge as one of the men to whom Methodism is 
deeply indebted. We have a mutual interest in his 
history as well as our brethren in Maryland, and 
would not take a single garland from his brow, but 
rather furnish an additional chaplet with which to 
adorn it. 

But to the statement of Mr. Evans : 

First. It does not prove that Methodism existed in 
Maryland before it was in New- York; that Kobert 
Strawbridge was in the advance of Philip Embury 
in preaching the Gospel in America. It will be seen 
that Mr. Evans is very indefinite in regard to dates ; 
he is in no way positive. Why was Mr. Evans 
indefinite? because he could not be definite. He 
was uncertain because he could not be certain. 
Does Mr. Evans say that he embraced Methodism 
under Mr. Strawbridge in 1764? He does not say 
anything of the kind, but "it was ABOUT the 
year 1764." > 

If a man should testify in a court of justice in 
regard to a certain thing that had taken place, and 
they ask him at what time it occurred, and he 
answer about the year 1764, would his testimony 
have much weight ? Would it have any ? Would 
it settle any important or trifling matter ? Would it 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 173 

settle any era or year in civil or ecclesiastical his- 
tory ? Certainly not. Men often speak of " about 
such a year ;" they do not mean that particular or 
identical year, but a year not far off from that. Per- 
sons speak thus indefinitely because they are not 
certain about the year. "About" means near to, 
around. 

Mr. Evans did not know the year he first heard 
Mr. Strawbridge preach, nor the year he embraced 
the Methodist religion. It was about the year 
1764. He does not know the year he was converted 
to God. Many know not only the year, but the 
month, the week, the day, the hour, the place. V It is 
the last thing on earth a man forgets, and, therefore, 
we sing, 

" I never shall forget the day 
When Jesus wash'd my sins away." 
Again : 

" The gladness of that happy day, 

O may it ever, ever stay, 

Nor let our faith forsake its hold, 

Nor hope decline, nor love grow cold." 

The poet had just been speaking of 

" The blest hour when from above 
He first received the pledge of love." 

This is an era in any man's history, an epoch not 
easily forgotten. 

Now, the man that does not remember the year 
when such a mighty transformation took place in his 



1*74 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 

own experience, cannot be relied on in regard, to 
dates on other subjects, especially settling historical 
questions ; and never where he is not positive, where 
he wavers, hesitates, and throws around it doubts by 
making it indefinite. He who does not remember 
the year of his conversion to God cannot be very 
positive in regard to minor events. 

We say nothing in regard to Mr. Evans's good- 
ness, honesty, or integrity. The very careful man- 
ner in which he expresses himself on this subject, 
makes us admire his caution and his candor. 

When did Mr. Evans write this statement ? At 
or near the time the events occurred ? If so, it 
would be entitled to more weight, especially if he 
had put down dates as the things recorded transpired. 

This statement was written after his house had 
been a preaching-place " for forty years and up- 
ward." He married at twenty-five. How soon he 
went to keeping house after his marriage we do not 
know, and how soon he had Methodist preaching 
there after his marriage, does not appear. He was 
class-leader some years after the preaching was 
removed from his house. Instead of being recorded 
when the events occurred, it was written amid the 
feebleness of age; for he tells us, "he resigned his 
office of class-leader by reason of weakness and in- 
firmity of body." Now, if it had been written in the 
morning of life, or in the prime of manhood, more 
weight might be attached to it, especially where he 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 175 

stated facts and gave dates. He wrote it when he 
was weak and infirm, when the outer man was per- 
ishing, and the inner man sympathized with the 
outer ; he wrote it when the old tabernacle was 
shaking, and soon to go down ; when the " almond- 
tree was flourishing," and they that "look out 
of the window were darkened ;" when he was 
about going to his long home. He sat down and 
wrote as well as he could remember in reference to 
the past. We all know there are many aged people 
whose memories are not to be relied on as to dates. 

It will be perceived that Mr. Evans was not only 
indefinite concerning the time he embraced religion 
under Mr. Strawbridge, about 1764, but equally so 
about the time " the first circuit was formed in Bal- 
timore County," which, he says, was about the year 
1768. Here is that convenient word " about" again, 
which proves just nothing at all. So much for 
Brother Hamilton's proof. Is there a jury of twelve 
men in the country who, on this testimony, would 
bring in a verdict in his favor ? I trow not. 

Let us turn our attention to another advocate for 
priority in Maryland. Mr. William Fort, in 1844, 
while the General Conference was in session in this 
city, sent six canes, made out of the log meeting- 
house, to Dr. Thomas E. Bond, one for himself, and 
the others for the five bishops. Mr. Fort's communi- 
cation was published in the Advocate. He gave the 
dimensions of the log meeting-house. " The build- 



1*76 BOBEET STEAWBEIDGE AND 

ing was originally twenty-two feet square, and con- 
tained three openings on three sides for windows, 
and an opening for the door on the fourth. Tradition 
says it never had any windows, door, or floor; that 
is, it never was finished, and from information 
which we have obtained, I believe the statement is 
true," etc. 

Mr. Fort then contends that Maryland was the 
ground first cultivated and planted with the seed of 
Methodism. Mr. Fort says : " Methodism was oper- 
ating in Maryland several years before Mr. Embury 
or Captain Webb crossed the Atlantic." "What a 
bold assertion ! How easily made ; much more so 
than to prove it. He says : "With regard to the 
precise time when the ' log meeting-house ' was built, 
I cannot speak with certainty ; but my full convic- 
tion is, that it was the first Methodist meeting-house 
in the United States." Then he quotes Bishop 
Asbury and David Evans, and goes over similar 
ground to that of Brother Hamilton, which I have 
already reviewed. Mr. Fort thinks the " log meet- 
ing-house must have been built between 1760 
and 1765." This is very indefinite, showing that 
Brother Fort was not very well posted up as to 
the time. He allows himself sufficient latitude 
Again he says: "I do not despcdr of this being 
satisfactorily proven by continued research, the main 
point being established, that Maryland has the 
priority in the forming of societies by several years." 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. lYT 

This is begging the question. I should like to know 
where " the main point has been established." 
Neither is Mr. Fort very clear in his own mind about 
the time the log house was built; for he says, "I 
cannot speak with certainty." Why not ? Because 
the subject is full of uncertainty. Again, he says, 
" My full conviction is, that it was the first meeting- 
house in the United States." His " full conviction " 
may satisfy himself, but not others. Mr. Fort also 
says, " I have found the subject fraught with great 
difficulty." I do not wonder ; in this I am sure he is 
right. 

Mr. Fort corrects an error into which Methodist 
historians have fallen. They say the " log meeting- 
house was built at Pipe Creek;" he says it was 
built on Sam's Creek. Another error he corrects. 
He says that "it is a mistake that Mr. Strawbridge 
was an Irishman ; he was from Yorkshire, England." 
Now Mr. Fort is sadly mistaken ; Mr. Strawbridge 
was an Irishman as much as Philip Embury. So 
Mr. Asbury said, who knew him well. This was the 
testimony of Jesse Lee, Freeborn Garrettson, and 
Ezekiel Cooper, who were all acquainted with him. 
If Mr. Fort errs so egregiously in this matter, he 
may be mistaken in regard to other things. 



178 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 



CHAPTEE XIX. 

STRAWBRIDGE AND THE LOG MEETING-HOUSE, 
CONCLUDED. 

Should be careful how we settle Dates — Documents in Possession 
that fix the Time of the Introduction of Methodism into New-York 

— "Writer in the Arminian Magazine — Short History of the Early 
Methodists — Dr. Murray and the Mother of Thomas Morrell — Proof 
positive as to Dates — Witnesses probably mistaken — Proof of the 
Priority of Embury and Wesley Chapel — First Witness, Bishop 
Asbury — Second Witness, Rev. Jesse Lee — Third, Ezekiel Cooper 

— The Conclusion of the whole Matter. 

We must be careful how we settle dates. I have 
documents, not "tradition;" printed documents, not 
fugitive pieces of paper, not what somebody thought 
or guessed ; they are now before me, and I quote 
from them. The first is from the Arminian Maga 
zine, in which the writer dates his letter in 1769. 
He was acquainted with Philip Embury in New- 
York, and states that Mr. Embury came to America 
nine years before his letter was written, that is, in the 
year 1760. 

The second is a work which was published in 1824, 
called, "A Short Historical Account of the early 
Society of Methodists, established in the City of New- 
York, in the Year 1763, through the means of Philip 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 1*79 

Embury." This was published in New- York by 
"W and P C. Smith, "and sold by them at 59 Fulton- 
street, by the Book Agents, 55 Fulton-street, and by 
book-sellers in general." It has been on sale at 
the Book Room thirty-three years ; to my personal 
knowledge twenty-five years; for I bought a copy 
there a quarter of a century ago. It can be obtained 
there now. Its pages are large, and it is accompanied 
by an engraving of John-street preaching-house and 
the parsonage. 

The third is a funeral sermon which the Rev. 
Nicholas Murray, familiarly known as "Kirwan," 
preached in reference to the Rev. Thomas Morrell, 
of Elizabethtown. Dr. Murray had Mr. Morrell's 
diary and other documents, and he gives us a sketch 
of his life and character; also an account of his 
parents. He states that Mrs. Morrell was converted 
under Philip Embury in New- York, and joined the 
first class he formed there, in 1760. (Sermon, p. 13.) 

First. According to these statements, Mr. Embury 
came to New-York in 1760. This was as early as 
any date of Mr. Strawbridge's emigration to this 
country. 

Secondly. "The Short History" fixed the establish- 
ment of Methodism in New- York in 1763. It does 
not say " about," but it is positive. 

Thirdly. Dr. Murray's statement is positive that 
Mrs. Morrell joined the class under Philip Embury 
in 1760. Could anything be more plain or more 



180 ROBERT STRAWBK1DGE AND 

positive? Can our brethren in Maryland bring 
any such proof of the priority of Methodism in that 
Btate ? Does not the evidence I have adduced settle 
the question? So it appears. 

The reader will understand me. I do not quote 
this evidence to prove the priority of Methodism 
in New- York ; I have other proof. I have called 
the attention of the reader to it to show how easy it 
is to adduce proof that seems positive, documents 
that appear to be reliable, and to settle important 
questions. 

Now, the three witnesses may be mistaken, the 
evidence may not be reliable. 

First. The man who states that Mr. Embury came 
to this country in 1760, may be mistaken. And 
yet he knew him personally, and worked with him 
on the preaching-house. We should think such a 
witness reliable. 

Secondly. The " Short History," which states that 
Methodism was established in New- York by Philip 
Embury in 1763, may be mistaken also. If so, how 
the writer fell into this error I cannot tell. 

Thirdly. Dr. Murray may be mistaken in re- 
gard to date, when he says Mrs. Morrell joined the 
first class under Philip Embury, in New-York, in 
1760. If it is an error, how it occurred I cannot tell. 
It might have been in transcribing, or the printer 
may have made a blunder, and put in the wrong 
figure. 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 181 

Dr. Murray and Thomas Morrell were intimate 
friends, and Mr. Morrell must have learned from 
his mother the time when Mr. Embury received 
her into the society, and might have communicated it 
to Dr. Murray ; and the Dr. may have obtained such 
information from the papers of Mr. Morrell in his 
possession ; so we should think that he could not err 
concerning the time Methodism came into existence 
in the city of JSTew-York. 

When I had written thus far, I found in Mr. 
Morrell's Journal, which Dr. Murray had in his pos- 
session when he wrote his sermon, Mr. Morrell's 
record of his mother's death, and then he adds : " It 
was about the year 1760 she was converted to God, 
and when Mr. Embury, the first* Methodist preacher, 
came over, she was among the first who joined the 
society in New- York, and consequently among the 
first Methodists in America." Mr. Morrell does 
not say that his mother joined the church in 
1760, under Mr. Embury, but that in 1760 she 
was converted, and when Mr. Embury came over 
she joined; and yet the doctor understood she 
was converted and joined the Methodists in 1760. 
How easy to be mistaken concerning dates where 

* Mr. Morrell calls Mr. Embury " the first preacher that came 
over." Mr. Morrrell was intimate with Bishop Asbury, was his 
traveling companion, and was stationed in Baltimore in 1800; 
and yet he knew nothing of the claim now set up in reference 
to Mr. Strawbridge's priority, but declares Philip Embury was 
the first. 



182 HUBERT 8TKAWJ3RIDGE AND 

we think we have abundant proof. If I had not had 
access to Mr. Morrell's original documents, it would 
have been difficult to correct this error in regard to 
time. It might have been adduced as proof in after 
years. 

The reader can give to this testimony the weight he 
pleases. He will see how easy it is to adduce proof 
that appears positive, and dates also. On this testimo- 
ny I lay no stress, but am content with other evidence. 

Does the " old book " give much light as to the 
time Methodism was first introduced into New-York ? 
It does not. For the preamble and subscription are 
not dated, though they bear the mark of antiquity. 
The earliest date on the book is July, 1768. Samuel 
Embury,* son of Philip, tells us the preaching-house 
was dedicated to God on the 30th of October, 176S. 
He who wrote to Mr. "Wesley for help, signing himself 
T. T., dates his letter 11th of April, 1768, and says.: 
"Eighteen months ago it pleased God to rouse up 
Mr. Embury to employ his talent," etc. This would 
make it October, 1766, when he began to preach in 
New- York, though there is evidence, he came over 
some years before, f Now I will adduce proof that 
ought to settle the question about the origin of Meth- 
odism in this country, and when and where the first 
Methodist preaching-house was built. 

The first witness is Bishop Asbury, already quoted 

* Letter of his in my possession. 

t Samuel Embury, his son, whs born in New-York in 1765. 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 183 

in the short history of Methodism in the Discipline. 
I only refer the reader to it. The second witness 
is the Rev^ Jesse Lee, who wrote and published 
a " History of the Methodists " in 1809. Mr. Lee 
was a Yiginian, born in 1758, converted in 1771, 
entered the traveling connection in 1779, two years 
'before Mr. Strawbridge died. He was acquainted 
with Robert Williams and John King, and probably 
with Robert Strawbridge. He was thoroughly ac- 
quainted in Baltimore, and other parts of Maryland. 
He was well posted up in early American Method- 
ism, and if any such claim had been set up then, 
he would have known it and noticed it. And as 
he was from Virginia, the adjoining state to Mary- 
land, he might have favored it if it had the sem- 
blance of- truth. 

But he, who must have heard of it if any such claim 
to priority had been set up, is silent. And this silence 
is "very significant. It shows that this claim is an 
after thought, long after the actors in the scenes 
have passed away. Mr. Lee says : "In the beginning 
of the year 1766, the first permanent Methodist 
society was formed in the city of ISTew-York. Mr. 
Philip Embury," etc.* 

When does Mr. Lee say the Methodist society was 

formed in Maryland? "JYot long after the society 

was formed in New- YorTc, Robert Strawbridge, from 

Ireland, who had settled in Frederic County, Mary- 

* Lee's History, page 24. 



184 ROBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND THE 

land, began to hold meetings in public, and joined a 
society together near Pipe Creek."* 

Mr. Lee does not say the society in Maryland was 
formed about the same time as that in New- York, but 
he places it at a subsequent period, " not long after." 

Mr. Lee's advantages for knowing were very supe- 
rior, and his testimony is entitled to great weight. 

So much in regard to which society was formed 
first. New- York has the priority. 

What does the oldest historian of American Meth- 
odism say about where the first preaching-house was 
built ? 

" The first Methodist meeting-house that was built 
in the United States was in New- York. The house 
was built in 1768. This was about twelve months be- 
fore we had any circuit preachers in America/^ 

Did Mr. Lee know anything of ''The Log Meeting- 
house " at Pipe or Sam's Creek, built by Mr. Straw- 
bridge ? Certainly, and speaks of it in connection with 
John-street preaching-house ; and, as we have seen, 
declares that "Wesley Chapel was the " first Method- 
ist meeting-house in the United States." 

This is the uniform testimony of the Methodist 
fathers and the Methodist historians. Not those only 
who resided north, and might have had some local 
feeling, but those who lived in Pennsylvania, Dela- 
ware, Maryland, and Virginia. 

Another witness is the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper. 
* Lee's History, p. 25. + Ibid., p. 25. 



OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 185 

Mr. Cooper Was born in Caroline County, Mary- 
land, in 1763. He entered the traveling ministry in 
1785. He traveled extensively in Maryland during 
the early part of his ministry. He was a perfect 
chronicler of early Methodism, being well acquainted 
with it and the Methodist fathers. He might have 
had a personal knowledge of Robert Strawbridge ; 
and if not, he knew his character, and history, and 
what he had done for Methodism. 

If any such claim was made then, as is set up 
now, in regard to Mr. Strawbridge's labors in Mary- 
land being earlier than Mr. Embury's, and the "Log 
Meeting-house" being built some years previous to 
the preaching-house in John-street, Mr. Cooper must 
have heard of it, and having heard of it, it is natural 
to suppose he would have mentioned it ; but as he is 
silent on the subject, may we not infer he never heard 
of it? If he had, as a Marylander he would have 
felt a deep interest in the subject, and undoubtedly an 
honest pride that his state might carry the palm. Be 
that as it may, we will listen to his testimony. It 
is found in hi» work on Asbury, published in 1819, 
page 72 : " In New- York, where the FIRST society 
was formed. Philip Embury," etc. This settles the 
question, that the first society was formed in New- 
York, not in Maryland ; not by Robert Strawbridge 
but Philip Embury * 

* In another place, Mr. Cooper speaks of Robert Strawbridge 

forming a sncietv about the same time. 

9* 



186 KOBERT STRAWBRIDGE AND 

Now where does Mr. Cooper say the first house 
was built ? He says, "The society increased in num- 
bers, in friends, and in strength, so that in the year 
1768 they began to build the first Methodist chapel 
in America, which is still standing in John-street, 
New- York" 

One more witness, and I shall have done. His 
testimony ought to have weight in settling this 
question ; he certainly is good authority among the 
Methodists. I mean the Rev. John Wesley. In his 
Journal (second volume, page 312) he speaks of the 
appeal from the brethren in America, and says : 
" On Thursday I mentioned the case of our brethren 
in New- York, who had built the first Methodist 
preaching -house in America, and who were in great 
want of money, but much more of preachers," etc. 

Mr. Wesley states that the John-street preaching- 
house was the first in America. "What Mr. Wesley 
knew concerning it he obtained from others. But 
his sources of information were the best, and reliable. 
If this is considered far-fetched, throw it aside ; the 
point is established without it. Mr. Wesley was well 
posted up concerning the origin of American Meth- 
odism. Those who commenced the mighty work 
here came from the other side, and they kept up a 
frequent correspondence. Mr. Wesley corresponded 
with most of the early preachers, constantly desiring 
information. And if the society in Maryland had 



THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 187 

been formed years before that of New- York, and the 
"Log Meeting-house" had been built several years 
before Wesley Chapel in New-York, Mr. Wesley 
must have been informed of the fact, and would 
never have said the first Methodist preaching-house 
in America was "built in New- York. If he was mis- 
taken when he made the assertion, some one most 
likely would have informed him of his error. He 
lived twenty-three years after, and no doubt would 
have corrected his mistake, if he had made one. It 
never was corrected Or denied, and stands in his 
works with all its original force and truth, that in 
New- York the first Methodist church on this conti- 
nent was erected. 

Other witnesses might be adduced, but these are 
sufficient, and no court under heaven would reject 
such testimony. 

A question naturally arises, and will be asked, no 
doubt, by reflecting readers: Is the subject of suffi- 
cient magnitude to waste so much paper, ink, and 
time over ? I answer, it has been considered of suffi- 
cient importance to be discussed in our periodicals 
by men who would not like to spend their time on 
" trifles light as air," and it would have been consid- 
ered strange if I had passed by the question of pri- 
ority, as it has excited considerable attention and 
awakened much interest. 

Again : Not only as an historical question in which 
the great body of Methodists in America have an 



188 ROBERT STRAWBRIDUE AND 

interest, but the centenary of American Methodism 
will soon be celebrated all over this wide-sproad 
country, and it is necessary to know in what year to 
celebrate it, whether 1860, 1863, or 1866. In view 
of that event, which cannot be far off, this question 
assumes an importance far beyond mere curiosity. 

It is time to bring this subject to a close. "When I 
commenced this work, I did not intend to notice this 
disputed point, only to make honorable mention of 
Mr. Strawbridge, Maryland's first missionary; but 
the question was* often asked me in regard to pri- 
ority, and having commenced, I concluded to exam- 
ine this subject thoroughly; and if I have done any- 
thing toward settling the historical question as to 
the time and place where Methodism was first intro- 
duced into America, and where the first Methodist 
temple was erected, I shall not regret the time occu- 
pied or the labor performed. 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. 
Of what we have said is not this the sum? 

First. There is no evidence that Robert Straw- 
bridge preached the first Methodist sermon in 
America. 

Secondly. There is no proof that Mr. Straw- 
bridge formed the first Methodist Society in Amer- 
ica. The evidence adduced, when weighed in the 
balance, is found wanting. It was either " about the 
same time," or " not long after." 

Thirdly. There is no proof that the Log Meeting- 



THE .OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 189 

house was built three years earlier, or any earlier 
than Wesley Chapel, in New- York. It may seem un- 
brotherly to destroy so splendid an imaginary castle, 
but historic truth requires that it should be done. 
I do not doubt the sincerity of my beloved brethren 
who make such bold assertions as I have quoted, but 
I think they are mistaken. Yet I honor Robert 
Strawbridge as much as if he had been in the pri- 
ority, and have no doubt but they revere the name 
of Philip Embury. 

Instead, then, of the Log Meeting-house in Mary- 
land having been erected first, there is conclusive 
evidence that the Methodist preaching-house in John- 
street was the first house of worship built by the 
Methodists in America.* 

To Philip Embury belongs the distinguished honor 
of preaching the first Methodist sermon, forming the 
first Methodist society, erecting the first Methodist 
house of worship, and preaching the first dedication 
sermon of the first Methodist house of worship 
consecrated tp God in this new world. Honor to 
whom honor is due. 

* See letter of Eev. Henry Boehm in the Appendix, p. 690. 



190 ROBERT WILLIAMS. 



CHAPTER XX. 

ROBERT WILLIAMS. 

Emigrates to America — His Friend Ashton pays his Passage — Arrives 
before Boardman and Pilmoor — Mr. Williams and the infant Society 
in New- York — His new Hat — New Stockings — New Cloak — Doc- 
tor's Bill — Shaving Bill — Postage — Love-Feast Ticket— Mr. Wil- 
liams the first Methodist Minister in America that published a Book 
— The first who married — The first who located — The first that 
died — Has no Monument. 

Robert Williams was a local preacher from England, 
who came to this country in the early part of the 
year 1769. Mr. "Wesley gave him a permit to preach 
in America under the direction of his missionaries. 
Mr. Williams arrived here before Richard Boardman 
and Joseph Pilmoor, and was employed in Wesley 
Chapel, preaching the Gospel. His Irish friend, the 
noble-hearted Ashton, generously paid his passage to 
this country. Mr. Williams was so poor he was una- 
ble to pay it himself. He not only preached in Xew- 
York before the arrival of the regular missiona- 
ries, but was stationed there for a time iu 1771. 
There has always been more or less of mystery con- 
nected with his name and history. What little \vl> 



ROBERT WILLIAMS. 191 

know of him makes us anxious to know more. 
In the Minutes of the first conference, which 
was held in Philadelphia, June, 1773, is the follow- 
ing: "Bobert Williams to sell the books he has 
already printed, but to print no more, unless under 
the above restrictions," which were these : " None 
of the preachers in America to reprint any of Mr. 
"Wesley's books without his authority (when it can 
be gotten) and the consent of their brethren." This 
shows Mr. Williams was an enterprising man, and 
no doubt his little book enterprise was the germ of 
the gigantic Methodist Book Concern. 

But in the " old book " Mr. Williams's name is 
often mentioned, and we see what he did to promote 
Methodism in its infancy in this country. Whoever 
kept the book was so particular in recording every- 
thing that transpired, both great and small, that the 
reader is introduced to Mr. Williams, and permitted 
to behold him as he was in olden times ; to listen 
to his preaching ; then see him put on his " new 
hat," wrap his '.'new cloak" around him; to behold 
him in sickness, his physician feeling his pulse 
and looking at his tongue, then giving him med- 
icine, and then sending in his bill to the trus- 
tees for payment. Again : he is seen in the bar- 
ber's shop ; the barber lathers Mr. Williams's face, 
shaves him, then shampoos him, and combs and 
brushes his hair. The reader sees the mail arrive. 
Mr. Williams receives his letters, and the trustees 



192 KOBERT WILLIAMS. 

pay the postage. He is introduced to Mr. Wil- 
liams's horse, one of the very first on whose back an 
itinerant Methodist preacher ever rode in this coun- 
try; he is seen in pasture in the midst of the clover, 
then with his master on his back, carrying him to 
his appointments. This is the pioneer horse, carry- 
ing the pioneer preacher to his pioneer work ; the 
very first of a long line of noble and faithful animals 
who have carried the preachers around their circuits 
and districts. Methodist ministers have been pro- 
verbial for having good horses, many of which have 
been great favorites with their owners as well as 
with the people. 

The following account of what was paid to Eobert 
Williams, while preaching in John-street, is taken 
from the " old book." 

20th Sept. 1769. To cash paid Mr. Jarvis for a hat for 

Mr. Williams ... ...... £2 5 

22d Sept. u To cash for a book for Mr. Williams;. 9 
9th Oct. " To cash paid Mr. Newton for three 
pair of stockings for Mr. Williams 
and Mr. Embury. ,. 1 11 9 

" " To cash paid for a trunk for Mr. 

Williams 12 6 

80th Oct. " To cash paid Mr. Williams to pay his 

expenses . . 116 

u " To cash paid for a cloak for Mr. 

Robert Williams 3 6 

March 1st, 1770. To cash paid for Mr. Williams's 
horse while at Doughlass's on 
Staten Island ... 8 16 S 



ROBERT WILLIAMS. 198 

March 20th, 1770. Cash paid Mr. Williams £5 8 

" 20th, " To ditto paid more for keeping his 

horse.. 12 

10th Aprils " To cash paid Dr. Nesbit for attend- 
ance on Mr. Williams, &c. . 4 10 6 

24th " " To flannel for Mr. Williams 3 

11th June " To cash for a letter for Mr. Wil- 
liams, from Dublin . . .. , 2 8 

26th July, " To John Beck for keeping Mr. Wil- 
liams's horse 6 16 6 

" " To cash paid Mr. Maloney for shav- 
ing preachers 2 5 6 

Sept. " To postage on 2 letters, one for Mr. 

Pilmoor, one for Mr. Williams. 4 8 

1771. April 15. To Mr. Newton, for Mr. Williams. . 2 5 6 
" Aug. 30. To cash paid Caleb Hyatt, for Mr. 

Williams's horse-keeping . . 18 

All this appears to us very singular, but we see how 
they did business in the cradle of American Method- 
ism, before the writer or many of his readers were 
born. They paid for Mr. "Williams's " hat," a " beaver 
hat," and for his "cloak;" also for his "trunk," 
"stockings," "book," "horse-keeping," "doctor's 
bill," "flannel," "postage," "barber's bill," and 
board. How differently preachers are provided for 
at the present time. There are two receipts in the 
"old book" in which Mr. Williams's name is men- 
tioned ; one concerning his hat, which appears in our 
account of Mr. Jarvis, the other his doctor's receipt, 
which is appended. In the latter receipt it will be 
seen that Mr. Boardman was sick. Mr. Asbury says 



194 ROBERT WILLIAMS. 

he "found him weak in body when he arrived in 

New-York." 

The first preachers who came from England were 
all sick, Williams, Boardman, Pilmoor; after that, 
Mr. Asbury. I have no doubt that they were 
going through the process of acclimating, a tribute 
which almost all have to pay who go to a strange 
country. 

" Eec'd April 12, 1770, of Mr. William Lupton, 
four pounds, ten shillings, and sixpence, for med- 
icine and attendance on Mr. Williams and Mr. 
Boardman. 

£4: 10s. 6d. 

Mr. Williams's acc't £4 2s. 0d. 

Mr. Boardman's " 8s. 6d." 




Physicians are more generous now ; they seldom 
send in a bill to a clergyman for their professional 
services. We give the doctor's autograph with his 
receipt, as he was the first physician that doctored 
a Methodist minister in Americu. 

I have before me a love-feast ticket which Hannah 
Dean, afterward the wife of Paul Hick, received from 




KOBEBT WILLIAMS. 195 

Kobert Williams, in his own hand-writing. The 
following is a copy, with a fac-simile of Mr. 
"Williams's autograph : 

Psalm 147. 11. October 1. 1769. 
The Lord taketh pleasure in them 
that fear him : in those that hope 
in his mercy. 

Hannah Dean. 75* 



'. N.York. 



There is a history in this solitary love-feast ticket. 
In the first place, its age invests it with no ordinary 
interest. It was one of the first given in this country, 
and that before the regular missionaries arrived. 
This was. dated the 1st of October, 1769; Boardman 
and Pilmoor arrived the 24th of that month. 

Again : It was written, not printed ; the only 
written love-feast ticket in America that has descend- 
ed to us from so early a period. This ticket shows 
there was method and order among the Methodists 
at that time. They were holding love-feasts, not 
with open, but closed doors, and had their love-feast 
tickets. It shows that Eobert Williams had some 

* The tradition in Mx. Hick's family ia, that these figures repre- 
sent the number of members of the society at that date. 



196 ROBERT WILLIAMS. 

charge of the society soon after his arrival, or he 
would not have issued love-feast tickets over his own 
signature. The modest Embury, never forward, 
but always retiring, no doubt rejoiced at the coming 
of Mr. Williams, and was glad to have the laboring 
oar rest with him. 

This ticket furnishes us with a specimen of Mr. 
Williams's handwriting and autograph, which it 
would probably be in vain to look for elsewhere. 

Mr. Williams's whole history is full of interest. 
He was the apostle of Methodism in Virginia. 
Mr. Williams was the first Methodist minister 
in America that published a book, the first that 
married, the first that located, and the first that 
died. He died in Virginia, the 26th of September, 
1775. Mr. Asbury preached his funeral sermon, 
and pronounced over him a splendid eulogy. There 
is no monument to tell where the dust of the first 
Methodist traveling minister who found a grave in 
America, is sleeping. Ought he not to have one ? 
Will the Methodists in the " Old Dominion " attend 
to this? 



THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 197 



CHAPTER XXI. 

THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 

Eichard Boardman — Joseph Pilmoor — Powerful Appeal to Mr. Wes- 
ley — The Leeds Conference — Volunteers called for — A noble Be- 
sponse by Boardman and Pilmoor — Character of Boardman — Rough 
Passage — Arrival in Philadelphia — First Visit to New-York — Solid 
Token of Brotherly Love — Letter to Mr. "Wesley — Singular Agree- 
ment — Prohibitory Law — Money Account — Various Items specified — 
New Hat — New Clothes — High Transportation — High Postage — 
Bo'ardman's Tour to Boston — Long Time in New- York — Board- 
man and the Mother of Dr. Bunting — Usefulness in Europe and 
America — Return to England — Sudden Death — Place of Burial — 
Epitaph. 

To Mb. "Wesley a powerful appeal was made, in a 
letter signed "T. T.," requesting aid from England, 
especially able ministers, which appeal was after- 
ward urged by Philip Embury and Captain Thomas 
Webb, and yet one whole year passed away before 
the importunate request of the brethren in America 
was granted. 

Mr. Wesley, in his Journal, August 1st, 1769, 
speaks of the Conference at Leeds being a very 
loving one, and says: "On Thursday I mentioned 
the case of our brethren in New- York, who had built 
the first Methodist preaching-house in America, and 



198 THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 

were in great want of money, but much more of 
preachers. Two of our preachers, Richard Board- 
man and Joseph Pilmoor, willingly offered them- 
selves for the service, by whom we determined to 
send them fifty pounds, as a token of our brotherly 
love."* The same account is given by Mr. Wesley, 
with a little addition, in his " Short History of the 
Methodists," written in 1781.f 

Mr. Boardman had been in the traveling connec- 
tion six years, and Mr. Pilmoor four. They were 
young and strong, and, the best of all, their hearts 
were in the work. They were volunteers, and one 
volunteer is worth a dozen pressed men. 

It was something to cross the mighty deep then £o^ 
what it is now, when navigation is brought to such 
perfection that the ocean is almost annihilated, and 
the Old and New "World are brought into one little 
neighborhood. 

No time was lost by these ardent missionaries of 
the cross in preparing for their far-off field of labor. 
In the latter part of August they sailed for the New 
World as embassadors for Christ. The passage was 
long, tedious, and unpleasant. Nine long weeks 
rolled away before they landed in America, at 
Gloucester Point, six miles below Philadelphia, 
October 24, 1769. 

Mr. Boardman was a man of good common sense, 

* Journal, vol. ii, p. 812. 

t Wesley's Works, vol. vii, p. 397. 



THE KEY. BICHAED BOARDMAN. 199 

of deep and ardent piety, and a preacher of supe- 
rior talents. He was a man of great simplicity and 
godly sincerity. Mr. Wesley said of him : " He was 
a pious, good-natured, sensible man, greatly beloved 
of all that knew him." This is an admirable testi- 
mony, for Mr. Wesley used no false coloring, no 
exaggeration. 

Mr. Boardman found a little society in Philadelphia, 
to whom he preached, and then he went to New- York. 

Mr. Boardman Wrote a very interesting letter to 
Mr. Wesley, dated New- York, Nov. 4, 1769. He 
said the people were so desirous to hear the word of 
the Lord, that only one third could get into the 
preaching-house . 

Mr. Boardman wrote another letter to Mr. Wesley, 
dated April 23, 1771, giving an account of a bless- 
ed revival in New- York, during which many were 
converted. 

No sooner had Mr. Boardman arrived in New- 
York, than the official men wished an arrangement 
made in regard to future plans, future duties, and 
future responsibilities. 

The following agreement was entered into between 
Mr, Boardman and his officiary, November 1, 1769, 
three days before he wrote his first letter to Mr. 
Wesley. 

In the " old book" we have the following : 

" Mr. Richard Boardman, assistant to, and preach- 
er in the connection with Rev. John Wesley, also, 



200 TIIK RTOV IUCIIAKD BOARDMAN. 

Philip Embury, local preacher, and William Lup- 
ton, a trustee and steward, (in New- York,) think- 
ing it necessary that some regulations, should be 
made for the preachers in New- York, agreed, on the 
first of November, 1T69 : First. That each preacher, 
having labored three months in New- York, shall 
receive three guineas, to provide themselves with 
wearing apparel. Secondly. That there shall be 
preaching on Sunday morning and Sunday evening ; 
also on Tuesday and Thursday evenings ; and the 
preacher to meet the society every Wednesday 
evening." 

From this it is evident that the early, primitive 
Methodists were persons of method and order", and 
wished a fair understanding to begin with. For 
want of this there is often great difficulty. 

Three guineas in three months, with which to 
provide themselves with clothing ! Their board was 
provided for some other way. It is evident that 
neither did the preachers desire, nor did the stewards 
intend, that they should amass wealth by their 
preaching. 

From the last resolution we plainly see the 
preachers did not wish to rust out, and the people 
were determined they should not: preaching four 
times a week, besides meeting the society on Wednes- 
day evenings, would certainly keep them very busy. 

We call the reader's attention to another peculiar 
item that will illustrate the times and the men. 



THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 201 

PAPER ALLOWED THE PREACHERS. 

We have the following "memorandum" in the 
"old book:" "The preachers are allowed one quire 
of writing paper for every quarter, and no more." 
This is short and right to the point. It is plain and 
easy to be understood; there is no circumlocution. 
The amount specified shows us their rigid economy. 
They were determined none should inquire, " For 
what purpose is this waste ?" 

This would make four quires a year, " and no 
more ;" it is said not another sheet was allowed. 
What would a modern reader of sermons do, if thus 
limited? one who writes his sermons, and consumes a 
quire every time he prepares to preach. This "pro- 
hibitory law " would affect him most seriously. But 
the preachers of that day depended on the Holy Ghost 
more than on their paper. They were minute men; 
men who could say like Paul, " I am ready, as much 
as in me is,, to preach the Gospel " to you that are in 
New- York also. If I cannot preach like Apollos or 
Cephas, I am ready to improve the talent God has 
given me. 

We must not forget that writing paper at that 
time was exceedingly scarce and very dear. Bishop 
Waugh, with his peculiarly pleasant smile, when 
talking on the small quantity of paper they allowed 
the Methodist preachers a quarter at that period, 
said, " That is more paper than the people furnish us 



202 TIIE REV. KICIIAKD BOARDMAN. 

with now." That is so, but they give us material 
aid with which to buy our own paper. 

I now present before the reader, Mr. Boardman 
and his money account with Mr. Lupton and James 
Jarvis, treasurers, making extracts from the "old 
book." 

1769, Dec. 7th. To two letters from Mr. W., [Wesley, 

no doubt,] one for Mr. Boardman 
the other for Mr. Webb... £ 4 7 

" Dec. 27. To cash for a hat for Mr. Boardman 2 5 

1770, Jan. 12. To cash paid Mr. Bichard Boardman 

up to the 10th of January 5 8 

" Jan. 30. To cash paid Mr. Sause for boarding 

and lodging Mr. Boardman. . . 12 

" Feb. 1. To cash paid the barber- 14 

" " 10. To cash paid for carriage of Mr. 
Boardman's trunk from Philadel- 
phia 14 

" " 17. To cash paid Mr. Boardman to 14th 

of April 5 8 

" March 1. To cash paid for a letter from Phila- 
delphia for Mr. Boardman 18 

" " 23. To two letters for Mr. Boardman 

from Mr. Webb 20 

" " " The £5 8s. on the 12th of January 
last, mentioned on the other side, 
should have been £7 8s., each sum 
to make four guineas each quarter; 

the difference paid. . 4 

1770, April 10. To cash paid Mr. Boardman to pay 

his expenses to Philadelphia 14 



THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 203 

1770, Nov. 22. To cash paid Mr. Bowden to take Mr. 

Boardman and bring Mr. Pilmoor 

from P. Town £A 

" " " To cash paid Mr. Boardman for % 

clothing 7 10 

1771, May 16. To cash paid Mr. Boardman's charges 

to Philadelphia. ... 260 
" June 10. To cash H. N. paid for Mr. Board- 
man's trunk . . . 13 

" " " To cash paid the barber, 20s. ; do. for 

letters, 7s "1 7 

" " ' s To Mr. Boardman's quarter. ... 780 

" Aug. 17. To cash paid for freight of Mr. 

Boardman's trunk oil 4 

" Nov. 13. To cash Mr. Boardman advanced 36s. 116 
" To cash paid Mr. Boardman's quarter 7 8 

1772, May 14. To cash paid Mr. Eichard Board- 

man's passage to Khode Island... l 9 o 
" " 22. Cash paid for Mr. Eichard Board- 
man's trunk, 10s. Sd. ; and for Mr. 

Wright's, 8s. . . 18 8 

" Nov. 24. To cash paid Mr. Boardman, £10, 
that was borrowed from Philip 
Ebert, which is now paid by 
order of Philip. ... j 

1773, January. To cash paid Mr. Boardman's quarter 7 8 

This is the last entry, in the " old book " where Mr. 
Boardman is mentioned. 

There is a volume of information in these money 
items. First. They clothed the preacher, or gave him 
money with which to buy clothes. *They gave him a 
hat./ In September they had given Eobert Williams 
one, and it would not do to be partial; Mr. Board- 



204 THE REV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 

man must fare as well as Mr. Williams. It was the 
same kind of a hat, made by the same man, (Mr. 
Jarvis,) and cost the same price to a penny. The 
price of transportation was very high. For carrying 
Mr. Boardman's trunk from Philadelphia to New- 
York they charged one pound four shillings. We 
should consider it an enormous price at this time. 
Then the stage went from New- York to Philadelphia 
once a fortnight. In that day there were no steam- 
boats, railroads, or expresses. Postage must have been 
high. They paid for a letter from Philadelphia to 
New- York one shilling and eightpence. This appears 
strange to us who live in the days of cheap postage. 

We see at what time Mr. Boardman made his tour 
to the East, and at what period Methodism was 
first introduced into New-England. In the spring 
of 1772, in May, Mr. Boardman went to Providence 
and to Boston. He introduced Methodism there one 
year before the first conference met in America, and 
eleven years before Jesse Lee, styled the apostle of 
Methodism in New-England, entered the traveling 
connection. 

Again : we learn that Richard Boardman was 
preaching in New- York at difierent times nearly five 
years. In 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773. This 
we should not have known had it not been for the 
recovery of this lost volume. I presume that few 
were aware that he devoted so much time to the city 
of New- York. 



THE EEV. BICHAED BOAEDMAN. 205 

There are twenty-four items concerning money 
paid to Mr. Boardman, and these give instruction 
concerning the times and the men. We learn what 
salary he received, how he obtained his clothes, 
how they boarded him, how the itinerancy was kept 
up, the frequent change of ministers, and other 
historical facts when Methodism was in its child- 
hood. 

Mr. Boardman was usefuL before he came to 
America. A young woman went to hear the mis- 
sionary who was going to the ISTew World preach. 
His text was the prayer of Jabez : " O that thou 
wouldst enlarge my coast," etc. The young woman 
was awakened under his impressive sermon. Ten 
years after she became a mother, and remembered 
her vow, and called her first-born " Jabez." The 
mother, with Boardman, are in paradise, but her son 
lives, the world-renowned Jabez Bunting, the colos- 
sus of 'Wesley an Methodism. 

Mr. Boardman had many seals to his ministry in 
America, as well as in his own country. Among the 
number was John- Mann, one of the first missionaries 
who, with the heroic Garrettson and William Black, 
sowed the first Gospel seed in Novia Scotia, which 
has produced there a glorious harvest. There can 
be no doubt but when the chief Shepherd shall 
appear, Mr. Boardman will receive " a crown of 
glory, that fadeth not away;" and that he will be 
found among those who, having been " wise," and 



206 THE KEV. RICHARD BOARDMAN. 

'' turned many to righteousness," shall " shine as the 
brightness of the firmament and as the stars forever 
and ever.'' 

During Mr. Boardman's stay here his ministry was 
blessed to hundreds ; but the Revolutionary war 
breaking nut, circumstances made it necessary for 
him to sail for England, and he never returned. In 
both hemispheres he was useful, and left behind him 
the fragrance of a good name. 

Mr. Boardman died suddenly at Cork. The Sab- 
bath before his death he preached from, "Though he 
slay me, yet will I trust in him." lie was buried at 
Cock. There is a plain tombstone over his dust, 
with the following inscription : 

"RICHARD BOARDMAN 



DEPARTED THIS LIFE OCTOBER 4, 1782, 
^TATIS 4A. 

" Beneath this stone the dust of Boardman lies, 
His precious soul has soar'd above the skies ; 
With eloquence Divine he preach'd the word 
To multitudes, and turn'd them to the Lord. 
His bright examples strengthen'd what he taught, 
And devils trembled when for Christ he fought ; 
With truly Christian zeal he nations fired, 
And all who knew him mourn 'd when he expired." 



THE REV- JOSEPH PILMOOK. 207 



CHAPTER XXII. 

THE REV JOSEPH PILMOOR. 

Letter to Mr. Wesley — Letter to the Conference — Preaches in Phila- 
delphia — ■ Wh ere the first Meetings were held — Inn — Rigging Loft — 
First Methodist Church in Philadelphia — Mr. Pilmoor in New- 
York — Sale of Books — John-street Trustees' Accounts with Mr. Pil- 
moor — Quarterage, Traveling Expenses, Freight — Postage — Barber 
— Medicine — Travels — Usefulness — Returns to England — Revisits 
America — Leaves the Methodists — Joins the Protestant Episcopali- 
ans — Petition for Mr. Pilmoor to be Assistant at Trinity — Commit- 
tee Appointed — Never Report — Cold Shoulder turned to Mr. Pil- 
moor — Dr. Berrian's Account — Organization of Christ's Church — 
Pilmoor Pastor — Resolutions against — Schismatics — Pilmoor and 
Asbury — Personal Appearance —Pilmoor and the New- York Con- 
ference. 

The following letter, which. Mr. Pilmoor wrote to the 
venerated "Wesley, did honor to his head and heart, 
and also explains the condition of things as the 
missionaries found them on their arrival in America : 

"Philadelphia, Oct. 31, 1769. 
" Reverend Sir, — By the blessing of God we are 
safe arrived here, after a tedious passage of nine 
weeks. We were not a little surprised to find 
Captain Webb in town, and a society of about one 
hundred members, who desire to be in close connec- 



20,8 THE REV. JOBEPII PJLMOOR. 

tion with you. Tin's is the Lord's doing, and it is 
marvelous in our eyes. 

"I have preached several times, and the people 
flock to hear in multitudes. Sunday night I went 
out upon the common. I had the stage appointed 
for the horse-race for my pulpit, and I think between 
four and five thousand hearers, who heard with 
attention still as night. Blessed be God for field- 
preaching ! "When I began to talk of preaching at 
five o'clock in the morning, the people thought it 
would not answer in America : however, I resolved 
to try, and had a very good congregation. 

" Here seems to be a great and effectual door 
opening in this country, and I hope many souls will 
be gathered in. The people, in general, like to hear 
the word, and seem to have some ideas of salvation 
by grace. They seem to set light to opinions ;' that 
which is the most prevalent is, 'universal salvation !' 
And if this be true, then, perhaps, (as Count Zinzen- 
dorf observed,) we may ' see the devil falling before 
the Saviour and kissing his feet?' I have been to 
visit Mr. Stringer, who is very well. He bears a 
noble testimony to our blessed Jesus, and I hope 
God does bless him. 

"When I parted with you at Leeds, I found it 
very hard work. I have reason to bless God that ever 
I saw your face. And though I am well-nigh four 
thousand miles from you, I have inward fellowship 
with your spirit. Even while I am writing, my 



THE EEV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 209 

heart flows with love to you and all our dear friends 
at- home. In a little time we shall all meet in our 
Father's kingdom, 

' Where all the storms of life are o'er, 
And pain and parting are no more.' 

"This, Kev. and dear sir, is, and shall be, the 
earnest prayer of your unworthy son in the Gospel, 

" J. Pilmooe." 

Mr. Pilmoor wrote another beautiful letter from 
New- York to Mr. "Wesley and the Conference. I 
have only space for a short extract from it : 

" Kew-Yokk, May 5th, 1770. 

" Deak Beloved Brethren, — It was a great trial 
to us to leave our native land; more especially 
to leave our fellow-laborers in the Gospel, who were 
more dear to us than all the beauties of the British 
isle ! Dear brethren, I feel you present while I 
write! But O, the Atlantic is between! O, this 
state of trial, this state of mutability ! But where 
am I wandering? This is not our home. This is 
not our rest. After a little while we shall rest 
' where angels gather immortality, and momentary 
ages are no more.' 

" Our coming to America has not been in vain. 
The Lord has been pleased to bless our feeble at- 
tempts to advance his kingdom in the world. Many 

have believed the report, and unto some the arm of 

10* 



210 THE REV. JOSEPH PLLMOOB. 

the Lord has been revealed. There begins to be a 
shaking among the dry bones; and they come to- 
gether that God may breathe upon them. Our con- 
gregations are large, and we have the pious of most 
congregations to hear us, which makes the bigots 
mad. But we are fully determined not to retaliate. 
They shall contend for that which God never re- 
vealed; and we will contend for the faith once 
delivered to the saints. The religion of Jesus is a 
favorite topic in New- York. Many of the gay and 
polite speak much about grace and perseverance. 
But whether they would follow Christ ' in sheep skins 
and goat skins,' is a question I cannot affirm. Never- 
theless, there are some who are alive to God. Even 
some of the poor, despised children of Ham are 
striving to wash their robes, and make them white 
in the blood of the Lamb. "We have a number of 
black women, who meet together every week, many 
of whom are happy in the love of God. This evinces 
the truth of the apostle's assertion, that 'God is no 
respecter of persons ; but in every nation, he that 
feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted 
of him.' The society here consists of about a hundred 
members, besides probationers, and I trust it will 
soon increase much more abundantly. 

" Brother Boardman and I arc chiefly confined to 
the cities, and therefore cannot, at present, go much 
into the country, as we have more work upon our 
hands than we are able to perform." 



THE REV. JOSEPH PILMOOE. 211 

Mr. Pilmoor's letters best explain the state of 
things as they were then, the numbers in society, etc. 
We almost wonder that one who expressed such 
affection for Mr. "Wesley, " that blessed God that he 
ever saw his face," who " felt an inward fellowship 
with his spirit," whose " heart overflowed with love 
to him," who styled himself " a son in the Gospel," 
who expressed such love for his " fellow-laborers in 
the Gospel," and declares them " more dear to him 
than all the beauties of the British isle," and con- 
cludes by saying "dear beloved brethren, yours in- 
violably," that is, sacredly, by covenant vow, or prom- 
ise not to be broken, as an inviolable league; that 
such a man should leave his father, and forsake his 
brethren, and forget his solemn pledges voluntarily 
made, and identify himself with another Church, is 
certainly very singular. Alas ! poor human nature. 

Mr. Pilmoor, it is said, was not pleased with Mr. 
"Wesley for leaving his name out of the " legal hun- 
dred," therefore he withdrew. Lawrence Sterne says: 
" Man is a compound, composed of riddles and con- 
tradictions." I once heard a man who was preaching 
at a camp-meeting say, as he walked the stand, " By 
the help of God I'll never locate ;" he repeated it 
still more emphatically. A few months after he lo- 
cated, and went to practicing medicine. Whether he 
located by " the help of God," may be a question. 
He might have had help from another quarter. 

Mr. Pilmoor is often named in the "old book," 



-12 THE REV. .JOSEPH PILMOOR. 

and we have in it his autograph. He preached, four 
months in Philadelphia, and then Mr. Boardman and 
he exchanged. Mr. Pilmoor preached his first ser- 
mon from the Stato House steps in Chestnut-street. 
The first meetings of the society were held in an inn, 
and then in a rigging loft. The first building owned 
by the Methodists in Philadelphia was the St. George's 
Church. They purchased it in an unfinished state, 
the building having previously been occupied by the 
British cavalry as a riding school. 

The first money entries where Mr. Pilmoor was 
concerned, are the following : 

1770, March 31. To cash for books sold, brought from 

England, seven half Jos. at Gis. each £22 8 
" April 24. To freight of Mr. Pilmoor's boxes 

and paper ... 16 

" July 17. To cash per one quarter to Mr. Pilmoor 7 8 
" " " To cash for expenses to Philadelphia . 14 
" " " To cash for a letter for Mr. Pilmoor 10 
" " " To cash paid Mr. Mallory for shaving 

preachers . . . ..256 

" Sept. 8. To two letters, one for Mr. Pilmoor 

and the other for Mr. Williams ... 048 

1771, Feb. 18. To cash paid Mr. Pilmoor, £7 8«.; 

traveling exponses, £1 10«. 8 18 

" May 16. To cash for castor oil for Mr. Pilmoor 3 

Thus we see the trustees and stewards paid Mr. 
Pilmoor's "freight," " traveling expenses," "postage," 
"shaving," quarterage, etc. We are informed who 
his barber was, Mr. Mallory. The bill for shaving 



THE REV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 213 

was very high, and it is surprising that the board 
of official men who wonld permit their preachers 
to -have only one quire of paper a quarter, should 
pay such a bill for shaving the preachers. Razors or 
soap must have been scarce in those days. I should 
have supposed they would have tried to persuade 
the preachers to shave themselves. Habit is every- 
thing. The trustees were very kind thus to foot the 
bill. I know of no Church, even in this age of liber- 
ality, who pay for barbering their preachers, though 
I believe some of them would be glad to do it if they 
could only get the superabundance of hair from 
the face of their ministers. 

They paid the minister's doctor's bill and for his 
medicines, even for a dose of castor oil for Mr. 
Pilmoor. The Church has retrograded a little since 
that time ; now, if the ministers are sick, and have a 
doctor and medicine, it must be at their own expense. 

He was very useful in New- York, Philadelphia, 
Norfolk, Virginia, and in North Carolina. He re- 
turned to England with Mr. Boardman in 1774, and, 
for some reason, when he came back to this country 
joined the Protestant Episcopal Church. Doctor 
Berrian, whose mother was a good old Methodist 
belonging to John-street, in his History of Trinity 
Church gives us the following: "About this time 
(1802) a petition was presented by William Post, and 
one hundred and seventy-two other persons, mem- 
bers of the Church, praying that the Rev. Joseph 



214 THE REV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 

Pilmoor might be called as an Assistant MvnnMer^ 
and a Sunday-evening lecture established. A special 
committee was appointed to consider the propriety 
of calling another Assistant Minister, and the means 
of supporting him. Mr. Pilmoor had been a follower 
of Mr. Wesley, and for several years an itinerant 
preacher among the Methodists. From his enthusi- 
astic temperament, and the peculiar strain of his 
discourses, he was probably not acceptable to the 
more judicious and sober-minded members of the 
parish, for the committee made no formal report on 
the subject, and the vestry very shortly after pro- 
ceeded to the appointment of the Eev. John Bisset. 
The friends and admirers of Mr. Pilmoor, unwilling to 
submit to the disappointment, in a spirit of froward- 
ness and discontent, broke off from the parish, and 
set up a distinct Church, with their favorite at its 
head." The vestry, by the following resolutions, 
seem to have regarded the course of these persons 
as willful and unchristian, and the act itself as 
almost schismatical : 

"Resolved, That the late separation which has 
been made from the congregation of Trinity Church 
appears to be unjustifiable, has a tendency to create 
discord and confusion, and ought to be discounte- 
nanced : therefore, 

"Resolved also, That the admission of delegates 
from the persons who have so separated, in the Con- 
vention of the state, or the acknowledgment of them 



THE REV- JOSEPH PILMOOR. 215 

as a distinct Church by that body, would, in the 
opinion of this Board, be highly improper and ought 
to be opposed." 

Query : Was not this the origin of High and Low 
Church among the Episcopalians in this country ? 

This is a part of PilmOor's history which is 
new to me, and I presume to my readers. I 
always supposed the Protestant Episcopal Church 
received him with open arms. I had no idea he was 
dandled on the cold hand of indifference, treated 
as a stranger and foreigner, instead of a "brother 
beloved." After a while, if not at first, runaways 
and turncoats receive the cold shoulder. The truth 
is, there are those who love the treason, but hate 
the traitor. We learn why Mr. Pilmoor was not 
popular with " the more judicious and sober-minded 
of the parish." 

First. He had been a " follower of Mr. Wesley," 
and " an itinerant preacher among the Methodists." 

Second. His temperament was too " enthusiastic." 

Tkvrd. The peculiar strain of his discourses ren- 
dered him "unacceptable." 

The doctor does not tell us what kind of a strain, 
only it was " peculiar." Whether he strained pecu- 
liarly loud, or peculiarly long, or whether he strained 
peculiarly pathetic, we cannot tell. We suspect 
there was too much warmth, zeal, ardor, enthusiasm 
to please those who would have a minister, in preach- 
ing, as cool as a December night. 



216 THE REV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 

Fourth. One hundred and seventy-three persons, 
members of Trinity Church, petition that Mr. Pil- 
moor might become Assistant Minister. This was 
referred to a committee. But that committee made 
no formal report, and soon after the vestry em- 
ployed another Assistant Minister. 

Dr. Berrian tells us, "Mr. Pilmoor's friends and 
admirers, in a spirit of frowardness and discontent, 
set up a distinct Church, with their favorite at their 
head." He speaks of them as "willful persons," and 
says the vestry regarded their course as " unchrist- 
ian in its temper," and the " act almost schismat- 
ical ;" not quite, almost. 

The honest truth is, those petitioners were treated 
with supreme contempt. They were not a contempt- 
ible few. " One hundred and seventy-three members 
of the Church." What did they do ? They sent in 
an humble petition to the vestry. What was done 
with it ? Referred to a committee. What then ? The 
committee never reported. Why did they not re- 
port ? Echo inquires, Why ? 

Yery soon another minister was appointed. Was 
not all this calculated to grieve and irritate these 
men ? Their rights were trampled on, their petition 
treated with contempt, and they redressed them in the 
best possible manner. These " schismatics !" these 
" willful persons !" these exhibiting "unchristian tem- 
pers!" because they had intelligence enough to know 
their rights, and courage enough to maintain them. 



THE REV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 217 

.When the Protestant Episcopal Church in Ann- 
street was formed, Mr. Pilmoor became their pastor, 
and was highly beloved and very useful. He then 
went to Philadelphia, and was rector of a Protestant 
Episcopal Church, and was highly respected, and 
came down to his grave full of years and full of 
honors. 

Mr. Pilmoor was succeeded in Ann-street by the 
Eev. Thomas Lyell, who also left the Methodists. 

« 

Mr. Asbury, in his Journal, frequently mentions 
Mr. Pilmoor. The last time it is dated Wilmington, 
Delaware, April 3, 1814: "Joseph Pilmoor is yet 
alive, and preaches three times every Sabbath." 

Mr. Pilmoor is described by an aged member of 
our Church, who often heard him preach, as a tall, 
venerable-looking man, with beautiful white locks, 
resembling very much in appearance the late Dr. 
Milnor, formerly pastor of St. George's Church in 
this city, except that Mr. Pilmoor was much taller 
than the doctor. 

Mr.' Pilmoor retained his love for Methodism and 
Methodist preachers. Dr. Bangs informed me, that 
at the first conference he attended, which was in old 
John-street, in 1804, a tall, fine-looking, dignified old 
gentleman came into the house and walked to the 
altar, where Bishop Asbury was sitting. The 
bishop arose, and shook him by the hand, and 
then introduced him to the conference, saying: 
"This is Brother Pilmoor, who used to preach in 



218 THE KEV. JOSEPH PILMOOR. 

this pulpit under the direction of Mr. John "Wes- 
ley." Mr. Pilmoor seemed a little embarrassed, 
and bowed respectfully, and then paid his annual 
subscription to the preachers' fund, and soon after 
retired. 



THE FIEST METHODIST PAESONAGE. 219 



CHAPTEE XXHI. 

THE FIEST METHODIST PAESONAGE EST AMEEIOA. 

The Building invested with peculiar Interest— Its old Dutch Style — 
Its Dimensions — Good Summer House — How furnished, and by 
whom — Furniture bought — Furniture borrowed — Furniture given 
— The early Women of Methodism — Parsonages generally furnished 
by Ladies — The old Parsonage a Home for distinguished Men — 
Thrilling Scenes have transpired there— The first Methodist Libra- 
ries were kept in the old Building — The first Housekeepers — 
The Ministers' and the People's Library — The early Methodists 
gave Attention to Reading — Fragments of the old Library — The 
old Parsonage — Has bowed under the Hand of Time — Those who 
furnished it, and inhabited it, aa well as the Furniture, all have 
passed away. 

This was a building in the antique style of the 
Dutch, Which stood partly in front of the chapel. 
They did not' dignify it with the name of Parsonage, 
for parsons were scarce, but "The Preacher's 
House." As this - was, the first house of the kind 
occupied in America by Methodist preachers, 
we will be a little particular in describing it, and 
show how it was furnished. It was a little old 
building that stood upon orTe of the lots the trus- 
tees purchased from Mr. Forbes. David Morris, 
who did much of the carpenter's work to the 



220 T1IK J'IKST METHODIST 

preaching-house, repaired this house. This record 
in the "old book" is found on page eleven: 
" April 28, 1770, To cash paid David Morris, on ac- 
count of work done to the preaching-house and 
dwelling-house, £25." 

The house was rough in its exterior and interior ; 
and a very gloomy place, with very few windows, 
and as cold as a barn in winter. It was a better 
" summer house" than winter. They were not trou- 
bled for want of ventilation. It was connected with 
the chapel by a pair of stairs in the rear. 

The reader will be pleased to have a front view of 
the old house for the preachers. Heretofore we have 
had only a side view. I have taken much pains to 
have it correct. I have consulted J. B. Smith, who 
drew the former, on the spot, and Mary Snethen, who 
resided two years in the old building with her brother, 
Nicholas Snethen, who was so eloquent, that Bishop 
Asbury used to call him " his silver trumpet," and 
also a number of the old fathers and mothers who 
lived in the days of yore, who have a distinct recol- 
lection of the old house, and they tell me it is a cor- 
rect representation. There is a person standing on 
the stoop, buying milk from one who has brought it 
in pails hanging from a yoke on his shoulders. This 
reminds us of the early custom in New- York, when 
it was carried in the manner represented, the bearer 
crying, " Milk, ho !" 

On the " old book " there is a record most singular : 



PARSONAGE IN AMERICA. 221' 

it is the account of the furnishing of the parsonage, 
in which we have every particular, the name of 
the donor, and a designation of the thing given. 
A few things were purchased ; the list of these pre- 
cedes the donations: 

" An account of Household Furniture belonging to the JffouseX 
allotted for the Methodist Preachers to live in in New- 
York." 

Ftjenituee Bought. 

July 26, 1770. One Bedstead and Sofa ... £2 

June 12. Feather Bed, Bolster, and Pillow, weight 

67 pounds at 2s. 4d . . 7 16 4 

" " Small Furniture. .. ... 15 

" " 11 yards of Sheeting for a pair of new Sheets. 16 7 
July 15, 1770. To a pair of Sheets bought by Mrs. 

White and Mrs. Southwell 10 

Nov. 22, 1770. To a pair of blankets for preacher's 

house . 180 

" " To Cash paid Mrs. Southwell for Sauce Pan. 7 
" 26. To cash for plates, 7s. 6d., Nap-cloth and 

.tape 5s. 6d. . 13 

FUBNITUKE BOEEOWED FOE THE PeEAOHEe's HOUSE, AND FEOM 

WHOM. 

Four Chairs and one Fight Chair, five Pictures. Mrs. Taylor. 

3 Tables, Pair of Andirons, Shaving-dish ditto. 

and two Iron Pots, from . . ditto. 

A set of Bed Curtains and a small Looking-glass. Mrs. Trigler. 

Two Blankets . . Mr. Newton, 

One Green Window Curtain ,. Mrs. Jarvis. 

One ditto.... Mrs. Benninger, 

Four Tea-Spoons . . Mrs. Sause. 



222 THE FIKST METHODIST 

Furniture given, and by whom. 

A Gridiron and pair of bellows Mrs. Sennet. 

Six china cups and saucers • • Mrs. Earnest. 

6 china soup-plates, pr. salt c, bread-basket, j A |^ d f ne to 

Tea-chest and canisters .... Mrs. Leadbetter. 

Washhand basin and Bottle, Oham'-pot and 

Sauce-boat.. •■ •• Mrs. Newton* 

\ Doz. cream-colored plates, and a dish . Mrs. Jarvis. 

1 Dish, 3 wine-glasses, pr. Cruets, Table- 
cloth and towel . Mrs. Moon. 

3 burnt china plates, 2 do. Cups, 4 silver tea- 
spoons, and one picture. . .. Mrs. Harrison. 

6 Knives and forks . . Mrs. Sause. 

1 Copper tea-kettle ... . . Mrs. Char. "White. 

2 Table-cloths . ... Mrs. Crosfield. 

1 Bed-quilt . . Lupton. 

3 table-cloths and two towels, and two pil- 
low-cases . Mrs. J. Crook. 

1 Windsor chair and cushion . . . Mrs. Heckey. 

3 piotures . . . . . Mr. Newton. 

1 bed sprey . . . . Mrs. Ten Eyck. 

Bed Rug.. .. .. .... 

K nif eBox. . . . Win. Deane. 

The early Methodists in New- York set a good 
example in furnishing their preacher's house, which 
it would be well for others to imitate. 

Humble was the place and humble the furniture. 

A few articles they bought, some were given, and 
others lent by those who did not feel able to give 

* This must have been the mother or sister of "Harry 
Newton," as he was an old bachelor. 



PARSONAGE IN AMEEICA. 223 

them. Seventeen persons gave, and six lent articles 
of furniture for the preacher's house. They were 
mostly women. The women* have generally fur- 
nished the Methodist parsonages where the preachers 
and their families are made so comfortable. Paul 
makes honorable mention of the Phebes and Pris- 
cillas, " and the honorable women not a few," and 
says : " Help those women who labored with me in 
the Gospel, whose names are in the Book of Life." 
From that time devout women have been ever ready 
to do good, and the women of Methodism have not 
been a whit behind others in this respect. The de- 
vout Hannahs and holy Elizabeths, the humble 
Marys and active Marthas, ought ever to be held 
in grateful remembrance. 

I think I see the women of 1770 assembling 
in the first parsonage, and they inquire, "How car; 
we furnish this house ?" One says, " I can furnish 
this thing for it;" another says, "lean give that 
toward it." Another can lend an article, not feeling 
able to give it. The day is appointed for collecting 
the things together. I see Mrs. Sennet, with her 
"gridiron" and " pa"ir of bellows," wending her 
way to the parsonage. There goes Mrs. Earnest with 
her "six cups and saucers," determined the preachers 
should have a good cup of tea with which to re- 
fresh themselves after their pulpit sweat. Mrs Lead- 
better sends her "tea-chest and canisters," knowing 
* See. Heroines of Methodism, by the Rev. George Coles. 



224 THE FIRST .METHODIST 

that cups and saucers, no matter how beautiful, 
amount to but little without the tea, and it being 
first well drawn out of the canister. Mrs. Charles 
White sends a "copper tea-kettle," knowing can- 
nister and cups and saucers can accomplish but 
little without that indispensable thing toward house- 
keeping, namely, a tectrkettle. There goes Mrs. 
Sause with her "six knives and forks," which she 
gave most cheerfully, and "four tea-spoons," which 
she was willing to "lend," though she felt unable 
to give them. 

Mrs. Jarvis, wife of James, one of the trustees, 
gave "half a dozen cream-colored plates, and a dish." 
The very color of the plates is transmitted to us. 
Mrs. Harrison helps furnish the table by giving 
" three lurnt china plates, two china cups, and four 
silver tea-spoons." The excellent Mrs. Crosfield, 
of precious memory, furnishes " two table-cloths." 

Mrs. Newton makes provision for the preacher's 
washing and shaving, and therefore sent a "wash- 
hand basin," etc. Mrs. Crook gave "two towels," 
as well as two "pillow-cases and "three table-cloths." 
Mrs. Lupton, in order that they might sleep well, 
gave a "bed-quilt," and Mrs. Ten Eyck a "bed 
sprey ;" Mrs. Newton, " two blankets ;" Mrs. Trigler 
lent a "set of curtains" for the bed. 

Chairs were also necessary. Mrs. Ileckey gave 
" one "Windsor chair and cushion." This was the only 
chair belonging to the preacher's house, but. Mrs. 



PAKSONAGE EST AMERICA. 225 

Taylor kindly lent four chairs and one "night chair." 
This made six chairs in all. There were two "win- 
dow curtains," (their color was " green,") one lent 
by Mrs. Jarvis, and the other by Mrs. Benninger. 
One was for the window fronting the street, and 
the other the window toward the churchyard. That 
the preachers might behold their natural face in a 
mirror, Mrs. Trigler supplied them with a " small 
looking-glass;" and Mrs. Moon, in order that the 
preachers might take " a little wine for their stom- 
ach's sake, and their often infirmities," gave three 
" wine-glasses." 

They went in for the " ornamental " as well as the 
" useful," and therefore one furnished a " red rug." 
Nothing said about carpets ; they were not very fash- 
ionable in those days. "Three pictures" were sup- 
plied by Mr. Newton. Mrs. Harrison gave one, 
and Mrs. Taylor lent five, so that there were nine 
pictures with which to adorn the walls of the 
first house fitted up for the accommodation of 
Methodist preachers in America. 

I have been thus particular, as this was the first 
parsonage, to show how it was furnished, and by 
whom. It is singular that we have every particular 
to a "tea-spoon," "window curtain," and "wash-dish." 

Many houses in which Methodist preachers have 

lived have not been as well furnished, and many 

have not been furnished at all ; and in many instances 

preachers have moved a long distance to a circuit, 

11 



226 THE FJJtST METHODIST 

and when they arrived there was no house provided. 
This is cold as Greenland, frigid as the north pole. 
In the early days of Methodism this could not be 
avoided, as they were breaking new ground ; but in 
these latter days it is inexcusable. But I rejoice to 
say that now we have many parsonages, especially in 
cities, that are furnished most neatly and amply with 
everything to make the preachers' families com- 
fortable. Every preacher's house should be sup- 
plied at least with heavy furniture. But my business 
is not to deliver a homily on furnishing parsonages, 
but simply to show how the old John-street preach- 
er's house was first furnished. 

This humble parsonage was the home of many. a 
weary itinerant. There Boardman and Pilmoor 
found a resting-place. The first preachers boarded 
with one of the trustees, Richard Sause, for a while, 
and therefore we find in the " old book " such en- 
tries as the following : 

1770, Feb. 10. To cash paid Mr. Sause for boarding and 

lodging for Mr. Boardman .. ..£12 

" April 24. To cash paid Mr. Richard Sause for 

preacher's board . . .. £12 

A few weeks later we find a different record : 

1770, June 12. To cash laid out by Mr. Newton and 
Mrs. Benninger for the preachers' 
housekeeping.... .... 5 13 5 

" Sept. 20. To cash paid for preachers' house- 
keeping. . . . 8 15 1 



PARSONAGE IN AMEEIOA. 227 

The early preachers were all single men, and they 
were furnished with a "housekeeper," one who. 
would keep everything in order. "Molly "Will- 
iams,"- wife of Peter the sexton, kept the house for 
many years. Molly's name often appears on the 
"old book;" a person by the name of "Margaret," 
and another by the name of "Rachel," kept the 
house before Molly. They no doubt were ladies of 
color, as in those days they were numerous ; many 
belonged to the society, and it was the custom to 
call them by their first name. 

In this house Rankin and Shadford tarried. Asbu- 
ry often rested his weary head, and the holy What- 
coat often prayed here. Dickins here lived for years, 
and often wrestled with the "angel of the covenant." 
Willis and Tunnell, of precious memory, also dwelt in 
this old tabernacle. So did "Wilson Lee and "Wool- 
man Hickson. It was the abiding place of Thomas 
Morrell for years. Dr. .Coke, who has the ocean for 
his sepulcher, in that house delighted to dwell, and 
there he planned his missionary work. Time would 
fail to tell of a Wells, a Sargent, a Roberts, a 
M'Kendree, a George, a Snethen, and many more 
pure spirits who used to find a home there. Some 
of them dwelt there for years, and others tarried 
occasionally, like a wayfaring man for a night, and 
then were gone in the morning. What scenes have 
transpired in that old parsonage I What prayer- 
meetings ! What class-meetings ! What plans for 



228 THE FJUST METHODIST 

extensive usefulness! What communion of saints! 
What mingling of kindred spirits ! What penitents 
have there been pointed to the cross, and found re- 
demption in the blood of the Lamb ! What triumph- 
ant deaths have there transpired ! Many in that old 
building united with the Church. Thomas Truslow 
received his probationer's ticket there, over fifty 
years ago, from Nicholas Snethen. Mrs. Mary Mason 
received hers in that house from Truman Bishop. 
The late Eev. Elijah Crawford was born in that old 
parsonage. Years after, he was the pastor of John- 
street Church, greatly beloved in life, and deeply 
lamented in death. He died in Hartford, August 30, 
1848, aged thirty-six years. There is a beautiful 
tablet in John-street Church, erected to his memory. 
The old parsonage has bowed under the hand of 
time, and is numbered among the things that were, 
and the old furniture is scattered and gone. Those 
who furnished the building, and most if not all that 
inhabited it, are now dwelling in their Father's house, 
where there are many mansions. 

LIBRARY. 

The early Methodist preachers, and members also, 
" gave attention to reading." They knew that " for 
the soul to be without knowledge it is not good." 
The infant society had in the old preaching-house 
two libraries. The first for the preachers, who, in 
traveling around from place to place, could carry but 



PAESONAGE IN AMEEIOA. 229 

few books except their Bible and Hymn Book. 
These were indispensable ; the •" sword of the Spirit," 
and "the songs of Zion." We find snch entries in 
the " old book " as these : 

1770, Jan. 25. To cash paid for Cruden's Concord- 
ance £ 1 17 

" Feb. 17. To Prideaux's Connection, for the use 

of the preachers 15 

The first old library is scattered ; a few of the 
books are in existence, in this city. In the parson- 
age at Forsyth-street is a beautiful copy of Coke's 
Commentary, that originally belonged to this library. 
In front is printed, " Minister's Library, John-street." 
For two years I nsed this book, and it always re- 
minded me of the " fathers " who perused it before 
I was born. 

There was another library for the people, distinct 
from the ministers' This was a kind of " circulating 
library," and consisted of religious biographies, the 
writings of Mr. Wesley, Fletcher, and others. Most 
of the old library is scattered, its readers also. The 
first Methodists in ISTew-York were a reading people. 
They did not believe that " ignorance " was " bliss," 
or " the mother of devotion." These were the first 
Methodist libraries in America. There is a very 
large library in the lecture-room in John-street, and 
among others a number of old books. Some of them 
bear the marks of antiquity, and, I think, belonged to 
the original library. 



230 ASBURY AND WRIGHT. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

FRANCIS ASBITRY AND RICHARD WRIGHT. 

Mr. Wesley's second regular Missionaries — Voyage across the Atlantic— 
Reception in Philadelphia — Asbury's first Visit to New-York — Richard 
Boardman — Asbury's first Sermon in Wesley Chapel — His Description 
of the Americans — Their Readiness to receive the Word — Negroes — 
Asbury's Salary — Scenes in the old Parsonage — Wood — Candles — 
Letters — Postage — Washing — The Housekeeper — Asbury's Love 
of Order early developed — Singular Queries — ■ Answers — Debt on 
the Church — Asbury spreading the Books — First Watch-night — 
Quarterly Collection — New-York described — Richard Wright's 
Name on the " Old Book" — Stationed in Wesley Chapel — Young 
Man — Most of Mr. Wesley's Missionaries young — Why young Men 
were sent — Wright in Virginia — His Baggage — His Quarterage — 
His Poll Tax — In Norfolk — Returns to England — Seven Years in 
the Work — Locates — Contrast between him and Asbury 

The next regular missionaries sent over by Mr. 
Wesley were Francis Asbury and Richard "Wright. 
I find both their names on the " old book." 

Wednesday, Sept. 4, 1771, they sailed from Bris- 
tol, and landed in Philadelphia the 27th of October, 
and were " received like the angels of God." 

Mr. Asbury's Journal will aid us here. He spent 
a little time in Philadelphia, and then proceeded to 
New-York. 

" On Monday, Nov. 12, 1771, I set out for New- 



ASBUEY AND WEIGHT. 231 

York, and found Eichard Boardman there in peace, 
but weak in body. 

"Tuesday, 13. — I preached at New- York, to a large 
congregation, on First Coi m inthians ii, 2 : ' I determ- 
ined, not to know anything among you, save Jesus 
Christ, and him crucified,' with some degree of free- 
dom in my own mind. I approved much of the 
spirit of the people : they were loving and serious ; 
there appeared also among some a love of disci- 
pline. 

" Wednesday, 14. — I preached again in New- York. 
My heart is truly enlarged, and I know the power 
and life of religion are here. 

"Lord's Day, 18. — I feel a regard for the people, 
and I think the Americans are more ready to receive 
the word than the English ; and to see the poor ne- 
groes so affected, is pleasing. To see their sable coun- 
tenances in our solemn assemblies, and to hear them 
sing with cheerful melody their dear Redeemer's 
praise, affected me much, and made me ready to say, 
' Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of 
persons.' " 

All this speaks well for the condition of Wesley 
Chapel when first visited by Mr. Asbury in 1771, his 
first visit to the metropolis of the New World. 

Mr. Asbury's name appears on the "book ".more 
than a hundred times. They paid his salary. The 
first entry is dated 

April 13, 1772. Paid Mr. Asbury his allowance, £5 5s. 6d. 



232 A8BUKY AND WRIGHT. 

The preachers lived in the parsonage at that 
time. There is an entry at the same date, which 
reads thus : 

To house expenses, wood, candles, postage of let- 
ters etc. from Henry Newton's account £10 8s. bd. 

July 16. Cash to cleaning the dwelling-house 
and housekeeping, washing for the preacher, 
e t c £5 3s. 8d. 

Kachel then kept the house for the preacher. She 
was a lady of color ; the first person who kept house 
for the preachers ; and she received seven pounds a 
year. 

Asbury and Kachel, Boardman and Creamer, (the 
sexton,) are all on the same page. 

Mr. Asbury was a great man for order and system, 
and therefore on Saturday, September 6, 1772, he 
met the society, and proposed certain questions to 
them. The queries and their answers are full of in- 
struction. It shows us the character of Francis As- 
bury, which began thus early to develop. It was 
the foreshadowing of that governing power which 
was exhibited by him in after years, and was the 
great cause of his success. 

" I. How often shall there be public preaching ? Agreed, that 
it should be on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, besides 
the Lord's day ; and exhortation on Saturday night. 

"II. "Shall we have morning preaching? This was agreed to. 

" III. Shall we have the society meetings private ? This was 
doubted by some ; but I insisted on it, from our rules and Mr. 
"WesWs last letter. 



ASBUEY AND WRIGHT. 233 

"IV. Shall we make a weekly and quarterly collection f 
Agreed. 

" V. Can any other means be devised to lessen the debt ? The 
debt was £1,100 ; but no means could be found to relieve it. 

" VI. Ought we not to be more strict with disorderly persons? 
Very little was said in answer to this. 

" VII. Shall we have three stewards, for the satisfaction of 
the society ? The majority voted against it. 

" VIII. Are we as frugal as we can be ? It was thought we 
were. - 

" IX. Will the stewards meet me once a week ? Agreed. 

" X. Do we endeavor to avoid all partiality in the things of God ? 

" XI. Can we come at the balance of our accounts now, or 
soon ? It was thought we could. 

" XII. Who shall stand at the door ? Not determined. 

" XIII. Shall we meet the society on Sunday nights ? This 
was opposed by some. But I insisted upon its being the best 
time ; and at last it was agreed to for a season. 

" XIV- Who shall be the collectors ? This was not determ- 
ined, though debated. 

" XV Can the preacher meet the children ? Agreed. 

" XVI. Can we spread the books ? There was but little said 
on this head, and it was left undetermined." 

Such, is the account of one of the early official 
meetings. 

At that time there were two stewards, William 
Xupton and Henry Newton. 

Their indebtedness was very heavy, eleven hun- 
dred pounds. 

They did spread the books. Mr. Asbury sold 
them, as will be seen by this entry, December 1, 
1774: n * 



234 ABBUBY AND WRIGHT. 

"By cash received of Mr. Asbury for books £2 19 6." 

We have an earlier date : September 12, 1772, six 
days after Mr. Asbury mentioned the selling of 
books, is tbe following : 
" By cash received from Mr. Sause for sale of books £7 16 10." 

"We have similar entries. 

Mr. Asbury introduced all the peculiarities of 
Methodism. He held a " watch-night," New Tear's 
eve, January 1, 1772, one of the first of a long series 
of watch-nights that have been held in America. It 
was a time of peculiar solemnity, and the power of 
God was felt by the people. 

Quarterly collections were early introduced. Jan- 
uary 22, 1773, they took up a quarterly collection, 
amounting to thirty pounds, seven shillings, and 
seven pence. 

Mr. Asbury, April 3, 1773, gave this description 
of New-York : " New- York is a large city, and well 
situated for trade ; but the streets and buildings are 
very irregular. The inhabitants are of various de- 
nominations ; but, nevertheless, of a courteous and 
sociable disposition. There are several places of 
Divine worship : the Episcopalians have three ; the 
High Dutch one, the Low Dutch three ; the Luther- 
ans two; the French Protestants two; the Moravians 
one; the Methodists one, and the Jews one. The 
city abounds with inhabitants, but the exact number 
I could not ascertain." Such was Francis Asbnry's 



ASBUEY AND WEIGHT. 235 

description of New-York in 1773. If he could rise 
from the dead and re-visit this city, would he not be 
astonished at the mighty change, physically, morally, 
and ecclesiastically? 

Mr. Asbury is named on the "old book" at different 
times, as late as 1795, near its close. "We shall have 
occasion to mention him hereafter. 

RICHARD WRIGHT. 

Mr. Wright was also stationed in Wesley Chapel. 
During a part of 1772, we find his name very 
frequently on the " old book." 

He was received into the traveling connection in 
England, by Mr. "Wesley, in 1770, and after having 
traveled one year was sent as missionary to America 
with Mr. Asbury in 1771. 

It is a singular fact that most of the early mis-- 
sionaries Mr. Wesley sent to America, were young 
men; instead of sending such men as Christopher 
Hopper or John Pawson, who to weight of talents 
could add weight of years. Perhaps Wesley thought 
" old men for counsel, young men for war." Or as 
the three choirs of -the Spartan band were wont to 

sing: 

The Old Men. 

" We once were young, courageous in battle." 

The Young Men. 

" We are bo now ; if you want us, put us to the proof." 

The Boys. 

" We will in our intrepidity excel you all." 



236 ASBURY AND WRIGHT. 

Mr. Boardman had been but six years in the 
ministry when he came to America, Joseph Pilmoor 
only four, Asbury five, and Richard Wright only one 
year. 

Mr. Wright was employed a part of the time, 
while in the country, in Maryland and Virginia. 
Mr. Asbury in his Journal (vol. i, p. 28) says, 
" April 15, 1772. This night Brother Wright came 
in from Virginia. He gives a flaming account of 
the work there. Many of the people seem to be 
ripe for the Gospel, and ready to receive us." 

The late Rev. P P Sandford, in his " Wesley's 
Missionaries to America," (p. 28,) says : " There is 
some intimation of Mr. Wright's being stationed in 
the city of New-York in the spring of 1772." Mark, 
there was merely an " intimation;" there was no 
.certainty; it was not a matter of history. There 
were no Minutes published then, for there had been 
no regular conference. 

The "old book" settles the question; what was 
a matter of doubt and uncertainty, -is now a matter 
of record. Thanks to the " old book." 

In the " old book," in reference to Mr. Wright, is 
the following: 

First. They paid for his baggage. 

1773, May 14. To cash paid for Mr. Wright's trunk, £0 8 

Secondly. Quarterage is the next item, showing 
that he was not a visitor, but their regular preacher. 



ASBTJRY AND WRIGHT. 237 

1772, July 16. To cash paid Mr. Wright, part of his 

quarterage £1 14 8 

" Sept. 10. To cash paid Mr. Wright, the remainder 

of his quarterage 5 14 

Thirdly. They paid his tax. 
177.3, March 3. To cash paid for Mr. Wright's poll-tax £0 8 8 

This was a pretty good tax. for the parson's head. 
That was probably taxed, as they found he had noth- 
ing else worth taxing. 

At the conference in 1773, Mr. Wright was ap- 
pointed to Norfolk, Yirginia ; and in the early part 
of the year 1774 he returned to England. Two 
years after he located. Mr. "Wright was seven years 
in the work, about half of which time he spent in 
America. 

How different his character, life, and end, from those 
of his illustrious companion with whom he crossed the 
Atlantic Ocean. If Francis Asbury had returned to 
his native land, as Mr. Wright did, his name would 
have been in comparative obscurity; he would not 
have written it all over this country, or so high on 
the pillar of immortality. 

It takes time to. develop the character of men, as 
well as circumstances, to bring out their peculiar 
talents. 



288 RANKIN AND BIIADFORD. 



CHAPTER XXY 

THOMAS RANKIN AND GEORGE SHADFORD. 

Wesley's third regul ar Missionaries to America — Captain Webb and Wife 

— Generosity of — Missionaries' Arrival — Mr. Rankin Superintendent 

— Why Asbury welcomes them — Rankin's first Sermon — Asbury's 
Prediction — First Conference — Rankin stationed in New- York — 
The Itinerancy kept up — Rankin and Boardman — Rankin and the 
Classes — Rankin and the Love-feast — Revival — Shocked at New- 
York Extravagance — Prediction — Honorable Testimony concerning 
Mr. Shadford — Rankin and Asbury — Rankin and John Staples — 
John Jacob Staples, Jun. — Inventor — His Widow — Young Thomas 
Staples — Character of — Sick — A Voyage to Europe — Goes to 
London — Grows worse — Kindly entertained by Mr. Rankin — Kind 
Attention bestowed — Dr. Whitehead — Young Staples experiences 
Religion — Dies triumphant — Touching Letter from Mr. Rankin to 
his Father- — Shows the Character of the Man — George Shadford 
highly honored of God — Great Revival — Moral Miracles — Shad- 
ford and Asbury — Shadford in New- York — Name on the '-Old 
Book" — Has Seals to his Ministry in Wesley Chapel — Letter from 
Mr. Wesley — Characteristic of — Sudden Termination of Mr. Shad- 
ford's Labors in America — War — Returns to England — Super- 
numerary — Cannot be idle — Meets three Classes — His devotional 
Habits — Dr. Bunting — Death of Shadford. 

The Rev. Thomas Rankin and George Shadford came 
to America in 1773. They were the third regular 
missionaries sent by Mr. Wesley. They landed in 
Philadelphia on the third day of June, and im- 
mediately entered on their Master's work. Mr. 



RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 239 

Rankin was appointed by Mr. "Wesley general as- 
sistant, on account of his age, talents, and long 
service. 

Mr. Rankin in his Journal says : "In Bristol I met' 
with Mr. Webb, who had lately come from America. 
When the work in America came before the con- 
ference, Mr. Wesley determined to appoint me super- 
intendent of the whole, and chose my much-es- 
teemed friend and brother, Shadford, to accompany 
me to that continent. I had proved his uprightness, 
piety, and usefulness, in several circuits where he 
had labored with me, and I knew I could depend 
upon him." 

Mr. Rankin gives an account of their voyage. 
Captain Webb not only urged them to come, but 
accompanied them across the Atlantic. Mr. Rankin 
says : " Mr. and Mrs. Webb had taken care to arrange 
all things respecting our provisions." There was a 
whole-heartedness and a princely generosity about 
Captain Webb that I greatly admire. There was not 
a mean hair on his head or a mean bone in his body. 

Mr. Asbury was glad to welcome these missionaries. 
He says in his Journal, Tuesday, June 3, 1773: 
"To my great comfort, arrived Mr. Rankin, Mr. 
Shadford, Captain Webb, and Mr. Y Mr. Rankin 
preached a good sermon on these words: 'I have 
set before thee an open door, and no man can shut 
it.' He will not be admired as a preacher, but as a 
disciplinarian he will fill his place." 



240 RANKIN AND 8HADFOBD. 

Mr. Rankin called a conference, which met 
in Philadelphia, July 16, 1773. This was the first 
conference held in America. At this conference 
Mr. Rankin was stationed in New-York and Mr. 
Shadford in Philadelphia, to change in four months. 

Mr. Rankin says in his Journal, Oct. 4, 1773: 
" I began visiting all the classes previous to my leav- 
ing New-York for a season. Upon the whole I have 
reason to be thankful, and to bless God for what he 
has done for many of their souls. Brother Board- 
man divided the labors of this week with me, which 
was indeed a blessing to the people, as well as my 
poor tired mind and feeble body. Sunday, 10. 
Brother B. preached in the morning and I in the 
evening. I found a measure of liberty, but abund- 
antly more in the love-feast which followed. I would 
fain hope our gracious God is reviving his work in 
the hearts of the people. Indeed, from the testimony 
this evening, I had reason to believe the great Head 
of the Church was better to us than all our fears. I 
find several have of late found peace with God, 
while others are greatly stirred up to seek all the 
mind that was in Christ Jesus. I also gave notes of 
admission to several new members." 

Mr. Rankin was shocked at the extravagance in 
New- York, and says : " I was amazed to see the lux- 
ury and pride that abounded among the inhabitants 
of New- York. I was not long in America before I 
told some of my friends, that if God had any love for 



KAXKIN AND 8HADF0RD. 241 

the people in this country he would punish them 
by some vast affliction, for their great pride and 
luxury." 

Mr. Rankin was absent for a while from New- 
York and then returned. He says: " Sunday, March 
6th, New-York. Preaching in the morning and 
evening. The congregations were large, and the 
presence of the Holy One of Israel was in the midst. 
Surely I shall yet have pleasure in this city to com- 
pensate for all my pain. I went through the duties 
of the ensuing week with pleasure. I observe that 
the labors of my fellow-laborer, Brother Shadford, 
have not been in vain. The spirit of love seems to 
increase among the people. 

" Sunday, May 22d. I found freedom to declare 
the word of the Lord this day, and I trust the seed 
sown will produce some fruit to the glory of God. 
We concluded the evening with a general love- 
feast, in which meeting the Lord's presence was 
powerfully felt by many persons. Many declared^ 
with great freedom of speech, what God had done 
"for their souls. Some of the poor black people 
spoke with power and pungency of the loving-kind- 
ness of the Lord. If the rich in this society were as 
much devoted to God as the poor are, we should see 
wonders done in this city. Holy Jesus, there is 
nothing impossible with thee." 

I have made these extracts because they show the 
state of religion in the Methodist society in John- 



242 RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 

street at that time. It is a part of the history of the 
cradle of Methodism. Mr. Kankin was a Scotch- 
man. He was a kind of iron man, a very rigid dis- 
ciplinarian, so straight, that, like the Indian's tree, he 
leaned the other way. He was more adapted to the 
other side of the ocean than this. Mr. Asbury and 
he did not always see " eye to eye." Notwithstand- 
ing all this he was a good man, and did good service 
in training the infant societies in America to be 
more Methodistical. Mr. Rankin returned to En- 
gland in the month of June, 1778, after an absence 
of five years and two months. 

When Mr. Kankin was in this country he was 
kindly entertained at the house of John Staples, one 
of the trustees we have described. In after years 
Mr. Staples wrote his name John J. Staples, and as 
he had a son by the same name, he was called senior. 

His son, John Jacob Staples, Jim., was a very 
great genius, a great inventor. He obtained his 
first patent from General Washington. Mr, Staples 
had the honor of securing a patent from every presi- 
dent except General Harrison. He embraced re* 
ligion in his old age, and united with the Willet- 
street Methodist Episcopal Church. John Jacob 
Staples, Jnn., was married twice ; from his widow I 
obtained the letter which Mr. Rankin wrote to John 
Staples, Sen. When Mr. Rankin was in this country 
Mrs. Staples was blessed with a son, and in honor of 
their minister he was named Thomas, after Thomas 



RANKEN" AOT> SHADFOKD. 243 

Rankin. They named another son after a minister, 
as will be seen hereafter. 

Years rolled on. Mr. Rankin returned to his 
native land. The infant named after him grew up 
to be a young man. He was wild and reckless, and 
caused his father many hours of sorrow, and often he 
would tell him, as the tears prickled down his cheeks, 
"Thomas, my son, the course you are pursuing will 
bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave." 
The health of Thomas was failing, and it was thought 
best for him to take a sea voyage to Europe. He 
went to London, but his health was not at all restored 
and he found a grave in a foreign land. He died 
at the house of Mr. Rankin. I have the letter Mr. 
Rankin sent to his father, full of sympathy, giving 
all the particulars. It has been preserved in the 
family for over three score years. The letter is 
dated London, Feb. 20, 1795. I regret I have not 
room for a letter that does honor to the head and 
heart of the writer. 

He states every particular : the young man's com- 
ing to his house, his feeble health, Dr. Whitehead, 
the physician attending him, and every care being 
taken of Thomas by Dr. Whitehead, Mr. Sause, Mrs. 
Rankin, and himself. How they cared not only for 
his suffering body, but his soul; how he embraced 
every opportunity to converse and pray with him. 
His honesty in telling Thomas "he was a dying 
young man, and begging him, for God's sake, for 



844 RANKIN AND S1IADFORD. 

Christ's sake, and for his soul's sake, to prepare to 
meet God." He describes Thomas crying mightily 
for mercy, " Christ, have mercy upon me, a poor^in- 
ner ! Thou Prince of Peace, have mercy upon me!'' 
Young Thomas experienced religion and sent word 
to his father : " Tell my father that the son whom he 
said would bring down k;is gray hairs with sorrow to 
the grave, will reach heaven before he does." He 
told them he should die at four o'clock. He would 
exclaim, as the hours rolled slowly along, " Sweet 
four o'clock, when will it arrive ?" When it did, the 
young man beckoned Mr. Rankin and others to his 
bedside, and "then lifted up his dying hands, and 
waved them three times in token of victory and 
triumph." Mr. Rankin then said to his nurse, who 
was a very pious woman : " Now I am fully satisfied 
that he is going to heaven." He wrote to his father : 
" Your son is no more an inhabitant of this vale 
of tears. He is now a glorified spirit amid the 
innumerable company who have washed their 
robes and made them white in the blood of the 
Lamb." 

This letter exceedingly surprised me. It gave me 
such a different idea of Thomas Rankin from what I 
had ever had before. He has been described as an 
iron man, stoical, destitute of feeling. A letter that 
roreathes more of kindness, sweetness, and tenderness 
I never read. His conduct toward that prodigal 
young man shows the kind of heart that beat in his 



RANKIN* AND SHADFOED. 249 

"bosom. His whole conduct toward young Staples 
shows us more of the real character of Thomas 
Rankin than anything I have seen. 

How mysterious that, eighteen years after Mr. 
Rankin returned to his native land, a son of one 
of the early trustees of John-street should wan- 
der to his house sick, experience religion, and 
die there. Mr. Staples showed kindness to Mr. 
Rankin when he was a stranger in a strange land ; 
years after Mr. Rankin returned this kindness in his 
attention to Mr. Staples's dying son. " What meas- 
ure we mete shall be measured to ns again." The 
sickness of young Staples was, no doubt, the means 
of his salvation. It brought the young prodigal 
home to his Father's house. Thomas died Feb. 6th, 
1795. He was buried m London, it is said at 
City Road. 

Mr. Rankin was the intimate friend of Mr. "Wes- 
ley. He had his confidence to the last, and was 
present at his death. Mr. Wesley remembered him 
in his last will and testament. 

Mr. Rankin was very kind to Adam Clarke at 
the very time young Adam needed a friend, and in 
his will Mr. Rankin left him some valuable relics 
that Mr. Wesley had willed to him. 

Mr. Rankin died in London in great peace, in 
1810, having been forty-eight years in the work of 
the ministry. He was buried at City Road, near 
Mr. Wesley. 



246 RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 

Georgk Shadford was also stationed in New-York. 
He entered the traveling ministry in 1768. Mr. 
Shadford was highly honored of God while in this 
country. Most powerful revivals accompanied his 
ministry. His preaching was in the demonstration 
of the Spirit and with power. Moral miracles were 
performed, hell's dark empire shook, and victory 
was proclaimed on the Lord's side. He was a very 
sweet-spirited brother, and the love subsisting be- 
tween Mr. Asbury and himself was like that be- 
tween Jonathan and David. 

In regard to his labors in John-street, his biogra- 
pher says : " Mr. Shadford spent four months in 
New-York with great satisfaction. He went to that 
city with fear and trembling, being much cast down 
with a sense of his unworthiness, and inability to 
preach to the edification of so polished and sensible 
a people. But his God was better to him than 
his boding fears had suggested, and made him the 
instrument of a blessed revival there. During his 
short stay at New-York, fifty members were added 
to the society; several backsliders were restored to 
their first love ; and an earnest desire was excited 
in many believers for all the mind that was in 
Christ."* 

Mr. Shadford's name often appears on the "old 
book." 

* Methodist Magazine, 1816. 



RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 24? 

1774, Feb. 4th. By Cash received from Mr. Shadford 

for two books £ 10 

" Mar. 1st. By Cash received from Mr. Shadford 

for the sale of two books 10 

By this it will be seen that Mr. Shadford engaged 
in selling good books. 

The following characteristic letter was written 
by Mr. Wesley to Mr. Shadford, just before the 
latter embarked for America, 

"Dear Geokge, — The time is arrived for you to 
embark for.America. You must go down to Bristol, 
where you will meet with Thomas Bankin, Captain 
"Webb and his wife. 

"I let you loose, 'George, on the great continent 
of America. Bublish your message in the open face 
of the sun, and do all the good you can. 

" I am, dear George, yours affectionately, 

"John Wesley." 

How familiar- the style of the letter ! how brief 
how comprehensive ! how characteristic ! It is pure- 
ly Wesleyan in its style. The idea of Mr. Wesley 
"letting Mr. Shadford loose on the great continent 
of America," was a perfectly original idea. How^ 
condensed Mr. Wesley's charge to this missionary 
coming to America : " Publish your message in 
the face of the sun, and do all the good you can." 
What a volume in a single sentence. Mr. Shadford 



248 RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 

followed the advice of Mr. Wesley to the very letter. 
He published his message " in the face of the sun," 
open, bold, clear; he published it with success. 
None of Mr. Wesley's missionaries to America were 
-more honored of God, or more useful to man. The 
name he left behind him was fragrant. 

A volume might be written concerning Mr. Shad- 
ford. He had a great harvest of souls in America. 
His labors in this country suddenly terminated 
by the war of Independence. When hostilities 
commenced, Mr. Shadford, with a number of 
Methodist ministers, returned to England. Soon 
after his return he took the relation of su- 
pernumerary. Yet he could not consent to rust 
out. He had the charge of "three classes, two 
of which he met in his own house. Mr. Shad- 
ford was in his habits intensely devotional, walk- 
ing in close communion with God, and enjoying 
in the richest maturity the " perfect love that casteth 
out fear." He was emphatically a "living sacri- 
fice." He was an early riser, beginning the day 
with God. It is said that long before the dawn of 
the morning, persons passing his house to their 
work often have heard him engaged in wrestling 
prayer, or singing the following lines : 

" that I might walk with God I 

Jesus, my companion be ; 
Lead me to thy bright abode, 

Through the fire or through the sea. 



RANKIN AND SHADFORD. 249 

Then I shall no more complain ; 

Never at my lot repine ; 
"Welcome toil, or grief, or pain, 
All is well, if Christ is mine." 

Dr. Jabez Bunting, when stationed in the Maccles- 
fields Circuit, met Mr. Shadford's three classes, and 
out of a hundred members who were present, more 
than ninety were clear in their Christian experience, 
and many of them were living in the enjoyment 
of the perfect love of God. Cloudless was the sky, 
and calm the sea, as his weather-beaten bark was 
wafted in triumph, by the breath of heaven, into its 
desired haven, March 11, 1816. Mr. Shadford de- 
parted this life in Congleton, England, in the 78th 

year of his age. 

12 



250 JAMES DEMPSTER. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

JAMES DEMPSTEK. 

The last of "Wiley's Missionaries to America — Preceded by noble 
Men — Birth-place — Liberal Education — Ten Years in the Work — 
Has the Confidence of Mr. Wesley— "Wesley's Letter to Mr. Bankin — 
"Wesley's Letters to Dempster — Their Style — "Wesley's Simplicity and 
Familiarity — Dempster abandons his Work— Cause unknown— Be- 
comes a Presbyterian Minister — Field of Labor — Twice married — 
A Son a Methodist Minister— Mr. Dempster's Death — Leaves a good 
Name behind him. 

Mk. Dempster was the last of Mr. Wesley's mis- 
sionaries appointed to Wesley Chapel. They had 
been favored with the services of the devout Board- 
man, the enthusiastic Pilmoor, the laborious Asbury, 
the youthful Wright, the straightforward Rankin, 
and the sweet-tempered Shadford. These were no 
ordinary men, but now the last of this noble class 
of men is appointed to labor in New- York. 

Mr. Dempster had been ten years in the work 
in Europe, and valuable services were expected from 
him when ho camo to this country. He was one 
of Mr. Wesley's favorites, and he had the most entire 
confidence in him, as will be scon by his letter*. 
Mr. Dempster was appointed to New-York, on his 
arrival in America, but for some reason unknown 



JAMES DEMPSTEE. 251 

he abandoned his work before the year passed away, 
and ceased to be an itinerant Methodist minister. 

Mr. Dempster was born in Edinburgh. He was 
a Scotchman as well as Mr. Eankin. He was edu- 
cated in the university of his native city. In 1775 
Mr. Wesley sent him as a missionary to this country, 
accompanied by Martin Eodda. Mr. Wesley wrote 
a letter to Thomas Eankin, dated April 21, 1775. 
The following is an extract, showing the high estima- 
tion in which Mr. Dempster was held by him. 

"Deab Tommy, — I am glad there is so good an 
understanding between Jemmy Dempster and you. 
He is an upright man, and, unless I am much mis- 
taken, a friend to the Methodist doctrine and dis- 
cipline, etc. John Wesley." 

The following letters were written by Mr. Wesley 
to Mr. Dempster. They are laconic, written in a 
familiar manner, and contain judicious advice. They 
show Mr. Dempster stood high with the venerable 
founder of Methodism. He addresses him as "Dear 
Jemmy." This was Mr. Wesley's practice with 
his intimate friends. In writing to Thomas Ean- 
kin he calls him "Dear Tommy;" to Mr. Asbury 
he styles him "Dear Frankey;" to Samuel Bardsley 
it is "Dear Sammy." Some think all such famil- 
iarity is rudeness, but Mr. Wesley understood true 
courtesy as well as the best of them. 



252 JAALE8 DKMPBTKK. 

"Uaixin- Koiik, Mat 19, 1776. 
"Deak Jemmy— That one point I earnestly recom- 
mend, both to Brother Rankin and you, and all 
our preachers; by prayer, by exhortation, and by 
every possible means to oppose a party spirit. This 
has always, so far as it prevailed, been the bane 
of all true religion ; more especially when a country 
was in such a situation as America is now. None 
but the God of almighty love can extricate the poor 
people out of the snare. O what need have you 
to besiege his throne with all the power of prayer ! 
I am, dear Jemmy, yours affectionately, 

"John Wesley." 

"Near Leeds, July 28, 1775. 
"Dear Jemmy, — Last month I was at the gates 
of death. But it pleased God just then to rebuke the 
fever, so that my pulse began to beat again, after 
it had totally ceased. Since that time I have been 
gradually recovering strength, and am now nearly 
as well as ever. Let us use the short residue of 
life to the glory of Him that gave it ! I am yours 
affectionately, John Wesley.' 

Mr. Dempster's name is on the Minutes of the 
Conference held May, 1775. In answer to the ques- 
tion, "How are the preachers stationed?" the first 
appointment is: " New- York, James Dempster." 
At that time there were two hundred members in 



JAMES DEMPSTER. 253 

society in New- York. Mr. Dempster's name is 
on the "old book." He and Martin Rodda were 
the last regular ministers Mr. Wesley sent to this 
country. 

He had sent them as the Saviour did his apostles, 
two cmd two. First, Boardman and Pilmoor ; second, 
Asbury and Wright ; third, Eankin and Shadford; 
last, Dempster and Rodda. Had it not been for the 
Revolutionary War he probably would have sent 
others, and come himself; for he had an ardent de- 
sire to do so. Those who were here would have 
remained longer, and cultivated this part of Im- 
manuel's land. 

All Mr. Wesley's missionaries to this coun- 
try were stationed in Wesley Chapel, except Mr. 
Rodda; and all returned to England,* except Mr. 
Asbury and Mr. Dempster. The plan of Mr. Wesley 
was to send missionaries to America every two 
years. But I think the reader is anxious to know 
what became of Mr. Dempster. He connected him- 
self with the Presbyterian Church. He was a very 
useful minister among them, and most highly 
esteemed for his many virtues. He was a single 
man when he came to this country, but he was 
married twice in America. He had no children 
by his first wife, by the second four; one of whom 
is a talented minister of the Methodist Episcopal 

* Some years after Mr. Pilmoor, as we have seen, came back 
to America. 



•J 54 JAMKS I»KMI'STKB. 

Church. Tilings change round in a singular man- 
ner. The father leaves the Methodist Church, 
his descendant returns to it. The one abandons 
her ministry, the other returns to it. Dr. Sand- 
ford informs us, " that Mr. Dempster was for many 
years the pastor of a Presbyterian Church in the 
town of Florida, in Montgomery County, Xew-York, 
where he continued till his death, which occurred in 
May, 1803. His remains were deposited near the. 
place where he had for many years exercised the 
pastoral office, where they now repose ; and where, it 
is said, he still lives in the grateful remembrance of 
the surviving part of his congregation.''" 

Thus we see that two out of the eight missionaries 
Mr. "Wesley sent to America left the Methodists ; 
Pilmoor to be an Episcopalian, Dempster to, be a 
Presbyterian. They both loved the Xew World 
sufficiently to spend their days here. They were 
both pastors of Churches for many years, honored 
and beloved, and both died and were buried in the 
land of their adoption. 

* Wesley's Missions to America. 



DANIEL BUFF. 255 



CHAPTER XXVn. 

DANIEL BUFF 

Successor to Mr. Dempster — First American Preacher appointed to 
Wesley Chapel — Sketch of — Revival — Very Useful — Asbury's de- 
scription of — Freeborn Garrettson awakened — Converted — Preaches 

— Puff encourages him to enter the Ministry — Among the First 
Pioneers in New- Jersey — Stationed in New- York — Difficulties — 
"War — Battles on Long Island — Cruel Death of Major Woodhull 

— British take Possession of the City — Declaration of Independ- 
ence — Disastrous Fire — The Methodist Ministers abandon New- 
York — Six Years without a Preacher from the Conference. 

Mk. Rtjff succeeded Mr. Dempster, and was station- 
ed in .New-York in 1776. He was the first American 
preadher appointed to "Wesley Chapel ; all the others 
had been from the Old World. Mr. Ruff was one of 
the earliest preachers raised up in America. He was 
admitted on trial at the second conference, which was 
held in 17|4, the next year after "William Watters, the 
first Methodist preacher raised up in America, was 
received. The first year he was appointed to Chester 
Circuit. Greatly the Lord blessed him on his first 
field of labor. This we may learn from a few words 
in Bishop Asbury's Journal. Also the character of 
the man. " March 4th, 1774. Honest, simple Daniel 



L'56 DANII'L KUFK. 

Ruff has been made a great blessing to these people. 
Such is the wisdom and power of God, that he hath 
wrought marvelously by this plain man, that no 
flesh may glory in his presence." According to Mr. 
Asbury, Mr. I tuff WJls boncsr, simple, plain, and yet 
wonderfully successful in winning souls to Christ. 
Mr. Ruff was one of the early preachers, who was made 
a blessing to Freeborn Garrettson. He mentions Mr. 
Ruff in his Journal. This was in 1775. lie says: 
" The enmity of my heart seemed to rise higher and 
higher. On the Tuesday following, in the afternoon, 
I went to hear Mr. Daniel Ruff preach, and was so 
oppressed that I was scarcely able to support my 
burden. After preaching I called in with D. R. at 
Mrs. G.'s, and stayed till about nine o'clock." — Life 
of Garrettson. 

On his way home on horseback that night, after a 
most desperate struggle with the enemy, Mr. Garrett- 
son was " accepted in the Beloved/' He sayS : '* I 
knew the very instant when I submitted to the Lord 
and was willing that Christ should reign over me. 
I likewise knew tho two sins which I parted with 
last, pride and unbelief/' 

Mr. Ruff some time after wrote to Mr. Garrettson 
to take his circuit a few weeks while he went to 
Philadelphia. He did so. Mr. K u if first called Mr. 
Garrettson into the itinerant held. When Mr. Ruff 
returned home ho took his circuit while Mr. Gar- 
rotteon went to form a new one. 



DANIEL EUFF. 257 

Mr. Garrettson says : " After I left Brother Ruff 
I wandered along in search of an opening for the 
word, in deep thought and prayer that my way might 
be prosperous. I came opposite a gate ; the impres- 
sion was sudden; turn in, this is the place where you 
are to begin. It was the house of Eev. E. Cooper's 
mother, and the officer was his step-father. Ezekiel 
was about thirteen years of age, and as he has since 
informed me, he received a Divine touch which he 
never lost, and some years after he was happily 
brought out to testify of the forgiving love of Jesus, 
was called to the work of the ministry, and to emi- 
nent usefulness in the Church of God. — Life of 
Garrettson, p. 45. 

How singular! Mr. Ruff is made a blessing to 
Freeborn Garrettson, he to Ezekiel Cooper, and Mr. 
Cooper to hundreds of others. Mr. Ruff also urged 
Mr. Garrettson to attend the Baltimore Conference, 
and enter the itinerant ranks. Mr. Ruff was of 
great service to Mr. Garrettson at that very period 
when he needed a counselor and friend. 

The second year of his ministry Mr. Ruff was ap- 
pointed to Trenton "Circuit, New-Jersey, with John 
King. They were among the first pioneers in that 
State, which now has two conferences, and thirty-four 
thousand members, besides six thousand probationers. 

The third year he was appointed to New- York 

City. His name frequently appears on the " old 

book " during the early part of the year. This was 

12* 



258 DANIKI. KUFF. 

a hard appointment for many reasons. One was, the 
preacher had left tho Methodists the year before, and 
their society was greatly diminished, for they were 
like sheep without a shepherd. Another reason, 
the revolutionary troubles were increasing, and New- 
York was beginning to be the theater where awful 
tragedies were performed. The curtain was raised, 
and the actors were performing their parts, at which 
humanity shudders. 

This was the memorable year when the Declara- 
tion of Independence was signed. This was the year 
New- York City was abandoned by the Americans 
and taken possession of by the British army. Here 
the British lion shook his mane and roared for many 
years. This year another calamity befell the city be- 
sides war. A most disastrous fire occurred the 20th 
September, 1776. The fire commenced at the wharf, 
near "Whitehall, and continued to bum till one quar- 
ter of the city was destroyed. Trinity Church and 
the Lutheran Church were consumed. Nearly fif- 
teen hundred houses wero burned. The royalists 
ascribed the firo to incendiaries employed by the 
patriots. If so, it was similar to tho scene at Mos- 
cow; though not quite so disastrous. 

The battlo of Long Island had occurred a short 
time before; the Americans were defeated, and the 
British were flushed with victory. In this spirit they 
had taken possession of York Island. They took 
Major Woodhull prisoner on Long Island. Major 



DANIEL RUFF. 259 

Baird, the British officer, told him to say, "God' 
save the king." "God save us all," said he; and 
Major Baird assailed him with his broad-sword, and 
wounded him so that he died shortly after. This 
shows the state of things at that time, and we 
cannot wonder that Mr. Ruff considered it unsafe to 
remain in New- York, and therefore abandoned a 
scene of so much confusion and suffering. 

Six years rolled away before New-York was named 
or numbered in the Minutes again, and before an- 
other traveling preacher was stationed by the ap- 
pointing power in "Wesley Chapel. We cannot won- 
der that persons, in reading the Minutes, and seeing 
the city abandoned by the traveling preachers from 
1777 to 1783, have concluded that during that period, 
as far as Methodism was concerned in New- York, 
everything was in ruins. 



'260 JOHN MANN. 



CHAPTER XXVni. 

JOHN MANN. 

Sketch of — Birth-place — Marriage — Awakened — Moravian — Captain 
Webb's Preaching — Beneficial to — Bichard Boardman's — Means of 
his Conversion — Leaves the Moravians — Unites witli the Methodists — 
Reasons why — Mr. Mann a Class-leader — A Local Preacher — Has 
Fruit — Commencement of the War — Methodist Preachers leave the 
City — Mr. Mann supplies the Pulpit at the request of the Trus- 
tees — Preacher from Philadelphia — Mr. Mann still preaches in the 
Chapel — Usefulness as Trustee and Treasurer during tin.- War — 
Leaves for Nova Scotia — Why — Place of Residence — Ordained by 
Asbury and Coke — Part of the Society remove to Nova Scotia — 
Their Loyalty — Trustees' Election at the eloso of the War — Mr. 
Mann's Name in the Minutes — Mr. Garrettson makes honorable Men- 
tion of — Mr. Wesley's Letter to — Death of Mr. Mann. 

The life of Mr. Mann is very peculiar and ex- 
traordinary. His history, if properly written, 
would read like a talo of chivalry He occupied 
a position such as no man over did. His life was 
one of great extremes and wonderful changes. 

Mr. Mann was horn in the city of New- York, in 
174.°>, and was married at the age of twenty-one 
years. JLo was awakened hy the power of truth, 
and his mother heing a Moravian, persuaded the 
ftev Mr. ( iambic, who was her minister, to re- 
ceive her son into lik Church. He complied with 



JOHN MANN. 261 

the request of the mother, and John Mann's name 
was enrolled on the records of that Church. 

But Mr. Mann had not yet found the " pearl of 
great price," he had not tasted of the " good word of 
God, and the powers of the world to come ;" he had 
not received " the Spirit of adoption, whereby he could 
cry, Abba, Father." Young Mann did not obtain 
that spiritual food among the Moravians his soul 
so earnestly desired; therefore he frequently went 
to the preaching-house to hear Captain Webb. The 
old Christian soldier described Mr. Mann's case 
more clearly, and showed the remedy provided for 
the cure of his sin-sick soul, the balm of Gilead, and 
this induced Mr. Mann to leave the Moravians and 
unite with the Methodists. 

Soon after Mr. Boardman and Mr. Pilmoor ar- 
rived in New- York, under a sermon preached by Mr. 
Boardman, Mr. Mann obtained redemption through 
the Saviour's blood, even the forgiveness of his 
sins. 

He was appointed class-leader, which office he 
held for many years. He was an exhorter, and 
afterward a local preacher, and was on the plan, and 
used to go to Bloomingdale and Long Island and 
preach- the Gospel, and rejoiced in seeing the fruit 
of his labors. 

In the beginning of the Kevolutionary war, the 
Methodist preachers left the city of New- York, and 
shortly afterward returned to England. Mr. Mann 



262 JOHN MANN. 

was desired by the trustees and leaders .of the 
Society to keep the chapel open in New- York, which 
he accordingly did for a considerable time. When 
Philadelphia was taken by the British troops, a way 
was open for Samuel Spraggs, a traveling preacher 
in the connection, to come to' New- York, into whose 
hands Mr. Mann delivered up the charge of the 
society. He continued, however, to preach once a 
week in the chapel, unless duty called him to labor 
in some part of the country on the Lord's day. He 
at the same time attended to his temporal interests, 
and was greatly blessed in this respect while min- 
istering to the spiritual wants of others.* 

Mr. Mann must have been very useful to the little 
flock during the time that tried men's souls. He 
was class-leader, trustee, and treasurer of the board 
all through the Revolutionary war, for his name 
as such appears on every page of the " old book," 
duriDg those never-to-be-forgotten years. Then, 
when the regular ministers left he took charge of 
the society, preaching in their pulpit till Mr. Spraggs 
arrived, and then was his assistant, for he continued 
to preach once a week in the chapel. 

At the conclusion of the Revolutionary war, severe 
threats having been thrown out against the loyalists 
who had taken refuge within the British lines, Mr. 

* Memoir of Mr. Mann, written by his brother, James Mann, 
Arminian Magazine, 1818. His name there is spelt Man; one n 
is omitted. In the " old book " he wrote it Mann. 



JOHN MANN. 263 

Mann, thought it his duty to embark, with a con- 
siderable number of the society, for the wilds of 
Nova Bcotia. Shelburne was the first place of his 
residence, where he preached regularly every Lord's 
day, and sometimes on a week day. The next year 
he came to Philadelphia, and was ordained by 
Bishops Coke and Asbury, first deacon, then elder. 

"We see what became of a part of the society in 
John-street; they emigrated to Nova Scotia. Some 
of them had been so loyal to their sovereign they were 
afraid they would suffer if they remained. We can 
admire their piety without indorsing their loyalty. 
The case of Mr. Mann was very singular, inasmuch 
as he was born in the city of New-York. Mr. Mann's 
brother's wife is now living in Jersey City, aged 
about one hundred years. They call her Aunt 
Betsey Mann.* In the "old book" we have the 
following record : 

"New-Yoke, Sept. 16, 1783. 
"At a general meeting of the trustees for the 
Methodist Preaching-house in this city, Abram 
Bussel and Peter McClain, Junr., are appointed as 
joint trustees with the subscribers, in the room 
of -Charles White and John Mann, departed the city. 

" Wm. Ltjpton, 
" John Staples, 
" Stephen Sands." 

* She died since I made the record. 



k 264 .IOI1N MANN. 

Mr. Mann's name appears in the Minutes in 17«fi. 
Freeborn (iarrettson was older in Nova Scotia, and 
the preachers stationed there that year were William 
Black and John Mann. 

Mr. Garrettson makes honorable mention of John 
Mann in his letters to Mr. Wesley, showing how 
exceedingly useful he was in Nova Scotia. He gives 
an account of the introduction of Methodism int<> 
Liverpool. " Captain D., since gone to heaven, met 
with Mr. "Wesley's tract called ' The Character of a 
Methodist,' and having a great desire to hear one 
of the Methodist preachers, he sent to Shelburn. and 
requested Brother Mann to visit them. Shortly after, 
Mr. Mann paid them a visit, and many of the people 
heard him gladly, though much opposed by the 
Allenites, (Antinomians.) As he went one Lord's 
day to the meeting-house to preach, a party of these 
zealous disciples were determined, if possible, to 
prevent it. Colonel P., a very mild man, and a friend 
of all religious people, endeavored calmly to reason 
with them; but to little purpose, until another 
magistrate spoke moro authoritatively, which in- 
duced them to relinquish their design, and to permit 
Mr. Mann peaceably to proceed." — Lij'e of (larritt- 
sou, p. 172. 

In a letter to Mr. Wesley, dated March 10, 17*7, 
Mr. (iarrettson says: "Brother John .Mann at Liver- 
pool writes: 'I am greatly comforted under an ex- 
pectation of ivn ingathering here; tlie societv N very 



JOHN MANN. 265 

lively j -several added, and several lately converted,' 
etc. Dear sir, it would cause your heart to rejoice 
to know what a deadly wound Antinomiariism has 
received in the town of Horton. My dear* Master 
has given me one of the first lawyers in Cornwallis, 
and his lady. 

" P.S. Since I wrote this letter I received one from 
Brother Mann at Liverpool, saying: 'The Lord has 
broken in, in a wonderful manner, among the people, 
especially among the young. Within a few days 
twenty have been set at liberty ; nine were converted 
one night/ Surely the Lord will do great things 
for us." 

Mr. Wesley corresponded with John Mann. The 
following letter is found in Mr. Wesley's Works : 
vol. vii 3 p. 257: 

" London, June 30, 1788. 

" My Dear Brother,— I am greatly concerned for 
the prosperity of the work of God in Nova Scotia. 
It seems some way to lie nearer my heart that even 
that in the United .States ; many of our brethren 
there are, we may hope, strong in the Lord, and in 
the power of his might ; but I look upon those in the 
northern provinces to be younger, and tender 
children, and consequently to stand in need of our 
most anxious care. I hope all of you that watch over 
them are exactly of one mind, and of one judgment; 



266 JOHN MANN. 

that you take caro always to speak the ame things, 
and to watch over one another in love. 

u Mr. Wivy is a workman that need not bo 
ashamed. I arn glad to hear of his safe arrival. 
Although ho has not much learning, he has, what is 
far better, uprightness of heart, and devotedne-s to 
God. I doubt not that he and you will be one, and 
go on your way hand in hand. Whatever oppose:** 
you meet with, Calvinists, Papists, Antinomian*, or 
any other, have a particular care that they do not 
take up too much either of your thoughts or time. 
You had better work; keep to your one point, 
Christ dying for us and living in us ; so will you 
fulfill the joy of, my dear brethren, 

" Your affectionate friend and brother, 

"Johx Wesley.'' 

Mr. Mann died in 1816, at Newport, Nova Scotia, 
in holy triumph, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. 
He was a genuine Wesleyan, a great admirer of the 
writings of Mr. Wesley, and a preacher of the com- 
mon salvation forty-five years. 



METHODISM DURING THE REVOLUTION. 267 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK DURING THE 
REVOLUTIONARY WAR. 

Historical Error concerning the real State of Things — Extracts from Dr. 
Bangs's History — Extracts from P. D. Gorrie's History — "Wesley 
Chapel not closed — Not converted into Barracks — Evidence — James 
Mann — "Watson's Sketches of Olden Times — The "Old Book" — 
Sketch of Eev. Samuel Spraggs, Pastor for several Tears — Items from 
the "Old Book" in 1778 — Preachers' Board and Quarterage — Ex- 
tracts from the "Old Book" showing the State of Things in 1779 — 
Chapel still open — Pastor's Salary — 1780 — Preaching-house still 
occupied — Increase of Preacher's Salary — 1781 — Similar State of 
Things — Samuel Spraggs still the Pastor — 1782 — Edifice still oc- 
cupied as a Place of "Worship — Preacher's Salary — 1783 — Samuel 
Spraggs still the Pastor — Final Settlement — Further Extracts 
from the " Old Book," showing the State of Things during 
the "War — Quiet— Wood, Washing, Sugar, Tea, all for Preachers — 
Eepairing Preacher's House — Gallery — Repairing old Parsonage — 
Lighting the Chapel — Vast Amount of Candies used — Shows the 
true Condition of Things at that Period — Bible for Chapel — Wood 
for Classes — Love-feast Tickets — Paid William Lupton. 

We have had but little light in regard to Methodism 
in the city of New- York, during the memorable 
period of the Revolution. The men of seventy-six 
have passed away. There are none left to tell us. 

Those who have written on the subject seem to 
hav^been unacquainted with the real state of things 
at that time. Therefore the earliest of our historians 



268 METHODISM IN NKW-YORK 

erred, and others took it for granted that it was true, 
and followed in their wake. 

In the. History of Methodism by Dr. Bangs, (vol. i, 
p. 119,) we have tho following description of things 
in New-York at that time: "No preacher was 
stationed in New- York this year, 1777 ; nor do we find 
this city among the stations again until 17S3, though 
there was a small society of members still there. The 
cause of this abandonment of the eity for so long a 
time was, that the British troops had it in possession, 
and had converted the meeting house into barracks 
for the soldiers, so that it was not possible to occupy 
it for preaching regularly, even had a preacher been 
permitted to reside among them. Such are the fatal 
results of war, that scourge of humanity." 

The doctor having written thus far, adds the fol- 
lowing in a note : 

" It is said, however, in a memoir of the Eev. Mr. 
Mann, a preacher who afterward went to Nova Scotia, 
that for a considerable time during the war, at the 
request of the trustees and leaders, he held meetings 
in the chapel in New- York, until he was relieved 
by the coming of Mr. Spragg, a regular traveling 
preacher, who came from Philadelphia, after the 
British took possession of that city Through the 
labors of those men of God, a small society was kept 
together, notwithstanding the difficulties with which 
they had to contend in those troublesome time;'.'" 

My venerable friend the doctor, to whom the 



DURING THE REVOLUTION. 269 

church is so indebted for his valuable history, said 
to me, that he had been informed that Wesley Chapel 
was closed during the Eevolutionary war, or con- 
verted into barracks, so it could not be used as a 
place of worship. Gabriel P Disosway, Esq., who 
has written well in regard to Wesley Chapel and the 
Eevolutionary war, told me that he had always 
understood that the house was used for barracks by 
the British. 

The general impression is that the Methodist house 
of worship in New- York was closed during the war, 
or converted into barracks, which prevented its be- 
ing occupied as a place of worship. In a history of 
Methodism is the following; " During the war, the 
Methodist chapel in the city of New- York, while the 
British troops remained, had been forcibly converted 
into .a soldier's barracks, by which the society was 
deprived of a place of worship, and the interests of 
religion suffered materially from this and other 
causes. Indeed, while the war lasted the Methodist 
society in New- York became almost extinct."* 

The author is a good writer, and has written an 
interesting history of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
What he says here, however, is a mistake ; but Mr. 
Gorrie followed in the wake of others. He only 
repeats what has been written and said over and 
.over again. 

* History of Episcopal Methodism, by Rev. P. D. Gorrie, 
page 70. 



270 METIIOIMS.M IN' M:\V-YUUK 

Tlio "old book" would have given the writers 
alluded to the real condition of things during that 
never-to-be-forgotten period, when this city was in 
possession of a foreign enemy for so many long, 
gloomy years. But it was not in their possession. 
j)r. Bangs told me he had never seen it, or heard of 
it before. I do not make these remarks by way of 
censure ; by no means. None are required to make 
brick without straw, or to write the history of a cer- 
tain period without materials for that history. 

There are several things that have led to such a 
conclusion. One is, the British army being in pos- 
session of the city so long, and everything so unfavor- 
able to religion. 

Another, the fact that the stationed minister left at 
the commencement of the war, and New- York as a 
station does not appear in the Minutes from 1770 to 
1788, and during these long years no minister was 
stationed in the city. Asbury had to seek an asylum 
at Judge White's, and spend what he called " duinb 
Sabbaths." Garrettson and Joseph Hartley were 
imprisoned, and Caleb B. Pedicord was whipped so 
that he carried the scars to his grave. Ministers 
could not travel in safety. 

The fearful condition of the other houses of wor- 
ship in New-York during that period, caused others 
to conclude that Wesley Chapel was unoccupied also. 

All the Presbyterian churches in New- York were 
used for military purposes. The Middle Dutch 



EUTEING THE REVOLUTION. 271 

Church in Nassau-street, now the post-office, which is 
seen in the picture of John-street preaching-house, was 
used for a prison, in which three thousand Ameri- 
cans were confined. The pews were consumed for 
fuel. It was afterward used by the British cavalry 
for a riding-school. The North Dutch Church in 
William-street was also a prison. The pews were 
destroyed, and two thousand prisoners were con- 
fined there. The Baptist church was converted into 
a horse-stable. The Quaker meeting-house in Pearl- 
street was used as an hospital. The French church 
was used as a prison. 

After all this the conclusion was most natural, that 
Wesley Chapel shared a similar fate with other 
houses of worship. If it was spared, what could have 
been the reasons ? I can imagine several. One is 
this, the Methodists were considered not as Dissent- 
ers, but part and parcel of the Church of England, 
using the' Prayer-Book and communing at St. Paul's 
Episcopal Church. 

Furthermore, many of the first Methodists were 
foreigners. 

Again: the founder of the Methodists, Mr. Wes- 
ley, was known to be a great loyalist, and strongly 
opposed to the course pursued by the Americans, 
having written a " Calm Address to the American 
Colonies." This was the case also with Mr. Fletcher. 
On the contrary, the Presbyterians, and the Ke- 
formed Dutch, and others were opposed to the 



272 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK 

mother country. Hero I can sec reasons why they 
sparod tho cradle of American Methodism. Mr. 
Watson, in his " Sketches of Olden Times in New- 
York " says : " The Presbyterian clergymen were, 
throughout tho war, zealous to promote the cause of 
the revolution. The Methodists, on the contrary, 
then few in number, were deemed loyalists, chiefly 
from the well-known loyalism of their founder, Mr. 
Wesley. Perhaps to this cause it was that the 
society in John-street enjoyed so much indulgence 
as to occupy their church for Sunday night service, 
while the Hessians had it in the morning for their 
own chaplains and people." 

The truth is, that while other houses of worship 
were converted into barracks, prisons, or hospitals, 
the Methodist preaching-house most mercifully es- 
caped, probably for the reasons we have assigned. 

The proof is abundant. James Mann is the first 
witness I adduce. The reader has only to turn to 
the chapter on John Mann. The next is Mr. Wat- 
son, author of " Sketches of Olden Times in New- 
York." The third and last is the " old book," from 
which I shall make liberal extracts; and I am confi- 
dent that, before we conclude, the reader will be sat- 
isfied that wo have labored under a mistake in regard 
to the house being closed or converted into barracks. 
This volume corrects it, and takes us through the 
dark ages of Methodism, and gives us a flood of light 
where we had not boforo a single ray. 



DURING THE HE VOLUTION. 273 

The following items will show the condition of 
things at that time : 

1778, May 15. To interest to Miss Elizabeth Bowden £36 
" " " To a quilt for preaching-house, and 

wood for do 3 4 o 

This, shows the preaching-house was occupied. 
The quilt was to cover the parson, and the fuel to 
warm him. It is written " preaching-house ;" I pre- 
sume they meant preacher's house. 

1778, May 27. To sundries for preacher £2 18 6 

This shows they had a preacher who needed 
sundries. 

1778, Aug. 7. To cash paid for preacher's washing. £2 2 6 

The preacher was on hand, or his clothes would 
not need to be washed. 

1778, Aug. 21. To tea and sugar for preacher.. .. £118 

This looks something like the preacher's keeping 
house. 
1778, Nov. 20. To wood for preacher's room. . £5 14 

, There was a preacher to warm as well as to feed. 

1778, Dec. 4. To carpenter's bill for gallery doors, &c. £4 4 

Here we see that they were repairing the church 
and fixing the gallery. ,This does not look like 
closed doors. 

1779, Jan. 28. To cash paid Mr. Creamer for his ne- 

gro's attendance as sexton for three 

months and three weeks. . £2 10 6 

13 



£1 4 


6 


2 





12 





2 






274 METHODISM 'IN NEW-YORK 

This shows the church had been open for months 
in 1773, and therefore the sexton was employed and 

paid. 

They not only repaired the preaching-house, but 
the preacher's house, as is evident from the follow- 
ing entries : 

1779 Sept. 29. To Tinman's and Mason's work on 
little room chimney. ... 
" Oct. 16. To one pane of glass for little room.. 
" Dec. 10. To cash paid for glazing house win- 
dows . . 

1782, Paid carpenter for repairing dwelling- 
house 

There are other singular records : 

1779, Apr. 23. To postage letter from Mr. Wesley.. £0 2 1 

This shows Mr. Wesley kept up a correspondence 
with the infant society during the war of the Revo- 
lution. 

1781, March 1. Paid Mr. Rivington for advertising, 

Mr. Wesley's letter, &c £2 16 

What this means I cannot tell. 

1781, Bible for preaching-house, 6-ls 8 4 

This shows they preached in the house, and that 
the 

"Happy gates of Oospel grace 
Stood open night and day;"' 

And sinners were invited 

" To seek supplies, 
And drive their wants away.'' 



DURING THE REVOLUTION. 275 

If the house was closed, what need of a Bible for 
it? This shows that Bibles were very dear at that 
time. 

1781, Apr. 14. Paid Jns. and "Withs for attending the 

door, 40s., and Peter 48s. ... £4 8 

This shows the door was not shut, but open, and of 
course the people went in to worship. 

1781, July 14. Paid for repairing stoop-steps. £2 6 

This was the stoop in front of the church, and 
these were the steps by which they ascended 
on entering the house of God. They repaired 
them that they might be safe when the people went 
in to worship. 

1781, Dec. 29. To cash paid for three loads of wood 

for classes .. £3 15 

Do. for riding, sawing, and putting 

it away 19 

This shows the classes met, and they needed much 
fuel. 

Further evidence that Wesley Chapel was open 
for Divine service during the war is from the fol- 
lowing items taken from the " old book." 

1780, Sep. 18. To cash paid for two thousand tickets £6 
1779, July 7. Mason's bill for work done on the 

house. .. .. 5 7 7 

" " " Carpenter's bill do 2 10 6 

" Oct. 27. Cash paid painter for work done on 

house 10 O 



276 METHODISM IN NKW-YOKK 

1780, Mar. 16. To cash paid for plank, carpenters* 

work, nails, lock, staples, &o., for fence £7 17 

" Oct. 17. To cash paid William Lnpton. . 101 10 

1781, Sep. 16. Cash paid Mr. Lupton. .. 88 
" Deo. 1. Cash paid Mr. Lupton, in full.. 18 10 

These short entries and solitary figures post us. up 
in regard to the real state of things at the time con- 
cerning which we have known so little. The first 
shows the Methodists were holding love-feasts in the 
midst of the war, and therefore the printing of the 
two thousand tickets. The next shows the preach- 
ing-hojise was kept in order at that period. The 
masons, the carpenters, and the painters were at 
work upon it. They made a fence also. Another 
item shows that, besides paying the preacher's 
salary and interest money, they also paid a part 
of their debt. They paid Mr. Lupton, the " old 
trustee," in 1780 and 1781, over two hundred pounds. 
They had owed him ever since the house was built, 
and he held a bond against them, but the record 
is made " paid in full." 

It may be supposed that I have been very par- 
ticular, and spent more time over this subject than is 
necessary My object has been to correct an old, 
wide-spread error, in which we have a denomina- 
tional interest, and to present things in the true light. 
In a recent work published in England, entitled 
"Wesley and his Times" by George Smith, the 
author speaks of the violence of the war, and of the 



jDUBING THE REVOLUTION. 27? 

abandonment of prominent fields ; " that no preacher 
was stationed in New- York— the Parent Society of 
American Methodism. The British army being in 
possession of the city, the troops converted the 
Methodist meeting-house into bwTacks." — F 439. 
Thus we find a repetition of the old error in the latest 
history of Methodism. 

The lighting of the preaching-house will give us 
some light on the subject, though over three score 
years since. The house was not lighted with gas, as 
our churches now are, neither with oil, as they were 
a few years 'ago, nor with camphene, that brilliant 
but. dangerous light, but with candles. If the 
reader will have patience to follow me, he will be 
convinced the house was open most of the time dur- 
ing the long years of the revolution, for they burned 
a vast number of candles. 

"We find the following in the " old book :" 





£ 1 1 





" Sept. 2. To 12 lbs. of candles. ... 


1 1 





" " 21. To 12 lbs. of candles.. 


1 1 





" " " Candle pole 


2 


6 


" Oct. 6. To 12 lbs. of candles 


1 2 





" " 24. To 6 lbs. of candles 


13 





" Nov. 10. To 123 lbs. of candles for preaching 






bouse. 


17 11 





" n 27. To 57 lbs. of candles for preaching- 








8 11 





" Dec. 4. To 42^ lbs. of candles for preaching- 






house . . . 


6 7 


6 



19 8 


8 


16 


8 


4 





1 a 


6 



278 METHODISM IN NEW-YOBX 

l779,.Mar. 17. Cash paid for candles. . .... £4 8 

" Apr. 14. To two boxes of candles . „ . . . 19 4 

" Sep. 29. To 160 lbs. of candles, at 2s. 2d. . 16 5 

1780, Apr. 18. To cash paid Samuel Mabetfor candles 10 2 6 
" Sep. 11. Box of candles for preaching-house 4 18 
" Nov. 2. To cash paid for one box of candles 10 6 8 
" Deo. 1 . To cash paid for 225 lbs. of candles, 

at Is. Id.. ..... 17 8 9 

1781, Aug. 20. To cash paid for six boxes of candles 

and cartage. 
" Sept. 24. To cash for candles, paid Mr. Spraggs 
" " 11. Snuffers for house . 

1782, Jan. 8. To cash for candles, by Mr. Spraggs. 
" " 28. To cash paid Peter, 74s. 8d.; 164 lbs. 

of candles and cartage, at Is. Id. 

is 262s. 2d. . . . 16 16 10 

" Feb. 4. Paid for globe head, 48s. ; oil jug, etc., 

21s. Id.. v ... 8 9 1 

" Aug. 81. To two boxes of candles and cartage . 9 5 
" Nov. 22. To 129 lbs. of candles at 2s. 6d. . .... 16 2 6 

Cartage ... . . . . . . . 1 

" Dec. 10. Paid George Schmebxel, for 12 lbs of 

candles . , . . 110 

1783, Mar. 4. To cash for 72 lbs of candles at 2». 7 4 

" May 20. Cash for candles 4 9 4| 

" " 18. Cash, 18 lbs of candles ...... . . 116 

The record shows the multitude of candles used 
in the preaching-house, which gives overwhelming 
evidence that the church was open, and not closed 
or occupied for barracks. 



DURING THE REVOLUTION". 279 



CHAPTER XXX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK DURING THE REVOLU- 
TIONARY WAR! SAMUElf SPRAGGS. 

Samuel Spraggs — Sketch of former Fields of Labor — Brunswick Circuit 
— Philadelphia — Succeeds Thomas Rankin — Name mysteriously 
disappears from the Minutes — Reappears — Why lie came to New- 
York — Pastor of Wesley Chapel — No Two Years' Rule would apply to 
him — His Name on the "Old Book" when mentioned first — His 
Salary in 1778 — His Salary and other Expenses in 1779 — His Salary 
in 1780 — His Board and Quarterage in 1781 — His Board and Quar- 
terage in 1782 — Board and Quarterage in 1783. — Total Amount re- 
ceived while in New- York. 

The reader, no doubt, would like to know more of 
Samuel Spraggs, who acts so conspicuous a part in 
New- York, for so many years, during those fearful 
times that tried men's souls and bodies, and that 
tried the Church. 

Mr. Spraggs ' was admitted on trial at the second 
Conference, held in Philadelphia, May 25, 1774. 
At that time there were but seventeen Methodist 
preachers, and two -thousand and seventy-three mem- 
bers, in the American connection. He was admitted 
with William Duke, John "Wade, Daniel RufF, Ed- 
ward Drumgole, Isaac Rollins, and Robert Lindsay. 



280 METHODISM IN NEW-V'KK lH'UINO THK 

TTis first appointment was Brunswick Circuit. The 
salary of a Methodist pivachcr at that time was six 
pounds (Pennsylvania cuvivncy) a quarter, and his 
traveling expenses. He must have stood high with 
his brethren, for the next year he was appointed to 
Philadelphia. He sueeeeded Thomas Rankin, the 
superintendent. This speaks well for the talents 
of Mr. Spi'aggs, and for the confidence his brethren 
had in one who* was in the second year of his 
ministry. He was reappointed to Philadelphia the 
next year, which shows the success of the first, when 
we consider the frequent changes at that time in 
the ministry. 

In 1777 he was preacher in charge on Frederic 
Circuit, and had for his colleague the excellent and 
eloquent Caleb B. Pedicord, of precious memory. 
The next year his name strangely disappears from 
the Minutes. Nothing is said about him, that he 
withdrew or desisted from traveling. However the 
question, " Who desist from traveling V was not 
asked till the next year. 

Six years pass away before Mr. Spraggs's name is 
found attain in the Minutes. In 17s.% in answer 
to the question, "•"Who act as assistants this year'!" 
we have the names of Annuel Sprutjijx, and thirty- 
eight others; and among the appointments for 
that % year, we find in Y( w-York "Samuel Spraggs, 
•lolin Diekins." His name appears firef, as the 
preacher in charge. 



BEVOLUTIONARY WAR". SAMUEL SPRAGGS. 281 

The next year John DicMns was appointed to 
New-York without a colleague, and Samuel Spraggs's 
name disappears as strangely as it made its appear- 
ance the year before. Though it mentions the 
names of four preachers who desisted from traveling 
that year, all is silent concerning him, and his 
name thus mysteriously disappears from the Min- 
utes forever. 

We call your attention to the pastor of Wesley 
Chapel and his salary. Mr. Spraggs was a pastor 
to whom no two years' rule would apply, for he 
was there over five years in the midst of the 
Revolutionary struggle. His salary was not very 
large at first, but was increased as years rolled on. 

In 1779 Mr. Spraggs's name is first mentioned in 
the "old book," though he was preaching in New- 
York in 1778, but is called " the precocher."* Now 
let us notice his salary : 

1779, Feb. 26. To cash paid Samuel Spraggs for his 

quarterage £6 8 

" " " To contingent charges for preacher. . 3 12 

" Mar. 17. To 1 Loaf sugar for preacher . . 17 11£ 

" Apr. 23. To washing for preacher ... 1 12 
" " " To cash paid to Samuel Spraggs for 

quarterage 6 8 

" " " To contingent charges for preacher. . 3 12 

" May 20. To 1 Loaf sugar for preacher's use . 16 5 

* In the Minutes the name is spelt " Spragg," without the final 
s, but in the " old book," where it occurs many times, it is spelt 
Spraggs. J3 * 



282 METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK DUROTQ THE 

1778, Aug. 1. To cash paid Samuti Spraggs for 

board and quarterage. . . £15 

44 " 27. To cash paid for preacher's washing. 8 16 
" Nov. 6. To cash paid Samuel Spraggs for 

board, quarterage, and washing. . 27 16 8 

1780, Feb. 1. To cash paid Samuel Spraggs for board 

and quarterage. ... .,. . 25 

44 April 27. To cash paid Mr. Spraggs for board 

and quarterage 34 14 

41 June 1. To cash paid Mr. Spraggs . . . . . 10 

" August 1. To cash paid Mr. Spraggs for board 

and quarterage . 84 6 4 

44 Oct. 80. To cash paid Mr. Spraggs for board 

and quarterage . . .... 84 6 4 

1781, Feb. 2. Paid Samuel Spraggs for board and 

quarterage . , . . . , 34 6 4 

44 May 1. Cash paid Samuel Spraggs for board 

and quarterage. .. .. » 84 5 4 

14 Aug. 4. Paid Samuel Spraggs's board and 

quarterage ... . . 34 5 4 

44 Nov. 1. Paid Mr. Spraggs for board and 

quarterage 84 5 4 

1782, Feb. 1. Paid Mr. Spraggs for board and quar- 

terage . . . 84 5 4 

44 May 1. Paid Mr. Spraggs for board and quar- 
terage . . .... 84 5 4 

44 July 2. Wood for the preacher's room, allowed 
by the trustees for the ensuing 
winter.. 21 18 6 

44 July 29. Paid Peter 24«., paid Mr. Sprngg! for 

board and quarterage, 842. 6«. 4d. 85 9 4 

44 Nov. 2. To cash to Mr. Spraggs for board and 

quarterage . . .... 84 S 4 

1788, Feb. 1. S. Spraggs for board and quarterage... 84 5 4 

" May 1 . Mr. Spraggs for board and quarterage. 84 6 4 



RESOLUTION AKY WAR: SAMUEL SPEAGGS. 285 

1783, June 21. Sundries bought for preacher's use.. £5 11 11 
" July 10. Paid balance due to Mr. Spraggs.... 18 9 

It will be seen that Mr. Spraggs received a very- 
good salary, over thirty-four pounds a quarter, one 
hundred and thirty-seven pounds a year, much better 
than some of his brethren received in after years. 

His, salary was paid him very regularly from May, 
1778, to June 10, 1783, over five years in succession, 
during the Eevolutionary "War, and while the British 
were in possession of the city of New- York, and the 
city was under martial law. 



J84 MKTHOWHM IN NKW-YOBK 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK DURING THE REVOLU- 
TIONARY WAR, CONCLUDED. 

Statistics showing how tho Trustees and Stewards raised the Money to 
meet their Liabilities — " Old Book " solves the Mystery — Public and 
Class Collections — Amount of in 1778 — Public and Class Collections 
in 1779 — Public and Class Collections in 1780 — In 17S1 — In 17S2 — 
In 1783 — Whole Amount paid to Mr. Spragcs — Collections during 
tho War greater than before or after — Probable Cause — Large Audi- 
ences at Wesley Chapel — British Officers and Soldiers attend — 
Statistics full of Instruction, though very dry — Lessons we mayleam 
from them — Mr. Sprats highly esteemed — His Namesake — His 
spiritual Son, Richard Leycraft — First Methodist in Newark — Oldest 
Methodist in New-York when he died — Mr. Sprngg« leaves New- 
York — Becomes an Episcopal Minister — Settles in Elizabethtown — 
Dies there — Marble Tablet. 

In reading the vast amount the Methodists of Wes 
ley Chapel paid out during the memorable years of 
the Revolution, as we have seen in the preceding 
chapter, we wonder where they obtained the money 
to pay the preacher's salary, to pay part of their 
debt, and their incidental expenses. In looking at 
the "okl ln.uk '" the question is mosl satisfactorily 
answered in black and white. The official men kept 
an exact account of their receipts as well as their 
disbursements, and although nearly seventy years 



DURING THE REVOLUTION. 285 

have rolled away since it was written, and the 
writers have long since gone down to the grave, it is 
now so plain and simple that a child can read, and 
the wayfaring man need not err. 

We have the collections of all the years of the 
war. Those of 1776 and 1777 are not as large as 
the following years, and the record not quite so full. 
We must recollect Daniel Ruff left the city when 
the British took possession of it, and John Mann 
preached gratuitously till Samuel Spraggs came ; so 
we should not expect as full an account at that pe- 
riod, as Mr. Mann had no salary to record. 

I will now make extracts from the "old book," 
showing the money taken during those years. 

The reader will be surprised at the amount re- 
ceived from the classes ; still more when he looks at 
the public collections. In order to get a correct 
idea, remember the .account is not kept in dollars 
and cents, but in pounds, shillings, and pence. 

1778, Aug. 7. Or. by collections from May 17 to the 

present date. . £48 3 8 

« " By class collections from May 17 to the 

present date . 6 11 8 

This was not quite three months, and yet the col- 
lections were over fifty-three pounds. 

1778, Nov. 27. By collections from August 7th to 

this date £82 6 9 

« " " By class collections from do. to do... 6 18 6 

£89 8 



286 METHODISM IN NEW-YOB* 

Here was eighty-nine pounds received in little 
over three months. 

1779, Jan. 9. By collections from Nov. 27 to this 

date • • • :...... . . *88 6 11 

» " " By class collections from ditto to ditto 2 4 8 

1779, May 1. By public collections from the 9th of 

Jan. to this date. .... .. 90 14 8 

ti « « By class collections from Jan. 16 to 

present date . 12 1 5 

A little over three months, and yet the collections 
amounted to over one hundred pounds, more than 
two hundred and fifty dollars. This was enormous. 

1780, Mar. 14. By public collections from 26th Nov. 

to present date , . £68 7 11 

" u a By c j ass co ]i ec tions from ditto to ditto 16 19 5 
" June 20. By public collections from 14th March 

to this date...... .. .. 78 17 10 

" " " By class collections from ditto to ditto 19 1 4 

1781, Jan. 8. By public collections from 20th June, 

1780, to present date 156 19 2 

" " " By class collections from ditto to ditto 89 4 

1782, Jan. 8. By public collections from Sep. 24, 

1781, to this date. . . 108 1 10 

« u « By class collections from ditto to ditto 14 19 8 
" Aug. 5. By collections from Jan. 8d to this 

date . . ... . . . :,,:.,:.. o . , 182 16 

" " " By class collections from do. do. . . . 84 18 10 

These were very large collections and class money 
in seven months, over two hundred and seventeen 
pounds. 



193 


6 


11 


19 


3 


6 


93 


3 


9 


14 11 


6 


75 17 11 


13 


18 


1 


7 


9 


10 


1 


10 


6 



PTJRING THE REVOLUTION. 287 



1782, Nov. 23. By public collections from Aug. 5th 

to this date . i 

" " " By class collections from ditto to ditto 

1783, Feb. 4. By public collections from 23d of Nov. 

to this date 

" " " By class collections from ditto to ditto 
" June 17. Public collections from 4th March to 

this date . 
" " " Class collections from ditto to ditto . 
" July 2. Public collections from 17th June to 

this date. . .... 

" " " Class collections from ditto to ditto. . 



This was up to the time when the trustees settled 
finally with Mr. Spraggs, and Mr. Dickius was the 
preacher in John-street. After the 10th of July we 
do not find the name of Mr. Spraggs. They paid 
him £557 pounds, or $1,302 50, while he was with 
them; and we see how the money was raised, 
namely, by public and class collections. 

Most of the Churches in the city being closed or 
converted into barracks, must have greatly increased 
the congregations, at the Methodist preaching-house, 
and this vastly increased their public collections. 
This is the only way- 1 can account for their magni- 
tude. They were much larger during the war than 
before or after. They paid their preacher a larger 
safary during the war than, they did before the war, 
or after peace was proclaimed. The British officers 
attended as well as soldiers, and no doubt contrib- 
uted most liberally, and this enlarged the collections.; 



288 METHODISM IN NEW-YOB* 

There is much historical information to be ob- 
tained from these dry statistics concerning Method- 
ism in New-York during the time of the war of the 
Kevolution. These figures, dry and uninteresting as 
they may be to many, will be read over with delight 
by those who love early Methodism, and are fond of 
historical accuracy. 

From the preceding extracts we learn : 

1. That it is a mistake that "Wesley Chapel was 
closed or converted into barracks during the revolu- 
tionary war. This volume corrects it, throwing a 
flood of light on that part of the history of Method- 
ism that was as dark as a starless midnight. 

2. That there was a regular Methodist organiza- 
tion kept up in John-street Church during the 
war. The old Methodist fort was not abandoned, 
neither were its guns spiked. 

3. That, notwithstanding no minister was appointed 
to Wesley Chapel by the Conference for six yean, 
they were favored with the regular ministry of the 
word during the whole time of the revolutionary 
war. The former part by John Mann, and during 
the latter by Samuel Spraggs. 

4. That they paid their preacher a good salary, 
and did it promptly. 

5. That their audiences must have been very 
large, or their collections would not have been as 
great. 

6. That their classes must have been well attended, 



DURING THE REVOLUTION. 289 

or they would never have paid such an amount of 
class-money. 

Finally. That they were Methodists, attending to 
all its peculiarities, such as love-feasts, class- 
meetings, etc. 

The preacher's house was kept in order, and occu- 
pied by the preacher; and his expenses were paid, 
and the sexton's salary, showing the house was open, 
or what necessity for the services of a sexton ? 

Mr. Spraggs occupied a very peculiar position, and 
was very highly esteemed. I have an old volume in 
my possession, that was published in 1754. It con- 
tains the family records of Mr. John Staples, one of 
the early trustees of John-street church. From it I 
copy the following : " Our son, Samuel Spraggs, was 
born the 10th of September, 1781." 

This infant was born during the revolutionary war. 
Mr. Spraggs was the pastor of John Staples, and his 
excellent wife, Mary, and they esteemed their minis- 
ter so highly they named their child after him ; and 
though the name is homely, yet as they regarded 
highly the minister, they wished their child to per- 
petuate his name. 

Mr. Spraggs was said to be a good preacher, and 
somewhat useful. Among those converted to God 
under his ministry was the late Richard Leay- 
craft. Samuel Spraggs was his spiritual father, and 
Mr. Leaycraft used to speak of him in the most affec- 
tionate manner. I have heard him describe the 



290 AIKTHOJMSM IN NKW-YOKK 

.lavs of oM. Mr. Spraggs received him into the 
Church. 

Mr. Leaycraft moved to Newark, New-Jersey, 
and was one of the first Methodists in that 
eilv, and the first to open his house to \\> define 
Methodist preachers. \ His house was the home of 
the weary itinerant. Bishop Asbury and the earlv 
preachers put up with him. Neither did they " eat 
him out of house and home," as some have expressed 
it. He was prospered in spiritual and temporal 
tilings, and amassed wealth. He died from old age: 

"The weary wheels of life shmd still." 

When he died he was the oldest member of the 
Methodist Church in New-York, if not in the United 
States. Believing the reader would like to see the 
autograph of the oldest Methodist in New- York at 
the time he died, I give his fac-simile. 



&x<y tiL^c 



■<A-^> 4^ '2/?Y~ 



Soon after Ilev John Diokins came to New-York 
Mr. Kpraggs leit the city. He then withdrew from 
r lhe Methodist Church, and joined the KpiscnpalitWB. 
The cause of his withdrawing is unknown. He 
became pastor o|' the old Kpi-,eopal Church in F.li/.a- 
bolhlown. He died and was buried there, and in that 
venerable church is a tablot erected to his memory. 



AT THE CLOSE OE THE WAR. 291 



CHAPTEE XXXII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK AT THE CLOSE OF 
THE WAR. 

Hostilities cease — Independence of the Colonies acknowledged — 
New- York evacuated by the British — How long they had Possession 
of it — American Troops enter the City — General Washington and 
Governor Clinton, and the Procession — General Knox and the Officers 
of the Army — Festive Scenes — Splendid Banquet — Brilliant Fire- 
works — Washington's Farewell to his Companions in Arms — Affect- 
ting Scene — Tories and Loyalists obliged to leave the City — Property 
confiscated — Churches and their Pastors who have been scattered 
re-united — Wesley Chapel — Samuel Spraggs — Eev. John Dickins — 
Asbury and Dickins — Mr. Spraggs leaves the City — Singular Items 
in the*" Old Book" — Parsonage refitted — Preacher's "Wants supplied 
— Charles White, Treasurer of the Board and Steward, resigns — 
Leaves New- York — The Eeason why — New Election of Trustees — 
Eeview of the former — Francis Asbury' 3 first Visit to New- York 
after the War of the Ee volution — His Description of the Con- 
dition of Things at that Time. 

The unhappy war that had been waging for many- 
years between England and the colonies, was brought 
to a termination this year. Hostilities ceased the 
19th of April, 1783, and on the 30th of September 
the independence of the colonies was formally ac- 
knowledged and ratified. 

The British captured New- York City the ,15th of 
September, 1776, and kept possession of it till the 



292 METHODISM IN NKW-YO^t 

25th of November, 1783, when the Britjph troops 
evacuated the city This was* a joyful dayVnaulti- 
tudes, and is celebrated annually. It is familiarlf* 
called Evacuation Day. Those who had been driven 
from their homes and firesides, now returned to enjoy 
the peaceful possession of them, while the property 
of Tories and Loyalists was confiscated, and they 
suddenly left the country, not only for their country's 
good, but also for their own, leaving all they had 
behind them, glad to escape with their lives. 

The American troops entered the city as the 
British embarked from the lower part of it. The 
military and civil authorities made a formal entry. 
General Washington and Governor Clinton, with 
their suits, on horseback, led the procession, escorted 
by a troop of West Chester cavalry. Then came the 
lieutenant governor and members of the Qouncil, 
Genenal Knox and the officers of the army, the 
speaker of the Assembly, and a large number of 
citizens on horseback and on foot. 

There was great festivity and rejoicing in the city. 
Splendid banquets, then splendid fireworks. Thns 
ended this day of excitement, festivity, and joy. A 
few days after, Washington bade adieu to the city 
and his brave companions in arms, amid the manly 
tears that rolled down manly cheeks. 

Many of the churches suffered during this long 
period that tried men's souls and bodies. Many of 
the shepherds and their flocks that had been long scat- 



AT -SHE CLOSE OF THE WAR. 293 

tered, returned to worship together the God of their 
fathers. The dove was seen with the olive leaf in its 
mouth. 

The Methodist Church in the city of New- 
York, we have seen, was far more highly favored 
than her sister churches during the Revolution. 
When they were closed, their seats torn out, or 
used as barracks or hospitals, Wesley Chapel 
escaped. 

In 1783, we find Samuel Spraggs and John Dickins 
stationed in John-street. Mr. Spraggs's name had 
not appeared in the Minutes for several years, 
though he had supplied New- York. He had been 
in John-street over five years, and might have 
acquired such an influence that the conference 
thought it good policy to name him with Mr. 
Dickins. He remained, however, but a few months, 
and then took his departure. July 10th they 
settled with him in full, and as far as he is concerned 
the record is complete. 

Before the war they numbered over two hundred 
members, now only sixty. Some of them emigrating 
to Nova Scotia with John Mann and Charles White, 
reduced the society, so that it had less members than 
during the war. 

Mr. Asbury was in North Carolina, April 5, 1Y83, 
where he heard the news that peace was confirmed 
between England and America, and says in his 
Journal: "This day I prevailed with Brother Dickins 



294 METHODISM IN NEW-TORI 

to go to Now- York, when! I expect him to be far 
more useful than in his present station.'' 

In June Mr. Dickins arrived in New- York, and 
entered heartily upon his work, watching for souls as 
one that must give an account. The trustees and 
stewards were just as particular in their accounts as 
before the war. 

In the u old book '" we find the following : 

1783, June23. Clothes brusli, 4*., black ball and 

brushes, 3s., flannel, 8*., and cash, 

2s., for preacher's use 
" June 24. To cash to Mr. Dickins. 
" " 30. To casli to Mr. Dickins three guineas 
" July 1. To cash paid Mr. Marchingtoii for 

sheets, table cloths, towels, etc.. . 
" July 11. Sundry kitchen furniture for Mr. 

Dickins . . . . 

" July 18. A chest of drawers for preacher's 

residence 
" " " To Mr. Dickins for four weeks' board 11 
" " 26. Bottoming six chairs for the house 

at 4s. i>tl .... 1 

" Aug. 18. To Mi-. Dickins, for four weeks' hoard 

" Sept, 13. To Mr. Dickins's quarterage. 

" '' " To two weeks' provision for Mr. 

Dickins 

1784, March 22. To one murcjuin for preacher's house 

" " " To one pair of andirons 

" April 7. To John Dickins, his quarterage, due 

2 1st of March. 
" June 21. To John Dickins, his quarterage 
" " 28. To fourteen weeks' provision ... 



£0 


17 





6 


12 








4 





6 


12 


8 


2 


7 


6 


1 


16 





11 


4 






11 


4 





10 








5 


12 








i 








10 





10 








10 








33 


12 






AT jfHE CLOSE OF THE WAB. 295 

From the first item it would appear, as a. new 
preacher had come, the people wished to fix up. and 
wished to fix up their pastor also. 

The "black ball" reminds us of other days ; it was 
not blacking, nor patent leather that needs no polish- 
ing, but black ball. 

Another item shows us how they replenished the 
old parsonage, to make the minister comfortable. 
" The sheets," " table-cloths," « towels," " sundries," 
the " chest of drawers," the " saucepan," and " and- 
irons," and the " bellows," all speak for themselves. 

Their rigid economy is also seen ; they repaired or 
" bottomed six chairs ;" they had been used some 
time, and were superannuated. They* also " repaired 
a bedstead," paying one pound and four shillings for 
it. A query arises, If it cost so much to repair a 
bedstead, what would a new one have been worth? 

There are other singular entries this year in the 
old volume. 

1783, June 10. Paid Mr. Aymar, for his negro Peter. £40 00 

We will have the sequel to this by and by. 

1784, Jan. 5. To eleven weeks' provision iti advance. £30 16 
" " 20. To printing elegies and rules. 6 

They were well off, if they were able to pay in 
advance. They were Methodists, determined to live 
by rule. 

There was a change in the board of trustees and 
stewards this year. 



296 METHODISM IN NEW-TOBK 

Charles White's name as treasurer, or assistant 
treasurer, had been on the " old book " from 1777 to 
1783, and now it appears for the last time. This is 
the last entry : 

1783 Sept. 13. To cash paid to Mr. Charles White, 

balance due to him as steward . £1 17 6. 

He was now to bid adieu to his brethren, with 
whom he had been associated since the birth of 
American Methodism. He came from Dublin with 
Richard Sause very early, and was one of the origi- 
nal subscribers. He had been identified with Wes- 
ley Chapel from the first. He had been associated 
with the Methodists in John-street for nineteen years, 
having worshiped with, them in the rigging loft be- 
fore the preaching-house was built. 

Mr. White prepared the branches for lighting the 
preaching-house for many years. We have a receipt 
from him on the second page of the "old book," 
which reads thus: 

Received, New- York, April 6, 1770, of Mr. William 
Lupton, seven pounds and 5*. 6d., for branches, etc, 
for the Methodist preaching-house. 

£7 5s. 6d. 





He left New- York for Nova Scotia with John 
Mann. 



AT THE CLOSE OF THE WAR. 29 7 

It will ? be remembered that Mr. Boardman, on his 
arrival, appointed seven trustees. After Mr. Board- 
man and others left, the remainder of the board, con- 
sisting of "William Lupton, James Jarvis, and Henry- 
Newton, chose John Mann, John Staples, Samuel 
Selby, and David Johnson as trustees, in the place 
of .Bichard Boardman, Joseph Pilmoor, Thoma3 
Webb, and John Southwell, removed from the city. 
Two other trustees were added, Stephen Sands and 
William Essenworth. 

This board differed from that appointed by Mr. 
Boardman. That was appointed by the preacher ; 
this was chosen by the trustees. Three ministers 
were members of the former, in the latter they were 
all laymen. The former consisted of seven, the latter 
of nine. At a subsequent election, Charles White 
and Bichard Sause were elected. 

After John Dickins arrived, and John Mann and 
Charles White left for Nova Scotia, on the 16th of 
September, 1783, at a general meeting of the board, 
the trustees appointed Abraham Bussel and Peter 
M'Clain, Jun., joint trustees with them, in the place 
of John Mann and Charles White, removed from the 
city. On the 13th of September they had a final 
settlement with Mr. White, and three days after they 
elected some one to fill his place. 

This is the first time Abraham Bussel's name, that 

long-tried and faithful servant of the Church, appears 

on the " old book," but not the last. It occurs hund- 

14 



298 xtetiiodism iv nkw-york: 

reds of times after, lie was elected at the close of 
the war, before the British left the city. 

Bishop Asbury had not been in New-York for 
years. On the 25th of August, 17S3, he made it an- 
other visit. He says : "When I arrived there I found 
John Dickiiis preaching." 

Mr. Dickins was a great favorite with Mr. Asbury. 
He had desisted from traveling, or located, as we 
now express it; and Mr. Asbury had urged hi in to 
enter the traveling ministry, and to take the station 
in New- York, which was in need of just such a 
minister. 

The bishop preached on Wednesday, and says : '• I 
was close and searching, and a few felt it ; a little «>f 
the good old spirit yet prevails among these people. 
We had generally preaching morning and evening, 
and I trust the seed will not all be lost." 

The bishop rejoiced that, notwithstanding the 
scenes through which they had passed, and the trials 
they had endured, "a little of the good old spirit 
prevailed among them;" that is, there were a few 
names in New- York who had " not deliled their gar- 
ments." 

u Sioi<l<nj, ?A . — In the evening I thought it neces- 
sary to put them on examination, whether they 
were Christians or not. I spoke on 13 Corinthians 
xiii, 5. 1 was much led ont; a power went forth, 
and I hope some real good was done." 



JOHN DICKENS. 299 



CHAPTEK XXXIIL 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1784: JOHN DICKINS. 

Wesley Chapel — John Diekins re-appointed — His Salary — First 
Married Preacher stationed in New- York — Family reside in the old 
Parsonage — Items on the " Old Book" — Mr. Asbury's Visit — 
Liberality of the Trustees — Band Eules — Arrival of distinguished 
Strangers — Doctor Coke — Bichard Whatcoat — Hospitality of 
Stephen Sands — Interview between Dr. Coke and John Diekins — 
Plan proposed — Approved of — Dr. Coke encouraged — Dr. Coke 
preaching in New-York — Meeting of Coke and Asbury — Christmas 
Conference called — Meet in Baltimore — Dickins's Expenses to 
Conference — Has the Honor of giving a Name to the Methodist 
Church — Thomas "Ware's Testimony. 

In the spring of 1784, Mr. Diekins was re-appointed 
to New- York. The record on the "old book" is 
very full, and his name occurs scores of times. 
They did not put his board and quarterage together, 
as in the case of Samuel Spraggs, but they paid 
Mr. Diekins ten pounds a quarter salary, and so 
many pounds for provisions. All the other preachers 
had been single men. Mr. Diekins was the first 
man of family stationed in Wesley Chapel ; his the 
first minister's family that resided in the parsonage. 

This year the trustees paid for "two prayer 
books," showing prayer books were then used in 



300 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN ^784: 



% 



Wesley Chapel, and they paid many pftnnds to 
"constables" to protect them while worshiping. 
This exhibits a very bad state of morals in New-York 
at that time. They papered the preacher's room. 
Mr. Asbury visited them in September, and they 
gave him six pounds. They kept an account of 
the most minute things; paid one shilling for an 
" extinguisher," and another for " mending a 
shovel." 

In 1785, April 22d, we have the following: "To 
cash paid Brother Dickins for six months and three 
weeks' allowance, at one hundred pounds per annum, 
commencing the first of October, 1784." His salary, 
according to this, was one hundred pounds a year. 
This was not as much as they had given Samuel 
Spraggs during the revolutionary war. 

Band meetings were held, therefore the following : 

1785, Jan. 8. To one hundred band rules. £0 8 

Mr. Asbury will give us light on the condition of 
things in New- York at that time. It was a little 
more than a year since Mr. Asbury had visited his 
brethren in New- York, and he seemed so pleased, 
that I transcribe what he says in reference to it in 
his Journal. "Friday, August 27, 1784. "We took 
the stage from Newark and reached York about 
eight o'clock. At York we found the people alive to 
God ; there are about one hundred in society, and 
with those in Philadelphia, to my mind, appear mora 



JOHN DICKENS. 301 

like Methodists than I have ever yet seen them. 
My first discourse was for the benefit of poor 
stragglers, who have not yet returned to the fold : 
the subject chosen was Eev. iii, 1-4. Sunday, 29. 
I preached for the benefit of poor sinners on Job 
xxi, 15. Monday 30. My soul is alive to God; I 
visited, prayed, read, wrote, met the classes, and in 
the evening preached. I have found great fellowship 
and consolation in the classes. Monday, September 6. 
I took leave of my dear friends in New- York ; they 
showed their love in deed and in truth, liberally sup- 
plying me with what is necessary." 

The New-York Methodists often supplied the 
bishop's wants, and even anticipated them, and no 
wonder he was grateful. They never permitted 
Francis Asbury to go away from the city empty 
handed. At that day as well as in succeeding years, 
they were not only "given to hospitality," but dis- 
tinguished for their liberality. Freely they had 
received, freely they gave. That very year, Decem- 
ber 6, is the following on the "old book:" 

To cash for a truss for- Brother Cox .£0 16 

This was the excellent Philip Cox. The brother 
was afflicted, and they tried to relieve him. 

This year was to the Methodists in America a 
memorable one, the commencement of their existence 
as a Church. In the autumn Mr. Dickins and the 
New- York Methodists were most agreeably surprised 



802 METHODISM EN NEW-YOBK IN f£84: 

by the arrival of the distinguished strangles Mr. 
Wesley had sent to this far-off land. 

The third of November, 1784, Dr. Coke, Kichard 
Whatcoat, and Thomas Vasey landed in New- 
York. It was the doctor's first visit to this New 
"World. His biographer says : " Dr. Coke's first care 
was to find out the Methodist preaching-house. A 
gentleman who, although not a Methodist, conducted 
him to the house of Mr. Sands,* where he took up 
his abode, and found himself in a region of hospi- 
tality and friendship. The intelligence of his arrival 
soon brought to the house the traveling preacher t 
in that city. To him Dr. Coke unfolded the plan 
which Mr. "Wesley had adopted for the regulation 
and government of his societies. And it was no 
small consolation to him to learn that the plan met 
his entire approbation ; and so confident was he (Mr. 
Dickins) of Mr. Asbury's concurrence, that he ad- 
vised the doctor to make it public throughout all the 
societies, being fully assured that the name of Mr. 
"Wesley would impart a degree of sanction to the 
measure, which would disarm resistance, even if 
any were apprehended. But that nothing might 
be done precipitantly, Dr. Coke declined to carry 
the advice into execution, until he had seen Mr. 
Asbury, to whom he had a particular inessago, 

* This was Stephen Sands, at that time one of the trustees of 
the Methodist preaohing-house. 
t This won the Rev. John Diokiu. 



JOHK DICKENS. 303 

although they were personally unknown to each 
pth^r,f:tnjat'-they might act in concert, and take no 
step that should not be the result of calm deliber- 
ation. Having taken this prudent resolution, Dr. 
Coke, after preaching a few times in New- York 
and vicinity, took leave of a friendly and affection- 
ate people, and directed his course to Philadelphia." 

First. From this we see that John Dickins was 
the first Methodist preacher who had the honor of 
welcoming Dr. Coke to this New World; the first 
that formed his acquaintance, that enjoyed his 
friendship. 

Second. John Dickins was the first Methodist 
preacher to whom Dr. Coke unfolded the plan for the 
organization of the Methodist Church. The first that 
indorsed and approved it. And he assured Dr. 
Coke that it would meet with the approbation of 
Mr. Asbury. Mr. Dickins's approval, and his con- 
fidence in Mr. Asbury 's concurrence, afforded Dr. 
Coke great consolation. 

Third. Wesley Chapel in John-street was the 
first place in America where the distinguished and 
eloquent doctor preached the " glorious Gospel of 
the blessed God." He not only preached once, but 
a " few times." 

Mr. Dickins had the privilege of hearing the 

doctor's first sermon preached in America, and 

that before Asbury saw or heard him. Mr. Asbury 

jStnd Dr. Coke met at Barrat's Chapel on the 14th 



304 METHODISM IN NKW-YOKK IN 1784: 

of November. There they formed the plan for call- 
ing the famous Christmas Conference, which resulted 

in the urbanization of the .Methodist Episcopal 
Church. That was a wonderful meeting of great 
hearts and kindred spirits. 

December 8th, 17*1, is the following entry in 
the ''old book:" ''To cash paid 13n>. Dickins for 
expenses to Conference, six pounds.'' This must 
have been his expenses to the Christmas Conference 
held in Baltimore, Dec. 25th, 1784, when the 
Methodist Episcopal Church was organized, and 
Bishop Asbuiy ordained superintendent. Sixty out 
of the eighty-three traveling preachers in the con- 
nection were present. 

Mr. Dickins was elected and ordained deacon at 
that conference, with two others, Caleb Boyer* 
and Ignatius Pitman. Twelve were elected elders, 
most of whom were consecrated. 

Mr. Dickins had the honor at that conference 
of giving to the Methodist body the title of JLJhod- 
ht Episcopal Church. Thomas Ware says: "After 
Mr. "Wesley's letter declaring his appointment of 
Dr. Coke and Mr. Asbuiy as joint superintendents 
of the Methodists in America had been read, ana- 
lyzed, and cordially approved by the conference, 
the rinestion arose, 'What name or title shall we 
U\kaC One proposed, 1 think it was John Dickins, 
that we should adopt the title of Methodist Episco- 
*Mr. Boyer was elected, but not ordained. 



JOHN DICKER. 305 

pal Church. Mr. Dickins was^ in the estimation 
of his brethren, a man of sound sense and sterling 
piety; and there were but few men on the confer- 
ence floor heard with greater deference than he. 
Most of the preachers had been brought up in 
what was called 'the Church of England,' and all 
agreeing that the plan of general superintendence, 
which had been adopted, was a species of episco- 
pacy, the motion, on Mr. Dickins's suggestion, was 
carried without, I think, a dissenting voice. There 
was not, to my recollection, the least agitation on 
the question." Again Mr. Ware says : " John Dick- 
ins was a man of excellent sense and a most ami- 
able spirit. To this good man I could open all my 
heart, knowing that if I erred he would correct me, 
and do it, too, in a spirit that would increase my 
obligation to and my esteem for him." Again he 
says : " Mr, Dickins was not only one of the most 
sensible men I ever knew, but one of the most con- 
scientious." Such was the character of the man 
who was pastor of the John-street Methodist Church 
in 1783 and 1784, and part of 1785. Just the man 
for the exigency of the times directly after the 
revolutionary war. Happy the people that had 
such a preacher and such a pastor as John Dickins. 
The New-York Methodists paid to Dr. Coke, Jan- 
uary 8th, 1785, two pounds and five shillings. He 
must have been supported while in this country 

Wy voluntary contributions from the churches. 

14* 



306 METHODISM IN NEW-YOBK IN 1785, 1786. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1785 AND 1786. 

Eemoval of John Dickins — His Successor — Expenses paid — Quarter- 
age — House-keeping — To Conference — Singular Entry — Habits of 
the People — Brief History of John Hagerty — Personal Appearance 
of — Kesembles Fletcher of Madeley — Powerful Voice — Spiritual 
Father of Thomas Morrell — Death of— Age — ^ Buried in Baltimore — 
John Dickins re-appointed to New-York — T"hn Tunnel Elder — 
Expenses — Quarterage — Asbury and the poor Preacher — Liberality 
of the Trustees toward Mr. Asbury — Preacher's Tax — Why they 
should be exempt — Money sent to Conference — Sketch of the 
Elder — John Tunnel and the Sailor — Death of Tunnel — Funeral 
Sermon preached by Mr. Asbury. 

In the spring of 1785, Rev. John Dickins was re- 
moved from New- York, and the Rev. John Hagerty 
was appointed his successor. He remained but one 
year. 

We have an account of what the stewards paid 
him for "quarterage," "house-keeping," and ^ix 
pounds for expenses to conference. This was but an 
act of justice, as the preacher was transacting 
business for the Church. 

There is a singular entry, Juno 13th. showing the 
custom of the times : 

To cftsl, paid for drink for lnborers in the yard £o 4 f 



METHODISM IK NEW-YOKE! m 1785, 1788. 30? 

Strong drink was then thought necessary for the 
laboring man. 

Mr.. Hagerty was a native of Maryland, born 18th 
of February, 1747. He was converted to God under 
the labors of the Eev. John King, and by him ap- 
pointed a class-leader in 1772, and he entered the 
traveling ministry in 1779, and was one of the first 
elders in America, being ordained at the famous 
Christmas Conference in Baltimore, in 1784. Mr. 
Hagerty was very useful in his different fields of 
labor; but in consequence of domestic affliction, 
located in 1794, and resided in Baltimore, where he 
preached as often as he was able. 

In person Mr. Hagerty was about the middle size, 
straight, well-proportioned ; his features were prom- 
inent, and he had- a fine intellectual forehead. It is 
said there was a striking resemblance between his 
likeness and that of John Fletcher, of Madeley. His 
voice was strong and full, and his preaching power- 
ful. He was the spiritual father of Thomas Morrell. 
Mr. Hagerty died of epilepsy in Baltimore, Septem- 
ber 4, 1823, aged seventy-six years. 

This year, 1786, John Dickins was appointed again 
to the city of New- York, no doubt to the mutual joy 
of the preacher and the people. 

The numbers in society were one hundred and 
seventy-eight whites and twenty-five colored. This 
was the first time they had been numbered separate- 
ly ; the practice was continued for several years. 



308 METHODISM IN NFW-YOKK IN 1786,1786. 

Tho account in tho "old Look" is very full, and 
vet I luivo space to copy but little. Tlie preacher 
received his allowance with great regularity. The 
llev. John Tunnel was elder. 

1780 An". 28. Paid Brother Tunnel for quarterage £6 8 
" Sept. 5. To cash paid toward a horse for a 
poor preacher, at the desire of 
Mr. Asbury 8 20 

This shows the character of Bishop Asbury, and at 
the same time the benevolence of the New-York 
Methodists. 

1786, Sept. 19. To cash paid Mr. Asbury for traveling 

expenses £2 

" Nov. 27. To sundries supplied Mr. Asbury in 

September last 17 9 

This shows they were attentive to the wants of the 
venerated Asbury. 

1787, Jan. 15. To cash paid Preacher's Tax £0 19 2 

They taxed ministers in those days, and were about 
as mean as they are now in Massachusetts and New- 
Jersey. But in New-York State they have learned 
better. Preachers should be free from taxation, be- 
cause they do an immense amount of work for the 
public for nothing. 

1787, Feb. 23. To cash paid Brother Tunnel in part £10 

" April 21. To balance in full, due Bro. Tunnel 9 4 
The stewards sent to Conference by 

Brother Tunnel ... 11 o • 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1785, 1786. 309 

Mr. Tunnel was elder, and his field of labor included 
East Jersey, Brooklyn, Long Island, as well as New- 
York. This was the only time he was appointed to 
labor in New- York. It was a privilege to have 
among them such an able minister of the New 
Testament. 

Mr. Tunnel entered the traveling ministry in 1777, 
and finished his course with joy in Tennessee, in 1790. 
He was an Apollos, " mighty in the, scriptures." His 
" speech distilled as the dew, and as the gentle rain 
upon the new-mown grass." A sailor once heard 
him preach, and thought he was listening to a man 
who had been dead and in heaven, and had returned 
to tell the people all about the glories of the upper 
world. When Mr. Tunnel went to the conference 
from New- York, he volunteered to go to Holstein, 
now East Tennessee. Wherever he went he was 
very useful. His career was brilliant and his end 
triumphant. Mr. Asbury loved him tenderly, and 
his brethren, in the Minutes, speak of him in the 
very highest terms. 

The name of John Tunnel is like " ointment poured 
forth." His funeral sermon was preached by Bishop 
Asbury. 



310 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK EN 1787. 



CHAPTER XXXV 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1787. 

Ministers stationed in New-York — John Dickins — Henry Willis — 
Mr. Willis did not come — Wool man Hickson supplied his Place — 
Mr. Hickson's Quarterage — Traveling Expenses — Mr. Hicksou 
introduces Methodism into Brooklyn — Forms the first Class — The 
first Leader, Nicholas Snethen — The first Board of Trustees — 
Laying the first Corner-Stone — Dr. Phoebus — David Buck — Tho 
first House of Worship — Its Dedication — Joseph T"ttcn — Numbers 
in Society — Mr. Hickson's Health fails — .silent and impressive 
Records — His Nurse — Her Wages — Death of Mr. Hickson — 
Funeral Expenses — His Character. 

In 1787 the Rev. John Dickins was stationed in 
New-York, and Rev. Henry Willis was his col- 
league. I do not find Mr. Willis's name on the "old 
book" this year, and think that, although he was 
appointed to the station, he did not fill the ;ipj >< >i ti t- 
ment. Ministers were more frequently changed then 
than now during the intervals of the conferences. 
The work frequently required it at that time. The 
reader will see by what follows, why 1 have come to 
the conclusion that Mr. Willis did not labor in New- 
York in 17*7 

Instead of the name of Willis, I find that of* Wool- 
man Ilickuon. This is a name very precious to tM| 



MSJlHODISM EST NEW-YOEK IN 1787. 311 

lovers of early Methodism, and early Methodist min- 
isters. Mr. Hickson joined the conference in 1783, 
and was appointed, to West Jersey with John Ma- 
gary. The next year we find him in Virginia. The 
third year he was stationed in Baltimore. This was 
the last station to which he was appointed. His 
health failed, and he was left without an appoint- 
ment. Mr. Willis not coming to New-York, Mr. 
Hickson was employed to fill his place. Though 
feeble, his soul burned with holy ardor to do what 
he could for his Master, and he preached and toiled 
till he 

"His body with his charge laid down," 

and went up to receive his reward. 

Though his constitution was shattered, his face pale, 
the consumption undermining his earthly tabernaclo 
and preparing him for an early grave, yet such was 
his zeal for God and love for souls, that he made 
application to go to Nova Scotia, and Bishop Asbury 
forbade him. This I learn from a private letter from. 
Bishop Asbury, which is in my possession. Had it 
not been for the "old book," we might not havo 
known that Mr. Hickson was stationed in New-York 
as the colleague of John Dickins, as his name does 
not appearwn the Minutes in any such connec- 
tion. 

In the " old book " Mr. Hickson is frequently 



312 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1787. 

1787. Sept. 24. To cash to Wonlman iru-kson, for 

j,i-iuli ; a class tickets * a 

To cash, puWl Hnrther Hickson's quar- 

.... 6 8 

U'HIgO. 

i. >i To cash, traveling expenses 1,12 



There are other similar entries in the book, showing 
that Woolman Hickson was the colleague of John 
Dickins, and I have no doubt but he was a "true 
yoke-fellow." 

-Mr. Hickson at this time had the distinguishing 
honor of introducing Methodism into Brooklyn, L. I., 
which is now the City of Churches. True, Captain 
Webb had preached there many year? before, but he 
formed no class. Mr. Hickson's first sermon in 
Brooklyn was delivered in the open air, from a table, 
in what is called Sands-street, directly in front of 
where the Methodist Episcopal Church now stands. 
At the close of his sermon Mr. Hickson said, that if 
any person present would open his house for preach- 
ing, he would visit them again. A gentleman, by 
the name of Peter Cannon, accepted the offer, and 
promised to prepare a place for the reception of the 
congregation. This place was no other than a coop- 
er's shop. In a short time Mr. Hickson formed a 
class of several members. Tin's was -the first class 
formed in Brooklyn. 

Mr. Hickson appointed Nicholas Snethen, after- 
ward so fam< >us as a preacher, the first leader of the 
class. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1787. 318 

On the 19th of May, 1794, the first board of trus- 
tees in Brooklyn was elected. The election took 
place at the house of Peter Cannon, who first opened 
his shop as a house of worship. They were six in 
number, and their names were John Garrison, 
Thomas Van Pelt, Burdett Striker, Stephen Hen- 
drickson, Richard Everit, and Isaac Moser. 

The first Methodist house of worship was erected 
in Brooklyn this year. The corner stone was laid by 
Dr. "William Phcebus. David Buck, father of Revs. 
Valentine and David Buck, preached on the occa- 
sion from Isaiah xxviii, 16 : " Behold, I lay in Zion," 
etc. The house was dedicated to the worship of God 
June 1st, 1794, by the Rev. Joseph Totten, from 
Exodns xx, 24. 

Long Island for a time was one circuit. Brooklyn 
became a separate station in 1795. There were then 
only twenty-three white and twelve colored mem- 
bers. 

Mr. Hickson was a " bright and shining light," 
but it was soon extinguished by death. The next 
year he "rested from his labors, and his works 
followed him." 

There are melancholy records, that are silent, 
but very impressive. With a kind of mournful 
interest we read this : 

1788, June 4. To cash paid Ann Wheeler for nursing 
Brother Hickson, six weeks, at two 
dollars per week. £4 16 



314 METHODISM IN NKW-YoKK IN 1787. 

We learn wlio was the sick minister's nurse— Ann 
Wheeler. 11. iw long* six weeks.. While he was 
wasting awav with the consumption she smoothed 
his pillow of agony till 

"His languishing head was at rest." 

The society provided a nurse and attended to the 
wants of the suffering dying minister, till his throb- 
bing temples ceased to beat. This speaks well for the 
sympathy and kindness of the people. Had it n-t 
been for the "old book" we should have known noth- 
ing of this, for all the actors in that scene have gone 
the way whence they will not return. She who 
nursed him, and they who provided for the sick 
and dying man's necessities, have passed away to 
the spirit land. 

One more entry. It is the last that can be made 
concerning any man : 

1788, Nov. 17. To casli for funeral expenses of Mr. 

Ilickson. .. ... £.' 10 

They nursed him when sick, and buried him 
when dead. While it speaks well for the sympathy 
and kindness of the brethren in New-York, it also 
shows us what a self-sacrificing clagfc of men the 
earlv Methodist ministers were. 

A young man of Woolman Ilickson s splendid tal- 
ents and brilliant genius, did not leave money enough 
behind to pay his funeral expenses, and was buried 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1787. 315 

at the expense of others. Surely he had " coveted 
no man's silver or gold." The meager support given 
in that da} r , and the prospect of not leaving enough 
to bury them when dead, caused many a man of 
fine talents to desist from traveling. But the Church 
has awoke to this- subject, and it makes more ample 
provision for those who minister at the altar of 
God. A brighter day has dawned upon us, and 
both preachers and people have occasion for devout 
thanksgiving. 

His brethren, in the Minutes, make this honorable 
mention of him: " Woolman Hickson, of promising 
genius, arid considerable preaching abilities ; upright 
in life, but soon snatched away by consumption, 
in the midst of his usefulness ; seven years in the 
work." His last labor was performed in New-York. 
Here he died and was buried. Peace to his memory ! 



816 METHODISM IN NKW-YOBK IN 1 1788. 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1788. 

^enry Willis, Elder— John Dickins, Pastor— Mr. Willis's Name on the 
"Old Book" — Extracts from-Mr. Willis's History — Character— 
Pre-eminent— Thomas Ware — Asbury's Love fur Mr. Willis- 
Death of Cornelius Cook — Singular Entries in the "Old Book" — 
The first Conference held in New-York — Not named in the Min- 
utes, or in the History of Methodism — Asbury's Testimony — 
Thomas Morrell's — New- York Methodists fixing up for the Occa- 
sion — Green Baize — Red Marine — Asbury's Horses — Bridle — 
Freeborn Gurrettson's Name first appears — How ho came to New- 
York — Why he remained — First Cenfercnce in New-York an 
important one — Giants in those Days — Sketch of the Men — Great 
Plans for extending the Work — Introduction of Methodism upon 
the Banks of the Hudson — Great Revival. 

At the Conference in 1788, Henry Willis was 
appointed elder, and John Dickens pastor. In the 
" old book " I find that name which is like oint- 
ment poured forth — Henry Willis ; I copy from the 
record. 

1788, Dec. 28. To cash paid Mr. Willis for ql&rter- 

age, etc. . . £8 8 3 

1789, Mar. 21. To cash paid Mr. Willis for quarter- 

age, etc. .. 6 IS 8 



METHODISM EST J5TEW-YOKK IN 1788. 317 

Here he received his " quarterage," etc., meaning 
traveling, conference, and incidental expenses. 

In regard to the character of Henry Willis, 
Thomas Ware says, comparing him with several 
ministers with extraordinary gifts: "Henry Willis, 
however, stood forth pre-eminent. I knew him well. 
He was a manly genius, and very intelligent. He well 
understood theology, and was a most excellent man 
and minister. I followed him to the south as far 
as North Carolina, to the east as far as New -York, 
and to the west as far as Holston, and found his 
name dear to many of the excellent of the earth. 
His physical powers, however, were not able to 
sustain the ardor of his mind." Mr. Willis entered 
the traveling ministry in 1778, and died in Virginia 
in 1808. His brethren, in the Minutes, give him 
the most exalted character as a man and a Chris- 
tian minister. They say: "He was possessed of 
great gifts, natural, spiritual, and acquired." They 
call him "this great man of God," and in regard 
to his work use this language: "extended his labors 
from New- York to Charleston in the South, and to 
the Western waters. In these stations the name of 
Willis will be had in. grateful remembrance." 
Again: "Perhaps the real worth of a Willis and 
many others of the primitive Methodists in America, 
will never be known till the great day of universal 
judgment." 
Bishop Asbury loved him as David did Jonathan. 



318 MKTIIODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1788. 

Not long after Ins death he passed his grave and 
wept, exclaiming, hi all the bitterness of heartfelt 
grief: "O! Henry Willis, when shall I look upon 

thy like again V 

Highly favored were the Methodists in New- York 
that year to have such distinguished ministers as 
the eloquent Willis and the able and faithful John 
Diekins. 

I will extract but little recorded this year in the 
" old book." 

1788, April 14. To cash paid for Brother Cook's ex- 
penses .... £0 10 



This was Cornelius Cook, who was an Englishman 
converted in America. He joined the traveling con- 
nection in 1787, and died in 1789. He was the only 
Methodist minister in the traveling connection at that 
time by the name of Cook, except Valentine Cook, 
who joined that year. Cornelius Cook was a very 
feeble man. He anticipated death, set his house in 
order, and made his will, a copy of which I have be- 
fore me. Richard Whatcoat and Thomas .Morrell 
signed it as witnesses. This is the brother concerning 
whom ihere. has been so much dispute in regard to 
where he was buried. 

Another entry : 

1738, Oct. 11. To cash for keeping Bishop Asbury's 

hoi>es £■} 5 11 

To cash paid for a bridle for do. ... Oil 



METHODISM EST NEW-YOEK EST 1788. 319 

One of the horses was for himself, the other for 
his traveling companion. 

1788, Oct. 11. To cash for four yards of green baize, 

4s. 4d., for conference ... £0 17 4 

" " " To casli paid for two and a half yards 

of red marine for cushion, 4s 10 

" " " " To cash paid for mending candle- 
stick, and cleaning church, etc. 6 6 

" " " To sundry expenses at the time of 

conference 8 8 

I have been particular to notice these items, be- 
cause they show a conference was held in John- 
street Church in October, 1788. This was the first 
conference held in New- York. 

The New- York Methodists were anxious to "fix 
up" for conference, and therefore the "green baize" 
and the " red marine," which were brought into 
requisition. The church was cleaned for the oc- 
casion. There were sundry expenses at the time of 
the conference, and they footed the bills, besides 
taking good cafe of the bishop's horses and throwing 
in a bridle. 

From Mr. Asbury's Journal (vol. ii, p. 40) we 
learn when the conference was held. He makes the 
following record : "Monday, September 29, 1788. 
Rode to New- York. Next day (Tuesday, 30) our 
conference began, and continued until Saturday, 
the 4th of October." This conference is not noticed 
in the printed Minutes, nor in Bangs's History of 



320 METnODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1788. 

Methodism. lie notices seven conferences held 
in 1788, but not this. Had it nut been for the " old 
book," we should have been ignorant of it. I am 
glad it is continued by Asbury's Journal. It was the 
first conference held North of Philadelphia ; the first 
held in the city of New-York. It was an era in our 
history as a Church. 

Since the above was written, I have a further con- 
firmation of it ; testimony that cannot be doubted. 
The Kev. Thomas Morrell, in his unpublished journal, 
that now lies before me, says : " At the Conference 
in New-York, in October, 17SS, I was ordained a 
deacon, and appointed to the Trenton Circuit. At 
the June Conference, 1789, 1 was ordained an elder." 
I have seen his parchments, which show he was not 
mistaken in regard to dates, as far as these con- 
ferences are concerned. It is a most singular thing 
that the session of the first conference in New- York 
should have been omitted, not only in the General 
Minutes, but also by our ecclesiastical historians. 

We find the following entry : 

1789, Feb. 18. To one quire of paper for preachers £0 18 

This reminds us of the early established rule to 
allow the preachers one quire of paper a quarter, and 
no more. We also see the price of paper at that time. 

This year for the first time, the name of Freeborn 
Garrettson appears on the "old book," receiving 
quarterage, etc. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1788. 321 

1788, Aug. 25. To cash paid Mr. Garrettson's. horse- 
keeping . . £0 4 
" Oct. 5. To cash paid Mr. Garrettson for 

quarterage . ... 680 

I wondered at the above items, as Mr. Garrettson 
was not appointed to New York; but on reading his 
Life, the mystery was explained. He had labored 
with great success on the Peninsula, and was anxious 
to visit New-England. By the request of Bishop 
Asbury, he left the scene of his labor to go North, 
having Boston particularly in view. This was in 
May, 1788. 

When he arrived in New- York he found John 
Dickins in very poor health, and Mr. Hickson, the 
other stationed preacher, near the gates of death. 
The people earnestly solicited Mr. Garrettson to 
remain and preach for them. Their peculiar con- 
dition, the illness of the preachers, the importance of 
the place, and the urgency of their request, caused 
him to forego his plans, and he remained until the 
conference, favoring them with the word of life. 
Occasionally he made an excursion on Long Island 
and in West Chester County, in pursuit of the 
"lost sheep of the house of Israel." His arrival 
at that time was most providential for the 
Methodists in New- York City, and for the future 
of Methodism. 

During his stay in New- York, he received invita- 
tions from various places up the. North Eiver to visit 

15 



322 METHODISM IN NEW-YOItK m <1788. 

them; similar invitations were sent to the confer- 
ence; ho copsidered this the Macedonian cry, "Qome 
over and help us," to which he believed they had no 
right to turn a deaf ear. 

This first conference in New-York was an import- 
ant one in many respects. 

Giants were there, for there were giants in those 
days. There was the apostolic Asbury, with a clear 
head and a warm heart ; Henry Willis, with hia 
sweet spirit and eloquent tongue; John Dickins, 
a Boanerges ; John M'Claskey, who was a host in 
himself; Thomas Morrell, who had fought nobly in 
defense of his country, but was now fighting in 
defense of the truth ; Jesse Lee, with his shrewdness; 
Darius Durham, with his boldness ; and Freeborn 
Garrettson, with his large heart and large plans for 
the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. Time 
would fail to tell of others, but these are specimens 
of the men, noble specimens, that their sons in the 
Gospel have no reason to be ashamed of. 

The great plan formed at this conference for the 
extension of the work of God up the Hudson River, 
was wisely conceived and as wisely executed. 
"When we look now and see the Methodist Churches 
in all the cities and villages bordering on the 
beautiful Hudson, it is difficult to believe that 
seventy years ago there were none. Such, how- 
ever, was the fact. Go back to the Conference in 
1788, in old John-street, and you will see Garrettson 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOBK IN 1788. 323 

and his compeers planning the future work, and the 
noble pioneer calling the brave and chivalrous young 
men around him, and assigning them their fields of 
labor, pointing out the rich fields already white unto 
the harvest, and saying, My sons, "go, thrust in 
the sickle." 

Mr.,Garrettson gives the following interesting ac- 
count, in his Journal, of the manner in which he 
moved forward in an enterprise where interests so 
great were involved: "I was very uneasy in my 
mind, being unacquainted with the country, an 
entire stranger to its inhabitants, there being no 
Methodist, societies further north than West Chester ; 
but I gave myself to earnest prayer for direction. 
I knew that the Lord was with me. In the night 
season, in a dream, it seemed as if the whole country 
up the North River, as far as Lake Champlain, east 
and west, was open to my view. 

" After conference adjourned, I requested the 
young men to meet me. Light seemed so reflected 
on my path, that I gave them directions where to 
begin, and which way to form their circuits. I also 
appointed a time for each quarterly meeting, re- 
quested them to take up a collection in. every place 
where they preached, and told them I should go up 
the North River to the extreme parts of the work, 
visiting the towns and cities in the way, and on my 
return I should visit them all, and hold their 
quarterly meetings. I had no doubt but that the 



324 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1788. 

Lord would do wonder., I-.- the young men were 
pious, zealous, and laborious. ' 

Dr. Bangs, in his Life of Garrettson, (p. 197,) says: 
"June 1789. Mr. Garrettson set off on another 
tour to the North." This shows that he commenced 
the execution of his great plans, not at the Con- 
ference in 1789, but in 1788 ; and from the Con- 
ference in New- York in 1789, he set out, not on his 
first*, but (mother tour, having performed one pre- 
vious to this. This fact of history is established by 
his Life, and by Bangs's History of Methodism. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1189. 325 



CHAPTER XXXVII. 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1*789. 

Ministers stationed in New- York and Brooklyn — Thomas Morrell — 
Robert Cloud — John Merrick — John Lee — William Phoebus — 
Birth-place — When he entered the Itinerant Banks — Present at the 
famous Christmas Conference — Stationed in New- York — Location 

— Physician — Death — Burying-place — His Character and personal 
Habits — Anecdotes of — Dr. Phoebus and the Masses — Moving Time 

— The lame Preacher— Dr. Phoebus and John Summerfleld — Dr. 
Phoebus and William Lupton — -Further Particulars concerning the 

Old Trustee — His Grandson — The Bemoval of Mr. Lupton's Ee- 
mains — The inexplicable Groan — Dr. Phoebus and the Irishman — 
Conclusion. 

The second conference commenced its session in 
New- York City, May 28, 1789. This was the first 
year the name of presiding elder was used, and 
Freeborn Garrettson was appointed presiding elder 
of the New- York District. 

This year Thomas Morrell was appointed elder, and 
Robert Cloud, John Merrick, and William Phoebus 
were stationed in New- York, "each for four months:" 
Long Island, "William Phoebus* and John Lee. This 
shows the Methodists were determined the itiner- 
ancy should be kept up. It was old-fashioned itin- 
* Phcebus is named for' both. 



826 METHODISM IN NKW-YOKK INC1789. 

erancy, such as in tho days of Boardraan and Pil- 
moor, when they exchanged at the end of four months. 

Kobert Cloud was a good preacher; he joined 
the traveling connection in 1785, and located in 
1812. His name often appears on the "old book;" 
also we read of "his wife's quarterage." This is 
the first time the wife of a preacher is mentioned 
in the " old book." 

John Lee was brother to Jesse. He died, a few 
years after, a most triumphant death, and his life 
was written by his brother. 

John Merrick was a superior preacher. His 
name frequently appears on the "old book," and 
I could make various extracts from it. He became 
an itinerant minister in 1786, and after having 
traveled eleven years, he located. Mr. Merrick 
was very useful in his different fields of labor. 

WILLIAM PHCEBUS. 

William Phoebus was born in Somerset County, 
Maryland, August, 1754. He entered the traveling 
ministry as early as 1783. Mr. Phoebus was present 
at the famous Christmas Conference in Baltimore, 
1784, when tho Methodist Episcopal Church was 
organized. Ho was stationed in New- York as early 
as 1789. Mr. Phoebus was stationed in New- York 
several times. During the- time of his location he 
resided in New-York, and was a practicing physician. 
He also taught school. He early published a Maga- 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK EST 1789. 327 

zine. He died in New-York, Nov. 9th, 1831. Mr. 
Phoebus was buried in the burying-ground in First- 
street, where Seth Crowel, Samuel Bushnell, Thomas 
Thorp, and other noble ones were sleeping. The 
burying-ground has been sold, and their remains have 
been removed to Cypress Hills. 

Dr. Phoebus was a strong man, but was very 
eccentric. Sometimes he was very sociable, and 
then very taciturn. When in an agreeable mood he 
was excellent company, full of anecdotes of olden 
times, in which he abounded. There was much of 
Christian and ministerial dignity about him. He 
literallv "magnified his office." In administering 
the Lord's Supper, he did it with peculiar solemnity. 
Dr. Phoebus was laconic, dry, metaphysical, philo- 
sophical. He was highly esteemed, though not 
remarkably popular either with the ministry or 
laity. 

Dr. Phoebus was a bold and independent thinker; 
there was much originality about him. He belonged 
to the old school, and was quite an antiquarian. 
His name appears' often on the "old book;" some- 
times where they paid him his salary, and where 
he paid the trustees rent, for in his local relation 
he was their tenant, and lived in one of their little 
houses in John-street. 

There are many pleasing anecdotes related of the 
old gentleman, which illustrate his character. 



328 METH01>I>.\I IN Ni.'.V-VoltK IN 1789 

T)U. PIKKBIS AMI THK MASSES. 

In the "-ood old days when ministers itinerated 
in New- York, (for in the first ]>laee it was one cir- 
cuit, and then was divided into two, called East and 
West,) the people itinerated also ; they followed 
their favorite minister, and some who had " heel 
religion " would leave the church when the doctor 
[rose to perform the service, and go to hear the min- 
ister of their choice. They would leave the doctor 
by scores. Dr. Phcebus took it xcry philosophi- 
cally, diyly remarking, '"that wdien he preached 
there was generally a moving time." He alluded 
to the masses who left him. Such a practice can- 
not be too strongly condemned. It shows a very 
bad taste. In a city not far from New- York, a min- 
ister was preaching, and the people began to go out 
by half dozens, and dozens, and then by scores. He 
was a lame man, and the pulpit was near the door. 
" Wait a moment, wait a moment," said the preacher 
to his audience, reaching under the seat in the pulpit, 
"till I get my hat, and then I'll go with you;" and 
down he came limping out of the pulpit, with hat in 
hand, and thus the services closed abruptly, without 
singing, prayer, or benediction, it served them 
right; and I trust the lesson was not lost. To leave 
thus is the quintessence of impudence. It is treating 
with contempt (iod's house and God's embassadors. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1789. 329 
DE. PHCEBUS AND JOHN SUMMERFIELD. 

When Mr. Summerfield was in the zenith of his 
glory, and crowds were flocking to hear the elo- 
quent minister of Jesus, one bright Sabbath morn- 
ing he was to preach in a certain church, but was 
sick, and secured the services of Dr. Phoebus to fill 
the appointment. During the week the Rev. J. Z. 
Nichols, then a young minister, met him and in- 
quired, "How is it, doctor, that you can fill Mr. Sum- 
merfield's appointment?" Dr. Phoebus said in a 
very pleasant way, "Don't you see the Summer- 
fields can't flourish without the rays of Phoebus ?" 

DE. PHCEBUS AND THE INEXPLICABLE GROAN. 

The doctor was well acquainted with Mr. Lupton. 

"William Lupton was born in Croston, England. He 

was the youngest of three brothers, and came to 

this country as a lieutenant in the British army, 

and was in active service during the French war. 

Twice he' was married. His first wife was a member 

of General Schuyler's family, and died a little before 

the war terminated. On the return of Mr. Lupton 

homeward he made the acquaintance of a rich 

widow in New- York, whom he married. He then 

resigned his commission, and became a citizen of 

New- York for the remainder of his life. Since I 

gave the sketch of William Lupton I have learned 

the above additional particulars concerning him, from 

15* 



330 METHODISM IN NKW-YOKK IN 1789. 

his grandson, Dr. William Lupton Johnson, pastor of 
the Proteslant Kpiseopal Church in Jamaica, L. I. 

Mr. Lupton died, and was buried in his own vault 
under (he church ediiicc. At what time he died I 
have found none who could tell.* We had no " Mag- 
azine " then, and no " Christian Advocate and Jour- 
nal," in which to record the names of the pious 
dead. Many whose names are in the " Book of 
Life," are not here registered among " the dead that 
die in the Lord." This was the case with Mr. Lup- 
ton. His name occurs on the " old book " as late as 
September, 1791. 

In 1817, when the old church edifice was torn 
down, to erect upon the site a new and beautiful 
church, they disturbed the dead. It was necessary, 
as they were about to erect a larger edifice. Some 
of their bones were gathered together and buried 
under one end of the church, and others were re- 
moved and interred in burying grounds. Anion 
others, they removed from the vault where he had 
long slept, the remains of William Lupton, " the old 
trustee." 

Dr. William Phoebus was present at the removal. 
A very singular incident occurred at that time, which 
made a powerful impression on the doctor's mind, 
and he afterward related it. I received it from the 
liev. Tobias Spicer. 

* Since I made this statement I have learned the time of hb 
dentli from Dr. Samuel R. Johnson, namely. April 3, 1796. 



ct 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1789. 331 

Dr. Phoebus, having been early stationed in New- 
York, was well acquainted with the "old trustees," 
and intimate with William Lupton. He knew his 
personal habits. Man has been called a " bundle of 
habits." Each has his peculiarity. Mr. Lupton had 
a peculiar habit of groaning or grunting. He almost 
constantly made a noise, so the people used to talk 
of " Lupton's grunt." It was the uttering a short 
groan, or a deep guttural sound. I once visited a 
man who was sick, and he kept uttering short groans, 

as if in great agony. I inquired, " Mr. , are you 

in great distress ?" " ]STo, sir," he promptly replied ; 
"the truth is, Mr. Wakeley, we get in the habit of 
grunting." This was Mr. Lupton's peculiarity. 

Two Irishmen were employed in removing the 
dead. They entered Mr. Lupton's vault to remove 
his remains. They had just taken hold of the coffin, 
when they let go, and rushed out of the vault greatly 
terrified. As they came out, exhibiting signs of 
fear, Dr. Phoebus inquired, " "What is the matter?"' 
They said, " We heard a noise, we heard a man 
groan." " Tut, tut," said the doctor, " go back, and 
move the coffin; there is nothing there that will 
harm you." Dr. Phoebus afterward said, " I heard; 
the noise distinctly, and I recognized Father Lupton's,' 
groan." 

I simply relate this very^ singular incident as it 
was told to me. 

First. Did they imagine it ? How came Dr. 



:>.H-J MKTUoIHSM IN' M:\V-VOKK IX 1789. 

Phoebus and tho Irishmen employed to imagine they 
heard a peculiar noise at. the same time? If the 
Irishmen were superstitious, it is not likely the doctor 
was, for ho had been familiar with the dying and the 
dead. lie no doubt had dissected many a dead body. 
when studying anatomy and preparing for his 
profession. The men employed knew nothing 
of Mr. Lupton's peculiar habit when living. 
How came they all to hear the noise, and Dr. 
Phoebus to recognize the peculiar groan of Mr. 
Lupton ? 

Secondly. If he groaned, why? Was it because 
they were removing the dead, and he did not like 
to be disturbed in his last resting-place ? 

Th irdly. Or were the future troubles of the church 
revealed to his spirit, about its removal and the scenes 
that would transpire there, enough to make the 
stones cry out or dead men groan ? I put these 
questions to the curious, inquiring reader. 

The incident is related on good authority, that of 
Dr. Phoebus, and I record it as I received it. I am 
not credulous or superstitious. I am no believer in 
the appearance of "ghosts," u spooks," or in their 
return to earth. I am much more afraid of live 
people than of dead ones. 

I trust the recording of this most singular story 
will do no harm if it does no good. 
' My opinion is this: that the Irishmen employed 
were miserable onwards, and that Dr. Phoebus 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1789. 333 

imagined it. No such groan was ever heard. Dead 
men tell no tales, and dead men never groan. The 
old trustee has never awoke since his remains 
were deposited in his own vault under John-street 
Church, and never will till the " Lord himself shall 
descend with a shout, with the voice of the arch- 
angel, and with the trump of God." At death we 
"go the way whence we shall not return." There 
is no return to be disturbed by anything transpiring 
here; no return to correct past errors or perform 
neglected duties. It is a final voyage ; a returnless 
journey. 

When Mr. Lupton's remains were removed he had 
been buried twenty-three years. When they began 
to move the coffin some of the boards might have 
been loose and made a creaking noise, and this the 
Irishmen heard .and were alarmed ; and Mr. Phoebus, 
knowing the habit of Mr. Lupton, associated it almost 
involuntarily with him. This is the most rational 
solution I can give. 



834 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN $169: 



CHAPTER XXXVHI 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1789: THE NEW- 
YORK CONFERENCE. 

Session of the New York Conference — Not the first held in New 
York — Mistake corrected — The Minutes of the New- York Confer- 
ence for 1857 — The Conference one Year older than it is claimed to be 
— Bishop Asbnry — Whatcoat — Dr. Coko — Jesse Lcc — Important 
Business transacted — Establishment of a Book Concern — John 
Diekins — Plan for introducing Methodism into New- England — 
Jesse Lee — General Washington — Inaugurated President — Con- 
gratulatory Address of the Conference — Presented by Bishops Asbury 
and Coke — Reply of the President — Dr. Coke severely censored — 
Sails for Europe — Defended by Thomas Morrell — Censored in 
England also — Mr. Asbury's Testimony in favof of the Doctor — Coke 
justified by his Biographer — Asbury's Account of the Conference. 

The Conference of 1789 was one of the most im- 
portant ever held in America, when we consider the 
business transacted there and the glorious results that 
followed. It is generally supposed that this was the 
first conference held in New-York. In the last 
Minutes of the New-York Conference, they say that it 
was the " sixty -eighth session. "V They count from 
1789. The New- York Conference is one year older 
than the}' claim to be ; the last was the sixty-ninth 
session, and the next it will have reached its three- 



THE NEW-YORK CONFERENCE. 335 

score and ten years. In the preceding chapter we 
have the proof of this. 

The Eev. Samuel "W Coggeshall has written an 
able article on "The New-York Conference of 
1789, and its Besults," which was published in the 
Methodist Quarterly Eeview for April, 1857, which 
is edited so ably by Eev. Dr. Whedon. Bishop 
Morris said to me, That one article is worth the 
price of the Eeview for one year. To this most 
valuable article I take great pleasure in referring 
the reader. 

The ]STew-York Conference commenced its second 
session on May 28, 1789. 

Bishop Asbury was present, and Dr. Coke, Eichard 
"Whatcoat, Jesse Lee, in all twenty; they were 
pure spirits, magnanimous men. Much important 
business was transacted. 

First, At this conference they established a Book 
Eoom in Philadelphia, and appointed John Dickins 
book steward. The first object was, to spread 
Scriptural holiness over the land ; the second, that 
the profits might go toward the relief of the widows 
and orphans of those'who had died in the work. This 
was the first establishment of the kind in America. 
From a very small beginning it has grown to be a 
gigantic institution. 

Secondly. Another important result was the ap- 
pointment of Jesse Lee as a pioneer to New-England, 
the land of the pilgrims. "What mighty results 



336 METHODISM IN M \v-y<'i:K IN 1789: 

have followed since tho npostlo of Methodism in 

New-Kn-land there first unfurled the banner of free 

grace ! 

Another tiling was the congratulating President 
Washington on his elevation to the highest office in 
the gift of the nation. In this the Methodists took 
the lead, and set a fine example for other denomina- 
tions. 

Congress met in New-York in the spring of 
1789, and on the thirtieth of April George Washing- 
ton, amid smiles and tears, was inaugurated first 
president of this infant republic. The Xew-York 
Conference commenced its session before Congress 
adjourned, and the far-seeing Asburv offered the 
following for their consideration : "Whether it would 
not be proper for us, as a Church, to present a 
congratulatory address to General "Washington, 
who had been lately inaugurated President of 
these United States, in which should be em- 
bodied our approbation of tho Constitution, and 
professing our allegiance to the government. Con- 
ference highly approved and warmly recommended 
the measure. The two bishops, Francis Anbury 
and Thomas Coke, were appointed to draw up 
the address. Mr. Asbury presented to General 
Washington the following address of the bishops of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church : 



NEW-YORK CONFERENCE. 337 

" To the President of the United States : 
" Sir, — "We, the Bishops of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, humbly beg leave, in the name of our 
society, collectively, in these United States, to ex- 
press to you the warm feelings of our hearts, and our 
sincere congratulations on your appointment to the 
presidentship of these states. We are conscious, from 
the signal proofs you have already given, that you 
are a friend of mankind ; and under this established 
idea, place as full confidence in your wisdom and 
integrity for the preservation of those civil and relig- 
ious liberties which have been transmitted to us by 
the providence of God and the glorious Revolution, as 
we believe ought to be reposed in man. 

" We have received the most grateful satisfaction 
from the humble and entire dependence on the great 
Governor of the universe which you have repeatedly 
expressed, acknowledging him the source of every 
blessing, and particularly of the most excellent Con- 
stitution of these States, which is at present the ad- 
miration of the world, and may in future become its 
great exemplar for imitation ; and hence we enjoy a 
holy expectation, that you will always prove a faith- 
ful and impartial patron of genuine vital religion, 
the grand end of our creation and present probation- 
ary existence. And we promise you our fervent 
prayers to the throne of grace, that God Almighty 
may endue you with all the graces and gifts of his 
Holy Spirit, that he may enable you to fill up your 



338 METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN. 1780 : 

important station toliis glory, the good of lib Church, 

the happiness and prosperity of the United* States, 

and the welfare of mankind. 

" Signed in hohalf of the Methodist Episcopal 

Church, 

"Thomas Coke, 

" Francis Asbcey. 
"New-York, May 29, 1789." 

The following is the reply of President "Washing- 
ton : 

"To the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church 

in the United States of America. 

" Gentlemen, — I return to you individually, and 
through you to your society collectively in the 
United States, my thanks for the demonstrations of 
affection, and the expressions of joy offered in their 
behalf, on my late appointment. It shall be my en- 
deavor to manifest the purity of my inclinations for 
promoting the happiness of mankind, as well as the 
sincerity of my desires to contribute whatever may 
be in my power toward the civil and religious liber- 
ties of the American people. In pursuing this line 
of conduct, I hope, by the assistance of divine Prov- 
idence, not altogether to disappoint the confidence 
which you have been pleased to repose in me. 

u It always affords mo satisfaction when I find a 
concurrence of sentiment and practice between all 
conscientious men, in acknowledgments of homage 



NEW- YORK CONFERENCE. 339 

to the great Governor of the universe, and in pro- 
fessions of support to a just civil government. After 
mentioning that I trust the people of every denomi- 
nation, who demean themselves as good citizens, will 
have occasion to be convinced that I shall always 
strive to prove a faithful and impartial patron of 
genuine vital religion, I must assure you in particu- 
lar, that I take in the kindest part the promise you 
make of presenting your prayers at the throne of 
grace for me, and that I likewise implore the Divine 
benediction on yourselves and your religious com- 
munity. 

" George "Washington." 

The next week a bitter attack was made upon Dr. 
Coke, censuring him for his conduct; inquiring who 
he was ; how he came to be a bishop ; blaming him, 
a British subject, for signing an address approving of 
the government of the United States ; charging him 
with duplicity, etc. 

Dr. Coke soon set sail for England, and the Eev. 
Thomas Morrell defended him. "When the doctor 
reached England they censured him there, and the 
poor doctor was between two fires and in danger of 
being scorched. 

Bishop Asbury also defended Dr. Coke ; in a letter 
written to Mr. Morrell soon after the Conference, he 
says : " I believe that Bishop Coke, so far from as- 
sisting, was not with Mr. "Wesley when some of his 



340 METHODI8M IN NEW-VOUK IN l?89t 

political publications wore made. His Histojy of the 
American Eovolution, the bishop would not .believe 
it ever had- been written till I convinced him, by 
directing him to a sight of it in Georgetown, South 
Carob'na, last April, which book he ordered to be 
— I know not — to be burned, may be / know 

the Americans very well. I believe Dr. Coke to 
be a real friend to this country, and all its rights 
and liberties," etc. All this speaks well for Asbury 
and Coke also. 

Though Dr. Coke was severely censured, both in 
England and America, for signing the Address, 
yet his biographer, Samuel Drew, justifies him. He 
says : " Dr. Coke had both a private and a public 
consistency of character to sustain. As a subject of 
Great Britain, prudence would have directed him not 
to sign. But as a minister of Jesus Christ, as filling 
an official station in the Methodist societies, and as 
superintendent in America, the welfare of the Gospel 
commanded him to promote its interest, and to leave 
all private considerations as unworthy to bear the 
name of rival. Between these alternatives he made 
a noble choice, and acted upon an exalted principle, 
to which none but superior spirits can aspire. He 
taught us, by his magnanimous example, that 'private 
respects to public weal must yield ;' and that per- 
sonal reputation was no longer his, when the interests 
of Christianity demanded the costly sacrifice. By 
walking on this vast and comprehensive circle, 



NEW-YORK CONFERENCE. 341 

which the organs of some were too dim to discern, 
he had encircled his name with wreaths of laurel 
which will continue to flourish when the sigh of 
smiling pity, and of sneering condolence, can be no 
longer heard."* 

In regard to this Conference, Bishop Asbury says 
in his Journal: "Thursday, May 28, 1789, New- 
York, our Conference began. All things were con- 
ducted in peace and order. Our work opens in 
New- York state. New-England stretcheth out the 
hand to our ministry, and I trust thousands will 
shortly feel its influence. My soul shall praise the 
Lord. In the midst of haste I find peace within. 

"Sunday, 31. — "We had a gracious season to 
preachers and people, while I opened, and applied 
Isaiah xxiv, 6-8 : ' And in this mountain shall the 
Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat 
things ; a feast of wines full on the lees, of fat things 
of marrow ; of wine on the lees well refined.' 

" Friday, June 5. — Dr. Coke left us, and went on 
board of the Union, for Liverpool. My soul retires 
into solitude and to God. This evening I was ena- 
bled to speak alarmingly, and felt my heart much 
enlarged for about thirty minutes, on Isaiah xxix, 
17-19. The power of God and a baptizing flame 
came among the people. 

" Sunday, '7.— Was a good day. I felt inwardly 
quickened toward the close of my morning's dis- 
* Life of Dr. Coke, p. 106. 



342 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1?89. 

course, nnd the pooplo wore moved. In the after* 
noon many were divinely drawn, and my own soul 
was humbled and filled with the love of God. Sev- 
eral souls have been stirred up this Conference. I 
trust the Lord will claim the people of York for 
his own." 

How brief the record he makes of the doings of 
this Conference! How laconic ! How like Wesley 
is the style ! "What power of condensation 1 How 
much is narrated in a few words ! 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1789. 343 



CHAPTEE XXXIX. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1789, CONTINUED. 

The Conference of 1789 — Other weighty Business transacted — Plan 
for the Enlargement of the "Work in New- York City — Singular 
Items in the "Old Book"— -Trustees fixing up for Conference- 
Bills Paid— Money sent to Conference — Record of small Things — 
Mending Chairs— Griddle— Gridiron — Spoons — Startling Record- 
Ticket in a Lottery — Purchased by the Trustees — Shows the Cus- 
tom of the Times — Houses of Worship built and paid for by draw- 
ing Lotteries — The Necessity for a new Church — Conference order 
Thomas Morrell to build it — His Commission from Coke and Asbury 
— Singular Paper— Opposition to the Enterprise — Morrell writes to 
Asbury for Advice — The Bishop's Answer — Another Letter from 
the Bishop — Dr. Coke's Letter of Apology. 

In the preceding chapter we have noticed some of the 
important business transacted at the conference of 
1789. There is another thing which was done, to 
which I now call the attention of the reader. It was 
the plan for building the second Methodist house of 
worship in the city of New- York. I will first notice 
some items on the " old book." 
The trustees fixed up for the Conference. 

1789, May 21. To cash paid for whitewashing, brushes, 
and for cleaning the church, etc., etc., to 

George Courtney £ 7 18 

" June 1. Sent to conference 12 



844 METHODISM JN NKWYoHK IN 1789. 

This was for the use of the preachers. 

1789, June 8. To cash paid for Messrs. Aslmry and 

"NVliatcoiit.'s horsi-s. .. .. .. £ 5 16 6 

They still recorded things minutely. 

1789, Aug. 7. To cash paid for mending eight chairs 14 
" Oct. 30. To cash paid for griddle and gridiron . 8 8 
" " Cash paid Brother Brower for spoons 8 

They could not have been silver. 

Here were important articles for house-keeping, 
the one for baking pancakes, the other for broiling 
meat, to saj' nothing about the spoons. 

There is an entry here that is startling. 

1790, March 1. Cash paid for a ticket in the lottery £ 2 

Did the trustees of the Methodist Church purchase 
a lottery ticket? Certainly. Here is the record. 
What would be thought of an official board who 
would do it now ? They would be execrated ; they 
would be thought sinners above all that dwell in 
Cotham. Selling lottery tickets, which is now pro- 
hibited by law, was not only legalized at the time, 
lint considered an honorable business. Men of the 
greatest respectability were then engaged in the sale 
of tickets, and others in purchasing them. And so 
honorable was it considered, .that a number of 
lotteries were drawn to aid in the erection of houses 
of worship. They seemed to think it right to take 
the devil's water to turn the Lord's mill. Who 
would like the responsibility of hoisting the crate ? 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK EST 1789. 345 

"But I would have suppressed this item," says 
one. Why ? " Its publication will disgrace the 
memory of our fathers." I think not, and therefore 
have transcribed it for three brief reasons. 

First. It is a part of the history. It is on record, 
written for succeeding generations. Secondly. It 
shows the honesty of our fathers in keeping a faith- 
ful record of all their proceedings. Thirdly. It shows 
the character of the times in which they lived, and 
the great change in the sentiments of the people 
since that period. What was considered honorable 
and lawful then, would be dishonorable and criminal 
now. Whether they drew a blank or a prize we 
are not told; probably the former, inasmuch as 
there are generally more blanks than prizes. This 
was an experiment ; and as we hear no more of it, 
I think they did not succeed, and concluded there 
was a better way to raise material aid. This is the 
first and the last mention of lottery tickets in the 
" old book." 

But to the new edifice. The bishops, as well as 
the members of the conference, who beheld the 
spiritual wants of this- growing city, saw the neces- 
sity of another house of worship in New- York for the. 
Methodists to preach in. Over twenty years had 
passed away since Wesley Chapel, in John-street, had 
been dedicated to the worship of God by Philip 
Embury. Immense good had been done there. The 

city had been greatly enlarged, and another house of 

16 



846 METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1789. 

worship was' much wanted; therefore the*, bishops 
authorized Thomas Morroll, then stationed in New- 
York, to go forward with the enterprise. Among 
Thomas Morrell's papers, which have been carefully 
preserved, I find a singular one, of which the follow- 
ing is an exact copy : 

" Thomas Morrell is appointed and ordered by the 
bishops and conference to raise a subscription in the 
city of New- York, in order to erect a new church on 
a convenient spot at the north or northeast part of 
the city ; and shall call to bis assistance, any person 
or persons recommended by the bishops or confer- 
ence, or, in their absence, any person he shall judge 
proper for his assistance. The bishops and confer- 
ence do also order, that all the subscriptions and col- 
lections that shall be raised from time to time in the 
new church, when erected, shall be applied for the 
benefit, support, and interests of the new church ; and 
they do also give Thomas Morrell authority to 
appoint trustees for the said new church. 



$£e?iuy<t &&4- 




" New-Yohk, May 20, 1789." 



METHODISE! IN NEW- YORK IN 1*789. 347 

This is a brief, but singular document. It is ex- 
ceedingly strong and very emphatic in its language. 
It is not, Mr. Morrell is recommended or advised ; or, 
we think it best ; or, a house of worship is much 
needed; but Mr, Morrell is appointed and ordered, 
etc. He was appointed with power to call to his 
assistance whom he pleased ; the funds were not to be 
diverted from their proper channel, but were to go 
for the " new church." The bishops also gave Mr. 
Morrell power to " appoint trustees." 

The conference so felt the importance of a new 
church edifice in New- York, that they took action 
upon it very early, for the second day of its session 
the bishops signed the paper giving to Mr. Morrell 
this authority. 

Mr. Morrell, after commencing the work, met with 
such serious opposition that he wrote to Bishop As- 
bury for counsel. The bishop returned the following 
answer : 

" My very dear Brother, — It is impossible for me 
to give any decided advice in the critical circumstan- 
ces of your case, and the fickle tempers you have 
to deal with, that may tack and change more 
frequent than the wind. In brief, I advise you to do 
the best you can, hut ouild the house. I will cancel 
your obligation to the conference and myself. I 
wish you to be under no shackles on our side. I 
would not have you outdone. I think those who 



348 MKTH0DI8M IN NKW-YOUK IN 1789. 

trouble you will soon be cut off, etc. You will take 
my few hints, etc. I am, with great respect, thine, 

"Fbancts Asbuby." 

From this we can form a faint idea of the difficul- 
ties with which Mr. Morrell had to contend in the 
erection of a new church edifice. Most great en- 
terprises meet with opposition from narrow-minded 
men. Few men are pioneers ; there is only now and 
then a Caleb and a Joshua who say, " "We are able 
to go up at once and possess the land." The bishop 
admits that it was difficult to give advice under cir- 
cumstances so critical, and then advises him to 
build the house. He not only gives him this advice, 
but promises to stand by him, and even predicts that 
those who trouble him will be cut off. Thomas Mor- 
rell followed the bishop's advice to the very letter, 
and the house was built. 

The following is an extract from a letter Bishop 
Asbury wrote to Thomas Morrell soon after the 
adjournment of the memorable conference of 1789. 
It is dated, 

" RmNEBEOK, June 19. 
" My dear Brother, — If you can only erect and 
cover, with seats, windows, and doors, the new 
church by the first of December, all will bo well, I 
hope. O brother, piety, patience, courage, zeal, and 
industry will carry you through. I am in faith, 
hope, and prayer that God will revive his work in 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1789. 349 

York. Do, brother, strive and reform the singing a 
little in our Church. I am thine in much esteem, 

"Francis Asbury." 

This letter shows the interest Bishop Asbury felt 
for the prosperity of Zion in " York," and especially 
in the erection of another house of worship in that 
city. Furthermore, the singing did not please him, 
and he wanted, as far as that was concerned, a 
" a little reform." 

From the following extract from a letter from Dr. 
Coke to Thomas Morrell, it is evident the doctor was 
so impressed with the necessity of a new church 
edifice in New- York, that he purposed to have writ- 
ten an address on the subject, and to have left it 
when he sailed for Europe. But the doctor shall 
speak for himself. 

'' On board the Union, near Ireland, June 6, 1789. 
" My very dear Brother, — I beg your pardon for 
my great forgetfulness in not leaving behind an 
address in behalf of the new church we are going to 
build in New- York. I hope you will be able to 
accomplish that important undertaking. ' Fear not, 
thou worm Jacob ; for thy Redeemer is the Lord of 
hosts,' etc. Your faithful friend, 

" Thomas Coke." 

Far away, near Ireland, he thought of New- York, 
and the " important undertaking " of building a new 



850 MKTIIOIUSM IN NEW-YORK IN 1780. 

church, and wrote to encourage the trembling 
minister to go forward. He know something of the 
magnitudo of-the work, and the difficulties by which 
it was surrounded. 

Doctor Coke was a great admirer of Thomas 
Morrell. Ho wrote another letter to him, dated, 
" Downpatrick, Ireland, June 23, 1790." He says: 
"I feel my spirit one with yours." It is a most 
beautiful letter, but we have not space to insert it 
He speaks of Bishop Asbury as his "very dear 
friend," and rejoices " that there is a work among 
the Indians, children of Shem, as our dear father in 
the Gospel calls them." 

He concludes with these lines from the poet : 

" Should fate command me to the farthest verge 
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes, 
Rivers unknown to song, where first the sun 
Gild Indian mountains, or its setting beams 
Flame on the Atlantic Isles, 'tis naught to me, 
Since God is ever present, ever felt, 
In the void waste, or in the oity fall, 
And where Ho vital breathes there must be joy." 



THE NEW CHUKCH EDIFICE. 351 



CHAPTEE XL. 

THE NEW CHURCH EDIFICE: THOMAS MOEEELL. 

Necessity for building a House of Worship in the right Place — Well 
understood by others — Eoman Catholics — 'The Course they pursue 
— Methodists secured a Site for the new. Church in the right Local- 
ity — From whom the Ground was obtained — When — Price of — 
The Deed a Curiosity — The Property formerly of James Delancy— 
Confiscated^— The laying, of the first Stone — Building soon com- 
pleted — Dedication — The Minister — The Text — Skeleton of the 
Sermon — -Letter of Commendation from Bishop Asbury — -The 
House greatly honored of God — Why some opposed the Erection 
of the Edifice — Glorious Eevival — • William Thacher — Church in 
the Fields — Wilbur Eisk — • Samuel Merwin — The Building demol- 
ished- — 'A more noble House erected — Latterly altered and beauti- 
fied — Fathers gone — Young Men who have caught their Mantles. 

"We now come to an important epoch in the history 
of Methodism in New- York, the building of a new 
house of worship. The first thing in the erection of 
a church edifice is to secure a good site on which to 
build. This is understood by other denominations. 
It is by the Eoman Catholics. If they cannot pro- 
cure a good site, they can afford to wait. The far- 
seeing Asbury understood it when he said on this 
subject: "If you are going to catch fish, you must 
either go where they are, or where they are like to 
come." Much depends upon the locality of a public 



ttf)2 mi. m:\v (Hiiicii i.dikk k: 

editicc. We caniiol boast of much shrewdness in this 
respect. We have nut ill ways been Solomons. Bnt 
Mr. Morrell and others exhibited much wisdom, or 
were very fortunate in securing the site fur the 
second Methodist church in New-York. It was in 
Second-street, now Forsyth, near Division. 

I have examined the old deed for the site of the 
second Methodist church in New- York. It is a great 
curiosity. It is very large, and written on parch- 
ment. It is dated August IT, 17^0. Seven lots 
were sold by George "Workheart, gardener, and Eve, 
Ids wife, to the trustees, for £350, current money of 
the state of New- York. Eve, in signing it, made 
her mark, not being able to write her name. The 
deed states that the said lots are a part of the estate 
late belonging to James Delancy, Esq., and which 
became forfeited and vested in the people of the 
state of New- York by the attainder of the said James 
JDelaney, and were conveyed to George "Workheart 
by Isaac Stoutenburgh and Philip Van Cortlandt, 
Esij., commissi* mora of forfeitures for the Southern 
District of the State. 

John Sprosen and Samuel Stilwell signed their 
names as witnesses. They both were trustees of the 
old church in John-street. 

I have also seen the deed the commissioners gavo 
to Mr. Workheart. It is on parchment also. He 
purchased the property in 17*1, for one hundred and 
thirty-one pounds and ten shillings. H,» kept the 



THOMAS MOKBELL. 353 

property five years, and then sold it for two hundred 
and nineteen pounds more than he gave. A fine 
speculation. 

Mr. Workheart purchased the lots four months 
after an act passed the Legislature of New- York, en- 
titled, "An Act for the speedy Sale of the confiscated 
and forfeited Estates within the State. Passed the 
12th of May, 1784." 

I insert this as a part of the history of the times, 
showing how the forfeited property belonging to the 
tories was conveyed, as well as the history of the site 
of Porsyth-street Church. The Forsyth-street Church 
property is now worth fifty thousand dollars. 

Mrs. Eve Workheart, who signed the deed with 
her husband, was buried in that ground in 1795 
aged seventy years, and has a tombstone right be- 
hind the church. 

On the 11th of August, 1789, just two months and 
eleven days after the conference ordered Mr. Morrell 
to build the church, the first stone of the foundation 
was laid, and it proceeded with such rapidity that it 
was completely inclosed, and the floors laid, and 
ceiled, by the eighth- of November, when it was 
dedicated.* 

The dedication of the second temple of Methodism 
in New-York was an era "in our history. Who can 
calculate the vast, stupendous interests that clustered 
around this new house of worship ! 

* Thomas Morrell's unpublished Journals 
16* 



364 THE NEW OHUKOH EDIFICE: 

Mr. Morrell preached the dedication sermon from 
1 Peter ii, 5 : " Ye also, as lively stones, are bnilt up 
a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offor up spirit- 
ual sacrifices, acceptable by Jesus Christ" 

It is singular, that sixty-eight years after the dedi- 
catory sermon was preached, long after the preacher 
and his hearers on that occasion have gone down to 
the dust, you are permitted to read the skeleton of 
that sermon. Here it is, right before me, and J 
transcribe it for your benefit : 

" Introduction. — Both, the Jews and Gentiles ob 
jected that Christianity had no temples. 

I. Every Christian has a principle of spiritual 
Itfe. They are quickened — life of holiness — favor — 
-eternal life. 

II. These collectwely are a spiritual house. 

1. They have a foundation — materials are fitted — 
parts have a connection — a place of security — fur- 
nished by the graces of the Spirit — materials decay — 
furnished anew. 

III. They are priests. — 1. Set apart; 2. Offered 
sacrifices — approach near to God — more holy than 
Jewish sacrifices. 

IV The consequence. They offer up sacrifices in 
public, in private ; their affections, praises, sub- 
stance. 

V These are acceptable to God. 1. Because sin- 
cere ; 2. On account of the merits of Christy he is 
the altar. 



THOMAS MORRELL. 355 

Application. — Examine, have we spiritual life, etc. ? 
Blessings of the Gospel dispensation." 

Such is the skeleton of the discourse. It is a mere 
skeleton, bare bones without any meat upon them ; 
and yet, no doubt, they were clothed when Mr. Mor- 
rell preached, and were all alive. A mere outline 
of a discourse was about all our fathers wanted; just 
the warp ; they furnished the filling at the time ; for 
they depended much on the Spirit's presence and as- 
sistance, and usually concluded their sermons as 
" God game ability.'''' 

Bishop Asbury writes another letter to Thomas 
Morrell the same year. It is dated October 3, 1789 : 

"My dear Brother, — I am pleased you have 
made out so wonderfully. I can figure in my own 
mind the difficulties you have had to struggle with. 
The hints you gave are very just as to the manage- 
ment of temporalities. The members are welcome to 
act, but who are to appoint them is the question ? I 
find it hard if a preacher cannot draw a collection 
for a mission, or conference, or station, without 
complaint. I have nothing at all to complain of, 
and it would haye been impossible to have carried 
your great design into execution without your 
method. My appointments are made through East 
Jersey, where I have not been for this two years 
past. Was it not for this you should see me in York 
next Sabbath week. 



:$56 thk nkw ciruuou kdii-ick: 

"Tho Lord is glorious throughout the continent. 
Baltimore tho work goes <»u rapidly indeed; we 
have eight hundred in society. 1 expect an earth- 
quake of tho Lord's power will go from east to west, 
and from north to south ; but few circuits but the 
work revives. I am, with great respect, thine, 

" Francis Asbuey.'' 

The bishop is pleased that Mr. Morrell "had made 
out so wonderfully," that is, in the erection and pro- 
gress of the new church in so short a time. It was 
wonderful when we think of the difficulties he had 
to overcome, and the discouragements to contend 
with, and the opposition he met. It was a complete 
victory, a perfect triumph. It was a wonderful 
work, for which thousands will bless God in eternity. 

AVe have no account of Mr. Morrell's struggles, 
conflicts, and trials ; they are unwritten, only hinted 
at. AVe have a brief notice of his triumphs. 

The house was of stone. It was built in a very 
short time for that age. Only three short months 
from the time the first stone was laid to the coinple- 
tioii of the building, when they took possession of it 
in the name of the King of kings. Immense good 
was done in this house of worship. God greatly 
honored it with his presence, and powerful revivals 
of religion followed soon after it was dedicated. God 
loves them that, love him, and honors those, who 
honor li i in. What sermons wore preached in that 



THOMAS -MORRELL, 357 

temple by Whatcoat and George, by Asbury and 
M'Kendree, by Nicholas Snethen and George 
Koberts, by Seth Crowell and Truman Bishop, by 
Samuel Merwin and Michael Coate, and a host of 
others. 

Soon after its dedication Benjamin Abbott preach- 
ed there. In the midst of his sermon there was an 
alarm of "Fire!" "fire!" "fire!" The old man, 
with his lion voice, began to roar, " Fire !" " fire !" 
" fire !" " Where?" "In hell !" he replied ; « a fire 
you cannot put out ; a fire that will burn forever." 
Scores were awakened, and they fell all around and 
lay like dead men. Such was the mighty power 
that accompanied his word. • 

There were those, undoubtedly, who opposed the 
erection of another church, supposing that the old 
John-street house would accommodate them all, and, 
furthermore, were afraid they would lose some of 
their congregation and a part of their funds. 
Scarcely an additional church has been built in this 
or any other city without meeting opposition from 
the fearful, cowardly, or stingy. It is a sad truth, 
and I record it with pain. 

" The new church " is often mentioned in the 
" old book," and so is the name of Mr. Morrell. It 
is called the new church, to distinguish it from John- 
street, which they styled the old. The new church 
was called the Second-street Church, after the name 
of the street in which it Was built ; afterward it was 



858 THE NKW CHUttOH kdifigb: 

called Forsyth-strbet. Mr. Morroll lent them one 
hundred and fifty pounds. 

Mr. Morroll says in his journal : " On the fourth 
of tliia month (January, 1790) a revival began in the 
prayer-meeting, and on the 12th it broke out in the 
church, and continued, with some small intermissions, 
until the latter end of February. In this time about 
two hundred joined the society : perhaps about four 
hundred were converted in about eight weeks. 
Many of these joined afterward, and from this revival 
we may date the prosperity of our Church in New- 
York. Very few of them fell away ; most of them 
continue faithful unto this day, February, 1794." 

This record will be r«ad with thanksgiving, though 
it is sixty-two years since it was written. They had a 
mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost, a great ingather- 
ing of souls. From that revival, he says, we may 
" date the prosperity of our Church in New- York." 
Then it should be known to after generations, and 
remembered with gratitude. It commenced about 
the new year. After the preacher had warned the 
" barren fig-trees ' r of the danger of being " cut 
down." It also began, where revivals generally do, 
in a prayer-meeting. 

The.Ilev William Thacher, in his autobiography, 
says: "In the year 1788, in the city of New- York, 
I first heard the word 'Methodist' used to signify 
a Christian denomination ; their house of worship 
was in John-street. They were as a ' city solitary }' 



THOMAS MOERELL. 359 

as a handful of corn on the top of a mountain, so 
were they in the great Christian community of 
New- York. In all ' down east ' who. then had heard 
of a Methodist meeting-house ? The Methodists then 
in New- York were ' three hundred,' just the number 
of G-ideon's army. Their house was plain, their 
minister plain, the preaching plain, the people plain, 
the seats plain, and all free; and the way to 
heaven made so plain, that it seemed to me more 
like go-to-heaven religion than any I had witnessed 
before." 

"We can form an idea of the locality of the 
new church, and of the growth of the city, 
by the following. Mr. Thacher says : " During 
the first year of my residence in New- York, I 
saw in the fields, eastward from the city, a new 
stone church in the progress of building. What ! 
a place of worship so far from inhabitants? For 
what denomination can this be? A house of God 
far from home seemed hardly compatible with due 
honor to Him who promised to dwell in the midst 
of his people. Ah ! little did I then think this is a 
Methodist sanctuary, . and that this was a sample of 
their pioneer plan to build a house and then invite 
sinners to come there and get their souls converted. 
And what prophet could then have made me believe 
that in the midst of a dense population, I should 
ever fill the office of a regular authorized minister 
in the pastoral charge of an assembly of Methodists, 



.'560 THK NKW (UIUKOIl KDII'K'K: 

of that same Methodist meeting-house in Forsytli- 
street V 

Tho first timo I ever heard the lamented Wilbur 
Fisk was in this old church, when Samuel Merwin 
was stationed there. The sermon was full of terror 
and in the midst of Mr. Flak's powerful appeals 
he said, '■ Hold mo back by your prayers while I 
follow the sinner as near tho awful gulf as I dare 
and then reach out the hand and try to rescue him." 
The effect was electrifying. Mr. Merwin un- 
consciously arose, and stretching out his hands, 
cried, "Save them, save them!'' 

The noble old edifice, honored by God and honored 
by angels, was taken down in 1833, to make room 
for one of the most commodious structures we have 
ever erected in New- York. Many looked on with 
mournful interest, as the walls of the old church 
were demolished; and yet I think the glory of the 
latter house has been greater than the former. 
When the new church was dedicated, they sent f.. r 
Thomas Morrell to preach tho dedicatory sermon; 
he had consecrated the first nearly fifty v^irs K.fore, 
hut he was too feeble, being in (],<• eighty-ninth vear 
"'""is "So. The late liev. Daniel Ostrander preached 
the opening sermon, and dedicated the spacious 
edifice to the worship of Almighty God. 

I know of no church that has been more useful 
than the Forsylh-slreet Methodist Episcopal Church. 
Multitudes have heon , aHlom , ;„ fhw< mftnv of 



THOMAS MOEEELL. 361 

whom already worship in the upper temple. Most 
of the fathers who worshiped there are gone. But 
some noble young men have risen up with large 
hearts and purses, and the church, lately, has been 
refitted, adorned, and beautified, and is now one of 
the very best we have in New- York. When God 
writeth up the people it will be said " that this and 
that man were born there." 



362 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1780. 



CHAPTER XLI. 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1790. 

Ministers stationed in New- York — Official M cmDer8 — Rav. William 
Jessop — Quarterage — Sickness — Judah — Dr. Romaine — Dr. 
Solinger — Character of Mr. Jessop — Death of — Funeral Sermon — 
Henry Boehm — Thomas Morroll — Letter from Mr. Wesley — From 
Dr. Coke — Session of the Now- York Conference — Bishop Asbury's 
Account of Thomas Morrell — Singular Items from the "Old Book" 
— Expenses for the Preachers' House — Jacob Brush — How ho came 
to labor in Now- York — Extracts from Mr. Morrcll's unpublished 
Journals — Brush's Quarterage — Sketch of Mr. Brush — Dies of 
Yellow Fover — Whcro buried — Epitaph on his Tombstone — Verses 
to perpetuate his Memory. 

This year Thomas Morrell was elder ; Robert Cloud 
and "William Jessop were also stationed in New- 
York. John Staples, Henry Newton, arid John 
Bleeker were the trustees who particularly attended 
to the financial interests of the church. 

This was a year of peculiar affliction to Mr. Jessop. 
His name frequently is recorded in the "old book." 
They paid him his quarterage regularly. 

1791, Jan. 12. Paid Brother William Jessop his 

quarterage.. .... £6 8 *• 

" April 18. To cash paid Brother William Jessop 

his quarterage ......... 8 

Other similar records. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1790. 363 

Mr. Jessop was very sick, near the gates of death. 
With a degree of sympathy we peruse the following : 

1790, Oct. 26. Cash paid for Mr. Jessop's sickness, 

wine, porter, etc £2 8 

" Not. 8. Paid Judah for nursing Mr. Jessop 2 

"Who Judah was, we know not; probably some 
colored nurse, who took care of the sick minister. 

1791, Jan. 30. To cash paid Dr. Eomaine for at- 

tending Mr. Jessop , £3 4 

" " " To cash paid Dr. Solinger 3 4 

This " old book " takes us into the room where the 
suffering minister lay, and we see his nurse Judah 
ministering to his wants, his physicians visiting him, 
and trying their skill to restore the sick preacher to 
health. 

We see the trustees taking care of him. when sick, 
paying his nurse, and for his medicines, and footing 
his doctors' bill. 

It certainly speaks well for them ; it shows their 
hearts were in the right place. 

Mr. Jessop was born in the State of Delaware, and 
entered the traveling ministry in 1784. He was a 
man of feeble constitution, yet he performed great 
labor, and was very successful in his work. The 
nijxt year after he left New-York, he volunteered to 
go to Nova Scotia, though his health was delicate 
and his constitution shattered. Through the kind- 
ness of his nephew, Samuel J. W Barry, Esq., of 



:'.04 METIIOIMS.M IN NKWVOKK IN 1790. 

New-York, 1 have ln-1'oro mo Mr. Jessop's Journal 
and sunn: of his written sermons. One is a ''funeral 
sermon/' and the other is " On the Sin of Intemper- 
ance." They show that he was an ''able minister 
of the New Testament."' The handwriting is about 
the best I have ever seen. Mr. Jessop died very 
triumphantly, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 
near the latter end of 1795. He was buried in the 
ground connected with Boehm s Chapel. Simon 
Miller also sleeps there. He died the same year. 
The Rev. Henry Boehm (now eighty-two years uf 
age) heard Mr. Jessop's last sermon, was a bearer 
at his funeral, and helped to lower the coffin into the 
grave, where it will rest until the resurrection. 

Mr. Jessop was a man of great simplicity and 
Gospel sincerity. He labored beyond his bodily 
strength. Bishop Asbury makes honorable mention 
of him in his Journal. "August 25, 1790. About 
thirty-five minutes before I began meeting, I re- 
ceived the last loving request of our dear Brother 
William Jessop, which was to preach his funeral 
sermon. I had my difficulties in speaking, and the 
people in hearing of a man s<> well known and so 
much beloved ; he was always solemn, and few snch 
holy, steady men have beon found among us." 
Admirable testimony, beautiful eulogy What 
more would a person wish said concerning 



to 



him 



when he sleeps in the sepulcher? 

Mr. Morrell was highly esteemed; the intimate 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1790. 365 

r 

friend of Asbury and of Coke ; the defender of both 
in the public prints, against the. misrepresentations 
of their enemies. He also corresponded with Mr. 
Wesley. 

The following is a copy of a letter John Wesley 
wrote to Mr. Morrell, one year and a month before 
his death. It is written' with a very trembling hand, 
as will be seen by his autograph. On the other part 
of the same sheet is a letter from Dr. Coke to Mr. 
Morrell. This shows how intimate the founder of 
Methodism and Dr. Coke were ; they were together 
at the time. Mr. Wesley wrote his letter, and hand- 
ed the paper to the doctor to send a communication 

also. 

" London, 
"Feb. 4, 1790. 
" My Deae Brother, 

" You gave me a very agreeable 
account of the progress of the Gospel in America. 
One would hope the time is approaching when 
the Earth shall be filled with the Knowledge of the 
Glory of the Lord. Indeed, the amazing Revolutions 
which have [been in*] Europe seem to be the fore- 
runners of the same grand event. The poor infidels, 
it is true, who know nothing of God, have no 
such design or thought. But the Lord sitteth above 
the water-floods ; the Lord remaineth a King forever. 
Meantime it is highly expedient that the Methodists 
in every part of the Globe should be united together 
* The original is not legible here. 



ot>6 METHODISM IN Ni:\V-M)i:K in 1790. 

as closely as possible. That -\ve may all be one is 

the prayer of 

" Your affectionate Friend and Brother, 




" Mk. Mokukix. 

" I have seen nothing of Bro. Garrettson's letter." 

The New- York Conference was held in Xew- 
York, Oct. 4, 1790. But very little does Mr. As- 
bury or Thomas Morrell say about it. Mr. Asbury, 
in his Journal, says: " iV r < w-Yurl\ Sinidmj. 3d. — I 
preached in the old church, and in the afternoon in 
the new, on Matt, xxv, 31-40. The new church is 
commodious, elegant, yet plain.' 1 This is the first 
time Mr. Asbury preached in the new church , con- 
cerning which ho and Dr. Coke felt so much solici- 
tude. He certainly speaks highly of the edifice. 
" Monday, \lh. — We began our conference, and sat 
with close application to business until Thursday 
morning : all was order, peace, and unanimity On 
Thursday evening I. returned to Elizaboihtown." 

The record of Mr. Morrell is still more brief: 
"October. Conference this month. Brother Jessop 
and P.rofhcr Cloud appointed with mo to Xew-York." 

On the " old book" we find tho following items: 

17!hi, Sop!. 2«. Paid for Hirudin^ cuiroo-uiil] £0 10 

" <>i'l. 1. 1'iiid for oiiu si't of knivi-s and forks. . .. 9 

" " 8. CuhIi for Mr. Anbury's horses. .».. t 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK EST 1790. 36 1 

This was for his horses during the conference. 

1790, Oct. 11. Cash for the expenses of the preacher's 

house £22 6 8 

> 

Their expenses, no doubt, greatly increased during 
the conference, as the bishop and some of the minis- 
ters put up at the old depot for Methodist preachers 
in John-street. Whatever the expenses incurred, the 
trustees most cheerfully footed the bill. It showed 
they were men of the right stamp. 



JACOB BEUSH. 

His name frequently appears on the " old book " 
this year. Were it not for this old volume we should 
not know that he preached in the city of New- York, 
for in the Minutes he was stationed on New Eochelle 
circuit. I extract from the old record. 

1790, May 12. Cash paid Brother Brush £18 

" July 12. Paid for Jacob Brush's horse 1 5 9 

" Oct. 26. Cash paid for Jacob Brush's horse . . 10 
" Nov. 23. Paid Brother Brush for his services 

here to date . . . . 2 

How Mr. Brush came to labor in New- York will 
be explained by Mr. Morrell's unpublished journal, 
from which I make the following extract. It also 
throws light upon Methodism in New- York at tha{ 
period. 

" On the fourth of this month (January) a revival 
began at the prayer-meetings, and on the 12th it 
broke out in the church,, and continued, with some 



3GK MKTHoPISM IN NK\V-Y<iHK IN 1700. 

small intermissions, until tlio latter end of February. 
In this time about two hnndrod joined the society; 
perhaps about four hundred were converted in 
eight weeks; many of these joined afterward. 
In this month my throat became so sore, and my 
palate became so much relaxed I could preach 
but seldom. I bless the Lord it was in his work it 
came upon me. Having great colds, and preaching 
and exhorting, I became so hoarse, and my throat so 
inflamed, that with great difficulty and pain 1 
went through my public exercises. Brother Brush 
providentially came to this city this month, or we 
should have been obliged to shut up one of the 
churches." 

Mr. Brush was born on Long Island, and was ten 
years in the itinerant work, having entered it in 
1785. He was one of the first pioneers of Method- 
ism in New-England. Mr. Brush, George Roberts, 
and Daniel Smith met Jesse Lee at the famous 
quarterly meeting in Dantown, Conn., where the 
great soul of the apostlo of Methodism in the Eastern 
states so greatly rejoiced. Tho yellow fever raged in 
Ts r ew-York in 1795, and a number of Methodists fell 
victims to it. Mr. Brush was among the number. 
His brethren, in tho Minutos, speak of him in the 
most exalted terms, and conclude by saying, " Wc 
entertain no doubt but ho rests in Abraham's 
bosom." 

Mr. Brush was engaged to be married >o an 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1790. 369 

amiable young woman, a daughter of a Methodist 
preacher, but death prevented their union. 

In the center of the burying ground back of the 
Forsyth-street Church, lie the ashes of the Rev. 
Jacob Brush, ''with peculiar feelings I stood upon 
his grave, where he had slept sixty-two years, and 
copied the following from his tombstone : 

IN MEMORY OF 

THE REV JACOB BRUSH, 

Who fell a victim to the epidemic, September 25, 1795, iD 

the thirty-fourth year of his age. He was pious 

in his life, faithful in his labors, resigned 

and peaceful in his death. 

THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE IN EVERLASTING REMEMBRANCE. 

Brush is no more; he's gone to dwell with Him' 
Who died to save a Brush from sin. 

After the death of Mr. Brush, the following verses 
were printed, and hung up in frames in many dwell- 
ings, in honor of the deceased preacher. It shows 
the high estimation in which he was held. It will 
be seen that he was still young when he died, only 
thirty-three years old. In reading of Elder Brush, 
one of the first presiding elders in New-England, 
we think of him as a man of years. Woolman 
Hickson also found an early grave. But to the 
poetry. I copy from what for many years hung 
up in the old parsonage at John-street. It was the 

property of Molly Williams, who kept it while she 

17 



870 MF/niomsM ix m.\v-yoi:k in 1790. 

lived, and hor adopted daughter still preserve it 
as a relic. The style, the printing, the smoky ap- 
pearance of Iho paper, and the little old pine frame, 
all give evidence of its antiquity. 

TO TUB MEMORY OF THE I.ATE 

REV JACOB BRUSH. 

1!T A LADY. 

O what a mournful sound alarms our ears, 
It pains the heart, our eyes overflow with tears: 
A friend, a brother, who was much beloved, 
Is gone, and far from mortal sight removed; 
In the cold tomb remains his moldering clay, 
And Brush must in the dreary mansion lay. 

O faithful shepherd, art thou out of sight ? 
Yet faith beholds thee in the world of light : 
In the full presence of the heavenly Lamb, 
And crown'd with glory by the great I Am ! 
Free from your warfare, labor, and all pain, 
Thrice happy change, in heaven dost thou reign. 

When the alarming midnight cry was heard, 
Brush for the heavenly bridegroom was prepared; 
Watching around the Israelii ish camp, 
With holy incense burning in his lamp. 
When he the eternal truth of God declared, 
Saints then rejoiced, but wicked men they tcar'd. 
The mission of his Lord lfe truly bore: 
Ilumhlc and patient, when afflicted sore: 
'Twas thus he euter'd heaven's eternal door. 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1791. 371 



CHAPTEE XLII. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1*791. 

Ministers stationed in New-York— The official Members — Old and 
new Church— Conference — Expenses paid — Items from the Old 
Book — Asbury's Account — Wesley's last Letter to America — Death 
of Mr. Wesley— Letter from Dr. Coke— Thomas Morrell leaves 
New-York — Travels with Bishop Asbury — Stationed in Charleston — 
Defends Bishop Asbury — Amusing Anecdote — The Benevolence of 
New- York Methodists to the Bishop — James Man, Sketch of— Re- 
turns to Nova Scotia — Secretary of the Conference — Richard What- 
coat — His deep Piety — Dr. Bond— Anecdotes of Whatcoat — What- 
coat and the Love-feast — Whatcoat and the lost Text — Sketch of 
his personal History — His Death — His Character. 

Thomas Mokrell, Eichard "Whatcoat, and James 
Man were stationed in New- York this year. A 
noble trio. 

A very accurate account is kept in the " old 
book," of their receipts and disbursements. It reads 
thus : " The Methodist Church in account with John 
Staples, Henry Newton, John Bleeker, and Samuel 
Stillwell." 

They distinguish Wesley Chapel and the church in 
Second-street (now Forsyth) by calling the former 
"the old church," the latter the "new." Peter 
Parks was the sexton of the latter. 



£4 








7 


9 


1 


2 


1 


2 


3 


9 






37- METHODISM IN NK\V-\<>KK IN 1791. 

The conference commenced its session on Thursday, 
May 2f>. and closed the following Monday The 
trustees painted and fixed up for the conference. 
Not only the church, but the " old parsonage," par- 
ticularly the preacher's room. Therefore the follow- 
ing entry : 

Juno 14. Cash paid Mr. Mouiiey for paper hangings 
and putting on tho preacher's room . 
" Cash paid for cleaning old church . 
" Cash paid for horse-keeping for preachers 
" Cash paid Mr. Morrell for Bishop Asbury 
" Ditto for horse-keeping for ditto.... 1 15 9 

" Cash paid Mr. John Bleeker for sundries 

for preachers . . . . 10 

These records show that the New- York Methodists 
took good care of their preachers. 

Bishop Asbury says : " Our conference came 
together in great peace and love. Our ordinary 
business was enlivened by the relation of experiences, 
and by profitable observations on the work of God.'' 
There were about thirty preachers present, and 
the utmost harmony. The bishop says: "Not a 
frown, a sign of a sour temper, or an unkind word, 
was seen or heard among us ; but I am siek and 
quite overdone with constant labor." — Journal, vol. 
ii, p. 117. 

This was a memorable year in tho history of 
.Methodism. Its venerable founder died March 2, 
in the eighty-eighth year of his age, and the sixty- 
htth <>f his ministry greatlv beloved and deeply 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1791. 373 

lamented.. By the request of the New- York Confer- 
ence and of the society in New- York, Bishop Asbury 
preached on the occasion of Mr. Wesley's death, on 
Sunday, May 29, first in the old Wesley Chapel, in 
the morning, and again in the afternoon at the new 
church, from 2 Timothy, iii, 10, 11 : " But thou hast 
fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, 
faith, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, 
afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconi- 
um, at Lustra ; what persecutions I endured : but out 
of them all the Lord delivered me." It is singular 
that, nearly thirty years after, Bishop Asbury's 
funeral sermon was preached from the same text by 
Rev. Ezekiel Cooper. 

The societies of which Mr. Wesley was the 
founder, numbered at his death five hundred and 
forty traveling preachers, and one hundred and forty 
thousand members. Only twenty days before his 
death he wrote, with a trembling hand, the fol- 
lowing letter to the Rev. Ezekiel Cooper, showing 
his high regard for his children in America : 

"Neae London, Feb. 1, 1791. 
" My dear Brother, — Those who desire to write 
or say anything to me have no time to lose ; for time 
has shaken me by the hand, and death is not far 
behind. But I have reason to be thankful for the 
time that is past : I felt few of the infirmities of age 
for fourscore and six years. Tt was not till a year 



374 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1791. 

and a half ago that my strength and sight failed j 
and still I am enabled to scrawl a little, -and to 
creep, though I cannot run. Probably I should not 
be able to do so much, did not many of you assist 
me by your prayers. I have given a distinct ac- 
count of the work of God which has been wrought in 
Britain and Ireland for more than half a century. 
"We want some of you to give us a connected relation 
of what our Lord has been doing in America, from 
the time that Richard Boardman accepted the invi- 
tation, and left his country to serve you. See that 
you never give place to one thought of separating 
from your brethren in Europe. Lose no opportunity 
of declaring to all men that the Methodists are one 
people in all the world ; and that it is their full 
determination so to continue, 

Though mountains rise, and oceans roll, 
To sever us in vain. 

To the care of our common Lord I commit you; 
and am your affectionate friend and brother, 

"John "Wesley." 

The following letter, directed to Thomas Morrell, 
No. 20 John-street, from Dr. Coke, will show how ho 
felt when the sad intelligence arrived of the death of 
his father and friend. He was at the time in Vir- 
ginia. 

" Philadelphia, May 6, 1791. 

" My very dear Brother, — The awful event of 
Mr. J. Wesley's death obliges mo to hasten to 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK I*{ 1791. 375 

Europe ; but by traveling from Virginia by night as 
well as day, I have been taken with a sciatic or 
rheumatic pain in my hips, which detained me on 
the road for some time, in spite of all my zeal for 
pushing forward. This has prevented my reaching 
New- York time enough for the British packet, and I 
cannot find by the "New- York papers that any ship 
will sail from that port for England or Ireland for a 
considerable time. I have, therefore, thought it best 
to take a passage in the William Penn, which sails 
from this port for London the middle of next week. 
I am informed there is time enough to send my 
things from JSTew-York to this city before I sail, if 
they be sent off immediately. If so, you will do me 
the favor of taking this burden upon you. I am 
very much obliged to you for the many proofs of love 
which you have shown me, and with which I am 
not unacquainted. Next autumn twelve month I 
shall, God willing, be again in these states, to be 
present at the General Conference, which will com- 
mence in Baltimore on the 1st of December, 1792. 
Perhaps I shall write to you again before I sail. 
God bless you. I am your much obliged and faithful 
friend, Thomas Coke." 

" P S. — Extract of a letter from one of the British 
preachers : 

" ' March 2, Wednesday Morning, 10 o'clock. 
" ' Am just come from the solemn scene of our 
honored father's exit from the region of mortality. 



.'576 METHODISM IN NKU-YoKK IN 1791. 

I bolicvo it will leave a lasting impression on the 
minds of nil who were present. The ble^ed testimo- 
nies ho gave, while his strength and speech remained, 
of his faith and hope in tho Lord Jesus, will, no 
doubt, be a confirmatory seal to thousands, of the 
truths he maintained in the long course of his 
ministry O that all his sons In tho Gospel may 
prepare to meet him, by filling up usefully their lives' 
short day as he did! and O that a double portion «»f 
his spirit may rest upon them all ! Amen.' 

" Give my kindest love to my dear friends in Xew- 
York. Tell them I am sorry I cannot visit them at 
this time. But I am sure they will excuse me. con- 
sidering the critical circumstances in which I am 
placed. Direct the boxes, etc., to me at Jacob Baker's, 
Merchant, No. 62 Front-street, Philadelphia." 

Mr. Morrell labored with usual zeal to advance 
the great interest of the Redeemer's kingdom. His 
name frequently occurs on the " old book" this 
year. He lent them £150, for which they paid him 
the interest. 

Tho trustees also paid £2 10*. for a hat for Mr. 
Morrell. 

Mr. Morrell left New- York in October, to travel 
with Uishop Asbury. 

His journal, written very neatly, containing an 
account of all the texts he preached from in New- 
^ "i-k, I have in my possession, but have no room to 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1791. 377 

make extracts, except the following, which is a part 
of the history : 

"On Tuesday evening, November 1, 1791, I 
preached my farewell sermon, from Genesis, xlii, 36, 
" All these things are against me," to a crowded 
house ; then went to Elizabeth town, and tarried till 
November 23, 1791. 

" I had now been in New- York two years and five 
months, and had at different times for colleagues, 
Robert Cloud, John Merrick, Jacob Brush, "William 
Jessop, Eichard Whateoat, and James Man; the 
two last I left in New-York. When I first went to 
that city there were about three hundred in society. 
I left upward of six hundred." 

Mr. Morrell traveled with Bishop Asbury as far as 
Charleston. Mr. Morrell's health being poor, Bishop 
Asbury stationed him in Charleston. It was in the 
midst of the Hammet difficulties, and they needed a 
man of ability and nerve. Mr. Morrell was just the 
man for the crisis. He answered Mr. Hammet's at- 
tack upon Bishop Asbury most triumphantly. The 
rare old document I have, but have no space to draw 
from it. 

Mr. Morrell remained in Charleston as their 
preacher till the fifth of June, 1792. 

Mr. Morrell used to relate an amusing anecdote 
that occurred during his travels with the bishop. 
Tea was not as plenty then as now, and many fami- 
lies did not use it, and some who were in retired 

17* 



878 METHODISM IN NliW-YOKK IN 1791. 

places bad never seen any Even the great Valen- 
tine Cook, when he wont to Cokesbury College, had 
never seen any tea, and as bo looked a little pale, 
some one inquired what was the matter; he said he 
did not think the broth (the tea) agreed with him. 
Bishop Asbury used to carry it with him in a paper 
in his saddle-bags. Mr. Morrell and he put up in a 
retired place as they were on their journey, and as 
the bishop was fatigued, he felt as if a little tea 
would refresh him; and as the family had none, 
he took the paper from his saddle-bags, and reached 
it to the woman of the house, requesting her to make 
some tea. When they sat down to the table she 
brought on the tea. She had boiled the whole of it, 
thrown away the juice, and spread the leaves all out 
on a plate, and said, " Help yourselves to tea." 
In the " old book " we have the following : 

To cash paid for house expenses from May 15 to 

August 81. , .. £17 10 

A conference had been held in the mean time, and 
the house expenses were groatly increased. 

Here is another entry that reflects honor upon the 

trustees : 

Sept. 5. Paid sundry bills for Mr. Asbury for a 

suit of clothes : Surtout, boots, hat, etc. £22 10 8 
" " Cash gave Mr. Asbury ., , 2 00 

Here is almost twenty-five pounds for the bishop 
previous to his leaving for his southern and 
western tour. This certainly was very princely 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IX 1791. 379 

in the trustees. It shows they were men whose 
hearts were in the right place. The bishop was not 
only clothed from head to foot, but supplied with 
money for his journey- Mr. Asbury has the follow- 
ing in his Journal : 

"Monday, August 29, 1791. — Came to New- York ; 
the weather is warm, and here is an awful season of 
affliction. I preached at the new church, from He- 
brews, v, 12 : " For when for the time ye ought to 
be teachers," etc. We had an acceptable time, and 
some gracious movings. 

" Wednesday, 31.' — We had a serious, heart-affect- 
ing time ; many were ready to break out in praises 
to God. I respect the kindness of the dear people 
here, and leave New-York in faith the Lord will re- 
turn to visit them." 

The bishop leaves New- York with a grateful heart, 
respecting " the dear /people" and acknowledging 
their " kindness." He alludes to their supplying his 
wants so Dountifully. 



^yc^^^c^t^^ 



His name often appears on the " old book," where 
he received quarterage, etc. He was born in New- 
York City, and was a brother to John Mann, who 
had preached in John-street during the war, before 
the arrival of Samuel Spraggs. Mr. Man afterward 
went to Nova Scotia, as well as his brother John. 



:'»so MKTiionisM in m:\vy»>i:k in 1791. 

He was a very prominent man in the conference 
theiv, and I'or many years secretary, He wrote the 
memoir of his brother. Joshua Marsden speaks of 
him as a good man and exceedingly useful. This 
was the only time he was stationed in Xew-York, or 
in the United States. Why he was stationed here 
at that time does not appear. 



Ob-s&CajfeiiJCt' 



All who knew Richard Whatcoat attribute to him 
an uncommon degree of piety. My late lamented 
friend, Dr. Thomas E. Bond, Sr., who knew him well, 
said to me : '' lie was one of the purest spirits I ever 
knew. Everybody about the house loved him, cats, 
dogs, and all." Mary Snethen said to me, that of all 
the pure and holy men that came to that old parson- 
age, ho seemed to be the most heavenly-minded. 
He talked of heaven, he sang of heaven, and 
meditated of heaven. 

lvev W Thacher heard Mr. Whatcoat preach many 
times when he was stationed in New-York, and said 
that he preached with peculiar unction, his word was 
attended with unusual power. An old minister said 
to mo: "I saw Richard Whatcoat in the old John- 
street parsonage. He sat there as if he saw no one. 
heard no one, and was in silent communion with his 
God. Holiness was his constant theme." For purity 
of character, for self-denial, for deep devotion, for 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1791. 381 

heavenly-mindedness, for Divine unction, none of our 
preachers has ever surpassed him!,' What a name and 
influence he left behind, both fragrant and enduring. 

WHATCOAT AND THE LOVE-FEAST.. 

Mr. Whatcoat attended a love-feast in New- York. 
An old minister who lingers among us, waiting the 
time of his departure, like good old Simeon, was pres- 
ent, and gave me a description of the scene. He says, 
the house was filled with glory, and the shout of a 
king was heard in the camp of Israel. The house 
was so full there was not bread enough to supply 
them all. Some one informed him they were out of 
bread. " Glory to God," said the old man, " there is 
bread enough in heaven. In our Father's house there 
is bread enough and to spare." Shout after shout, 
halleluiah after halleluiah, rapidly succeeded each 
other. 

When he prayed it seemed as if he had one hand 
hold of heaven and the other of earth, and he brought 
them together. As he prayed he cried : " Power, 
power ! now, Loi'd, send the power !" and the power 
did come. O what a -stream of power came down! 
not a stream, but it was like a cloud breaking 
and inundating- the earth. The cloud of mercy 
broke, and showers of blessings descended on our 
heads. Such shouts I never heard before, making 
the temple resound with their "songs of joy and 
shouts of triumph. Jehovah abundantly blessed her 



382 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1791. 

provision, and he satisfied her poor with bread; her 
priests he clothed* with salvation, and her saints 
shouted aloud for joy." Such is the testimony of 
one who was present, over three score years ago. 
When the old warrior related it to me his face shone, 
and his eye was moistened with a tear, as he thought 
of Whatcoat and the love-feast. 



WHATCOAT AND THE LOST TEXT. 

Mr. "Whatcoat showed some ingenuity in reliev 
ing himself from an embarrassing position. Any onp 
can get into a difficulty, but it takes a man to get out 
of one. I mean a man who thinks fast, who has 
tact, and can act promptly. Strange as it may seem, 
some ministers forget their text. I knew one who 
was preaching who forgot the text, and he whispered 
so loud they could hear him all over the school- 
house, and inquired, " Brother, what was my text ?" 
The brother told him, and he went on and finished 
his discourse. 

I know another who was preaching at a camp- 
meeting, and while exhorting with great power, 
forgot his text. Wishing to return to it, but unable 
to remember it, he said, "I have lost my subject." 
" Thank God I" said a simple, honest-hearted brother 
in the congregation. He thought he made it go 
so much better after he lost the text than before, that 
it was a matter of devout thanksgiving. 



METHODISM IN NEW'YORK IN 1791. 383 

Mr. Whatcoat got into a similar difficulty ; but he? 
showed . himself a genius in getting out of it. He 
.announced his text, and discoursed for a while, 
when his mind was drawn away from the subject, 
and he found it impossible to recall it. Said he, 
" I have been talking so long, some of you may have 
forgotten the text." He never hinted that he was in 
that category. " ]STever mind if you have," said 
he ; "I will take another.''^ He did so, and preached 
from it a most delightful sermon, that was long re- 
membered. 

Mr. "Whatcoat was an Englishman, and used to 
meet Francis Asbury in class in their native land, 
when they were both young. In 1736 he was born, 
and the third of September, 1758, he was born 
again. In 1784 he came to America with Dr. Coke, 
when the latter made his first visit to this country. 

It was a great privilege to be blessed with such a 
minister as Richard Whatcoat, who was, like Barna- 
bas, " a good man, full of faith and the Holy Ghost." 
His conversation was in heaven. He breathed the 
*.atmosphere of the better world, and talked the lan- 
guage of Canaan. 

" His soul disdain'd on earth to dwell, 
He only sojourn'd here." 

He kept a journal, and 1m manuscript was in the 
hands of Dr. Phoebus, who wrote a life of the bishop. 
It is now in the possession of the Rev. John Davies, 



.1*4 MKTHOIUSM IN NK\V-Vnl!K IN l7Ul. 

of the New- York Conference, a great antiquarian, 
who treasures it up amniis,' the relics of antiquity. 

In Mr. What coat's journal, he says, " May 26, 
17K.1, I attended conference in New- York, and was 
stationed hero for the ensuing season : I continued 
until September, 1792. Wo had great peace among 
ourselves, and refreshing times among the people." 

In 1800 Mr. Whatcoat was elected and ordained a 
bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. lie was 
the colleague of the venerated Asbury till he iinished 
his course with joy, which event took place at the 
house of Governor Basset, at Dover, in Delaware, 
July 5, 1806. 

His brethren say, " He died not possessed of 
property sufficient to have paid the expenses of his 
sickness and funeral, if a charge had been made; so 
dead was he to this world.'' His constant language 
seemed to be : 

" My soul is not at rost. There comes 

A strange and secret whisper to my spirit 

Like a dream of night, that tells mo I am 

On enchanted ground. Why live I hero? The vows 

Of Cod aro on mo, and I may not stoop 

To play with earthly shadows, or pluck earthly 

Flowers, till I my work have dono and rendered up 

Account." 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1792. 385 



CHAPTEK XLIIL 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1192. 

Preachers stationed in New- York — Sketch of Lemuel Green — 'Able 
Preacher — Death — George Strebeck leaves the Methodists — A Lu- 
theran Church in Pearl-street — Next in Mott — A popular Preacher 
— Teachers' School — John Hagadorn — Mr. Strebeck leaves the 
Lutherans — An Episcopal Clergyman — Origin of St. Stephen's 
Church — Pastor rebaptizes his Children — Zion's Church — Ealph 
Williston — Runaways — Bishop Hedding's Opinion of — Session of 
the New-York Conference — Singular Items in the "Old Book" — 
Bishop Asbury and the New- York Methodists. 

Thomas Mokrell, Lemuel Green, and George Stre- 
beck were the stationed preachers in New- York this 
year. 

Lemuel Green was a most sterling man and an 
able minister of the New Testament. Mr. Green 
was born near Baltimore, Maryland, in 1751. At 
the age of twenty-five years he was converted to 
God, and identified himself with the Methodists. 
When thirty years old he began to preach the " un- 
searchable riches of Christ." In 1783 Mr. Green 
was admitted into the traveling connection with 
Jesse Lee, William Phoebus, and others of precious 



386 MKTHODJSM IN NEW-YORK IK 1792. 

memory. Mr. Green joined the Church in its 
infancy, when it did not number seven thousand 
members, 'and lived to see within its pale half a 
million. He was a clear, sound, useful preacher, 
hut it was the peculiar unction of the Holy One 
that attended his preaching, that made him so suc- 
cessful. His name often appears in the ''old hook" 
this year, but we have no space for extracts. Mr. 
Green died triumphantly in 1831. 

The Rev. George Strebeck was the colleague of 
Mr. Green. His name frequently appears on the 
old record. He joined the conference in 1792, and 
withdrew from the Methodist Church in a few years 
after. In the first place he became a Lutheran 
minister, and they erected a little church in Pearl- 
street, where Mr. Strebeck* preached. There the 
place became too strait for them, and they erected a 
larger house of worship in Mott-street, which after- 
ward went into the hands of the Protestant Episcopa- 
lians. Mr. Strebeck was a very zealous, popular 
preacher, and crowds attended his ministry. In his 
new field of labor he preached three times on 
Sunday, once on a week-day evening, and taught 
school. My friend. John llagadorn, of the Forsvth- 
street M. K. Church, attended Mr. Strebeck s minis- 
try in Mott-street, and went to school to him two 
years. He informed me that'aftcr a time Mr. Sire- 
beck became a minister of the Protestant KpUco- 
pal Church, and a part of his Church-membera 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK EST 1792. 387 

separated from their brethren in Mott-street and 
colonized, and formed St. Stephen's Church, at the 
corner of Broome and Christie streets. Here he 
preached for a while, and was succeeded by the Rev. 
Eichard Channing Moore, afterward Bishop of Vir-; 
ginia. 

Mr. Strebeck went South, and died soon after, 
either in Charleston or Savannah. The Church in 
Mott-street afterward became Episcopal, and was 
called "Zion's Church." Ralph Williston, another 
runaway, was their pastor. When a man begins to 
turn his coat there is no knowing where he will end. 
"We find Mr. Strebeck first a Methodist, secondly a 
Lutheran, thirdly an Episcopalian. His children had 
been baptized, but Mr. Strebeck repudiated their 
former baptism, and they were re-baptized by the 
Episcopal bishop. "When men change their theolog- 
ical sentiments, they generally Mash to show they 
have gone away over. 

The Methodist Church has great reason to com- 
plain, " I have nourished and brought up children, 
but they have rebelled against me," or, what is 
equally ungrateful, " they have run avsay ftvm me." 
The Protestant Episcopal Church has not only 
received many of her sons and daughters, but a num- 
ber of her ministers; some, to be sure, were "no 
great catch, after all ;" but others were valuable men, 
such as Joseph Pilmoor, Thomas Lyell, and Lieuten- 
ant Parks. The latter was once assistant preacher 



:'»S8 MKTHOIMS.M IN NKW-Y"I:K IN I7'*_'. 

nt Trinity Church, NVw-York. He died a few years 

ago. 

It is sometimes tho case that the Methodist Church 
loses nothing by these runaways, and the Churches to 
whom they go gain nothing. I once <aid to Hi-hop 
Ileddin", that shrewd observer of men and things, 
such a minister has left us and joined the Protectant 
Episcopal Church. " I am glad of it," said tin; 
venerable bishop; "I wish he had gone earlier, and 
some others who have left us; they would have saved 
me a great deal of trouble in trying to find places f>r 
them. They were not wanted here nor there. I have 
had a great deal of trouble to persuade the people to 
receive them. I am glad they have gone.'' 

I watched the course of Mr. S , as I have 

others who have left us. Instead of being pastor of 
a large church, with splendid parsonage and a great 
salary, he was pastor of a little country church, where- 
he had very dry fodder; and, as discretion is the 
better part of valor, he retired from Ins pulpit duties 
and pastoral labors to keeping a hoarding-school for 
boys. How much we lost and ho and others gained, 
can easily bo seen without the eye of a philosopher. 

There are some entries in the "old hook," this year 
which show that they wore still very particular with 
their record : 

1792, Aug. 10. To cash paid for a gammon £0 14 8 

We hear nothing of t/itiii-m<m n<>\v-a-davs. unless 



METHODISM IN NEW-TOEK IN 1792. 389 

we use the word for imposition, saying, " That is all 
gammon ;" we now talk of " ham." 

Aug. 20. Paid for postage of letters £4 10 

They must have received many letters, or the post- 
age was very high. 

They were determined to be clean, knowing that 
cleanliness is next to godliness. There is this 
remarkable entry : 

Aug. 22. To three washtubs for house £0 18 

Here we learn the price of wash-tubs in those days, 
six shillings each. 

Aug. 27. To cash for green baize for table . . . £0 4 6 

The conference commenced its session this day, 
and the trustees were fixing up for it, therefore the 
" green baize." 

Sept. 8. To cash paid a woman for attending conference £0 4 

The New- York Methodists were ever kind to 
Bishop Asbury ; their parlors not only witnessed the 
hearty welcome he received, but their purses were 
ever open to supply his wants ; they even anticipated 
his necessities. Such entries in the "old book" 
occupy but little space, but they are full of meaning, 
and though made over threescore years ago, will be 
read with interest. 

1792. Sept. 26. To cash paid for a pair of boots for 

Mr. Asbury. £2 8 



390 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN* 1792. 

A very good price for a pair of boots, we should 
think, in times as dear as the present. Again: 

Oct. 2. To cash paid for a hat for Mr. Asbury ....... £8 

It must have been a very good hat, judging from 
the price. 
Oct. 16. To cash paid Mr. Pinckney for stabling horses £8 19 8 

Once more : 

Oct. 16. To cash paid Rowland Ellis one bill for Mr. 

Asbury. ....... .. £14 10 4 

A very good bill. 

The bishop in his Journal does not forget to notice 
their kindness, as can be seen by the following 
extract: "August 27, 1792. Came to New- York 
and opened conference, twenty-eight preachers being 
present. We spent most of the afternoon in prayer ; 
and nearly all the preachers gave an account of what 
each one had seen and felt since conference. The 
young gave us their experience, and there were 
several who professed sanctification. Friday 31. 
"We had a solemn love-feast, the lower floor of the 
house being nearly filled ; several of the brethren 
professed perfect love, others had lost the witness. 
My mind lias been so bent to the business of the con- 
ference, that I have slept but very little this week. 
Connecticut is very much supplied, to my mind; 
several very promising young men have been ad- 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IK 1792. 391 

mitted this conference. The societies are in harmony, 
but not as lively as they ought to be." 

Among the "promising young men" received at 
this conference were Thomas Lyell and George 
Strebeck, who left us a few years after. Others, 
like Lawrence McCombs, remained faithful unto the 
end. 

The bishop is gratified that Connecticut is so well 
manned. We cannot wonder when we see who 
were sent into the " land of steady habits." The in- 
defatigable Jacob Brush was the elder, a man always 
ready to do his duty and leave the result to God. 
A flaming herald of the cross was Jacob Brush in 
his palmy days. The men whom he led forth to 
glorious war, were good men and true. On Fair- 
field Circuit were the excellent Joshua Taylor and 
Smith Weeks ; and on Litchfield Circuit Philip 
Wager, a good man, and the meek, modest, un- 
assuming James Coleman. I knew him well " in age 
and feebleness extreme." Then on Middletown Cir- 
cuit, Richard Swain and Aaron Hunt. On Hartford 
Circuit, the eloquent Hope Hull, the holy and devout 
George Roberts, and Fredus Aldridge. 

When we look at the character of these ministers 
of Jesus, can we wonder that Mr. Asbury thus con- 
gratulates himself: " Connecticut is supplied to my 
mind." Has it ever been better supplied ? I mean 
with ministers of greater talents and usefulness. 

Mr. Asbury adds : " I was much obliged to my 



:i!»J METHODISM IN NKW-YoKK IN 1702. 

friends for renewing my clothing and giving me a 
little pocket money; this is better than £50ij per 
annum. I told somo of our preachers, who were 
very poor, how happy they were ; and that probably, 
had they any more, their wants would proportionally 
increase." The Lord's Supper was administered, 
after the bishop had preached a preparatory sermon 
from 1 Cor. v, 7, 8. 

The bishop must have felt very well as he left the 
city, for he adds : " I now leave New- York for one 
whole year under the hope and prophecy that this 
will be a year of the Lord's power with them." 

Mr. Hammet had made an attack upon the char- 
acter of Bishop Asbury, accusing him of leaving Mr. 
Wesley's name from the Minutes. As Mr. Morrell 
was defending Bishop Asbury, Caleb Boycr, one of 
the earliest preachers, wrote to him posting him in 
regard to certain facts which vindicated the charac- 
ter of the apostlo of American Methodism. Tie says : 

" Mr. Asbury never expressed the most distant wish 
that Mr. Wesley's name should be left off from the 
Minut.es, and Mr. Asbury could not have prevented 
it if ho had bent all his forco against, it. 

" Your sincoro friend and brother in Christ, 



"Dec. 1UA, 1792." 



^a^t frty^ 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1793, 1794. 393 



CHAPTER XLIV 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1793 AND 1794. 

The Itinerant Spirit still kept up — Morrell and Garrettson stationed in 
New- York and Philadelphia — Yellow Fever in Philadelphia — Fearful 
Ravages of— Day of Fasting in New- York — Morrell' s Sermon — Ex- 
tracts from the "Old Book " — Bishop Asbury and the Suit of Clothes 

— Benevolence of the New- York Methodists — Morrell' s Doctor's Bill 

— Eevs. Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers labor in New-York — Their 
Quarterage — Mr. Morrell leaves New- York — Reasons why— His Re- 
flections on so doing — Increase in the Membership — Brief Sketch of 
Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers — Mr. Morrell's History completed — 
His Conversion — Spiritual Father — Entrance into the Ministry — Use- 
fulness — Prominent Stations — Correspondence — Letter from Reuben 
Ellis — Mr. Morrell's Journals — Specimen of his Exactness — Location 

— Cause of advanced Age — Death of — Character — Descendants — 
Preachers in New- York in 1,794 — Brooklyn and New- York united — 
Ezekiel Cooper — Lawrence M'Combs — Names often appear on tho 
"Old Book" — Their Characters and End. 

The early Methodists were very anxious to keep 
up the itinerancy. They had no idea of a settled 
ministry ; therefore the frequent changes among the 
preachers. This year (1T93) the Rev. Thomas Mor- 
rell was stationed in New- York and Freeborn Gar- 
rettson in Philadelphia ; but -they were to exchange 

18 



394 METHODISM IN NKW-YORK IN 1793, lT94. 

at tho expiration of six months. Tho Churches in 
those cities woro highly favored with- tho services 
of these distinguished ministers during the year. • 

Tho conference was held in New- York on the 26th 
of August. During this month tho yellow fever be- 
gan to rage in Philadelphia, and continued till Octo- 
ber. Four thousand fell victims to it. 

" On the 26th of September," says Mr. Morrell, in 
his journal, " there was a day of fasting and prayer 
held in New- York, in every church. Such a solemn 
time was never seen in this city. The churches were 
all crowded. Ours [Second-street, now Forsyth] was 
not only full, and the house adjacent, but also the 
burying-yard. I preached from Jonah iii, 5 : ' So the 
people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a 
fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them 
even to the least of them.' It was a most solemn 
season indeed. Three that I knew were awakened. 
The occasion of the fast was to entreat the Lord to 
put a stop to tho malignant fever in the city of Phila- 
delphia. We had prayers at six in the morning, 
preaching at ten A. M., and at three and six P M." 

There are some singular entries on the " old 
book" this year, but I can make but few extracts 
for want of space. 

1798, August 27. To Bishop Asbury, given him in 

liou of clothes.. £'U 

This was during tho conference, and the phj»so- 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1793, 1794. 395 

ology conveys the idea that the trustees were in the 
practice annually of giving the bishop a suit of 
clothes. His garments being good at that time, they 
gave him the large sum of £24 instead of the clothes; 
and no doubt, judging from his practice, he clothed, 
with that money, many a Methodist preacher who 
was poor. This shows that the Methodists in New- 
York in 1793 had great hearts and great respect for 
Bishop Asbury. 
Again : 

Sept. 12. To "William Pinckney, for stabling the bish- 
op's horses . . £3 118 

Sept. 16. To Brother Morrell for doctor's bill.. 6 8 

They continued to pay the doctor's bill for the 
preachers. Mr. Morrell says in his journal : " On 
the 14th of this month [September] Brother Daniel 
Smith and Evan Rogers came to my assistance in 
.this city. Before they came I had hard labor, and 
was obliged to employ the local preachers." Their 
names appear on the " old book :" 

1794, May 6. To cash paid Brother Smith and Sogers, 

their quarterage £12 16 

» Paid Brother Eogers, traveling ex- 
penses 2 

" Aug. 12. Cash paid Brother Smith, quarterage 6 8 
" " Cash paid Brother Eogers, quarterage 6 8 
" Sept. 17. To cash paid Brother Smith, quarter- 
age for two months to 29th inst. . 4 5 4 
" i " To cash to Brother Rogers 4 5 4 



,'.% MKTHolUKM IN NKW-Voi:K IN 1793. 1794. 

Mr. Morrcll makes thin record : 

"Preached March 2."* from Ii<>m. viii, W : "AH things 
work together for good to them that love (Jnd,' etc. 

" N. B. This was my last, sermon preached in Xew- 
York, on Sunday afternoon, in the old chinch. On 
Thursday evening we had our love-feast, a gracious 
time. On Friday, 28th, I left the city and came to 
Elizabethtown, having been stationed in York from 
June, 1789, to March, 1794, near five years. P.lessed 
be God for the gracious assistance he gave me in 
preaching to that kind and loving people : and I de- 
sire to be humbled under a sense of God's goodness 
to me in owning and blessing my labors t<> them. 
When I entered upon my station there I found about 
three hundred members, and when I left them above 
iUjht hundred mid fifty. This great work has i\<A 
wrought, and the glory be ascribed to him. I left 
Daniel Smith and Evan Rogers as preachers there." 

Daniel Smith joined the conference in 179<>. lb- 
was one of the early pioneers in New-England. Ho 
was very eloquent. JIo located in 1794. He mar- 
ried Hester Russell, daughter of Abram Kussvll, ono 
of the trustees of John-street Church, lie was en- 
gaged in the wholesale grocery business in New- 
York for several vears. and continued to labor as a 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1793, 1*794. 397 

local preacher. Much might be written concerning 
Mr. Smith's talents and usefulness. Thomas Ware 
placed him alongside of the eloquent Hope Hull. 
Mr. Smith died in holy triumph in the city of New- 
•York, October 23, 1815. 

Mr. Kogers was received into the traveling connec- 
tion in 1790 and located in 1797. He afterward 
turned Churchman. 

If it had not been for this old volume and the jour- 
nal of Mr. Morrell, we should not have known that 
these ministers were stationed in New-York in 1791; 
for the Minutes are silent. In them we find only one 
preacher stationed in New- York ; and we should 
have wondered how the work was supplied. These 
books furnish us with the connecting links in this 
historic chain. 

Mr. Morrell's journals were kept in the neatest 
manner, and the penmanship is most beautiful. 
From them I have made a few extracts, which throw 
light upon old John-street Preaching House and 
Methodism in New-York. I have also many letters 
in my possession which he received, while at John- 
street, from Mr. Wesley, Dr. Coke, Bishops Asbury 
and Whatcoat, and from others. I only regret that I 
have so little space to draw from materials so rich, 
that give light on the men and the condition of things 
at the time they lived. I have perused them with a 
kind of melancholy interest, -now the writers are 
sleeping in the sepulcher, and the hands that wrote 



898 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1798, 1794. 

them and tho eyos that road them are in the 

grave 

Mr. Morrell was born in Now- York on the 22d of 
Novombor, 1747. His mother was converted, and 
belonged to the first class formed in New-York by 
Philip Embury, which was in 1766 ; and, therefore, 
she was among the first Methodists in America. In 
1772 his father's family removed to Elizabethtown, 
New-Jersey. Mr. Morrell was a soldier daring the 
Revolutionary war, and held the commissions of 
captain and major. He fought in defense of his 
country, and was wounded on the field of battle, and 
carried to his grave honorable scars, showing his 
courage and patriotism. But as a soldior in the army 
of the " great Captain of our salvation," he deserves 
more particular notice. 

HIS CONVERSION. 

Mr. Morrell shall tell his own story. I extract 
from his journal. It is rolatod with great accuracy 
and simplicity. "In tho month of October, 17S5, 
I was awakened by tho preaching of tho Rev. John 
Hagerty, and in March, 1786, received the witness 
of Cod's Spirit of my acceptance. In June, 1786, 
I began to preach as a local preacher in Elizabeth- 
town, and in sevoral parts of that circuit. In March, 
17*7, I began to rido as a. traveling preacher, and 
r..di> on Elizabethtown Circuit [twenty months] with 
Robert Cloud. At tho Conference in New- York in 



METHODISM EST NEW-TOEK IN 1V93, 1794. 399 

October, 1788, 1 was ordained deacon, and appointed 
to the Trenton Circuit, with John Merrick and Jethro 
Johnson- At the June Conference in New- York, 
1789, was ordained an elder, and appointed for that 
city, with Brother Clond, who was with me twelve 
months, and Brother Merrick four months." 

I will give a specimen of his exactness. He gives 
the chapter, verse, subject, date : 



An account of the texts from which I preached in New-York, 
from June, 1789. 



Chapter. 


Verse. 


Subject. 


Date. 


2Corth. 3d.. 


17 


Lord is that Spirit. 


9th. 


6 Gals. . 


8 


Sow to the Spirit 


12. 


3d Ezek 


7 






40Jerh 


31 




14th. 


3 Luke... . 


9 


Ax is laid . . . . . ) 






29 


earth, hear .... 


16. 


1 Cor. 3 . 


21 




21st. 


14 Luke. ... 


23 


Compel them in the fields. . . 




1 Kom 


16 


Power of God to salvation 


23. 




14 






8 Matt 


3 


Be thou clean 

1789. New-Yoek, July. 




26 Acts 


18 




3d. 


7 Matt 


51 


Yail rent. . . 


5th. 


13 Rom 


14 


>>■•' ... •>. ••*. 


8th. 







Walked even as Christ walked ) 


12th. 


13 Luke 


23 


13 Acts 


20 


Word of salvation sent . 


17th. 


7 Job 


16 


Would not live alway 


19. 



Reuben Ellis wrote an interesting letter to Mr. 
Morrell, dated Charleston, January 7, 1794. I can 
only make an extract : 



400 METHODISM IN NKW-YOKK IN 1793, 1794. 

" My dear Bhotiikk,— • Our conference was 
harmonious, l»ut wo were weak in preachers, and not 
able to give all tho circuits a full supply. Brothers 
Ivoy and Hull desisted. The former to take care of 
his motlfer, and the latter is about to establish a school 
in Goorgia. Brother Hull declared to the conference 
that ho had no prejudice against Mr. Asbury nor the 
connection, but was in full fellowship." He then 
gives a description of several men. He states that 
" Mr. Asbury was so indisposed that ho declined his 
western tour that year." Mr. Ellis " was going to 
Virginia to share in the troubles there."* 
" I am yours sincerely. 



£/r 



Mr. Morrell did much for Methodism in New- 
York. He lived many years in the old parsonage. 
Ho was the intimate friend and adviser of Bishop 
Asbury, highly beloved by Dr. Coke, and a corre- 
spondent of Wesley Not only did he do noblo 
servico for Methodism in New-York, but he was 
stationed in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston. 
In consequence of ill health he located in 1801, bat 
consented, at tho earnest request of Bishop Asbury, 
to bo stationed in New- York in 1802, where he 
remained (ill 1804. He says, "This was my last 

* Tho troubles made l>y J. O'Kelly. 





METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1793, 1794. 401 

station out of Elizabethtown ; but for sixteen years 
I continued to preach as often as when I traveled." 
During the remainder of life he preached as often as 
he was able. He died August 9, 1837, aged ninety 
years, eight months, and seventeen days, "leaving 
behind him," says Dr. N. Murray, "a name dear 
to his country and dear to the whole Church, and 
dear to this community; a name forming a richer 
inheritance to his children than thousands of gold 
and silver." 

A volume might be written concerning him as a 
man, as a patriot, as a Christian, as a Christian minis- 
ter. He left a son, who is a traveling preacher, 
Francis A. Morrell, of Newark Conference; and a 
daughter, who married Eev. William A. Wilmer, now 
of Illinois Conference ; and another daughter, who 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In 1794, New- York and Brooklyn were united. 
Ezekiel Cooper and Lawrence M'Combs were the 
stationed preachers. Their names often appear on the 
"old book." They received six pounds, eight shil- 
lings per quarter, but the trustees and stewards also 
paid' their "house expenses." The smallest items 
are still recorded,- as will be seen by the following : 



1795, April 2. Cash for soap 


£0 15 





" " Three mugs for the house . 


5 


2 


" " 29. Cash for two umbrellas. 


2 8 





" " Cash for sand 


7 






This was for the church floor. They, had no car- 

18* 



402 ilKTHODWM IN NKW-YORK IN 1798, 17»4. 

peted aisles, but the floors were very white, and 
were then sprinkled with white sand. 

Mr. Cooper was born in Maryland, Feb. 22, 1763. 
He entered the traveling ministry in 1785, and died 
Feb. 21, 1847. At his request he was buried in 
Philadelphia, in front of St. George's M. E. Church. 
A mighty man was Mr. Cooper in his palmy days. 
He succeeded John Dickins as Book Steward; and 
at the time of his death, was the oldest Methodist 
minister in America. Much might be written con- 
cerning this extraordinary man, but I have no space. 
I refer the reader to Rev. Abel Stevens's " Memorials 
of Methodism," a most excellent work, for a more 
perfect account of Mr. Cooper. 

La/wrmce M' 'Cowibs was another man of mark. 
He was great among the prophets, a man of heroic 
courage and indomitable perseverance. He was 
then but a youth, young in years and in the min- 
istry. He had been but two years in the itinerant 
work when stationed in tJew-York, for he entered 
the traveling ministry in 1702. Mr. M'Combs was 
a perfect giant in wielding the sword of the Spirit 
with great power and success. He had a large frame 
and a lion-like voice, with which he thundered out 
against sin and the devil. lu after years he per- 
formed immense labor in New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Di'lawnri', and Maryland. After a most laborious 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1793, 1794. 408 

and useful life, he died in Philadelphia, the 11th of 
June, 1836, in the sixty-seventh year of his age and 
the forty-fourth year of his ministry. All who knew 
him felt that when he expired a prince and a great 
man had fallen. 

Mr. M'Combs was a splendid orator. His voice 
was soft and musical, and at the same time possessed 
great power. At a camp or quarterly meeting he 
:exerted himself with the strength of a Samson, 
Great occasions called him out; then the lion roused 
himself and shook his mane, and his roar was terri- 
ble. A Frenchman who had been a soldier in Bona- 
parte's army heard of his fame, and went to camp- 
meeting to hear him preach. One minister after an- 
other preached, and he would inquire, " Is that Mr. 
M'Combs?" At last they informed him that Mr. 
M'Combs was going to preach. He walked in front 
of the altar and gazed upon the preacher, listening 
with. intense interest, his eyes occasionally filled with 
tears. When the sermon was ended, some one in- 
quired how he liked the preacher. He said the min- 
ister's tongue was hung in the middle. Under that 
sermon the Frenchman was awakened and converted. 
When Mr. M'Combs had the state of New-Jersey 
for his district he encouraged the people in this way : 
to the dwellers in lower Jersey he said, " The mount- 
ains are all on fire !" and to those who dwelt in the 
more elevated part of the state he said, "The pines 
are all in a blaze," 



404 METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK Of 17»6. 



CHAPTER XLV 

METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1795. 

Ministers in Now-York this Year — Wilson Leo — Character of — Most 
Singular Circumstance — The Power of Faith and Prayer — Mra. Moore 
— Singular Introduction of Methodism into Southold — Mr. and Mra. 
Shotwell — Mrs. Shotwoll baptized by Wilson Lee — Death of Mr. Lee — 
Burying-Place — Epitaph — John Clark — Sketch of his Son — Joseph 
Totten — Character of — Dedicates the first Church in Brooklyn — Sod- 
den Death of — Buried on Staton Island — Session of the New- York 
Conference — Asbury's Description of — Extracts from the " Old Book." 

L\ 1795, Rev. Wilson Lee and John Clark were 
stationed in New- York for six months. Sylvester 
Hutchinson was stationed on Long Island for the 
same period of time, and Joseph Totten was appoint 
ed to Brooklyn. They exchanged and interchanged 
very frequently, and had no abiding home ; were 
literally " wayfaring men." Then there were two 
Methodist ministers on Long Island, now over fifty. 
Then one minister was stationed in Brooklyn, now 
wo have over twenty At that time there was only 
a handful of Methodists on Long Island, now eight 
thousand. " What a mighty change ! The wilder- 
ness and the solitary place have been made glad, and 
the desert lias rejoiced and blossomed as the rose." 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1795. 405 

Wilson Lee was distinguished for ministerial talent 
and success. He was a native of Delaware. Mr. 
Lee's constitution was always delicate, and yet he 
was in labors more abundant. In his attire and 
habits he was a pattern of neatness, in his person 
commanding, in his spirit, like his Master, meek 
and lowly. Mr. Lee entered the traveling minis- 
try in 1784, and died, greatly beloved and deeply 
lamented, in 1804, having been twenty years in the 
field. 

It was this year, 1795, that a singular occurrence 
transpired at Southold, L. I. A Mrs. Moore had 
been converted in New- York in 1794, and removed 
to Southold. Being destitute of a spiritual ministry, 
she united with two other females of like spirit with 
herself every Monday evening, in praying that God 
would send them a faithful minister. Mrs. Moore 
was praying one night till a late hour, when she 
received this answer-: " I have heard their cry, and 
have come down to deliver them." From this 
moment she had confidence that some heaven-sent 
minister would soon make his appearance. At this 
v^ry .time Mr. Lee was at New-London, Conn., and 
bad put his trunk on board a vessel with a view to 
go to his appointment in New- York. The wind was 
contrary, and the vessel did not sail. On the same 
night in which these pious females in Southold were 
praying for God to send them a shepherd after his 
own heart, Mr, Lee, detained by contrary winds in 



406 METHODISE IN NEW-YOHK LN 1795. 

New-London, folt au unusual struggle "of mind for 
the salvation of souls, attended with a strong impres- 
sion that it was his duty to cross the Sound and go to 
Long Island. Ho at first resisted it, but so powerful 
was tho impression ho finally yielded. On going to 
the wharf next morning ho found, to his- surprise, 
a sloop ready to sail for Southold, and without hesi- 
tating longer, he immediately entered on board. He 
reached Southold in safety in a short time, and made 
some inquiries, and was conducted to the house of 
Mrs. Moore. As Mr. Lee approached the house, 
from his appearance, she recognized him to be a 
Methodist preacher, though she had never seen him 
before. Mrs. Moore was overjoyed, and running to 
the door, saluted him with the following words: 
" Thou Messed of the Lord, come in." They mutually 
explained the circumstances which we have briefly 
related, and rejoiced with exceeding great joy A 
congregation was soon gathered, and Mr. Lee 
preached to them with tho Holy Ghost sent down 
from heaven. A class was soon formed, ami Meth- 
odism was planted there, and has continued until 
this day There was something very singular in til 
this> Mr. Loe spent a little time on tho Island, 
and then hastened to New- York, whore he preached 
with great acceptability and usefulness. This was 
tho only time this ablo minister of the Gospel was 
stationed in New-York. The next three years we 
find him in Philadelphia. 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1*7 95. 407 

Most of the' Methodists who were living in New- 
York when Mr. Lee was stationed here are dead ; 
there are a few who remember him ; Abraham Shot- 
well and his wife, the former ninety-one, the latter 
between eighty and ninety years, recollect him well. 
They were married by the Rev. Thomas Morrell in 
1793. Mrs. Shotwell was baptized and received into 
society by Wilson Lee. She has. the most exalted 
idea of him as a man of deep piety, and as an excel- 
lent minister of Jesus Christ. She says he sung most 
sweetly the songs of Zion. 

Mr. Shotwell and his aged companion have 
resided in Washington-street, in the same house, 
since the 1st of May, 1812. That day they moved 
into their new building, and entertained Joshua 
Wells, Oliver Beale, and James Smith, delegates to 
the General Conference. It is singular, amid all 
the changes in that part of the city, to see this old 
patriarch and his wife living there as they did nearly 
half a century ago. Their house has been the home 
for the preachers for a long time ; Bishops Asbury, 
M'Kendree, George, and others, there received a 
hearty welcome. She distinctly recollects and gives 
graphic descriptions of Wilson Lee, Jesse Lee, Wm. 
Beauchamp, Thomas Morrell, George Roberts, Thomas 
Sargent, Andrew Nichols, Bishop Whatcoat, and a 
host of others who have gone to meet the Judge. 

Mrs. Shotwell was with the Rev- Daniel Smith, of 
precious memory, when he died. She describes his 



108 MKTIIdMS.M IN NKW-VCUK IN 1788. 

death as very triumphant. Mrs. Slmtwell was also 
with Mrs. Smith when she fell asleep in Jesus. 
Tliev have been for years identified with the old 
Duano-sfreet ('lunch. 

Mrs. Shot well has the likeness of the late Truman 
J'.ishuj) ami wii'e. CJreat friends of the preachers and 
their families Mr. and Mrs. Shot well have been for 
more than half a century- They are a remnant of a 
noble race of Methodist men and women who have 
passed away. 

Mr. Lee died from hemorrhage of the lungs, which 
occurred while he was praying with a sick pereon. 
lie was buried in a graveyard near Friendship 
Meeting-house, in Maryland, and on his tombstone i- 
the following : 

Sacked to the Me.moky of the 
liicv. WILSON LEE, 

Who departed this life < letobcr 11, 1S<>», 
In the forty-third year of his :i^<". 

He aeted well, while lure, his ]iart. 
His (iod he served with nil his heart; 
He heard with joy, '' Well done, my son; 
Hither coino u[), thy work is done" 

Let mo die tho death oftho ri^lMomis ; lot my last end be like his. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOEK IN 1795. 409 



JOHN CLAEK. 

We know but little about him, only he became a 
traveling preacher in 1791, and withdrew the next 
year after he was stationed at New- York. Why or 
what became of him I know not, and care as little, 
for I have a poor opinion of the runaways. It can 
generally be traced to a peculiar regard for the 
" loaves and fishes." He had a son, John, a Methodist 
minister, who walked in the footsteps of his illustrious 
father, by withdrawing in 1800. This is all about 
the Clarks. It is useless to waste any more ink, 
paper, or time on them. 



JOSEPH. TOTTEN 

Was born in Hempstead, L. I., February 4, 1759. 
He entered the traveling connection in 1792, died in 
Philadelphia, 1818, and was buried at Woodrow, 
Staten Island. I have stood by his grave, and felt 
that no ordinary dust was sleeping there. He was a 
man of deep and ardent piety, of burning zeal, of 
holy boldness, of untiring perseverance in his Mas- 
ter's work. 

June 1, 1794, Mr. Totten dedicated the first 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Sands-street, Brook- 
lyn. He preached from Exodus xx, 24: "In all 
places where I record my name I will come unto 
thee, and I will bless thee." 



410 MKTIIODISM IN NKW-YOKK I* 1795. 

Tin' New-York Conference hold its session in "New- 
York this year. It commonced on Monday, Sep- 
tember 22. Conferences now commence invariably 
on Wednesday; then it began on any day in the 
week. 

The Sabbath preceding Bishop Asbury preached 
in "Wesley Chapel in the morning from Psalm exxxii. 
The Psalm is most beautiful, as the reader will see by 
turning to it. It must have furnished a fine thome 
for the bishop, who always delighted in having 
several verses for a text. In the afternoon he 
preached in the " now church," taking the first Psalm 
for a text. In the evening he went to Brooklyn. 
" Here," he says, " our brethren have built a very 
good house." The bishop was exceedingly exhausted 
after the toils of the day, for he says : " The labors of 
the day, pain of body, and my concern for tho peace 
of tho Church, tended to keep me from proper rest, 
and I had an awful night." 

"Monday 22. — We opened Conference, and $at 
closely to business. Some of tho preachers want to 
know what they shall do when they grow old. I 
might also ask, What shall I do? Perhaps many of 
thorn will not live to grow old."' 

Wo cannot wonder they felt solicitude when wo 
iliink of their meager salaries, for they had hardly 
enough to keep soul and body together. This solici- 
tude, and tho dark prospect for themselves and 
families for the future, caused some noble men to 



METHODISM IN NEW-TOKK IS 1795. 411 

retire from the rants, and thus Methodism greatly 
suffered. 

The bishop adds : " We concluded our work, and 
observed Friday as a day of abstinence and prayer." 
Three times the bishop preached the next Sabbath : 
in the morning at Brooklyn, in the afternoon at the 
new church, in the evening in Jobn-street. He 
ordained seven elders and five deacons. 

In the "old book" are many items about this 
time. 

Sept, 11. To cash paid, postage letters for Mr. Asbury..£0 5 

By this we see they continued to pay the postage 
of the preachers' letters. 

Oct. 3. Paid for bread . . ..£580 

They must have had bread enough and to spare. 
But we must remember there were many mouths 
to feed about conference time. 

Stabling for Mr. Asbury's horses ....£16 4 

Other extracts might be made, showing their man- 
ner of doing business in those early days, but we 
forbear. 



412 KAKLY I.OYK-FEA9TS 



CHAPTEK XLVI. 

EARLY LOVE-FEASTS IN WESLEY CHAPEL : TICKETS. 

Love-feasts not of recent origin — Were early held in the Christian 
Church — Peter and Jude's Testimony — Early held among the Meth- 
odists of England — Borrowed from the Moravians — Tickets used 
from the first — Various Kinds — The first were wholly emblemat- 
ical — The next Emblem and Scripturo united — Tickets used in Wes- 
ley Chapel — Elkana Dean — Picture Ticket — Hannah Dean's early 
Tickets — Chango in her Name — Tickets were used during several 
Years of the War of the Revolution — Tickets — Specimens — Variety — 
Leaders' Names — Hart — Halstead — Donaldson — Phoebus — Wash- 
burn — Ostrander — Sandford — Hannah Hick's singularly preserved 
for over a Quarter of a Century. 

"We now call the reader's attention to Love-feasts 
and Love-feast, tickets, and then will resume the 
narrative. It is well to be posted in all the pecu- 
liarities of early Methodism. 

Love-feasts were held very early in the Christian 
Church. Peter and Jude speak of toasts of charity, 
in other words, feasts of love. Mr. Wesley borrowed 
the practice from the Moravians. They were early 
introduced into his societies in England and America. 
Tickets were used from the first. They were gives 
as a token of membership, and renewed by the 
minister oner a quarter. The early tickets varied 



IN WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 413 

• 

exceedingly from those now in use. The first con- 
tained emblematical representations only. 

On the earliest in existence there is an angel with 
his wings expanded, with an open Bible in his hand, 
standing upon death, a skeleton, with a look of 
triumph, in the attitude of a conqueror. It was dated 
Sept. 4, 1739, and given to John George, with the 
letters J. It. under the date. 

One of these emblems was taken from the apoca- 
lyptic vision, and represented the angel " flying in the 
midst of heaven." On the ticket the angel appears 
with two trumpets, giving the blast right and left; 
or, as Mr. Wesley explains it in his Notes, " breadth- 
ways." 

The next series of tickets had texts of Scripture 
and emblems combined, one of which represents an 
angel flying through the heavens with a winged 
hour-glass on his head, denoting the rapid flight of 
time, and an open roll in his hands bearing this text : 
«*' Now is the accepted time." Another contains an 
open Bible, resting on a broad pedestal, and sur- 
mounted by a starry crown. There is one with an 
anchor; under the anchor are these words: "Which 
hope we have as an anchor to the soul." Another was 
dated Jan. 9, 1754, and has in the center, "Watch 
and Pray." On it is the name of Mary Heart. 
1 We have one in which the Saviour makes his ap- 
pearance in a brilliant light, holding in one hand a 
cross, and in the other a beautiful crown. 



414 EARLY LOVE-FEASTS 

This explains the picture ticket of Mr. Dean. 
Here is the picture of a female kneeling in prayer, 
and the beautiful words, " Pray always and faint not." 
It strikingly resembles those in England, a fac-simile 
of which & I have seen. For years the pictures in 
England have been dispensed with, and they use 
plain tickets such as we do in this country. A few 
of the tickets have been preserved to show what they 
did in " olden times." 

Elkana Dean was the father of Hannah Dean. 
The Dean and the Hick families were acquainted 
in Ireland, and were said to have emigrated to this 
country together. His daughter Hannah was a most 
estimable young woman, worthy to be classed among 
the devout Hannahs whose names are in the book 
of life. We have seen a copy of the ticket which 
she received from Robert "Williams. They used to 
put the name of the member on the ticket, then the 
leader's name, and now the minister's. Mr. Will- 
iams's name was on the ticket he gave Miss Dean, 
but this was an exception. It differed from all the 
others. 



IN WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 415 

Sep. 1769. 



/). Whoso putteth 

/> his Truft in the 

, /> Lord ftiall be fafe. 




■mm 



% 




X Prov. xxix. 25. 




%&nct ^^cf&?zA <$&*\^%jOks?x 



March l 77®- 

STRIVE to enter in at the 
ftraight Gate. 
Luke xiii. 24. 

A Han. Deane. 



m 



January 28-, 1771. 

COME unto me all ye that labour 
and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest. Mat. xi. 28. 

B. a. Hannah Dean. 



416 



EARLY LOVE-FEA8T8 



Haniiah Dean. 

BLESSED is He whofoever 
fhall not be offended in Me. 
Mat. xi. 6. 

October 12, 1772. 



m June 24 : '73. g§ 

H £& 

m Neither ftay thou in all the Plain ; ^ 

i§ efcape to the Mountain. §| 

H # 

3& Gen. xix : 17. B ^ 

# Hannah Bean. f| 



SB" W 



May, '74. 

Believe in the Lord your God, fo 
(hall you be eftablifhed; believe 
his Prophets, fo fhall ye profper. 
2 Chro. xx : 20. B 




m 






Hannah Dean. 



IN WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 



417 



April 10, 1775. 
Believe in the Lord your God, fo 
fliall you be eftablifhed; believe his 
Prophets, fo fliall ye profper. 
2 Giro, xx : 20. B 



Hannah Hick. 



B Jan. 1, 1776. 

Follow peace with all Men, and 

Holinefs, without which, no Man 

fliall fee the Lord. 

Heb. xii, 14. B 

Hannah Hick. 



June 1st, 1780. 

BEHOLD what Manner of Love 
is this, that the Father hath be- 
llowed upon us, that we fliould be 
called the Sons of God. 1 john 
III. 1. B 

Hannah Hick. 



19 



418 EARLY LOVE-FEASTS 

& Septr. 6th, 1781. ® 

$h Ufa 

|| Follow Peace with all Men, and $> 

ft Holinefs, without which, no Man f| 

$£ ftiall fee the Lord. Heb. xii, 14. 

S J4r*. Hick 



® 



*;£?? 



March 1st, 1782. ££ 



Follow Peace with all Men, and 
Holiness, without which, no Man 
lhall fee the Lord. Heb. xii, 14. 

Hannah Hick. 



S«3 



fa 



$y March 20th, 1783. ® 

{$ Follow Peace with all Men, and 

<',£ Holiness, without which, no Man X 

$* lhall see the Lord. Heb. xii, 14. f¥; 

#* # 

*# Hannah Hick ®s 

& ® 



IN WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 



419 



In 1785 the form of the tickets is quite changed. 
They are appointed for the seasons, and have upon 
them the year and the season thus : 1785, Spring • 
1785, Summer; 1785, Autumn; 1785, Winter. 
They are also lettered in alphabetical order, A, B, 
C, D, E, F, etc. This style is continued till 1793 ; 
then they vary for a few years, then return to this 
form. 



c. 


AUTUMN, 


'.801. 


Salvation 


is of the Lord. 






Jonah 


ii. 9. 




Hannah Hick. 





It is singular to look at these tickets which she 
received to enter those glorious love-feasts, which 
were held in the old John-street preaching-house, 
whose sacred walls often rung with their loud 
.halleluiahs, where heart met heart, and soul met 
soul, and man met God. Then they used to sing 
with the spirit as well as the understanding also. 

Strive we in affection, strive, 
Let the purer flame revive ; 
Such as in the martyrs glow'd, 
Dying champions for their God : 
We like them may live and love, 
Oall'd we are their joys to prove ; 
Saved with them from future wrath, 
Partners of like precious faith. 



420 EARLY LOVE-FEASTS 

In 1812, there was a change in the form of the 
love-feast tickets. They had borne the name of the 
member, now the name of the preacher or leader, as 
well as the name of the member. 

The following are specimens : 



October 1, 1812. 
Look to yourselves, that we lose not 
those things which we have wrought, but | 
that we receive a full reward. 

2 John 8. 

Hannah Hick. 

James Donaldson. 



X 



This bears the name of her leader, the excellent 
James Donaldson, a good man who slept in Jesus a 
few years ago. 

The next bear the signature of her preacher, the 
eccentric, but excellent William Phoebus. 



November 1, 1814. 

As he which hath called you is holy, 
so be ye holy. 

1 Pet. i. 15. 
Hannah Hick. 

W. Phoebus. 




m wesley chapel: tickets. 421 



July 1, 1815. 

Charity suffereth long, and is kind: \ 

charity envieth not : charity vaunteth not \ 

itself, is not puffed up. \ 

1 Cor. xiii. 4. I 



Hannah Hick. \ 

W. Phoebus. \ 



Here is one from Ezekiel Halsted, who was a very 
pure spirit, the father of Schureman and Samuel 
Halsted. 



j July 26, 1813. 

! How shall not the ministration of the 

| spirit be rather glorious ? $ 

| 2 Cor. iii. 8. \ 

\ Hannah Hick. I 

| Ezekiel Halsted. | 



Here is one from Daniel Ostrander, long since 
gone to rest : 



July 1, 1816. 

Blessed are the poor in spirit : for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Matt. v. 3. 
Hannah Hick. 

D. Ostrander. 



422 EARLY LOVH-l'KASTS 

There are several from her leader Nathaniel G. 
Hart. 



Blessed are ye when men shall revile , 
you, and persecute you, and shall say all \ 
manner of evil against you falsely for my 
sake. Matt. v. 11. 



Hannah Hick. 

N. O. Bart. 

January 1, 1817. { 



A number from her old pastors. 

The following are from Ebenezer Washburn, who 
still survives, and Peter P Sandford, who has just 
gone to his reward : 



. Hannah Hick. 

I Mark the perfect man, and behold the 

upright ; for the end of that man is peace. 
Ps. xxxvii. 37. 

| 2d Qr. 1824. 

\ E. Wushhirn 



Hannah Hick. 

By the which will we are sanctified, 
through the offering of the body of Christ 
once for all. Heb. x. 10. 

3d Qr. 1825. 

P. P. Saialford. 



IK WESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 423 

The first tickets used in this country were un- 
doubtedly printed in England. They used a great 
many tickets in Wesley Chapel, and on the "old 
book " very often there is an account of money paid 
for tickets. 

The tickets which Miss Dean received from Rich- 
ard Boardman and Joseph Pilmoor, from Francis 
Asbury and Richard Wright, from Thomas Eankin, 
George Shadford, and James Dempster, Mr. Wesley's 
missionaries, have been most carefully preserved. 
They remind us of those who "labored, and we have 
entered into their labors." Some are dated 1769, 
1770, 1771, 1772, 1773, 1774, and 1775. "Hannah 
Dean" is written on them down to May, 1774 On 
one is written the letter " B," on others it is printed, 
and some have on them the letter "S." 

August 21, 1771, she received a ticket with a new 
name. It has on it this passage of Scripture : " For 
I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I 
have spoken to thee of."— Gen. xxviii, 15. Hannah 
Hick." 

The reason of this change of name on the ticket 
can easily be given. This daughter of Eve had 
changed her name, and concluded that Paul and 
Hannah could get along together much better than 
either could separately. They had known each other 
for some years, had been members of the same socie- 
ty, though she professed religion first. - 
It was a most happy union. Paul Hick and 



424 EARLY LOVE-FEASTS 

Hannah Dean were united in holy matrimony in 
July, 1774. With great propriety what was said 
concerning Zacharias and Elizabeth, might be ap- 
plied to Paul and Hannah, namely : " And they 
were both righteous before God, walking in all the 
commandments and ordinances of the Lord blame- 
less/' 

Hannah Dean was worthy to be the daughter-in- 
law of Mrs. Barbara Hick, and worthy of the hand 
and heart of her favorite son Paul. 

She received her tickets during several years of 
the Revolutionary war. Her love-feast tickets give 
some light on the history of the Church during this 
deeply interesting period. 

.Her tickets, of which we have given only a 
specimen, extend over a period of fifty-six years, 
more than half a century. The first was written by 
Robert Williams in October, 1769, before Boardman 
and Pilmoor arrived ; and the last by Peter P Sand- 
ford, in 1825. 

These tickets give us a specimen of Methodist 
customs during a very long period. They differed 
very widely in their style as years rolled on. There 
is a vast difference in the printing as well as in 
the writing. They take us back to the " cra- 
dle of Methodism," and forward to its perfect 
triumph. 

The careful preservation of these tickets shows 
1k>\v she estimated them, and also her character. I 



IN iWESLEY CHAPEL: TICKETS. 425 

doubt whether such a specimen of love-feast tickets, 
extending over such a space of time, can be found 
in America. They are relics of olden times, of a by- 
gone age ; but they are precious and full of instruc- 
tion. 

19* 



426 EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY OHAPEL. 



CHAPTER XLVH. 

THE EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 

Importance of the Office — The Duties arduous — Not a lucrative Office — 
But few Thanks — John Murphy the first Sexton — Belthazer Creamer 
the second — Keceipts — Peter Williams — Bobert Duncan — His Wife 
— Where born — Emigrates to America — Shipwreck — Their Reception 
in Wesley Chapel — Poverty of Bobert — Usefulness — Their Daughter 
Elizabeth — Embury and Webb — The Love-feast — Revolutionary 
War — British Bombarding the City — Cannon Ball passes through the 
Old Parsonage — Narrow Escape of a Boy — Robert and the Treasures — 
His Death — Ministers present — Hymn sung on the Occasion — Bury- 
ing-Place — His Widow marries — His Daughter Elizabeth and Abra- 
am Wilson, Jr. — Death of Mr. Wilson ■ — Elizabeth Wilson and Jona- 
than Griffith — Rev. Edward Griffith — Mrs. Mary Morrell — The Meth- 
odist Seed in these Families not run out — Thomas Morrell and Robert 
Duncan — The Sexton and the Minister — Old John-street Church 
reunited in their Descendants. 

The word sexton is a corruption and contrac- 
tion of sacristan which signifies an officer of the 
Church who has the care of its utensils and mova- 
bles. The sextonship is a very important office, and 
often the sexton is quite a character. He gives the 
people light and heat. He keeps the house clean, 
removes the dust, attends to the wants of preachers 
and people. The sexton seats the people, makes 
them comfortable while in the house of the Lord, 
arid buries them when dead. The office of sexton 



EAELY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 427 

and undertaker are frequently combined. Therefore 
we often see such a notice as this on the church 
edifice, " J. T.V., Sexton and Undertaker." This was 
the case with the early sextons of John-street Church. 
A sexton, like a minister, is expected to please 
every one, and often finds it difficult to succeed. 
One will tell him " the church is too warm, and it 
must be ventilated ;" and others tell him " it is too 
cool, and they must have more fire." One wants a 
" window raised, can't breathe ;" another says, "That 
window must be put down; I can't bear the least air 
on my head." The sexton must be at the door 
quieting the boys and keeping everybody still, 
and at the same time in the house seating the 
people. He must be ready to attend to the wants of 
everybody. If anything is out of order, " Where is 
the sexton V If anything is wanted, " Where is the 
sexton?" The services of the sexton cannot well 
be dispensed with. He is as necessary as the 
minister, and yet his employment is very different, 
being more of a " hewer of wood and a drawer 
of water." The sexton must hear everybody's 
tales of woe, and reveal no one's secrets. If there 
is a troubler of Israel, a disorderly person in the 
house, the sexton must expel him. If any one faints, 
the sexton must bring some water. He is to be all 
eye, all ear. He is expected to know what is going 
on in the audience-room, in the gallery, and in the 
lecture-room. It is expected that he will be present 



428 EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY OHAPEL. 

in all these places at the same time. Few commend 
the sexton, many censure him. He is to be the first 
at the house of the Lord and the last to leave it. 
The office, necessary as it is, is a thankless one, and 
not very lucrative. 'T3ut very few sextons acquire 
wealth. A sexton should be a prudent man, a wise 
man, especially should he understand the important 
science of ventilation. Some of the shrewdest men I 
have known were sextons. If they did not read 
books, they studied men ; if they did not understand 
phrenology, they did physiognomy ; they read and 
understood the science of faces. 

The first sexton was John Murphy. In the " old 
book " we read : 

1770, June 12. To cash paid John Murphy for taking 

care of the house . £112 

One more entry a little earlier : 

1770, Jan. 25. To cash paid John Murphy for going 

for Mr. Webb ..£080 

This is all we know of John ; he disappears to 
make way for his successor. 

The second was Belthazer Creamer. He was also 
a kind of police officer. He wrote an excellent hand, 
as can be seen by his receipts in the "old book." 
His signature is in business style, With quite a 
flourish. In the " old book " we find : 

1770, Nov. 20. Cash to Creamer for attending the 

house. .. £0 3 9 



EARLY 'iSEXTQNS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 429 

1772, Jan. 7. To cash paid Belthazer Creamer the re- 
mainder of his year's wages, being 
£18 5s., and £5 H. Newton paid, 

due the 16th instant £13 5 o 

" Sept. 12. To cash paid Belthazer Creamer for his 

wages 2 12 5 

1778, Feb. 1. To cash paid Belthazer Creamer part of 

his wages 11 10 3 

" March 23. To cash paid Belthazer Creamer in 

full for all his services . . 4 2 4 

This appears to have been a final settlement with 
him as sexton, though some of his negroes were em- 
ployed afterward to attend the preaching-house, as 
will be seen by what is added from the book. 

1779, Jan. 28, To cash paid Creamer for his negro's 

attendance as sexton for 3 months 

* 

and three weeks. . . £2 io 8 

Here is a copy of one of Mr. Creamer's receipts. 

New- York, Feb. 1, 1772, then received from James Jarvis, 
eighteen pounds 5s. in full for my services from sixteenth of Jan- 
uary, 1771, tp the 6th of January, 1772. 

^ 18 5*-' Belthaz. Ceeamee*. 

His salary, then, was £18 5*. a year.V 
Peter Williams was sexton for a time during the 
early and the latter part of the war of the Kevolu- 
tion. A part of the time he was at New-Bruns- 
wick, N". J. 



430 EARLY SEXTONS OK WESLEY OHAFEL. 

ROBERT DUNCAN. 

Robekt Duncan was the next sexton, and as he 
was quite a character, we will devote a little space 
to him before we give the history of the old colored 
sexton. 

Mr. Duncan, while sexton, resided in the parson- 
age. He was born in England and lived in Durham. 
He married Elizabeth Thomson. They early iden- 
tified themselves with Wesleyan Methodism, when 
the very name was a reproach. Their house was the 
home of the weary itinerants, and " there they 
preached the Gospel." The old preachers, on enter- 
ing the house, would salute it, and say with the 
utmost solemnity, "Peace be to this house." They 
emigrated to this country before the revolutionary 
war, and were shipwrecked on their passage over, 
near Nova Scotia, and after much difficulty reached 
New- York. 

The early Methodists in John-street appeared 
rather shy at first, took but little notice of them till 
they presented their certificates, and then were all 
attention. They were received cautiously, because 
the Methodists had often been imposed upon by 
persons from the other side of the Atlantic professing 
to be what they were not. 

Mr. and Mrs. Duncan had three children, Eliza- 
beth, Isabella, and a younger child, who died very 
happy in the old parsonage, at the age of eight years. 



EAULY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 431 

Mrs. Duncan was a sweet singer. Kobert was a 
poor man, and yet was exceedingly useful. Prayer- 
meetings were often held at his house, and he was so 
respected for his deep and ardent piety, that earnest 
seekers who wished to be instructed in the nature of 
the atonement and salvation by faith, used to ex- 
claim, one to another, " Gome, let us go and see 
BooertP He understood what Mr. Watson calls 
" the atonement the sinner's short way to God." 

Their daughter Elizabeth I saw, in age and feeble- 
ness extreme, and am well acquainted with two of 
his granddaughters. Their mother related many 
things to them which they have been kind enough to 
furnish me with. Elizabeth distinctly remembered 
Philip Embury and Captain Webb, and often heard 
them preach, the latter with his red coat on and his 
sword by his side. She exceedingly admired the 
captain, and said that he was very kind to her. I 
wonder not, for all we read and hear of Captain 
Webb represents him as kindness embodied. 

THE LOVE-FEAST. 

Elizabeth was twelve years old when she came to 
this country, and, as her parents were religious, she 
had the privilege of attending love-feasts, but was un- 
converted ; and the old Methodists thought it would 
do her good, bring her to reflection, if they kept her 
out. Accordingly, they informed her that she could 



432 EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY OHAPEL. 

not go in. The love-feast had commenced and the 
door was shut. Elizabeth went and stood by the 
west door, weeping and sobbing as if her heart would 
break, and as she was sighing, her head went against 
the church door and it opened wide. There she 
stood, with the whole audience gazing at her in 
amazement. Elizabeth said she never felt so in all 
her life ; that no condemned criminal ever felt worse 
than she did. The shutting her out of the love-feast, 
however, was very beneficial to her in the end, lead- 
ing her to reflect on the serious consequences of be- 
ing shut out of heaven. 

THE BOMBARDMENT. 

They were often in perils during the Eevolutionary 
war. Elizabeth said that at a certain time the British 
were bombarding the city ; the shells and cannon 
balls were flying very fast, and a cannon-ball went 
right through the old parsonage. It did not injure 
any of the inmates, but they were most terribly 
frightened, and ran into the cellar of the house, and 
remained there till the danger was over. At the 
same time a cannon-ball entered the house east of 
the church, and a little boy was standing up a mo- 
ment before, and that minute he stooped down, and 
the ball passed just over his head. Had he not 
changed his position he would have been killed in- 
stantly. It was a hair-breadth escape, and almost 



EARLY SEXTONS CF WESLEY CHAPEL. 433 

miraculous. "We name these things to show the peril- 
ous times in which they lived and the dangers to 
which they were exposed. 

DUNCAN AND THE TREASURES. 

Mr. Duncan was so honest and trusty that the 
Methodist families brought their valuables to him 
during the war, and he placed them in the vaults 
among the coffins, where the dead were resting, and 
they were safe ; no one thought of looking there for 
treasures. 

DEATH AND BURIAL. 

Eobert Duncan, after having lived a very holy life, 
died a very triumphant death, in the old parsonage, 
near the close of the war. He died of bilious fever, 
after a very short illness. Samuel Spraggs and John 
Mann were with him in his last hour. As he went 
over the river he shouted, " Victory, victory ! glory 
to God ! I have gained the victory at last." 

No sooner had the spirit left the clay than the 
ministers sung over his remains these beautiful and 
appropriate words : 

" tlejoice for a brother deceased, 

Our loss is his infinite gain : 
A soul out of prison released, 

And freed from its bodily chain : 
"With songs let us follow his flight, 

And mount with his spirit above ; 
Escaped to the mansions of light, 

And lodged in the Eden of love. 



434 EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 

" Our brother the haven hath gain'd, 

Outflying the tempest and whad, 
His rest he hath sooner-obtain'd, 

And left his companions behind, 
Still toss'd on a sea of distress, 

Hard toiling to make the blest shore, 
Where all is assurance and peace, 

And sorrow and sin are no more. 



" There all the ship's company meet, 

Who sail'd with the Saviour beneath ; 
With shouting each other they greet, 

And triumph o'er sorrow and death : 
The voyage of life's at an end, 

The mortal affliction is past : 
The age that in heaven they spend, 

Forever and ever shall last." 



Samuel Spraggs laid out his old sexton and put on 
him his last dress. He was buried in Trinity Church- 
yard, near Broadway, and has a brown tombstone, 
telling where his dust is sleeping. 

His widow, some time after, married a Methodist 
by the name of Carr, who was a school-teacher. 
Soon after they went to Nova Scotia, where he was 
engaged very successfully in teaching. He was 
lame, and the British government settled a pension 
on him in view of his valuable services as an in- 
structor. Mrs. Carr died some years before her hus- 
band. They both died in .peace at Nova Scotia. 



EAELY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 435 
ELIZABETH DUNCAN AND ABBAHAM WILSON, JUN. 

The elder Abraham "Wilson was a man of wealth and 
great business talents. He married Lydia, the sister 
of John and James Mann. The father of Abraham 
"Wilson, Jun., wished his son to many a young lady 
of high respectability and wealth. He declined, say- 
ing he " did not fancy her." His father inquired 

" what he had against Miss ." " 0, nothing," 

said the son ; " only her nose is too long." The truth 
was, he preferred selecting a wife for himself, and she 
was the amiable and pretty daughter of the old 
sexton, Robert Duncan. He preferred her to the 
one his father had selected, with all her rank and 
wealth. He had attended worship in John-street 
Church, and heard Elizabeth Duncan sing like a 
nightingale, and was charmed, captivated, and owned 
her conqueror. Soon they were united in the holy 
bands of matrimony. Old Mr. Wilson showed no 
opposition. He was kind to her and liked her ; for 
though she had no money, she had every other quali- 
fication to make a good wife. Soon after marriage 
young Wilson and his wife went to Nova Scotia to 
reside, and remained there a few years, and then 
returned to New-York. Their daughter Elizabeth 
(now Mrs. Griffith) was born there. 

Mr. Wilson died in Norwalk, Conn. His widow 
lived till she was eighty-six years of age. She was a 
shouting Methodist for many years. I was her pastor 



436 EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 

in Newark, N. J. She died in holy triumph, and 
was buried in Quakertown, 1ST. J. Thus lived and 
died Elizabeth, daughter of Eobert Duncan, the 
sexton of John-street. 

The oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson 
(Elizabeth) married a "Welshman, by the name of 
Jonathan Griffith. They resided for a long time in 
Elizabethtown, N. J., and were identified with the 
Methodist Church there in the days of its feebleness. 
Mr. Griffith was the intimate friend of the late Rev. 
Thomas Morrell. His house was the home for 
Methodist preachers, where they were always made 
welcome. Bishop Janes, Thomas B. Sargent, and 
many others could testify to this. Mr. and Mrs. 
Griffith were blest with twelve children; one is a 
Methodist preacher, and another is a Methodist 
preacher's wife. The son is the Rev. Edward M. 
Griffith, of the Newark Conference; the other, 
Mary, wife of the Rev. Francis Asbury Morrell, of 
the same conference. 

These are the great-grandchildren of Robert Dun • 
can. The Methodist seed m this family has not run 
out, but extends to the fourth generation, to the 
great-great-grandchildren. These children are also in 
the regular succession from the Rev. John and James 
Mann, they being their great-uncles. The influence 
of the pious, humble sexton of John-street Church is 
still extending from generation to generation. Is not 
this worth a record ? 



EARLY SEXTONS OF WESLEY CHAPEL. 437 

We have seen that the Rey. Thomas Morrell was 
the stationed minister in John-street Church for a 
number of years, and it is not a little singular that 
years after a son of his, Francis Asbury Morrell, mar- 
ried Mary Griffith, the great-granddaughter of Eobert 
Duncan, and thus the old John-street Church was 
re-united in the descendants of the old sexton and the 
old minister. This appears like romance, but it is 
reality. There is much of poetry here, but it is the 
poetry of truth. 



438 PETER WILLIAMS. 



OHAPTEE XLVILL 

PETER WILLIAMS. 

The Colored People in New-York in the Infancy of American Methodism 
— Slavery tolerated — Many attend Wesley Chapel — Kichard Board- 
man and the Colored People— Pilmoor— Asbury— Peter Williams a 
genuine African — His Parents Slaves — Where he was born— The 
Family to whom he belonged— His Brothers and Sisters— Peter's 
Conversion — Worshiped in the Eigging Loft— High Estimation of 
Embury jnd Webb— Peter's Marriage— Molly Williams — Where 
born — Happy Union— Peter's Trade — Master a Tobacconist — He 
commences the same Business — Very successful — Peter's Benevo- 
lence—Peter and Zion Church — Circulates the Subscription — 
Lays the Corner-stone — Peter and the old Parsonage — Molly em- 
ployed to take care of the House — Yearly Wages — Peter and Doctor 
Coke — Anecdote — Peter Williams, Jun. — Where born— Converted 
— A Methodist — Why he leaves them — Thomas Lyell— Peter Wil- 
liams becomes an Episcopal Minister— Bishops Hobart and Moore— 
Pastor of St. Philip's — Sudden Death — His Widow — The adopted 
Daughter— Peter Williams's Likeness. 

Some have supposed that Peter was the first sexton 
of John-street Preaching-house. This is a mistake, 
as will be seen by the preceding chapter. 

There were many colored people in New- York in 
the early days of Methodism, and many slaves. 
Slavery in the state at that time was established by 
law. From the first there were a number of colored 
people belonging to Wesley Chapel. They used to 




;\ 



D A\ Kvi 1 



THE OLD COLORED SEXTON OF THE 
JOHN ST. METHODIST CHURCH. 



PETER WILLIAMS. 439 

sit in the gallery. Mr. Boardrnan, in his first letter 
to Mr. Wesley, dated November 4, 1769, says: 
"The number of blacks that attend the preaching 
afi'ects me. One of them came to tell me she could 
neither eat nor sleep, because her master would not 
suffer her to come to hear the word. She wept 
exceedingly, saying, 'I told my master I would do 
more work than I used to do, if he would let me 
come ; nay, I would do anything in my power to be 
a good servant.' " 

Mr. Pilmoor, in a letter to Mr. Wesley, dated ISTew- 
York, May 5, 1770, says : " Even some of the poor, 
despised children of Ham are striving to wash their 
robes and make them white in the blood of the 
Lamb. This evinces the truth that God is no re- 
specter of persons ; jDut in every nation he that 
feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted 
with him." 

Mr. Asbury, in his journal of November, 1771, 
says : " To see the poor negroes so affected is pleas- 
ing. To see their sable countenances in the solemn 
assemblies, and to hear them sing with cheerful 
melody their dear Redeemer's praise, affected me 
much, and made me ready to say, ' Of a truth I per- 
ceive God is no respecter of persons.' " 

Again, in 1772, Mr. Asbury speaks of administering 
the Lord's Supper in John-street, and says : " At the 
table I was greatly affected with the sight of the ne- 
groes, seeing their sable faces at the table of the Lord." 



440 PETER WILLIAMS. 

We see the impression the colored brethren and 
sisters made upon the mind and heart of Boardma'n, 
Pilmoor, and Asbury. 

Among those colored people were Peter Williams 
and Mary Durham, whom we will now notice more 
particularly. 

Methodism has done much toward elevating the 
colored people, and making them, happy. There is 
a warmth, and fire, and ardor about it that suits the 
temperament of the colored race. 

Peter Williams was born in the city of New-York. 
Some have supposed he was called Williams after 
Rev. Robert Williams, who preached in John-street 
before Richard Boardman arrived ; but this is a 
mistake. Peter's parents were named Williams. 
His father's name was Georg* his mother's Diana. 
They were jet black, both slaves, brought from 
Africa. As Paul was a " Hebrew of the Hebrews," 
so Peter was an African of the Africans ; no impure 
mixed blood flowing in his veins. He was a genuine 
African. 

Peter was born in Beekman-street, and belonged 
to the Boorite family. They owned the parents, 
and, of course, their offspring. Peter was born a 
slave. 

Humble, indeed, was the place of his birth. 
Almost every family at that time in New- York kept 
a cow. In the building where his master's cow was 
kept Peter was born, and so were all his parent's 



PETER WILLIAMS. 441 

children. In speaking of the place of his birth he 
used often to smile, and. say: "I was born in as 
humble a place as my Master," referring to Him who 
had a manger for his cradle and a stable for his 
palace. 

" Cold on His cradle the dew-drops are shining, 
Low lies his head with the beasts of the stall." 

Peter had seven sisters and two brothers. He 
was the only Methodist among them. They were 
soon scattered to different places. 

PETER'S CONVERSION. 

Peter "Williams was converted in the infancy of 
Methodism in New-York, before "Wesley Chapel 
was erected. He identified himself with the little 
flock when they worshiped in the Rigging-Loft. 
There he heard Philip Embury and Captain "Webb 
preach, and under their labors was converted to 
God. Peter was a" great admirer of both these men. 
In after years he used to talk of Philip the carpen- 
ter, and Thomas the* soldier, who always had a 
single eye to the Church's good. He used, in his 
own peculiar style, to relate anecdotes concerning 
them. His adopted daughter said to me: "He 
always thought Captain "Webb was something won- 
derful. When they talked of great preachers Cap-' 

tain Webb was always brought on to the carpet." 

20 



442 PETER WILLIAMS. 



HIS MARRIAGE. 



In attending "Wesley Chapel, Peter became ac- 
quainted with a lady of color who was beautiful, full 
of good sense, and distinguished for consistent piety. 
He wooed her heart and hand, and it was not long 
before Peter and Molly were both one. Her name, 
before, her marriage, was Mary Durham. She was a 
native of St. Christopher's, one of the West India 
Islands. She was called Durham from the name of 
the family with whom she came to this country. 
She loved them exceedingly, and they highly 
esteemed Molly, and when the hour of separation 
came all parties wept. 

Peter Williams could not have selected a more 
suitable person for a " help-meet," and Molly could 
not have found a better husband. A more suitable 
and happy couple never got together since the great 
Minister of the universe united the first happy pair 
in the garden of Eden. Molly was two years older 
than Peter. 

HIS TRADE. 

Peter's master, Mr. Aymar, was a tobacconist, and 
taught him the business. After his master left the 
country Peter worked for the father of the late Dr. 
Milledollar, who was a tobacconist. Afterward 
Peter commenced business for himself. As a busi- 



PETER WILLIAMS. 443 

ness man the people' were pleased with him, for he 
was not only honest, but a gentleman. Both Peter 
and his tobacco were popular. He did an extensive 
business in Liberty-street, and was greatly prospered. 
He owned his house and store, and considerable 
other property. In purchasing tobacco distinguished 
into "pigtail and nigger-heads," it is said he never 
asked for the latter by name, but he called it 
" them things." Peter could neither read nor write. 
Molly could read a little. His son used to keep his 
accounts. 

PETER'S BENEVOLENCE. 

Peter Williams attended the laying of the corner- 
stones and the dedication of new church edifices. 
On such occasions he was never absent ; he would 
cheer them by his presence and aid them by his 
means. He was a cheerful and a liberal giver. 
Peter was proverbial for his good-nature ; his black 
face shone all over with kindness. 

PETER WILLIAMS AND ZION CHURCH. 

Peter felt a deep interest for the welfare of those 
of his own color. He knew religion had made him 
all he was on earth, and all he hoped to be in 
heaven. He did all he could to elevate his race. 
Peter thought a house of worship expressly for the 
people of his own color might be exceeding benefi- 



444 PETER WILLIAMS. 

cial. He aided in circulating a subscription, and 
raised money to build the church at the corner of 
Leonard and Church streets, which is called " Zion 
Church." It was built in 1801. This was the first 
church edifice built expressly for the people of color 
in Kew-York. It has been the birth-place of many 
souls, and is still honored by the great Head of the 
Church. Mr. Williams laid, with his own hands, 
the corner-stone of this building, and was one of the 
original trustees. 



PETER WILLIAMS AND THE OLD PARSONAGE. 

For seven years Peter and Molly Williams lived in 
the old parsonage and took care of the preachers. 
Most of them were single men. This was during the 
time he was sexton. Molly's name, as well as 
Peter's, often appears on the " old book," where she 
received her wages. Her account was kept distinct 
from his, and instead of receiving her money in small 
quantities, she left it till the end of the year, and then 
received the whole amount. 

Peter and Molly were great favorites with the 
preachers. Peter was kindness embodied, and Molly 
was a perfect model of neatness; and while Peter 
took care of the Lord's house, Moll}' took care of the 
preachers' house. She was ladylike and intelligent. 
Asbury, Whatcoat, Dickins, and many others found 
a hearty welcome there. Dr. Coke used to put up 



PETEE WILLIAMS. 445 

with them in the old parsonage. They greatly ad- 
mired the little doctor, he was so pleasant and gen- 
tlemanly. In after years Molly used to talk with de- 
light of the doctor, and of their being greatly hon- 
ored in having the distinguished man for their guest. 
They used to relate the following amusing anecdote 
concerning him : 

COKE AND THE FIRE. 

A somewhat ludicrous scene occurred in the old 
parsonage when the doctor was putting up there at a 
certain time. At midnight there was a cry of " Fire, 
fire, fire!" The doctor was alarmed. He had con- 
siderable missionary money with him, and the fire 
appeared to be very near, and he cried out, with his 
screeching voice, with its sharp, shrill tones, " Peter, 
Peter, where is the fire ?" 

" I'll see directly, sir," said Peter. 

Soon the doctor, becoming more alarmed as he still 
heard the cry of fire, called out more hurriedly, 
" Peter, Peter, where's the fire ?" 

Peter was in the dark trying to find his clothes, 
and he answered, " I'll see in a minute, as soon as I 
find my breeches." 

"Breeches or no breeches," said the doctor, "Peter, 
do see where's the fire." 

Peter and Molly were wonderfully amused with 
the doctor and his alarm and trepidation. 



446 PETER WILLIAMS. 

PETER WILLIAMS, JR. 

Peter and Molly had only one child. They called 
him Peter, after his father. He was born in Kew- 
Erunswick. 1ST. J., during the war of the Revolution. 
He was a very amiable young man, intelligent and 
highly esteemed. He was very useful to his father 
in keeping his books, etc. In early youth he gave 
his heart to Jesus and became a Methodist, and 
joined old John-street Church. Thomas Lyell was 
stationed there at that time, and young Peter greatly 
admired him. He was also delighted with the ora- 
tory of Nicholas Snethen. 

When Mr. Lyell left the Methodists and joined the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, young Williams went 
with him, and became a member of Christ's Church, 
in Ann-street. Rev. Richard Channing Moore and 
Bishop Hobart greatly admired him ; he was a young 
man possessing such fine talents. They educated 
him, and did all they could to encourage him. He 
was first employed as a lay reader, afterward licensed 
to preach, and ordained a minister in the Protestant 
Episcopal Church by Bishop Hobart, in 1820. He 
was pastor of St. Philip's Church, in Center-street. 

Mr. Williams was a very popular and useful 
minister, and was greatly beloved by his flock and by 
his brethren in the ministry, who hailed him as a 
" brother beloved." Dr. Milnor was seen walking 
arm in arm with his brother, whose complexion was 



PETER WILLIAMS. 44 / 7 

a little darker than his own. Peter, Jr., married an 
amiable woman, who survives him. They were mar- 
ried by Bishop Hobart, at the house of his father, the 
old sexton, in Liberty-street. 

The death of Rev. Peter Williams was very sudden 
and unexpected. He had been troubled a little with 
the asthma, but he continued at work. On Saturday 
he prepared a sermon for the following Sabbath. 
He was looking over his manuscript when the cry of 
"fire " was heard. His wife had just retired to bed. 
Mr. Williams raised the window and put his head 
out, and looked up and down the street to see where 
the fire was. The night was damp, and his shirt col- 
lar being open, he took a sudden cold, and in two 
hours after he was a corpse. 

On Sunday the rector of St. Philip's Church, in- 
stead of putting on the surplice and making his ap- 
pearance in the pulpit, was arrayed in the habili- 
ments of the sepnlcher. He- died the 18th of October, 
1840. He was universally esteemed in life, and most 
deeply lamented in death. He left a widow and one 
daughter. The daughter died in 1855, and now the 
widow is left alone. 

It is a singular fact, that the church of which 
Peter Williams, Jr., was the pastor, have purchased 
the Methodist Church edifice in Mulberry-street, and 
took possession of it as a house of worship, May 1, 
1857. The influence of the old sexton and his 
excellent son, who bore his father's name and image, 



448 PETEK WILLIAMS. 

are still extending. Though being dead, they yet 
speak. 

The Methodists who worshiped in Mulberry- 
street are building a beautiful marble church on the 
Fourth Avenue. 

THE ADOPTED DAUGHTER. 

Many years ago Peter and Mary adopted a little 
girl, whom they called Mary. The infant was only 
one year old. As she grew up she supposed they 
were her own parents, and that Peter, Jr., was her 
own dear brother. Fourteen years rolled away, and 
young Peter was married. At the wedding the mother 
of little Mary was present ; she had come in from the 
country, and then the little girl learned for the first 
time that Peter and Molly were not her parents, 
that she was an adopted child, and that this strange 
woman, whom she had never seen before, was her 
own mother. Mary, the adopted daughter, married 
a gentleman by the name of Hewlett, but is now a 
widow. The widow of Peter, Jr., and herself 
keep house together, and thus they are pleasantly 
spending the evening of their days. 

PETER WILLIAMS'S LIKENESS. 

In looking at the picture of old John-street, the 
old colored sexton is always represented in the door 
at his post. In the possession of his adopted daugh- 



PETER WILLIAMS. 449 

ter I found a portrait of Peter "Williams, which she 
informed me was a good likeness. It was painted 
many years ago by a Frenchman from St. Domingo. 
A. H. Kitchie, Esq., is the artist who engraved it 
on steel, and has shown himself a good workman. I 
have not seen a single person but admired it. One 
inquired if I had been round the city to find the 
most handsome negro, and then had his likeness 
taken. Mr. "Williams was short and stout. His hair 
had come out, and the top of his head was as 
smooth as a glass bottle, therefore he wore a wig. 
He was a noble-looking man, and no doubt many 
will rejoice that the image of the old colored sexton 
is preserved. 

20* 



450 PETER WILLIAMS 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

PETER WILLIAMS AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 

Name early on the "Old Book" — Extracts from — Sexton at different 
Periods — Undertaker — Methodist Burying-Grounds — John-street, 
Second-street, Duane-street — Most of the early Churches had Bury- 
ing-Grounds connected with them — Peter Parks first Sexton of the 
Second Methodist Church — Undertaker also — The Methodist Burying- 
Ground in First-street — Ministers buried there — Removal of the Dead 
to Cypress Hills — Large Eevenue from the Sale of the Ground — What 
Appropriation was made of it — Vaults under the early Churches — 
Anecdotes of the old Sexton — Ludicrous Scene. 

In 1Y78 the name of Peter Williams first appears 
on the " old book " as sexton of old John-street 
Church. 

1778, May 15. To cash paid Peter the sexton from 

class collections £3 10 6 

This was in the midst of the war, and he was paid 
from the " class collections." This shows the classes 
met at that time, and how a part of their money was 
appropriated. He remained sexton for a time, and 
then was succeeded by "Joseph." Joseph the 
sexton then gave way to " Richard." Do you ask 
me, Joseph Who ? Richard What ? I cannot answer, 
because the record is silent. I presume some of the 



16 





12 





4 





48 





60 






AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 451 

colored brethren, who were generally called by their 
first name. Peter was absent for a time in New- 
Brunswick during the war, and he reappears as 
sexton, Oct. 25, 1780. 

1780, Nov. 6. Cashpaid Peter the sexton £0 

" Deo. 15. To cash paid Peter the sexton. . . 1 

1781, Feb. 1. Cash paid Peter 3 

" April 14. Cash paid Peter . . 

" May 4. Cash paid Peter 

So the record goes on for years. Peter's name is 
on the " old book" till 1795. There are intervals 
where others were sexton, and he was years after the 
date we have named. 

Peter Williams was not only sexton, but under- 
taker. Often on the " old book" his name is con- 
nected with funerals. Peter placed the last dress 
upon many of the aged Methodists, as well as others, 
and then committed them to their last resting- 
place. Peter Williams and Peter Parks were the 
first Methodist undertakers in New- York. 

Most Of the churches in the city had burying- 
grounds connected with them. This not only accom- 
modated the people, but was a source of revenue to 
the church. The lot connected with John-street 
Preaching-house was the first place the Methodists 
used for a burying-ground in New- York, and they 
had vaults under the church edifice. They did not 
bury there long. The next they bought lots in con- 
nection with Second-street, now Forsyth; that ia 



452 PETER WILLIAMS 

literally filled with graves. There were many excel- 
lent family vaults in this ground. Several preachers 
were buried there — Jacob Brush, John Wilson, and 
others. Many of the laity also, among whom were 
Mrs. Courtney, and Israel Disosway and his wife. 

Peter Williams used to bury the dead in this 
ground, and so did Peter Parks, who was the first 
sexton of this church. Mr. Parks told Thomas Trus- 
low that he buried the first person in that ground, 
and before they were prohibited by law from burying 
any more he had committed two thousand to the 
grave in that place, besides those whom other under- 
takers had deposited there. 

When Dnane-street Church was built there was a 
graveyard back of it, and vaults under it. Rev. 
Daniel Smith and his beloved wife were buried there. 
Abram Russel had his vault there. 

The Methodists then circulated a subscription to 
raise money to purchase a burying-ground. Thomas 
Carpenter, Daniel Smith, George Suckley, Stephen 
Dando, and others subscribed liberally. They pur- 
chased the ground at the corner of First-street and 
Second Avenue. Thousands were buried in this 
ground. Many have I committed to their last rest- 
ing-place here. It was full of the dead; grave irxm 
grave, body upon body. With peculiar feelings I 
looked upon the graves of Rev. Dr. Phoebus, Samuel 
Bushnell, Thomas Thorp, and Seth Crowell, ano "^lt 
that no ordinary dust was sleeping there. Vjiis 



AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 453 

ground was sold in 1853 for $30,000 dollars, and the 
dead were removed to the beautiful cemetery called 
" Cypress Hills." The revenue, after paying the ex- 
penses of removing the dead, went toward paying 
the "debts of five churches, namely, Forsyth-street, 
Allen-street, Seventh-street, Second-street, and Wil- 
lett-street. 

I have noticed these burying-grounds because the 
Methodist public have an interest in them; our 
fathers and mothers were buried in them. I name 
them in connection with Peter "Williams because he 
performed the duties of undertaker in each of them, 
and in these grounds laid the dead to rest. 

Mrs. Mary Mason,, widow of the late Thomas 
Mason, was well acquainted with Peter and Molly. 
She has kindly given a sketch of them, with some 
characteristic anecdotes of Peter, which I take great 
pleasure in inserting. Mrs. Mason received her pro- 
bationary ticket to join the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the old parsonage, from the hand of the 
excellent Truman Bishop. 

ANECDOTES OF PETER WILLIAMS. 

.Mrs. Mason thus describes the old sexton : 

'Brother Williams would, on special occasions, 

when a number of preachers were in the city, invite 

a t oompany of ministers and their wives to dine or 

ta*e tea at his humble dwelling. I was sometimes a 



454 PETER WILLIAMS 

guest on such occasions. The table, spread with 
taste, would be bountifully covered with specimens 
of his wife, Molly's, culinary art in viands and confec- 
tionery, which might challenge competition with the 
best cooks. Molly was famed for making excellent 
pies and cakes. With patriarchal hospitality they 
would stand and wait on their guests, pleased to see 
them enjoy their repast. Peter's good humor would 
overflow in praises to God, and often in anecdotes of 
special deliverance to the old members of the first 
John-street Church while he was sexton." 

Peter related at a certain time, says Mrs. Mason, 
when we were visiting at his house, the following 
anecdotes : 

THE SOLDIERS AND THE LOVE-FEAST. 

During the Revolutionary war the wicked soldiers 
annoyed the Methodists in John-street very much, 
during their hours of worship and after divine ser- 
vice closed. They would crowd around the doors, 
and as the congregation came out the soldiers would 
secretly cut the ladies' dresses into ribbons. 

At a certain time, while a love-feast was held in 
the evening in the old cradle of Methodism, and the 
Methodists were enjoying a good time within, the 
wicked soldiers were busy without digging very 
silently a deep pit in front of the steps before the 
door. The benediction being pronounced, the people 
left for home. They went down the steps, and then 



AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 455 

supposed they were, going to tread on solid ground ; 
one disappeared suddenly, and then another, tum- 
bling one upon another into the pit till they lay in 
heaps in one heterogeneous mass. The soldiers were 
laughing in their sleeve at the mischief they had 
caused, and.the confusion into which they had thrown 
the Methodists. 

"But," added Peter, "the mischievous soldiers 
dug a far worse pit for themselves, for when their 
officers were informed of their conduct the perpetra- 
tors were severely punished ; so they dug no more 
pits for the Methodists to fall into." 

PETER WILLIAMS AND THE DESERTER. 

At a certain time Bishop Asbury and a number 
of the preachers came to Peter's house to dine with 
him. Peter went bowing into the parlor, paying his 
very best respects to the dignitaries who had honored 
him with a visit, and who were to take dinner with 
him. 

Peter began to count his guests, pointing with his 
finger. He commenced with Bishop Asbury and 
counted eleven, and then he made a long pause 
before a minister who had deserted the Methodists 
and gone over to another Church; then he said, 
"Eleven — and you — " another pause. "A Judas, 
I suppose you would say," replied the minister who 
had deserted his mother. "As you please, Mr. L.," 
said Peter ; " I did not say it; But you had better 



454 PETER WILLIAMS 

guest on such occasions. The table, spread with 
taste, would be bountifully covered with specimens 
of his wife, Molly's, culinary art in viands and confec- 
tionery, which might challenge competition with the 
best cooks. Molly was famed for making excellent 
pies and cakes. With patriarchal hospitality they 
would stand and wait on their guests, pleased to see 
them enjoy their repast. Peter's good humor would 
overflow in praises to God, and often in anecdotes of 
special deliverance to the old members of the first 
John-street Church while he was sexton." 

Peter related at a certain time, says Mrs. Mason, 
when we were visiting at his house, the following 
anecdotes : 

THE SOLDIERS AND THE LOVE-FEAST. 

During the Revolutionary war the wicked soldiers 
annoyed the Methodists in John-street very much, 
during their hours of worship and after divine ser- 
vice closed. They would crowd around the doors, 
and as the congregation came out the soldiers would 
secretly cut the ladies' dresses into ribbons. 

At a certain time, while a love-feast was held in 
the evening in the old cradle of Methodism, and the 
Methodists were enjoying a good time within, the 
wicked soldiers were busy without digging very 
silently a deep pit in front of the steps before the 
door. The benediction being pronounced, the people 
left for home. They went down the steps, and then 



AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKES. 455 

supposed they were, going to tread on solid ground ; 
one disappeared suddenly, and then another, tum- 
bling one upon another into the pit till they lay in 
heaps in one heterogeneous mass. The soldiers were 
laughing in their sleeve at the mischief they had 
caused, and. the confusion into which they had thrown 
the Methodists. 

"But," added Peter, "the mischievous soldiers 
dug a far worse pit for themselves, for when their 
officers were informed of their conduct the perpetra- 
tors were severely punished ; so they dug no more 
pits for the Methodists to fall into." 

PETER WILLIAMS AND THE DESERTER. 

At a certain time Bishop Asbury and a number 
of the preachers came to Peter's house to dine with 
him. Peter went bowing into the parlor, paying his 
very best respects to the dignitaries who had honored 
him with a visit, and who were to take dinner with 
him. 

Peter began to count his guests, pointing with his 
finger. He commenced with Bishop Asbury and 
counted eleven, and then he made a long pause 
before a minister who had deserted the Methodists 
and gone over to another Church; then he said, 
"Eleven — and you — " another pause. "A Judas, 
I suppose you would say," replied the minister who 
had deserted his mother. " As you please, Mr. L.," 
said Peter ; " I did not say it: But you had better 



456 PETER WILLIAMS 

return to your mother, the Methodist Episcopal 

Church." 

This shows Peter's love for Methodism, his abhor- 
rence for deserters, his characteristic honesty amount- 
ing almost to bluntness, though he left the minister 
to make the application himself. The deserter never 
returned to his mother, though he always professed 
great love for her till the day of his death. 

I might as well give the name of the minister: 
the Rev. Thomas Lyell, successor of Mr. Pilmoor as 
pastor of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Ann- 
street. It was certainly very appropriate that one 
deserter should fill the place of another. 

PETER WILLIAMS, THE MINISTER, AND THE BRITISH 

OFFICER. 

During a part of the Re volution ary "War, Peter 
lived near New-Brunswick, N". J., with the Durham 
family. Molly was a servant in this family, and came 
with them from St. Christopher's Island. She re- 
mained with them till her time was out. "When they 
separated there was a time of weeping both with 
Molly and her mistress, for they highly esteemed 
each other, and separated reluctantly. 

The Eev. Mr. Chapman boarded with this family. 
He was full of patriotism, full of courage, especially 
when there was no danger. He often expressed a 
desire for the British to come there, how he would 
like to face, fight, and conquer them. At length the 



AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 457 

red coats made their appearance, and Mr. Chapman 
was like the Dutch general, who was full of courage 
when there was no danger, and when the enemy 
hove in view he made an address to his soldiers, and 
told them: "Go forward and conquer the enemies 
of your country; and for fear you will get out of 
ammunition, I will go back and run a few bullets." 

Mr. Chapman fled as they approached, and was hid 
in a safe place. When the British arrived, the com- 
manding officer inquired for the reverend gentleman. 
He had made himself particularly obnoxious, and 
they wished to secure his person. Peter informed 
him he was not there. The British officer drew his 
sword and waved it over Peter's head, threatening 
to kill him, and told him he would run his sword 
through him if he did not tell where his master 
was. Peter told him he did not know. In relating 
it in after years, he said the perspiration ran down 
his back as the sword was waving over his head, 
and the disappointed and enraged officer threatening 
to kill him. 

Then the officer took out a purse of gold, threw it 
at Peter's feet, and said : " That gold is yours, if you 
will tell me where your master is." Peter said he 
did not know, and the British officer soon left, and 
Mr. Chapman came home from his hiding-place. 
Peter could not be frightened by the sword, nor cor- 
rupted by British gold, to tell where Mr. Chapman 
was, and thus endanger his life. He refused to tell, 



458 PETER WILLIAMS 

and in this way saved it ; though Peter in after years 
admitted he came very near telling a story in order 
to save Mr. Chapman from death. 

RAISING THE DEVIL — LUDICEOUS SCENE. 

To my friend, G. P. Disosway, Esq., I am indebt- 
ed for the following anecdotes illustrative of the 
times. He received them from Hannah Baldwin, 
who was present when the events took place. They 
occurred while Peter was sexton. 

" Religious meetings at night were then generally 
forbidden, but allowed in the Methodist Church, as 
the British imagined, or rather desired, that the fol- 
lowers of Wesley should favor their cause. Still the 
services were sometimes interrupted and disturbed 
by the rude conduct of men beloging to the army. 
They would often stand in the aisle with their caps 
on during Divine worship, careless and inattentive. 
On one occasion, before the congregation was dis- 
missed, they sang the national song, ' God save the 
hing? At its conclusion the society immediately 
began, and sang to the same air, those beautiful 
lines of Charles Wesley : 

' Come, thou almighty King, 
Help us thy name to sing, 

Help us to praise ! 
Father all-glorious, 
O'er all victorious, 
Come, and reign over us, 

Ancient of Days. 



AS SEXTON AND UNDERTAKER. 459 

' Jesug, our Lord, arise, 
Scatter our enemies, 

And make them fall ! 
Let thine almighty aid 
Our sure defense be made ; 
Our souls on thee be stay'd ; 
Lord, hear our call,' " etc. 

"Upon a Christmas eve, when the members had 
assembled to celebrate the advent of the world's 
Redeemer, a party of British officers, masked, march- 
ed into the house of God. One, very properly 
personifying their master, was dressed with cloven 
feet, and a long forked tail. The devotions of 
course soon ceased, and the chief devil, proceeding 
up the aisle, entered the altar. As he was ascend- 
ing the stairs of the pulpit, a gentleman present with 
his cane knocked off his Satanic majesty's mask, 
when lo, there stood a well-known British colonel ! 
He was immediately seized, and detained until the 
city guard was sent to take charge of the bold; 
offender. The congregation retired, and the en- 
trances of the church were locked upon the prisoner 
for additional security. His companions outside 
then commenced an attack upon the doors and win- 
dows, but the arrival of the guard put an end to 
these disgraceful proceedings, and the prisoner was 
delivered into their custody." 



460 THE -OLD COLORED SEXTON 



CHAPTEE L. 

THE OLD COLOEED SEXTON" REDEEMED FROM 
BONDAGE. 

Peter a Slave — His Master — Eeasons why he must be sold — The 
Trustees of "Wesley Chapel buy him — Price paid' — The Time Peter 
was purchased — ■ Before the Organization of the M. E. Church — 
"While the Society was in Connection with John Wesley — 'The old 
Sexton pays for himself — His Watch given in part Payment — Pe- 
ter credited on the "Old Book" — Extracts from — Peter's Eman- 
cipation Paper from the Trustees — Their Names and Seals ; — The 
Document on Eecord — Chancellor Kent — ■ "Why the Trustees bought 
him — His Emancipation Paper preserved in his Family — His "Watch 
also — In what Light the Trustees regarded the old Sexton — A 
Dilemma. 

We have already seen that Peter was a descend- 
ant of Ham, and was a slave to a tobacconist by 
the name of Aymar. His master was a loyalist, whose 
sympathies were altogether with the -mother country, 
and who had none for those who were struggling for 
freedom. When peace was restored he was obliged 
to leave the country, as well as many others, and 
the trustees of the Methodist preaching-house in 
John-street purchased Peter from him. They pur- 
chased him while the society was in connection with 
the Rev. John Wesley, and before the Methodist 



REDEEMED FROM BONDAGE. 461 

Episcopal Church in America was organized. It 
may be supposed that there is some mistake about 
this, but there is none. "We have the dates and 
documents. 

We find this singular record in the " old book :" 
1783, June 10. Paid Mr. Ayraar for his negro Peter. £40 

Thus we see they purchased a slave. This was 
about the time Samuel Spraggs left New- York 
and the Eev. John Dickius came to this city. 
Peter Williams, well as he prized liberty, did not 
like to enjoy it at the expense of others, even his 
brethren. Under his sable skin there was as noble a 
soul as ever dwelt in the body of a white man, and 
as true a heart as ever beat in any man's bosom, no 
matter what his name, color, or clime. Peter was 
not ungrateful to his benefactors, but he was resolv- 
ed to be " free indeed," and therefore he refunded 
every pound the trustees had paid his master, and 
thus purchased himself. The first record on the 
"old book" is, 

1783, May 27. Credit a watch received from Sexton. .£5 

A few days before they paid Mr. Aymar, Peter 
Williams took his watch out of his pocket and gave 
it to them, and they credited him five pounds in part 
payment for himself. Peter may have told the 
trustees if they would buy him of his master he 
would repay them. They had much confidence in 
Peter's word, much in his honor. 



462 THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

1783, July 12. Received of black Peter at sundry times £4 

This was only one month aftey they had paid for 
him that Peter paid them four pounds at sundry 
times. It conveys the idea that lie was so anxious to 
refund them the money, and pay for himself, that the 
moment he obtained any money he paid it to the 
trustees. 

Again, Dec. 1, 1783, he is credited thus : 

By Peter Williams in part, his indebtedness to the 

society .. .. ..£400 

Not quite two months passes away, and he is 
credited again : 

1784, Jan. 25. By cash from Peter Williams.. £3 
One short month, and Peter has another credit : 

Feb. 28. By cash from Peter Williams £3 4 

Another still : 
May 1. By cash from Peter Williams toward his debt £3 4 

Again : 
June 26. By Cash from Peter toward his debt £2 8 

Another : 
Oct. 3. By black Peter £200* 

In less than two months from this date we find the 
following credit : 
By cash from Peter, paid Dec. 18th £3 4 

Ten months and a half pass away before Peter is 



KEDEEMED FROM BONDAGE. 463 

credited again. He might have been sick or unfor- 
tunate. He was near the harbor, but could not quite 
enter it; adverse winds prevented. Almost a free 
man, not quite. The reader who has watched his 
progress in obtaining his freedom will feel a thrill of 
joy as he reads his next credit. It reads thus : 

By cash received of Peter Williams, in full of all de- 
mands, on the 4th of November, 1785 £5 7 



PETER WILLIAMS'S EMANCIPATION PAPER. 

The following interesting historical document I 

found in the possession of his adopted daughter. 

The 'reader will peruse it with no ordinary in- 
terest : 

To ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME OR 

may concern. Whereas, by a bill of sale made by 
James Aymar, of the city of New-York, tobacconist, 
and duly executed by him on the tenth day of June, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-three, he, the said James Aymar, did, for 
and in consideration of 'the sum of forty pounds cur- 

fjnt money of the province of New- York, to him in 
and paid at and before the ensealing and delivery 
of the said bill of sale, by the trustees of the Method- 
ist meeting in the city of New- York, fully, clearly, 
and absolutely grant, bargain, sell, and release unto 
the said trustees his negro man, named Peter, to have 



464 THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

and to hold the said negro man unto the said trustees 
and their assigns forever. Now know ye that we, 
John Staples, Abraham Kussel, Henry Newton, John 
Sproson, and William Cooper, trustees for the time 
being of the said Methodist meeting, for and in con- 
sideration of services rendered and payments in 
money made to our predecessors, trustees of the said 
Methodist meeting, amounting in value to forty 
pounds, have manumitted, liberated, and set free, and 
by these presents do manumit, liberate, and set free 
the said negro man, named Peter, now called Peter 
Williams, hereby giving and granting unto him, the 
said Peter Williams, all such sum or sums of money 
and property, of what nature or kind whatsoever, 
which he, the said Peter Williams, may, by hfs in- 
dustry, have acquired, or which he may have pur- 
chased since the eighteenth day of November, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty five. And we do also give and grant unto him, 
the said Peter Williams, fu]l power and lawful- au- 
thority to sue for and recover, in his own name and 
to his own use, all such sum or sums of money and 
other property acquired as aforesaid, which is now 
due, or which will hereafter become due, or which 
of right belongs to him by such purchase since 
the said eighteenth day of November, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
eighty-five. In testimony whereof we have hereunto 
set our hands and affixed our seals this twentieth day 



REDEEMED FROM BONDAGE. 



465 



of October, in the_ year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-six. 



6?V&1 



'&rzs?*^ 




[L.8.] 



CUT*-*^ [ L . s .] 



Sealed and delivered in the presence of 

N. B. The words " his negro man," named in the ninth line from 
the top, being previously written on an erasure, also the word 
" Methodist," in the twelfth line. 

Nicholas Bayard, 
Jacob Tabule. 

State of New- York, ss. 

Be it remembered, that on the twentieth day of 
October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven 

hundred and ninety-six, personally came before me, 

21 



466 THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

James Kent, one of the masters in chancery for said, 
state, the within-named John Staples, Abraham Rus- 
sel, Henry Newton, John Sproson, and William 
Cooper, and each of them acknowledged that he had 
signed, sealed, and delivered the within instrument 
of writing as his voluntary act and deed for the pur- 
poses therein mentioned. And I, having carefully 
examined the same, and finding no material erasures 
or interlineations, (except those taken notice of before 
the sealing and delivery thereof,) do allow the same to 
be recorded. 




Recorded in the office of clerk of the city .and 
county of New-York, in Lib. No. 53 of Conveyances, 
etc., page 220, this 16 day of January, 1797. 

Examined by Robert Benson, Clerk. 

This is a singular historical chapter ; it had been 
lost but is now recovered. Who at the present day 
knew that the first Methodist society in New- York 
bought their sexton? that they owned a slave ? Yet 
the strange truth has come to light : this singular 
fact is too plain to be denied; the evidence is 
overwhelming. 

Peter Williams was their slave ; they owned him 
as much as any slave was ever owned in America. 
He was deeded to them " to have and to hold the 



EEMBD FKOM BONDAGE. 46T 

said negro man, and to their assigns forever" 
Peter was their property^ and the deed was on 
record. They paid cash for him, forty poimds, to his 
former master. 

Peter was not their slave for a day or two, while 
they could execute his emancipation papers, but for 
thirteen years, or from the 10th of June, 1783, to the 
20th of October, 1796. This is the statement in his 
emancipation paper. On the subject of slavery I do 
not purpose to enter, but simply state the facts in the 
case and draw a few natural inferences. We have 
seen that the trustees of John-street Preaching-house 
purchased a slave and paid the money for him. 
Every reflecting mind will naturally ask this ques- 
tion, Why did they do it ? 

First. It was probably to prevent others from' 
buying him. Peter was in the market, his master 
must leave the country, and his slave must be sold. 
They did not know but he might fall into the hands 
of a hard master. 

Secondly. They purchased him to ultimately set 
him free, as the sequel of the history proves, and not 
to continue him in bondage. They thought it not 
only an act of kindness, but also of justice toward 
their faithful sexton. They undoubtedly considered 
it not only an act of philanthropy, but religion. 
They did it conscientiously, religiously. But all this 
does not do away the fact, that the trustees of 
Wesley Chapel bought and paid for their sexton, 



468 THE OLD COLORED SEXTAN 

that he was their slave, bought with the society's 
money. Nothing can change, or alter, or remove 
these stubborn facts. They stand out in bold relief. 
The trustees of John-street preaching-house pur- 
chased, paid for, and held a slave. 

Thirdly. I think the trustees bought Peter at his 
own request, and at the request of the Methodist So- 
ciety. The reason I think Peter did so is this : on 
the " old book," the 26th of May, 1783, Peter is 
credited thus : " A watch received from sexton, £5." 
Men do not generally wish to part with their watches. 
A sexton needs one as much as a minister. On the 
10th of June, fifteen days after, they bought Peter of 
his master. It will be seen the watch was credited as 
part payment for the forty pounds they paid Mr. 
Aymar for his slave. It would appear as if Peter 
urged them to buy him, and said, " I can soon 
pay for myself; and there is my watch ; credit me 
with that as part payment." Peter never owned 
but one watch, and he either bought it back from 
the trustees or they presented it to him. He kept 
it while he lived, and left it to his adopted daugh- 
ter, who still preserves it. I looked at the old watch 
of the old sexton, and thought, What a history 
you could relate if endowed with intelligence. His 
adopted daughter said to me, " Father thought all 
the world of his watch." That the Methodist so- 
ciety requested the trustees to purchase Peter, I infer 
from the following on the " old book :" 



REDEEMED FBOM BONDAGE. 469 

1783, Dec. 7. Cash by Peter Williams, in part of his 

debt to the society £4 

His debt, not to the trustees, but to the " society" as if 
they had said, Purchase Peter, and we will assume 
the debt. If Peter is unable to pay it, we will see 
the money is refunded. 

Peter's emancipation paper informs us that he had 
paid for himself by the 18th of November, 1785. 
So " all the money and property of what nature or 
kind soever he might have acquired or purchased 
since that date were granted him in his own name 
and for his own use." The trustees did not purchase 
Peter to speculate or to make money, they bought 
him for forty pounds, and then sold him to himself for 
the same amount. They liberated him " for and in 
consideration of services rendered and payments in 
money made " to their " predecessors, trustees of the 
Methodist meeting." 

It is somewhat strange the trustees should not have 
emancipated Peter until thirteen years had passed 
away, when he had paid for himself in two years. 
We can account for it only in this way, that as Peter 
had paid for himself, and the fact was so stated on 
the trustees' book, they thought it was sufficiently 
understood that he was his own free man, and they 
carelessly deferred giving him his emancipation 
paper. Peter preserved it during his lifetime, as if 
more valuable to him than gold or diamonds ; and it 
is carefully preserved by his descendants still, as a 



470 THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

most precious relic, showing that though their 
venerated friend was once a slave lie lived and died 

his OWn FREE MAN. 

It is very evident from the emancipation paper, 
that the trustees of John-street considered the old 
colored sexton a man, though his face was black and 
his hair curled ; though he was an African, and 
had been a slave. A man ! a capable man ! a respons- 
ible man! Therefore they granted him the "prop- 
erty and money he might have accumulated" since a 
certain date, and they gave him " full power and 
lawful authority, to sue and recover in his own 
name," etc. Peter Williams showed himself a man 
in every sense of the word, physically, mentally, 
morally. 

The reader may wish to know who the Trustees 
were that bought Peter Williams of his master in 1783. 
William Lupton the " old Trustee" the fellow-soldier 
of Captain Webb, who fought side by side with him, 
first the battles of his country, then the battles of the 
Lord, Pi chard Sause and Charles White. These 
three brethren that I have named held the office of 
trustees, of John-street Preaching-house from the first, 
and were reappointed by Richard Boardman when he 
arrived in this country in 1769. John Staples and 
Stephen Sands belonged to the second board. All 
whom we have named Avere among the original 
subscribers for Wesley Chapel. John Mann was 
not only a trustee, but a very useful local preacher. 



iqipEEMED FBOM BONDAGE. 4*71 

Philip Marchington was also a trustee at that time. 
Their characters I have described in the former part 
of this volume. It will be seen that they were good 
men and true. These are the men who bought Peter 
"Williams and paid the Society's money for him. The 
reader has now all the facts and circumstances of this 
peculiar case before him, and can judge whether 
there was anything in the whole transaction to con- 
demn, or if all was not alike honorable to the trustees 
and to their honest, faithful, colored sexton, Peter 
Williams. 



472 DEATH OF THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 



CHAPTER LI. 

DEATH OF THE OLD COLORED SEXTON AND HIS 

WIFE. 

Reflections — Death of Molly "Williams — Where buried — Ministers who 
officiated at the Funeral — Eev. Tobias Spicer — Rev. Thomas Lyell 

— Epitaph upon her Tomb-stone — Death of Peter "Williams — "When 

— "Where — Not buried alongside of Molly — "Why — Funeral Sermon 

— Doctor Phcebus — Eeason so much Space has been devoted to the 
old Sexton — This Class of Men seldom noticed — Peter a self-made 
Man — His 'History romantic — His Name identified with early Meth- 
odism, and John-street Church and Parsonage — The Friend of the 
Preachers — An Example — Peter a Model Man — Molly a Model "Wo- 
man — Cause of his Elevation. 

The time came when the good old sexton, who had 
laid so many in the sepulcher, must be gathered to 
his fathers, and his estimable wife also must be de- 
posited in her last resting-place. Molly was two 
years older than her husband, and died two years 
before him. After patiently suffering the Master's 
will, she sweetly fell asleep in Jesus. Her remains 
were carried to the old Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Forsyth-street. A large number were at the fu- 
neral, showing the high estimation in which she was 
held. 

The Eev." Tobias Spicer, who was then stationed in 
New-York, delivered a very appropriate funeral dis- 



AND HIS WIFE. 473 

course. The Eev. Thomas Lyell, of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, who had long known her, was 
present, and took part in the exercises. My friend, 
Mr. Spicer, thirty-six years after she was buried, 
said to me: "I felt honored in attending the funeral 
of Molly "Williams, one who had cared for Methodist 
preachers so long, and made them so comfortable." 
The old sexton had buried hundreds in that ground, 
but none with the same feelings with which he 
buried Molly, there to slumber till the resurrection 
morn. 

In the northeast corner of the old Methodist bury- 
ing ground in Forsyth-street sleeps Molly "Williams, 
the wife of Peter, the colored man, so long the sexton 
of John-street. 

While wandering among the jtombs I found her 
grave, and copied the following from her tomb- 
stone : 

IN MKMOEY OF 

MAEY WILLIAMS, 

WIFE OF PETEK WILLIAMS, SEN., 

Who departed this life on the 29th day of April, 

In the year of our Lord 1821, 

Aged seventy-four years. 

Reader, words cannot express her worth. 

Mr. Williams died in Liberty-street, where he re- 
sided so long, in February, 1823. His death was 

21* 



474 DEATH OF THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

sudden, from paralysis. He could not be buried 
alongside of his beloved Molly, for they no longer 
buried persons in the Forsyth-street churchyard, and, 
therefore, he was interred in the St. John's Episcopal 
Church burying-ground ; but he has no tombstone to 
tell that the dust of the old sexton of John-street is 
resting there. He certainly should have one. 

Mr. Williams's funeral sermon was preached in 
John-street Church, in the presence of a large audi- 
ence, by Dr. William Phoebus, who had known him 
for forty years. In the sermon he gave a history of 
Peter and his exalted character, showing that, al- 
though he was a black man, he had risen to honor, 
highly respected, greatly beloved, and that it was 
religion that had elevated him. He praised him for 
his numerous virtues, and showed him as an example 
of what the gospel could do for Africa's sable chil- 
dren. 

The reader may think that I have devoted much 
space to the old colored sexton. This is true. I have 
done so for several reasons. 

First. This useful class of men are seldom noticed. 
The minister, the elder, the deacon, and the chorister, 
are spoken of; but who notices the humble sexton, 
the grave-digger? 

Second. Because he was a black man, who rose to 
honor and position by dint of his own merits ; and, 
although his skin was black, his character was white, 
and so was his soul. 



AND HIS WIFE. 4*75 

Third. Because his name is extensively known, 
almost as much so as the old John-street Preaching- 
house. None have ever seen a picture of the old 
church without beholding a colored man standing in 
the door, and they naturally inquire, " Who is that ?" 
The answer is, "Peter Williams, the old black sexton." 
But though his name is extensively known, few are 
acquainted with his personal history. 

Fourth. Because there is much of the romantic 
about him. Tales of fiction fade away when com- 
pared with the touching story of the old colored sex- 
ton, if brought out in its true light. 

Fifth. Because Peter and Molly Williams made 
the old Methodist fathers so comfortable in the old 
parsonage in John-street. For this reason, if for no 
other, they richly deserve an immortality. 

Sixth. I have noticed him so particularly because 
he was so closely identified with the, old Methodist 
preaching-house and the old parsonage in John- 
street, that their annals could not be complete with- 
out his history in connection with them. 

Finally, I have made him so prominent for practi- 
cal purposes ; to hold him up as an example for col- 
ored men not only to admire, but imitate. Believing 
his personal history to be connected with whatsoever 
things are " true, honest, just, pure, lovely," and of a 
"good report," and if there be any "virtue, or any 
praise," we request the reader to "think on these 
things." 



476 DEATH OF THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

He was the model for the colored man. In read- 
ing the story of Peter "Williams let none despair, no 
matter how dark his skin or how curly the locks that 
grow upon his head. Let the. colored people take 
courage. He was a poor, friendless black slave. 
By his own industry and virtue he was raised to a 
high station of respectability and usefulness. From a 
slave he became a free man, a business man, an hon- 
orable man. By his industry he acquired a compe- 
tency of this world's goods. He owned a lot and a 
house in Liberty-street, where he resided. There he 
lived and died. 

' As sexton he was exceedingly popular, and ac- 
quired a world-wide celebrity. He associated with 
the best of company. Bishops, doctors of divinity, 
as well as distinguished preachers of the Gospel desti- 
tute of these titles, shared in his hospitality and ate 
at his well-furnished table, skillfully and neatly pre- 
pared by his model housekeeper, Molly The most 
respectable of the laity also were his. friends, and 
visited his dwelling. He lived respected, honored, 
and beloved, and died deeply lamented. 

A question naturally arises, What elevated Peter 
Williams to so lofty a position, one so much higher 
than is generally attained by his race? Was it a 
superior intellect? a mind far above the common 
order of men ? No : Peter Williams had good com- 
mon sense, but nothing more ; he was not distin- 
guished for brilliancy of intellect. Was it superior 



AND HIS WIFE. 47? 

powers of eloquence? This has elevated some 
colored men. !No: Peter was not eloquent, but a 
plain man that talked right on if he had anything to 
say. Was it superior education ? No : Peter's early 
advantages were small. He had no opportunity for 
acquiring knowledge, except what he picked up. 
He could not read, neither could he write his own 
name, Or keep his book accounts, but depended upon 
others. 

Was it the peculiarly favorable circumstances by 
which he was surrounded ? ~No. I know it is said 
" circumstances make men." It is equally true men 
make circumstances. Those by which he was sur- 
rounded were unpropitious. They were cold, dark, 
and cheerless. There were many things to dis- 
courage him, to keep him down. There were many 
difficulties to overcome, much prejudice to surmount ; 
and yet in spite of all these Peter rose to a position 
of happiness, honor, and usefulness. 

The whole secret of Peter Williams's elevation 
was this : the religion of the Bible made him all he 
was. To whatever he attained, to this and this alone 
was he indebted. That " righteousness that exalteth 
a nation exalts" families and individuals. That which 
elevates the white man' elevates the colored. Chris- 
tianity elevated Peter, ennobled him ; it raised him 
from a bond-slave to become God's freeman : "For 
if the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed." 
It made him, though a colored man, a "brother 



478 DEATH OF THE OLD COLORED SEXTON 

beloved" and a companion of them that loved 
Jehovah's precepts ; it made him, though a " stranger 
and a foreigner," a " fellow- citizen with the saints 
and of the household of God," and enabled him to 
"build upon the foundation of the apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner- 
stone." This made him a polished jet stone in the 
spiritual temple that God is erecting in the world. 
All Peter Williams was on earth, and all he 
hoped to be in heaven, he owed to the religion of 
the cross. 

What elevated Black Harry, who for years traveled 
with Bishop Asbury ? What elevated Governor Rob- 
erts and Francis Burns, of Liberia? What elevated 
Christopher Bush, once the class-mate of Peter Wil- 
liams, now bishop of the " Zion's Methodist Episcopal 
Church?" And what has elevated many others of 
the African race? But we have neither time nor 
space to specify further. It is the glorious Gospel of 
the blessed God. What is it that will cause " princes 
to come out of Egypt, and Ethiopia to stretch out her 
hands to God?" What is there that is to redeem, 
regenerate, and elevate poor, down-trodden, degraded 
Africa ? The religion of the Bible. Peter Williams 
was a prince, and Molly a princess. Let colored 
men be encouraged. You can become somebody, 
notwithstanding your sable complexion and woolly 
locks. 

To colored men I hold up Peter Williams as a 



AND HIS WIPE. 479 

fine model to imitate. Who would not catch his 
spirit and walk in his steps ! 

To the colored women I hold rip Molly Williams 
as a model woman, a model wife, a model mother, a 
model housekeeper, distinguished for sobriety, indus- 
try, neatness, and especially as a model Christian. 

" Whoso readeth let him understand." 



480 WESLEY CLOCK. 



CHAPTER LIL 

WESLEY CLOCK. 

The first Methodist Clock in America — Its Antiquity — Placed in the 
old Church — In the Second — Now the Third — "Why valuable — Sin- 
gular Incident connected with it. 

The reader will here see the picture of a timepiece ; 
it is the venerable Wesley Clock. It was very early 
placed in the first church built in John-street, then 
in the second, and is now in the lecture-room of the 
third. As the church edifice was called "Wesley 
Chapel," so they called this first time-keeper Wes- 
ley Clock. 

There are many clocks in Methodist churches in 
this country ; almost every house of worship in cities 
has one ; but there is no other Wesley Clock : this is 
the original. It is valuable on account of its age, 
and the associations that cluster around it. 

It has ticked on while four generations have passed 
away. Many other things, as well as the people who 
worshiped in that house, are gone ; but the old time- 
piece remains, still teaching lessons of wisdom. If it 
could speak, what tales it could tell of by-gone years 
that have transpired in its presence! If it could 



WESLEY CLOCK. 



481 




-JiiSS 



wield the pen of a ready writer, what a history it 
could record ! 

To many a preacher it has said by its hands, " You 
have preached long enough." In the midst of love- 
feasts, when the children of God were "sitting 
together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," it has 
hinted, "It is time to conclude." 



482 WESLEY CLOCK. 

When conferences have been held in that chapel, 
the bishops have looked at its face and said, '-' It is time 
to commence," and requested the preachers to sing : 

" And are we yet alive, 

And see each other's face ? 
Glory and praise to Jesus give, 

For his redeeming grace." 

To many a conference it has said, "It is time to 
adjourn." Ministers have looked at it, and sung, as 
they were separating : 

" And let our bodies part, 

To different climes repair ; 
Inseparably join'd in heart 

The friends of Jesus are." 

Pointing with its silent finger it has proclaimed, 
at many a watch-night, " The year is gone !" 

Many a covenant hymn has been sung in its 
presence. It has witnessed solemn vows. As its 
wheels have rolled on, the brethren have sung : 

" Come, let us anew our journey pursue, 

Eoll round with the year, 
And never stand still till the Master appear." 

It has preached impressive sermons. To those who 
have gazed upon its face it has said : " Eedeem the 
time." "The end of all things is at hand, be ye 
therefore sober, and watch unto prayer." On it are 
these solemn words : " Be ye also ready, for in such 



WESLEY CLOCK. 483 

an hour as ye thvnh not the Son of- man cometh. 1 
preached one Sabbath in John-street, and a lady, 
who is a member of Dr. "Williams's church, said to 
me: "I wish to see the old Wesley Clock;" and 
in looking at it, as the tear started in her eye, said 
she, "I never shall forget that clock; those words 
upon its face, ' Be ye also ready, for in such an hour as 
ye think not the Son of man cometh,' many years ago 
were the means of my awakening and conversion to 
God." To how many more it has preached lessons 
of wisdom I cannot tell. 

It has given the time of day to Coke and Asbury, 
to Whatcoat and M'Kendree, and to many more. 
Multitudes who have gazed upon its face are num- 
bered with the dead, and eyes that used to look upon 
it are closed forever. 

The old Wesley Clock is valuable, not only because 
of its age, and giving the correct time to past genera- 
tions, but from -its real worth. It keeps good time. 
Though it is over four score years of age, it is not 
supernumerary or superannuated; it is not worn out 
or weary ; it needs no rest day nor night, but con- 
tinues its daily journeys. It keeps better time now 
than the clock in the audience-room, than most of 
clocks. In early days clocks were made for service ; 
now, like many other things, they are made to sell. 
Its wheels still roll on. It speaks of 

" Time gone, the righteous saved, the wicked damn'd, 
And God's eternal government approved." 



484 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 1797. 



CHAPTEK Lni. 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1796, 1797. 

The End of the " Old Book " — The History continued — "Why — Preach- 
ers Stationed in New-York in 1796. — Sketch of Andrew Nichols — 
Peter Parks the Sexton — The Love-feast — The Deaf and Dumb Boy 
and his little Friend — Conversion of both — Preachers in the City in 
1797 — Joshua Wells — Sketch of— Letter to Paul Hick — The oldest 
Traveling Preacher in America — The New- York Conference in 1797 
— EeV. Wm. Thacher's Description of — Wm. Beauchamp — Brief 
History — Character and End. 

"With 1797 the " old book" ends. The last record is 
made, and the volume is complete. It has introduced 
us to pure and noble spirits now in paradise. We 
have seen them planning noble' enterprises and then 
executing them. We behold the foundation of the 
temple of Methodism laid and a noble superstructure 
built upon it. Days and nights we have spent in 
perusing the "old book," so rich in facts concerning 
the history of early American Methodism, and we 
bid it adieu with regret. But not to close too 
abruptly, we have concluded, as we have abund- 
ance of materials, to go on with the history three 
years longer, and terminate this volume with 
1800. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 1797. 485 

The preachers stationed in New-York in 1796 
were George Roberts and Andrew Nichols. Mr. 
Nichols was an excellent man, and a good pastor and 
preacher. I have heard the old Methodists speak 
highly of him. Some still remember him, though it 
is sixty-oae years since he preached in New-York. 
Mr. Nichols was ten years an itinerant minister, 
having joined in 1791 and located in 1801. 

Mr. Nichols resided in the parsonage at Second- 
street, (now Forsyth-street.) They were going to 
hold a love-feast in the church one evening, and two 
lads wished to go in. In those days the Methodists 
were very careful who were admitted to them. The 
doors were closed, and none were admitted unless 
they had a ticket of membership or a permit from 
the preacher. Peter Parks was then sexton. The 
boys concluded if they volunteered to help him bring 
water and attend to making the fires, he would 
admit them into the love-feast. After they had 
assisted him they inquired if they could not go into 
love-feast. Neither of them h«,d ever attended such 
a meeting. He sent them to Mr. Nichols for a 
permit, for he could admit none without. They went 
to Mr. Nichols, and he treated them very kindly, and 
talked to them, and then gave them permits. The 
love-feasts in those days were meetings of great 
power. One of the boys was deaf and dumb. He 
was all attention as one after another gave in their 
testimony ; he watched the motion of their lips, and 



486 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 1797. 

saw the expression of joy in their countenances; and 
though he could not hear one word, it had a power- 
ful effect, and was the means of his awakening and 
conversion to God. He was as happy as a king.. 
They might have sung with great propriety : 

" Hear him, ye deaf, his praise, ye dumb, 

Your loosen'd tongues employ; 
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come, 

And leap, ye lame, for joy." 

The conversion of the deaf and dumb boy had 
such an effect on his young companion, that when he 
saw him so happy it was the means of leading him 
to the Saviour. They both joined the Church imme- 
diately after. The one who was deaf and dumb was 
very fond of oratory, though he heard not a word. 
"Whenever a minister of great eloquence was an* 
nounced he was sure to be there. He would watch 
the lips of the preacher, all his soul would be in his 
eyes, and he would enjoy it apparently as well as 
others. He continued faithful until a year or two 
since, and then fell asleep. 

His young playmate is now a man of years, with., 
his children and grand-children gathered around 
him. He was for many years a steward of the 
Methodist Church in Forsyth-street, of- which he is 
still a member, I mean the venerable John Hagga- 
dorn. Though over sixty years have rolled away 
since, Mr. Haggadorn recollects the preacher Andrew 



METHODISM, IN NEW-YOKK IN 1196, 1797. 487 

Nichols, and his kindness to the two little boys, Peter 
Parks, the sexton, and that memorable love-feast in 
which the mute was made to rejoice in God, and 
whidh led to his own conversion. 

In 1797, George Eoberts, Joshua "Wells, and "Wil- 
liam Beauchamp were appointed to New- York. 
These were noble men, of whom no Church would 
have any reason to complain ; great men, good 
men. 

Joshua "Wells entered the traveling ministry in 
1789. He has been an able and faithful minister of 
the New Testament. He is still living near Balti- 
more, possessing an abundance of this world's goods, 
like good old Simeon, waiting the time of his de- 
parture, full of years and full of honors, his head a 
crown of glory, being found in the way of righteous- 
ness. He is now the oldest Methodist minister in 
America. I have some letters in my possession 
written by him to Paul Hick, more than half a cen- 
tury since. I presume they will be a great curi- 
osity to Mr. "Wells now, as they are to others who 
read them. They are full of the kindest friend- 
ship, and at the same time full of religion. They 
give us an idea of the state of things in New- York 
and Boston fifty-seven years ago, and are fine speci- 
mens of the religious correspondence of those days. 
I have space to insert but one. 



488 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK m 1796, 1797. 

JOSHUA WELLS TO PAUL HIGK, 

" My Deak Brother, — By Brother Sargent I had 
the pleasure to hear of your health, the health of 
your family, your patient continuing in well-doing, 
and, as a reward, the conversion of your daughter. 
Last spring I pleased myself with the thought that, 
on my way to Baltimore, I should have the pleasure 
of seeing you all again, but when I came to reckon 
on the great expense of traveling by the stage, I was 
absolutely obliged to change my plan and go by 
water. 

" Ah, unfriendly world ! What is there in it but 
disappointments ! How are united hearts separated ! 
"Well, let us, in calm submission to Divine Provi- 
dence, wait until our course is finished, then in our 
Father's house we shall unite forever. 

" Your Zion has been torn and divided since I saw 
you. I am sorry for it, and more so to think the self- 
will of a minister should in any degree give rise to it; 
however, charity and mutual forbearance in such 
cases are necessary. We cannot always expect to see 
things alike. But how good is the great Shepherd of 
our Israel, who has given you again a time of reviv- 
ing. This is sufficient to show that the Church is in 
his hand, and that, he well knows how to govern and 
overrule every evil. I hope you are all striving to 
grow in grace. Does William hold on his way? 
Has Nancy the evidence of pardon and peace? Is 



METHODISM IN WEW-YOEK IN 1796, 1797. 4$9 

she humble and happy ? Does Mary still live with 
you, and does she still continue in well-doing? I 
hope and believe she is fully and humbly striving to 
find her way to the celestial world. Are David and 
Betsy well ? Bless the Lord, he is good and kind to 
me ; though my side is yet painful, I have not disap- 
pointed these people but one Sabbath since I have 
been here, and then I was confined to my bed. I 
love the dear Saviour of my poor soul ; but I want to 
be all love, all holiness to the Lord. 

" We have finished our house. This has taken up 
much of my time. But we are much in debt, and 
really I know not how we shall pay the money ; but 
I hope the Lord will provide. This day I am going 
through the streets to beg money, I expect ; but this 
is a poor place; to beg among enemies is discourag- 
ing. Shall these eyes ever see you more in this 
world of trouble, or this hand ever embrace you on 
these mortal shores ? I have often sat at your table, 
and joined you, with your family, in the worship of 
God. Blessed seasons! They are now gone, gone 
perhaps forever ! O that I had wings like a dove, 
how soon would I embrace you. Well, write to me. 
I beseech you pray for me. If I tell you to give my 
love to my friends, they will know I have written to 
you and not to them. I cannot write much, it hurts 
my side. Earewell. 

" Boston, 8th Sept., 1800." 

' 22 



490 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 1797. 

NEW-YORK CONFEKENCE, HELD IN JOHN-STREET, 

JUNE, 1797 

The late William Thacher, in his Memoirs, thus 
describes it : 

"As it was the first in which I was ever honored 
with a place and seat, I will give a brief account. 
About a dozen of us Methodist preachers, passengers 
from the East, landed at New- York, and made our 
way to the old head-quarters in John-street, bearing 
on our arms our saddle-bags or portmanteaus. We 
were horseback men. We did not use trunks for 
traveling in those days. Not a spice of dandyism 
was seen in all our borders, any more than leaven in 
a Jewish passover; we were all plain men, plain 
enough. We were welcomed into the little, old par- 
sonage in John-street by the venerable Rev. Thomas 
Morrell and Joshua Wells, ministers in the station. 
Brother Wells took us as he found us, ' bag and bag- 
gage,' formed us rank and file, and placed himself, as 
the captain, at the head of the company, (we were 
in Methodist preachers' uniform,) in military style. 
Our walk, especially through Chatham-street, seemed 
to attract attention and excite notoriety. We were 
soon disposed of. My home was with a good old 
Welsh brother in Henry-street named John Davies. 

"June 19th. — This morning a new scene, opened to 
my view : a conference at the old hive of Methodism, 
the old John-street Meeting-house, that holy place 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1796, 179*7. 491 

where I felt, eight years before, the Holy Ghost say 
to me, fdr the first time, ' Go thou and preach the 
Gospel.' What a congregation of Methodist preach- 
ers; what greeting; what love beaming in every 
eye; what gratulation, what rejoicing, what solem- 
nity ! The clock strikes nine. We are seated in the 
sanctuary, in conference order, around the sacred 
altar, within which sits the venerable Asbury, Bible 
in hand. A chapter read, a hymn sung, we kneel ; 
how solemn, how awful ! how devout the prayer ! 
What solemn ' amens ' are responded. What a Divine 
effusion. Inspiration seems to pervade the whole. 
The prayer closed, we arose and were seated ; the 
secretary calls the list of names, each responded, and 
how interesting to hear my own name in that book of 
life. The various business of conference now engages 
our prayerful attention, conducted by the bishop, our 
president. Six hours each day for the transaction of 
the r^ular conference business, from nine o'clock to 
twelve, and from three to six in the afternoon. Each 
session opened with reading the Scriptures, singing, 
and prayer, and closed with prayer." 

Mr. Thacher adds : " I have attended conference for 
half a century since, and I do not believe that Meth- 
odism or our annual conference has deteriorated."* 

* Mr. Thacher's Memoirs are not yet published. He wrote me 
a short time before he died that I could make what extracts from 
them I pleased, and I have taken the liberty to make this, now 
my venerable friend is in the grave. 



492 METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1796, 1191. 




Entered the traveling ministry in 1794, and died in 
1824. In 1801 ill health compelled him to locate, 
and he continued in this relation till 1822, when he 
again commenced the labors of an itinerant minister, 
and continued till his death. He was born in Dela- 
ware, and finally settled at Mt. Carmel, HI., and died 
in 1824, at the age of fifty-two years. 

Mr. Beauchamp was the son of a Methodist minis- 
ter. He had a mind of a superior order. He was 
not only a fine thinker, but a fine writer, and a fine 
speaker ; a man of such surpassing eloquence that he 
was called " the Demosthenes of the "West," as Sam- 
uel Parker was " the Cicero of the "West." So high 
did he stand in the estimation of his brethren that he 
was elected member of the General Conference of 
1824, which met in Baltimore ; and, although he^was 
a stranger to the most of them, came within two or 
three votes of being elected to the episcopal office. 
He had but few equals and very few superiors. He 
is still remembered by a few of the Methodists in 
New- York of " olden time," who linger among us ; 
but most of them, like him, have fallen asleep. 



DUANE- STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 493 



CHAPTER LIV. 

DUANE- STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 

Prosperity off Methodism in New- York — Numbers in Society — Erection 
of the Third Church — The Site — Laying of the Corner-stone — The 
Minister who preached, and the Text for the Occasion — Its Dedication 
— George Roberts and the Young Man — Effectual Sermon — The 
Builder of the Church Edifice — The Nature of the Structure — Its 
original Name — 'Why so called — It has peculiar Charms — Why — 
Its second Dedication — The Picture of the Parsonage. 

This year, 1797, is memorable for the erection of 
another house for the Methodists to worship in. The 
old hive of Methodism in John-street was full, and so 
was the edifice erected in Second, now Forsyth-street. 
Such had been the prosperity of the Church, such the 
increase of its members, they were obliged to build. 
There were in New- York at that time seven hundred 
and eighty-six members, six hundred and forty-one 
whites, and one hundred and forty-five colored. An 
admirable site was, selected in Duane-street, and the 
corner-stone was laid June 29, 1797, by the Eev. 
George Eoberts. He preached on the occasion a 
very impressive sermon from Psalm xxiv, 3, 4:! 
""Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? and 
who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath 



494 DUANE- STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 

clean hands and a pure heart; and who hath not 
lifted up his hands to vanity, nor sworn deceit- 
fully." 

Mr. Koberts preached several Sabbaths in the 
open air, standing on the foundation. He had much 
to do with the erection of this church. The dedica- 
tion was a time long to be remembered. The house 
was filled with glory as Jehovah recorded his name 
there, and said : " From this day will I come down 
and bless thee." 

Soon after it was dedicated a young man went out 
of curiosity to hear the Methodist preach. Mr. Roberts 
preached from, " O that my head were waters, and 
mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep 
day and night for the slain of the daughter of my 
people." Jeremiah ix, 1. The sermon was pathetic 
and impressive. The minister wept, and his hearers 
were bathed with tears. Under the sermon this 
young man was awakened by the power of truth 
and converted, and united with the Church. Three- 
score years have passed away since that morning; 
that young man is now old, between seventy and 
eighty. He has been as firm as a rock ever since his 
conversion. He has held the office of class-leader, 
steward, trustee, for many years, and, by the grace of 
God, continues to this day. He is now in the even- 
ing of life, waiting the time of his departure, being 
blessed with a cheerful, happy old age. The winter 
of life is upon him, but he is looking forward 



DUANE- STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 495 

to an eternal spring. Does -the reader desirffto know 
who I mean? the venerable Eliphalet Wheeler, one 
of the few of the Methodists of olden time that remain 
among us, for most of them have been gathered to 
their fathers. 

Abraham Russel was the builder of the church. 
It was large and commodious; it was a most solid 
structure, built of stone. It is now, after a lapse of 
sixty years, as solid as when it was first erected. 
The early Methodist church edifices in New- York 
were all built of stone, which was plenty in those days. 

It was originally called " North River Church" 
and "Hudson Church," having been built near the 
North or Hudson River ; but for years it has been 
familiarly known as old Duane-street. It is the only 
Methodist house of worship in New- York that had 
an existence before the year 1800. The others, John 
and Forsyth-street, have given way to nobler struc- 
tures. This house stands in all its original grandeur. 
The old plain structure reminds us of the days of old, 
connecting it with noble spirits who are gone. God 
still honors it, noble men still sustain it; but no 
doubt it will soon pass away, for many who used to 
worship in this temple have removed up town, and 
the property is now exceedingly valuable. 

This old Methodist church edifice has peculiar 
charms, from its- being the only one remaining that 
was built in the last century, and also from its primitive 
appearance. Another reason, because it has been so 



496 DUANE- STREET CHURCH AND PARSONAGE. 

highly honored of God. Mighty displays of the 
power of God have been witnessed within its hal- 
lowed walls. There are those who are scattered all 
over the country, and many in heaven, who look 
back to the old church as their spiritual birth-place. 
"When God writeth up the people, it will be said that 
this and that man were born here. Bishop Asbury 
preached his last sermon in New-York in this hon- 
ored temple. 

To me the old building is invested with rare inter- 
est, because the first time I attempted to preach in 
New- York was in this church ; it was in May, 
1835, from " Them that honor me will I honor, and 
they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed." 
Again, when it was reopened, after much expense 
had been laid out upon the interior, I had the honoi 
of preaching the sermon at its re-dedication. This 
was the first Sabbath morning in January, 1842. 

It is with peculiar pleasure I introduce to the 
reader a picture of the old church and parsonage in 
Duane-street. . The noble edifice, the little house for 
the preacher, and the beautiful park, partly in front, 
will be recognized at once by all who are familiar 
with the place, and those who are not will see in it 
much to admire. 

In this old parsonage many Methodist ministers 
and their families have resided. "What interests clus- 
ter around this little home of the itinerant; what 
men of God have resided here ; what scenes it has 



DUANE- STREET CHUECH AND PAKSONAGE. 499 

witnessed; what sermons have been studied here; 
what prayers offered ; what wrestling with the angel 
of the covenant. How many have been united in 
holy matrimony in this place. How many have died 
happy in God and gone from it to the "house not 
made with hands, eternal in the heavens." It is the 
last of the old parsonages that remains ; the rest have 
passed away. This plain, modest, little dwelling 
shows in how small a house our fathers could reside. 
Believing that this church edifice will soon pass 
away, as many down-town churches have already 
done, I was anxious to preserve its image, so that 
others can look upon the place where our fathers 
worshiped when its sacred walls are demolished. 
With mournful interest I looked on the- ancient 
edifice as the artist was sketching it for the engraver, 
that its likeness might be transmitted to future gen- 
erations. Many, in looking upon the old familiar 
church, will say, " Lord, I have loved the habitation 
of thy house, and the place where thine honor 
dwelleth." 



22 



* 



500 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1798. 



CHAPTEK LY 

METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN IT 9 8. 

Ministers stationed in New- York this Year — Cyrus Stebbins — Sketch 
of — Attacks the Doctrine of Christian Perfection — John Wilson 
defends it — -Character of Mr. Wilson — Mr. Stebbins withdraws — Be- 
comes an Episcopal Clergyman — George Koberts — Sketch of — Char- 
acter — -Usefulness — Triumphant Death — Characteristic Letters — 
Sketch of John Dickins — Death of — Character — Letter to Paul Hick. 

Lsr 1798 Joshua Wells, George Roberts, and Cyrus 
Stebbins were stationed in New- York. Mr. Stebbins 
joined the traveling connection in 1795, and with- 
drew and became a minister of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in 1805. The reason assigned by Mr. 
Stebbins for leaving the Methodists, at the conference, 
when he withdrew, was unbelief in the doctrine of 
Christian perfection. This called out John Wilson 
in its defense. The vindication was triumphant, for 
it was most masterly. Christian perfection was a 
theme in which Mr. Wilson was at home, and he 
appeared at that time specially set for the defense of 
that peculiar doctrine of the Gospel. Mr. Wilson 
emigrated from England, and settled in New- York 
in 1793. He was first class-leader, then a local 
preacher, and in 1797 entered the traveling minis- 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1798. 501 

try. He was a fine scholar, a beautiful writer, an 
able preacher. In 1804 he was elected assistant 
book agent, and in 1808 he had charge of the Book 
Concern. He died of asthma, January 28, 1810, and 
was buried in a vault in the ground back of the 
Forsyth-street Church. ., He was an excellent pen- 
man, and frequently secretary of the New-York Con- 
ference, and used to sign his name thus : 




The name of George Roberts is like ointment 
poured forth. He was a most extraordinary man. 
A volume might be written concerning him. He 
was one of the early pioneers of Methodism in New- 
England who " contended earnestly for the faith 
once delivered to the saints." Mr. Roberts identi- 
fied himself with the Methodist flying artillery in 
1790, and in consequence of ill health he located in 
1806, and spent the remainder of his days in Balti- 
more, where he preached with great acceptability 
and power as he was able. He received the eccen- 
tric Lorenzo Dow into the Church. His death was 
one of surpassing triumph. He shouted, "Vic- 



502 METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1798. 

tory ! victory ! victory through the blood of the 
Lamb !" 

His son, Dr. Roberts, of Baltimore, possesses much 
of the spirit of his excellent father. 1 have several 
letters written by the elder Roberts to Paul Hick. 
They show the character of Mr. Roberts, and give 
a little light on the history of the times. I can 
make only short extracts from these letters. The 
first is dated Baltimore, July 8, 1799. Mr. Roberts 
was appointed to Annapolis, and he says : " They 
were much alarmed when they found I was appoint- 
ed to that station, not on account of my coming, but 
their poverty. One of the stewards said all they 
could raise in the year for the support of the 
preacher would not exceed two hundred dollars. 
Had I been one easily scared I should have taken 
up my wife and child and walked, for bed I have 
none. But shall I distrust the Lord ? No! I have 
entered to serve the Church another year, and my 
concern is not what we shall eat, or wherewithal I 
and mine shall be clothed, but it is that I may be 
faithful to God and useful to man. 

" I am ever your servant for Jesus' sake, 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1798. 503. 

•" Mr veey Deab Beothee : In hopes that you and 
your dear family have returned to your desolate man- 
sion, I take up my pen to drop you a few lines, hoping 
this will find you all in health of body and striving for 
all the mind that was in Christ. 

" Our house is hardly large enough to contain the 
congregation ; but, alas ! the most awful and solemn 
truths are unaffecting and appear to be uninteresting. 
The high and the low, rich and poor, flock out; as 
Mr. Whitefield said, we have " rag, tag, and bobtail." 
I hope the time is not far distant when God will 
thunder from above, and the most high God speak 
with that voice which wakes the dead, and poor sin- 
ners flock to the arms of bleeding mercy. 

"But O, my brother, how solemnly awful was the 
time when I met from one to thirty daily going to 
their long home, and what was more alarming, to see 
them lying dead in the fields with the awful calam- 
ity. But, blessed be God, health is measurably re- 
stored, and business revives again in this city. O 
that we may not forget the hand of God, or lose the 
sound of mourners and the groans of the dying in the 
din -and bustle of the. world. 

" I was sorry you gave me no account of dear Mrs. 
Courtney and family. I long to hear of their wel- 
fare. The Lord is still with us. I seldom preach but 
what I feel as though I was willing to make the pul- 
pit my dying bed, and have the satisfaction to inform 
you that the word seldom returns void. 



504 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1798. 

" Last Wednesday night we had a love-feast, such 
a one as I have not seen in seven years, and proba- 
bly such a one as was never known in this- city. 
Then our friends, for the first time since the affliction, 
came together. I could only compare it to the return 
of the Jews from Babylon, for such a general shout I 
hardly ever heard ; and when I tell you that near a 
thousand were present, you may form some idea how 
great was the noise. More or less join us daily, and 
we have seldom a meeting but what we have the cry 
of heaven-born souls. Our house is large, larger than 
any of yours ; but it cannot contain the people. I 
feel a hope that this winter will be a great time of the 
pouring out of the Spirit of God. This leaves me and 
mine in tolerable health, excepting colds. Give my 
best respects, with my wife's, to my dear Sister Hick, 
the children, and all inquiring friends. 

" I am ever yours devotedly in the gospel, 

"Geo. Roberts. 
" 10th November, 1800." 

This year the Church met with a great loss in the 
death of that faithful servant of God, John Dickins. 
We have already seen that he was removed from 
New-York in the spring of 1789, and appointed book 
steward in Philadelphia. 

Much might have been written concerning Mr. 
Dickins. He was emphatically a strong man. He 
helped to give tone, character, and stability to Meth- 
odism in New- York. A man of the purest character, 



meth;odism in new- yoke in 1798. 505 

with an intellect of superior strength, an admirable 
scholar, a soul fired with his mission, in the pulpit a 
perfect giant. No wonder crowds thronged to hear 
him. He had living epistles, known and read of all 
men. Among those awakened under his ministry in 
New- York was John B. Matthias, father of Kev. J. 
J. Matthias, and grandfather of Eev. Benjamin M. 
Adams, now pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
in Duane-street. 

Mr. Matthias's manuscripts are before me, in which 
he recorded the following : " I was attracted to the 
old Methodist Church in John-street by a report of 
the loudness of the preacher's voice and the stir 
among the people. Here I heard that eminent man 
of God, the Kev. John Dickins, who was a plain- 
dressed man, and preached with all his might. With 
this I was well pleased, for I always loved earnest 
preaching. Soon a change of preachers took place, 
and they took away my thundering Dickins." 

John Dickins had the honor of arousing Mr. Mat- 
thias from his slumbers, who afterward became a 
son of thunder, and was a great " terror to evil-doers." 
Mr. Dickins had many seals to his ministry ; the 
late Kev. Elias Yanderlip, of Troy Conference, was 
one of them. 

John Dickins was an Englishman, and educated in 
London. In 1774 he united with the society of Meth- 
odists in America, and in 1777 joined the traveling 
connection. He traveled quite extensively in Vir- 



506 METHODISM. IX .NEW- YORK IN 1798. 

ginia and North Carolina during the Kevolutionary 
war. Then he was stationed in New- York and Phila- 
delphia. He was book steward for many years, and 
in this department was very useful. His brethren 
give him the loftiest, purest character. As a scholar 
" he had acquired considerable knowledge in human 
literature ; the English language he was master of ; 
he understood the Latin and Greek ; he was ac- 
quainted with several of the learned sciences, mathe- 
matics," etc. — Minutes. 

A.s a man and Christian they eulogize him, but es- 
pecially as a preacher ; " he was one of the greatest 
characters that ever graced the pulpit or adorned the 
society of ministers or Methodists." He died of yel- 
low fever in the city of Philadelphia, September 27, 
1798, in the fifty-second year of his age, leaving a 
widow and a number of children to the sympathy and 
care of the Church. He refused to leave the city, 
though the " pestilence that walketh in darkness 
and wasteth at noonday " was carrying on the work 
of destruction. He fell at his post, sword in hand. 
His brethren say, in the Minutes : 

" On his tomb might be' engraved, or o,ver his 
sleeping ashes with truth be pronounced, Here lieth 

HE WHO, IN THE CAUSE OF GoD, NEVER FEARED NOR 
FLATTERED MAN." 

The following letter to Paul Hick is from John 
Dickins. The hand-writing is plain, large, elegant, 
in business style : 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOBK IN 1789 50T 

" My dear Beothee,' — I' don't remember I have 
received any letter from yon ; but, notwithstanding, 
I feel a desire for your welfare. Are both you and 
dear Sister Hick as much as ever engaged for heaven ? 
Do you both live on the brink of eternity? Would 
the prospect of death be pleasant or painful ? O, my 
brother, let us pant more for Grod ! Let us beg an 
increase of faith that we may endure, as seeing Him 
who is invisible. 

" My family are in tolerable health, through the 
mercy and goodness of God ; and his gracious provi- 
dence richly supplies us with all things pertaining 
to life and godliness. 

"My wife joins in kind affection to you and your 
wife. Please to remember us to our dear old friends. 
" I am yours in great affection, 



^ 





"Philadelphia, January 31, 1791." 

His signature is very large, and as bold as that of 
John Hancock. 



508 METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1799. 



CHAPTER LVL 

METHODISM IN NEW-TOEK IN 1799. 

Distinguished Ministers stationed in New- York — John M'Claskey — 
Sketch of — Character and End — Letter to Paul Hick — The Two-Mile- 
Stone — Dr. Thomas Sargent — Brief History — Characteristic Letters 
— His Son — Michael Coate — Sketch — Last Sermon — End — Letter to 
Paul Hick. 

This year Sylvester Hutchinson was presiding elder, 
and John M'Claskey, Thomas Sargent, and Michael 
Coate were stationed preachers. 

This is what would have been called " a strong 
team." Mighty men of renown. A man of great 
power was John M'Claskey in his palmy days. Dr. 
Sargent was a workman that had no reason to be 
ashamed ; yea, he was a master workman. Michael 
Coate is still remembered with the warmest affection 
by the aged fathers and mothers, who cherish the 
liveliest recollection of his virtues. They say he was 
not as eloquent as his brother Samuel, but that he was 
a "good man, full of faith and the Holy Ghost." 

John M'Claskey was a native of the "Emerald 
Isle." He was born in 1756, and at the age of six- 
teen emigrated to America. He loved the country 
of his adoption. During the Revolutionary war he 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN H99. 509 

was confined for a year in the old Sugar House in 
Liberty-street, where the sufferings of the prisoners 
were intolerable. When peace was proclaimed he 
was liberated, and went begging his way home to 
New-Jersey, and found his wife had died during his 
absence. In 1782 he was converted, under the labors 
of Benjamin Abbott, and in 1786 joined the itinerant 
ranks. In 1796, at the request of Mr. Abbott, Mr. 
M'Olaskey preached his funeral sermon. He was 
preacher in charge when stationed in New-York, 
and resided in the old parsonage in John-street. 
He died in Chestertown, Maryland, September 2, 
1814, leaving behind him a name more valuable 
than rubies. He was a large, splendid-looking man, 
with fine, flowing locks, and in the pulpit had a 
very commanding appearance. An aged minister, 
who is hovering between two worlds, gave me an 
account of a sermon Mr. M'Olaskey preached in old 
John-street, about the year 1810, before the con- 
ference on a fast-day. His theme was, "Weeping 
between the porch and the altar." He said it was 
a most masterly effort. The baptism of tears took 
place as the preacher showed why ministers should 
weep, the causes for deep feeling, for melting sym- 
pathy, for flowing tears. 

I have three original letters of John M'Olaskey 
lying before me. They breathe a sweet spirit, and ex- 
hibit the excellences of the writer. Two are directed 
to Thomas Morrell, 32 John-street ; the other to Paul 



510 METHODISM IN XEW-YOKK. IN 1799. 

Hick. The latter I insert, because it gives us light in 
regard to the period it was written : 

"Two-Mile-Stone, October 23, 1799. 

" Deak Brother, — To whom I wish grace, mercy, 
and peace from God the Father and from our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

" I bless the Lord that through his amazing mercy 
I am tolerably well recovered, so that I preached two 
sermons on the last Lord's day, and felt no great 
inconvenience from it. I feel that Jesus is very pre- 
cious to me, and that my heart is given up to him ; 
but I want to be more holy and more given up to 
God and his Church. My little family is well, and so 
are the preachers, and, so far as I can learn, it is a 
general time of health in the city at the present, not 
that I suppose there are no cases of fever existing at 
this time, but I believe they are very few, so that, on 
the whole, I think you may venture to come in with 
great safety on Monday next, which is the time I have 
concluded to go in myself, if not before. Farewell. 
Heaven bless you and yours. As ever, 




1. This was the year the yellow fever raged in New- 
York, and a number of the Methodists fell victims as 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1799. 511 

well as others. Mr. Hick had prudently retired 
with his family to Mount Pleasant, a few miles up 
the Hudson River, till the " pestilence that walked in 
darkness, and the destruction that wasted at noon- 
day," should cease its raging. Mr. M'Claskey writes 
to his friend that the destroying angel was arrested, 
and he could now return with safety. 

2. Mr. M'Claskey had also retired out of town, and 
in his letter says " he had concluded to go into the 
city on the next Monday." Go in from where? 
From the Two-Mile-Stone. Where was this ? "Where 
Seventh-street Methodist Episcopal Church and 
Cooper's Institute and the Bible House are now. 
There were but few houses there then. It was coun- 
\try. There were farm-houses and orchards ; out now 
it is the very heart of the city. This letter gives us a 
faint idea of the growth of the city, of the stupendous 
change that has taken place since Mr. M'Claskey 
penned this letter. 

Dr. Thomas Sargent is well known as an able and 
successful minister of the New Testament. He was 
the father of the amiable and excellent Thomas B. 
Sargent, of the Baltimore Conference, who caught the 
falling mantle of his ascending father. Mr. Sargent 
was born in Frederic County, Maryland, in 1776, 
and converted to God in 1793. The venerable and 
venerated Joshua Wells, of Baltimore, received him 
into the Church. In 1795 he entered the traveling 
ministry, and died in Cincinnati in 1833. His ap- 



512 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1799. 

pointments show the high estimation in which he 
was held. They were the largest, the most difficult, 
and the most responsible : New- York, Boston, Phila- 
delphia, Baltimore, and others. In 1813 he located 
through necessity, and in 1824 was received as a su- 
pernumerary into the Philadelphia Conference. In 
1832 he removed to Cincinnati, and was transferred to 
the Ohio Conference the next year. On the 29th of 
December, 1833, while preaching from " How shall 
we escape if we neglect," etc., he fell in the pulpit 
and expired in the sanctuary. He died of apoplexy. 
Many die as sudden, not as safe. To him, no doubt, 
sudden death was sudden glory. He left the Church 
below to enter the " house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens." It was almost a translation, 
sudden as Enoch's, " who was not, for God took him;" 
sudden as Elijah's, who went to heaven in his 
chariot of fire. 

Mr. Sargent's piety was of the cheerful kind. Ho 
knew nothing of what is called " sour godliness," but 
" served the Lord with gladness." In person he was 
peculiarly dignified, tall, and very large ; his beauti- 
ful white locks adorned his brow; his countenance 
was open and manly, and expressive of benignity. 
As a preacher he was able, eloquent, and suc- 
cessful. 

I have several letters written to Paul Hick by Mr. 
Sargent soon after he left New- York. They are 
characteristic of the man, of the times in which they 



METHODISM EST NEW- YORK EST 1799. 513 

were written, and of their mode of correspondence. 
They were all written from Boston, Mr. Sargent's 
next station after he left New- York. When Mr. 
Wells left New- York he was sent to Boston, and so 
was William Beauchamp and others. The bishop felt 
the importance of keeping those cities well manned. 
But I will keep the reader no longer from the pleas- 
ure of perusing those letters. 

" Boston, July 26, 1800. 

" My very Dear Brother, — . I find since I have 
left York I love it much better than I thought I did 
before. Methodism is in poor repute in this town. 
We have to go against wind and tide ; the popular 
current is against us. Law establishments and devil 
establishments are alike, and religion will never 
flourish until the whole is broken down to the 
ground. Our number is about eighty, but, blessed be 
God, they seem to be in the utmost union. Our 
house is about as large as John-street, and is nearly 
complete. When it is done the Church will be one 
thousand dollars in debt. 

" Brother Lee has gone to the Province of Maine, 
and intends going through Vermont, and then to 
New- York, where he will stay, so you will have one 
big man in the place of another. I feel my heart 
still engaged in the good work of God, and if I can 
be instrumental in saving sinners, my most sanguine 
wishes will be gratified. 



514 METHODISM IX NEW-YORK IN 1799. 

"My kind love to Sister Hick, and Matty, and all 
the children. I hope ISTancy will retain her confi- 
dence in God. Give my respects to Brother and 
Sister Donnolly and sister, and to all who may ask 
after me, and believe me to be one of your best 
friends. 




" Boston, Sept. 23, 1800. 
"Dear Brother, — How often does the ancient 
proverb prove true : ' Out of sight out of mind.' I 
should be glad to hear from you at least every month, 
and I should take the greatest pleasure in answering 
your letters ; but it seems hard for me to answer my 
own letters. However, whether you think of me or 
not, I do of you, and hope you and family are well in 
body and mind. I have as much to complain of now 
as in my last letter to you ; but ' wherefore should, a 
living man complain?' Perhaps it is all for the pun- 
ishment of my sin. If it has but the effect to purify 
my heart, amen ; I am willing to bear it and more, 
if God sees proper. If Paul had beasts to fight with 
at Ephesus, I have devils to fight with in New-En- 
gland. But, by the grace of God, I hope to stand fast 
in the Lord. I hope you and your family enjoy sweet 
communion with God, and are still on your way to 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1799. 515 

heaven and glory. Ever remember this earth is not 
the place to erect tabernacles of rest ; we seek a 
house above, not made with hands. Let us not forget 
the happy hours we have had together; the times of 
trouble I know we shall not forget ; but let the 
thoughts of happy times outbalance all* I hope the 
children and Nancy continue to hold fast their confi- 
dence in God. I feel for the young, knowing the 
snares to which they are exposed, and how apt to be 
led from God and religion. May they remember 
God loves young disciples, and it is good for us to 
bear the yoke in our yOutli. Glory be to God ! I 
hope we shall meet in heaven by and by, and there 
shall we sing, 

' Far from a world of grief and sin, 
"With God eternally shut in.' 

"I hope, in the mean while, we shall remember 
each other at the throne of the heavenly grace, that 
God may support and keep us to the end. Give my 
love to any that may ask after me, and believe me 

to be your real friend, 

"Thomas Sakgent. 

" P S. We have something of the fever in Boston 
this fall." 

"Boston, Nov. 30, 1801. 
" My Dear Fkiends, — I received a letter from you 
some time since, which I have neglected to answer 
before. This has not proceeded from want of aft'ec- 

23 



516 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1799. 

tion, but something interesting to inform you of 
which I have not yet. In the last of summer and 
beginning of fall, I had a severe attack of bilioua 
fever, which brought me exceeding low, even to the 
gates of death ; but God, in mercy, has raised me up, 
I hope, for his glory and the good of his Church. I 
found the Lord to be near to me, and gave me conso- 
lations I never felt before. We have some encour- 
agement at present of a good work of religion. Some 
have been converted a short time since, and have 
joined the Church. Our congregations continue to 
increase. Last evening I preached to the largest as- 
sembly of people ever preached to before in this 
place by the Methodists. I find the same desire as 
ever to endeavor to do good and save precious souls. 
I wish to pluck souls from the jaws of the devourer, 
and bring them into the fold of Christ. I should be 
exceeding glad to see yo*u and your family ; but when 
that will be I cannot tell. Perhaps not in this vale 
of tears ; if not, I hope it will be in a better place. I 
received a letter a few days ago from Brother "Wells. 
He says, ' O the South, the South! I love the South !' 
I can say it is the same with myself; but when I 
shall return from the land of my captivity I cannot 
tell ; I hope soon. Please to present my kind love to 
all your family and to any that may ask after me, 
and ever believe me to be yours in the greatest affec- 
tion and love, 

"Thomas SUkgent. 



METHOPISM IN NEW-YORK IN" 1799. 517 

""I expect to hear from you soon. Please to give 
me a full account of the state of your Church. : Pre- 
sent my love to your preachers." 

Michael Coate was born in Burlington County, 
K J., in 1767. In 1794 he responded to the call of 
heaven, " My son, give me thy heart." In 1795 he 
was admitted on trial as a traveling preacher. Three 
times he was stationed in the city of ]STew-York, 
where he was highly esteemed and very useful. He 
died, in holy triumph, August 1, 1814, when presid- 
ing elder of "West Jersey District. 

John M'Claskey and Mr. Coate were colleagues in 
New- York in 1799, and died within a few weeks of 
each other. Mr. Coate expired August 1, and Mr. 
M'Claskey September 2. They were both presiding 
elders at the time of their death, and each preached 
his last sermon at a quarterly-meeting, and received 
an uncommon baptism of love, and preached with 
unusual liberty and power, and had bright visions of 
that glory into'which they soon entered. 

Mr. Coate preached his last sermon in Burlington, 
to an immense audience, on the subject of eternal 
glory. His text was, Revelation vii, 9 : " After this 
I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man 
could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and peo- 
ple, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before 
the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in 
their hands." 



518 METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1?99. 

A letter of his to Paul Hick lies before me. It is 
written in neat, beautiful style, quite fine looking, 
like a lady's hand. It was written from Adams, 
Pittsfield Circuit, and dated September 17, 1800, over 
fifty-six years ago. I can only make an extract : 

" Blessed be His holy name, he fills my soul day by 
day with his love, while I am climbing the mount- 
ains preaching Jesus to the people. Next Saturday 
and Sunday is our quarterly-meeting. I hope to see 
the devil's kingdom shaken to the center. I hope the 
work of God prospers in your own soul, family, and 
throughout the city, etc. Write to and pray for your 
unworthy brother, 



^y/U^A^t^^a^^ 



He was a man of a strong mind and sound judg- 
ment, and yet he was "meek and lowly," like his 
Master. As a preacher he was an able divine, dwell- 
ing on the experimental and practical in Christianity, 
rather than doctrinal or metaphysical. He acted as 
if he had no other business than to " save souls from 
death, and to hide a multitude of sins." 

Such is the character of the men with whom the 
Methodists in ISTew-York were favored in 1799. 
Blessed men ! long since gone to their reward ; and 
yet how enduring their names. 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1800. 519 



CHAPTEE LVIL 

METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1800. 

Ministers stationed in the City — Freeborn Garrettson — High Esteem 
in which he was held — Married to Miss Livingston — Their Home — 
Death of Mr. and Mrs. Garrettson — Inscription on his Tombstone — 
Jesse Lee — The Third General Conference —Election of Bishop What- 
coat — Mr. Lee not elected — Spirit he exhibited — Mr. Lee's Commis- 
sion from the Bishops — Declines accepting it — Stationed in New- York 

— His Account of the Churches in the City — The Two-Mile-Stone — 
Brief History of the Society at — John and Gilbert Coutant — Seventh- 
street Methodist Episcopal Church — Character and End of Jesse Lee 

— Sylvester Hutchinson — His Grandmother — Singular Epitaph — His 
Brothers — Anecdotes of Hutchinson — Cause of his Location. 




~^h 



GC^-^1^- 



The Eev. Freeborn Garrettson was the presiding 
elder this year, and John M'Claskey, Jesse Lee, and 
Sylvester Hutchinson were the stationed preachers. 

Mr. Garrettson's name is identified with American 
Methodism, and particularly with Methodism in the 
state of New- York. Dr. Coke loved him exceedingly, 
Asbury admired him, Mr. Wesley regarded him as a 
loving and obedient son in the Gospel, and often cor- 
responded with him. A volume has been written 
concerning the virtues of this excellent man of God. 



520 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

He was most fortunate in his marriage, for he that 

findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth 

favor of the Lord. On the 30th of June, 1793, he was 

united in marriage to Miss Catherine Livingston, 

daughter of Judge Livingston, of Clermont Manor 

of Livingston. She was a most estimable woman. 

Their home on the beautiful banks of the Hudson 

was a domestic Eden, an earthly Paradise. They 

were emphatically " given to hospitality." 

After preaching the Gospel for over half a century, 
Mr. Garrettson died suddenly in New- York at the 
house of his long-tried friend, the late George Suck- 
ley, Esq., September 27, 1827. He was buried 'in his 
own beloved Khinebeck. His name will be fragrant 
as long as the noble Hudson, on whose banks he 
sleeps, continues to roll on toward the ocean. On his 
tomb is this inscription : 

SAOEED TO THE MEMOEY OF THE 

Rev. FREEBORN GARRETTSON, 

AN ITINERANT MINISTER OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

He commenced his itinerant ministry in the year 1775 ; 

In this work he continued until his death, laboring with great 

diligence and success in various parts of the 

United States and of Nova Sootia. 

He died in peace in the City of New- York, Sept. 27, 1827, in the 
seventy-sixth year of his age, and fifty-second of his ministry. 

" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man 
is peace." Psalm xxxvi, 37. 



METHODISM IN NEW-YOBK IN 1800. 521 

His wife now rests beside him in the rural bury- 
ing-ground at Rhinebeck, waiting the " resurrection 
of the just." 

Their amiable daughter, Mary, inhabits the old 
family mansion, exhibiting the same spirit of Chris- 
tian hospitality which characterized her beloved 
parents who now sleep in the sepulcher. 

JlLbfoE LEE, 

In the spring of 1800 the third General Conference 
was held in Baltimore. It commenced the 6th of 
May, and adjourned the 20th of the month. One 
hundred and nineteen preachers were present ; many 
of" them were the great men of Methodism. A won- 
derful revival of religion they were blest with during 
the conference, and many were converted to God. 
At this conference they elected a bishop. There 
were two candidates, Jesse Lee and Richard What- 
coat. On the first balloting the votes were scatter- 
ing ; there was no choice on the second ; there was a 
tie on the third. Finally Mr. "Whatcoat was elected 
by a majority of four votes. 

Mr. Lee exhibited the best spirit, notwithstanding 
his defeat. He had traveled with the venerable 
Asbury for three years, and now he accompanied the 
old bishop and his "mate" on their northern tour. 
Bishop Asbury offered to station Mr. Lee in Phila- 
delphia. He declined, preferring a circuit. 

On the 19th of June the New- York Conference 



522 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

commenced its session in the. city of New- York. At 
this conference the following paper was put into Mr. 
Lee's hands by the bishops. It regarded his future 
field of labor : 

" Jesse Lee is appointed to act as assistant to the 
bishops in the yearly conferences, and to aid the 
Book interest, in every part of the continent where 
he goes. 

" Dear Brother, — We wish to close the Minutes 

in [New] York, if we can. You must have some 

place therein : will the above do ? York will be a 

blank at present. If you choose to stay until you 

think it meet to go down South, you may ; and more, 

you may make your own appointments South, and 
om, going eastward . Qr gQj . f ^^ ^^^ tQ ^ 

*' ° r ' lf you cWe > ^u may come to Kentucky. 

" Francis Asbuey, 

" Richard Whatcoat. 
" Saturday Morning, June 21." 

lie bishops were determiaed ft* M, lee shoald 
ZImI ?"' hheH * &r tte *«* g»od. They 
iZZTl I ""' di8p0Si ' i0D to -commodate 

*°&Jp*Z°, ,° stro " g a desire to reto '» «* 

Uh e»y to tafe 1 6m ' hat he did "»' feei at 

° taveI 8t Hse; but if he had my 



METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 523 

choice, it was, after making a visit to the East, to 
take a single circuit." 

Mr. Lee was stationed in New- York. He visited 
New-England, the scene of his early labors, and 
everywhere was hailed as the "Apostle of Method- 
ism " in that section of country. He returned to New- 
York in October, and labored there with great zeal 
and success till the next March. There are a few old 
Methodists in New- York who remember him well. 

Mr. Lee makes the following entry in his journal: 
"It is now thirty-two years since our Society had a 
place of worship in this place, and they have been 
increasing and multiplying ever since. We have 
now five houses of public worship. The first is com- 
monly called ' The Old Church,' the second is called 
Bowery, the third North River, and the fourth is 
called the Two-Mile-Stone, being two miles from the 
center of the city. The fifth is the African Church, 
which was erected by the people of color for them- 
selves to worship in, yet they are to be governed by 
the Methodists in all their spiritual matters. This 
church was built the latter part of last year. Three 
traveling preachers are stationed in the city, and are 
assisted, by several local preachers. When we took 
the last account of the numbers in our society we 
had six hundred and forty-five whites, and one hun- 
dred and thirty colored persons. Hitherto the Lord 

hath helped us." 

Mr. Lee speaks of the local preachers that assisted 



524 METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1800. 

the traveling ministers. Among the number were 
"William Phoebus, Henry J. Feltus, James Flanagan, 
Thomas Dawson, William Veloe, and others. 

Mr. Lee names the church at the " Two-mile- 
stone." The Two-mile-stone was in the Bowery, 
away out of the city, just two miles from the old 
City Hall, corner of Wall and Nassau-streets, where 
the Custom House now stands. 

In the year 1784, John and Gilbert Coutant, with 
their father and mother, moved from New Rochelle, 
and began to keep a grocery near the Two-mile-stone 
in the Bowery, directly opposite where the " Cooper 
Institute " now stands. Soon after their removal to 
New- York, Mrs. John Coutant and two or three 
other women experienced religion and united with 
the M. E. Church. They were united into a little 
class, and a person "from town" was appointed 
their leader, and went out of the city into the " rural 
districts " weekly to meet them. This was the germ 
of the society at the " Two-mile-stone," afterward 
called " Bowery "Village," now " Seventh-street," one 
of the most nourishing churches we have in the city 
of New- York. It can be traced back to the time 
when " two or three " were first " gathered together 
in the name of Christ ;" to a few devout women. 
Soon after, John and Gilbert Coutant, and their 
mother, were converted and joined the little band. 
About the same time John Yark and his wife, 
Oliver Hebbard and his wife, and Sonthwick Heb- 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK. IN 1800. 525 

bard, Joseph Graham and Hannah his wife, Oliver 
Hyde and wife, joined the " little flock." As there 
was no Methodist Church nearer than John-street, 
they 'used to travel there every Sabbath to worship, 
till the Second-street, now Forsyth, was built, when 
they worshiped in the new edifice. In the year 
1795, a small house was erected in their village, two 
stories high, for the double purpose of a preaching- 
place and for a school-house, where they were visited 
every Sabbath, by preachers from the city, either 
traveling or local. Soon after this Zophar Nichols 
and his wife, the parents of the Rev. Jarvis Z. Nich- 
ols, of the New-York Conference, joined the Society. 

In 1818 the Methodists built a larger house of wor- 
ship alongside of the first building. In this there were 
many pieces of timber from the old Wesley Chapel, 
which was torn down the preceding year. A few 
years after this edifice was removed to Seventh-street, 
directly opposite where their Church now stands. In 
1835 the present brick edifice was built, and the wood- 
en building was removed to Yorkville, in which the 
Methodists now worship. As far as regular succes- 
sion is concerned, the "Yorkville Methodists worship 
among the original timbers of Wesley Chapel, those 
hewed by Philip Embury and the noble ones asso- 
ciated with him. 

Jesse Lee remained in New- York until spring. 
He was not fond of city life. His name will ever be 
associated with Methodism in New-England. He 



526 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

was born in Virginia in 1758, and at the age of 
eighteen years was converted to God. In 1783 he 
joined the traveling connection, and while attending 
a camp-meeting on the eastern shore of Maryland 
in 1816, he suddenly fell at his post, covered with 
scars and loaded with honors. Mr. Lee was an able 
preacher and excelled in debate. He was remarka- 
bly shrewd, distinguished for his ready wit. Mr. 
Lee not only studied books, but read men. He knew 
when and how to answer a fool according to his folly, 
and when to keep silence. His wit he always made 
subservient to the cause of truth. It has been well 
said, " he had higher excellences than wit, holier 
instincts than mirth." Mr. Lee had a large body and 
a great soul. His history is identified with early 
American Methodism, and his name will go down to 
the end of time, associated with the great, the wise, 
and the good. 




Sylvester Hutchinson was the colleague of Jesse 
Lee this year. He had been presiding elder on the 
district which extended from New- York to Canada. 
As Mr. Hutchinson located we have no account of 
him in the Minutes, but by conversing with men of 
olden time, who will not be with us long to repeat 
the story, I have found out much concerning this dis- 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1800. 527 

languished servant of God that has never appeared in 
print before. 

There were three brothers in the itinerant ministry, 
'Sylvester, Robert, and Aaron. An old preacher 
"whom time has shaken by the hand, who was well 
acquainted with the Hutchinson family, says they 
were born in Burlington County, New Jersey. There 
was a very large family of them. Their grandmother 
lived to a good old age. On her tombstone is the 
following inscription : 

EST MEMORY OF 

MRS. ANN HUTCHINSON, 

RELICT OF WILLIAM HUTCHINSON, 

Mother of thirteen children, 

Grandmother and Great-great-grandmother of upward of three 

hundred children. 

She died, 

Aged a hundred and one years, nine months, and seven days, 

in January, 1801. 

Since the Rev. Noble W Thomas gave me this 
description I find that Bishop Asbury names this ex- 
traordinary woman, and the epitaph upon her tomb- 
stone. The bishop says that at "about eighty she, 
in a great degree, lost her sight ; about ninety it re- 
turned. Her hair changed a few years ago from 
white to dark brown. I have seen her and conversed 
with her. At this advanced age she did not appear 
to be weary of the world." — Journal, vol. iii, p. 66. 



528 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

In regard to preaching, Aa'ron was considered the 
best preacher, the most able of the three. I have a 
letter of his before me, to Rev. Thomas Morrell, 
which exhibits a very pure spirit, and shows the 
character of the man. He was in the work only four 
years. He was received in 1787, arid died in 1791. 

Mr. Hutchinson had a clear head and a warm 
heart. He exhibited gospel simplicity and godly 
sincerity, was blameless in life, and triumphant in 
death. 

Robert was sometimes pathetic, then he was ter- 
rific. Sinai was introduced to his auditors, and you 
could hear the deep-toned thunder and see the vivid 
lightning flashing around you. In preaching at a 
certain place, some ugly fellows of the baser sort 
were determined to stay in class-meeting and break 
up the meeting. Some of the members were alarmed. 
Mr. Hutchinson said, " Let them be." He then 
turned upon them, as Jesus did, when he said : " 'Ye 
serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape 
the damnation of hell ?" His manner was awful, de- 
scribing hell ; and he dealt in death and destruction 
in such -a manner that the rowdies were alarmed. 
He was very affectionate in families ; he took par- 
ticular notice of the children. 

Sylvester was a very able minister of the New 
Testament. He was a "son of thunder." Some- 
times he was as rough as a grater. He gave the peo- 
ple strong meat. He battled nobly for God and 



METHODISM IN NEW- YORK IN 1800. 529 

'truth, for a number of years. He was a man of small 
stature, and yet had a powerful voice, and was not 
afraid to use it. He was the traveling companion of 
Bishop "Whatcoat and Bishop Asbury. Mr. Hutchin- 
son joined the conference in 1789, and after having 
performed a vast amount of hard labor, that would 
have broken down any ordinary man, he located in 
1806. He was Bishop Hedding's first presiding 
elder, and he always spoke of him in the mostexalted 
terms. The following incident, that took place on 
Salem Circuit, N. J., the first Mr. Hutchinson ever 
traveled, will show his character. He was sitting 
one day in a house, waiting for the hour of preaching, 
when two' young women entered the room, and seemed 
inclined to have some sport with the boy-preacher. 
They began to ridicule his size, and his insignificant 
appearance, when, suddenly raising his head from a 
reclining posture, he repeated, in slow and solemn 
tones, these impressive words : 

"My thoughts on awful subjects roll, 

Damnation and the dead ; 
What horrors seize the guilty soul 

Upon, a dying bed." 

His voice, his gesture, his manner, showed the deep 
feelings of his heart. The young women were power- 
fully convicted, fled into another room, fell on their 
knees begging for mercy, and rested not till they 
found a shelter in the bosom of the Son of God. 



530 METHODISM IN NEW-YOKK IN 1800. 

When Mr. Hutchinson was presiding elder of the 
New- York District, he frequently put up in what was 
called " Methodist taverns," where he shared in the 
hospitality of the people, and his bill was ever paid in 
advance. He was frequently entertained at the 
house of Samuel Jones, Esq., father-in-law of the 
Eev. Tobias Spicer, who resided in Peekskill Hollow. 
The family were always pleased with their guest, and 
in the bosom of this family he felt at home. On his 
tour round his district, at a certain time, Mr. Hutch- 
inson came to the house of Mr. Jones, and he and his 
family were all away ; their house was left desolate, 
At that time people left home without locking their 
doors, taking it for granted that all would be safe 
when they returned. They were about as secure as 
we are in these days of " bars, bolts, locks, keys," etc. 
When the family returned they were astonished to 
find their house had been entered by burglars, or 
some one else, and they found some one had been 
writing on the table with chalk, which, on examina- 
tion, read thus: 

"Sylvester Hutchinson has been here ; 
He's done no harm, you need not fear ; 
He's fed his horse with hay and grain ; 
He's eaten dinner, and gone again." 

The family were much pleased with the liberty Mr. 
Hutchinson had taken in going to the barn and feed- 
ing his horse with hay and oats, and entering the 
" buttery " and helping himself to the substantials of 



Methodism in new-york in isoo. 531 

life, as well as with the amusing lines upon the 
table. 

The cause of Mr. Hutchinson's location was a pain- 
ful one. There were many ministers who located at 
that period, some for the want of support and some 
for other causes ; and I have often wondered why 
Sylvester Hutchinson, who was a host in himself, and 
did such noble service for God and truth, should so 
suddenly retire from the ranks and go into the shade. 
I have just learned why. It is another illustration 
of the saying, " the course of true love never runs 
smooth." My friend, Rev. Tobias Spicer, knew Mr. 
Hutchinson well, and is acquainted with the circum- 
stances that led to his location. He was engaged to 
be married to an amiable young lady, who was will- 

* 

ing to give her hand to and share in the fortunes of a 
Methodist preacher. She belonged to one of the first 
families in the state, who were rather aristocratic, 
belonging to what they considered the " upper crust." 
They thought it would be degrading to the family, 
lowering their dignity, for one of them to unite their 
fortunes with a Methodist preacher. However, the 
day was fixed for the wedding and the guests were 
invited. A brother made such tremendous opposi- 
tion that the wedding was given up, and all thoughts 
of their union abandoned. 

Mr. Hutchinson must have been more than steel to 
have endured this. The shock was great, the disap- 
pointment wonderful. ' It so preyed upon hini that 



532 METHODISM IN NEW-YORK IN 1800. 

he left his work and went West, and entered into a 
land agency. When he returned, no one invited him 
to resume his work, to re-enter the itinerant field, 
and he concluded his services were not wanted. 
For years he labored as a local preacher. After a 
while he entered into the book business, and, in part- 
nership with the late Daniel Fenton, of Trenton, 
1ST. J., he published a " History of the Bible," which 
was sold to subscribers. Mr. Spicer often heard him 
preach. He would begin in a low tone of voice, and 
then raise it to the highest pitch, till he screamed, 
and then it was rather disagreeable. 

Mr. Hutchinson was a curious, observing man, and 
always had something interesting to communicate. 
He was a fine-looking man, with a very intelligent 
countenance. A* few years ago he died. His history 
after his location shows the exceeding danger of min- 
isters leaving their legitimate calling. The history of 
many men who have left the great work to which 
God has called them should be a warning to others. 
Ministers should never think of locating till they lo- 
cate in the neighborhood of the throne of God. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 533 



CHAPTER LYIII. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

Further Particulars of WilliarnLupton — Birth-place — An Officer of the 
British Army — Associated with Captain "Wehb — Soldiers together -*• 
His first Marriage — Children — Death of his Wife — His Second Mar- 
riage — Children — Grandchildren — Origin of his famous Motto — 
His Death — ■ Character' — 'The Property he owned in John-street still 
in the Hands of his Descendants — John Chave — Original Subscriber 
— Trustee — History — -Character — End — Letter from Dr. Johnson. 

My venerable friend, Bishop Waugh, wrote me a let- 
ter, most heartily approving of the work in which I 
was engaged, advising me to give sketches of the 
laity Who were associated with old John-street 
Church in advancing early Methodism in the city of 
New- York. They deserve a notice as well as the 
ministry. I have endeavored to do so with brevity, 
but will now devote a few chapters expressly to 
them. They were rare characters ; noble men and 
noble women, whose names are in the book of life. 

I have obtained further particulars of "William 
Lupton, # the old trustee, from his grandson, Samuel 
Eoosevelt Johnson, D.D., of the Protestant Episcopal 
Theological Seminary of this city. The dates con- 
cerning William Lupton are correct, for they were 
written by his own hand, and he was a very accurate 



534 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

man. I have given an account of him on pages 75 
and 329, which is generally correct as far as it goes, 
but far from being complete ; but now we have full 
particulars; and such was his relation to the first 
church, his prominence in the society, his use- 
fulness in the erection of the first Methodist house 
of worship in America, and his. association and inti- 
macy with Captain Webb and Philip Embury, that it 
gives to his history a far more than ordinary interest, 
and justifies us in occupying a little more space in 
recording it. 

William Lupton was born at Crofstone, Lancashire, 
England, March 11, 1728, and was baptized the 7th 
of April following. In 1753 he came to America, as 
quartermaster, under King George II., in the fifty- 
fifth regiment of foot. He had another appointment 
as ensign in the forty-third, regiment. His commis- 
sion is dated May 2, 1760. 

Mr. Lupton was a little less than six feet high, and 
had a very large head, which was bald during the lat- 
ter part of his life ; he had a very massive frame, and 
a fine, officer-like appearance. Mr. Elbert Her- 
ring, of this city, eighty-four years of age, remembers 
him well, and has given the above description of him. 
He is the only person in New- York that I have found 
who recollects him, though I have asked scores of the 
oldest inhabitants. 

Mr. Lupton was in the war with Captain Webb. 
They were in the same regiment, and Captain Webb 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY. 535 

was his commanding officer. There they became 
acquainted and intimate friends, and in after years 
were soldiers of the cross together, and fought, side 
by side, the battles of the Lord and of early Method- 
ism. The Methodists in New- York and in America 
little know how deeply they are indebted to William 
Lupton and Captain Webb, these old commissioned 
officers in the British army. 

Mr. Lupton came to New- York, and found some- 
thing that prolonged his stay in America, and made 
it his future home. He formed the acquaintance of 
Johanna, daughter of Brant Schuyler, and a relation 
of the distinguished General Schuyler. On the 31st 
of August, 1761, Miss Schuyler became Mrs. William 
Lupton. The Rev. John Ritzman, of the Reformed 
Dutch Church, performed the ceremony. They were 
blessed with five children. Their eldest son, Brant 
Schuyler Lupton, was born October 15, 1762. He 
became a minister in the Reformed Dutch Church, 
and died October 4, 1790. 

William Lupton's son Samuel was born January 
13, 17-67. His name is on the " old book,'* where he 
received money for.his father. He was a promising 
young man, and was either a preacher of the Gospel 
or was preparing for the ministry when he met with 
a sad end. He was on board of a sloop, sailing on 
the Hudson River, when the boom suddenly shifted 
and struck the young man, and he was thrown into 
the river and drowned. He was then twenty-two 



536 BIOGKAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

years of age. His death occurred June 8, 1789. 
They were blessed with two other children, who died 
in their infancy. 

Not two months after Mr. Boardman arrived in 
New- York death- entered the family of Mr. Lupton, 
and his beloved Johanna died December 27, 1769, at 
the early age of twenty-seven. 

Mr. Lupton married again October 19, 1770. He 
was united to Mrs. Elizabeth Eoosevelt. Mr. Lupton 
was her third husband. Her first was Dominie 
Frelinghuysen, of Albany, who was drowned in re- 
turning from Holland. The second was Peter Roose- 
velt, Sen. By him she was blessed with one son, 
Peter Eoosevelt, Jr., who was for some time a mem- 
ber of John-street Church. He moved on to Long 
Island, and, as there was no Methodist church, he 
attended the Reformed Dutch, where he heard the 
minister preach infant damnation, and was so hor- 
ror-struck that he would not hear him again or 
attend his church ; so he went to the Episcopal 
Church, and he and his descendants became Episco- 
palians. Mr. Lup ton's second wife was the daughter 
of Lancaster Syms, a vestryman of Trinity Church. 
The Rev. Dr. Ogilvie, of Trinity Church, married an- 
other daughter of Mr. Syms. 

Mr. and Mrs. Lupton were blest with six children, 
five sons and one daughter. William was the eldest. 
He was born October 12, 1771. He passed through 
many a checkered scene, some of the time in afflu- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 537 

ence, then in poverty. He died in peace 'in "Wiscon- 
sin, March 3, 1853. He was a man of very fine 
talents. Their daughter's name was Elizabeth. She 
was born Dec. 23, 1777. Elizabeth was beautiful 
and lovely. She won the heart of the Rev. John B. 
Johnson, of the Reformed Dutch Church. . One of 
the most charming, letters I ever read was from the 
pen of Mr. Johnson to Mrs. Vm, Lupton, asking the 
privilege of marrying her only daughter Elizabeth. 
This was granted, and the union was a happy one. 
Mrs. Johnson died March 31, 1833. Her daughter 
Maria was married to the Rev. E. M. Johnson, of 
Brooklyn. 

William Lupton owned property in John-street, 
next the parsonage, and used to reside in it. At a 
certain time there was a fire in that neighborhood, 
and both the Methodist church and his house were 
in danger. The firemen were trying to protect his 
house, and he told them to save the church first, 
thus uttering the beautiful motto to which we have 
called the attention of the reader before: "The 
Church first, then my family." 

Though the " old trustee " has been dead over 
threescore years, and although almost all kinds of 
real estate in ISfew-York has changed hands over and 
over again, that property in John-street, next to the 
old parsonage, still belongs to the descendants of Mr. 
Lupton. It is owned by Judge Samuel E. Johnson, 
of Brooklyn, having been bequeathed to him by 



538 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY. 

Peter Roosevelt, who inherited it from William 
Lupton, his stepfather. 

The other children of Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson are 
the Rev. "William Lupton Johnson, D. D., who was 
named after his grandfather, and his brother, the 
Rev. Samuel Roosevelt Johnson, D. D., of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Theological Seminary of New- York. 

Mr. Lupton, as we have seen, died on the 3d of 
April, 1796, in the city of New- York. His widow 
died December 24, 1801. "William Lupton was a 
man who commanded great respect. He was ec- 
centric. He wore a red velvet cap, and ruffles 
around his wrists, which gave him a kind of officer- 
like and gentlemanly appearance. Some of the old 
Methodists did not fancy this ; thought it was con- 
forming too much to the world. Mr. Lupton was 
very much set in his way ; when he took a stand, 
there was no moving him. But he was a good man, 
and did nobly in the cause of God. The " old 
trustee," and his wives, Johanna and Elizabeth, and 
their ten children, sleep in the grave, reminding us 
that one generation goeth and another cometh, and 
that we also are " passing away." 

Brant Schuyler Lupton left a son, Samuel, and 
this is the one Miss Snethen speaks of, whom she 
supposed was the son of the " old trustee." It was 
his grandson. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 539 



JOHN CHAVE. 

His name appears on the "old book" as an 
original subscriber to John-street Preaching-house. 
He gave five pounds. Afterward he was a very 
useful trustee. He gave, and also lent money to 
the trustees. I read his name there, but found none 
that knew him or his history till I saw Dr. Johnson, 
who was personally acquainted with him. He has 
written a letter concerning him containing facts so 
interesting that I insert it entire. The letters to 
which he alludes I have read, and they show the 
character of Mr. Chave, that he possessed much of 
the spirit of his Master, who was meek and lowly. 

" General Theological Seminaet, Dee. 18, 1857. 

"Rev. and Deak Me. Wakeley, — I send you the in- 
formation which I have been able to gather about my 
grandfather, Wm. Lupton, and Mr. John Chave. It 
is hastily and unmethodically thrown together. Just 
use the account as material in any way you prefer. 
The account of Mr. Ch^ve is given from my own 
memory, from what Mr. Lupton, my uncle, has told 
in my hearing, and from Mr. Elbert Herring, who 
now, at about the age of eighty-four, lives at 31 East 
Twenty-eighth-street. 

" Mr. John Chave was a British officer, who came 
over to America about the time of the old French 

war. While yet in the army he was converted to 

24 



540 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY. 

God, and from that time his course was most decided 
as a faithful, religious man. I never knew a man, 
said my informant, (Elbert Herring, Esq.,) more 
entirely devoted to the Lord : his Christian spirit 
manifested itself in all he did ; he seemed to live for 
Christ alone. I send you three of his letters to *Wm. 
Lupton, Jr., and to Elizabeth Lupton, then married 
to Rev. John B. Johnson, and to her husband, dated 
1797, all thoroughly pervaded with devout affection. 
Capt. Webb, ¥m. Lupton, and himself having been 
comrades in the British army, were bound still more 
closely together as soldiers of Jesus Christ. Mr. 
Chave had a very strong attachment to John "Wesley, 
and was noted even among the Methodists them- 
selves, for his singular admiration of him. Mr. 
Chave's intimacy with the Lupton family continued 
after the death of his friend. For some years he 
lived at Newark, ~N. J. He had property quite suf- 
ficient for his support, in the use of which he was 
frugal in his own expenses and generous to others. 
His property became involved by the misfortunes of 
Wm. Lupton, Jr., with whom an arrangement was 
made for his support. Under this arrangement he 
resided some years in the village of Greenwich, a 
suburb of New- York. He then joined Wm. Lupton, 
in Walton, Delaware County, and resided a year or 
two with him till he died, not far from eighty-six 
years old, I think about the year 1816. He is buried 
in Walton. It was said of him by an intimate friend, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 541 

to whom he was accustomed to speak of his religious 
experiences, that whenever he waked at night he 
spent the time in prayer. A few weeks before he 
died he was heard, at midnight, by the family, sing- 
ing his favorite hymns. In the morning Mr. Lupton 
said to him, ' You felt quite like singing last night, 
Father Chave.' ' O yes,' was the good old man's 
reply, ' I felt so happy in the Lord I could not help 
singing.' 

" I remember him in my childhood, sitting in his 
arm-chair on the piazza of Peter Roosevelt's farm- 
house at Newtown, in 1807, and my memory yet 
readily brings up to the mind his venerable form 
and whitened locks. 

"Truly, the John-street Church may rejoice with 
holy joy, in having had such a member or such a 
trustee as the old officer, John Chave. 

" Most truly and respectfully, and with the kindest 
wishes, your friend and brother, 

" S. E. Johnson." 



542 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH K8 OF THE LAITY. 



CHAPTER LIX. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHE# OF THE LAITY CON- 
TINUED. 

Paul and Hannah Hick — Philip I. Arcularius — Sketch of — His 
Daughter Maria — Character — -Death of — Tablet — Thomas Carpenter 
— Sketch of — His peaceful End — His "Wife — Honorable Testimony 
of the Missionary Board concerning these three Fathers in Israel. 




We promised in the former part of this volume to 
give a more particular account of this distinguished 
servant of God. In early youth he emigrated to this 
country with his parents from Ireland, and was iden- 
tified with American Methodism from the beginning. 
His brother John was a member of the society soon 
after its organization, and in a few years died in 
triumph. Mr. Hick's name appears on the "old 
book" from the first, as we have seen he was one of 
the original subscribers. In 1774 he was married to 
Hannah Dean, in whom he found a genial companion. 
Soon after the War he was appointed a class- 
leader, and for nearly thirty years he filled the office 
of a trustee in the Methodist Episcopal Church. Both 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 543 

of these offices he held to the day of his death, and 
always discharged the duties of these stations with 
integrity and general satisfaction. His last sick- 
ness was painful and lingering, but grace thrived 
while nature was decaying. He freely conversed 
with his family about his death, with the same com- 
posure that he would have spoken about his ordinary 
business. He gave them particular directions about 
his funeral, requiring them to have it plain, observing 
that he was a plain man, and did not wish to have any 
show. His death was very triumphant. Three hours 
before his death he repeated : 

" Jesus, lover of my soul, 

Let me to thy bosom fly, 
While the nearer waters roll, 

While the tempest still is high ; 
Hide me, my Saviour, hide, 

Till the storm of life is past ; 
Safe into the haven guide, 

O receive my soul at last." 

About an hour after he said, with a smiling counte- 
nance, " Glory to God ! the blood of Jesus cleanses 
and purifies ; the Lord Jesus gives the victory." At 
last he closed his own eyes, and, pillowing his head 
on the bosom of Jesus, sweetly fell asleep. 

His wife was a most estimable woman ; she was 
like Hannah of old, very devout. For many years 
she was leader of a little band. Her band-papers, 
with the names, and the times persons attended, lie 



544 BIOGBAPHICAL .SKETCHES OP THE LAITY. 

before me. Some of them are over sixty years old. 
She survived her aged partner a few years, and then 
went to join him in the spirit land. Their house was 
for many years the home of the itinerant minister; 
his parlors witnessed the hearty welcomes they re- 
ceived. He enjoyed the friendship of, and corre- 
sponded with Dickins, Roberts, Sargent, Wells, Coate, 
M'Claskey, and many others with whom he was on 
terms of intimacy. 

He died on March 16, 1825, aged seventy-three 
years. At the time of his death Mr. Hick had been 
fifty-five years a member of the Methodist Society, 
and was at that time the oldest member in New- York 
city, except his beloved Hannah, who was in Christ 
before him. Their remains have been removed to 
New-Rochelle. Their children are dead. Some of 
their grandchildren are members of the Methodist 
Church. 





Mr. Arcularius deserves a place among the pillars 
of the Church for his many virtues. He emigrated 
from Germany to this country in the days of his 
youth. By attention to his calling, his honesty and 
integrity, he established a reputation among his 
acquaintance, which gained their confidence and 
esteem; and though he became- the father of a num- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 545 

ber of children, he not only gave them a Christian 
education, but acquired for them a very considerable 
patrimony, which he bequeathed to them at his 
death. He lived, however, to see them established 
in life, and some of them he has left walking in the 
ways of piety. 

Previous to his becoming a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, which was in the year 
1787, he was a member of the German Lutheran 
Church in this city, at that time under the pastoral 
charge of Dr. Kounzie. From the time he became a 
member of our Church to the period of his death, he 
maintained a uniform character for piety, was irre- 
proachable in his morals, and exemplary in his Chris- 
tian deportment. He became a trustee in the church 
and the leader of a class, which offices he filled with 
credit to himself and to the general satisfaction of his 
brethren. He loved the country of his adoption and 
had the confidence of his fellow-citizens, so they sent 
him as representative to the state Legislature for 
several years. 

But as a Christian his character shines with peculiar 
luster. Mr. Arcularius's name is seen frequently on 
the " old book," showing his usefulness to the Church 
in lending them money, and in various other ways. 

About four years before his death he was 
afflicted by the loss of the companion of his youth. 
About a year after he was married to the widow 
of the late Kev. Francis Ward, who proved a solace 



546 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH KS OF THE LAITY. 

to him in his declining days. He died March 9, 
1825, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, almost 
fourscore. His friend and brother, Paul Hick, with 
whom he had so long worshiped on earth, and him- 
self were not long separated; they were soon re- 
united in the other world, there being only seven 
days' difference in their d«aths. 

He was the father of Mrs. Maria Harper, late wife 
of the Hon. James Harper, and of Mrs. Samuel 
Harper, who still survives. Mrs. James Harper was 
one of the purest and loveliest women that ever 
adorned the Church or blessed the world. In the 
church in John-street is a beautiful tablet erected to 
her memory, which has on it the following inscrip- 
tion: 

IN MEMORY OF 

MARIA, Wife of Hon. JAMES HARPER, 

Who died Maeoh 4, 1847, 
In the fifty-second year of her age. 

In her character there were beautifully blended and happily 
illustrated, in more than ordinary symmetry, the graces of our 
holy Christianity. Her adorning was the ornament of a meek and 
quiet spirit. She was zealous, yet unassuming ; retiring, yet ready 
to every good work ; generous, sympathizing, kind. When the 
summons for her departure came, it found her resigned and tran- 
quil, and she entered into rest in great peace, and with a brilliant 
hope of a glorious resurrection and everlasting life through our 
Lord Jesus Christ. 

KEEOTED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE JOHN-STREET OHUBOH. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 547 




Should have a place among the noble men of early 
Methodism in this city. He was born on Long Island 
in 1757, and was converted to God at the age of 
twenty-five, and united with the Methodist Church. 
In early life he was in the coasting business ; but 
there was no swearing on board his ship. During 
the war of the Revolution he was a genuine patriot. 
He had the confidence of his fellow-citizens, who for 
several years elected him alderman, and also sent 
him as a representative to the state Legislature. 
While he discharged the duties of a statesman and 
civilian he did not forget his high obligations as a 
Christian. 

Mr. Carpenter was President of the Assistance 
Society for the relief of the sick poor, one of the 
founders of the Methodist Charity School, and one of 
the first managers of the American Bible Society. 
He was a conscientious Methodist, an affectionate 
leader, and a faithful trustee. 

Mr. Carpenter was the friend of the poor. He met 
with reverses of fortune, acquired wealth and then 
lost it. God honored him in his son, the late Rev. 
Charles W Carpenter, of the New- York Confer- 
ence : a most excellent man, possessing a " meek 

24* 



548 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

and quiet spirit, which, in the sight of God, is of 
great price." 

He married for his second wife the widow of Mr. 
John Houseman. She was born in 1752. She expe- 
rienced religion, while partaking of the sacrament 
at St. Paul's Church, in 1788. Soon after she united 
with the Methodist Society. During the war of 
the Revolution she was left a widow, her first 
husband dying suddenly soon after their marriage. 
Mrs. Houseman was left with an abundance. Her 
house was the pilgrim's home. She was "given to 
hospitality," and distributed to the necessity of 
saints ; she was " well reported of for good works ; 
she brought up children, lodged strangers, washed 
the saints' feet, relieved the afflicted, diligently fol- 
lowed every good work." 

In 1808 she was married to Mr. Carpenter, and 
was an " helpmeet indeed." Mrs. Carpenter was a 
most blessed woman, an angel of mercy. Many beds 
of sickness and abodes of sorrow she visited; many a 
tearshe wiped from the cheek of the sorrowful. ISTo 
doubt she will be found among the number to whom 
Jesus will say, " I was sick, and ye visited me ; a 
stranger, and ye took me in; poor, and ye minis- 
tered unto me." Mrs. Mary Carpenter will long be 
remembered and long regretted. She was indeed a 
mother in Israel. She died in 1825, a few months 
before her husband, in the seventy-third year of her 
pilgrimage. She told him, when dying, he would 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP THE LAITY. 549 

not long survive her. Her prediction was true. 
He died in the faith, in April, 1825, aged sixty-eight 
years. Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in death 
they were not long divided. 

Most honorable mention is made of these three de- 
parted fathers in the Sixth Annual Report of the Mis- 
sionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
After many encouraging remarks, it says : " These 
cheering reflections are, however, somewhat inter- 
rupted by the mournful thought that no less than 
three members of the board have gone to their eternal 
home since your last anniversary. But even in this 
mournful thought they are comforted from the con- 
viction that these all died in the Lord, and therefore 
that their ' work of faith and labor of love ' follow 
them, as evidences of their fidelity in their Master's 
work. The brethren, Philip I. Arcularius, aged 
seventy-eight, Paul Hick, aged seventy-two, and 
Thomas Carpenter, aged sixty-eight, have left names 
behind them that vibrate upon the lips of the pious 
with sorrowful delight. The living hear of it and 
rejoice. They long went in and out before their 
brethren, exhibiting the bright example of constancy 
and fervency in the cause of God, and in their death 
gave evidence of the power and efficacy of Divine 
grace to qualify the soul to die in peace, and in the 
full hope of immortal life. While the board thus 
pay a mournful tribute of respect to the venerable 
dead, they rejoice in being able to recognize among 



550 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF 5EHE LAITT. 

the living, 'young men who are strong, who have 
overcome the wicked one,' and who are rising up 
under the influence of the same spirit of faith and of 
a sound mind, to fill the vacated stations in the 
Church of God." 



BIOGBAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 551 



CHAPTER LX. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY CON- 
TINUED. 

Abraham Eussel — Birth-place — Sketch of his History — Character — 
Usefulness in building Churches — His Children — Daniel Smith, and 
Hester Eussel — Their triumphant Death — Death of Mr. Eussel — 
Israel Disosway — Descendant of the Huguenots — Merchant — Held 
various Offices in the Church — Usefulness — Death — Funeral Sermon 
— His Wife — Excellent "Woman — Distinguished for Plainness — Death 
— Their Children — Robert Barry — Joseph Smith —History — Charac- 
ter — End — Tablet Inscription. 




It is very refreshing to contemplate so fine a charac- 
ter as Abraham Eussel. He was born in Shrewsbury, 
N. J., January 8, 1746, but early removed to New- 
York. He married Hilah Elseworth, who was nine 
years younger than himself. Mr. Eussel used to 
attend at the "Eigging Loft," and there heard Cap- 
tain Webb and Philip Embury. He was formerly an 
Episcopalian. In the early part of the Eevolutionary 
War he moved his family into West Chester County ; 
but they were annoyed there by both parties, the 
British and Americans, so they returned to the city. 



552 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF^ ( THE LAITY. 

and found their house occupied by British officers. 
Mr. Eussel had not made himself offensive to the 
British ; they considered him quite conservative, and 
he went to the commander of the army who or- 
dered the officers to vacate the house of Mr. Russel. 
They did so. Mr. Russel's family then took posses- 
sion of it, and remained there for many years. It 
was in Liberty-street, opposite the sugar-house where 
the prisoners were confined, and where they suffered 
a thousand deaths. Mrs. Russel's brother, John Else- 
worth, was among the number. Mrs. Russel secretly 
fed the prisoners. 

Mr. and Mrs. Russel were blessed with twelve chil- 
dren. One was a preacher, the Rev. John Russel, 
who died of consumption, May 5, 1813. Hester mar- 
ried the Rev. Daniel Smith, a preacher who traveled 
several, years, and then located in New-York. Mr. 
and Mrs. Smith died in triumph. Mrs. Grace Shot- 
well was with them both in their last hours, and 
describes their last end as very triumphant. Mr. 
Russel's children are all dead, except Theophilus, 
who resides in the city of New- York. 

Mr. Russel joined the Methodists in 1782, and in 
1783 was elected a trustee ; and such was the con- 
fidence his brethren had in him he was re-elected 
from that time till the last year of his life, when he 
declined in consequence of increasing infirmities. His 
name appears on the "old book" hundreds of times. 
He was first elected trustee in the place of Charles 



BIOGEAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 553 

White, who went to Nova Scotia at the close of the 
War. No one has ever done more to advance the 
temporal interests of the Methodist Church in New- 
York City than Abraham Eussel. He was a builder, 
and he superintended the building of eight Methodist 
churches in New- York, without fee or reward. His 
business talents were great, and he had the confi- 
dence of the public. He was a man of sterling in- 
tegrity, of great moral worth. He was for many 
years a most efficient leader, greatly beloved by his 
class. Fifteen months before his death he was pros- 
trated by a stroke of paralysis, from which he never 
recovered. But he glorified God in the fires. He 
waited patiently the summons of his God, and on 
November 28, 1833, in the eighty-eighth year of his 
age, he was dismissed from earth and introduced into 
the presence of his Lord, where there is fullness of joy, 
and at whose right hand are pleasures for evermore. 
His wife survived him nine years, and then died in the 
eighty-eighth year of her age. His son Theophilus 
Bays he never heard from his father that Wesley 
Chapel was closed or converted into barracks during 
the Eevolutionary War ; but, on the contrary, that it 
was open for worship. 



554 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF f THE LAITY. 



P**J#< 




Iskael Disosway was another pillar in the Church. 
He was a lineal descendant of the Huguenots. For 
many years he was a trustee and class-leader in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. He was distinguished 
for humility and modesty. Mr. Disosway was a 
useful citizen, an upright merchant, a sincere Chris- 
tian, and left behind him a name better than great 
riches, and the luster of a pious example. He mar- 
ried Anna Doty, who was twenty-one years old when 
they were united in holy matrimony. Mr. Disosway 
had the honor of introducing Methodism into Staten 
Island. He was the leader of the first class formed 
on the island, the first quarterly meeting was held in 
his bam, and the timbers of the first Methodist church 
built on Staten Island were cut from his trees. Mr. 
Disosway, after having been very useful, died in 
peace in New-York city in June, 1815. His funeral 
sermon was preached by the Rev. Joshua Marsden, 
(who was detained in this country in consequence of 
the war,) from " Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom 
is no guile." He was buried in the vault of a very 
dear friend of his family, Mrs. Courtney, in the bury- 
ing ground in Forsyth-street. 

Mrs. Disosway, in simplicity of manners and plain- 
ness and neatness of dress, presented a specimen of 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY. 555 

primitive Methodism. She was not only a good wife, 
but an excellent mother, training up her children for 
God and educating them for immortality. 

" Her house 
"Was order'd well, her children taught the way 
Of life ; who, rising up in honor, call'd 
Her blessed." 

Nor did she confine her labors to the domestic circle. 
The poor found in her a friend. She was " careful to 
maintain good works." For several years she was 
a member and treasurer of the Female Assistance 
Society. She died in triumph on February 15, 1838, 
in -the seventy-second year of her age. She was a 
member of John-street Church for nearly half a cen- 
tury. The Rev. JSTathan Bangs preached her funeral 
sermon in John-street Church, from Prov. xxxi, 27, 
28 : " She looketh well to the ways of her household, 
and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children 
arise up, and call her blessed ; her husband also, and 
he praiseth her." She lived to see her four sons and 
their wives, and some of their children, converted to 
God. The sons' names are Gabriel P., Cornelius R., 
William Phoebus, and Israel Doty Disosway. 

ROBERT BARRY 

Was an excellent man, and very useful in the John- 
street Church. When Israel Disosway came to this 
city he was quite young, and Mr. Barry exhibited 



556 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP THE LAITY. 

a peculiar interest in his welfare, and threw his 
mantle over him. Mr. Disosway never forgot it, but 
ever acknowledged his indebtedness to him. Mr. 
Bar^ry afterward went to Nova Scotia. He married 
a sister of the Rev. William Jessop, missionary to 
Nova Scotia. 

Is a name familiar as household words to the early 
Methodists in New- York. He was born on Long 
Island, February 11, 1765. Mr. Smith was a mem- 
ber of John-street Church over fifty years. He 
was an efficient leader, a faithful trustee, and an 
excellent steward. He did much for the Church, 
both in temporal and spiritual things. Mr. Smith 
was emphatically the servant of the Church. He 
was president of the board of trustees for several 
years. He was honored with a seat in the Legisla-. 
ture of the state as a representative, but he carried 
his religidfi with him. 

Mr. Smith was a local preacher. I once heard 
him preach a good sermon from, " Agree with thine 
adversary quickly," etc. He was deeply interested 
in camp meetings, and superintended the tents and 
their arrangement on the ground. This he did for 
years gratuitously. 

The late John M. Smith, formerly professor in the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 55T 

Wesleyan University, who was a fine scholar and a 
gentleman, was son of this old patriarch in Israel. 
If I wished to draw the portrait of Father Smith at 
one stroke, I would say, " Behold an Israelite in- 
deed, in whom is no guile." His death was as 
peaceful as his life had been pure. When he was 
aware that the time of his departure was at hand, he 
shouted aloud the praises of God, and gave direc- 
tions concerning his funeral. He said : " I want no 
pomp, no parade, no scarfs ; I want the preachers 
stationed in the city to attend ; the place, whether 
here or at the church, I leave with my brethren ; 
but tell the brethren, all is well ! glory to God, all is 
well ! And tell the congregation to be sure and make 
a death-bed friend of Christ, for I find him all-suffi- 
cient now." Soon after angels whispered, 

"Sister spirit, come away;" 

and away his happy spirit fled to the bosom of his 
God. Mr. Smith was so highly esteemed that a 
tablet was placed in the church edifice in John-street 
with the following inscription : 

SAOEED TO THE MBMOET OF 

JOSEPH SMITH, ESQ., 

Who departed this life on the 28th day of May, A. D. 1840, 

Aged 75 years. 

" The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." 

BEECTED IN JOHN-STEEET BY THE TRUSTEES. 



558 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF; THE LAITY. 



CHAPTER LXI. 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY CON- 
CLUDED. 

Andrew Mercein — His History, Character, and End — George Suckley — 
Sketch, of — Character — Gilbert Coutant — Brief Description of — 
Stephen Dando — Mary Dando — William Mead — William Cooper — 
Early Women of Methodism — Longevity of the early Methodists. 

was of Swiss descent. His parents came to this coun- 
try from Geneva in 1756, and, like many Huguenot 
families, settled in New Rochelle. Andrew, their 
son, was born there in 1763. The family removed 
to New- York City soon after his birth. His father 
left his family to visit New-Orleans, with a view 
of settling there. Whether he reached hisplace of 
destination is unknown, as he was never heard from 
after. His wife, a stranger in a foreign land, year 
after year looked for his return in vain ; an impene- 
trable mystery is thrown over- his end. Young An- 
drew was but a boy when the -Revolutionary "War 
commenced. At the age of sixteen he was pressed 
and put on board a British man-of-war lying in the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 559 

Hudson River. Determined not to fight against his 
country, he seized an opportunity, one dark night, to 
escape. He stripped himself, and tying his clothes 
on his back, he dropped from the deck into the 
water, and began to swim for the shore. His escape 
was immediately discovered, and they fired several 
shots at him as he was swimming boldly for terra 
firma, but, most fortunately, none of them hit him, and 
with the greatest delight he reached the land in safety. 

Mr. Mercein was familiar with the stirring and 
trying scenes of the Revolutionary War. He was an 
apprentice to a baker who made bread for the army. 
He stated that a part of the time during the war, 
there was a great scarcity of bread ; that the Cork 
provision fleet overstayed their time, and he dealt 
_put sixpenny loaves as fast as he could for a hard 
half dollar apiece. The baker at that time gave 
twenty dollars a hundred weight for flour. They had 
to make oatmeal bread for the navy. Often, Mr. 
Mercein said, he saw the people pay seven shillings 
a pound for butter, which before the war was only two 
shillings. He saw the British evacuate New-York, 
and Washington and his noble compeers enter the 
city in triumph. 

Mr. Mercein was awakened under the powerful 
preaching of Dr. J. H. Livingston of the Reformed 
Dutch Church, but through the influence of two 
young men older than himself, Israel Disosway and 
Robert Barry, he was induced to attend John-street 



560 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

preaching-house, and cast in his lot among the 
Methodists. This he did in 1786. He was inti- 
mately acquainted with Dr. Coke and Francis As- 
bury, and others, and was full of reminiscences of 
the early days of Methodism. 

Mr. Mercein's name often occurs in the " old book," 
showing he was a useful officer of the Church. He 
was a trustee for many years. Though he was a 
conscientious Methodist, yet he possessed a very 
catholic spirit, and said with Paul, " Grace be with 
all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." 
Wherever bigotry dwelt, it found no home in the 
bosom of Andrew Mercein ; and yet he did all H$ 
could to promote Methodism, believing it to be 
" Christianity in earnest." 

He aided in the erection of Forsyth-street, Duane- 
street, and Bowery Tillage churches. He was a 
most efficient class-leader. Mary Snethen said to 
me : " Mr. Mercein was my first class-leader, and he 
was an excellent one; I never had a better." He 
was her leader over fifty years ago. 

After residing in New- York thirty years he 
removed to Brooklyn, and connected himself with 
Sands-street Church, and was very useful in advanc- 
ing the cause of Methodism in that city of churches. 
He was an example of meekness, gentleness, humili- 
ty, and benevolence. Like his Master, he went 
about doing good. He was for more than half a 
century a member of the Methodist Episcopal 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 561 

Church, and for fifty-two years a class-leader, and 
met his class to the last week of his life. He was 
the grandfather of the late excellent T. F E. Mer- 
cein, of the ]S"ew-York Conference, a young minister 
of brilliant talents, author of a work of superior 
merit entitled, " Natural Goodness." Father Mer- 
cein died in peace, and in full assurance of a glorious 
immortality, June 29, 1835, in the seventy-fourth 
year of his age. 

He was blessed with but two children ; both are 
dead. -His funeral sermon was preached by the late 
lamented Bartholomew Creagh, from " Precious in 
the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." He 
gives a glowing description of the piety of Father 
Mercein. He applied to him the words of Job : 
" When the ear heard me, then it blessed me ; and 
when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me : because 
I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, 
and him that had none to help him. The blessing of 
him that was ready to perish came upon me : and I 
caused the widow's heart to sing for joy." Through 
the kindness of a granddaughter of Mr. Mercein, I 
have the manuscript of the sermon before me in the 
handwriting of my beloved Brother Creagh, who also 
fell at his post sword in hand. Mr. Mercein was 
buried in the Sands-street burying-ground, where the 
remains of Summerfield and William Eoss repose, 
waiting the resurrection of the just. 



562 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 



Deserves a place among the early Methodists of 
New- York. Mr. Suckley was a much-esteemed and 
valued citizen. He was one of the oldest and most 
respectable merchants in the city. He was a man of 
wealth, and he consecrated it to God and his Church. 
Most of the benevolent institutions shared in his 
bounty. He held many offices, both civil and eccle- 
siastical, in which he was faithful to his trust, doing 
honor to himself as well as to the stations he filled. 

Mr. Suckley, it is said, came to this country when 
quite young, with Dr. Coke. He was a Methodist 
before he left his native land, receiving his first 
" ticket," or certificate, from John Wesley. He soon 
identified himself with old John-street Church, and 
was elected a trustee, and was re-elected to office 
several times, and at his death was trustee of the First 
"Wesley Chapel in Yestry-street. 

He was very fortunate in his marriage. In 1798 
he was married to Catharine, daughter of John Rut- 
son, Esq., of Rhinebeck. She was born September 
18, 1768. When the roses were on her cheeks, 
amid the high bloom of youth and beauty, admired 
and beloved, she gave her heart to Jesus ; and 
from that period till the day of her death was a 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 563 

cheerful, happy, humble saint of God. She was a 
very superior woman, one of the best; exhibiting all 
the graces of -the Christian character. As she had 
been one of the best of daughters, she became one of 
the best of wives and mothers. They were blessed 
With seven children. She was the intimate friend of 
the late Mrs. Catharine Garrettson, who gave this 
description of her closing scene : "Her end, like her 
life, was peaceful, and bright with foretastes of heav- 
enly rest." She died in*1826. 

Mr. Suckley was held in high esteem by the late 
Rev. Freeborn Garrettson, who died at his house, 
while on a visit to this city. Mr. Suckley was a 
Vice-president of the American Bible Society. But 
the crowning glory and the transcendent excellence 
of his character consisted in the sincerity and consist- 
ency of his Christian character. He died in peace, 
in the city of New-York, June 17, 1846, in the eighty- 
first year of his age. The reader will see, at the head 
of this sketch, a fac-simile of his handwriting. He 
wrote it January 24, 1845, when he was eighty years 
old. He placed the figures eighty next his name. It 
gives evidence of a trembling but bold hand. His 
house was long the home of Bishop Asbury, who fre- 
quently names Mr. Suckley in his Journals. His 
funeral sermon was preached by his intimate friend, 
Rev. Joseph Holdich, who afterward wrote a memoir 
of Mr. Suckley, which was published in the Christian 
Advocate and Journal. 



564 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 

was a descendant of the Huguenots, or French Prot- 
estant families who emigrated to this country in 
the seventeenth century to escape from the persecu- 
tions against them in France. He was born June 7, 
1766. At the age of thirteen young Gilbert left the 
paternal dwelling and came to New- York to reside. 
He was passing old John-street Preaching-house, and 
heard the voice of a man preaching. Curiosity in- 
duced him to go in. While listening to the sermon 
he was awakened by the power of truth. This was in 
1786, and the preacher's name was Robert Cloud. 

In 1788 he was married to Miss Mary Varian, with 
whom he lived happily fifty-seven years, till death 
separated -them. In 1789, under the labors of 
Thomas Morrell and E. Cloud, he was converted, and 
united with the Church in John-street. He was 
awakened in 1786, but was not born again till 1789, 
having shaken off or lost his first convictions. 

In 1798 he was first elected a trustee in the church, 
and continued to hold the office during his lifetime. 
He was for a long time treasurer of the board. When 
he was first elected the board of trustees consisted of 
William Cooper, Philip I. Arcularius, Paul Hick, 
Abraham Russel, Israel Disosway, and Gilbert Cou- 
tant. He was emphatically given to hospitality. 



BIOGKAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 565 

His house was the home of the weary itinerant. He 
had the esteem of his. fellow-citizens. Twice he was 
elected to the Legislature of the state, and for many- 
years was Register of New-York. 

Had we room we might write much concerning 
this excellent man of God, who was an honor to his 
race and an ornament to Methodism. I knew him 
well; was his pastor in 1841. He was over forty 
years a class-leader, and my wife had the honor of 
heing a member of his class. 

Mr. Coutant was the father of the little church at 
the "Two-mile-stone." He watched over it in its 
feebleness, and rejoiced in its prosperity. When I 
was the pastor of the Seventh-street Church, sixteen 
years ago, it was sixteen thousand dollars in debt ; 
but now the church is entirely free from debt, the 
last dollar having been paid. 

In December, 1841, he was attacked with paralysis, 
from which he never recovered. He died at the 
house of his son-in-law, William H. Peck, at Sing 
Sing, K Y., July 9, 1845, in the eighty-first year of 
his age. He was buried in the cemetery in Second- 
street ; a beautiful place in which to sleep till the 
morning of the resurrection. His widow survived 
him a few years, and then was buried alongside of 
her husband. A number of their children are mem- 
bers of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and happy 
on their way to heaven. 



566 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF THE LATTT. 




W/^yJ9n^ycle 



Was born in 1767, and died December 28, 1851, aged 
eighty-five years. He came to America in 1785, and 
united with the John-street Church in 1787, when 
John Dickens was the pastor. Mr. Dando often 
heard John and Charles "Wesley preach. Their 
preaching had quite an influence on him, and he 
used to refer to it in after life. He belonged to 
the first Board of Managers of the Missionary Society, 
and was a projector of the first Sabbath school held 
in New- York. He possessed much of the spirit of 
Stephen of old, whose name he bore. His beautiful 
white locks were an ornament of grace, for they 
were found in the way of righteousness. At the 
time of his death he had been sixty-five years a 
member of John-street Church. He was an old and 
beloved disciple. 

MARY DANDO 

Was an old member of John-street, who is still re- 
membered. She was born in England in 1752, came 
to this country in 1783, and joined the Methodists in 
1786. She delighted to attend the means of grace, and 
especially the preaching at 5 o'clock in the morning. 
At an early hour she could be seen wending her way 
to old John-street preaching-house to hear the word. 
Though never married, she voluntarily assumed the 



BIOGBAPHIOAL SKETCHES OF THE LAITY. 567 

care of a number of orphan children, performing 
for them the duties of a mother as well as she could, 
while she took the oversight of the household of her 
nephew, 'Stephen Dando. Those children who were 
intrusted to her care she endeavored to train up. in the 
fear of the Lord, as well as to prepare them to become 
useful and industrious housekeepers. Many years 
she was deprived of the public means of grace, but 
she was devotedly pious at home. She took great 
interest in the works of benevolence, in the Mission- 
ary, Tract, and Sabbath-school cause, and assisted 
them to the extent of her power. She died in great 
triumph, April 18, 1825, aged seventy-three years. 

Time would fail to tell of John Speosen, William 
Coopek, and John Bleeker, old trustees of blessed 
memory ; at a later date of William Mead, who died 
in triumph, after much suffering, in New-Kochelle ; 
and Nathaniel Jaevis, who was like Nathaniel whom 
Jesus saw under the fig-tree. Nor have we space to 
notice more of the early women of Methodism. Mrs. 
Ceossfield, Mrs. Cotjetney, Hannah Baldwin, the 
blind singer^ and Miss Jarvis, afterward the wife of 
Eev, J. B. Matthias, and mother of Kev. J. J. Mat- 
thias. She was a precious woman, and has just fallen 
asleep. It would be a pleasing task to draw the por- 
traits of those women who labored in the Gospel. 

We have given but a specimen of the men and 
women who built up early Methodism in the city 
of New- York. 



56"8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OE THE LAITY. 

The longevity of many of the early MethodiBts in 
New- York is worthy of notice. It reminds us of 
what the Psalmist says : " With long life will I sat- 
isfy him, and show him my salvation." 

TRUSTEES. 

Thomas "Webb died in the seventy-fourth year of his age. 
"William Lupton, in the sixty-ninth year of his age. 
John Staples, in the eighty-first year of his age. 
John Chave, in the eighty-fifth year of his age. 
John Mann, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. 
Abraham Russel, in the eighty-eighth year of his age. 
Philip I. Arcularius, in the seventy-eighth year of his age. 
Paul Hick, in the seventy-third year of his age. 
Andrew Mercein, in the seventy-fourth year of his age. 
"William Mead, in the eightieth year of his age. 
Gilbert Coutant, in the eighty-second year of his age. 
George Suckley, in the eighty-first year of his age. 
Thomas Carpenter, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. 
Stephen Dando, in the eighty-sixth year of his age. 
Richard Leaycraft, over ninety years of age.. 

Many of the early women of Methodism lived to a 
good old age. 

Mary Dando died in the seventy-fourth year of her age. 
Mrs. Abraham Russel, in the eighty-eighth year of her age. 
Mrs. John Staples, in the ninety-first year of her age. 
Mrs. Mary Carpenter, in the seventy-fourth year of her age. 
Mrs. Matthias, nearly ninety. 



jttJfiyJJfiW Ob" THE PAST, ETC. .509 



CHAPTEE LXII. 

REVIEW OF THE PAST, CONTEMPLATION OP THE 

PRESENT. 

Statistics of the Growth of New-York City— The Increase of Methodism 
in New-York — Numbers in Society in 1800 — Numbers in the United 
States — Character of the early Ministry with which New- York was 
favored — Variety of Talent — All dead but one — Their last Kesting- 
place— Present State of Methodism in the United States — Number of 
Traveling Preachers, of Local Preachers, and Members in the 
Methodist Church, North and South — Great Effects from small 
Causes — Indebtedness of American Methodism to Local Preachers — 
The Debt American Methodists owe to Ireland — Conclusion. 

The reader will no doubt rejoice with me, that we 
have reached the last chapter. When ministers read 
sermons the hearers are glad when they get to the 
"last leaf." 

There is pleasure in tracing things to their origin, 
and then their progress onward. We have done so 
in regard to American Methodism. We have gone 
back to its cradle, and watched its growth and 
expansion with joy, and have been ready to exclaim, 
" It is the Lord's doing, it is marvelous in our eyes !" 
We will detain you a little longer while we briefly 
review the past and contrast it with the present, and 
then will hasten to a conclusion. 



570 



REVIEW OF THE PAST, 



The following table exhibits the growth of the city 
of New- York at different periods : 



YEAKB. 

1656 
1673 
1696 
1731 
1756 
1773 
1786 
1790 
1800 
1850 



POPULATION. 
1,000 

2,500 

4,302 

8,628 

10,381 

■21,876 

23,614 

33,131 

60,489 

515,364 



In regard to Methodism in 1800, there were 776 
members in 1ST ew- York, 131 of whom were colored. 
In the United States there were 287 traveling 
preachers, besides the local ministry. There were 
64,894 members, 13,452 of whom were colored. 

At the close of the eighteenth century we pause 
and review the past. John-street Church had been 
in existence thirty-two years from the time of. its 
dedication. Amid the perils of the Revolution 
the church had been preserved, and from its first 
existence greatly honored of God. The official men 
were strong, they were pillars in the Church of God. 
The laity were distinguished for burning zeal, holy 
ardor, and consistent piety. There were also " hon- 
orable women not a few," whose names are in the 
book of life. 

The ministers with whom they were favored were 
of no ordinary kind. They were apostolic men with 



CONTEMPLATION OF THE PRESENT. 571 

apostolic zeal and apostolic success. They were not 
afraid of getting into anybody's parish, for they felt 
that the world was their parish, and the universe 
their diocese. 

The pathetic Embury, the eloquent Webb, the 
zealous Williams, the excellent Boardman, the able 
Pilmoor, the holy Asbury and the youthful Wright, 
the faithful Eankin and the successful Shadford, the 
" thundering Dickins " and the good John Hagerty, 
the laborious Morrell and the heavenly-minded What- 
coat, the charming Tunnel and the sweet-spirited 
Willis, the seraphic Wilson Lee and the devout 
Green, the powerful M'Claskey and the logical 
Cooper, the flaming M'Combs and the philosophical 
Phoebus, the gigantic Beauchamp and the pure 
Boberts, the meek Garrettson and the untiring 
Hutchinson, the profound Wells and the noble Sar- 
gent, the shrewd Jesse Lee and the faithful Michael 
Coate, and others we might name, were mighty men 
of renown, each a host in himself, "valiant for the 
truth," men who labored in John-street to promote 
"Christianity in earnest." They were living men, 
whose lips had been touched with a coal from 
heaven's altar by a living seraphim. They were 
ministers who watched for souls as those who ex- 
pected to give an account. 

Take them as a body, a nobler or more able class of 
ministers could, not be found. How highly favored has 
John-street Church been, to have had such an array 



.572 REVIEW OF THE PAST, 

of ministerial talent. What a profound theologian 
was Dickins ; what orators were Willis and Tunnel, 
Beauchamp and Lee ; what logicians were Cooper, 
Morrell, and others; what mighty men in the pul- 
pit were the preachers we have named. Would 
not these men have compared favorably with the 
ministers of other denominations who lived at that 
period ? Were they not all " able ministers of the 
New Testament ?" Were they not " workmen that 
needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word 
of truth ?" Were they not " epistles known and read 
of all men ?" 

" The fathers, where are they, and the prophets, do 
they live forever ?" We have an affecting answer to 
these thrilling questions, when we remember that, of 
all this long line of honored ministers who preached 
the Gospel in John-street Church before the year 
1800, only one remains ; the rest have "fallen asleep." 
The venerable and venerated Joshua Wells, of the 
Baltimore Conference, is the only survivor of all his 
brethren who labored there previous to the birth of 
the nineteenth century. The others have fallen sword 
in hand, and he might exclaim, " And I only am left 
alone to tell thee." He is now living near Baltimore, 
full of years and full of honors, waiting most patiently 
the time of his departure. He is the oldest Method- 
ist preacher in America, having joined the conference 
in 1789, sixty-eight years ago. 

How different the last resting-places of these min- 



CONTEMPLATION OF THE PRESENT. 5? 3 

isters of Jesus. Embury sleeps in a rural burying- 
ground in Ashgrove, New- York; Webb, his friend and 
colleague, in Bristol, England; Williams in an untomb 
ed grave in Virginia ; Boardman was buried in Cork, 
Ireland ; Wright in his native land ; Kankin in City 
Road, London, beside Mr. Wesley, where no common 
dust is sleeping ; Dickins and Cooper, in Philadel- 
phia; Wilson Lee in a quiet country churchyard in 
Maryland ; Whatcoat at Dover, Delaware ; Tunnel 
in Tennessee ; Willis in Maryland ; Francis Asbury, 
Jesse Lee, and George Roberts in Baltimore; Hick- 
son, Brush, Smith, and Phosbus in New- York; Sar- 
gent in Cincinnati ; Morrell in his own beloved Eliz- 
abethtown ; Coate at Burlington, N. J. ; and Gar- 
rettson at Rhinebeck, on the banks of the beautiful 
Hudson. Dr. Coke found a grave in the Indian 
Ocean, where he will slumber till the sea shall give 
up its dead. 

"O death! 
They are not thine forever. Lo ! above 
See them in glory shining. See their brows 
With joys eternal beaming; hear their notes 
"With heavenly music blending ; see them drink 
From the celestial river, whose clear wave 
Dashes in endless music 'gainst the throne 
Of the Eternal." 

It is an interesting fact, that on the British Minutes 
of the- Twenty-seventh Conference the last circuit 
named for that year (1770) is No. 50, America. The 
whole continent of America a Methodist circuit! 



574 KEVIEW OK THE PAST, 

To give a faint idea of what has been done since 
Methodism was introduced into the United States, 
contemplate, for a moment, the following statistics. 

We have, at the present time, in the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, 6,134 traveling preachers, 7,169 
local preachers, 709,968 members, and 110,550 pro- 
bationers. Total, 800,327. The increase this year 
is as many as there were inhabitants in New- 
York City when John-street preaching-house was 
built, namely, 20,000. We have 8,335 churches, 
valued at over $15,000,000 ; 2,174 parsonages, worth 
over $2,000,000. Then look at the statistics of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Traveling 
preachers, effective, 2,078; superannuated, 151'; local 
preachers, 4,628 ; members, probationers and all, 
611,135. Let us unite them. 

Traveling Preachers in the Methodist Episcopal Church . 6,134 
In the Methodist Episcopal Church, South . . . . 2,229 



Total 8,463 

Local Preachers in the Methodist Episcopal Church . 7,169 
Local Preachers in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South 4,628 

Total 11,797 

Think of nearly twelve thousand local preachers ? 
Could Embury, and Strawbridge, and Webb, rise 
from the dead, with what peculiar emotions would 
they look upon this noble army ol men who are their 
genuine successors, "preaching for nothing and find- 
ing themselves. 



CONTEMPLATION OF THE PRESENT. fffi5 

Then look at the membership : 

Methodist Episcopal Church 800,327 

Methodist Episcopal Church, South 621,135 

Total ....' 1,421,462 

What would those who heard the first sermon 
preached to six persons by Philip Embury, in his own 
hired house, or that met in the " Rigging Loft," think 
if they could look upon this million and a half of 
Methodists? 

We see what mighty results proceed from small 
•causes. The great work can be traced back to the 
influence of one solitary woman. Mrs. Barbara Hick 
was the moving cause. We also see how American 
Methodism is indebted to local preachers. They were 
pioneers in this blessed work. They are still useful 
and honored. The son of an old German local 
preacher has just been inaugurated Mayor of the 
city of New-York. We also learn our obligation to 
Ireland. To her we are indebted for Philip Embury 
and Eobert Strawbridge. The first laid the foundation 
of Methodism in New- York, the other in Maryland. 

" How different-," says Doctor James Dixon, speak- 
ing of the origin of American Methodism, "this 
commencement to any other religious formations in 
this country! When the pilgrim fathers sailed in 
the 'Mayflower' they constituted a Church, an eccle- 
siastical state. They were eminent Christians, with 
real greatness of heart and mind. When William 



576 REVIEW OF THE PAST. 

Penn took possession of Pennsylvania in the name of 
Quakerism, this was the case also. Methodism began 
in America in a perfectly different manner. Its first 
disciples had no name, no rank, no means, no scholar- 
ship, no power, no human credentials. It was intro- 
duced by a few poor, unknown, and unnoticed emi- 
grants. What, then, gave Methodism its force, its 
momentum ? Unquestionably the truth and Spirit of 
God in the first degree; but then it was truth unem- 
barrassed, unsystematized ; truth in its simplicity. 

" The Methodist Church cannot count back to a 
Peter or a Paul, like the pretense of Rome ; nor 
can they reckon on great traditional or historical 
characters as coming from afar to plant the Gospel 
on these shores. The period will allow of no mys- 
tery ; no strange missionary, as Patrick in Ireland, 
can ever be palmed on public credulity as the agent 
of the work. It is not, it cannot be lost in the dim 
distance of a remote antiquity. The curious can 
never dispute about the origin of the movement. 
Philip Embury, Robert Strawbridge, Captain Webb, 
and the ' mother in Israel ' already named, instru- 
mentally laid the foundation of one of the most 
numerous, well-governed, pious, and useful Prot- 
estant Churches in the world, and the powerlessness 
of the instruments must lead all to acknowledge, 
' This is, indeed, the finger of God.™' 



APPENDIX. 



NAMES OF MINISTERS WHO PREACHED IN WESLEY CHAPEL 
FROM ITS ORIGIN TO THE YEAR 1800. 



TEAK. 



REMARKS. 



Philip Embury -; 

Thomas Webb 

Robert Williams 

Richard Boardman.: 

Joseph Pilmoor 

Francis Asbury 

Richard Wright 

Thomas Rankin 

George Shadford 

James Dempster 

Daniel Ruff 

John Mann 

Samuel Spraggs 

a tt 

it u 

(t tt 

tt tt 

John Dickins 

John Hagerty 

John Tunnel, Elder 

John Dickins 

tt tt ^ 

Woolman Hickson ..." 

Henry Willis, Elder 

John Dickins 

Freeborn Garrettson 

F. Garrettson, Pres'ng Elder 

Robert Cloud 

John Merrick 

William Phoebus 

Thomas Morrell, Elder ... 

Robert Cloud 

William Jessop 

Robert Cloud, Elder 



1768 
1768 
1769 
1769 
1770 
1771 
1772 
1773 
1774 
1775 
1776 
1777 
1778 
1779 
1780 
1781 
1782 
1783 
1784 
1785 
1786 
1786 
1787 
1787 
1788 
1788 
1788 
1789 
1789 
1789 
1789 
1790 
1790 
1790 
1791 



Died in 1775. 
Died Dec. 20, 1796. 
Died Sept. 26, 1775. 
Died Oct. 4, 1782. 
Withdrew 1774. 
DiedMarch21,1816. 
Withdrew 1777. 
Died May 17, 1810. 
Died March 11,1816. 
Withdrew 1775. 
Located 1781. 
Died in 1817. 



Died Sept. 4, 1823. 
Died July, 1790. 



Died in 1788. 
Died in 1808. 
Died in 1798. 

Died Sept. 26, 1827. 

Located in 1797. 
Died in 1831. 



Died in 1795. 
Located in 1812. 



45 

73 

44 

70 

74 
78 

74 



76 



51 



75 



78 



578 



APPENDIX. 



Richard Whatcoat 

Thomas Morrell 

James Man 

Thomas Morrell 

Lemuel Green 

George Strebeck 

Jacob Brush, Elder 

Thos. Morrell (health fails) 

Daniel Smith and 

Ev. Kogers supply the place 

Ezekiel Cooper 

Lawrence M'Combs 

Wilson Lee 

John Clark 

George Roberts 

Andrew Nichols 

George Roberts 

Joshua Wells 

William Beauchamp 

Joshua Wells 

George Roberts 

C. Stebbins 

John M'Claskey 

Thomas Sargent 

Michael Coate 

John M'Claskey 

Jesse Lee 

Sylvester Hutchinson... ... : 



1791 
1791 
1791 
1792 
1792 
1792 
1793 
1793 
1793 
1793 
1794 
1794 
1795 
1795 
1796 
1796 
1797 
1797 
1797 
1798 
1798 
1798 
1799 
1799 
1799 
1800 
1800 
1800 



Died in 1806. 



Died in 1831. 
Withdrew. 
Died in 1795. 
Died in 1837. 
Died in 1814. 

Died Feb. 21, 1847. 
Died in 1836. 
Died in 1804. 
Withdrew 1794. 

Located in 1801. 



Died in 1824. 
Still living. 
Located 1806. 
Withdrew in 1805. 

Died in 1833. 
Died Aug. 1, 1814. 
Died Sept. 2, 1814. 
Died in 1816. 
Located in 1806. 



71 



81 

32 
91 



84 
66 
44 



63 



57 
48 
69 
58 



TRUSTEES OF JOHN-STREET PREACHING-HOUSE. 

The Original Trustees of John-street Preaching-House before the Arrival 

of Mr. Boardman, 1768. 

Philip Embury, Richard Sause, Thomas Taylor, 

William Lupton, Henry Newton, Thomas Webb. 

Charles White, Paul Hick, 

The First after Mr. Boardman's Arrival, 1760. 

Richard Boardman, John Southwell, Henry Newton, 

Joseph Pilmoor, William Lupton, Charles White, 

Thomas Webb, James Jarvis, Richard- Sause. 

At <he First Election, as some of the Trustees had removed, the follow- 
ing were added : 

John Mann, Samuel Selby, Stephen Sands, 

John Staples, David Johnson, William Elssen worth. 

Added in 1782. 
Philip Marchington. 



ifeiiiiifin 




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o 

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w 

u 

Eh 

H 
H 
Pi 
Eh 

CO 

O 



P 

o 

o 

w 

CO 



APPENDIX. 



581 



Abraham 

1786. 

John Bleeker, 
John Chave, 
Louis F augers, 
Paul Hick. 

. 1791. 

Samuel Stillwell. 
1798. 

John Sprosen. 



Appointed Sept. 16, 1783. 

Russell, Peter M'Clain. 

Trustees and Stewards. 
1795. 

William Cooper, 
Philip I. Arcularius, 
Thomas Carpenter, 
Israel Disosway, 
Andrew Mercein. 
1797. 

John I. Brower, 
William Mead, 



Gilbert Coutant, 
George Suckxey. 

Afterward. 

Joseph Smith, 
George Taylor, Jr., 
John Westfield, 
James Donaldson, 
Stephen Dando. 



THE SECOND METHODIST CHURCH IN JOHN-STREET. 

Eighteen hundhed and seventeen was a memorable year in 
the history of Qld John-street preaching-house. The "time-hon- 
ored, earth-honored, and heaven-honored old Wesley Chapel that 
few on earth now remember, that multitudes in heaven can never 
forget, for it was their spiritual birth-place, was numbered among 
the things that were. 

The old house was torn down, and the timbers were used in 
the erection of a small house of worship at what was called the 
"Two Mile Stone." 

On the 13th of May, 1817, the old walls were demolished in 
the presence of quite an audience, after the Rev. Daniel Ostrander 
had made an appropriate address on the occasion. The founda- 
tion of a new edifice was laid, and a noble structure, more adapted 
to the wants of the city, was erected thereon. 

I presume some such a scene took place as that described by 
Ezra. " And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they 
praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house- of the Lord 
was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chiefs of the 
fathers, 'who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when 
the foundation of this 'house was laid before their eyes, wept with 
a loud voice;- and many shouted aloud for joy." These words I 
heard Rev. D. Ostrander use for his half century sermon in Allen- 
street Church in 1842. 

On the first Sabbath of the new year, January 4, 1818, the 
new and beautiful house was dedicated to the worship of tho 
great Head of the Church. The Rev. Nathan Bangs, Samuel 
Merwin, and Joshua Soule, now Bishop of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, South, preached on that day. The dedicatory ser- 



582 



APPENDIX. 



mon was preached from "The Lord hath done great things for 
lis, whereof we are glad." It was a history of the rise and 
progress of Methodism in the United States. They were said to 
be sermons of great eloquence and power. The three sermons 
were afterward published. 

"The new church was one of the most commodious and beau- 
tiful in the city, and served as a model for many throughout the 
country. Its walls were of granite, partly built from the mate- 
rials of the old chapel, and the dimensions were sixty-two by 
eighty-seven feet. The cost was about $30,000." John Sum- 
merfield preached his first sermon in this house of worship, elec- 
trifying the people by his eloquence. His funeral sermon was 
preached in this church, and a monument was erected in the front 
of the building by the Young Men's Missionary Society. In the 
third church edifice there is a beautiful cenotaph erected in honor 
of his memory. 





THIRD JOHN STREET CHURCH 



APPENDIX. 585 



THE THIRD METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN JOHN- 
STREET. 

This edifice was dedicated to the service of God by the ven- 
erated Bishop Hedding, April 27, 1841. Dr. Samuel Luckey 
read the Scriptures, Dr. Bangs prayed, and the bishop preached 
a very appropriate sermon from the following text: "For from 
you sounded out the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia 
and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to G-odward is 
spread abroad." 1 Thess. i, 8. I cannot forbear inserting the 
late Dr. Bond's description of the sermon and the occasion in 
the Christian Advocate of May 5, 1841 : 

"The choice of a minister for the occasion could not, in our humble 
opinion, have fallen on a more suitable person. His ' venerated mother,' 
as the bishop told us in the course of his remarks, ' was awakened under 
the preaching of Benjamin Abbott, one of the pioneers of Methodism in 
these northern parts.' Bishop Hedding himself was brought to a' knowl- 
edge of the truth by the ministry of the Methodists, and, with seventeen 
other young men, had consecrated himself and all his powers to the 
service of God, in the first Methodist church in the New World, and 
near the spot where he then stood. For forty years he had done the 
duties of an itinerant minister. He had witnessed the progress of the 
work of God in New-England and the Canadas, in the West and among 
the aborigines in the South, and among the slaves, and in nearly all the 
states of the Union. 

"In the introductory part of his discourse the bishop gave a beautiful 
exposition of his text, in connection with St. Luke's acoount, in the 
Acts of the Apostles, of the labors of St. Paul and his colleagues, and 
of the introduction of the Gospel into Greece, and especially of its suc- 
cess among the Thessalonians, and of their instrumentality in spreading 
it abroad. Thessalonica was one of the principal seaports of ancient 
Greece— a great commercial city ; and being advantageously situated for 
trade, had an extensive connection with other cities in that part of the 
world. It was one of the first cities in Europe that received the Gos- 
pel, and on account of its maritime and commercial character, was more 
instrumental in spreading it abroad than any other city. In the course 
of his sermon the oishop showed, in a very lucid manner, that the word 
of the Lord was the great instrument employed by the Divine Being in 
the salvation of souls. After this point had been very ably demonstrated, 
the bishop-took a view of the manner in which that word had been, and 
still continues to be spread abroad in every place. The first apostles were 
greatly instrumental in this good work, but they were not the only in- 
struments: the merchants and private Christians did much in spreading 
it. When persons from the distant cities and country places came to 
Thessalonica to trade, or to make a visit, and stay a day, or a night, or 
bo, in the place, the Christian merchants and citizens would tell them 
of the work of the Lord among them ; they would invite them to hear 



586 APPENDIX. 

the apostles, to attend their meetings, and to behold the wonderful 
■works of God among their fellow-citizens. These foreigners and visit- 
ors, becoming convinced of the truth,, would carry tho news home with 
them ; would probably invite the apostles to make them a visit also ; or 
when the merchants went abroad to collect their bills, or the citizens 
went to visit their relatives in distant places, they would carry the good 
word of God with them. It was thus that 'the word of the Lord 
sounded out from them, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in 
every place their faith to Godward was spread abroad.' 

" In many particulars there was a striking similarity between the ca;e 
of the citizens of Thessalonica and that of the people of New-York. 
While the apostles ware laboring in Asia Minor, a vision appeared to 
Paul in the night. There stood a man of Macedonia and prayed him, 
saying, ' Come over into Macedonia and help us.' This was the intro- 
duction of the Gospel into Europe ; and similar was the introduction of 
Methodism, by means of itinerant preaching, in this country. A call 
went over the great waters, saying to Mr. Wesley, ' Come over and help 
us,' or send us help. The venerable Asbury, ('hi labors more like tho 
Apostle Paul,' said' the bishop, 'than any other man I ever knew,') and 
others heard that call and came to our help. A church was erected on 
this very spot, Mr. Wesley aiding in its erection by a donation of fifty 
pounds sterling. Thus the Gospel, by means of itinerant ministers, was 
planted on these shores, and from this place ' sounded out the word of 
the Lord to the South and to the North, to the East and to the West.' 

" In the progress of his discourse the bishop related many pleasing 
incidents from his own personal history and observation, and all illus- 
trative of the doctrine contained in tho text. # A more appropriate text 
for such an occasion, and a more happy method of illustration, we seldom 
or ever heard. The effect was fine. A liberal spirit, in support of that 
cause which had been so greatly blessed, pervaded the assembly. The 
congregation was not largo, but there were present of the first, second, 
and third generations of Methodists, o.nd some who had worshiped in 
the first and in tho second house, which stood where this now stands, 
who gave of that in which God had prospered them toward the liquida- 
tion of the debt incurred by the present building. We are glad to see 
a root of primitive Methodism, still vigorous and growing, in the very 
spot where the first scion was planted on these western shores. John- 
street Church, in a certain sense, is the ' mother of us all,' and wo lovo 
to pay her the respect which is due to her piety and zeal." 

His biographer, Dr. Clark, says: "Many things contributed 
to make this occasion exceedingly interesting to the bishop. He 
(that is, the bishop) said, 'It was the third church built on that 
ground. It was the spot on which was erected the first Methodist 
church in America. The first church erected upon this spot was 
the one in which, nearly forty years before, I was admitted into 
the itinerant connection.' " The bishop's text, sermon, and his 
declaration show that he knew nothing of the claim of priority 
of Method i sin in Maryland. 
















TRINITY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 



APPENDIX. 



589 



METHODIST CHURCHES IN NEW- YORK CITY IN 1857. 

There are twenty-eight Methodist houses of worship in New- York, 
besides nuclei for several others. The following is a list of them in 
chronological order. 



NAMH OF CHURCH. 



Date of 
Origin. 



PASTOR IN 1851. 



John-street 

Forsyth-street 

Bowery Village 

Duane-street 

Allen-street 

Greenwich Village. . 

Willett-street 

Eighteenth-street.. . 

Greene-street 

Second-street 

Yorkville 

Central * 

Rose Hill 



Fourth Avenuef . . . 

Harlem 

BloomingdaleJ .... 

Chelsea 

Asbury 

1st, German Mission 

Sullivan-street 

Mariners' § 

German 

Ship John "Wesley |. 

Jane-street 

Fiftieth-street 

Dry Dock 

Five Points Mission, 

Hedding 

Manhattan ville 

Thirty-seventh-st. . . 
Trinity 



John-st., near Nassau.. 
Forsyth, near Division 

Seventh-street 

Duane, near Greenwich 
Allen, near Rivington. 
Bedford, cor. of Morton 

Willett-street 

18th-st., near 8th Av... 
Greene-st.,near Broome 
2d-st., near avenue C . . 
Yorkville (86th-st.).,. . 
7th Av., near 14th-st. . . 
Twenty- seventh-street. 

Fourth Avenue 



Harlem 

43d-st.,near 8th Avenue 
30th-st., near 8th Av. 
Norfolk, near Stanton 

Second-street 

Sullivan, near Bleecker 
Cherry, near Clinton.. 

Fortieth-street 

Foot of Rector-street. . 
Jane-st., near 8th Av. . 

50th-st., near 8d Av 

Ninth-street 

Five Points 

Seventeenth-street 

Manhattan ville 

Thirty-seventh-street. . 
Thirty-fourth-street 



1768 
1789 
1794 
1797 
1819 
1819 
1819 
1829 
1831 
1832 
1832 
1833 
1834 

1835 

1836 
1840 
1841 
1842 
1842 
1843 
1844 
1844 
1845 
1845 
1845 
1846 
1850 
1851 
1853 
1853 
1854 



Charles E. Harris 
R. M. Hatfield. 
Charles Fletcher. 
Benj. M. Adams. 
John A. Roche. 
Jarvis Z. Nichols 
Wm. M'Alister. 
John W. Beach. 
Jesse T. Peck. 
Samuel W. King. 
A. M. Osbon. 
S. D. Brown. 
Thos. G. Osborn. 
j J. M'Clintock, 
j E. L. Prentice. 
Jacob Washburn. 
J. B. Wakeley. 
A. C. Foss. 
J. E. Searles. 
C. A. E. Hertel. 
J. B. Hagany. 
Wm. P. Corbit, 
John C. Lyon. 
Olif G. Hedstrorn. 
E. C. Putney. 
Samuel Orcutt. 
Joseph Henson. 
Nathaniel Mead. 
George R. Crooks. 

Harvey Husted. 
M. D'C. Crawford. 



In New- York City there are nearly eight thousand members in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Many of the members in New- York have 
removed to Brooklyn, Jersey City, and other adjacent places, and have 
done much in establishing Methodism in them. There are now about as 
many Methodists in New- York City as there were in the American 
Connection in 1780. 
Members in the New- York Conference at the present time.. 26,666 
In the New- York East Conference 22,236 

Total 48,902 

White members in the Methodist Church in America in 1800. 51,442 

Deduct the number now in the New- York Conferences 48,902 

2,540 

° This is the society that formerly worshiped in Vestry-street. 
t This is the society that formerly worshiped in Mulberry-street. 
t This was Forty-first-street Church. 

§ Madison-street Church and Cherry-street are now blended in one. 
f| The old ship John Wesley has given way to a new and beautiful Bethel snip. 
Bt pier No. 11. North River. 



590 APPENDIX. 

FATHER BOEHM AND THE OLD LOG MEETING-HOUSE. 

The following letter from Father Boelim will explain itself: 
" Richmond, Staten Island, N. Y., Nov. 13, 1857. 

"My Dear Brother Wakeley — You inquire, as I am one of the few 
men of olden times that remain, ' What were the views entertained in 
the early days of Methodism, in regard to the priority of Methodism in 
America, whether in Maryland or New- York?' I will answer your 
inquiry as well as I can. I am now in my eighty -third year. I heard 
Robert Strawbridge preach at my father's house, in Lancaster County, 
Penn., in 1779. I entered the traveling connection in 1801, and my first 
field of labor was in Maryland. 

"I traveled with Bishop Asbury for five years, from 1808 to 1813. 
During that time I was with Bishop Asbury through Maryland several 
times, and at Pipe Creek. I also saw the old Log Meeting-House in 1808, 
which had been converted into a barn ; and though traveling through 
Maryland so frequently, and conversing with the old preachers and the 
members of the Chnreh, I never heard any claim that Methodism in 
Maryland was earlier than in New- York: no one ever hinted it in my 
presence. Furthermore, it was universally admitted that Methodism in 
New-York had the priority. 

"No one, at that early day, claimed that the Log Meeting-House in 
Maryland was erected first ; but it was universally acknowledged, as far 
as I know, that Wesley Chapel, in New- York, was the first Methodist 
house of worship built in America. 

"The clabri set up in Maryland, as to priority in the introduction of 
Methodism, was all new to me till very recently ; I never heard, of it until 
within a short time. It greatly surprised me ; for, if true, I wondered 
that so many years should pass away, and I have sueh good opportuni- 
ties in my earlier days for learning the facts, and never hear a word said 
concerning it. 

"HENRY BOEHM." 



NEW CHURCHES IN NEW- YORK. 

By way of contrast to the plain, unpretending "preachiDg- 
houses" of the past century, we present engravings of two 
churches recently erected by Methodists in this city, and one in 

Newark, New-Jersey. 

TRINITY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHUEOH 

Stands on the south side of Thirty-fourth-street, between the 
Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and was erected in 1856. The 
building has a frontage of sixty-five feet, and is ninety-nine feet 
deep. It is built of blue stone and trimmed with Connecticut 
brown stone ; and the same stone is used with the blue, in alter- 



/ — -—--■■ "=^-—_ - - — 


/s^Ssssm^ 


/".■■■-"-:■■ ■ 




FOURTH AVENUE M. E. CHURCH, NEW-YORf. 



APPENDIX. 593 

nate courses, in the construction of the buttresses. This is one 
of the most pleasant combinations of color in the whole exterior 
of the edifice. The tower is ninety feet high, and is to be 
crowned with a spire that will reach the height of two hundred 
feet. 

In the basement is a lecture-room that will seat four hundred 
persons, with ample class-rooms and other accommodations. The 
main audience-room measures sixty feet by seventy-eight, and 
has a gallery on three sides. It will accommodate nearly 
twelve hundred persons. The ceiling is forty feet high on the 
sides by fifty in the center. A half circle is thrown in on 
the sides, and large ribs, rising from corbels, run up and intersect 
at the center. The other details of finish are in keeping with the 
style of architecture and the exterior finish of the building. The 
windows are of light stained glass, of a quality and style to cor- 
respond with the general design. 

The church and furniture cost about $50,000, and the ground 
cm which it stands -about $12,000 more. 

FOURTH AVENUE CHUBCH, NEW-YOEK. 

The site is an admirable one, fronting ninety-eight feet on 
Fourth Avenue, and one hundred and fifty feet on Twenty- 
second-street. 

The church is built of white marble, in what has been called 
the Romanesque style. The extreme length of the building, 
including both the church and the chapel, is one hundred and 
forty-six feet; the entire breadth is seventy -five feet. The top of 
the spire is two hundred and ten feet from the ground. 

The audience-room of the church is sixty-six feet wide by 
eighty-eight long. It is finished with a clear-story and a groined 
ceiling. The height of the nave is forty-five feet. There are 
one hundred and forty-four pews on the ground floor and sixty 
in the side galleries. There are comfortable seats for thirteen 
hundred persons. 

The chapel fronts on Twenty-second-street, and is thirty feet 
wide by sixty-nine deep in the clear. The audience-room is on 
the second floor, so that it has a fine high ceiling twenty-one feet 
from the floor. On the ground floor are four fine class-rooms, 
and an infant school-room, capable of accommodating from one 
hundred and fifty to two hundred children. 

The general appearance of the building, within and without, is 
ohaste and simple. 



594: APPENDIX. 

BROAD-STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NEWARK, N. J. 

This building is of brown stone, in the perpendicular Gothio 
style. It embraces both a church and a chapel, the latter being 
attached to the rear of the main building. The width is about 
73 feet, and the extreme length 145 feet. The projecting center 
in front is 40 feet wide by 20 deep ; aud the turrets on the outer 
angles are 110 feet high. The large front window is 25 feet wide. 
The windows are filled with stained glass, and all the tracery is 
of stone. The ceiling is of wood, divided into numerous panels, 
in each of which is painted a flower, or other ornamental figure, 
on a light blue ground. The other wood-work of the interior is 
grained in imitation of oak. The church will seat 1000 persons. 

The chapel is divided into two stories, the lower of which con- 
tains seven rooms for classes and other purposes. The upper story 
is the lecture-room, and will accommodate about 400 hearers. It 
is also used for the Sunday school, for which it is very convenient, 
as doors open from it directly into the gallery of the church. 
The roof of the chapel is very steep, giving a heavy slope to the 
ceiling of the lecture-room, the highest point of which is more 
than forty feet from the floor. 

The cost of this structure, exclusive of the ground, was nearly 
$50,000. We must not omit to add that the seats ia the church 
are all free. 

* 

CORPORATE SEAL. 

The reader will see on the title-page of this volume a seal. It 
is the corporate seal of the Methodist Episcopal Church in this 
city. It is the original seal, and bears the marks of age, and has 
been in use since the organization of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in New-York, which took place soon after the famous 
Christmas Conference in Baltimore, when the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in the United States was organized. 

It was used in sealing the documents in the purchase of the 
site for the Second (now Forsyth-street) Methodist Episcopal 
Church, in 1789. 

It is now in the possession of the trustees of the Method- 
ist Episcopal Church in Eighteenth-street; that now being the 
corporate Methodist Episcopal Church in New- York, they hold 
the corporate seal. Through the courtesy of ex-alderman A. A. 
Denman, Esq., the president of the board, I am able to present 
to the reader a picture of the original seal. 




BROAD-STREET METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, NEWARK, N J