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THE COMMISSION ON PAROCHIAL
PRINTED FOR THE DIOCESE
THE TUTTLE, MOREHOUSE & TAYLOR COMPANY, NEW HAVrN, CONN.
The Commission on Parochial Archives has the honor to present to the
Diocese and to all interested in the history of the Church in Connecticut
its third publication.
The period to which these letters belong was in the Church as in the
State, one of experiment, when the independence of the Church, as of the
former Colonies, was being tested. Hardship and suffering were the lot
The Clergy of Connecticut were ready to endure all things for the sake
of the establishment of the Church upon the best and surest foundations.
They had chosen, or rather designated a choice, of a fit person to be their
Bishop. The manner in which thej' met the difficulties of the situation
Letters in this series throw new light upon the meeting at Woodbury on
the feast of the Annunciation, 1783, and show true loyalty to the ancient
and catholic polity of the Christian Church, without regard to the expe-
diency of the hour or following the suggestions in a notable pamphlet by a
prominent clergyman to the southward. Dr. White, afterward Bishop of
Jeremiah Leaming, Bela Hubbard, Samuel Andrews, John Tyler, and
Ebenezer Dibblee, were true confessors of the faith whom we still delight
William Samuel Johnson stands as a type of the well-instructed, devout
layman, serving ably both the Church and the State.
The friend to whom these letters were sent has been greatly misunder-
stood and misjudged by many of his contemporaries, but his brethren of
the clergy were near his heart and they repaid him with affection and
The preservation of the papers of Dr. Samuel Peters through many
vicissitudes until they found a permanent place among the archives of the
General Convention has made possible a revision and correction of our
The editor has prepared the absolutely necessary notes covering the
essential facts in the lives of the writers of the letters and a few of the
persons mentioned in them. While fuller annotation was desirable it was
impossible within the limit set for the appearance of this volume. The notes
upon Dr. Bliss and Mr. Mann were courteously furnished by the secretary
of the Commission, Mr. F. Clarence Bissell, Deputy Comptroller of the
State of Connecticut. He is a recognized authority upon the genealogy
of the Peters family and the history of the To.wn of Hebron.
The half-tone illustrations of Dr. Peters and Dr. Hubbard are taken
from the best known likenesses of these worthies.
June 5, 1913. J. H.
The town of Halifax was laid out in 1748 under the auspices of the
Honorable Edward Cornwallis, Captain General and Governor of Nova
Scotia. It is situated on the western side of a deep inlet of the sea
known as Halifax Harbor. It was named in honor of George Montague,
Earl of Halifax, the President of the Board of Trade.
An ample plot opposite the Grand Parade was reserved for a church,
and a parish by the name of St. Paul's Church was organized. The frame
of a church building was ordered from New England, and it was estimated
that it would cost one thousand pounds to set it up. It was said by
Governor Cornwallis to have been a copy of Marylebone Chapel, London.
Those who know both buildings have declared! that it was identical
with St. Peter's Church, Vere Street, London. The Rev. William Tutty
was sent by the Venerable Propagation Society early in 1750 to be its
minister. On September 2 of that year he formally opened the building
although it was not finished.
In 1752 the Venerable Society sent the Rev. John Breynton to be his
assistant. Mr. Breynton had been a chaplain in the British Navy and
was at the siege and capture of the fortress of Louisburg in the summer
of 1745. He at once gained a high place in the affection of the people
of Halifax. He was earnest, active, sympathetic, and efficient. Mr.
Tutty soon after went to England on private business leaving his curate
in charge. He never returned and died in 1754. Mr. Breynton was then
made Rector of St. Paul's. Few men seem to have left a deeper impression
on a community than he did.
He was pastor to all sorts and conditions of men. He went into the
forests to show tlie squalid Micmac Indians the power and beauty of
Christian faith and life; he made himself familiar with the German
language that he might minister to the poor Germans settled at Lauenburg.
He was the friend and adviser of the Loyalists when they came from the
former American Colonies to find life in the British Province less ideal
than the glowing fancy of British under-secretaries had pictured it, and
to be sufferers in purse and person from the unfulfilled promises of the
government for which they had left their native land and made many
His friend, Jonathan Belcher, the first Chief Justice of Nova Scotia,
calls him "a man of indefatigable labors, experienced assiduity, modera-
tion and perfect good acceptance."
Dr. George W. Hill, the fourth Rector and historian of St. Paul's, says :
"He was the personal friend and counsellor of the successive Governor
and Lieutenant Governor, the associate and adviser of all others in
authority, the friend and helper of the poor, the sick, and afflicted,
and the promoter and supervisor of education. He doubtless deserved
the high enconium passed upon him during his absence by a brother
missionary, the Rev. William Bennett, that he never knew a man so
universally regretted by every individual of every denomination."
After his hard and successful work of thirty-three years Dr. Breynton
went to England upon a leave of absence in the fall of 1785, leaving the
parish in charge of his curate, the Rev. Joshua Wingate Weeks, formerly
missionary at St. Michael's Church, Marblehead, Massachusetts.
He fully expected to return but for some imknown reason did not, to
the great disappointment of the whole parish.
I have your favor of 5 & 17 feb. & M^ Weeks informs me
I am to expect a thundering Episcopate by C. Byles. I found
Col. Fanning has a Letter from you of a much later Date by
which we are informed of your Successful efforts for the worthy
Houseal. That measure will be attended with more salutary
Consequences than are to be expected from the heaven horn
preacher & military Confessor — D'. Seabury or Bishop Sea-
bury stay'd ten Days with us, was treated with great civility
by all that I & Col. Hannory could influence. He preached
here in my Church & performed very well.
Halifax Nova Scotia
3 May 1785.
JOSHUA WINGATE WEEKS.
Joshua Wingate, a son of Colonel John and Martha Weeks, was born
at Hampton, New Hampshire. He was well prepared for College and
graduated from Harvard in 1758. He studied for the holy ministry, and
went to England late in 1762. He was made deacon and ordained priest
in the spring of 1763, and on April 17 of that year licensed by the Bishop
of London to officiate in the Plantations.
He was appointed by the Venerable Propagation Society as Missionary
of St. Michael's Church, Marblehead, Massachusetts. He served faithfully
and acceptably until the approach of the Revolution. The old seaport
was intensely patriotic, with the exception of a few wealthy merchants,
and the fishermen and sailors who made up the greater part of its
population tolerated no one who adhered to King and Church. In 1775
he took refuge with his brother-in-law, the Rev. Jacob Bailey of Pownal-
borough in the District of Maine. He returned with his family in June,
1776. It is understood that he did not open the Church but ministered
in private houses and to the sick and afflicted. In the summer of 1778
he was again compelled to flee from the violence of the patriots to
Khode Island, leaving his family in the parsonage. Mrs. Weeks and her
eight children were provided with passage to Nova Scotia in the fall
of that year. They were courteously received at Halifax and through the
generous kindness of Dr. Breynton provision made for their support.
Mr. Weeks went from Newport to New York City in September and
soon after sailed for England. He was given by the Venerable Society
the mission of Annapolis Royal with a salary of one hundred and forty
pounds, vacant by the death of the Rev. Thomas Wood in December, 1778.
While in England he accused his former friend and neighbor, the Rev.
Edward Bass of Newburyport, afterwards the first Bishop of Massachusetts,
of disloyalty. As a consequence, after a blameless ministry of twenty-six
years, he was deprived of his stipend and dismissed from the Society's
service upon the verge of old age. The most impartial testimony shows
that he was a friend to the British government although in some particu-
lars Dr. Bass yielded to the request of his parishioners in the conduct of
the service; many of them being strong patriots. Mr. Weeks arrived
at Halifax July 16, 1779, and found his succession at Annapolis resisted
by a strong party having the support of many provincial officials who
desired the appointment of the Rev. Nathaniel Fisher who had for two
years been Mr. Wood's assistant. A friend. Colonel Rogers, made him
Chaplain of his battalion, known as the Orange Rangers. While the con-
troversy over the charge of Annapolis was in progress Mr. Weeks, after
paying one or two visits to the town, remained in Halifax, assisting in
St. Paul's Church and serving in turn with Dr. Mather Byles as Chaplain
to the garrison. In 1781, displeased at his neglect, the Venerable Society
dismissed him from their service and offered Annapolis to Dr. Byles or,
if he rejected it, to Mr. Bailey. As Dr. Byles refused, Mr. Bailey took
up his residence in August, 1782. An unpleasant controversy then took
place with his brother-in-law over the Chaplaincy to the garrison which
Mr. Weeks contended was his by right. It appears that for some time
Mr. Weeks received the salary and Mr. Bailey performed the duties.
In 1784 Mr. Weeks went to England, submitted an apology to the Society
and was once more admitted to their favour on condition that he would
resign any claim to the Chaplaincy at Annapolis Royal. Mr. Weeks was
in charge of St. Paul's Church, Halifax, after the departure of Dr.
Breynton for England in September, 1785, until the arrival of Dr.
Stanser in 1791.
In 1793 he took charge of the mission of Preston where he remained
until 1795 when he was transferred to Guysbo rough where he died in
1804. Mr. Weeks married in 1763 Mary Treadwell of Ipswich, Massachu-
setts. They had eight children. One of his sons, Charles William
Weeks, became a clergyman and served in 1799 Weymouth, Guysborough,
in succession to his father; Manchester from 1834 to 1836, and was visit-
ing missionary from 1837 to 1842. A grandson, Joshua Wingate, a son
of the Rev. Charles William Weeks, was ordained priest in 1829 and
served Cornwallis and New Dublin. A daughter married October 5, 1789,
the Rev. William Twining, the missionary at Rawdon. She was the
mother of the Rev. John Thomas Twining, the friend of that Christian
soldier. Captain Hedley Viean.
Mather, a son of the Rev. Dr. Mather Byles of Boston, Massachusetts,
was born in that town January 12, 1735. His father was one of the best
known Congregational ministers of his day and noted for his pungent
wit and an intense dislike to prelacy and the Church of England. He was
well prepared under his father's direction for College and graduated from
Harvard in 1751. He studied theology and in November, 1757, became
the successor of Dr. Eliphalet Adams in the First Church of Christ,
New London, Connecticut. It had been formed in 1650 and had for its
first minister Richard Blinman. Mr. Byles was a man of great intellect,
a vigorous thinker and a clear and convincing speaker. The people were
charmed with him and admired his sermons which were profound, attrac-
tive and eloquent. Tradition says that he was "grand and lordly in his
ways," but the people were proud of him and fascinated by his brilliant
and powerful personality.
There was both incredulity and indignation when he announced in April,
1768, that he had become a convert "to the ritual of the Church of
England." There was much denunciation of him by his congregational
brethren, and scurrilous songs and lampoons written about him.
He sailed for England in May, 1768, was made deacon and ordained
priest by Dr. Richard Terrick, Bishop of London. He was licensed to
officiate in the Plantations June 29, 1768. He soon after received from
the University of Oxford the degree of Doctor in Divinity. Upon his
return he became the Rector of Christ Church, Boston, in succession to
the Rev. James Greaton. He was much admired and did an excellent
work. In 1775 he was appointed by the Venerable Society to St. John's
Church, Portsmouth, but never assumed that position owing to the dis-
turbances of the Revolution. He sailed with his family from Boston for
Halifax with the British fleet in the summer of .1776. He became Chaplain
to the garrison at Halifax and also assisted Dr. Breynton in St. Paul's
Church.. Here he gained new friends and a high reputation for his
learning and adaptability to new conditions of life. In 1778 he was
among a large number of Loyalists proscribed and banished by the State
The parish of St. John, New Brunswick, where a church had been erected
about 1783, of which the Rev. George Bissett in that year became Rector,
was vacant by the sudden death of its first incumbent, March 3, 1788.
A new church had been commenced to bear the name of Trinity Church,
the cornerstone of which was laid by Bishop Inglis August 20, 1788.
Dr. Byles accepted the rectorship in the spring of 1789 and took charge
on May 4 of that year.
He remained loving and beloved until his death, March 12, 1814, in
the eightieth year of his age.
BERNARD MICHAEL HOWSEAL.
Mr. Howseal had been for many years senior pastor of the Lutheran
Church in New York City. In 1776 he was among the signers of an
address of welcome to Lord Howe.
He went to Halifax with the British fleet in 1783 and took charge of
the German Congregation at Lunenburgh near Halifax. In 1786 he went
to England, was made deacon and ordained priest. He was then made
Rector of the Grerman Congregation and served with rare devotion and
patience until his death, March 9, 1799.
He is described as a worthy man who suffered severely by the Revolution.
He was humble, devout and did great good.
Edmund, a son of Captain James and Hannah (Smith) Fanning, was
born at River head, Long Island, in 1737. His grandfather, Thomas
Fanning, had been a prominent resident of Groton, Connecticut.
He graduated from Yale College in 1757, as a Berkeley scholar. He
studied law and in 1760 settled at Hillsborough, then Childsburgh, North
Carolina. In 1763 he was Register of Deeds and Colonel of the Militia
of Orange County. He was highly esteemed and entered largely into the
political and social life of the Province. He was appointed by Governor
William Tryon in March, 1766, Judge of the Superior Court for the
District of Salisbury. He was also elected in that year to the Assembly
and sat in that body for five successive terms where he was useful and
active. A body known as the Regulators attacked in 1768 his house,
claiming that he exacted illegal fees as Register. Consequently he was
defeated at the next election as representative of the County. Governor
Tryon, however, allowed Hillsborough representation and Colonel Fanning
was returned from that town. In September, 1770, the Regulators took
Judge Fanning from the bench and after beating him destroyed his house
and household possessions.
Upon the removal in June, 1774, of Governor Tryon to New York,
Colonel Fanning accompanied him as private secretary. In 1774 the Gov-
ernor made him Surveyor General of the Province of New York which he
held in connection with that of Surrogate of New York City to which he
was appointed in 1771.
In 1776 and 1777 he raised a regiment made up of Loyalists, which
was named the Associated Refugees or King's American Regiment of
Foot. Dr. Samuel Seabury was the Chaplain. It is said by many writers
that members of the Regiment were rude, cruel and grasping. He
remained in the British service until near the close of the Eevolution when
he went to Halifax.
He was made Colonel in the British Army in December, 1782, and in
September, 1783, was appointed counsellor and Lieutenant Governor of
the Province of Nova Scotia. In 1787 he was made Lieutenant Governor
of the Island of St. John's, now Prince Edward Island, in the Gulf of
St. Lawrence. He was here charged with tyranny. The complaint was
brought before the Privy Council and dismissed in August, 1792. In October,
1793, he was promoted to be Major General and in June, 1799, advanced
to the rank of Lieutenant General. In May, 1806, he resigned as Governor.
In April, 1808, he was made General. His closing years were spent in
London. He died February 28, 1818, in his eighty-first year. A widow
and three daughters survived him. His only son, who was a captain in
the Twenty-Second Foot, died in 1812, leaving his father grief-stricken.
While he is bitterly denounced by writers on North Carolina history
and the Revolution, others who knew him at a later period give him a
most exalted character. He was honored in 1774 with the degree of
Doctor of Civil Law by the University of Oxford and with that of Doctor
of Law by Yale and Dartmouth in 1803. In writing to his classmate,
the Rev. Eden Burroughs, asking for the honors, he claimed to have saved
Yale College when General Tryon in the summer of 1779 made his famous
raid along Long Island Sound, burning and pillaging several towns.
John, a son of Colonel John and Lydia (Phelps) Peters, was born at
Hebron, Connecticut, June 30, 1740. He was a nephew of Dr. Peters.
He graduated from Yale College in 1759. He settled at Hebron where he
opened a law office. In 1766 he removed to the new town of Bradford,
now in Orange County, Vermont. This was supposed to be in the Province
of New York. He held a very high position in the community and
was much respected by all the people. Governor Tryon made him, in 1770,
clerk of the new County of Gloucester and Associate Justice of the Court
of Common Pleas. In 1772 he was made Colonel of Militia and in
October, 1774, Lieutenant Governor Colden made him Chief Judge of
the Court of Common Pleas. He suffered much insult from the Green
Mountain boys because he was loyal to his King and in 1776 he fled
to Canada leaving his family and home. In 1777 he was made Lieutenant
Colonel of the Queen's Loyal Rangers. He took part in the battle of
Bennington in October, 1777, after which he escaped to Canada making
a perilous journey through the woods. He returned for his family and
established them comfortably on Cape Breton Island and then went to
London to prosecute before the Claims Commissioners his claim for losses
and back pay as Lieutenant Colonel. He spent three years without accom-
plishing his purpose. He died of gout in the head and stomach, January
11, 1788, in the forty-eighth year of his age. He left a wife, six sons and
Joseph, a son of William and Hannah (Cheney) Peters, was born at
Dedham, Massachusetts, in that part of the town now Walpole, December
11, 1729. He settled in Mendon and removed to Watertown, Massachusetts.
As he was a staunch loyalist he went after the Revolution to Halifax, Nova
Scotia. Here he received much consideration and served for many years as
postmaster-general of Halifax and afterward Judge of the Supreme Court.
He died February 13, 1800, in the seventy-first year of his age. He married
Abigail Thompson. Their children were: Abigail, who died in Medfield,
Massachusetts, December 30, 1829, at the age of seventy-nine years. She
was unmarried. Moses, born at Waterford, Massachusetts, April 26, 1752,
died at Mendon, Massachusetts, December 29, 1810. He married Eleanor
I received your highly esteemed favor of the 19th February,
by his Grace the Right Reverend &c Bishop Seabury — whom I
have heard Preach, but I fail'd in obtaining what I thought a
reasonable Share of his Company, he being perpetually dragged
about while he was here — his Preaching is highly esteemed
here, and I my self am much pleased with his person as
a man, a Gentleman and Divine — God send him success — but
I am afraid he will not meet the treatment he hath a right to
expect from the blue C onnecticutites. I wish I may be found
in a mistake.
Our Printers are the most dastardly Sycophants I ever saw —
I did not chuse to be seen in the affair for some reasons, but
I Wrote the matter out and sent it first to one and then (upon)
his omitting it) to the other, one being a IsTew England Saint
and a disciple of the Holy Sandiman, and the other a Ger-
who professes to be a Saint of Luther ;
man, neither of which had Courage to show to the World so
innocent a piece of Intelligence — His Grace is gone by Water,
to Annapolis and New Brunswick.
Samuel, a son of Samuel and Abigail (Tyler) Andrews, was born in
Wallingford, Connecticut, April 27, 1737. His father's farm occupied a
tract of land "about a mile west of the present railroad station in
Meriden" near the famous Hanging Hills.
Through the influence of a son, Laban, who had been apprenticed to
Captain Macock Ward, the family had conformed to the Church of Eng-
land. Captain Ward was a prominent man in the town, a staunch sup-
porter of Union Church, as it was then called, built near the North
Haven line so as to accommodate the Churchmen of North Haven,
Cheshire and Wallingford.
The family early determined that the youngest son, Samuel, should
become a clergyman. He was given as good an education as was then
possible in the common schools and graduated from Yale College in 1759.
He acted while in College and for two years after as lay reader. He
went to England in April, 1761, and was made deacon August 23 and
priest August 24 of that year by Dr. Thomas Hayter, Bishop of London,
and in October licensed by that Bishop to officiate in the Plantations.
After his arrival home in March, 1762, he took charge of St. Paul's
Church, W^allingford, with Chesliire and North Haven. He was already
known and respected and under his care the Church in each of the three
Mr. Andrews was a Loyalist but when the proclamation w^as made
of a Fast Day in July, 1775, he opened the church and preached a
sermon from the text: "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will
not dwell in your solemn assemblies." Amos 5:21. In the course of the
sermon he urged his hearers to consider the power and resources of Eng-
land and beware how they aroused the ministry and people of the mother-
land. The granting of liberty and equality, he said, is absurd when so
many are held in slavery in various parts of the colonies.
The sermon aroused much resentment, although there is in it no violent
denunciation but a calm and plain setting forth of political principles which
he thought right and just. Only his positive goodness and high Christian
character and the regard in which he was held saved him from violence.
As it was, he was placed vmder heavy bonds and confined within limits.
No services were held in the Church imtil 1778, when the Bishop of Lon-
don allowed churches to be opened and the prayers for the King and Royal
When the Revolution ended, Mr. Andrews with others who had remained
true to their convictions found the greater part of their congregation not
only in poverty but also enthusiastic adherents of the new Republic.
The offers of parishes with ample salaries and glebes in the British pos-
sessions were attractive. Mr. Andrews although he loved his home and
birthplace thought the needs of his family required him to accept one of
them. He removed in the spring of 1788 to the town of St. Andrews on the
St. Croix River. From his house he could look across to the shores of
Maine. In 1791 he purchased the island of Chamcook in the St. Croix
River, where he built for himself a pleasant home. It is now known as
Minster's Island and has been greatly improved by Sir William VanHorn,
who has a summer home on it.
The parish of St. Andrew's, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, was organ-
ized August 2, 1786. A church was built in 1788, fifty-two feet in length
and forty in width. After recovery from a severe paralytic stroke which
unfitted him for duty for some months he was the busy and venerated
pastor of a devoted flock until his death September 26, 1818, in the eighty-
second year of his age.
Mr. Andrews married September 13, 1764, Hannah, a daughter of James
and Anna (Wheeler) Shelton of that part of Stratford now Huntington.
She died in her seventy-sixth year, January 1, 1816. His eldest son, Samuel
James, was a graduate of Yale College in 1785, a shipping merchant in
Derby, Connecticut, and subsequently a pioneer in the present city of
Rochester, where he attained large wealth and great prominence. A
staunch churchman he was a founder of St. Luke's Church and carried the
sound Connecticut churchmanship into western New York.
Mr. Andrews published several sermons which in style and matter are
superior to many of those printed by his contemporaries.
Wallingford May 17'\ 1785.
My dear Sir,
I have received your very friendly and obliging Letter of
the 27^^. of last March by M'. Killbey — I am very glad to
hear of your Health, and that you are settling at Cape Breton,
as it is near to Milford Haven on Chiclabucto, where the
Company I represented last Summer are going to reside —
Should they meet with Disappointments with Regard to that
Place, your Patronage would probably lead them to Cape
Breton, could they obtain a Settlement there.
With regard to myself, I think it probable that I must soon
seek other Quarters, as well thro' a want of Support, as a
Wish to enjoy Brittish Government — should this Event take
place, liothing could be more agreeable to me than what you
Suggest in a frollic indeed, concerning a Clergyman in your
Settlement, as it would restore me to the Company, and place
me under the Protection of an old Friend and Classmate —
Should you desire it, you will doubtless be able soon to pro-
cure the Clerical Appointment you mention, and you will
Essentially Oblige me, if you will Correspond with me upon
the Subject, and inform me what Encouragements are to be
Expected by a Clergyman both from England and the Settle-
ment itself — is the Country where you Settle all together in
its Natural State, or is any part of it Cultivated ? will it pro-
duce any Grane or Grass ? in a Word it is a Land which will
eat up its inhabitants, or must they eat that for want of other
aliment? Excuse these Freedoms, and
believe me to be dear and Respected Sir
your antient and Sincere
Friend and very Humble
Col\ John Peters.
WILLIAM SAMUEL JOHNSON.
William Samuel, the eldest son of the Eev. Samuel and Charity (Floyd)
Johnson, was born at Stratford, Connecticut, October 7, 1727. His father
was the well-known Rector of Christ Church, Stratford, justly called "the
father of Episcopacy in Connecticut," missionary, theologian, educator. He
trained the boy very carefully both morally and mentally and at the age of
thirteen sent him to Yale College, where he attained a high rank and gradu-
ated in 1744 as a Dean Berkeley scholar. Upon leaving College his father
directed his further studies. He served for some years as lay reader in
St. Paul's Church, Ripton, now Huntington. Determining that his vocation
was not the ministry Mr. Johnson turned his attention to the law. He soon
became one of the most skilful lawyers in the colony and his reputation
went beyond its borders. He served in the General Assembly in 1761 and
1765 and was a member of the Stamp Act Congress which met in New
York in 1765. He was made in 1766 a member of the Upper House, known
also as the Governor's Council. In October, 1766, he was chosen by the
General Assembly as the special agent of the colony at the British Court in
the famous Mohegan Case, which involved the legality of its title to the land
held by the remaining members of the Mohegan tribe of Indians. The
matter had been in controversy for seventy years and involved some very
abstruse and knotty legal problems. Dr. Johnson, during his agency,
wrote many letters to the Governor of Connecticut, which are models of
good English and lucid statements of the difficulties encountered by him
as well as vivid pictures of the political state of England. The final
hearing was on June 11, 1771, and the decision was given in favor of the
colony. Dr. Johnson returned home in the fall of that year and resumed
his seat in the Council. In 1772 he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme
Court of the Colony but served only a few months. He was appointed a
delegate to the Congress of 1774 but declined on account of professional
He lived in retirement at Stratford during the Revolution and was
unmolested, although opposed to a war with England. At the return of
peace he resumed the practice of law. He was a member of the Con-
tinental Congress from 1784 to 1787. He was placed at the head of the
delegation to the Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia in
October, 1787. In that brilliant assemblage of statesmen and men of affairs,
Dr. Johnson was considered as the ablest lawyer and was always accorded
a respectful hearing. In several disputed matters his voice was potent.
It is largely to his exposition of the Connecticut system that the plan
of equal representation of the states in the Senate is due.
The reorganization of King's College, New York City, of which his father
was the honored first President, took final shape under the name of Colum-
bia College in the spring of 1787 and Dr. Johnson was in May of that
year elected as President. Under his wise administration a university plan
was adopted and carried out as far as circumstances would allow. Dr.
Johnson was again a member of the Connecticut Assembly from 1787 to
1789 when he was elected the first Senator from Connecticut to the Congress
of the United States, his colleague being Oliver Ellsworth, afterwards
Chief Justice of the United States.
He resigned the presidency of Columbia College in July, 1800, as his
health was seriously impaired. He then went to Stratford where he
received with cordial and gracious hospitality m his spacious mansion his
friends and all who sought him out. He was consulted by many and his
advice was both sensible and sound.
He died November 14, 1819, in his ninety-third year.
Dr. Johnson married November 5, 1749, Anne, a daughter of William
Beach of Stratford. She died at New York, April 24, 1796, in her sixty-
seventh year. He married December 11, 1800, Mrs. Mary Beach of Kent,
Connecticut. She died in April, 1827.
iNTew York Sepf. 22^^. 1788
Eev''. & J)\ S\
At length your Son, after many delays is embark'd with
Cap*. Woolsey & is to sail tomorrow. I most heartily commend
him to the divine Protection, wish him a safe & agreeable
Passage, & that you & he may soon have a happy meeting
together. The Capt'\ did not wish me to pay for his Passage,
as I should readily have done, but will receive it of you at his
arrival in London. He goes off cheerfully, but while he has
resided with me here at the College he seems to have contracted
some affection for the place, & to wish that it may be agreeable
to you that he may return again ere long & receive part of his
Education, at least, in this Country. He has asked me very
many questions upon the subject, I have constantly referred
him to you, assuring him that he may rely upon it that you
will certainly do what is best for him. But when he repeatedly
pressed me for my Opinion, I could not avoid telling him, as
I really think, that if he is to spend his Days here, that it is
best he sho'd be chiefly Educated here, & this he earnestly
desires me to mention to you, which I accordingly do merely
in compliance with his wishes, knowing very well at the same
time, that you need none of my suggestions upon the subje<3t.
Eleven States, having adopted the proposed Constitution,
our Congress have now published their Ordinance directing the
necessary steps towards the Organization of the new Govern-
ment, & that it commence its Operations in this City on the first
Wednesday of March next — Very many are extremely sanguine
in their Expectations that we shall derive great Blessings from
it, while many, on the other hand, are aiming at, & expecting
soon to obtain great alterations & emendations of the plan —
Both sides will as usual, probably be in some measure, disap-
pointed, & how it will finally operate is known only to the
allwise disposer of all Events.
As M'"^ Kneeland is not now with me, I cannot at present
pursue the directions you have favour' d me with, to write to
the Abp on her affair. It must therefore be deferr'd to another
Opportunity, but indeed, so inattentive are they grown to the
calls of Justice, that it seems to little purpose to make any
application to them. I am with the sincerest wishes for your
Kev^ & Dear S^
Your most obedient
W^. Sam\ Johnson.
Kev''. M'. Peters.
Kev"^. M'. Samuel Peters
Johnson D'. W"". S—
rec*^. I^ov— 16—
Ans^ 'Nov 17—
IsTew York May 5**^ 1791.
Eev''. & Dear S''.,
The Trustees of Columbia College are delicate with respect
to granting the higher Degrees, & conceive that many Colleges
both in Europe & America, have injured their own Reputation,
and done disservice to Literature, by the facility with which
they have conferr'd them. They declined granting the Degree
of M.D. to D'". Stearns,
1^^. Because I could give no Information with respect to the
Medical Docf" who signed the Certificate transmitted to me, &
you not being of that Profession, your signature alone, they
considered, would not be a ground upon which they could
determine that he had Medical Knowledge sufficient to entitle
him to that Degree.
2^^. Two of the Gentlemen had seen a Publication (which I
had not heard of, nor have yet seen) by the D"", of a Tour to
France, of which they had conceived a very indifferent Opinion.
3^^. One of the Corporation, himself a Phyfisian of Character,
declared that he had known D'". Stearns where he resided
during the late War on Long Island, & that neither his Knowl-
edge in that Science, nor his conduct at that time, did in his
Judgment by any means qualify him for that Degree. It is
highly probable that these Objections might have been obviated,
but I had no Information or means, not being aware of them,
by which I could do it effectually.
The Georgian & Jacobite Bishops will I trust amicably
coalesce, & occasion no Discussion or Controversey in this
I am happy to hear of your Son's health, & that he is to
pursue his Studies at Oxford or Cambridge. I pray God he
may become an accomplished Scholar, & a good Man, & am
w^ith affectionate Compliments to him.
Rev''. & D^ S^
Your most obedient
& most humble Servant
W". Sam\ Johnson.
Rev''. D^ Peters.
The Rev''. D"". Samuel Peters,
May 5'^ 1791
re". June 28—
WILLIAM ABERNETHY DRUMMOND.
William Abernethy was born in 1719 or 1720 at Saltoun, Haddingtonshire,
Scotland, where the family had long been established. He studied medicine
at the University of Edinburgh and after practicing for some years took a
theological course, was ordained, and took charge of a Chapel of the
Episcopal Church of Scotland in Edinburgh. He was consecrated Bishop
of Brechin at Petershead on September 26, 1787. He was soon after elected
Bishop of Edinburgh. His Episcopate was remarkable for its energy and
the part he took after the death of Charles Edward Stuart in causing the
removal of the disabilities of the Episcopal Church of Scotland. He
resigned his see of Edinburgh in 1805 in favor of Dr. David Sanford.
He died at his seat, Hawthornden, August 27, 1809, in the ninetieth year
of his age.
Upon his marriage with Mary Barbara, the widow of Robert MacGregor,
and heiress of William Drummond of Hawthornden, he took the name of
Your obliging letter of tlie 5*^^ came safe to hand, & I
take this opportunity of returning my hearty thanks for your
kind communication anent our friend Bishop Seabury. The
consecration of Madison & the other two Bishops refusing to
unite with him in the promotion of M"". Bass, behoved to make
him uneasy ; but I trust in God, that these gentlemen will
soon open their eyes, & see it to be their Duty to promote the
peace of their Jerusalem, by a happy agreement with their
worthy Brother. Indeed, I think the Archb^. of Cny's answer
cannot fail to have that effect: or if not, they must be blind
beyond the possibility of seeing, & much will they have to
answer for at the Great Day of Accounts — The Chancellor, thro
the good Bishop of St. David's means, has at last agreed that
a bill be brought into Parliament for the relief of the Scotch
Episcopal Clergy, & I expect to hear immediately after the
Easter recess, that the Lord Advocate has apply'd for leave to
bring One in accordingly. I give you joy of M'". Jarvis's
success, and heartily wish you & all your friends health &
with the blessing of the approaching high Festival :
happiness commending you & them to the Grace & protection
of God's Holy Spirit, I am
your affect. Brother
W™. Abernethy Drummond.
Edn^ 20*^ April 1791.
Samuel Peters Grosvenor Place
April 20*^ 1791
John, a son of John and Mary (Doolittle) Tyler, was born in Walling-
ford, August 15, 1742. The family had been prominent in the town, as
Roger Tyler, its ancestor, had been one of the original proprietors in 1638.
As a young man Mr. Tyler conformed to the Church of England. He
graduated from Yale College in 1765, having the high honour of delivering
the valedictory oration. He pursued a post-graduate course at King's
College, New York City, now Columbia University. This procedure was
then almost unknown. Its president was the witty and brilliant Myles
Cooper. The young scholar then studied theology under the Rev. Dr.
Johnson at Stratford and became lay-reader in Christ Church. Some of
the congregation were in favor of making him assistant to the Rector,
the majority, however, thought him unfitted for such a prominent position.
He was recommended by Dr. Johnson to the churchmen in his native town,
G\iilford, as a suitable successor to Bela Hubbard, the minister who had
been reader in Christ Church for some years previous to his ordination in
1764. Mr. Tyler was acceptable and permission was sought for him "to go
home for orders." He sailed May 10, 1768, bearing with him a petition for
the erection of Guilford into a mission by the Venerable Society. He was
made deacon June 24, and ordained priest June 29, 1768, by Dr. Richard
Terrick, Bishop of London. The request of Guilford was refused, as the
Society had determined to erect no new missions in New England.
Mr. Tyler was appointed to Norwich, from which John Beardsley had
removed to Poughkeepsie, New York. Mr. Tyler commenced his work at
Norwich, Noveiiiber 1, 1768. Without the brilliance of some of his con-
temporaries, there was a sweet earnestness and inflexible purpose in all he
said or did. He had a most musical voice and in his intercourse with his
parishioners and others was mild and benevolent. His knowledge of medi-
cine was freely given to the poor and gained him many warm friends.
During the Revolution although threatened by the Committee of Safety and
others he was practically unharmed. Traditionally his well was poisoned or
attempted to be. The Church was closed from 1776 to 1778 but the Rector
of Norwich continued his pastoral work and held some informal seryices
in houses of parishioners.
He fell into disfavor with some of his brethren because of the report
that when John Murray, the advocate of universal salvation, visited Xor-
wich iu 1778 he declared his acquiescence in his views. Such startling
reports of his views and their advocacy by him in sermon and conversation
reached the clergy in other parts of the Diocese, that he was in August,
1786, formally cited by Bishop Seabury to appear before the Convocation
of the Clergy "at the house of the Reverend Mr. Richard Mansfield, on the
twentieth day of September next, to see whether mutual explanations may
not remove that offense which your proceedings at Wallingford and
Norwich have, we conceive justly given to them and myself." He could not
attend at Derby but was summoned to meet the Bishop with Dr. Abraham
Jarvis and Dr. Bela Hubbard at New London in October. He appears to
have satisfied them that he had not transgressed the authorized liberty of
opinion on a matter upon which there was no formal declaration.
His friendly relations with the Bishop and other clergy continued. The
sudden death of the first great Bishop of Connecticut on February 26, 1796,
brought to Mr. Tyler the sad duty of officiating at his funeral on Sunday,
February 28, and burial in the public cemetery at New London.
Mr. Tyler continued his quiet, effective work until past his three-score
and ten years. His young friend and assistant, the Rev. Seth Birdseye
Paddock, the father of two Bishops, in his declining years took all care and
anxiety from the old Rector. Mr. Tyler died January 20, 1823, in the
eighty-first year of his age and the fifty-fourth of his ministry. He was
the last survivor of the Connecticut clergy ordained in England.
Mr. Tyler married May 6, 1770, Hannah, a daughter of Isaac and Eliza-
beth (Bushnell) Tracy of Norwich. She died at Norwich, January 19, 1826,
in the seventy-fifth year of her age. A grandson, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Lee
Brewer, established on the Pacific coast the well-known St. Matthew's
School, first located at San Mateo, California, near San Francisco, now
Mr. Tyler published several sermons, notably that at the opening of
Trinity Church, Pomfret, in 1770, and one adapted from Bishop Seeker
on Peace. Six sermons on The Law and the Gospel, attributed to him by
undoubted evidence, were published in 1798 and 1815, anonymously. They
advocated universal salvation.
N'orwich in Connecticut Jan''. 9 : 1784.
I received your kind Letter of August 4, 1783, by M''.
Chandler Wattles ; who expected to return to Europe in about
six Weeks, and was to call on me for a Letter: but contrary
to Expectation, he called I think, the very next Week, in Haste,
and went unluckily I had no Letter written — I should have
wrote long before, had I known where to direct: but now
perhaps I may write again.
I have taken the whole Care that has been taken of Hebron
Church ever since you left it: though I must confess that I
durst not go there for some Time after you went away; so
bitter was the Spirit of some People : but since, I have been
three or four Sundays there every year. — Your Estate is not
confiscated, as by your Letter I see you had supposed: and
your Friends in Hebron since the Kews of Peace expected your
Return ; and are not a little disappointed. — Strange Alterations
have indeed taken Place since you left this Country We are
in general become a poor People — the Episcopalians are most
impoverished : but all groan under the Burden of heavy
Taxes. — And I need not tell you that the Missionaries have
suffer'd much most every Way, in Name, Person, and Estate.
I have been obliged to sell Bills as low as twenty per cent
under par, when I actually purchased Wheat at three Spanish
Dollars per Bushel : and even now, the ISTecessaries of Life
are on an Average, one quarter dearer than they were when
you left the Country ; though Money perhaps was never scarcer
than at present — 'New York was very full of money when the
ISTews of Peace came : but the Narrowness of our Policy drove
from thence about thirty Thousand Refugees, and with them
most of the Money; and the Remainder is gone to Europe
for Goods. By this you may have some Idea of the Present
State of the Country.
As to the Episcopal Church in America, it has Reason to
expect an Establishment; nor can it be Prudence for her to
subject herself to a Presbyterian Head : this, I am determined
to oppose with all my Might, if any Proposal of this Nature
should appear. No : the episcopal Church in America, like
primitive Christianity, must be a Kingdom of its own — a
religious Polity distinct from the civil. And if she can enjoy
equal Toleration or Liberty with other religious Denominations
in general, must think herself upon the best Footing she can
expect. T'would be absurd to the last Degree, for the episcopal
Church to look up to the sons of Jack Presbyter in. the civil
Chair, as to l^ursing Fathers. There is good Reason to hope
that the episcopal Church here will be tolerated, considering
her JsTumbers on this Continent; and that civil Policy has so
engrossed the Attention of America in general, for eight or
nine Years past, that Religion has very little thought of; and
the dissenting Clergy, by preaching little else but Politics, have
lost their religious Influence past Recovery: and the leading
People are now, I believe, much more bigotted to Money, than
to any religious Denomination. But what fickle Mortals are
a People, when once their Polity is unsettled! — Pirst in Pre-
tence, horribly afraid of Popery — then full of Candour towards
it — at last rather indifferent to all Profession. — You can hardly
imagine how the People here are altered.
It is the prevailing Opinion here, that the Missionaries now
in their Missions, will have their Salaries continued to them
during their Lives ; though we doubt much of having the
vacant Missions continued. But if the Salaries of the present
Missionaries should be discontinued, after sacrificing every
temporal Interest to their Fidelity, and being unfortunate in
the Issue, their Fate would be hard indeed. All the episcopal
Clergymen in Connecticut, have been uniform and persevering
in their Fidelity, and have thereby kept a good Conscience, if
no more ; but the Consideration of having one's Virtues
immortalized in historic Page, while he lives in Want of the
very l!^ecessaries of Life, and must die in Poverty, is but a
poor Consolation. I much Question whether Hannibal, who
after the Destruction of Carthage, was hunted from ISTation to
Nation, struggling with the Hardships of Poverty and Con-
tempt, was much comforted by the Prospect of having his
military Skill recorded in History. I know it is not uncom-
mon for the World to neglect and despise the LTnfortunate
while alive, howsoever virtuous they are; and then to speak
mighty well of them when they are dead and gone, and can
receive no Benefit from it. So the Jews killed the Prophets,
and their Sons built their Sepulchres, and decorated them with
The false Papers, you say, we signed versus you, I believe
you must be under a Mistake concerning them, if my Memory
serves me. I never saw them but once, and that was about
five months after they were signed. Either you must have been
imposed on by a Forgery, or have drawn very remote Con-
sequences. After you left the Country our Clergy were con-
tinually threatened, and endured many Violences ; and at a
Session of the Assembly of Connecticut at ISTew Haven, several
of the Members told Parson Hubbard, that the general Opinion
was, that our Clergy were in a Combination or Conspiracy with
Mr. Peters, to rob the Country of their Liberties; which
Combination Hubbard denied. Those Members then advised
Hubbard to call in some of the neighboring Clergy, to sign
a Denial of any such Conspiracy; and then the Members of
the Assembly would use their Influence to pacify the People
to desist from Violences towards the Clergy. Accordingly
Hubbard called in several of the Clergy ; who, in the Presence
of many Members of the Assembly, at Hubbard's House, signed
Papers the whole Substance of which was, that we, the episcopal
Clergy of Connecticut, are in no Conspiracy with the Rev^.
M"": Peters against the Liberties of the Country. This was,
to the best of my Remembrances, all that those Papers said
concerning you, and as near as I can remember, in those very
Words. I was not present; nor did I hear so much as a
Word of it for near Six Months. — I saw your Letter to Doctor
Inglis respecting this Matter, and from that strongly suspected
that a very fallacious or forged Account of this Matter has
been made use of against you. But if those Papers really did
contain any thing more than I have said, it is my Mistake.
As to the Petition that Doctor Seabury may be made our
Bishop; at the ISTews of Peace, the Clergy suddenly met
together, without notifying either Fogg or me, and did as you
have heard; and no Doubt as they thought for the best; and
I believe, without the least Idea of the Clergy of E^ew York,
or any other Place, having any party or personal Views to the
Prejudice of the Connecticut Clergy; for you know, those who
mean no evil, are apt to suspect none.
As to our Convention signing Petitions by our Secretary, I
have several times objected against it, because we are not a
Body corporate in Law: but it has been answered that this
is common to voluntary Associations; and that thus we have
often done, when we have wrote to the Society, without any
Appearance of their Disapprobation, and that the Society under-
stand us: and I have replied, that there may be Occasion for
showing our Petitions to Persons not acquainted with our Cus-
ton of Subscribing, who may ask, how came these Clergymen
to be a Corporation and the Explanation cannot be much to
our Advantage, vis. that as Children ape the Adult, so we ape
Bodies corporate. — I was not present when the Clergy petitioned
for Jarvis, &c. to be made Missionaries. — I am not willing to
petition our sovereign States to permit the Residence of Bishops
here; because I think we have the same Right to Bishops as
to Presbyters ; and to ask Permission to enjoy our religious
Liberties or Privileges, before we are forbid, looks too much
like an Acknowledgment of our Subjection as a Church, to the
Control of those civil Rulers who profess a different Religion :
and if we seem to acknowledge, that presbyterian civil Rulers
have a Right to say, whether the episcopalians shall have Bis-
hops or not; can it be supposed that those Rulers will think
that we need Bishops ? But if we procure Bishops, the civil
Rulers here, cannot refuse their Residence, without a manifest
Violation of religious Liberty; which would injure their
Reputation in the Eyes of all Europe ; and would divest them
of all Pretence of patronizing religious Liberty, which is a
Character they much affect, since the Alliance with France.
So that the best way for the Episcopalians to preserve their
religious Privileges, is, I think, to use them freely, without
appearing to fear any Control. — ^But after all, I am of Opinion,
that we shall not obtain a Bishop in Connecticut at present;
but that there will be a Bishop sent out to Nova-scotia first.
You seem determined not to see this Country again. — I know
you was ever fond of a City Life: but possibly when you
come to know the State of your Affairs here, which you will
learn by the Letters from your Friends at Hebron, you may
alter your Mind ; at least so far as to make us a Visit — I should
be sorry to see you no more. — You have some Inducements to
come again, if not to tarry. — You have an Estate at Hebron
worth looking after; and a Son at Stratford, who I believe is
in good Health. — and whom you must wish to see, and his grand
Parents will not be willing to part with for Life. — I should
suppose you were by this Time weary of the Hurry and l^oisc'
of a City; though in a good Degree compensated by many
Things that are agreeable. To this Country, I know you have
now two capital Objections, which I need not name. — I will
be much obliged to you for a Letter as soon as may be after
you receive this. But first I wish you to obtain the Perusal
of my Letter to the Secretary of the Society, which is of the
same Date with this to you; and which contains Something
that very nearly concerns me ; and if you can be of any Ser-
vice to me in the Matter, and will befriend me, you will not
doubt my receiving it very kindly of you. And then I wish
you to write me, by the first Opportunity, what Reception my
Letter meets with, or is likely to meet with. To give you any
tolerable Idea of the Matter in this Letter, would render it by
far too long. What you will think of the Matter, I cannot
conjecture; but I think you cannot doubt my Sincerity.
Our old Friend M'. Griste is gone to Rest — old Mrs. Lan-
caster also — ^Mess". Holden, Lancaster, Bushnells, Cook, Lef-
fingwell &c. much as usual, except what it common to us all
here become poorer, and low spirited. — Many of my Parish-
ioners have moved away, within the four last years, several are
dead, and several new ones have conformed. — M". Tyler joins
me in respectful Compliments to you and your Daughter. —
I remain your Friend and Brother,
The Rev''. Samuel Peters,)
Pimlico, London. )
Rec^ May 14th, 1784.
ISTorwich in Connecticut December 2, 1784
I take this Opportunity of writing to you, by Cp*". Gurdon
Bill, a !N"on-con, who is about to sail from ISTorwich Landing
for London. I have heard of several Letters from you since
last Winter, but have seen none. I heard that in one to Doctor
Sutton, of the l^''. of March last, you proposed to go to France,
and should not correspond with America for some years.
Again, I heard of Letters from you to M"". Birdsey of Stratford :
and this Fall past, I heard of Letters received in Hebron from
you, in which you mentioned the Receipt of Letters from some
one in Hartford, and from Doctor Bliss in Hebron, who were
of Opinion that you could not return in Safety, perhaps they
did not wish to encourage your Return. However, the vindic-
tive Spirit of the Country is almost totally altered in the Space
of one Year past : and though, if you had returned last Spring,
some few Curs might have growled a little, and I am confident
that would have been all yet now I can assure you, that the
fierce Spirit of Whigism is dead: and it is the general Sense
of the People of Connecticut, Rulers and all, that the old Spirit
of Bitterness is now the worst of Policy. ITot one word of
Whig and Tory appears now in the ISTews-papers ; and even the
fiery Darts at General Arnold, which lasted longest, are now
totally out of Fashion. Those heretofore call'd Tories, and who
were treated with the greatest Bitterness, are now in as good
Reputation as any. Doctor Johnson is chosen a Member of
Congress — M"". Semour Mayor of the City of Hartford, — and
Cp*. !N^athaniel Backus, who was much harrassed in the War,
for being a bold Friend of Great-Britain, is now the Second
Alderman of our City of l^orwich. And if you should incline
to return, I am sure that not one Dog would move his Tongue
against you. And you would be much more at Peace here, than
you was even seven years before the War. — Our Friend Ebe-
nezer Punderson, is returned to Pamutanoc with his Family,
and our general Assembly have returned to him all his Estate ;
and he is well received, — and not a Mouth opened against him.
In my Letter to you of the 9th of Jan^. last, which I con-
clude you must have received, I mentioned a Letter of mine to
the Society of the same Date ; but I did not send it forward
'till the 20th of last April ; and suppose you have seen it. But
I have not heard any Thing from the Society in Consequence
of it : and I wish you to write me by Cp\ Bill, or sooner than
his Return if you have an Opportunity, and inform me all
you know of the Matter, that is, what Reception my Letter has
met with. What you think of my Opinion, respecting the
final Salvation of all Men, I know not: but if you can render
me any Services, with Doctor Morrice, and will be kind enough
to use what Influence you have, that I may not be cut off from
the Society's Favor, you will my sincerest Thanks. After
what I have said of my Opinion, in my Letter to Doctor Mor-
rice, of the 20th. of April last, which I suppose you must have
seen, will be to no Purpose for me to attempt in this Letter,
to explain to you the Reasons of my Opinion.
I have not heard how Doctor Seabury proceeds ; but expect
to hear soon. — The Motion of the Philadelphia-episcopal Clergy,
with their Lay-Delegates, respecting the founding of our Amer-
ican-Episcopal Church, you have, or will no doubt hear by
other Hands. But our Connecticut Clergy look totally askew
at their lay-Delegates, and will never I believe, admit those
Tobacco-cutters with them. The Pennsilvania, I^ew-Jersey,
and ISTew-York Clergy met lately at ISTew-York; and the Con-
necticut Clergy sent a Letter, and a Representative, to put off
Matters, 'till we have a Bishop ; pleading that we cannot act
in founding a Church, 'till we have a Bishop, and so are
organized, as a Church.
Our old Friend Cp\ Bushnell is dead — and our good Friend
M". Brimmer died in Boston last Summer — My Family has been
considerably visited with Sickness, at Times, for more than a
Year: and I have lost my oldest Son by Death the Summer
past, who was between eleven and twelve years of Age: which
was a grievous Stroak to me, and the Recollection is yet very
painful ; and my Spirits are low. — I hear tliat M'. Man's Son
is return' d from you to Hebron; but have not seen him; and
have heard very little of the Accounts he brings.
M''^ Tyler joins me in her Compliments and kind Regards
to you and Daughter.
Sir, I remain you sincere Friend and Brother,
The Eev^ Samuel Peters)
Pimlico, Charlotte Street )
N"° 1, London. )
Dec'. 20, 1784
Rec^ FeV. 10, -85
Ans'^. April 1, -85
By Cap\ Bill.
DOCTOR BLISS OF HEBRON.
Dr. Neziah Bliss of Hebron was a son of Rev. John Bliss of Hebron
(first settled pastor of the Congregational Church, afterwards conformed
to Church of England, and was one of the founders of St. Peter's Church,
Hebron), born March 21, 1737, graduated Yale 1760, one of the most
eminent citizens of Hebron, served fourteen terms in the Legislature prior
to the Revolution. "To him the American People owe more than sug-
gestion of their common school system; he was its founder in the state
of Connecticut where it was first adopted, and where he procured such
Legislation in its aid as nursed it through its incipient stages and gave
it vigor for the almost sublime descent it has accomplished." (Bliss
He died August 31, 1787.
JOHN AND NATHANIEL MANN.
Rev. Samuel Peters wrote from London, October 24, 1786, to "John and
Nathaniel Mann of Hebron." "I have appointed you John Mann and your
son Nathaniel jointly and severally to be my attorney and attorneys, not
believing that the state of Connecticut is now graced with two other men
of equal virtue and honor."
John Mann married Margaret Peters, a sister of Rev. Samuel Peters. Dr.
Nathaniel, his son, nephew of Rev. S. Peters, graduated at Dartmouth,
completed his education in England as physician and surgeon. Was in
business as druggist and physician in Hebron for a time, finally going
to Georgia, where he died.
Dr. Nathaniel Mann writes to Col. John Peters at Quebec, September 21,
1783, "Your father and Dr. Sutton and my brother Andrew are become
Deists and most of the Church are Universalists, alias Murrianites."
Bela, a son of Lieutenant Daniel and Dianna (Ward) Hubbard, was
born in Guilford, Connecticut, August 27, 1739. His father died when
he was only twelve years old. His mother married for her second husband,
Captain Nathaniel Johnson of Guilford, a younger brother of the Rev.
Dr. Samuel Johnson of Stratford.
The boy was well brought up and thoroughly taught in the subjects
which would fit him for College and graduated from Yale in 1758.
He was under the direction of Dr. Johnson during his course in theology
in New York City, as the Doctor was then President of King's College.
After a year he returned to his home in Guilford and became lay reader
in Christ Church. He sailed for England in November, 1763, in company
with his dear friend, Abraham Jarvis, and William Walter of Boston.
They were most courteously received, but the petition of Guilford to be
made a mission and placed under the care of Mr. Hubbard was refused
by the Venerable Society. The story has long been current and rests
upon well-authenticated tradition, that when with his fellow candidates
he paid his respects, according to custom, to the Archbishop of Canter-
bury, and was introduced, his Grace in perplexity repeated his name:
"Bela, Bela, I never heard of that name." "Very likely not, your Grace,"
said the young man, "it is in the Bible."
Mr. Hubbard, with his companions, was made deacon in St. James's
Church, Piccadilly, London, February 5, 1764, by Bishop Keppel of Exeter.
They were ordained priests by Bishop Lyttleton of Carlisle, February 19,
of the same year. He returned to take charge of Christ Church, Guilford,
and St. John's, North Guilford, where for three years he labored incessantly
and extended his ministrations to the neighboring town of Killingworth,
It was with very real grief that the people of Guilford learned in the
summer of 1767 that Mr. Hubbard had accepted an appointment from
the Venerable Society to New Haven and West Haven. Under the new
missionary. Trinity Church grew rapidly and Christ Church increased its
strength. Mr. Hubbard was a man who combined great patience and
capacity for work with a very high ideal of duty. Simple and guileless in
his manners, without the gift of eloquence, his teaching was plain, direct
and based upon the true conception of the Church of God. His goodness
and sincerity attracted and attached every one to him.
His attitude during the Revolution was most admirable, for while he was
firmly attached to the Crown he did not allow himself to be drawn into
Trinity Church was closed until 1778 but the minister continued his
round of visits and consolation to the sick and afflicted. He was one of
those who determined that the Church in Connecticut should have an
Episcopal head before any change in the English Book of Common Prayer
should be made or any united effort made for an independent branch of
Christ's Holy Church. As New Haven grew the Church grew and Dr. Hub-
bard won more and more the good will of all sorts and conditions of men.
Under his supervision the negotiations for a new Church building on the
Green were conducted.
In 1811 his failing health made an assistant minister necessary and the
saintly Henry Whitlock of Norwalk was chosen in June of that year.
Dr. Hubbard survived in great weakness of body until he departed this
life, December 6, 1812, in the seventy -fourth year of his age and the
forty-eighth of his ministry. His old friend and companion. Bishop Jarvis,
lived only four months longer, for he died on May 3, 1813.
Dr. Hubbard married in Fairfield, Connecticut, May 15, 1768, Grace
Dunbar Hill of Antigua, West Indies. She was a daughter of Thaddeus
and Elizabeth (Isaacs) Hill. She died in Farmington, Connecticut, April
27, 1820, in the seventy-third year of her age.
One of their sons, Thomas, became prominent in the affairs of Syracuse,
New York, as a man of public spirit and Judge. Another, Bela, was for
many years active in business life in Detroit, Michigan, and a strong and
liberal supporter of St. Paul's Church.
l^ew Haven January 21'\ 1784.
My very dear friend :
'tis a very long time since, I have been blessed with your
very agreeable society & converse, and the late destracted times
prevented me writing you — but you have not forgotten me, with
pride & satisfaction I received your letter written soon after
the peace, the Spirit of which did you honor & gave pleasure
to me & your friends, you appear to have had a perfect knowl-
edge of our political Situation, Law providence will determine
in the final issue, our Eclesiastical ; time will show, but certain
it is that the Church in America is more respected than I
The General Assembly now setting in this town seem dis-
posed to give full scope to the toleration of all religious parties,
and have in this Session passed some acts, that give equal
countenance to each religious denomination, which will help the
Church in particular, and was a bishop to come into this govern-
ment, it is my real opinion, that every thing would be made
easy to him on the part of government provided th' was no
formal application made to them on that score.
Your Estate hath never been, nor will it be confiscated,
although I believe the Assembly have availed themselves of the
interest of it — your aged mother was alive as young Jones told
me at Christmass & sent a letter to be forwarded to you via X
York — ^your son I saw lately at M^ Birdseys, he with D^
Johnson & myself concluded on the whole that your son had
better tarry for a season here, good care will be taken of him.
All old things are done away, but your brethren in their
conduct in consequence of your going away hath been altogether
misrepresented to you, I shall God willing soon convince you
by original papers that your brethren have in no instance acted
an unfriendly part with you.
A young gentleman I much esteem calls on me going to
morrow from this port to London which determined me
educated in y : College
to write you — the gentleman is M"" Jeremiah Townsend he
is in y marcantile line connected with M"^ Jeremiah Atwater
a good man uniformily, he goes I suppose to form some
connections in trade, is industrious, sensible, & of strict honor,
any civilities shown to him by you I shall consider as an honor
done me and shall not be forgotten by me — by him I send you
D"" Styles Election Sermon — I leave you to make your own
remarks upon it — I have another favor to ask & I conjure you
by the love I bare you, that you grant it me, which is to give
yourself the trouble to enquire out a proper person in London
to furnish us a neat good well toned Organ with a decent case'
for about 100^ Guinea's, we have now a subscription filling up
for the purpose and shall probably in the Spring forward the
money — you know my Church is small, but if we succeed as I
think we shall in filling up our subscription I shall write you
more particularly about the matter.
I had written so far & your favor of October 20*^ 1783 was
handed to me, I shall communicate the contents to my brethren,
and am obliged to you for your good advice respecting the
Interest of the poor Church in this part of the World — we hope
not to fall under the leather mitten & be darned up in Utica
but yet to stand on good ground & have a bishop among our-
selves who are now y^ largest body of Episcopal Clergy in any
one Gov*, in America — what you say about the points IST York,
whose influence, had ruined y' clergy of Connecticut. If M^
Leaming, Jarvis, Andrews & Scovil & myself c**. have prevailed
at the convention & what follows is all a riddle to me wish you
to explain it to me, by the return of the bearer of this, and I
conjure you to tell me how you live, what are your hopes, this
side Jordon, we shall no doubt find better on the other
side of it, pray how does your dear girl Miss Hannah who we
are told is much accomplished, speaks and writes French well
&c. &c. M'^^ Hubbard the mother of six children & who hath
borne 8 desires not to be forgotten by you & your dear girl,
she hath a woman's anxieties to know whether or no Miss
Hannah is married & whether the Rev*^. Pimlico parson is a
single or a married man — tell me in your next all these things
&L add many like words of things for our mutual curiosity —
you mention M'^^ Cargil please to make our kind love to her &
husband & if she wishes to know the present State of New
Haven M"^ Townsend the bearer can fully gratify her — ^you men-
tion still a desire that M"". Birdseye would send you your son
I shall see him probably very soon and I will communicate to
him what you say on the Subject, but as I observed before D''.
Johnson thinks it would be better for you with respect to your
Estate in Hebron for him to reside here at least for the present,
he is truly a very fine child, he looks much like a cherry cheek'd
lad by the ISTame of S P — whom I knew in Y College some
20 years since, I have kissed Grace on your account & my own,
& she most cordially saluteth you, as does the worthy M'
Leaming our good brother who happens to be here — the spirit
of the people oppressed with the burden of taxes, grows daily
more & more mild, hope in a year or two you will come among
us & make your abode with us, we are undoubtedly, we allways
were, & always shall be undoubtedly the best, the worthyest the
best natured loving & amiable Clergy in the World — it would
now give your heart the utmost joy to be with us in one of our
Conventions, you shall yet be blessed no doubt with our good
Company, & Society, but if Heaven sho"^. determine otherwise,
hope we shall all meet in Heaven, whose King is Just, & among
whose subjects, mercy. Justice, peace & love forever reign may
we meet there never more to part is y® wish & prayer of my
very dear brother, your's affectionately,
Assembled cordially in Convention at Wallingford at the house
of the Rev*^. Peter Lizzard the Rector of Rectors the
Rev^ Messrs Leaming, Scovil, Jarvis, Clarke Hubbard —
Scovil Andrews will probably go in the Spring to view the
]^ova Scotia world as agents for a company going thither —
Scovil hath 8 children Andrews 5 I have six how they are to
be provided for God knows, we are all confounded poor tho'
rich in good works & in love to one another. Clarke remains
at JSTew Milford poor, Marshall still at Woodbury, but thinks
of Milford — Old Milford which place is destitute of ministers
of all denominations many of y® dissenting parishes are vacant,
& likely to continue so, their Ministers out preached themselves
& have very much lost their influence with their people, Vieta
Roger, Dibblee, Tyler, Fogg, J^ichols, l^ewton, Mansfield &
Bostwick are all still above ground. Father Beach Dead — his
parish vacant, as is Stratford, Fairfield, ISTorwalk, JN^ London,
Hebron &c. My people are civil to me & my church gains
Once more God bless you faith.
Bela your friend.
Rev''. S\ Peters.
'New Haven March 19, 1784.
One good arises from the general evil that is brought on by
the seperation of the countries, — a door is opened for a freer
intercourse with ones friends, I acknowledge with pride &
pleasure that I have received two letters which I have read to
hundreds of your friends, to my and their edification, in your
last you have been good enough to mark out a plan for the
Connecticut episcopate corresponding in the general with the
sentiments of your brethren in these goings down of the sun, but
the grand difficulty appears to lie in your dim climes of light, —
the spirit of our jSTew england puritan brethren are mightily
cooled & cooling, poverty who can stand before, it hath produced
great alterations feeling its pains they are now projecting
plans to recal their banished brethren from Kova Scotia, the
strife and contention is between the City of N Haven & the
City of ]Sr London for you must know that both these places
have obtained charters from the general Assembly of Connect-
icut last January and are Incorporated City's. I^ew Haven y®
first with liberal privileges I expect M"". Elias Shipman com-
mon-counselman of the City of IST Haven & Cap*. W". Powel
a citizen of the same City will go to London in the course of
y® ensuing summer by whome I intend to write you about many
things & they will be able to tell you many more than I can
write — in the mean season to give you some faint Idea of the
spirit of our citizens I enclose a vote of y*^ Town of IsT Haven
as comprehending its parishes about which I say — The Charter
is as I told you a liberal one, & by y^ above named gentleman.
I propose sending it to you without expense, I wrote you some
time since by a M'" Townsend with a Sermon of W. Stiles
which I hope you have received also I asked your favorable
attention to a matter we have much at heart the procuring an
Organ for Trinity Church. Shipman & Powel will I suppose
bring with them one Hundred Guineas to procure the Organ
& case — they will probably tarry but a few weeks in London
& if the business could be forwarded any way beforehand so
that they might be able to bring it with them we should be
very much obliged — we have at this present writing some YO
or 80 £ lawful raised for y'^ purpose, pray dont fail writing me
by the return of Townsend.
We have had to grappel with the most severe frost the last
winter, that the memory of man can furnish us with an account
of ; our harbour for many months bound with frost but two
or three days ago broke up, how cold it hath been at N Carolina
the last winter in the course of but a few weeks from Boston
to N" York it has been said we lost not less than 1500 souls — our
commerce as yet is very far from making us rich most of our
people have come into the opinion that our Independence is
not the one thing needful, unless poverty is that thing, how
we are to get money is the grand question — if we go to IST Scotia
meet we must the difficulties that always attend setlers in N"
Countrys, if we stay where we are we can but only starve, we
shall not perish by the Sword that is Sheathed, in a word we
are on the ground and can get no lower — Scovel & Andrews
representatives to a company of adventurers to the Eastward
set out in the month of April to explore land for their settle-
ment, but I think they will return to their missions and probably
stay with them while inhabitants of this lower world & that
may be the case of the rest of your brethren of the Episcopal
Church in ]^ England. — The dissenting clergy have no cause
of triumph the late struggle hath made them cheap & generally
dispised and as far as religion is thought of the Church is now
by far y® most popular.
Our Clergy of Maryland nominated C. Smith for their Bis-
hop, but the Assembly, who imagined they should have a voice
in that affair would not approve of the candidate — this refusal
drew from the Clergy a Bill of rights Szc. — this disagreement
at present retards the setling the Church in that quarter. — M"".
White a quondam chaplin to congress Philadelphia, goes on
another plan, & endeavors to get a B''. nominated by the General
Vestrys in that State — our plan you know but I cannot omit
the mention of the favourable attention of our general Assembly
to it, they declare they have no objection, but if we can support
him they will give us no trouble — hope your bishops will help
us at this lift — do you intend to spend all your days in Eng-
land ? You can return soon if you will — your Son at Stratford
is well & your friends there. I shall trouble you but a little
more, but I must not omit an important matter or two and
will dismiss you — first for myself — in your future letters to
me pray doiit fail to direct to me thus — ^Rev. B. Hubbard
rector of Trinity Church in y® City of N" Haven in y® first
City of ]Sr England — be so good then as to pull off your canon-
ical hat in future to your canonical & important brother of
y^ City, viz. The Rev. Rector Hubbard of the City of 1^
Haven — & as for my very good wife & of her I have to observe
that grace hath & still doth increase & for y^ very honorable
mention made of her makes you one of her best a very low
City courtesy & she hath learned to make them for know you
that our City furnishes dancing masters, she prostrates herself
to the Rev. M"". Peters, pimlico, London begs she may not be
forgotten of him, & remembers his daughter & wishes she could
mention M''^ Peters, as likewise she remembers most kindly
M''^ Cargel, Miss Harrison & her good husband in which joins
the rector of the New City, let us all meet again on better
terms & in a more stable World. your old friend, who
hath the honor to subscribe himself the rector of &c. &c. your
Rev. S. Peters.
'New Haven Connecticut June 1. 1784.
My dear Sir :
I wrote you sometime since and amongst other things men-
tioned a matter of business I wished you to transact for my
little Church, viz. the procuring for it an Organ.
In an application of this sort I would much sooner consult
my friend y"^ a mere Stranger, partly impelled by necessity
to procure an organ we wish it may be a well toned and well
made one with such a number of stops as will make it proper
for excellent Church musick from the common Psalm tune to
the Anthem — Voluntary &c. & we wish you to get an honest
unprejudiced organist in London or Westminster to play on
this organ and determin whether it will answer our purpose
or not before it is sent over.
You know the Church building is but small the inside 40
by 60 feet, the Arch &c but what the maker need to know
about this will appear by the little plan of the space of the
Church that is to contain it — which is enclosed — 150 guineas
will be paid for the first cost to the maker of the organ & the
case, my meaning is that the organ case & shipping expenses,
without the freight should cost 150 guineas, and the case we
wish a neat Oak case, neatly varnished, but would have no
extravagant work put on it and my good friend M"". Isaac Beers
who forwards this business from N York sends you £100 pounds
sterling & the remainder will be compleated in smaller sums
in six months, at furtherst — a very able gentleman has prom-
ised us that as soon as advice is received of its being shipped
he will advance us as far as £50 sterling immediately so that
we are sure of the money at all events without the aid of the
Churches property or rents which also hath secured us the
Further, we should wish to have a full direction in writing
describing the members & parts of the organ, & how they are
to be put together as such an instrument is new to us, also
a book containing such instrumental music as is necessary for
Churches, & the whole if got ready soon enough to be shipped
& sent out by one of the autumn ships to IST York that we may
hear the sound by Christmass. — and now when our Church in
these goings down of the sun shall rise in importance & flourish
our free City & port may be the seat of an Archbishop should
it be his grace Samuel not Hugh — pray remember your friend
the underwriter & let him be an Archdeacon and let this self
same organ do your Grace's choice do your Grace much honor —
and further if you should happen to stumble on some poor
but yet honest English lad that would come out & bring with
him a small venture in Books of Psalms, & that could play
skilfully the organ & hath an English School & Musick altho
I dare not promise or engage any thing yet I think he might
procure a decent support here, think of this my friend and
be not backward in this whole business & you may depend
upon it that myself and all your musical friends will love &
Pray let me know what is said & all that is said about an
American bishop in these times of unhappiness on your side
of the water in my next letter which I intend to write you
from I^ Milford where a meeting of your brethren in Trinity
week will be held I shall give you a picture of our present
State & condition both in Church & State till then I must
take my leave and beg you to believe me, with M''*. Hub-
bards best love & to Miss Hannah yours faithfully & most
]Sr.B. Since the writing the above our good friend & Brother
M"". Leaming came to my house from Stratford (where he is
building up the ruins of that Church) and brought in with
him your little Son who is in perfect health & looks as you
did when you was 16 years old — M^ Birdseye wishes you &
daughter to send over to him or any other person a power
of attorney to take possession of your & her interest which is
not confiscated & is safely yours, but is at present let out by
the high Sheriff of Hartford.
. Yours as before
Eev* S. Peters.
^o. Exch. £100 " - " - Sterling, N"ew-York, June 10th, 1784
Forty Days after Sight of this draft per Exchange, (second
and third unpaid)
pay M^ Isaac Beers or Order,
One Hundred Pounds Sterling
Value received, and charge the same to Account, with or
without advice from
John Rivin§^on Esq. James Rivington
I^^ew Haven November 25*\ 1Y84.
Reverend & dear brother,
I am sincerely obliged to you for your letter of the 21^\ of
July handed to me by M''. Townsend & for your polite & kind
attention to him he speaks of it with gratitude — your ideas
of D''. Ezra Stiles & his piece which his Son called pop-rohin
perfectly agree with those generally entertained on this side
The reception his piece met with from the public is a
sufficient mortification to the poor man.
I acknowledge with the same gratitude likewise yours of
July 14*^^. via IST York enclosed in which was a letter for your
friend D"". Sutton which I forwarded to brother Abraham and
doubt not but he hath carefully forwarded it to the Doctor,
by the way brother Abraham hath been the Father of one child
by Sister I^ancy but deceased from after its birth whither this
took place before, or since your departure from America I
forget, the good old man remains rector of Christ Chh in the
City of Middletown & hath the satisfaction of seeing his con-
gregation grow in numbers & importance — tis pleasurable fur-
ther to tell you that I have been highly delighted with yours of
August & the pamphlets and 30 odd pages in manuscript. —
you have bought an Organ for £157. Ster: & endorsed
the £100 bill to M''. Henry Holland, we hoped to have had
it at Christmass but by M'. Austin's arrival without it
which was at 1^ York on the 14*^. of the present month &
who left London about the 24*''. of September we think
whether it will not be too late to send it out this winter, he
saith about ten days previous to his sailing he called at your
house to see you but did not find you at home, I had been
flattered with an expectation of receiving by him a fresh
packet from you — your letter by y^ way of Rhodeisland to
M"". Isaac Beers hath not as yet come to hand — I think we
mentioned a wish to you to get the Organ ensured out you
will be kind enough to do it when you send it. you mentioned
in your last to me that there remained due to the late M"".
Kneeland from the Society £25. Ster. enclosed I send a bill
of exchange endorsed to you with Letters f™ Jy. Johnson &
Learning if the bills are honoured by the Society as I trust
they will be, wish you to be so good as to pay the contents to
M''. Henry Holland for the organ, & what further will remain
due to him, we shall endeavor in the course of the Winter to col-
lect & transmit to you, mean while I hope M'. Holland will
be under no uneasiness for the rest due as he may depend
on it shortly, although Church work as old S\ Roger said,
is slow-work — your humane and polite attention we do not
forget but you will hear further on these matters.
I was much surprised to hear that the late M'. Kneelands
character as a Loyalist had suffered with the Society, wish I
could know from what quarters the accusation came, to his
death you may depend on it he remained a loyal & firm friend
to his Majesty & government, no suspicion to y^ contrary was
ever hinted here.
Brother Bostwick was here in September last he never hinted
y^ least suspicion of his entertaining a thought of your
unfriendliness to him — I doubt on your side the water you
have too many stirrers up of difficulty — and with regard to
the information you had of the conduct of your brethren here
in the late distracted times it was unjust & cruel — when your
letters were Seized they were brought to N^ Haven by Hosmer
now no more, who called on me & pretended friendship, I sent
for several of the brethren & they were met at my house by
more than 60 I believe of y® lower house of Assembly who
were clamourous to get us publicly to condemn your conduct
& to say that we did not think y^ was a necessity for your going
away, we persisted in it to y® last y*^ you could not get pro-
tection from Gov'. Trumbul after an application to him for
it, and that therefore we did think you justified before God
& man in going away & that we shod have done the like in
the like situation, and all that we did in effect say ultimately
was that we did not at that time know of it, a short piece of
this tenor & importing in short our political creed was inserted
in the newspapers w"*" I have taken pains to get & send you —
M'. Isaac Beers told me sometime since that he had seen it
among his papers & would hand it to me, but upon a further
search he was not able to find it, but I hope yet to procure it
& I will send it you & our conduct will then appear to you
in a very different point of light from the representation of
it on your side of water possibly by some members of the
then Gen\ Assembly, t'was but lately we had any hints of foul
play in this matter, but if you have any remaining uneasiness,
I can assure you with great sincerity that at that time, & at
all times your character stood high & altogether unempeached
by any of your Brethren of the clergy or laity on our side of
y® question & still doth, but enough of this for y^ present.
M"". Leaming has placed himself at Stratford & doubtless
gives you information of the condition of your son. —
I send you likewise the doings of a convention & premising
that the Connecticut Clergy are no friends to the lay represen-
tation, & if we are ever so happy as to have a bishop at our
head we shall be able I trust to preserve our Church in Con-
necticut decent — D^ Smith always busy hath published a
Sermon & written some remarks on the proceedings of the
clergy & laity of Maryland for the establishment of a bishop
in that Province I will try to get & send it you.
Lizard Peter, the rector of pauls hath received yours in
answer to one written by deacon Scovel & himself f™ JSTova
Scotia — M". Bowden I think will settle himself at ISTorwalk
where y' remains still a respectable body of Chh people but
my dear Sir this country is really poor and will remain so at
least through the present generation. I think with you that
our best days are gone, I shall endeavor for myself to get
through life with as much ease to myself with respect to any
Gov*, as possible. I have been heretofore anxious & distressed
I leave it all & hope to meet you where good gov*, obtains &
where friendship will by no means be interrupted — in the
mean season I shall always be happy to hear of any good
that awaits you & yours & as to support &c., all that I am able
to collect is that the Rev^. M^ Peters resides at Pimlico in
his own hired house & that he entertains all that call on him
with much hospitality & elegance — you are not married nor
your dear Hannah it shod seem, I wish when that event takes
place you & she may be as happy as you wish & that your hap-
piness may increase & multiply upon you continually as long
as you wish it, & that at last the fervent S*^. Peter may open
to you a gate which will let you in to a scene of happiness
too great for description — Grace D. Hubbard my good Spouse
yet lives & hath been y® mother of 9 children of which 6 are
now living 4 sons & two daughters viz. John James, ISTancy,
Bela, Elisabeth, Frederic, & Thomas Still, James & iSTancy
begin to remind us of our old age, this comfort of mine doth
not forget you & yours & wishes to see & tell you what a
sense she hath of the very kind notice you take of her, she
begs her best love to you & Miss Hannah D^ ve Peters, & like-
wise we present our love to M"". & M". Cargel whom we wish
happy, pray is old M"". Harrison her uncle yet alive ? I wish
I could see your daughter touch y® chord of a musical instru-
ment & her feet & fine shape in a minuet tell her still to dance
& rejoice ! I believe we shall see one-another yet on this
side y® grave ! Grace wishes you to tell her how Miss Hannah
came by her new name she supposes it was given her in her
travils abroad you must let her know in your next, we are
all as we were poor & if y® Society drops us we are ruined, — -
I will endeavor soon to write you again, my Brother & Sister
Hubbard drove from Guilford in y® fury of y® late times
lives here and loves you & IST Caldwell who calls ready to
laugh & Bless you and your Letters.
'New Haven January 29*^. 1785.
My dear brother,
I take this method, to introduce to you, my friend & parish-
ioner M"^. Jared Mansfield, a young Gentleman of a liberal
education & of a mathematical genius a Son of the late M'.
Stephen Mansfield a quondam faithful Church Warden of mine,
now in Heaven, & when on Earth as loyal a subject of his
King as he was a faithful one to his God — he is in company
with Cap^ French another worthy character & excellent
parishioner of mine, these men will probably stay in your
overgrown City 8 or 10 weeks, and any civilities shown them
will be gratefully received by them & not easily forgotten by
the underwriter your ancient & present old fashioned friend.
They will I presume be very able to answer any questions
you may be disposed to ask them, about pil-garlie in particular,
and your own bamboozled brethren in general, in the States
in general — bamboozled by both countries — Our affairs are
in a very narrow circle, we are considered as of no conse-
quence, as nobody, are poor, contemptible & forgotten — your
world is mad ! — wish they would recover their senses, but I
presume however they will take th"" own way & they must.
For myself I intend to meet you in heaven, short of that Coun-
try I expect nothing. — But why doth England refuse to meet
us on the ground of religion? Why will she not give us a
bishop, did they once but open y' eyes they would certainly see
it just & very political, but if they will keep -f eyes closed we
cannot help it! — Your premier I do not like, he appears to
be an unfeeling boy, & let D'. Price be hanged, & go where
he belongs, I like him not — as a politician I am afraid he is
too much listened to & that the Presbyterian interest is a grow-
ing interest — tell me how that is and tell me every thing proper
for me to know by y** return of my friends — I believe in my
last I told you of the reception of your pamphlets & Lucuba-
tions they have afforded me much pleasure & your friends in
this part of the world. —
M^ Learning I told you was setled at Stratford & M"" Boding
at l^orwalk, M"". Learning hath resided principally with M"^.
Birdsey where of course your little Son hath become an object
of his attention, he is really a fine child & when I see him
brings you to my mind as you looked at the age of Sixteen —
I have heard nothing from him some weeks although I presume
they are all well as lately I have had a line from ]\P. Leaming.
M'. James Sayre hath settled with the people of Guilford
& Branford with a Salary of £80 p"" annum & last Saturday
I had a letter from our Brother M' John Graves signifying a
wish to come into Connecticut, so that the old missions are
filling up & if we had a bishop at our head the Church would
soon be numerous & respectible. I shall add no more at the
present but a wish for your & the happiness of your amiable
daughter whom God long preserve to you. — M^^ Cargel perhaps
hath ere this been told of y® decease of her good mother M".
Harrison at Rhodeisland which happen'd a few weeks since
our compliments of condolence to her & partner, and accept
M". Hubbards & my familys best love to you & Miss Hannah,
which concludes me dear M"^. Peters your affectionate Brother
& obliged humble Servant.
Rev"^. M^ Peters.
Yours of the 6**^ of September via Boston came to hand, and
I wrote you a long letter in answer which I expected to have
sent by M^ Samuel Broome, and after having sealed it & got
a bundle of pamphlets & a letter from M"". Trumbul JST Haven
which are now on hand to go still I hope before winter is
ended perhaps by W". Hillhouse, I was disappointed in Broomes
failing — if God Spares my life I will add many more words &
pamphlets to those already Sealed up which are by me, but
of this hereafter — at present I must trouble you with the
Postage of this on my own concerns. I have this day a
letter from one of the wardens of S\ Johns Church
by the way poor Camp left this world eleven days after
his arrival at S'. Johns — I am behoP with a hint you furnished
some one at S*. Johns that Bayley would not be appointed to
that living & that I could have it for asking for it — I am here
as poor as Jobs hens or Turkeys, but if all other difficulties
were removed, how am I to get my expenses paid in removing
my family to that country and will the Society continue the
£50 for certain during my life — If I could support my great
family at S*. Johns as I think I cannot here if the Society
would be pleased to appoint me their missionary there why I
think I would if too, in pity to my moneyless state bare my
expenses to the parish, venture to go to that cold country — you
know I love and allways shall continue to love that country from
which I am now seperated — but M"". Whitlock says he under-
stands that Bishop Inglis hath wrote a Second letter in favour
of D^ Bayley but if you will try to hold y® parish for me, I
will as early as possible, write to D"", Morice & lay my dis-
tressed condition before y® Society & beg an appointment of
me to S*. John — what you wrote about M^ Dibblee being at
S*. John is altogether a mistake — he has never been there old
]\F. Dibblee, and I never learned that he had any thoughts
of going there, he has not been there, — my eyes are Sore I
cannot write and my thoughts are I know not where, — pray
good Doctor Peters will you think Still of Bela & Grace &:
N'ancy & James & Bela 2^ & Frederic & Thomas & Betsey & W^.
Henry &c. — of Grace & all her children — & help the old couple
to be in a situation to scramble for them — pray do know of D''.
Morice too, whither the Government Salary will be continued
& whither any chaplinships can be tacked to that parish — in
short help me if you can, & I will write soon to the Society
meanwhile I rest your humble admirer altho' in the
State of Connecticut — with Graces love to you M"". and M".
Jarvis your own & your Grandson I am as ever your real friend
& very humble Servant.
'New Haven four days before Xmas —
be the blessings of that Season yours —
I shall write you soon —
Write me by y*^ first packet.
Eev"^ D^ Peters.
Reverend Doctor Samuel Peters
Charlotte Street Pimlico
21 Dec^ 1788
rec"^. March 2-89-
ITew Haven December 27^^ 1788
A few days since I wrote to you, but as a Vessel sails to
morrow for England I must still trouble you with another line
on my concerns only, I have weighed as well as I am able my
going to S*. John — and by this conveyance tell D^ Maurice
that I will if the Society say so — and will render permanent
the Salary of 150, from Gov^\ & them, and will be at y®
expense of removing me but will you dear Sir, be so good as
to trouble y' self further, & know if there is no chaplinship
obtainable to add to y*^ comforts of a Mission as cold as Green-
land, if there is any thing in that way pray help me if you
can & I will pray for you & wish you well untill you shall have
no need of prayers & wishes, — Grace thanks you, — I shall
send you Trumbuls pamphlets with others soon, I can now
add no more as the Vessel I now find is going off only that I
am yours affectionately,
Your kinsman in College Dined with me yesterday is clever —
God bless you all —
Eev^ D^ Peters—
SAMUEL (ANDREW) PETERS.
Samuel (Andrew), a son of John and Mary (Mark) Peters, was born
at Hebron, Connecticut, November 20, 1735, O. S.
He was educated in the common country school of the village and pri-
vately prepared for College. He graduated from Yale College in 1757.
He had conformed to the Church of England and studied theology under
Dr. Samuel Johnson of Stratford. He went to England in the fall of 1758,
bearing letters of commendation from Dr. Johnson and others. Soon after
his arrival he had a severe attack of small pox. The Archbishop of Canter-
bury and the Bishop of London saw that he was well cared for and per-
sonally visited him when the possibility of infection was past. He was
made deacon and ordained priest in the summer of 1759. His license to
officiate in Plantations was given by the Bishop of London, August 25 of
He made full proof of his ministry, was affectionately regarded by his
parishioners and by the clergy of the colony was most highly esteemed.
He did much missionary work, notably in the New Hampshire Grant, now
Vermont. In a letter to the Venerable Society, he describes one visit when
he took his clerk with him, and after prayer upon a hill top, from which
an extensive view can be had, he named the region verd mont.
Mr. Peters was a thorough and consistent believer in a united British
Empire; in conversation and formal argument and in newspapers of the day
he showed his bitter detestation of any attempt at independence. So bitter
was his pen that in the summer of 1774, when there had reached
Hebron copies of the reports sent by Mr. Peters, as they thought, the Sons
of Liberty called upon him defiant and angry and demanded the retraction
of the malicious libels upon the cause of American freedom. Mr. Peters
stoutly refused, was hooted, jeered at and his house and furniture damaged.
After a second visit from the same persons he tied from Hebron to Boston
after having on Sunday, September 4, 1774, while all men were indignant
at the British troops for firing upon Boston. He sailed for England in
October, leaving behind him house, land and children. His daughter
Hannah joined him in London after some time.
Mr. Peters lived comfortably upon a pension from the Crown, engaging
in literary and political work, receiving hospitably the friends who in
those troubled times visited England. He hoped that he might be made
Bishop of Nova Scotia and friends solicited the honour for him.
The circumstances under which he was elected Bishop of Vermont in
February, 1794, were somewhat extraordinary, for Dr. Samuel Bass of
Newburyport, Massachusetts, had been elected a few months previously and
had not declined.
The efforts to obtain consecration for Dr. Peters in England were unavail-
ing. No request appears to have been made to the American Bishops. The
testimonials necessarj^ could not have been furnished, for Dr. Peters seldom
officiated anywhere. In the course of the correspondence he suggested a
state ceremonial by proclamation of the governor and acknowledgment
of him by the clergy, citing passages from ancient writers to prove its
legality and feasibility In addition to an epistle to the Church in Vermont
which has been printed, there are found among his manuscripts two
charges and forms for letters of order and a device for the seal of the
A difference of opinion and controversy with William Pitt, the Prime
Minister, in 1804 caused that dignitary to strike his name from the pension
list. Broken in health, but indomitable in spirit, he returned to the United
States in 1805. He spent several years in Washington endeavoring to
obtain from Congress a confirmation of a grant of land near the Fall of
St. Anthony, now the site of Minneapolis and St. Paul, by the Indians to
the famous traveler, Jonathan Carver, who gave it to Dr. John Coakley
Lettsom and Dr. Peters. He failed utterly, but still persevered in his
attempt to have the Indians ratify it. He commenced a journey to the
Northwest for that purpose in 1817, but was taken ill and was tenderly
cared for by Indians at Prairie du Cliien, Wisconsin, during the winter.
He died in the City of New York, April 19, 1826.
Dr. Peters married, February 14, 1760, Hannah, a daughter of Silas and
Elizabeth Owen of Hebron, Connecticut. Two daughters were born to them.
Hannah, who died an infant, March 2, 1761, and Hannah Delavati, who
was born January 2, 1762. She married, in London, England, William
Jarvis, a son of Samuel and Martha (Seymour) Jarvis of Norwalk, Con-
necticut. Her husband was an officer in the first American Regiment and
served in Canada, where he held several civil offices, among them, that of
provincial secretary in the administration of Governors Simcoe, Hunter
and Gore. He died at York, Canada, August 13, 1817. Mrs. Jarvis died
at QueenstowTi, Canada, September 20, 1845. They had seven children.
Mr. Peters married for the second time, June 28, 1769, Abigail, a
daughter of Captain Samuel Gilbert. She died July 14, 1769.
He married for the third time at Stratford, Connecticut, April 21, 1773,
Mary, the only daughter of William and Eunice (Benjamin) Birdseye. She
died at Hebron, June 16, 1774. They had one son, born at Hebron, June
16, 1774, and named William Birdseye. He was brought up until his
fourteenth year by his grandparents and then completed his education in
England and France under the supervision of his father. He graduated
from Oxford University, studied law at the Temple, London, practiced in
Canada and Mobile, Alabama, where he died in 1817.
Dr. Peters' most famous work, though never formally acknowledged by
him, is: "A General History of Connecticut, By a Gentleman of the
Province," published originally in London in 1781 and republished in 1829,
and in a final edition in 1877 by Samuel Jarvis McCormick. The satirical
tone, the sometimes malicious amusement of the writer over the events of
Connecticut history, their treatment of all dissenters from Congregational-
ism, and his printing of certain alleged laws which he called the Blue
Laws, holding some of these up to ridicule, brought upon him much
vituperation and abuse. Writers upon Connecticut history even to the pres-
ent day speak of it as untruthful, unfair and exaggerated. It has, however,
been shown that the "laws" have a resemblance to some which were
enacted in the early days of the Colony.
He also published in 1785, a letter to the Rev. John Tyler on the Possi-
bility of Eternal Punishment and the Improbability of Universal Salvation;
A History of the Rev. Hugh Peters, 1807; besides articles in the English
magazines and papers.
I place my Confidance on your Goodness to pardon me for
offering my Sentiments concerning a Clergyman who is by you
to be named your Successor at Halifax — your acquaintance
with that People & your Popularity in that Country, your
Abilities, long Service & Great Merit were Reasons SuflScient
to have made you the Bishop of Nova Scotia in any Periods
of time before 1788 and after 1788. The Authors of this neg-
lect too late see their Error, and were they not Infidels or
Dissenters from our excellent Establishment, they would Mourn
for folly and for the Ruin of our Church in ISTova Scotia under
a Redemptioner whose recent Conduct added to his former
compleats his character to the Disgrace of the Mitre — Qui vult
perdere &c. &c. — seems applicable to the Society as well as the
Civil Powers of Great Britain — they spend great sums of
money in their Colonies to support the Church & by ever send-
ing improper Clergymen & civil Rulers displease the Colonists
and turn from the Church & State — nothing appears so absurd
in my Opinion, as to consult only three or four leading Men
about who shall be the Clergyman of a town — this Conduct will
never increase the Church in America & it has almost emptied
the Churches in England — The Society have appointed D^
Byles Missioner at S\ John's — & by it have made it necessary
for the People to shelter themselves under James & Milton
Lady Huntingdon's Chaplains — and the rest, in general, will
follow — and Sally Criecy or Mother Plantan cannot prevent,
them, nor hinder their Belief in D''. Califfs Reports. —
If you intend (as I believe you do) the Prosperity of the
Church in Halifax ; you will not be directed by any Individual
in that Town, in appointing your Successor — I know your
Character well, and that the People there esteem it highly — &
I know of no Man that can succeed to you with half the Repu-
tation you left, unless it be the Rev**. Bela Hubbard of ISTew-
haven in Connecticut, whose voice, address, and politeness
exceeds all every other Clergyman ever known to me in I^ew
England. — His Character is perfectly known to M^ H. Loyd,
he is a good Scholar, & is Dean Barkley's Greek Examiner at
the University of N^ew Haven — he was invited to succeed D^
Apthorp at Cambridge, & D"". Cutler at Boston but he refused
both — he was a disciple of «& a Convert of mine from the Dis-
senters — & excelled in perfections the Rev*^. M"". Kneeland —
who was known to you — & me — . If any man besides you can
unite the People of Halifax as they were when you left them,
M'. Hubbard for his own good & that of the Church you have
been forty years in building up. He has a large Family &,
brought up in great politeness in a most delightful Town now
oppressed with Taxes & Poverty & discontent with Congress —
M'. Hubbard has been always loyal, and good policy makes his
wish on December 27^^ 1788 worthy of Notice, — his views are
not made known in Connecticut yet — If you should think
proper to recommend him for your successor at Halifax — he
Expects to be a Servant of the Society and not a dean to a
Redemptioner — One thing more, M". Hubbard has a grateful
Heart, an Article understood by only few of the Clergy since
the Reformation —
I have the honour to be Rev^. Sir
Your affectionate Friend and
Most humble Servant
Feb^ 3^ 1789
Rev''. D". Breynton.
The Rev''. Doctor Peters
Charlotte Street pimlico
rec". Feb^ 3" 1789
Brother Ab™ mutters & drops his lip that he is forgotten
by you & says he should write you but has never a private
conveyance, have pitty upon Ab™ The Israelite at Derby is as
you are ivifeless k will continue so, — Your Nephew is a Stu-
dent of Law he was with me from the l^orth last week on his
way to Hebron he is clever & bids fair to do honour to the
Name — Grace remembers you as does Levi, Anna, Caldwell &
Clarinda, but I think Clarinda is in a decline and may soon
go to heaven — We have been visited in the united States last
fall & this spring with the Influenza wch in many Instances
proved fatal especially to old people, it carried off my old Clerk
Joseph Browne a good old venerable man in his 89*^" year, if
M^ Leavenworth is j^ bearer of this he has been to London
before perhaps you know him, he is a Lawyer of this Town
Son to M''. Leavenworth of Waterbury he is a sensible man,
if it is Baldwin I dont know him but suppose he is a good man
by y^ return of y*^ one or the other whoever it is pray write
me, and believe me as long as I live your sincerely attached
friend & obliged humble Servant.
After folding up my letter I find it is probable that D"".
Baldwin will be the bearer who tho not a man of much address
is esteemed an honest worthy man — he may have some ques-
tions to ask you on the business he goes upon he is trusty &
Eev"^. J)': Peters.
Hubbard Bela Kev'^.
5 July 1790
22 August 1790 Kec^
30 Octob". Answr*^.
:N'ew Haven October 30'^ 1790.
This moment M'. Broome called on me to let me know that
he sets out for l!Torfolk to morrow morning to embark once
more for England, and mentions to me the very kind and
gentleman like treatment he hath met with from you, & speaks
in y*^ most handsom manner of you in all companies, as do all
our folks who visit your World — I wish I had known sooner
of this Voige, I would have sent you a ISTew American prayer
book the constitutions to w*^^ it pertains I send you with a
catologue of Yale College, the president of which tells me that
if you will send your signature, or rather the Name of the
College in w'^'^, or, from which, you received your Doctorate
he will be careful to do you justice — he is more friendly &
is sorry I believe that he ever has written any thing against
the Ch"". in particular — with regard to our ecclesiastical con-
stitution lately adopted in this & other States I can only say
that it is the best we could get for the present — the door being
still open for amendments, it may yet be amended and I do
believe such as our Church now is it will be increased by large
additions from the Congregatiolists who are much pestured
by j^ Methodists & Baptists who swarm in all parts of this &
indeed in most other States & will go near to win them, the
consequence will be that the better people who have any wish
for order & stability will in their own defence come into the
Church — I have been some time since expecting to hear of your
appointment to a Bishoprick of a Trait of country in the Kings
American dominions not far from Canady — Scovel or Andrews
wrote me last Summer some things about it, but I have heard
nothing since, wish most heartily that something may turn up
worth your accepting that may bring you once more into y^
Land of your J^ativity — I have dreamed often of seeing you
but when I awoke, it was a delusion — I wish it was a reality
that you was once more an Inhabitant of this part of it O,
I mean I wish so for myself and many many other of your
friends : — last week your ]^ephew M"". Peters Son of Jonathan
was at my house from Sharon where he keeps a School & read
Law„ and thinks of pursuing that Study more effectually either
here or at IsT Haven or Hartford, he is sensible & I think bids
fair to do honor to his Family is highly respected of his friends,
told me he had a letter from you in August I think — in which
if I remember you told him of your going to France, & of
y® ill State of a M". Peters a relation — ^you have omitted to
write me for a great while I am sorry, but will endeavor to
provoke you all I can to renew this business, and if you knew
how much satisfaction your letters give me Grace & a circle
of your friends in this Town I know your good & benevolent
heart would lead you to write oftener than you do — Jarvis,
complains, bitterly that he is neglected, & says he is incapac-
itated to write you by means of his situation, his Church is
as it was, but a Neiu Ch^ is formed at Chatham & is on y'' grow-
ing Land where, Jarvis christened about one hundred on land-
ing, adults & Infants at one stand — at present that Ch^ is
connected witli Hebron where they have a young man a M"".
Brownson educated with your kinsman & put into Orders by
B^. Seahury but believe he will not tarry long with them —
IT. James Sayre is now at Stratford, in the place of our old
Friend Jy. I. Learning, created a Doctor by the president of
Columbia College N York last Commencement, C". Leaming
has with his wife Phehe for y^ gratification of her friends in
N'ew York viz : Aunt Hannah & others — removed thither Aunt
Hannah remains still Aunt Hannah & will continue to remain
Aunt Hannah for ever — Jarvis's boy is a fine hoy, I mean
Isaac y^ Son of Father Abraham & ISTancy his Consort — whom
I have seen for some years — Nathaniel of Derby is yet a
ISTathaniel indeed — a daughter of his is joined with a M'.
Blahesly in orders at Northhaven in y® neighbourhood of your
Friend Trumbull, who boasts & vaunts himself on being a
correspondent with D"". Peters, take care that you do not burst
him — Congress you know have left N York for Philadelphia,
but wherever y*^ go, they are not very likely to give much satis-
faction to y® good people of y® States, having learned to take
care of themselves & forget their constituents the Six Dollars
p"" day w*^^ they have secured to themselves does not give our
frugal Farmers much affection for them, or Zeal for their
patriotism, from an Aristocracy we may get next a Government
more nearly resembling a limited Monarchy, but whatever shall
take place it will very little concern me, as I have little further
probably to do in this wayward World being now, an old man
with many wrinkles a pale face and a consumptive habit —
Grace my old fashioned & very good wife is in much Y® same
condition, — but I hope she will live yet a good while she is
ambitious to be thought well of by you and therefore begs me
to thank you, and thank you again for your many & particularly
truths I mean
your late favors, forced upon you by M'. Broome & Hillhouse
I meant for her gowns &c. &c. — Hillhouse is your everlasting
friend & y^ old Philosopher I Mansfield — Levi & Anna, Cald-
well & Clarinda & a number of those old fashioned friends
still continue — & still continue your warm hearty & everlasting
friends, as do y'' present generation in Connecticut — pray did
you receive a line from me by y® hands of a brother in law
of Mark Leavingsworth Esq^ a M'' Baldwin — if this reaches
you before he leaves England pray let me hear from you —
M"". T. Green your friend just this moment begs his love to
you & begs you to accept a Sketch of y^ life of a certain Joseph
Mountain & if you can find out after y^ reading of his extra-
ordinary life that there is any truth in all, or any of the facts
recorded in it, that you would let us know it, — The General
Assembly now sits in this Town, a bill for a Divorce preferred
by I Strong Esquire, of our upper house of Assembly — and
likewise a Bill from his wife who was Susanna Wyllys daughter
of old Secretary Wyllys, has occasioned me to attend y^ house
e several days & will take up possibly two or three days more
before it will be finished, y^ consequence if a Divorce takes
place, will be, that both, will remain, without help meats during
life, & y® one dropped from all public entrustments, let them
pass — I do not wish you such a wife, but if you ever again
change your condition, may you have a better, yet I think her
far better than her husband — Our business in State Assemblies
grow less & less and will finally come to nothing — All your
friends here salute you — especially Levi & Anna, & W°^. G.
& Elizabeth his wife
Hubbard who was Betsey Douglass, daughter of B. Douglass
Esq'. — Grace Nancy Hubbard my Daughter & all my family
begging the best love to you & your good daughter, Son in Law
own Son &c. — & believe me worthy & dear Sir yours unalterably
Rev**. D^ Peters
30 Octb 90
rec^ Dec'. 10—
JSTew Haven January 9^^. 1Y91
Dear Sir :
I wrote you some time since by M'". Samuel Broome, and
learning this moment that, a Vessel is bound from this port
to London I cannot fail writing you, although I have nothing
that I can say to you that can afford you satisfaction. I told
you before that the Gentlemen from America who have been
so fortunate as to be recommended to your acquaintance, all
speak, highly of you, as not only a good and benevolent man
of a great Stock of Information, but as a warm friend to your
Native Country: & I think Jy. Stiles begins to think more
favorably of you, yet he cannot forgive you for Vriting (as
he says you did) the history of Connecticut' — ^but old Secretary
Wyllys who quarters in the Sessions of the Assembly two doors
from me will not be a moment without it, he reads it y® last
thing when he goes to bed & the first thing when he arises —
but few people now are disposed to laugh with us, if they cry
not, they have the inclination at least to be serious, the expenses
of our Government & the duties with which our trade is sadled
are enough to make those furious, who expected our Inde-
pendence would be productive of every good — Our general
Assembly are now setting at New Haven — & they have per-
mitted a Refugee C. Jos. Clarke late of Stratford but of
!N^ew-Brunswick to collect his debts in this State so that you
see that body begins to be inclined to open th^ Eyes to see
things as right & just which but a little while ago was other-
wise — I think in a letter sent you by M'". Broome I forwarded
our Ecclesiastical constitution, and before this, I presume you
have seen our New-common prayer hooJc. I would thank you
for your candid opinion both on the one & the other — the book
is adopted but not as yet gone into general use but suppose
it will — if I can send you one of these books I will — I think
the Church in Connecticut is on y® whole gaining reputation
old prejudices are daily giving way — and dissenters think more
justly of religion — Trumball is your friend, has sent you D^
Edwards piece ag* Universalism, I think I'zm is not encreasing,
though Tyler continues to preach it as heretofore and Murray,
but few of the Clergy in this Country of any denomination
have appeared on its side — but Arianism & Socinianism are
I think gaining ground in this Country, both to the Eastward
& Westward, our Clergy keep Connecticut to y^ old orthodox
Doctrines — and we have in our Church a worthy set of young
Clergymen coming forward who I hope will make good y® ground
of the Old-ones, of these there are Perry of Newtown, Baldwin
of Litchfield, Ives of Cheshire, Hull of Branford, Blakesley of
ISTorthhaven, Shelton of Fairfield, &c. &c.. Foot of Rye, & lately
Ogilvie of !N^orwalk with others, at hebron & Chatham th' is
a M"". Tillotson Brunson a Scholar & man of sense but no great
preacher — D^ Walter I hear has left Shelbourn & about to
settle at D'. Cutlars Chh. in Boston & Cambrige — a M^
Ogden is at Portsmouth an active Clergyman but why do I
take up your time in mentioning particular men, we have many
in the Country who do well in y" stations — Old Jarvis wishes
you would excuse his Indolence, & believe him at bottom your
friend, he is in truth an old man and his son & Nancy to
take care of — Scovel & Andrews I suppose you hear of now
& then who are forever seperated from me — I wish you was
on this side the Atlantuk setled as a Bp. in some Northern Sea
& when that shall take place, I intend if Grace continues with
me & I with her, to do myself the honor to become one of
your Presbyters — with her best love in perfect union with mine
I subscribe myself dear Sir your very affectionate friend &
Rev"". D^ Peters.
Reverend Samuel Peters, L. L. D.
Favoured by )
9 Jan^. 1791
rec^. April 6,-91
Ans. May 2*^-91
New Haven April 5*^ 1795.
The bearer of this is Mark Leavenworth Esquire a Lawyer
of New Haven who with his wife an agreeable woman goes
to London on some business & to return, he has promised to
deliver this & the letter that accompanies it to you, and any
little Services you can in your way render him I have no doubt
you will afford him and his amiable companion he is a sensible
man & son of M"". Leavenworth of Waterbury — The occasion
of my troubling you now is this, I have lately received a
letter from Bishop Inglis inviting me to accept the vacant
Mission of Cumberland in N. Scotia — it seems it is an old
Mission and worth as he tells me £70 Sterling from Govern-
ment and £40 Ster. from the Society, I thought these Missions
had a larger allowance, it has likewise he says a good Glebe
pertaining to it, but no parsonage house built upon it, the mis-
sion is but a little better than my allowance from my present
Cure, but I believe I cannot engage the people here to fix a
Salary for life, and I think with a numerous family rendered
poor from a poor Salary & an expensive situation I ought to
accept a Certainty for an uncertainty — you know I can obtain
from the Bishop & Clergy in this State such Testimonials of
my good moral character & diligence in my clerical office as
will be fully satisfactory to the Society & the Bishop of Nova
Scotia as they may think needful — I have accordingly written
to Jy. Morice, and asked his assistance with y® Society to add
if the Mission is but £40 to add £10 Ster — to it & bare the
expense of removal of my family, or, if they have another
Mission in that quarter of the World with a larger allowance,
that they would appoint me to it — will you deliver the letter
that accompanies this to Tf. Morice, and use your influence
in my favour, it will be absolutely impossible for me to move
to Nova Scotia without the Societies assistance — and if they
would be so good as to advance a years salary it would be
of great use to me, as I might then lay in a years store of
provisions much cheaper here than there, I could have wished
the vacancy had been in Kew Brunswick as those Missions have
£100 Ster from Government and £50 Ster — ^from the Society —
but believe me my dear Sir, my poverty calls too so strongly
upon me to do something for my family better y^ I can do for
them in this place, that I must I think accept of this Missions
but I hope that in consideration of my former long Services
for about Twenty years the Society will consider me, and in
their wisdom & goodness make the Mission at least equal to
any other in that Province, you will much oblige me in urging
my necessities which are truly pressing — since the receipt of
your letter by M"". Baldwin, our American papers have
announced the Rev'*. JY. Peters Bishop of Canada how is it?
let me hear from you as soon as may be, your friends salute
& greet you well here, & none more heartily than my old
companion — accept our best wishes for you, & present our best
love to M"" and M''^ Jarvis with our congratulations for her
happy addition to her family, and enfold in your arms for me
your former image & likeness Birdseye Peters whom God bless
and make him good, useful & happy in this World & Eternally
blessed in another thus prays your old friend and most obed^
IST.B. you recollect the Society allowed
Scovel Andrews &c. some back Salaries
Grace wishes you to hint if it will do something
of this for me assist me all you can & God bless you —
The Rev'*. D^ Peters—
The Rev"*. D^ S. Peters
Grosvenor place or Charlotte
London — •
Mark Leavenworth Esq^
5'*^ April 1791
rec** 26 May —
Jeremiah, a son of Jeremiah and Abigail (Turner) Learning, was born
in Durham, Connecticut, and was baptized by Nathaniel Chauncey, who
was the first pastor of the Church of Christ in that town, on May 12, 1717.
His father's farm appears to have been near the Middletown line, but the
family evidently attended service in the old Congregational Church on
The son probably worked upon the farm in the summer and attended
school in the winter as was the custom in New England. He entered Yale
College when he was twenty-four and graduated with honor in 1745.
Among his classmates was Thomas Bradbury Chandler, afterward one of
the most noted of the Colonial Clergy and the pleader for an American
It was while in College that Mr. Leaming conformed to the Church of
England as many other young men of ability were then doing. He studied
theology under the Rev. Dr. Johnson of Stratford. He became lay reader
in St. Paul's Church, Norwalk, very much to the gratification of the
Congregation. They were desirous that he should become their minister
upon his ordination. But his eminent qualifications as a teacher caused
Dr. Johnson to commend him to the Vestry of Trinity Church, Newport,
Rhode Island, as a suitable principal for the school founded under the
will of Nathaniel Kay and assistant to the Rev. James Honyman.
Mr. Leaming went to England in the spring of 1748. He was made
deacon June 5 of that year by Dr. Gilbert, Bishop of Llandaff, and ordained
priest June 19, by Dr. Hoadley, Bishop of Winchester.
Upon his return he entered upon his duties in Newport. He was very
acceptable and remained for ten years. During a vacancy after the death
of Mr. Honyman in 1750, he had full charge of the parish until the
arrival of the Rev. Thomas Pollen in 1754. In 1758 he became Rector
at Norwalk and missionary in a wide circuit.
To the development of the work in that growing town he gave twenty-one
years, in which the parish grew in every way and a new church was built.
The invasion of Norwalk by troops under the British General Tryon, in
July, 1779, completed the indignity and sufl^ering he had received from
the Sons of Liberty, and the mob masquerading under the name of
patriots. He had been confined in a damp room at the jail, compelled to
take long midnight journeys to be examined as to his tory principles and
endured other outrages.
The disasters of that summer day when General Tryon burned Norwalk
were great. The church, rectory, library and nearly all Mr. Leaming's
household goods were destroyed. With his family he took refuge in New
York City. He officiated in turn with other loyalist clergymen in the
City Hall, as St. Paul's Chapel could not hold all the people who desired
It was during this period that he was off'ered in April, 1783, by Mr.
Jarvis, Secretary of the Convention, which met at Woodbury on March 25,
the episcopal chair of Connecticut. His infirmities compelled him to
decline, for he had contracted a serious hip disease.
At Easter, 1784, Mr. Leaming became Rector of Christ Church, Stratford.
In that time of uncertainty while the Bishop designate was seeking con-
secration in England his wise counsel and cheering words encouraged
his brethren. With Abraham Jarvis, the Secretary of the Convention,
he conducted the correspondence with Dr. Seabury. He preached the sermon
before the Convention at Middletown on August 3, 1785, when they recog-
nized Bishop Seabury.
When the difficulties in the way of a continental union of the Church
in the United States seemed insurmountable, he was asked during a meeting
of the Convocation at Wallingford to go to Scotland to be made a coadjutor
to Bishop Seabury. He again refused for his infirmities had grown
In 1790 he resigned his parish and lived for some time in the city of
New York but spent the later years of his life at New Haven in the home
of Mr. James A. Hillhouse, an intimate friend of Mr. Leaming.
He died, September 15, 1804, in the eighty-eighth year of his age.
Dr. Leaming married in 1751, while in Newport, a relation to the Kay
family, who died a few months after. He married in 1755, Elizabeth Peck
of New York. She was the aunt of Hannah (Peck) Farmar, the wife of
Bishop Abraham Jarvis. She died after a few years. A life interest in her
large estate was left to her husband. It then reverted to the family of the
Dr. Leaming was a forcible writer and sustained well his part in a
controversy with Noah Welles upon Episcopal government. The letters
were published in 1765 and 1770. His Evidences of Christianity and Dis-
sertations upon various subjects are of value.
Upon his tombstone in the Grove Street Cemetery he is characterized
as "well instructed, especially in his holy office, unremitting in his labours,
charitable, patient, and of primitive meekness."
Stratford Nov. 8, 1784.
I suppose you know, I have consented to take the Care of
this Church, which has been for many years, in a very broken,
unsettled State. It was supposed, that it was necessary in
order to collect this Church together, that an old man should
undertake the Task. I am old enough, if that will do, and if
I am not too old, I make no doubt, I shall accomplish it.
The Chh. at ISTorwalk, all wanted me to return there, but
that Chh. is able to do without me. It would have been for
my advantage to have gone there. But it was supposed that
the general Good of the Chh. required me to take the Charge
of this Chh.
I suppose you will take this, for a New England Cant:
because you have lately lived, where the Enquiry is, Who will
give the best Salary, not where can I do the most Good,
I understand it has been represented to the Society, that M'".
Kneeland, was an Enemy to the British Constitution. This
is certainly a very false report. And I hope you will rectify
You must send over a power of Attorney, or come yourself
immediately, or you will be in danger of losing your fortune
in this State, a word to the wise is Sufficient.
Joseph Peters, Daughter claims an £100 of your Estate ; and
says you had it, at your Brothers death ; and she is about
take your land and sell it, to pay the Debt. I am your sincere
P.S. I wonder the have not let me know,
that approve of my Endeavor to raise up Doc''.
Johnson, Chh —
We all join in Love to you and Hanah: M^ Birdseye is much
better with whom 'W^. Leaming and I live at this time. Your
Son is well and has rec*^. your Letter, July 20.
liTov. 8, 1781.
rec^ Jan. 25, 1785.
Ans'^. Feb. 17, 1785.
Stratford Feb. 15, 1785,
My dear Sir:
The Letters you have sent have answered. But many of
them were a long time before they came to hand. The Letter
you wrote Aug*. 11*^. did not arrive at JSTew York the 19
Jan^. this is last I rec*^. altho I had rec*^. two before of a later
date. I have rec*^. the Letter directed to IVF. Jarvis and the
committee, a few days before. That Letter is not answered.
But if you have rec**. the Letters we wrote before, you have
all that you wish to know — If you have not, you may be
assured that the Clergy will gladly receive you, in this State,
in case you bring Episcopal Authority, from a valid Line.
For the Clergy here are resolute to Support the Church, at all
Events. And they are upon so good Terms, with the other
Denominations, that we have their good wishes that we may
succeed. You will think this is strange, but the case is thus,
Infidelity is coming in like a flood, and they own that the
Chh. is a Bulwark against Infidelity : and say further, that
they (the Clergy) of this State will choose a mg''. for a Bp,
that would be as agreeable to them, as would be to the Chh.
That they can confide in the Clergy that will choose one that
is Orthodox in his principles, and regular in his Conduct. This
is what I have heard myself from some principal people. The
truth is, they have laid down their Arms.
It is a very melancholy thing, to find that some Bps. have
lost all their Influence, in matters of a religious I^ature. But
it will not be long, if this is the case, before they will find
themselves in a worse Condition, than the despised Clergy of
Connecticut. If they lose their immense Riches, they be glad
to fly to America : But after all the slights they have cast upon
us here, we must be very humble indeed to receive them. If
they believe that Episcopacy is necessary, they do according
to their faith. —
If they have Cond so wisely as live in friendship and
Amity with Each other, and have the love of the Clergy and
Laity, of whom they should be afraid. If they have not, every
Blast of popular Commotion must frighten them.
But enough of
You must not come over without the Episcopal Character.
I have sent money to Miss Maria and I have this ordered
some more, and shall take care of her. I have been cut short
in my income by a set of people who went into IST. York after
the peace; took possession of my houses, lived in them till
the Rent amounted to more than £400 — and went out without
a Copper: indeed nothing could be expected, for went into
the City without any thing. And the City was forced to sup-
port with fuel and Bread; and my houses has a tax £100 —
to support those that lived in them without any Rent, so you
see, what is in the world. One third must maintain all the
Adue — dearest heart —
To the Care of the)
Rev''. M"-. Peters )
Rec^ April 23
Ship Minton Cap*
Stratford Feb. 15, 1785.
I now sit down to give you some Advice concerning your
Son. There is no Latin School in this Town; and I wished
to do something to help him in the Knowledge of the Latin
Tongue. But I was disappointed in my View; he does not
love his Book, and having no one with him to Stimulate his
Ambition, from a disrelish to Learning, he soon contracted
an absolute hatred to it. There no such thing, as you know,
as forcing a Child to learn. He is an Active, Sprightly Boy;
and if he were placed among a I^umber of other Lads, his
pride would lead him to be one of the foremost of them ; and
his Abilities would Support in the Attempt. In this View
of the Affair I sent him back to bis Grandfather who is exces-
sively fond of him ; and wishes to do every thing in his power
to make a man of him : but the old Gentleman, for the troubles
he has had have made him old indeed. His Son went away
after the Law was made, by which his whole Estate was con-
fiscated. And this lay intermixed with his Fathers, in such
manner, that old Gentleman was ruined, unless he bought
it. And doing this in his old Age, and no one to him, he
is embarrassed to a great Degree. If he had been able, he
would have sent your Son where he might had the best Advan-
tage. It is not want of good will to the Lad, but for want
of money. He has expected you would have given a power
of Atorney to some one, and that some of the availes of your
Estate would have been ordered by you for the Education of
your Son. You must see and know, that all M"". Birdseys
hopes are centered in those two grandchildren that are with
him. You hurt the old feelings very much, in your last
Letter to him, in which you desired him to send you the
Account of what Expense he had been at, in bringing up,
and you would pay him. He says, he never gave you any
Reason, by his Conduct to you, for you to treat him, in such
a manner. And therefore was the more surprised to meet
I have sent a Letter, to Tf. Seabury addressed to your care,
supposing that the D". may have left England before the
Letter may reach thither. If that should be the case, make
the Letter your own property, my best regards to your Dear
Adue, my heart —
Rec'*. April 23—
Ebenezer, a son of Wakefield Dibblee of Danbury, Connecticut, was born
about 1715. He graduated from Yale College in 1734. The death in his
senior year threw him entirely upon his o^vn exertions for a living. He
studied theology and on March 4, 1734-5, the Fairfield East Association
licensed him to preach. For ten years he occupied the pulpit of vacant
Congregational Churches in Fairfield County, but apparently had no call
In 1745 he conformed to the Church of England and became lay reader
at Stamford. He went to England for ordination in April, 1748, partly at
the expense of the parish. He was made deacon and ordained priest in
September of that year by the Bishop of London.
In addition to his duties in Stamford and Greenwich he went into Litch-
field County and the destitute portion of Westchester County. His min-
istration at Sharon led to the building of a Church in that town in 1758.
He was instrumental in fostering the Church in Danbury and officiated at
the opening of a new Church building there in 1763. His work was of the
most arduous character but was always done with cheerful content. He
had the warm regard of the whole community in which he lived. He
remained at his post during the Revolution, and so great was the esteem
in which he was held that he was practically undisturbed by mobs or
patriot violence. He suffered, however, greatly from the necessary with-
holding of his stipend from the Venerable Society and the inability of the
congregations he served to give him a comfortable support. After the
declaration of peace the distress which was everywhere affected him. He,
however, continued his ministrations without murmur or complaint until
the end of earth came in the eighty-fourth year of his age and the fifty-first
of his ministry.
Upon his monument is this eulogium: "He became endeared to all by
his unwavering devotion to their best interests, his holy life, and unre-
mitted zeal in the name of Christ and His Church."
Mr. Dibblee married in 1736, Joanna, daughter of Jonathan and Joanna
(Selleck) Bates of Stamford.
His son Frederick was for many years a highly honored clergyman in
It is to be noted that the name is spelled both Dibble and Dibblee.
Usually the Rector of Stamford employed two ee's.
State of Connecticut
Stamford Aug^ 1, 1788.
Reverend and dear
I have yours of the 24*^ of March before me, and note the
The forsaken Miss Sally Thorp, with your approbation, hath
this day in my presence, drawn a set of bills upon you for
£25 Sterling, payable at ten days sight, in favour of M^
Moses Rogers merchant in 'New York. Uppon your honoring
the bill, he promises to her the money, with interest, at 5 or
6 p"" cent above par.
Miss Sally wishes me to give you this advice, with her tribute
It is a seasonable favour to Miss, a promising young
woman for her years, and manner of Education. — Her parental
neglect hath been surprising, as it is reported, her father,
your kind influence, hath a pension and is not under needy
circumstances. Her friend's here, are ill able to support her
without her own industry. I say no more, in this case, as in
many others there is a whele within a whole.
I received your advice that Doctor had paid you my bill
of £25, and advised you that I had drawn a bill upon you for
£20 in favour of M"". Moses Rogers of I^ew York, wishing
£5 worth of books might be sent to his care for me ; as I
have heretofore mentioned; of which, & concerning my son
and his prospects, I trust you must have received advice. —
Bishop Inglis was expected this month at New Brunswick,
and expect soon to hear if Frederick goes into Orders or not.
I am not too much prejudiced in the Bishops fav', I have
no reason to be, from the character he sustains in many
respects, especially from his unpolite treatment of me just
before his departure from ISTew York. — JSTevertheless since he
is honor'd with the Mitre, I sincerely wish and pray he may
do honor to religion, the Church of God, and the dignity of
the office he sustains. The hearts of Bishops as well as Kings
are in the hand of God, and he can turn them as the rivers
of water are turned —
Our English Jesuits, I think equal, if not exceed, any in
France & Spain —
Great are the expectations, pompous are the representations
of the same, of the increasing, flourishing state of the Epis-
copal Church in genal, in the united States ; in ISTew England
in particular. Would to God it may be true. The prevailing
influence of honor, Power, Reputation, Interest, are against
us. Under the present load of public taxes, the unsettled state
of our Government I fear not likely to betterd, by the
new revolution which will undoubtedly take place ; together,
with the incapacity of the Ch*" to support it self and their
dignified Clergy ; I can se no such happy & glorious prospect. —
My Church rises but slowly out of its ruins, labours under
uncommon obstructions, insufficient for my support, clogged
the third time with an expensive law suit, with my good old
friend M"". John Lloyd, demanding Hundreds, for what he
expended upon it from its infancy to its maturity and to the
baneful Independency of the United States — at which period
he renounced all connection with me and concern for the Ch^,
and seemingly with as much zeal endeavors to demolish it,
as in a laudible manner endeavoured to raise up.
The adverse dispensations of providence are great to me and
mine. (Gods will be done) Doctor Morice's neglect to answer
my last letter to him, and address to the venerable Society,
and your Silence, prognosticates ; I am in future, in the winter
of life, to end my days in want and its constant attendant,
It is my dear friend, with reluctance I repeat my grievan-
ces — I know the goodness of your heart; can no method be
devised for my relief, in consequence of my declining, in the
winter of life, and cold climate of adversity, to remove to
ITova Scotia. Necessity not choice prevents. Heaven forbids
it, by my great age & M". Dibble's, now in her 80*^ year;
and in the health in the family, the effects of my persevering
in that line of duty allotted me during the late Kebellion ; out
of Loyalty to my Sovereign, and confirm & preserve his
Subjects, and members of my Church in dutiful Obedience to
Church and State ; at the hazard of all that is dear in life.
I mean not to arraign the conduct of the Venerable Society;
but I sincerely thank them for their past favours, and pray
God to prosper, & succeed, & reward all their most pious &
charible designs, but I see no more merit in fleeing from the
storm, than abiding it; nor any more inconsistency, in con-
tinning their vanted charity to such as 'remain unable to flee
under Royal protection, after the winds & rains abates, but
having suffered shipwreck; then in granting their favours to
such, as being in the Noon of the life can flee under their
Shadow or for the State to continue their Pensions to their
Chaplains, residing and ofiiciating as ministers of religion in
the United States. Neither can I see why such Loyalists
have the loss of all things, for their Loyalty to their Sovereign,
and attachment to the british in Ch*" & State, are not equally
entitled to Royal and recompense, as well as those that fled,
not having taken an active part against Government; but
were Serving the interests of it effectually, by encouraging
persevering Loyalty, amidst the most fiery trials. God bless
you my dear Sir, for your past attention to my unhappy
Situation, readiness to good to the suffering State of your
countrimen in general, & your brethren in particular. —
But if am forsaken in my old age, and v^hile am grey
headed, by my best friends and Benefactors, mine integrity
1 will hold fast, my heart shall not reproach me so long as
I live; and the uncommon share of health, I am personally
favour'd with, shall be employed in promoting the interest of
the best religion, and best constituted Ch^ in the World. —
My time is now short, the fashion of this world will soon
pass away ; I am sick of this world ; were it not for my tender,
connexions, am so worn out with trouble, that I could wish
to sing good old Simeons nunc dimittis.
All things continue in much in Statu quo.
Doctor Seabury continues to conduct with propriety. iNTo
alterations in Ecclesiastical Polity hath taken place. —
Please to make my compliments acceptable to Doctor Morice.
'No Coalition with B — Seabury takes place. Bishops Provost
and White refuse to unite with him in constituting a Bishop
for Virginia. Brother Hubberd is meditating a Removal to
St. Johns IST- Brunswick. Bowdon to West Indies. —
My Prayers & best wishes attend you. Affectionate regards
to M". Jarvis & his Lady. His friends well. His Sister
Levina is addressed by M'. Todd in Deacons Orders. A likely
young Gentleman, a good Speaker. I prophesy a Match.
Yours most Affectionately,
Rev"^. Doctor Peters.
Stamford, State of Connecticut
Octob'^" 22. 1789.
Reverend, Dear Doctor.
The 17^'' instant M'. Bates delivered your favor of the 4^^
of August. I sincerely thank you for the advice you give
me, and that the venerable Society in their charity pay any
attention to the unhappy incumstanies of your aged brother
in Christ, and your most affectionate friend, almost worn out
with the troubles of life.
Last May I wrote you a long letter, as soon as I got the
affair of Miss Thorps bill setled; with an acknowledgement
of the receipt of the books you sent. I have neglected no
letter I ever received from you, without a return of my most
grateful acknowledgements. I am happy to hear the candle
of the Lord Shines bright upon your tabernacle. May the
best of heavens blessings always attend you and yours &c.
I am chained down here, to suffer the inflictions of an angry
God. Your letter found my family in the greatest adversity.
My Daughter Polly, who had fully recovered the steadiness
and tranquility of her mind, since by the terrour of our
Sovereign Lords the Mob in the begining of our late troubles,
she was thrown into a state insanity; hath a third time,
gradually relapsed into it; for 3 months past I have been
confined to close attention to her, scarcely can go out but to
attend public duty. She is reduced to the lowest state, her
life not expected many; we thot her expiring this morning;
but she revived ; but still as discomposed. Gods will be done —
In this time of life, and scenes of adversity, how could it be
that possible for me to remove ?
I envy not M'. Moore, Beach, good M'. Leaming, their
deserved honors. The honour which comes from God, my
highest ambition is to obtain.
I can only advert a little to the concerns of the Ch°. Bishop
Seabury an ornament to the Episcopal character, is gone to
Philadelphia, accompanied with Hubbard & Jarvis to adjourned
Convention of the Southern States; who have in ample man-
ner recognized his ecclesiastical dignity, a happy Condition we
hope will succeed; Unity, Uniformity, in doctrine worship
& government be established, without any mutilated Service.
But unhappy, Bishop Provost I hear refused to attend P Con-
vention, and treated Bishop Seabury at 'New York with entire
neglect. — I lay down my pen to attend my distressed child.
M'. Bowden sailed last Saturday week, with his family,
for S*. Croix, West Indies, we lament the loss worthy and
good a man. Public annimadversions begin to appear, upon
the doings of our new Sovereigns the Congress. They treat
religion, and the publick support and encouragement of it with
neglect. The Ch*". must stand upon its own ground : and for
the want of a better establishment and support will rise but
slowly to a high degree of estimation. Sectaries of every
M"". Bates cannot he says furnish me with proper information
concerning the power of appointing you my Agent &c. I shall
soon forward it.
Our prayers & best wishes attend you.
Your ever most affect Brother
Kind compliments wait upon IVP. Jarvis and his Lady.
Reverend Doctor Peters.
Stamford State of Connecticut.
November 6, 1789.
My dear, and Worthy Priend :
Agreeable to the intimation in my last, I have it now in
my power to send you my power of Attorney, hoping it may
be of service. The kind offices you render me, meets with,
and merits, my most grateful acknowledgements.
The melancholy distressed state of my family, in consequence
of my Daughter Polly's Insanity, into which she hath relapsed,
and continued in ever since, last June, engrosses all my
attention, scarce leaves room for parochial duty.
How could the Venerable Society think it practicable in this
time of life, encumbered with a family, ruined by the late
Rebellion; and reduced by oppression, for persevering in a
line of duty appointed me; or cruelly desert me in this day
of adversity and winter of life ?
Their charitable interposition and application to Government
for the relief of my necessities ; which if not successful and
the encouragement you give of the renewal of their charity,
will merit, and meet with the most grateful resentments.
If there is in your hands or M"". Jarvis's any money granted
by Government, or shall be granted, for the relief of the Widow
and children of my unhappy son, I wish it might be stopped
and retained for the discharge of a Debt of his to a consider-
able amount; to the payment of which, I am unexpectedly
liable and exposed.
His Widow inherits all the Lands destined to her husband
and his effects, &c. &c. &c.
The grand Convention at Philadelphia is broke up, we are
to have a federal Ch''. as well as State. I have received no
particular authentic account of their doings ; am only told,
mutilations, omissions and alterations in our Service, are
inconsiderable & of no importance. As they judged in their
superour wisdom. Poor Athanasius is beheaded, his Creed
condemned as heretical. Areans Socinians &c. may now fill
Bishop Seabury did himself honour, but returned with the
loss of a fifth part of his dignity; as four fifths of the lower
house of Convocation, made up with lay delegates, will carry
any point against the House of Bishops. I suspect this State
will not adopt the doings of the general Convention.
The Convocation here, has agreed and unanimously voted,
and adopted the Ch^. of England, as the Standard of Orthodoxy,
her form of Government & worship, as the rule of their faith
and practice, unconnected with the State.
I may be able, perhaps, in my next to advise you more
minutely of the doings of the late council of Trent.
I cannot see how Episcopacy & Republicanism can well
coalesce. Bowdon, truly wrote well, as you observed in his
first and 2*^. Letter to Stiles ; and the Weaver was just and good
rod of correction to the pedantick M"". Sherman. But I
cannot see the wisdom of reviving those religious controversies,
in our present unsettled state ; unless with an evil design to
prejudice Government here against the Ch^. as unfriendly to
the united States I impatiently wait for your next.
The best of heavens blessings attend you, and yours ; is the
sincere wish and fervent prayer of,
Your humble Servant
and most affectionate Brother in Christ.
Reverend Doctor Peters.
6 E'ov'. 1789:
I rec^ March 9-1790.
ans*^. June 5-90.
Stamford State of Connecticut
SemV 27, 1790.
My Rev*^. dear Sir:
Your favour of the 5^^ of June 1790, I received the 25*''
Instant. In which I have the melancholy advice, that nothing
as yet was done for me, either by the Commissioners of
American claims, or the Venerable Society —
I am full of anxiety to know my fate. Have you received
my power of Atorney &c. &c. ? If there be no prospect of
relief, I must, at least I can see no other way, to avoid con-
tempt but throw my self upon the Societies Charity, & ask for
a living in ISTova Scotia, or New Brunswick rather.
Your letter found me, still in the greatest family trouble,
Polly is no better, but remains insane, a miserable unhappy
object, engaging our whole attention.
The Church slowly & gradually rises out of its ruinous State,
but incapable of affording me & dependents an adequate sup-
port, & in character, and in this evening of life, & cold climate
of adversity to think of removing, it is impossible — Heaven
forbids it — I must have my distressed family — The Ch^ under
my care will crumble to pieces — 'No — I hope still, & will cast
my burden upon the Lord.
I pray God to still the tumults among the ^Nations, & prevent
the calamities of a general War.
Our Civil & Ecclesiastical Policy is upon no permanent
foundation. The bond of peace is broken, and cement to
Christian Union — Our new form of Ch'^ Government & puri-
fication of the Liturgy will take place — but not to the satis-
faction of the old English Churchmen — They court B^. Seabury,
but will never coalesce with him in a Consecration of a
Bishop. Sectaries abound — Error is multiplied upon Error —
Division upon Subdivision — The Ch''. I fear will become a
scene of confusion, discordant forms of worship — Inconsistent
systems of faith — The Lord have mercy upon us, — Make my
Compliments acceptable to Harry Lloyd Esq"". & his Lady —
Mr. Jarvis & his agreeable Consort ; his Connexion^ are well — •
May you be honor d with a Mitre — I hope to meet you in the
undisturbed delight of Paradise — My prayers & best wishes
attend you — I am with sentiments of unfeigned esteem
Your aged, afflicted Affec*. B'°.
IST.B. I have wrote to the Society & Doctor Morice, Doctor
Chandler is gone, for heaven — Doctor Leaming returns to
private life —
Sundry of B^. Seabury's Disciples cannot find Cures.