BORN APRIL 23, 1791. DIED SEPT. 9, 1859


I was born in the town of Bridgewater, New Hampshire, April 23rd, 1791, experienced religion in a prayer meeting Oct. 29, 1809. Licensed to exhort Feb. 23, 1810. Licensed to preach Nov. 10, 1810. The winter and spring of 1811 traveled on Sandwich circuit under the direction of the presiding elder.

June 1811, joined the New England conference and was appointed on Durham circuit in Maine with brother Wm. March. (This was brother March's first year under the direction of the conference.) This was a four week circuit and embraced at that time the territory of nine following charges as arranged in 1850: Durham, Brunswick, Bath, Phipsburg, Bowdinham, Richmond, Lisbon, Pawnal, Banville. I was twenty-one years old while traveling on this circuit. This year peace and happiness prevailed and the Lord poured out his spirit and revived his work in several towns on the circuit.

June 1812 I was appointed Danville circuit, Vermont. This was a very large circuit covering a territory in we now (1850) find the following charges: (a blank space was left for them).

Brother Daniel Blanchard was appointed on this circuit with me. A pious, good preacher. Was very much out of health for most of the time. A large proportion of he circuit was newly settled -- people poor -- many of them lived in log houses, very open and cold. A proportion of them had no glass. Not a board or shingle about them inside nor out. No bricks were found in or about their chimneys. You may be ready to inquire how they were built. I will endeavor to tell you something about them. The body of the house was built with unhewed logs, the roof covered with bark, and the floor of the house (if they had any except naked ground) was sometimes laid with hewed timbers some 6 inches thick. Often times the logs were crooked leaving large open spaces between them, and the bark which covered the roof would become curled up and sometimes broken so that when it was fair weather I could see the stars shine through the roof and when stormy the snow would blow in and cover my bed some three or four inches deep during the night, and generally bedding very scant. Truly their accommodations were very cold. I was always highly pleased when they would permit me to take my lodging on the floor before the fire. This was a luxury to me. In some instances I traveled ten miles and all the houses were similar in appearance. In room of glass some of them would have a thin cloth hung up to the windows; others would paste up paper, etc. The furniture that some of the families were furnished with was in fair keeping with the houses. Sometimes I have seen used blocks of wood to sit on, having no chairs. Blocks of wood were sometimes used set up on end and a board laid on them for a table. Tin dishes and sometimes wooden dishes were used in the room of tea cups. An iron kettle or an earthen jug were used in room of tea and coffee pots. For bedstead four blocks of wood were set on end, an auger hole through them, small poles put through these blocks for the sides and ends of the bedsteads. Bark stripped from trees were manufactured into bed cords on which they spread their beds.

The country being new of course the traveling was very hard, mud very deep and in some instances no bridges across considerable streams of water. Sometimes I rode my horse, sometimes he had hard work to get along without any load while I walked across on fallen trees or otherwise as I could best accommodate myself. The traveling being so bad and some appointments being so far apart I was under the necessity of starting early in the morning and traveling all day with no place to call for refreshments for myself or horse until I reached my next appointment which would be nearly dark. This was one of the very cold seasons that was experienced 1812-13-14. A very large proportion of the crops raised on their farms this year was killed by the frost, which rendered the situation of people disagreeable and in some instances distressing.

This year war was declared against Old England. A part of my charge lying on the Canada line. Troops were called out by authority of the government stationed on the northerly part of my circuit. The people were very much alarmed fearing an attack by the Indians which rendered our situation very unpleasant.

In the winter of 1813, the spotted fever, by some called the cold plague, broke out among the people and raged very violently attacking all ages from the gray headed down to children. Over one hundred persons died in a few months of this disease on my circuit.

The distance around this circuit was something over two hundred miles, the distance between some of the appointments being some thirty miles. The people in some instances being very much opposed to Methodists and traveling very bad it required a strong effort to reach my appointments. This was accomplished by starting early in the morning and traveling all day without refreshments for myself or horse. After the performance of so hard a day's work I was sometimes furnished with a bowl of bean porridge for supper.

Hard labor and severe exposure to cold, especially nights, caused my health to fail me and it was with some difficulty that I performed my tour round the circuit. During this winter I was afflicted as I suppose Job was anciently. I had from 60 to 70 boils averaging the size of a large tea cup. This was not a comfortable situation to be in for some four weeks, still I considered it a blessing. It probably prevented an attack of the spotted fever which might have been severe. Notwithstanding all these embarrassments I very seldom failed to each my appointments through the year. I will make a single remark for the benefit of our young preachers in relation to the provision made for furnishing clothing for the preachers in charge. Cold weather was advancing; I had no clothing except such as I had worn through the summer and that nearly worn out. I inquired what provision was being made to furnish me with clothing. I found nothing had been done. I set out to see what I could do. I commenced by begging wool. I called on the families I judged the best able to furnish me with the article I wanted for a suit of clothes. I collected in some families one fourth of a pound of wool at other places half a pound, and in one or two places one pound. This I continued until I collected some eight pounds. My next object was to find spinners and weavers. One female proposed to card and spin a certain number of skeins of yarn, another a given number. Another would weave a given number of yards of cloth and others would assist until I supposed I had a certain number engaged. The hardest part of the service was to obtain money to pay for dressing the cloth. I called on our brothers for aid. They gave me 10, 15 or 20¢ each until I supposed I had obtained enough to pay the bill. At length I got my suit made up. Found it very comfortable. My readers probably form some idea of the beauty and finish of the suit, cared and spun by eight or ten different persons, and made by a number of different persons. Of course, I cannot say much in favor, of its fineness or beauty of finish, but it answered a good purpose. In this suit the following summer I attended conference and received deacon's orders from the hands of the venerable Bishop Asbur.

The system then in use to raise money to support the preacher was quarterly contributions. One of these contributions was taken up at the Sabbath appointment in one of the wealthiest towns in which we had the largest number of church members. The steward, after passing through the congregation giving all an opportunity to contribute found in the hat 26 cents only. Three of my quarterly meetings were passed and I had not received money enough from my circuit to pay for shoeing my horse. I received at conference this year, towards making my attendance two dollars and 34 cents making up a sum, including my clothes before mentioned, to a sum something short of $40.00 for my whole endowment for the year.

Spring at length returned and we were to prepare for the conference which was to hold a service this year in New London, Connecticut, which was 300 miles from my field of labors. This was a long journey to be made on horseback especially when it is taken into consideration that we had to carry all the clothing we had with us, not knowing where next appointment would be. As we approached New London we were met by some of the preachers, informing us that British fleet of armed vessels were laying off the town and it was thought advisable that conference would hold its session in Colchester some ten or fifteen miles distant from New London.

In 1813 I received an appointment on Redfield Circuit, Maine. On hearing my appointment read I prepared for a journey of 300 miles from conference to my circuit. We arrived at our field of labor in due time. Brother David Huhlins was also appointed on this circuit with me. He was soon removed by the presiding elder to Bassilborough circuit. This circuit at the time I traveled on it has now (1850) the following eight charges: East Readfield, Fayette, Wayne, Leeds, Kents Hill, Mount Vernon, Winthrop, Monmouth. This circuit as was common, covered a large territory. There was labor enough for healthy and industrious preachers.