Samuel Seabury: The Colonial American Anglican Bishop and Loyalist Who Shaped Early American History

Samuel Seabury

The author of “The Farmer”

Samuel Seabury was a colonial American Anglican bishop, preacher, theologian, and pamphleteer who played an important role in the American Revolution. He was born on November 30, 1729, in Groton, Connecticut, and died on February 25, 1796, in New London, Connecticut.

Seabury began his education at Yale College in 1748 but dropped out in 1751 due to health complications. He then studied medicine and received his medical degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland in 1752. After returning to the colonies, he practiced medicine in New London, Connecticut.

Seabury later decided to become a priest and was ordained by the Bishop of London in 1753. He served as a rector of several parishes in New England, including Christ Church in Boston, Massachusetts, and St. Peter’s Church in Westchester County, New York.

During the American Revolution, Seabury was a loyalist and opposed the American patriots’ claims for independence from Great Britain. He wrote several pamphlets, including “Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress” and “A View of the Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies,” arguing that the British government had the right to govern the colonies.

After the war, Seabury became the first bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States. He was consecrated in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1784, after several unsuccessful attempts to be consecrated in the United States. Seabury’s consecration marked a significant milestone in the history of the Episcopal Church, as it allowed for the continuation of the apostolic succession in the United States.

In conclusion, Samuel Seabury was an important figure in the history of the American Revolution and the Episcopal Church. His contributions to theology, preaching, and political discourse left a lasting impact on colonial America and the early United States.

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