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Full text of "Samuel Hubbard, of Newport. 1610-1689"


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By Ray Greene Hilling- A. M., 
New Bedford Mass. 

C/y^-^HE Puritan, "says Palfrey," was a Scripturist ,- a Serip- 
turist with all his heart, if, as yet, with imperfect intel- 

lioeiice, He cherished the scheme of lookino- 

to the word of God as his sole and universal directory. 
.... (He) searched the Bible not only for principles and 
rules, hut for mandates, -and when he could find none of these 
for analogies,- to guide him in precise arrangements of i)ul)- 
lic administration and in the minutest details of individual con- 
duct He took the Scriptures as a homogeneous and 

rounded whole, and scarcely distinguished between the author- 
ity of Moses and the authority of Christ." 

It is a man of i)recisely this stamp whose career is traced in 
the present paper, -a man lacking the learning of the schools, 


yet eaiiiiii;;' the ivs[)e('t <»!* all who knew him; a man of many 
limitations, bnt prompt in the use of his few talents whenever 
(Inty called. Born in the old world, he aided in the fonndini^ 
of three colonies in the new. His chief claim to recollection by 
|iosterity springs from the value of the manuscript journal and 
letter-hook which he left, covering- the period from 1641 to 
1()88, and giving interesting details al)out life in Newport,- 
es])ecially about local church history. These Mss. were extant 
in 1830, but as early as 1852 had been lost. They were seen 
by Mr. Comer in 1720, and faithfully used by Dr. Backus in 
1777, Avlien writing his History of the Baptists. Probably 
all that was of general value in them has been given publica- 
tion, but the more minute historical study of the present day 
would certainly find in them, if they slioukl reappear, much 
of local and geneak)gical interest. The present writer has a 
copy of a note book into which Dr. Backus had transcribed 
much of the journal and a few of the several hundred letters 
which he saw, and from the reading of these arose his special 
interest in this "old beginner," as he styles himself. 

To give a bare outline of Samuel Hubbard's life Avould be to 
olfer a "lenten entertainment." To read the letters of his con- 
tained in the note book of a hundred and fifty pages, would 
be more tedious than profitable. It has been chosen instead to 
journey with him from his home across the sea, to follow his 
pilgruuage from town to town, to h)ok wdth his eyes upon sur- 
rounding scenes, and es})ecially to note the steps l)v which he, 
like the (►ther j)lanters, wrested ccmifoit and affluence fnmi the 
savage waste that confronted him, and rose out of the fogs of 
religious strife and ]»ersecution to a purer atmosphere of en- 
lightened liberty of conscience. A tale of this latter sort never 
lacks interest for a Rhode Island audience. 

Does any one object to the prominence thus given to a man 


ill humble life, to whom piiblie office almost never came, and 
whose lines of thought were not secular but religious? To liini 
are commended these words of Drake's.* 

'"However hund)le may luive been the condition of those who 
fled to New England in its primeval and savage state, to found 
a land for freedom of thought and action, tlieir names will oc- 
cu])y a proud place in the History which is yet to lie written. 

And uno-rateful must be that descendant of those founders 
who will not, in some way, aid to rescue their names from ob- 
livion that they may be engraven upon the tablets of enduring 

Samuel Hul)bard came of a stock most thoroughly Puritan. 
His father, James Hul)])ard, was a plain yeoman in the village 
of Mendelsham, a market town some eighty miles iiortli-west of 
London in the county of Suffolk. Of his mother Naomi, her son 
gratefully writes: 

"Such was the pleasure of Jehovah towards me, I was born of 
good })areiits; my mother brought me up in the fear of the Lord 
in Mendelsham, in catechising me and in hearing choice minis- 

Samuel was born in 1(310, the youngest of seven children. Of 
his three sisters, one, Rachel, came to New England and rear- 
ed a family in Connecticut. An older brother Benjamin, also 
came and was mentioned with the prefix of respect. He was 
made Clerk of the Writs in Charlestown, and bought lands in 
Rehoboth, l)ut after a stay of ten years he returned to England 
and died there a respected country clergyman. A nephew of 
these, named James, was an early settler at Cambridge, where 
he left decendants. Thus the family was well reiiresented in 
the new world. 

*TJie FoHJiders of JVetn Kii(jl(iii<l, hii SdiiiiK^l (Uinhwr 


His oraiidfatlieis had lived In perilous times and one of them, 
if not the other, had heen a sutt'erei- in the persecutions under 
(^ueen Mary. Thomas IIul)l)ai'd, the father of James and the 
orandfather of Samuel, went to his death at the stake rather 
tiian recant his ]*rotestantism. It was believed by his grandson 
that his fate was related in Fox's Book of Martyrs ( B(K)k iii, 
Chap xiv.junder the name of Thomas Higl)ed. If that belief be 
correct, as it probably is, the story in brief is as follows. 

Thomas Hubbard was a gentleman residing at Hornden-on- 
the-IIill in Essex, "of good estate and great estimation in that 
county," and, withal, "zealous and religious in the true service 
of God." An informer discovered him to Edward Bonner, Bish- 
op of London, who imprisoned him at Colchester and paid him 
the honor of a visit to convert him. Later he was removed to 
London, thrice examined at the consistory in St. Paul's, and 
remaining obdurate was sentenced by the Bishop, " before the 
Mayor and Sheriffs in the presence of all the people there assem 
bled, " to be burned for his heresy. A fortnight later he was 
"fast bound in a cart" -and brought to his "appointed place of 
torment, "-the village in which he had lived. There on the 2()th 
of May, 1555, he sealed his faith, says the narrator, shedding 
his "blood in the most cruel fire to the glory of God and 
great joy of the godly.'" 

His maternal grandsire, though possessing similar convictions, 
was nu)re fortunate; yet he too, was the object of sus})icion 
and search. As late as 1682 Mr. Hubbard had in his New- 
port house a testament printed in 15-1:9, which Thomas Cocke 
of Ipswich, (England) ,liis mother's father, had brought safely 
through those fiery days by hiding- it in his bed-straw. To a 
man of Mr. Hubbard's turn of mind this volume, with such a 
history, must have bei'U a priceless treasure. In all probability 
the testament was a later edition of the translation from the 


Greek by Tyndale made in the reign of Henry VIII, "which," 
says Welsh, * "revised by Coverdale, and edited in 15139 as 
Cromwell's Bible,and again, in 15-40 as Cranmer's Bible, was 
set np in every English parish eluii'cli by the very sovereign 
who had eansed the translator to be strangled and bnrned". To 
this testament some special anthoiity was attached, it appears, 
for it was consnlted })y parties at a considerable distance.! 

These details al)out the ancestry of Samnel Hnbbard have 
not been given withont a reason. They tend to show why 
through all his life his character was ho eminently devoiit. Born 
in a Puritan home in rural England, he received by inheritaiu-e 
the religi(nis mark which persecution of parents always brands 
in vivid lettering upon children to the third and fourth genera- 
tion. This tendency, moreover, was developed and strengthen- 
ed with deliberate care by a fond mother, and when the grow- 
ing lad came to years of understanding the very atmosphere 
about him was charged with theological controversy, not 
without a mingling of politics. At the age of ten or eleven, as 
he sat by the hearthside listening to the talk of goodman Hub- 
bard with the neighbors who had dropped in for an evening's 
chat, he doubtless heard not only the oft told tales of grandsire 
Hubbard's burning at the stake at Hornden-on-the-Hill, and 
ofgrandsir Cocke's narrow escape in his Ipswich home, s<mie 
fifteen miles away, but, as well, the marvellous account of 
God's dealings with Brethren Carver and Brewster and the 
rest. For, says the neighbor, these servants of the Lord have 
felt constrained to leave their recent home in the Low Conn- 
tries and, taking their lives in their hands, have sought a new 

* JJecelopnieiit of EiKjIish J.itcraf/irc, hij A/ffecI H. Wehh. 
t It is jjrohdhfe that fJi'is testdiiteiil is notn in flie lihrary of 
Alfred Unicersitij at Alfred Centre, N. Y. 


lef'iioe among' the savages in tlie Avilderness named for the Vir- 
gin (^ueen, far over the sea to the westward. What wonder if 
the l)oy early formed a ])nr])()se to visit that wonderful region, 
wiien his day should come to make a career and fortune for 
liimself ? 

Until his twenty-third year the young man remained at home 
in Mendelsham learning and practising, it is ])rol)al)le, the hum- 
hie trade of a carpenter. By this time news had si)read of the 
more recent settlement under Endicott at the Massachusetts 
Bay, and of the great company whom Winthrop had led to 
tiu' shoi-es of a l)eautiful liarl)or called Boston. These settlers, 
ran the story, have from the King a grant of their lands and 
full permission to govern themselves free fr(mi molestation hy 
royiil officers or heresy-hunting l)isho])s. Here was a field in- 
viting enough to the martyr's grand-son; and so he took ship 
for the new world. 

Tu Octoher 16IJ3 he arrived at Salem, having come that 
month from England, Avhether directly l)y way of Boston or 
hy some other route is uncertain.* His l)rother Benjamin was 
at Cluirlestown, and his sister Rachel Brandish with her fam- 
ily was at Salem, the same year. These facts made itprohahle 
that a family party of the Huhhards Avas made up for the 
voyage to the new world. 

Salem was at this time a little community hut five years old. 
It seems to have had less attraction for the young carjjenter 
than the comjtanionship of his friends, for in the very next 

/// /he ship Tnieloci' (le Ijondon, trhi<-]i sailed from lliat 
jiorf Jane 10, 1635 /by J^arlufdoes, ir'ith itaitierous jjasse/i- 
(jcrs^ there appears the mniie "Samcel/ IMthard"' a<jed 16. 
7'A/".s cannot he the snl)jeet of this f^ketvh, whc) lnj hi^ own 
statement iras Inirn in 1610 and came in 1631). 


year he followed his brother and sister Brandish to the youn- 
<rer settlement at Watertown. But lief ore leaving- Salem he 
formed one friendship destined to l)e to him a life-long sonree 
(»f satisfaction, and, douhtless, to determine in some measure 
his future career. As he wended his Avay from time to time to 
tliat unfinished Iniilding of one story which antedated even 
the "first meeting- house," ( now shown as such ) at Salem, he 
often heard the fearless voice of Roger Williams, the energet- 
ic young- preacher who had recently returned from Plymouth 
to l)e, first, the assistant, and, afterwards, the successor of 
Mr. Skelton; and, (piite certainly, he shared in the general 
sympathy with the radical views proclaimed from that pulpit, 
which long prevailed in the Church at Salem. His after life 
proved that he drank in with a hearing ear the "dangerous 
opinion," " that the magistrate ought not to punish the breacli 
of the first table, otherwise than in such case as did dis- 
turb the public peace," and esteemed Mr. Williams "an hon- 
est, disinterested man and of popular talents in the pulpit." 
Within a score of years both preacher and hearer were to ex- 
perience similar changes of opinion on religious matters and 
u})on compulsion were to flee to a similar refuge. And through- 
out their long lives the acquaintance here formed was pre- 
served and strengthened by correspondence. 

Have you ever wondered what the order of exercises was at 
a meeting in these early days? Gov. Winthrop* describes the 
})roceedings on one such occassion,when he with Mr. Wilson, 
the pastor of Boston, was spending a sabbath at Plymouth, in 
()ctol)er 1G32. 

" On the Lord's day there was a sacrament which they did 
partake in; and in the afternoon Mr. Roger Williams (accord- 

Whilhrop^ !< JoiiriKil. 


iiig' to their custom j })ro[)ouii(k'(l a question, to which the pas- 
tor, Mr. Sinitli, spoke hrief'ly; then Mr. WilHanis propliesied; 
and after, the Governor oi Plymontli spoke to tlie qnestion; 
after him the ehler; then some two or three more of the con- 
greoation. Then the elder desired the Governor of Massa- 
chnsetts and Mr. Wilson to speak to it, which thev did. AVhen 
this was ended, the deacon, Mr. Fuller, ])ut the conoregation 
in mind of their duty of contrihntion; whereupon the Gover- 
nor and all the rest went down to the deacon's seat, and put 
into the box, and then retnrned ." 

To Watertown, as has been said, in 1G34 the young car- 
penter turned his steps. And here he seems to have intended 
to make his permanent home, for in the foUowing year he 
joined the church, as he says, "by giving an account of my 
faith." This was not, however, the begining of his conscicms 
experience of religious emotions. That (kited ])ack to the 
days when he sat by his mothers side upon the sabbath day 
within the room made sacred by the voices of those " choice 
ministers." Here is his own account of his conversion. 

" I was brought l)y the good hand of my Heavenly Father 
to see myself a lost one by Mr. Salle of Nettlestead from 
Daniel fifth Mene etc. Doctrine, That all must be numbered. 

Which wrought effectually on me to try myself, being in 
sore troubles of mind,but borne up by many scriptures, Ex. 
xv: 2, Matt, xviii: Rev. xiv: 1, -by these and many more I 
closing therewith, I was much comforted and did believe that 
that there was no help but only in the Lord Jesus Christ for 
life and salvation, and hope to stay myself upon my God thro' 
Ct. Jesus accord'g, to that scripture Isia. 1: 10." 

It will l)e noticed how careful he is in every phase of his 
feeling to square his position by detailed reference to a bibli- 
cal phrase. We can easilv imagine him in the same strain 


" giving" an account of his faith" ])efore tlie brethren in 

Samuel Hubhard ha<l scarcely become established in his se- 
cond New Ent>land home before he found himself in the 
midst of a social agitation of considerable magnitude. Though 
the settlers had l)een but five years on the ground, a move- 
ment for removal was in full force. The main reason for this 
state of things is yet a matter of doubt. Why, so soon after 
the opening of the country, while the wlnde region was but 
sparcely populated, a feverish haste to enter the little known dis- 
trict along the Connecticut should have possessed the people 
of Dorchester, Watertown, Roxbury and Newtown, ( the pres- 
ent Cambridge )is not altogether clear. Like most popular move- 
ments, this appears to have sprung from a variety of causes and 
to have gained strength because of opposition on the part of the 
ruling element in the c(d()ny. There were two grounds of 
dissatisfaction quite general that may^ have added permanence 
to the agitation. The first was the growing tendency of the 
rulers to mingle ci^al and religious matters; the second was the 
fear of attacks from England upon the exposed coast settle- 
ments, for sentiments hostile to the welfare of the colony were 
known to be cherished at court. 

The first of Winthrop's company to be set on shore had in 
1630 planted themselves on Dorchester neck. The very next 
year there came to Plymouth and to Boston a Connecticut 
river sachem, Wahtpiiniacut, earnestly soliciting settlements 
along that river and ottering as a bounty a full supply of corn 
and eighty l)eaver skins annually. His motive, of course, was 
to secure an alliance with the well-armed Whites ag-ainst the 
merciless Pequots, who then were driving the river tribes 
from their homes. The Plymouth people were ready to unite 
with those of the Bay in seizing the opportunity, but the go v- 


ernment of the stronger colony declined to entertain tlie pro- 
position. John Oldliani, lioAvever, the trader afterwards killed 
by Indians at Block Island, with a fewhohl spirits from Dor- 
chester traversed the wilderness and brought back such re- 
ports of the fertility of the lands along the river as caused the 
farmers of Mattapan to glance askance at their rocky lots and 
think strongly of bettering their condition. * Nor were the 
neiiihborino' settlers without similar information and similar 

Meanwhile the Dutch had built in June, 1631^, their little 
fort at the House of Good Hope, now Hartford. Past this 
in the following October had sailed a Plymouth vessel, carry- 
ing the frame of a house subsequently erected at Windsor. 
An English settlement was now begun, and accounts of the 
attractiveness of the region multiplied. The fur traders re- 
joiced to find a fresh field to gather peltry. A few, like Lud- 
low, dissatisfied with the political situation at the Bay, were 
not unwilling to lead a company to a settlement beyond the 
immediate influence of the present rulers, where their own 
ambition might have more gratifying sweep. In Roxburv 
the influence of Pynchon Avas thrown heartily toward the 
scheme. In Watertown there was ill concealed opposition to 
the Court of Assistants, growing out of a recent refusal of the 
tow^n to pay a tax levied on all the towns to fortify a single 
one, Newtown. Only the wisdom of Winthrop had averted 
a serious collision and quieted the jealousy of illegal taxation. 
The pastor who had led his flock in the protest of 1632 was 
again their leader in the project of emigration. At Newtown 
the purj)ose to remove had been vigorous and definite from 
the outset. In May 1G34 the Newtown })eo[)le ai)plied to the 
General Court for permission "to look out either for enlarge- 
ment or removal," and th(^ re<pu^st not being fully understood 


was agreed to. In the following September the pnrpose was 
avowed, "to remove to Connecticut." At once great opposi- 
tion was developed and steps were taken which resulted in an 
apparent abandonment of the plan. The chief lay mover in 
the matter, John Haynes, was even elected Governor. But 
the next spring renewed the agitation and saM' permission ob- 
tained. Straggling parties from Watertown had already gone 
to Wethersfield and in the fall of 1635 a party of sixty from 
Dorchester, including women and children, wearily plodded 
through the woods, driving their cattle with them, and tried 
to spend the winter at Windsor, but most of them suffered 
miserably till one way or another they struggled back to 
Massachusetts Bay. Nothing disheartened, in June 1636 the 
Newtown church, led l)y Hooker and Stone their pastor and 
assistant, sold out to a company of newly arrived settlers their 
immoval)le property, and started upon their westward journey. 
A hundred in number, of all ages and both sexes, with their 
lowing herds before them, they slowly covered the hundred 
miles and founded Hartford. In the same summer the cliurch 
of Dorchester reoccupied the site at Windsor and the Water- 
town church enlarged the little company at Wethersfield. 

In this emigration the young carpenter from Mendelsham 
was swept along, but curiously enough he a})pears first, not 
among the Watertown people at Wethersfield, l)ut at Wind- 
sor. How was this? There is no trouble in explaining tlie 
fact if we remember that Hubbard was then not cpiite twenty- 
five, and that the Windsor emigration included persons of 
l»otli sexes. It was a fair member of the Dorchester' churcli, 
we see, that had led the young man to this region. 

"Tase Cooper "came to Dorchester June 9,1634 and 
united with the church there seven weeks later. Both she 
and Samuel Hubbard went to Windsor in the following year, 


probaltly In that ill-starred company of sixty Avho spent their 
autumn upon the journey and found the river frozen on their 
arrival. They ap})ear to have been among the number who 
cluno- to the infant settlement, for on Jan. 4, 1636 ( probably 
l()3()-7 ) they were married at Windsor ])y Mr. Ludlow. 

Of the parentage of Tase C(K)])er, 1 have l)een able to find 
no trace^ She had a brother John who lived in London in 
1677 and in 1()8U, and also a l)rother Robert who writes from 
Yarmoutli in 1614, highly praising New England as a place 
of residence. There were others of the same familvname on 
the Connecticut River at this period, Init none from Dorches- 
ter and none witli whom she can be connected. From what- 
ever source she came, she proved a noble woman and a faith- 
ful wife. Tlirouii'h the l()n<»' vears of their life tooether she 
constantly appears as a worthy help-meet, courageous, resolute 
and ready, frecpiently a little in advance of her husband in 
the settlement of any cpiestion of religioji, her woman's in- 
tuition marking out more ra})idly the path which his logical 
reasoning finally compelled him to traverse. As to her name 
in full, we can only conjecture. Mr. Hubbard appears to 
have written it " Tase " without exception; later writers have 
agreed upon " Tacy ". Was it an abbreviation of Anastasia? 
The newly married pair soon fixed their residence at 
Wethersfield, probably led thither ])y the fact that the bride- 
groom's sister Rachel with her husl)and John Brandish and 
five cliihlien had come from Watertown to settle there. They 
found the little colony in feeble straits. Li all three of the 
towns there were about eight hundred souls includino- two 
hundred adult men. Between the Hudson on the west and 
Nanagansett Bay (»n the east dwelt Indian tribes that if uni- 
ted, could have brought upon them four or five thousand 
warriors. The fiercest of these savages the Pequots, who 


Imd not fewer than a thonsand fighting men, were ah-eady in 
hostiUty. Wethersiiekl itself had been attacked in the winter 
of 163G-7 with a h)ss of nine by death and two l)y eai)tnre. 
Then in sheer self-defence the little company determined to 
administer to their merciless foes a lesson not to be forgotten. 
Though not far from starvation themselves, they equipi)ed 
and victualed ninety men from the three towns, more than a 
third of their whole number, and sent them upon the expedi- 
tion under Capt.Mason which obliterated the Pequot nation 
and o-ave the land rest for fortv vears. Their first summer 
had been occupied in Ineaking roads and building habita- 
tions. If in that autumn of 1635 there were, as Wintlu'op 
says, only thirty ploughs in Massachusetts, there could have 
been but half a dozen in Connecticut. In the following winter 
their cattle suffered greatly from food and shelter, and provis- 
ions bore an enormous price; hunting and fishing, moreover, 
were exceedingly dangerous since the savages were ever 
liaup-ino- about the ueiohborhood. Thus stood matters when 
this pair began their married life. During the campaign, 
successful as it proved, evils were accumulating. There were 
few men to raise provisions. Wrote Ludlow at Windsor to 
Pynchon at Springfield, May 17, 1637. 

" Our plantations are so gleaned by that small fleet we 
sent out, that those that remain are not able to supply our 
watches, which are day and night, that our people are scarce 
able to stand upon their legs. And for planting, we are in 
like condition with you. What we plaint is before our doors; 
little anywhere else." 

Meanwhile a debt was incurred for war expenses leading to 
an onerous tax, and at the same time the towns must keep 
themselves supplied Avith military stores and each settler must 
see to his arms and annnunition. Such were the conditions of 


life, l)otli at Windsor and at Wethersfield, when the Hnbbards 
l)e<>aii tlieir hoiisc-keejtinn'. 

Tlie church at Wethersiiehl at this time liad no settled 
pastor, and had <>ot into contentions and animosities which 
extended to the inhabitants not church members. In conse- 
(juence there was already considera])le disposition toward 
another removal. The church seems to have had l)ut seven 
members and these were divided three against four, the ratio 
perhaps indicating the relative strength of the factions in the 
community. The three included the officers, who, claiming 
to be the church, insisted on the rioht of remainino- and uroed. 
that the others should depart in the interest of peace. The 
four claimed that numbering a majority they had the right 
to stay and constitute the church. With the small comi)any 
who did conclude to remove went Samuel and Tase Hubbard, 
and their little one of six months, whom they were soon to 
lay away under the sod of their new home. 

Northward went the little band to the beautiful site upon 
which the Roxbury settlers had planted their recent settle- 
ment. Everything here, as on the river banks below, was 
still new on that Mayday in 1639 when the Wethersfield par- 
ty arrived It was yet a time of beginnings at Springfield. 

The records extant give little trace of the years spent by 
Mr. Hubbard here. We know that soon a little church was 
gathered containing four men besides himself, and that not 
long after his wife was added to the number. Here were born 
to them those three girls, Ruth, Rachel, and Bethiah, who 
were to become the ancestors of all the Burdicks and Lang- 
worthys. and many of the Clarkes, of Rhode Island. Here, 
too, was given to them, and quickly snatched away, a son. 
Full of daily cares, of struggles and dei)rivations must these 
days have been, but this couple were not given to complaining. 
In due time the Avilderness was to blossom as the rose. 


Mr. Hubbard's stay at Spriiio-field covered eight years. In 
the interval, the sister Rachel whom he had followed from 
Salem to Watertown and thence to Wetliersfield,had lost lier 
husband l)y death, and having re-married was living in the 
latest settlement of all, Fairfield. Here on the shore of Long- 
Island Sound, Roger Ludlow had, in 164:2, with a few fami- 
lies from Wethersheld planted the outpost of the English 
colonies on the side of the Dutch. From some cause on the 
10th of May, 1647, the Hubbards with their little family 
and all their belongings departed from Springfield, doubtless 
by the river, and floated down to begin the founding of still 
another home, — in Fairfield. What the cause was is not 
stated in his journal. Perhaps we may divine it a little later. 
Once arrived at the young settlement, and well settled in the 
new home, he finds himself confronted with a difficulty dis- 
couraging enough, from which he wisely flees, since it is in- 

He shall tell the story in his own plain way. 

" God having enlightened l)oth, but mostly my wife into 
his holy ordinance of baptizing only of visible believers, and 
( she ) being very zealous for it, she was mostly struck at and 
answered two times publickly; where I was also said to be as 
bad as she and sore threatened with imprisonment to Hart- 
ford jail, if not to renounce it or to remove; that scripture 
came into our minds, if they persecute you in one place flee 
to another. And so we did 2 day October, 1648. We 
went for Rhode Island and arrived there the 12 day. I and 
my wife upon our manifestation of our faith were baptized 
by l)rother Johu Clarke 3 day of November 1648." 

From this account, taken in connection with a statement of 
his made before a court at New London in 1675, we may in- 
fer, I think, that Mr. Hubbard and his wife had for some time 


Ix'iorc tlie aiitiimn of 1G48, l)een of the Baptist way of tliiiik- 
iiio-. Tlic statement at New London was made in answer to 
Mr. Hradstreet, — tlie minister of that phiee, who in nroino- 
the (•on\iction of ccrtaui |);nti('s on reh<»ioiis <»Tonnds liad 
iiiucli to sav al)ont ''the «><)()d way that tlieir fathers had set 
up." To this, Mr. Huhl)ard ohtainin<>' leave to sj)eak repli<'d. 

'' You are a youn<>" man, hut 1 am an ohl planter of ahout 
forty years, a l)ei>innei- of (Jf)nneetieut, and have l)een perse- 
cuted for my eonseiiMU-e from this colony, and 1 can assure 
you the old hej'innei-s were not tor persecution, hut we had 
liherty at first." 

In a k'tter to Gov. Leete, in the year 1G82, he reiterated 
the thought. 

" Sir, it seemeth strange to me, an old planter of your col- 
ony, one of the first, l)efore Mr. Hooker came there, and then 
what sweet hjve, precious love was then; hut not h)ng" so stood 
after the Bay persecuted Mr. Williams and others. But they 
set into that evil way l)y degrees, I can witness hy my own 
experience; for I was forced to remove for my conscience 
sake for God's truth. Alas: some of them yt did fly to 
N. E. now, as the apostle Paul said of himself, was exceed- 
ing mad and persecuted their hrethren and that with you 
also ." 

The natural inference from all this is that the Huhljards 
had held tlieir variant views ahout haptism while they were 
still among the "Old heginners," i. e. durino- their residence 
at Spring-held, and perhaps hefore they left Wethersfield, hut 
at the first were unmolested hy the Connecticut settlers. 

Now let us see what ha<l ha|)])ened during the residence 
of Mr. Huhhard at Si)ringtield. The agitation for an alliance 
hetween the New England colonies, hegun hy the Connecti- 
cut settlers throiigli fear of the Dutch, and strengthened hy 


the political commotion of the mother country, had been 
prolonged for some five years. Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut both claimed the settlements at Springfield and Westfield, 
and until that question could be practically agreed upon the 
union was delayed. In 1643,the confederacy was definitely 
established and at a meeting of the Commissioners in 1644 
the claim of Massachusetts to the above named towns was 
sustained. As late, however, as 1649, at a meeting of the 
Commissioners, the representatives of Connecticut refused to 
regard the line as settled and claimed authority over Spring- 
field. This goes to show that l)etween 1644 and 1647, the 
latel' years of Hubbard's stay in that town, there was an un- 
settled state of feeling as to which colony had jurisdiction 
by right, although Massachusetts was asserting jurisdiction 
in fact, with a probability of ultimate success. 

Meanwhile the policy which had driven Roger Williams to 
Providence, and the followers of Ann Hutchinson to various 
places of refuge, was not intermitted. Deviations from the 
Puritan creed were challenged with vigor, and Anabaptists in 
particular were not left without notice. On Nov. 13, 1644, 
the General Court of Massachusetts passed an act providing- 
l)anisliment as the penalty for " condemning the baptizing- of 
infants " or propagating such views. Nor was the law a 
dead letter. The historian William Hubbard tells of a man 
at Hingham named Thomas Painter, who was tied up and 
whipped by order of Court the same year, because " having 
a child born he would not suffer his wife to carry it to be 
])aptized." In 1645 a petition for the repeal of this law was 
denied by the General Court, and again on May 6, 1646 a 
petition for the continuance of laws in force against Ana- 
baptists was recorded as granted. About the same month 


William Witter of Lynn was troubled with })rosecutions for 
this cause. Now on the supposition that Samuel and Tase 
Hubbard had embraced Baptist sentiments, in view of the fact 
that Spring-field was held to be Avithin the sw^eep of the law 
above referred to, is it not probable that they determined to 
go into voluntary banishment before force should be applied? 

There Avas evidently in their minds little thought that the 
" precious love " which was " at the first " among the "old 
beginners" in Connecticut had already begun to fail. But a 
year and a half was enough to teach them in wdiat quarter 
alone those who differed from their friends for conscience's 
sake could find an unfailing refuge. 

When in the autumn of 1648 Samuel Hubbard came to 
Rhode Island to secure the permanent home denied one of 
his belief in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the colony was 
entering upon the solving of what Prof. Greene, * calls the 
fundamental problem of Rhode Island history' — the reconcili- 
ation of liberty and law. The experience of a dozen years in 
local government "had demonstrated the possibility of soul 
liberty " and had given it " a hold upon the hearts of the peo- 
ple too strong to be shaken." They were noAV to determine 
whether it left " the needed strength in the civil oroanization 
to bear a government held by the free and voluntary consent 
of all, or the greater part, of the free inhabitants." The char- 
ter obtained by Roger Williams had, after a long delay, been 
accepted by the freemen of the four towns, and a code of laws 
conformable thereto had been adopted. "The character of the 
whole code was just and benevolent, breathing a gentle spirit 

* A Short History of Rhode Island, hy George Wash- 
ington Greene, L L. D. 


of practical Christianity and a calm consciousness of high des- 
tinies." It closes thus: — 

" These are the lawes that concerne all men, and these are 
the Penalties for the transgression thereof, which by common 
consent are Ratified and Established throug-hout this whole 
Colonie; and otherwise than thus what is herein forbidden, all 
men may walk as their consciences perswade them, every one 
in the name of his God. And lett the Saints of the Most Hidi 
walk in this Colony, without Molestation, in the name of Je- 
hovah, their God, for Ever and Ever." * 

Mr.Hubbard, as we have seen, immediately upon his arrival 

at Newport became identified with the little Baptist church 

under the pastorate of John Clarke, then four years old and 

yet having but fifteen members, of whom nine were males. 

This was to be his church home for twenty-three years. 

Whether he became their deacon or clerk, as has been deem- 
ed likely but without direct evidence, is not certain; but there 
is no doubt that nearly all that is known of the early history 
of that church was preserved by his pen. To him Mr. Comer 
refers and all who have since treated the subject. He became 
the messenger of the church on numerous occasions, and 
sometimes not without considerable personal risk. 

One such visit, made l)y him on the third summer of his 
residence on the Island, was in connection with the now fam- 
ous imprisonment of three Baptists at Boston in 1651. 
At Swampscott, then a part of Lynn, there lived in feebleness 
and blindness William Witter a member of Dr. Clarke's church 
who had twice l)een prosecuted for expressing in strong lan- 
guage his views on infant baptism. In his loneliness he re- 
quested a visit from the brethren of the church, Mr. Clarke, 

* R. I. ColonldTBecords, VoJ^L 


himself, Obadiah Holmes and John Crandall were deputed 
by the church to carry their sympathy to this aged member. 
They arrived at his house on a Saturday evening July 19th. 
The next morning tliey had begun to worship the Lord in 
their own way, in the presence of four or five strangers, and 
Mr. Clarke was in the midst of a sermon, when the assembly 
was broken up and the three from Newport were hurried oft" 
to the jail. In the afternoon, against their remonstrance, 
they were conducted to the meeting house of the town, where 
Mr. Clarke gave sore oft'ence by declining to join in the ser- 
vice, and though he oft'ered an explanation of his apparently 
discourteous conduct, he Avas silenced and all three were re- 
turned to the jail. On Tuesday they were taken to Boston. 

Nine days later, on the 31st, they had their trial, — "of a 
kind" says Brooks Adams, * " reserved by priests for her- 

No jury was impanelled, no indictment was read, no evi- 
dence was heard, but the prisoners were reviled by the court 
as Anabaptists, and when they repudiated the name were 
asked if they did not deny infant baptism. The argument 
that followed was cut short by a commitment to await senten- 
ce. That afternoon John Cotton exhorted the judges, telling 
them that the rejection of infant baptism would overthrow 
the church; that this was a capital crime, and therefore the 
captives were " foul murtherers." Toward evening the court 
came in and sentenced them to lines of twenty, thirty and 
five pounds. Governor Endicott lost his temper, "declar- 
ed they deserved death and he would have no such trash 
brought into his jurisdiction," and insinuating that they had 
influence over weak-minded persons only, dared them to a 

* Ilia Eiuanc'tjjation of Massachusetts, hi/ Brool'S Adams. 


discussion with the ministers. This challenge Mr. Clarke 
promptly accepted, and he earnestly endeavored to bring about 
the proj)Osed discussion. The magistrates at lirst seemed to 
consent, but after some delay denied that the Governor's 
meaning had been rightly understood. The prisoners were 
remanded to jail, where they all remained at least a fortnight 
and perhajjs longer. In the interval, they received a loving 
visit from the representative expressly sent by the church at 
Newport, Samuel Hubbard, in whose journal is recorded 
this item: 

" I was sent by the church to visit the bretherin who was 
imprisoned in Boston jayl for witnessing the truth of baptiz- 
ing believers only, viz. Brother John Clarke, Bro. Obadiah 
Holmes & Bro. John Crandall, 7 day August, 1651." 

The fine of Mr. Clarke was paid, against his will, by friends 
who feared for his safety. Crandall was admitted to bail, but 
misinformed as to the time of surrender returned to find that 
his jailer had paid the bond and he was free. Holmes, how- 
ever, was left to face his punishment, which was severe. 
Thirty lashes with a three-thonged whip left him cruelly 
lacerated in body, but dignified and angelic in sjjirit. Among 
those who showed Holmes sympathy on this day, was one 
John Hazel of Rehoboth, a cousin of Samuel Hubbard's, who 
had come to Boston to visit the prisoner. He was himself 
thrown into prison for no o£fence,but the aid and comfort 
given to Holmes, and survived but a short time the treatment 
there received. Mr. Hul)bard's letter book had a numl)er of 
letters that had passed })etween Hazel and himself. 

Under date of October, 1652, Mr. Hubbard records this: 
"I and my wife had hands laid on us by brother Joseph 
Tory." This has some interest as showing that the doctrine 


of " laying- on of liancls" was even then attracting some atten- 
tion in the Newi)ort church. It was four years later, during 
Mr. Clarke's long ahsence in England, that some twenty-one 
members broke away, chiefly, it is supposed, because the old 
church held " the laying on of hands a matter of indifference." 
Samuel Hubbard, however, remained with the older church. 
The year 1655 finds him numbered among the freemen 
of the colony. The date of his admission was undoubtedly 

In the autumn of 1657, Mr. Hubbard and his friend Oba- 
diali Holmes Avent to the Dutch at Gravesend and to Jamaica 
at Flushing and to Hampstead and Cow Bay, being gone 
from Oct. 1st, to Nov. 15th. This I suppose to have been a 
preaching tour, though, doubtless, Mr. Hubbard was the 
guest of his nephew, John Brandish, a resident there. 

The next allusion to him is somewhat surprising. He 
appears to have been a small farmer, pursuing also the trade 
of a carpenter. Yet in the colonial record there is found 
under date of " May the fowerth, 1664," in the list of colo- 
nial officers chosen, the following: 

" Larrance Torner, Solicitor; Samuel Hubbard, next." 
The office of " General Solicitor" was created by the General 
Assembly in 1650 and the duties are described as follows: 
" It is ordered, that the Solicitor shall })re})are all such 
complaintes ( upon which the '' Generall Atturney " was to 
proceed ) to the Atturney's hand, not hindering any authority 
of the Atturnie l)y oration presented in the Solicitor's absence 
if he please. " 

What this means the Avriter does not pretend to know,save 
that complaints were to be made out by the Solicitor. This 
service seems to demand more legal knowledge than Mr. 
Hubbard's letters sho^v evidence of his possessing. His elec- 


tion probably implies that he was known to be an easy writer 
and was held in high esteem for his good sense. Whether 
he ever served as General Solicitor is uncertain. Larrance 
Torner, upon his own petition, was discharged from his offi- 
ce without having served, on the following- day. There is no 
record of Samuel Hubbard's engagement or of any action 
about the matter until the general election of the following* 
year, when William Dyre was chosen to the ofKce and en- 

In the beginning- of 1665,* or possibly in the previous 
year,t there had come from London to Newport, Mr. Stephen 
Mumford. Through his teachings, in March 1665, Tase Hub- 
bard was convinced of her obligation to observe the seventh 
day, instead of the first, as the weekly sabbath. The next 
month her husband was also covinced, and a little later four 
more of their household and some others joined with them in 
the observance of Saturday. Not even then did these wor- 
shippers break off their connection with Mr. Clarke's church, 
but for six years longer they were members of that body, 
and some of them were prominent representatives of the 
Church upon important occasions. 

One of these occasions occurred at Boston in 1668, on this 

Certain members of the Charlestown Church of the stand- 
ing order had come to have grave doubts about infant baj)- 
tism. Thomas Gould, in particular, for " denying- baptism 
to his ( infant ) child " Avas convicted, admonished and given 
till next term to consider his error; this in October, 1656. 

From this time for several years he was subjected to per- 

* Backus' History of the Baptists. 

t Seventh Day Baptist Memorial, page 150. 


petual annoyance, being' repeatedly summoned and admonish- 
ed l)V l)otli cliurcli and the courts, till in 1G65 he withdrew, 
antl with eight others formed a separate church. Thereupon 
they were excommunicated by the church at Charlestown, and 
given over to the Magistrates to be crushed. " Passing from 
one tribunal to another," says Mr. Adams, "the sectaries came 
before the General Court in October 1665; such as were free- 
men were disfranchised, and all were sentenced, upon convic- 
tion l)efore a single Magistrate of continued schism, to be 
imprisoned until further order. The following April they 
were find four pounds and put in confinement, where they 
lay till the 11th of Septend)er, when the legislature, after a 
hearing, ordered them to be discharged upon payment of 
fines and costs." 

Persecution, lunvever, aroused sympathy for these men and 
increased their numbers. So their opponents ordered Gould 
and his friends, with such others as might l)e named by the 
latter, to appear at the meeting house in Boston on the 14tli 
of April. To meet these farmers and mechanics in the dis- 
putation, six eminent clergymen were deputed. 

The question as stated for discussion was: 

" Whether it be justifiable by the word of God for these 
persons and their company to depart from the communion of 
these churches, and to set up an assembly here in the way of 
anabaptistery, and whether such practice is allowable by 
the government of this jurisdiction." 

The church at Newport, hearing of this appointment, sent 
William Hiscox, Joseph Torrey, and Samuel Hubbard to the 
assistance of the brethren. The latter speaks of going to 
Boston on April 7th . It is stated that he kept a record of 
the proceedings. 


Two accounts of this meeting' are extant. One, by Cotton 
Mather, states that while the erring" brethren were obstinate, 
" others were happily established in the right ways of the 
Lord." Another, a document written by the wife of one of 
the parties, probably Mrs. Gould, says: 

" When they were met, there was a long speech made by 
one of them, of what vile persons they were and how they 
acted against the churches and government here, and stood 
condemned by the court. The others desiring lil)erty to 
speak, they would not suffer them, but told them, they stood 
there as delinquents and ought not to have liberty to speak 
Two days were spent to little purpose." 

It is probable that Mr. Hubl)ard and his colleagues were 
able to do little more than to show their sympathy for their 
troubled friends. On the 27tli of May following, Gould, 
Turner and Farnum were banished under }>ain of perpetual 
imprisonment. But they remained and faced their fate. On 
July 30th, they were committed to prison and kept there a 
year or more, and then released. Turner was again imprison- 
ed in 1670, and Russell, one of the number, is said to have 
died in the jail. Eventually the church, which had now re- 
moved to Noddle's Islaiul ( East Boston ), had peace in the 
enjoyment of their religion. Poor Turner, as Captain, led a 
company, composed chiefly of " Anabaptist " volunteers, 
against the Indians in Philip's war and after valiant service 
in the Connecticut valley, lost his life at the Deerfield falls. 

Mr. Hubbard appears to have lingered in Boston for more 
than a month after the disputation, for we fiiul a letter from 
him dated Boston, July 6th, 1668, and directed to his cousin 
John Smith of London, in which there is an interesting per- 
sonal allusion, as well as some account of the meeting in 



" Cousin, I this spring having been at Boston upon account 
of a dispute made shew of, the Governor and Magistrates 
witli an(l against some of God's ways and ours; who was 
l»r( night foi'tli to hear testimony for his truth. After several 
tlireatenings and imprisonment of some ( and whipping of 
Quakers ) as 1 said, made shew of a dispute to convince them. 

I was at it, l)ut not joining of them; only their wills was 
satesfied to proceed against them, that they might not meet 
public again. If they did, any one magistrate might imprison 
them, and let 'em out 10 days ])efore the middle of July, in 
which 10 days they are to be gone out of their colony. 
Three of tlie cliief of them are to be put in three several 

This was the main of my business and also to see my kind- 
red in the flesh, where 1 was at my cousin Hannah Brooks's; 
for so is her name, where I saw a book of your making I 
never heard of before, which yo gave to my cousin Elizabeth 
Hubbard; I was much refreshed with it. 

I hint how it is with me and mine. Thro' God's great 
mercy the Lord have given me in this wilderness a good, 
diligent, careful, painful and very loving wife. We thro' 
mercy live comfortal)ly, praised be God, as coheirs together 
of one mind in the Lord, travelling thro' this Avilderness to 
our heavenly Zion, knowing we are pilgrims, as our fathers 
were, ami good portion, being content therewith. A good 
house, as with us judged, and twenty-five acres of ground 
fenced in, and four cows which give milk, one young heifer, 
and three calves, and a very good mare; a trade, a carpenter, 
and health to follow it, and my wife very dilligent and painful; 
praised be God. This is my joy and crown. I trust all, 
both sons-in-law and daughters are in visible order in general; 


but in especial manner my son Clarke and my three daiicrhters 
with my wife and about fourteen walk in the observation of 
God's holy sanctified seventh day sabbath, with much comfort 
and liberty, for so we and all ever had and yet have in this 

The good Lord give me, poor one, and all, hearts to be 
faithful and dilligent in the improvement, for his glory, our 
souls' good and edifying and building up one another in our 
most holy faith; that while the earth is in flames, in tumults? 
the potsherds breaking together, we may be awake trimming 
our lamps, and not to have oil to buy, but be ready to enter 
with our Lord. 

I desire to hear how things [ are ] with you in your land; 
for this thirty years and more I have observed ( as one said ) 
as the weathercock turns with you, soon after with them in 
the Massachusetts Bay. 

I commit yo all to the God of wisdom to guide you, and 
to make you willing to do his will, amen. 

Samuel Hubbard. " 

The good house of which he writes was in a locality called 
l)y him " Mayford," but more frequently styled by others 
" Maidford." It lies north of the pond in Middletown and 
not far from Easton's beach. It was here that Obadiah Hol- 
mes also had a tract of land. 

Mr. Hubbard's three daughters were now happily married, 
and the oldest and the youngest with their husl)ands had gone 
to join the new settlement at Miscpiamicut, now Westerly. 
There was a son at home, bearing his father's name, just 
coming to manhood but destined to an early death. Back 
there in Wether sfield was one little grave, and in Springfield 
were two more, testifying to the hardships and sorrows of 


earlier yt'ars. But the present days were indeed full of 
" much comfort and liberty." 

The views of Mr. Huhhard and others of Mr. Clarke's 
chiu'clj ahout the sahhath were a matter of frequent conversa- 
tion and correspondence at this time. Finally the difference 
between the two parties in the church came to an open rup- 
ture. Four keepers of the seventh day went hack to the 
keeping- of the first day, so offending Mr. Hubljard and his 
friends that they withdreAv from communion with deserters. 

Thereupon a meeting" of the church was called and the 
wounded feelings were so far soothed that church relations 
remained unchanged for several months. Ultimately, how- 
ever, the preaching of Mr. Clarke, and especially of Mr. Hol- 
mes, became so directed against these views about the sabbath, 
that earnest replies were evoked, and it became evident, after 
one especially vigorous discussion, that peace coidd be reached 
only by separation. The account of this discussion, prepared 
by Mr. Comer largely from Mr. Hubbard's papers, it is 
thought, is highly interesting but too long to be introduced 
here. Shortly afterward, on the 23d. of December, 1G71, 
five persons withdrew from Mr. Clarke's church and, with two 
others, formed the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in Ame- 
rica. Their names: are William Hiscox, who ultimately became 
pastor, Stei)hen Mumford and his wife, Samuel and Tase Hub- 
bard, their daughter, Rachel Langworthy, and Roger Baster. 

The church which they established had a long and useful 
career, and embraced among its members many of the best 
men of the colony. Its former house of worship is now the 
building occupied by the Newport Historical Society. 

Many of the earliest settlers at Westerly were connected 
by some tie to this church, and subsequently a church of the 


same faith was formed there, Avhich still exists, in the toAvn 
of Hopkiiiton. In this latter eliiueh the children and grand 
children of Mr. Hul)l)ard were very prominent workers. From 
it their descendants have carried his faith to the Middle and 
Western States where it thrives more vigoronsly then in its 
earliest American home. The latest statistics of the Seventh 
Day Baptists assign to them 105 chnrchts and 8797 memhers. 
These years were heginning to add to the sorrows of 
life for Samuel and Tase Hubbard. On the 20th of January 
1670-1, they saw their only son sink into death. Then in the 
course of the ensuing year, came the dissensions in the church 
which severed friendships of long standing. Accross the 
l)ay in Westerly their two sons-in-law, Robert Burdick and 
Joseph Clarke, the younger, were settled upon the disputed 
tract claimed by both Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well 
as by Rhode Island, under which latter jurisdiction they held 
their titles. Burdick had already been arrested on his home- 
stead and imprisoned at Boston })y reason of adhereiu*e to his 
colony, and Clarke was in a few years to be inn)rist)ned in 
Hartford jail for a similar reason. A letter of Mr. Hu])bard's 
on Oct. 6, 1672, expresses a more depressed feeling than is 
observable at any other period of his life. He says: 

" Dear breth. pray for us, a poor weak Ijand in a wilder- 
ness, beset around with opposites, from the comn. adversary 
and from (piakers, generals, and prophane persons, and most 
of all from such as have been our familiar acquaintance; but 
our battles are only in words; praised be God ." 

In the following- February ( 14tli. ) he says "Many slanders 
is laid upon Mr. John Clarke; but I will be sparing." 

Whether the allusion is to the church troubles or to some- 
thing of a political nature, the kindness of the writer's heart 


towards one fioiu wlioin he luid been obliged to separate on 
religious grounds is very marked, and quite unlike the tem- 
per of the times. 

How his Westerly children were faring is shown ])y a let- 
ter from Ruth Burdiek in 1673 ( Dee. 7 ) : 

"We are at peace at present, but are in expectation of the 
officers to come to strain for the ministers wages, well for 
our share is 8 s; we hear also of a press for soldier's to go 
aoainst the Dutch. We fear much whose turn it may be. 
The Lord hel]) us to cast all our care upon him ." 

In the year 1G74 a moyement began which resulted in the 
formation of the sect of the Rogerenes. In the earlier stages 
of this moyement Mr. Hubbard had a share, but no one was 
more disturbed by the final result than himself. 

Toward the close of this year John and James Rogers of 
New London were baptized. In the following spring, another 
brother, Jonathan Rogers, was alst) baptized and all were ad- 
ded to the Seyenth Day church at Newport by a deputation 
of which Mr. Hul)l)ard was one. Thereupon John Rogers' 
father-in-law took his wife and children away from him and 
caused his arrest and commitment to Hartford jail. He was 
at liberty, however, in the following autumn, and went with 
others to bring" Mr. Hubbard to New London again. At 
this time the father, James Rogers, with his wife and daugh- 
ter, was also baptized. Then began further imi)risonment 
ot* tlu' family for working on Sunday. Still another baptism 
in November led to continued imprisonment. So matters 
ran on. Meanwhile one of these sons, named Jonathan, had 
married a grand-daughter of Mr. Hubbard, Naomi Burdick, 
and had been excommunicated by the rest of the Rogers fam- 
ily, for not accepting some of their constantly growing vaga- 


lies. After many visits to the New London brethren, the 
Newport churt'h in 1685 " cut them oft', " excepting- Jonathan. 
The enthusiasts Avent on to establish themselves independent- 
ly having", says Mr. Hubbard "declined to Quakerism." They 
clung to the seventh day, to baptism, and to the communion, 
l)ut refused to use medicine, denounced hirling })reachers and 
delighted in oft'ensive work upon the sabbath, whereby they 
had many im[)risonments and a few whippings. The sect 
was kept alive, it would seem, only by persecution, for since 
that declined it has ceased to exist. 

Mr. Hubbard's book contained numerous letters describing 
the orowtli of the movement and is the chief source of 
information about its origin. 

The war with Philip, in the year 1(375, temporarily br(dve 
up the Westerly settlement, so full of interest for Mr. HuIj- 
bard, aiid sent its members to Newport for safety. In Nov- 
ember he writes: 

" Very sudden and strange changes these times aftord in 
this our age, everywhere, as I hear and now see, in N. E. 
Gods' hand seems to be streached out against N. England l)y 
wars by the natives, and many Englishmen fall at present. 
But the English is just now going out against them to pur- 
pose, as it's reported from the Massachusetts Bay, alias Bos- 
ton, a 1000 men. The Lord of hosts be Avith them. This 
island doth look to ourselves, as yet, by mercy not one slain, 
l)lessed be God. . . - . . My wife, and three daughters, who 
are all here by reason of the Indian war, with their 15 child- 
ren, desire to remember their christian love to you." 

After the war he writes, " My rates for the wars Avas but 
10 shillings or 10, lbs. of avooI." 

On the coming of peace, the daughters returned to their 


Westerly homes, whither Mr. Hubbard often went to visit 
them, and to rejoice in their <>i()wiiio- prosperity, as well as 
sometimes to lament with them over their troubles from 
Connecticut inroads. 

The summer and autumn of 1G77 brou<iht to Mr. Hub- 
bard two peculiar experiences. The first Avas a wound to 
his feelings in a very tender sj)ot, a vote of the church 
dechiring that he had not " the gift of prophesying" publickly 
in the church, tho' " says he, " heretofore judged so by those 
breth'n of the old ch. yea, by most here and encouraged in 
it." It is })lain that a generation had arisen " that knew not 
Joseph." I apprehend that the occasion was an attempt to 
have a pastor regularly ordained, Mr. Hiscox was not ordain- 
ed as late as 1684, and in speaking of a mission to New Lon- 
don in Feb. 1679-80, Mr. Hu])bard said " I must say that 
Bro. Maxson and I had by virtue of church as mucli^ })ower 
as Bro. Hiscox." Possibly the mendjers of this church at 
Newport, like the disciples at Corinth, were instituting" invid- 
ious comparisons ])etween their Paul and their Apollos. 

At nearly the same time he was greatly prostrated by " a 
very sore cough," l)y reason of which his life Avas despaired 
of. From his old friend. Major Jolm Cranston, the Deputy 
Governor, he received a small vial of spirits Avhich alloAved 
him some sleep but failed to relieve him. Let him tell the 
rest. " The church meeting by course, the church coming- 
in to see me, I desired of them the ordinance of laying of 
hand and anointing with oil, saying I had faith in it. Bro. 
Hiscox and Bro. Gibson gave me this answ'r — for some rea- 
sons they could not for present, but Avt they could do Avere 
very Avilling & free. So the ch drcAv into my other room 
agreeing to seek God's face for me, poor one. The next day 


I would have gone to town to give public praise, but was 
acUdsed not to go," and friends who came expecting to find 
him dead, beheld him standing and writing. 

One of his most regular correspondents in these days was 
John Thornton of Providence, a member with him of the 
Newport church, but more recently removed to the northern 
town. Shortly after his arrival there Mr. Hubbard in a letter 
to him dated Feb. 9, 1678-9, said. 

" Pray remember my respect unto Mr. Roger Williams. 
I thought to have wrote to him but I have not time now; 
have me excused to him. I do truly sympathize with him in 
his great exercise; the good Lord sanctify it to him and to 
his wife and all his for their soul's advantaii'e. " 
Again the following November I note a similar rememl)rance 
sent to Mr. Williams. 

Several of the letters of this period are rich in bits of old 
time news. Thus one of Feb. 7th 1679-80 to his son-in-law 
Clarke has the following touch of politics. 

" Here is a rumor as Lawrence Turner said to me, of turn- 
ing the gov'r out ( John Cranston ) and Walter Clark gov'r. 
Major Sanford dep &c; and so then the Narraganset or Kings 
province by itself. William Harris is gone for England, 
displeased at our courts act, and will not accept, tho' tender- 
ed its said, to be Quenicot agents attorney etc. God can 
and have Achitophels' council to fall and to hang himself ." 
Gov. Cranston by his death on the 12th. of March — a month 
later — obviated the necessity of the plan jn-oposed; not Wal- 
ter Clark but Peleg Sandford was chosen his successor. 

From the journey thus mentioned William Harris never 

returned, but having been captured by a corsair and enslaved 

was redeemed only to struggle back to London and die. 


August 25tli. 1680, Mr. Hubbard mentions that his son-in- 
law " Clarke hath been in Hartford jail and is now a prison- 
er." The imprisonment and a fine of £ 10. were imposed in 
consequence of the conflicting claims to the soil about the 
Pawcatuck river. The fine was subsequently repaid to Clarke 
by the R. I. Assembly. 

On May 14, 1G81, he wrote to Isaac Wells of Jamaica, 
and said: 

" As concerning your friends mentioned, Mr.John Clarke 
died ( the ) 20 ( tli ) day of April, 1676, Mr. Luker, the 26th 
day of December, 1676, Mr. Vaughn is ded, elder Tory, my 
dear brother John Crandall, .... Mr. Smith, W. Weeden, 
John Salmon, Mr. Edes, several of the church, gov'r Arnold, 
gov'r Easton, gov'r Coddington, gov'r John Cranston, choice 
men, are all dead. 

In this we sret a oflimse of his increasino; loneliness. The 
age of three score and ten found him with few of those 
friends about him who had in 1648 welcomed him to New- 
port. But as these external sources of consolation were 
vanishing', his soul appears to have acquired a sweet calmness 
and serenity, — a rest after the storm and stress of life, 
which never after deserted him. 

Hear him : 

" All God's holy ordinances are all good, especially prayer, 
public, private [ and in ] families. sweet rest, refreshing 
dews, I have had l)y that ordinance of sing-ing' psalms, in 
private and in public, also ." 

" God's holy scriptures, his word, is as so many fresh pas- 
tures yielding fresh flowers and fresh streams of comfort. 
Let thee and me labour to get ourselves off from all low things, 
striving, yea pressing, after holiness." 


But twice do I find indication of any tendency to verse in 
Mr. Hubbard's compositions. On the occasion of his son's 
death in 1671, he composed some lines and sent them to 
Roger Williams. 

This favor the latter acknowledged in a letter of the year 
1672, saying- : 

" I have herein returned your little, yet great, remembrance 
of the hand of the Lord to yourself and your son late de- 
parted ." 

At another time Mr. Williams alluded to the same matter 
in these words. 

" At present ( to repay your kindness and because you are 
so studeous ) I pray you to request my brother Williams, or 
my son Providence, or my daught'r Hart, to spare you the 
sight of a memorial in verse, which I lately writ, in humble 
thanksgiving unto God, for his great and wonderful deliver- 
ance to my son Providence ." 

The second poetic effusion, to use the term currente 
calamo, occurs in a letter to Gov. Leete of Connecticut, Dec. 
20, 1682 from which I will quote: 

" Honoured governor, your old friend Mr. Philip Eades, a 
merchant, a precious man, of a holy, harmless, blameless life, 
and conversation, I judge faithful in what he practised, tlio' 
short in some of Jehovah's requirm'ts, beloved of all sorts of 
men; his death was much bewailed. I shall give you a copy 
of some verses made at his death. 

This loss to all, that God thus call 

Away from us such men; 

Let us therefore, let's God implore; 

There's gone, I think, fifteen. 

Both churches and town, great is ye sound; 


God's rod is upon all, 

That here doth dwell; let's then do well, 

To do g'ood, let's do all." 

Ill a suppleiiientaiy note he gives the date of Mr. Eades' 
death, as Mar. IG, 1(381, and explains his fifteen thus, " 4 
"overnors, 5 cliuieh leaders, and 6 choice bretherin of chur- 
dies." In a later letter to Gov. Leete, he says of Mr. Eades: 

" This friend of yours and mine, one in ofiice in Oliver's 
house, was for liberty of conscience, a merchant, a precious 
man, of a holy life and conversation, beloved of all sorts of 
men ." With a change as to office and occupation, the sen- 
tence wf)uld be an excellent epitaph for Mr. Hubbard 

On May 10, 1683, John Thornton writes to Mr. Hubbard. 

" Dear brother, thou gavest me an acct. of the death of 
divers of our ancient friends; since that time the Lord hath 
arrested by death our ancient and approved friend Mr. Roger 
Williams, Avitli divers others here ." 

It is very certain that there were few more sincere mourn- 
ers for Mr. Williams than that patriarch at " Mayford, " who 
fifty years before had learned from his lips the lesson of soul 
liberty, and had shared with him persecution for conscience' 

In Mr. Hubbard's familiar letters, items grave and gay jos- 
tle each other with great freedom. Here are two of Oct. 20, 

"John Clarke is to have Rebecca Hiscox, it's supposed. 
Old Weaver is ded, near an hundred years old." 

Listen to these words in a message to a friend at Boston, 
on Mar.28,lG8G: 

"Just now I remember what my mother's Avords were near 
70 years ago, that thankfulness for mercys was a coning way 


of beg-ffiiifr more mercies. Psalm 103:12, 17, 18. And I 
may say with old Jacob, Gen. 32: 10, that I came over with 
myself, and God have made me 3 bands. This day I heard 
God have added one grandchild more to my store, that now 
I have grand-children 28, great-grand-children 10, son-in-laws 
3, great son-in-laws 3 and my 3 daughters now alive; 4 I 
buried; my all and mine 49." All but three of these were 
keepers of the seventh day sabbath. 

At the close of 1686, he wrote to his friend Thornton 
thus : 

My wife and I counted up this year 1686. My wife a 
creature 78 years, a convert 62 years, married 50 years, an 
independent and joined to a church 52 years, a baptist 38 
years, a sabbath keeper 21 years. I a creature 76 years, a 
convert 60 years, an independent and joined to a church 52 
years, a baptist 38 years, a sabbath keeper 21 years, .... 
Oh, praise the Lord, for his goodness endures forever! . . . 
These may be my last lines unto you; farewell ! " 

Four months later, to his daughter Clarke he sends these 
cheering words: 

" Oh children, I see good days at hand, let his lift up their 
] lands, their Lord is at hand; then his shall reign on the 
earth. ( Rev. 20: 4. )" 

The latest letter from his pen that we can trace bears date 
May 7 1688. I find one author * assigning the following 
year, 1689, as that of his death at the age of 79 but on 
grounds not altogether satisfactory. He certainly had died 
before 1692. His wife survived him and was present at a 
church meeting as late as 1697, after which no further trace 
of her can be found. There is nothing, therefore, to tell the 

* Thomas B. Stillman, in the Seventh Day Baptist 


exact dates of their death or the phice of their burial. 

Thus we have followed this humble career to its close on 
earth. It could be paralleled, no doubt, in hundreds of ot- 
her families established in tliat day of beginnings in New 
Eno'land: but that fact should not lead us to withhold our 
appreciation of its worth. Happily for us today, good men 
were then exceedingly common. 

The devout spirit, the loyalty to religious convictions, the 
grateful heart toward his God and gentle disposition toward 
all mankind, — these are qualities we must admire in Sam- 
uel Hubbard, even though we rejoice in a broader view of 
the world, a clearer understanding of biblical interpretation 
and, perhaps, a keener intelligence, than were granted to him. 
The denomination of which he was a founder owes to him 
a heavy debt, and does not hesitate to praise his memory. 
Let the general public now recognize liis virtues, and while 
reserving for larger minds, like those of Williams and Clarke 
the more conspicuous places in the Rhode Island temple of 
fame, let them grant to such as he the recognition which de- 
voted men and worthy citizens may rightfully claim. 


Samuel Hubbard's Family Record. 

SAMUEL HUBBARD, born IGIO, Mendelsham, co. Suff- 
olk, Eng.; came to Salem Oct. 1633; Watertown, 1634; Win- 
dsor, 1635; Wethersfield, 1636; Springfield, May 10, 1639; 
Fairfield, May 10, 1647; Newport, Oct. 12, 1648. Freeman, 
1655, perhaps before; Elected deputy General Solicitor 1664; 
died 1689 or after at Newport. Married, Jan.4, 1636-7. 

TASE COOPER, born 1608, Eng.; came to Dorchester 


June 9, 1634; Windsor, 1635; married there by Mr. Ludlow; 
died probably at Newport, after 1697. 
i Naomi, b. Nov. 18, 1637 at Wethersfield; d. Nov. 28 

1637, do. 
ii Naomi, b. Oct. 19, 1638 at Wethersfield; d. May 5, 

1643, Springfield, 
iii Ruth, b. Jan. 11, 1640, Springfield; d. about 1691, 

Westerly; m. Nov.2, 1655, Robert Burdick, b. 

d. 1692. Children: i Robert, ii sou, iii Hub- 
bard, iv Thomas, v Naomi, vi Ruth, vii Ben- 
jamin, viii Samuel, ix Tacy, x Deborah. 

iv Rachel, 1). Mar. 10, 1642, Springfield, d. ; m. Nov. 

3, 1658, Andrew Langworthy. Children: i Sam- 
uel, ii James. » 
V Samuel, b. Mar. 25, 1644; Springfield; d. soon, 
vi Bethiah, b. Dec. 19, 1646, Springfield; d. Apr. 17, 17 
07; m. Nov. 16, 1664, Joseph Clarke, b. Apr. 2, 
1643; d. Jan. 11, 1727. Children: i Judith, ii 
Joseph, iii Samuel, iv John, v Bethiah, vi Mary, 
vii Susanna, viii Thomas, ix William, 
vii Samuel, b. Nov. 30, 1649, Newport; d. Jan. 20, 1670-1. 

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