Reverend Lemuel Haynes

The Death Of Reverend Lemuel Haynes in 1833

The following item appeared in The Liberator a month after Reverend Hayne’s death in 1833.

This eminent servant of God, died in Granville, N.Y. on the 28th of September, aged 80 years. He was born in Hartford, Conn. and brought up in a pious family in Granville, in this State. He was there converted and when he was about 27 years old, he began the work of the ministry. He preached five years in Granville, Mass.– about three years in Torringford, Conn.– nearly or quite thirty years in Rutland, Vt.– about three years in Manchester, Vt. and eleven years in the place where he died.

We shall never forget the man who is the subject of this notice. We have seen him in the pulpit and at his own house and amidst his family. and we can truly say he seemed ever like a man of God. There was something peculiarly touching in the manner in which he invited sinners to the only refuge. He was original in his ideas– gentle in his reproofs and powerful in his rebukes. His talent at satire was prodigious, and when he found it necessary to employ it, his opponents would shrink away before him and leave him master of the field. His discourse on universal salvation preached immediately after the conclusion of a sermon by Hosea Ballou, in his own pulpit, is a wonderful illustration of this remark.

Mr. Haynes was beloved by all the friends of God, and we have seen the tears flow from many eyes while listening to his addresses in the religious conference. As he resided for 30 years, within six miles of our native place, we were permitted to hear him frequently, and were always instructed and edified.

Lemuel Haynes Speaking

Lemuel Haynes Speaking

But he is gone– gone to rest ‘in his glory.’ May his mantle fall on some other, whose voice shall utter the warning of Jehovah as fearlessly as his in the ears of the impenitent! We know of many who will own him at the last day as their spiritual father.

But Mr. Haynes was a man of color. Had he not, therefore, a mind like that of other men? Let those who listened to his thrilling eloquence, answer! He suffered much in consequence of cruel prejudice against those of his color, but he never complained. He was a spirit which soared above such things. He knew there was a heaven of joy where differences of color would not exist, or if they did, it would be no hindrance to the intimate union of saints.

His love to the Saviour was supreme. He said while his family surrounded his bed of death, ‘I love my wife– I love my children– but I love my Saviour better than all.’

And did not his Saviour love him, and fulfil his promise to him, ‘I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice and your joy no man taketh from you?

Background Notes

By the 1780s, Haynes had become a leading Calvinist minister in Vermont. His contemporary — white republican and abolitionist thinkers — saw slavery as a liability to the new country, but most argued for eventual slave expatriation to Africa. In contrast, Haynes continued to passionately argue along Calvinist lines that God’s providential plan would defeat slavery and lead to the harmonious integration of the races as equals.

As the first black in America to serve as pastor of a white congregation, Haynes ministered to Rutland’s West Parish for thirty years starting in 1783. Middlebury College granted Haynes an honorary master of arts in 1804, the first advanced degree ever bestowed upon an African American.

Haynes last home, in South Granville, New York is now a National Historic Landmark

Haynes last home, in South Granville, New York is now a National Historic Landmark


Collection: The Liberator
Publication: The Liberator
Date: November 9, 1833
Title: Death Of Rev. Lemuel Haynes
Location: Boston, Massachusetts

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