Born an Anglican Priest. On December 23,
Born in Groton, Conn., Samuel Seabury was the son of the Reverend Samuel Seabury Sr. His Father was a pioneer of New England Anglicanism who followed the example of Samuel Johnson. Samuel Jr.,broke away from the Congregationalists and pursued Anglican ordination. He graduated from Yale in 1744 and received his B.
A in 1748. He married Abigail Mumford and went abroad in 1784 to obtain consecration as an Anglican Priest. On December 23, 1753, Samuel Seabury was ordained a deacon and two days later a priest of the Anglican Church. He was licensed by the church to preach in New Jersey.
He preached in various places, but none suited his fancy. A preacher in Westchester was charged with drunkenness and sexual assault, which opened up the preaching position. Samuel filled the position and preached in an uneventful ministry. He also ran a school in Westchester. As the tensions between Britain and the colonies grew stronger, Samuel stayed loyal to the crown. He viewed the American government as very primitive and dependent on the British government.
When talk of the First Continental Congress arose, he began to voice his opinion. He tried to stop the election of the delegates by writing various pamphlets. His attempt proved futile and the delegates were elected and met together on that fateful day in Philadelphia when a new nation was envisioned. Now Samuel began to take more courageous steps in preventing the breaking away of the colonies. He wrote “Westchester Farmer” ,a compilation of five essays reasoning why the colonies should stay with the English. The five essays were Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Congress, The Congress Canvassed, Free Thoughts in the Full Vindication of the Congress, A View of Controversy, The Republican Dissected. Some of the writings were directed towards New Yorkers and local farmers.
He begged the New York legislature to reject the laws of the “enthusiastic republicans” and was quoted as saying, “The Congress is in the power of a faction using a mob to carry out its purposes”. The other writings were a rebuttal or defense to Alexander Hamilton’s attack. Hamilton was a student at the time when the pamphlets came out and he wrote The Farmer Refuted, a pamphlet opposing Seabury’s loyalist views. The news spread like wild fire and four of the pamphlets were printed in newspapers across the colonies. Samuel was branded a loyalist right away and this unintentionally made him some enemies.
He began to feel the oppression of the radicals and replied to their threats with this quote “If I am to be arrested let it be by a king at least, and not by a pareel of upstart lawless committeemen. If I must be devoured, let me be devoured by the jaws of a lion, and not gnawed to death by rats and vermin”. On November 22, 1775 Samuel Seabury was arrested. His captors tried to force Seabury to admit he wrote the “Westchester Farmer”, he neither denied it nor admitted it. Eventually he was released, and this was the final step in pushing him against the patriots.
When the war he predicted broke out, he housed his family in the British- held city of New York. He stayed there until the war was over ; then he took a job as a preacher and lived an uneventful life until his death.