Buell, Samuel

honorificReverend
Birth: September 1, 1716
Death: July 19, 1798
Affiliation:

Presbyterian Church; Long Island Presbytery; Yale College

Education:

Graduated Yale College in 1741, received honorary degree from Dartmouth in 1791.

Faith:

Presbyterian

Nationality:

American colonist

Occupation:

Itinerant Minister and Minister

Residence:

Easthampton, Long Island (from 1746-09-19 to 1798-07-19)

Marital status:

Buell had three wives. First, he married Jerusha Meacham. After her death, he married Mary Mulford. After her death, he married Mary Miller, who survived him. He had a total of 9 children throughout his three marriages, eight of whom died. Buell was noted for his piety in preaching at his chidren's funerals, that their deaths might serve as opportunities for his congregation's spiritual enrichment.

Biography:

Buell was a popular Presbyterian minister during the second half of the 18th century in Long Island, as well as a close friend of Samson Occom. He was ordained in November 1743, and was a popular itinerant minister before settling at Easthampton. He preached at Occom's ordination, published the sermon in 1761 to raise funds for Occom (he also wrote the letter addressed to Bostwick prefacing his publication), and stayed in close contact with Occom even after Occom's public break from Wheelock. Occom's diary is full of references to visiting Buell and to their close friendship. During the Revolution, Buell was the only minister on Long Island for 40 miles, and was very active in assisting the American cause. He also founded Clinton Academy on Long Island in 1785, which was the first private school chartered by the New York Board of Regents. This academy was also remarkable in that it admitted women. Multiple historical sources have misconstrued Samuel Buell as Sol or Solomon Buell, likely because Buell sometimes signed his name Sa.l, a creative abbreviation of Samuel. However, there was no Reverend Solomon Buell in Easthampton, or, it seems, Long Island, in the second half of the 18th century: Samuel had no brothers, and were there to be two Reverend S. Buell's within 10 miles of one another during the same period, related or not, doubtlessly someone would have commented on it. In addition, the handwriting in letters ascribed to "Sol" and those assigned to Samuel is identical. Lastly, the only source besides collection manuscript 765530.3 describing a "Solomon Buell" is an anthology of letters from the Revolution, which contain letters from a Rev. Sol. Buell, or S. Buell, about aiding the American cause. These letters correspond well with descriptions of Samuel's life in an 1809 biography of his life, and, as he was the only Reverend but one for 40 miles during the Revolution, it is likely that these letters belong to him.

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Sources:

Buell, Samuel. A faithful narrative of the remarkable revival of religion in the congregation of Easthampton on long island in the year of our lord 1764 with some reflections. Sag-Harbor 1809. Cummings, Mary. "Rev. Samuel Buell was a Force in East Hampton for 52 Years." East Hampton Patch. http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/rev-samuel-buell-was-a-force-in-east-hampton-for-52-years. Force, Peter. American archives: Volume 1. 1848. Love, William DeLoss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Boston: Pilgrim, 1899. Occom, Samson. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literature in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Ed. Joanna Brooks. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006.