Horton, Azariah

honorificReverend; Mr.
Birth: March 20, 1715 in Southold, Long Island
Death: March 27, 1777 in Chatham, NJ
Affiliation:

Yale College; New York Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge

Education:

Yale (1735)

Faith:

Presbyterian

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

Missionary and minister

Residence:

Turkey, NJ (from 1740-02 to 1741-08)

Montauk, Long Island (from 1741-08 to 1751)

Bottle Hill, NJ (from 1751 to 1776-10)

Chatham, NJ (from 1776-10 to 1777-03-27)

Marital status:

Married Eunice Foster, a resident of Southampton, Long Island. They had three daughters and four sons.

Biography:

Azariah Horton was an Anglo-American missionary who conducted a 10-year mission (1741-1751) to the Montauketts and Shinnecocks of Long Island before being replaced by Samson Occom in 1750. After graduating from Yale in 1735 and briefly preaching in Turkey, NJ, Horton was ordained and commissioned by the New York (later New Jersey) Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge (SSPCK) to serve as a missionary on Long Island. His territory was extensive: in addition to the Montauketts and the Shinnecocks, Horton ministered to Indian tribes on the Wyoming and Delaware rivers where the Brainerd brothers were later quite successful. Horton kept a diary during the first three years of his mission (1741-1744) in which he records his extensive travels between sites. By the late 1740s, however, he was residing solely at Shinnecock and spending almost all of his time there. Perhaps his health had decayed and he was unable to travel, or perhaps he had simply given up on his mission (the sources are unclear). Whatever the cause, his neglect left the Montauketts ripe for Samson Occom’s missionary efforts. Horton encouraged Occom’s ministry, and the two stayed in contact (Occom visited him at least once, in 1760). However, when Horton retired, the SSPCK retired his mission with him. They believed that it was a fairly fruitless enterprise, which is likely at least part of the reason why they were disinclined to pay Occom for his efforts. After leaving Montauk, Horton became the pastor at Bottle Hill, NJ (sometimes described as South Hanover). He retired of his own volition in October 1776 and moved to live with his son in Chatham, NJ, where he died in 1777 after being exposed to smallpox while ministering to the dead and dying in George Washington’s army.

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Sources:

Brooks, Joanna. The Collected Writings of Samson Occom, Mohegan: Leadership and Literacy in Eighteenth-Century Native America. Oxford 2006. Dexter, Franklin B. “Azariah Horton.” Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College. Volume 1: October, 1701-May, 1745. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1885. Pp. 536-537. Accessed via Haithi Trust. Love, Deloss. Samson Occom and the Christian Indians of New England. Pilgrim Press 1899. Strong, John A. The Montaukett Indians of Eastern Long Island. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press 2001.Left a diary. Tuttle, William Parkhurst. Excerpt from, “Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris County New Jersey. Illustrated. Vol. I., Lewis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, 1899.” http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~njmorris/lewisbios1899/hortonazariah.htm Accessed 4/15/14.