Moseley, Samuel

Variant first names: Samuell
Variant last names: Mosley
honorificRev.; Mr.
Birth: August 15, 1708 in Dorchester, MA
Death: July 26, 1791 in Hampton, CT
Affiliation:

Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge

Education:

Harvard (1729)

Faith:

Congregationalist (Old Light)

Nationality:

Anglo-American

Occupation:

Minister

Residence:

Windham, CT (renamed Hampton, CT after 1786) (from 1734 to 1791)

Marital status:

Married Bethiah Otis Billings in 1734, the widow of William Billings, Moseley's predecessor at the Second Church of Windham. They had several children.

Biography:

Rev. Samuel Moseley was the minister of the Second Church (also called the Canada Society) in Windham, CT (reincorporated as Hampton in 1786), from 1734 until his death in 1791. After graduating from Harvard in 1729, he kept school in Dorchester, MA and served as chaplain at Castle William until his ordination in 1734. It is a testament to his ministerial abilities that he was able to keep the post until his death in 1791, especially since he held a conservative view of church hierarchy (he even considered Episcopalian ordination), doubtlessly a difficult stance to maintain during the tumultuous period of the First Great Awakening. Moseley was an early proponent of Eleazar Wheelock’s plan for a charity school. He worked with Wheelock and Benjamin Pomeroy to solicit George Whitefield’s support in the 1750s, and he was a member of the original board entrusted with the land deeded by Joshua More. Moseley was also one of the ministers who examined Samson Occom prior to his ordination in 1759, and he was named to the Connecticut Board of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge when it was formed in 1764. In 1767, there was a potentially awkward incident when the New England Company hired Ebenezer Moseley, Samuel’s son, to conduct a mission to the Onaquaga -- a village to which Wheelock had also sent a missionary. However, Wheelock interpreted the spiritual coup as a political machination by the Boston Board and did not hold E. Moseley responsible. Due to the low volume of letters between Wheelock and S. Moseley, it is unclear whether this incident affected their relationship.

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Sources:

Chase, Frederick. A history of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. 1891. Cogswell, James. Rev. Dr. Cogswell’s Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Samuel Moseley, Preached at his Interment, July 28, 1791. E. S. Moseley ed. Newburyport: William H. Huse & Company, 1883. Accessed via GoogleBooks. Dartmouth College Library. A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Papers of Eleazar Wheelock. Hanover: Dartmouth College Library, 1971.