Reverend Elihu Spencer

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Reverend Elihu Spencer

Birthplace: East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States
Death: Died in Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States
Place of Burial: Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Spencer and Mary Spencer
Husband of Johanna Spencer
Partner of Oneida Indian woman
Father of Thomas Spencer; Margaret Sergeant and Lydia Biddle
Brother of Samuel Spencer; Mary Cone; Rebecca Olmstead; Maj. General Joseph Spencer (Continental Army); Esther Brainerd and 6 others

Managed by: Geoffrey David Trowbridge
Last Updated:

About Reverend Elihu Spencer

Reverend Elihu Spencer was a patriot of the American Revolution for New Jersey with the rank of Chaplain. DAR Ancestor #: A106900


Elihu Spencer (February 12, 1721 – December 27, 1784) was a Yankee clergyman who served as a chaplain during the French and Indian War. During the American Revolution, he was invited to North Carolina by that colony's provincial congress to convince loyalist congregations to join the patriot cause.

Spencer was born in East Haddam, Connecticut and graduated from Yale in 1746. He prepared to become a missionary to the Six Nations Iroquois under David Brainerd and Jonathan Edwards. In 1748, he accompanied Edwards to an Indian conference in Albany, New York, and on September 14 of that year, was ordained.

He served as a missionary on the New York frontier, and in 1750 he was appointed pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1756, he was appointed pastor of another Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Long Island. Two years later, New York Governor James De Lancey appointed him chaplain of the colonies troops who were preparing for service in the French and Indian War.

After the war, Spencer served as pastor in Shrewsbury, Middletown Point, Shark River, and Amboy, New Jersey. In 1764 the synod of New York and Philadelphia send Spencer, along with Reverend Alexander McWhorter on a mission to organize the irregular North Carolina congregations.

Rev. Elihu Spencer, D.D., of Trenton, N.J., who was graduated from Yale College with honors on September 3, 1746.


  • SPENCER, ELIHU Ancestor #: A106900
  • Service: NEW JERSEY Rank: CHAPLAIN
  • Birth: 2-12-1721 EAST HADDAM CONNECTICUT
  • Death: 12-27-1784 TRENTON NEW JERSEY
  • Service Description: 1) 1777, IN THE CONT ARMY
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Reverend Elihu Spencer's Timeline

February 12, 1721
East Haddam, Middlesex County, Connecticut, United States
Age 27
January 5, 1759
Age 37
East Haddam, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Age 44
January 27, 1784
Age 62
Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States
Trenton, Mercer County, New Jersey, United States