Rev. William Emerson Sr.

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Rev. William Emerson Sr.'s Geni Profile

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Reverend William Emerson, Sr

Birthdate: (33)
Birthplace: Boston, Suffolk Co., MA
Death: October 20, 1776 (33)
Otter Creek, Rutland, Vermont, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Joseph Emerson and Mary Emerson
Husband of Phebe Emerson Ripley (Bliss)
Father of Rev. William Emerson; Mary Moody Emerson; Hannah Bliss Farnham; Rebecca Emerson and Phebe Bliss Emerson
Brother of Hannah Emerson; Bulkley Emerson; John P. Emerson and Abraham Emerson
Half brother of Ebenezer Emerson; Edward Emerson; Joseph Emerson; Mary Emerson; Rebecca Emerson and 3 others

Occupation: Congregational minister
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. William Emerson Sr.

Reverend William Emerson Sr. was a minister and grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Emerson Sr. served as chaplain of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and chaplain of the Continental Army. Emerson died in 1776.

Emerson Sr. served as chaplain of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress and chaplain of the Continental Army.

Added by Elwin Nickerson II about my Ancestor with Noted Citation- Personal Letters.

Rev. William Emerson was of that class of which Bancroft wrote, "Eloquent and accomplished chaplains kept alive the habit of daily prayer, and preached the wonted sermons on the day of the Lord."

     Writing from the camp to his wife at Concord, Mr. Emerson said, --
     "There are many things amiss in this camp, yet upon the whole, God is in the midst of us."
     On another occasion he wrote:
     "I despair seeing a battle fought this time coming down."
     While in service in the northern campaign in 1776, Rev. Mr. Emerson's health failed, and he addressed the following letter to the commanding officer: --

TICONDEROGA, Sept. 10, 1776.

     Sir, -- My Ill State of Health is such that I am not able to perform the Duty of a Chaplain, and am advised by the Physicians to ask for a dismission from the Army, and shall be glad of your consent and assistance thereto.


     To LT. COLLO. B. BROWN:
     The Reverend Mr. William Emerson has my Discharge from the Northern Army of the United States of America. TYCONDEROGA, 10th September, 1776.


     Major General.
     The above letters are in the possession of the Emerson family at Concord.

Birth: May 31, 1743 Malden Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA Death: Oct. 20, 1776 Vermont, USA

Revolutionary War Figure. He was the minister in the town of Concord, Massachusetts, from 1765 to 1776. In 1770, near the soon-to-be-famous North Bridge in that town he built his home, which would later become known as the "Old Manse." From his pulpit he preached resistance to oppression by the English Parliament. On April 19, 1775, the first day of the American Revolution, he pleaded with the leaders of the American militia to launch an immediate attack on the British regulars instead of waiting for reinforcements. His demands were ignored, but when the fighting did begin, Emerson anxiously watched the battle unfold from his own land. In August of 1776, he left the Manse to serve as chaplain of the American army at Fort Ticonderoga. It was there he caught dysentery, which lead him to resign his commission to return home. He was able to make it as far as Rutland, Vermont, before becoming too ill to travel. He is the grandfather of the author Ralph Waldo Emerson as well

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Rev. William Emerson Sr.'s Timeline

May 31, 1743
Boston, Suffolk Co., MA
Age 23
May 6, 1769
Age 25
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
July 27, 1770
Age 27
Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
August 25, 1774
Age 31
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
August 7, 1776
Age 33
Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
October 20, 1776
Age 33
Otter Creek, Rutland, Vermont, USA