Absalom Jones (1746 -1818) Absalom Jones was born into slavery in Sussex County, Delaware on November 6, 1746. During the 72 years of his life, he grew to become one of the foremost leaders among persons of African descent during the post-revolutionary period, the African American culture of America. “The African Church” was organized as a direct outgrowth of the Free African Society. In 1797 and 1799 Absalom Jones, with other free Africans, presented tenable petitions to Congress and to the President of the United States opposing slavery. In 1802, Jones was ordained by Bishop William White as the first African American Episcopal Priest.
Pocahontas (1596-1617) (born Matoaka, known as Amonute, and later known as Rebecca Rolfe, was a Native American notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia. Pocahontas was captured by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities in 1613, and held for ransom. During her captivity, she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca. When the opportunity arose for her to return to her people, she chose to remain with the English. In 1616, the Rolfes traveled to London. Pocahontas was presented to English society as an example of the “civilized savage” in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement. She became something of a celebrity, was elegantly fêted, and attended a masqueat Whitehall Palace. Pocahontas died at Gravesend of smallpox
Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was the first published African-American female poet. Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. She was purchased by the Wheatley family of Boston, who taught her to read and write. By the age of 12, Phillis was reading Greek and Latin classics and difficult passages from the Bible. The publication of her Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773) brought her fame both in England and the American colonies. In 1774, Phillis Wheatley wrote a letter to Reverend Samson Occom, commending him on his ideas and beliefs of how the slaves should be given their natural born rights in America.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independenceand later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. A proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, Minister to France in May 1785, and subsequently the nation’s first Secretary of State in 1790–1793 under President George Washington. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party. He also organized the Louisiana Purchase, almost doubling the country’s territory. he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807. Jefferson’s keen interest in religion and philosophy earned him the presidency of the American Philosophical Society. He shunned organized religion, but was influenced by both Christianity and deism.
George Washington (1732-1799) was an American statesman and soldier who served as the first President of the United States from 1789 to 1797 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and later presided over the 1787 convention that drafted the United States Constitution. He is popularly considered the driving force behind the nation’s establishment and came to be known as the “father of the country,” both during his lifetime and to this day. Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which devised a new form of federal government for the United States. Washington was widely admired for his strong leadership qualities and was unanimously elected president by the Electoral College in the first two national elections. Following his election as president in 1789, he worked to unify rival factions in the fledgling nation. Upon his death, Washington was eulogized as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen” by Representative Henry Lee III of Virginia.
Betsy Ross (1752-1836) credited with making the first American flag. According to family tradition, upon a visit from General George Washington, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, in 1776, Ross convinced George Washington to change the shape of the stars he had sketched for the flag from six-pointed to five-pointed by demonstrating that it was easier and speedier to cut the latter. An order on William Webb to Elizabeth Ross for fourteen pounds twelve shillings and two pence for Making Ships Colours [etc.] put into William Richards store.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. Franklin earned the title of “The First American” for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.” He pioneered and was first president of The Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists.
John Hancock (1737-1793) American merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first and third Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Hancock was one of Boston’s leaders during the crisis that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in 1775. He served more than two years in the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and as president of Congress, was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence in his position as president of Congress.
John Adams (1735-1826) was an American patriot who served as the second President of the United States (1797–1801) and the first Vice President (1789–97). He was a lawyer, diplomat, statesman, political theorist, and, as a Founding Father, a leader of the movement for American independence from Great Britain he played a leading role in persuading Congress to declare independence. He assisted Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and was its foremost advocate in the Congress him two terms as President George Washington’s vice president (1789 to 1797) and also his own election in 1796 as the second president. The major accomplishment of his presidency was a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the face of Hamilton’s opposition. Due to his strong posture on defense, Adams is “often called the father of the American Navy”. He was the first U.S. president to reside in the executive mansion, now known as the White House. He died on the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and the same day as the death of Thomas Jefferson.
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) was an American statesman and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and The New York Post newspaper. He was recognized for his intelligence and talent, and sponsored by a group of wealthy local men to travel to New York City to pursue his education. Hamilton played a major role in the American Revolutionary War. At the start of the war in 1775, he joined a militia company. In early 1776, he raised a provincial artillery company, to which he was appointed captain. He soon became the senior aide to General Washington. He was a nationalist who emphasized strong central government and successfully argued that the implied powers of the Constitution provided the legal authority to fund the national debt, assume states’ debts, and create the government-backed Bank of the United States. Hamilton was a major issue in the emergence of the American two-party system. Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade.
George Whitefield (1714-1770) also known as George Whitfield, was an English Anglican cleric who helped spread the Gospel in Britain and, especially, in the American colonies. There he joined the “Holy Club” and was introduced to the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, with whom he would work closely in his later ministry. Whitefield was ordained after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree. He immediately began preaching, but he did not settle as the minister of any parish. Rather he became an itinerant preacher and evangelist. He was one of the founders of Methodism and of the evangelical movement generally. In 1740, Whitefield traveled to America, where he preached a series of revivals that came to be known as the “Great Awakening”. Whitefield was probably the most famous religious figure of the 18th century. He exercised influence over thousands in Great Britain and America by his oratory. Benjamin Franklin when listening to Whitefield preaching from the Philadelphia court house, Franklin walked away towards his shop in Market Street until he could no longer hear Whitefield distinctly—Whitefield could be heard over five hundred feet. He then estimated his distance from Whitefield and calculated the area of a semicircle centred on Whitefield. Allowing two square feet per person he computed that Whitefield could be heard by over thirty thousand people in the open air. Whitefield could enthrall large audiences through a potent combination of drama, religious rhetoric, and imperial pride. He preached at least 18,000 times to perhaps 10 million hearers. Whitefield had cross-eyed (Strabismus) vision. Whitefield formed and was the president of the first Methodist conference. But he soon relinquished the position to concentrate on evangelical work.
Quanah Parker (1845-1911) was half Comanche and half Scots-Irish Quanah Parker is credited as one of the first important leaders of the Native American Church Movement. Parker’s most famous teaching regarding the spirituality of the Native American Church: “The White Man goes into his church house and talks about Jesus, but the Indian goes into his tipi and talks to Jesus.”
The modern reservation era in Native American history began with the adoption of the Native American Church and Christianity by nearly every Native American tribe and culture within North American and Canada as a result of Parker and Wilson’s efforts.
Anne Hutchinson (1591-1643) was a Puritan spiritual adviser, mother of 14, and an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy which shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony
Her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area, and her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious community in New England. She began to accuse the local ministers (except for Cotton and her husband’s brother-in-law John Wheelwright) of preaching a “covenant of works” rather than a “covenant of grace,” and many ministers began to complain about her increasingly blatant accusations, as well as certain theological teachings that did not accord with orthodox Puritan theology. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony with many of her supporters. Hutchinson is a key figure in the history of religious freedom in England’s American colonies and the history of women in ministry, challenging the authority of ministers.
The content resource for all these patrons was taken from wikipedia