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JACOB HERRICK, 1757-1832

Revolutionary War portrait of Jacob Herrick.


From Proceedings, Page 1873-214:

REV. JACOB HERRICK, DURHAM, MAINE., Congregationalist. 1805.

In March, 1796, Rev. JACOB HERRICK, the present minister of Durham, was ordained there, and a small church gathered by the Ordaining Council. The early part of the year 1815 was a season of considerable attention to religion in that town, and eventually produced an accession to the church of about twenty members.
— Ecclesiastical History of Maine by Greenleaf, 1821.

He died on the 5th of December, 1833, aged 76.

From Stackpole's History of Durham, Page 48:

It seems that the Rev. Jacob Herrick preached in Durham in the summer of 1795, for in September the town voted "to employ Rev. Mr. Herrick longer," and Nov. 7 of the same year it was decided to "settle Rev. Mr. Herrick" by a vote of thirty seven to seven. Jan. 7, 1796 his salary was fixed at fifty pounds besides a hundred acres of land given by the proprietors. Ebenezer Roberts, Nathaniel Osgood, and William True were chosen a committee to send for the new minister. The time of ordination was fixed for March 9, 1796, and the following ministers were chosen by the town to participate in the services, "Revs. Eaton, Lancaster, Gilman, Johnson, Coffin and Keylock (Kellogg).

There lies before me the account of the ordination, preserved in the handwriting of Rev. Samuel Eaton, Secretary of the Ecclesiastical Council. He says that they met at the house of Capt. O. Israel Bagley and chose the Rev. Dr. Samuel Deane of Portland moderator, who seems to have taken the place of Elijah Kellogg. After prayer by the Moderator "a competent number of male persons offered themselves to be embodied into a Chr. state, who having given themselves to God & to one another, & set their Names to a Gospel Covenant, were by a vote of the afores'd Council acknowledged to be a Sister Congregational Chh of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom we are in full Charity and Fellowship." At the ordination which immediately followed in the church, the Rev. Alfred Johnson made the introductory prayer; the Rev. Ephriam Clark of Cape Elizabeth made the ordaining prayer; the Rev. Samuel Eaton gave the charge, and the Rev. Ebenezer Coffin gave the right hand of fellowship and made the concluding prayer.

The address of the Rev. Mr. Coffin has been preserved among the papers of Parson Herrick. It was as follows:—

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. In Immitation of the author of our Redemption, the Finisher of our Faith, the Foundation of our hope—it becomes all his Followers to cultivate a Spirit of Love and Friendship. To this end the first preachers of the Gospel pledged their Love, Friendship and kindness (to those who were called to the sacred work of the Gospel Ministry) by the significant sign of giving them the right [hand] Thus James Cephas and John, when they perceived the Grace that was given unto Paul, gave unto him and Barnabas the Right hand of Fellowship. In conformity to their example and the direction of the venerable council here convened I present unto you, my Brother in the faith, this right hand—By which we manifest our esteem for your Character and the Office which you now sustain as an Ambassador of Jesus Christ. Hoping that you will prove yourself an Israelite indeed in whose spirit there is no guile. We hail you welcome to take part with us in the Ministry of reconciliation which we have received of the Lord. In this Manner we acknowledge you a Fellow laborer with us in the Vineyard of God. And so long as you shall maintain the dignity of your Office we promise to treat you as a Brother, to council exhort and reprove you as God shall inable us and as we find it necessary, and we have a right to look for the same kind offices from you. We wish that your Ministry here may be long, happy and successful, that you may have the unspeakable satisfaction to see the work of [the Lord prosper in your hands, that all contentions may cease, pure religion revive and flourish and that you may have many souls as seals of your Ministry and Crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord.

"Brethren of this Church, behold the Man set over you in the Lord. By thus Imbracing and receiving whom we acknowledge you as fellow members with us of that Body of which Christ Jesus is the Head. As the Gospel is now resetled among you be exhorted to study those things which make for peace and mutual edification—walk worthy the vocation wherewith ye are called with all lowliness and meekness with long suffering forbearing one another in Love endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the Bond of peace. May both Pastor and People long rejoice together in this day's transaction, and when the connection now formed shall be desolved by death may you from the church Militant here below be transplanted into the Church triumphant in Heaven through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Capt. Bagley entertained the Council and brought in a bill of $35.00, which the town refused to pay. Only twelve pounds were allowed for settling expenses of ordination. The minister's salary was increased to eighty pounds, and the next year it was made $266.68. It remained at that figure for many years, but it is said that the salary was reduced in 1813 to $175.00 and in 1821 to $100.00.

Rev. Jacob Herrick was seventh child of Samuel and Elizabeth (Jones) Herrick of Reading, Mass., born 12 June 1754. He was grandson of Martyn Herrick and Ruth Endicott who was great granddaughter of Gov. John Endicott. He graduated at Harvard College in 1776 and received the degree of A. M. in 1778. He was in Capt. Bacheller's Co., Col. Bridge's Regt. 25 Sept. 1775; commissioned Adjutant to reinforce the Continental army 28 Oct. 1779, and served in Col. Jacob Gerrish's Essex and Suffolk County Regt. He was commissioned as adjutant of the Middlesex County Regt. 4 July 1780. It is also said that he was Lieut, of Marines on a vessel, was taken prisoner and carried to Halifax. When liberated he was brought home to Reading by one Capt. Nichols. Thus he had several years of military service in the Revolution. He married July 1780 Sarah Webster of Bradford, Mass. He came from Beverly, Mass., and settled in Durham in 1796, being the first ordained pastor of the Congregational church. He died there Dec. 18, 1832. His wife died Oct. 13, 1829, aged 76 years. Their tombstones may be seen in the old cemetery. He is described as slow and somewhat tedious in his delivery but of good ability and a very excellent pastor. He was over six feet tall, and his face was perfectly smooth. The delivery of his sermons occupied an hour or more. He is said to have been ardently opposed to the election of "that infidel, Tom Jefferson, asserting that he would destroy both churches and school-houses. He was a good man and served the church well and also the town for many years as one of the school committee.

His wife was a woman of fine presence, a beauty in her youth, and gifted with rare intellectual powers. It was said of her that she could hold her own in conversation with any and all of the ministers she entertained. Of generous nature, she gave freely from her not too lavish store. Her younger son used to say that he had often seen his mother divide the dough she had just set to rise for bread, wrap one portion in a towel, and give it to a needy parishioner, though the supply of flour at the parsonage was exhausted, a serious matter in those days when flour was not easily obtainable.

History of Durham, Maine by Everett S. Stackpole.

Distinguished Brothers