Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Phebe Taylor Kicks Some Baptist Pastor A in 1751 and I Flove It.

Turns out Phebe wasn't invisible. In fact, she may have been crazy and was most certainly angry and, the best part, the reason I know this after all, she fell out with the church!!!

OK, I'll quote. These are from the diary of the pastor of the Baptist Church here in Middletown. I thought they'd be Anglicans, but I was wrong, thankfully. Cause this pastor was effin wordy! This passage I'll quote is preceded by a bit about Phebe's husband John feuding with his brother Edward. Apparently, Edward called Phebe a name - crossed out due to it being an indecent term (for reals) and it was really Edward being mad about some decision of their father's in favor of John. But she totally is, though, Edward said. He could prove it. Whatever it was. I'm dying to know this indecent term.

Anyway, here's the bit about Phebe specifically, (in the same year as that feud between John and Edward). PS I love that it's Edward all over the place here (Twilight is everywhere). Apparently, Edward ended up being a good guy (and by that I mean Patriot) and John was the Loyalist "shylock" according to the descendent that wrote their family history up. Different book, though.

Alright, quoting about Phebe: "June 1751 a Groundles Report Being Spred that John taylor Was Grate With Sarah thorne By Which Phebe taylor Was Stured Up to a Sperit of Jelosey: And did Much Abufe her hufband: for which he Came and Made Complant to Me of her: I Went to See her and told her the Sin She Was Gilty of But She Would Not hear I Used Indiuers (?) With her Several times But to No Purpofe. John thorn allfo Complained Unto Me: that Phebe Strove to Mak difrance Betwen: he and his Wife By Infifting her hufband and his Wife Ware Actually Guilty of the Charge Which Complaint I Laid Before Phebe With the Several Agrivating Sins She Was Gilty of In So doing: She Stil Continued obStinate and Juftified her Selfe In all She had done: Upon Which I told her She Should Not Be admited to her Place: With out Publick Acknolidgment: Which She Refented Very Much and told me I Ufed her Very ill And Watched Over her from Evel and Not for Good."

Then in August, when she wasn't there, they suspended her until she could have a hearing.

Then in October 1751: "At a Church Meeting at Middletown Phebe Taylor Gave her Attendance Defiering to Be admitted to her Place Agane in the Church. I being Sik Could Not atend. The Church Redily admited her to her Place again In the Church. With out Examining the Complant laid Againf her By Me in Auguft."

Sounds like he was pissed at that last part. No more about them until the Revolution (1777) when her husband John was dismissed from the church for going against the Free States or something like it. Also, in 1751 she gave birth to her seventh child (fourth child who survived childhood). So my thinking was she was fed up. I don't know. It was terribly exciting.

I love that she stood up to the pastor. He used to love to call people out for public drunkenness and fornication. Lots of those charges in his diary. Mostly drunkenness. It's really a fascinating document.

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that a John Taylor, as recorded in the Second Book of Middletown, in 1736 (Phebe's husband would've been 21, if it's the same person, which I think it was) was threatened by the town with a lawsuit if he didn't take care of the Bastard Child that he had with Mary Robarts.

Drama. I love it. I can't believe there's so much about her even in the few things I've found. Yay! On-line, even. Now, if only I could figure out what that indecent term was. Hmmm, drunkard? Fornicator? Harlot? What else could it be? Witch? That's not really indecent. May never know. It's ok. I should see if it's in the original document, if that's still around.

She stood up to the Pastor, then went around him to get back into the church. And it worked. That wouldn't have happened had she had no support.

Must run. I'm trying to come up with a timeline of known facts (with references). Still lots of gaps. Especially towards the end of her life. One of my main questions concerns how she ended up in that cemetery but her husband didn't. The family plot. I also have no idea where she lived when he was run out of town during the Revolution. Maybe she stayed here. Or maybe she went to New York with John and just wanted to be buried here in Middletown.

I know more today than I did yesterday, thanks to Stillwell's Historical and genealogical miscellany (which contained the records of the Baptist Church of Middletown, linked above). Yay!

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