Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Reverend Jacob Bailey, Maine Loyalist

The Reverend Jacob Bailey, Maine Loyalist: For God, King, Country, and for Self

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 272
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Reverend Jacob Bailey, Maine Loyalist
    Book Description:

    This book tells the story of the Reverend Jacob Bailey, a missionary preacher for the Church of England in the frontier town of Pownalborough (now Dresden), Maine, who refused to renounce allegiance to King George III during the American War of Independence. Relying largely on Bailey’s unpublished journals and voluminous correspondence, James S. Leamon traces Bailey’s evolution from his rustic background through his Harvard education and subsequent career as a teacher, Congregational minister, and missionary preacher for the Church of England. Along the way, Bailey absorbed many of the intellectual currents of the Enlightenment, but also the more traditional conviction that family, society, religion, and politics, like creation itself, should be orderly and hierarchal. Such beliefs led Bailey to oppose the Revolution as unnatural, immoral, and doomed to fail. Reverend Bailey’s persistence in praying for the king and his refusal to publicize the Declaration of Independence from his Pownalborough pulpit aroused hostilities that drove him and his family to the safety of Nova Scotia. There, in exile, Bailey devoted himself to assisting fellow refugees while defending himself from others. During this time, he wrote almost obsessively: poems, dramas, novels, histories. Though few were ever completed, and even fewer published, in one way or another most of his writings depicted the trauma he underwent as a loyalist. Leamon’s study of the Reverend Jacob Bailey depicts the complex nature and burdens of one person’s loyalism while revealing much about eighteenthcentury American life and culture.

    eISBN: 978-1-61376-212-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  5. ONE The Education of Jacob Bailey
    (pp. 1-28)

    Early one bitterly cold mid-December morning in 1759, a schoolmaster named Jacob Bailey set out on foot from the town of Gloucester in the province of Massachusetts. These were the first steps on a journey that would eventually take him all the way to London, England, and back—a journey that would change his life forever. For in London, schoolmaster Bailey, also authorized to preach as a Congregationalist, would take holy orders and return to Massachusetts an ordained clergyman and missionary in the service of England’s official state church, the Church of England, sometimes called the Anglican Church.

    Jacob Bailey’s...

  6. TWO From Teacher to Preacher
    (pp. 29-52)

    By the time the affair with Polly Jewett, or Dorinda, dragged to a conclusion of sorts during the summer and fall of 1755, Jacob Bailey was engaged in teaching school, the occupation that, temporarily at least, attracted large numbers of recent college graduates until they could go into the ministry, the law, commerce, or some other profession more suitable to men of their social and economic ambitions. Teaching was seldom considered a permanent calling.

    Ever since the middle of the seventeenth century, the colony of Massachusetts, soon followed by Connecticut and New Hampshire, had required all towns of one hundred...

  7. THREE Frontier Missionary
    (pp. 53-76)

    During the next nineteen years, from 1760 to 1779, the Reverend Jacob Bailey served the frontier town of Pownalborough, formerly named Frankfort, as its sole ordained clergyman. During that time, he would confront three major challenges. The most immediate was to fulfill the demands of his pastoral calling as a missionary in a new town, located in an ill-defined wilderness parish consisting of settlers too impoverished to provide their new preacher with a church, a parsonage, or the promised supplement to his meager salary from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (SPG). Complicating Bailey’s role as missionary preacher...

  8. FOUR The Politics of Religion
    (pp. 77-100)

    The Reverend Jacob Bailey could hardly have arrived at Pownalborough at a more propitious time, or one more filled with potential disruption. The final act in the British conquest of French Canada during the Seven Years’ War occurred in 1760 with the fall of Montreal, something of an anticlimax after the dramatic capture of Quebec the year before. Peace negotiations might drag on for three more years, but British colonists were euphoric in this triumph of British liberty and Protestantism over French despotism and Catholicism. God was surely Protestant.

    But a Protestant God did not preclude quarrels among the faithful....

  9. FIVE The Religion of Politics
    (pp. 101-124)

    Conditions in the town of Pownalborough had always been contentious for Pastor Bailey ever since his arrival in 1760, but the crises drawing the town into the Revolution tended to politicize animosities that up to then had been largely religious and personal in nature. On the one hand, as usual, were Bailey’s two antagonists, his erstwhile Harvard classmates high sheriff of Lincoln County Charles Cushing and justice, later judge, Jonathan Bowman. Both were dependent on, and reflected, the sentiments of the powerful “Whig,” or “patriot,” faction within the Kennebeck Proprietors noted for their opposition to the Church of England and...

  10. SIX The Price of an Oath
    (pp. 125-147)

    Judge Jonathan Bowman and Sheriff Charles Cushing still had to discover the means by which to coerce their annoying and dangerous college classmate to repudiate his oath of fidelity to the king and accept the new revolutionary order. The tenacity on both sides was religious, political, and personal. The magistrates finally obtained the legal tools they needed to identify and proceed against “inimical persons” when, in 1777, the Massachusetts General Court enacted several Tory laws. A new seditious speech act ensnared Jacob Bailey’s ward and household servant, John McNamara, virtually a member of the Bailey family. For the offense of...

  11. SEVEN Reconciled to Exile
    (pp. 148-177)

    Over the next decade, several major themes would complicate the lives of Nova Scotia’s loyalist refugees—and that of Rev. Jacob Bailey in particular. As the Revolution dragged on, becoming international in scope, loyalist hopes for a quick return home gave way to the realization that “home” might well turn out to be Nova Scotia. For Bailey, the refugee experience included a deep resentment against Nova Scotia’s rebel sympathizers and neutralists, or “trimmers,” whose refusal to support the cause of God and king had contributed to the war and, eventually, to what he saw as its disastrous conclusion. Yet the...

  12. EIGHT On Reading Jacob Bailey, Loyalist
    (pp. 178-199)

    Although Jacob Bailey had always exhibited a talent for literary expression in many different genres, his arrival in Nova Scotia stimulated those literary tendencies. The great bulk of his literary output is located in the Public Archives of Nova Scotia in Halifax, where it comprises no less than fifteen volumes on thirteen microfilm reels, about half of which consist of Bailey’s journals and extensive correspondence; the remainder includes poems, novels, dramas, histories, moralettes, sermons, and numerous fragments on various subjects, almost all written in Nova Scotia. Size and variety alone are not the only challenges presented by the Bailey collection;...

  13. Epilogue
    (pp. 200-206)

    Having overcome the traumas of persecution, revolution, and exile, the Reverend Mr. Jacob Bailey died in Annapolis on July 26, 1808, at the age of seventy-seven, survived by his wife Sally and six children.¹ The exact location of his burial place is unknown, but in the garrison graveyard of Fort Anne, in Annapolis, there stands a substantial memorial commemorating the devoted service, not only of Rev. Jacob Bailey, but also of his long-suffering wife, Sally (see Fig. 10). For more than a quarter of a century, Parson Bailey had dedicated his life to the needs of Nova Scotia’s loyalist refugees...

    (pp. 207-208)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 209-244)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 245-251)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 252-253)