Bacon, David

Bacon, David a Congregational minister, was born at Woodstock, Conn., in 1771. During 'his early years he taught school, and then was under the tuition of Rev. John Sherman and Rev. Levi Hart. Subsequently he became a missionary to the Indians around Lake Erie, and started on foot and alone for the wilderness, as it then was. For a time his headquarters were at Buffalo Creek, now the city of Buffalo, and he preached to the Seneca tribe, but tarried only a short time among them. His next efforts were with the Chippeways (Ojibways). Mr. Bacon's ordination for this work occurred after his return from his first journey to the Indians, in Hartford,: Dec. 30, 1800; and he set out with his wife for his chosen field of labor Feb. 11, 1801. Arriving at Detroit, he immediately opened a school and shortly after his wife organized another girls' school; but he did not lose sight of the fact that his mission was especially to the Indians. Although Detroit was at this time the largest and most important city west of Albany, the size of the place was in nowise remarkable. It was enclosed by cedar pickets about twelve feet high, close together; at each side were strong gates which were closed at night, and no Indians were permitted to come in after sundown or to remain overnight. The schools were popular, but the people were prejudiced against "Yankees," and this militated against Mr. Bacon's usefulness. His next movement was to the Maumee River, where, in endeavoring to ingratiate himself with the Indians, he endured great hardships. Afterwards he visited the tribe at Arbrecroche; and with the Indians at Mackinaw he seemed to be better pleased than with any others of his acquaintance. They were principally Ottawas and Chippeways. He had some difficulty still in mastering their language. Mackinaw was at that time one of the remotest outposts of the fur trade. The Indians strenuously objected to the missionary, but Mr. Bacon maintained his residence there until about Aug. 1, 1804, when he sailed for Detroit; and some time after we find him in Hartford. After continuing for a considerable length of time in the service of the Missionary Society, he returned again to Connecticut. In the summer of 1806 he went to the Western Reserve, 0., and established his temporary home at Hudson, O., which was surveyed for settlement in November through the influence of Mr. Bacon. In 1807 he removed to Tallmadge, 0., and in January, 1809, assisted in organizing a Church there. In May, 1812, he left Tallmadge for Connecticut, and taught school in Litchfield for a few months. Through the year 1813-14 he preached in a parish now known as the town of Prospect, Conn. The following year he resided in the parish of Westfield, in Middletown, preaching there and in Middlefield. Early in 1815 he removed to Hartford and became interested in the publication of Scott's Family Bible. He was also the publisher of an edition of De Foe's Family Instructor. He died at Hartford, Aug. 27, 1817. See Cong. Quarterly, 1876, p. 1, 260, 387, 562.

 
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