Rogers, Elymas P

Rogers, Elymas P., a Presbyterian minister, was born in Madison, Conn., Feb. 10, 1815. Though reared in humble life, he had devoted Christian parents; they being poor, however, and unable to support their large family, when nine years of age he was sent to live with strangers, and, being the only colored boy in the neighborhood, was looked down upon by those who were prejudiced against his race. His meagre advantages for gaining an education were thereby lessened and his difficulties increased. He returned home in his fifteenth year, and labored with his father until he accepted a situation in the family of major Caldwell, of Hartford, Conn., who wanted a person who would work for his board and have an opportunity of going to school. In 1833 he became a communicant of the Talcott Street congregation in Hartford, Conn. Now he determined to study for the ministry, and in 1836 entered the Oneida Institute in Whitesborough, N.Y., where he remained five years, teaching for his support during the winter, and studying for the ministry during the other portions of the year, until he graduated in 1841. He immediately removed to Trenton, N.J., as principal of the public school for colored children, and there he continued the study of theology under the care of the late Rev. Dr. Eli F. Cooley and the Rev. Dr. John Hall. He was licensed by New Brunswick Presbytery Feb. 7, 1844, and in 1845 was ordained and installed as pastor of the Witherspoon Street Church, Princeton, N.J. In 1846 he became pastor of the Plane Street Church, Newark, N.J., where he continued to preach until Nov. 5, 1860, when he went to Africa, with the object of travelling in the interests of the African Civilization Society, and while engaged in this work, died at Cape Palmas, Jan. 20, 1861. Mr. Rogers was a man of fine gifts, and remarkable poetic talent. Dr. Maclean, ex-president of the College of New Jersey, says of him, "This truly good man ought to be held in respect by all who have any regard for simple and unaffected piety. My estimate of his character was a high one." He wrote a large number of temperance hymns and two poems, one, The Repeal of the Missouri Compromise Considered; the other, on The Fugitive Slave Law. He published a Thanksgiving Sermon, and Dangers and Duties of Men of Business (Phila. 1835, 8vo). See Wilson, Presb. Hist. Almanac, 1862, p. 191. (J.L.S.)

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