Whitaker, Nathaniel, Dd
Whitaker, Nathaniel, D.D.
a Presbyterian minister, was born at Huntington, L. I., Feb. 22, 1722, and graduated at Princeton College in 1752. He was ordained and installed at Woodbridge, N. J., in 1755; was called to Chelsea, near Norwich, Conn., Feb. 25,1761; and selected by the Connecticut Board of Correspondents for Evangelizing the Indians, to go to Great Britain with the Rev. Sampson Occum, an Indian of the Mohegan tribe, to solicit funds for a mission school. Lady Huntingdon, Romaine, Venn, Wesley, and others showed them great favor, and a considerable sum was raised. After eighteen months' absence, they returned, having prepared — the way for founding Dartmouth College. While in England he published several sermons on Reconciliation to God. Difficulties arising in his congregation on the subject of Church government, he accepted a call to the Second Church in Salem, Mass., and was installed July 28, 1769. In 1773, in consequence of a disagreement among the people, Dr. Whitaker, with fourteen others, withdrew from the Church, formed a separate congregation, and united with the Boston Presbytery, which declared the new erection the Third Church. His friends erected a house of worship, but it was soon after burned. Not disheartened, they sought outside help, and in 1776 were enabled to complete a new church. At the breaking-out of the war he warmly espoused the cause of independence, and actually engaged in the manufacture of saltpeter. In a short time he furnished the authorities with two hundred and eighty pounds. On the occasion of the Boston massacre in 1771, he printed a sermon on The Fatal Tragedy in King Street, and on the proclamation of independence another, entitled An Antidote to Toryism; and at the end of the war still another, On the Reward of Toryism. He was dismissed by a council called for that purpose, Feb. 10, 1784, but soon after installed at Norridgewock. After vainly attempting to establish a presbytery in Maine, he went to Virginia, and died at Woodbridge, near Hampton, Jan. 1,1795, in poverty, notwithstanding: all he had done for the Church and country. (W. P. S.)