Reverend Samuel Stillman, Doctor of Divinity
and Hannah Morgan

Samuel Stillman and Hannah Morgan were both born in Philadelphia. They had fourteen children. Reverend Samuel Stillman began his long career in the ministry at the age of 21 in South Carolina. Seven years later he became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Boston, MA. Reverend Samuel Stillman remained pastor until his death 42 years later.

In 1764, he was one of 36 trustees who founded Brown University - then known as Rhode Island College.

Reverend Samuel Stillman was a gifted orator; his patriotic ferver made him a popular preacher and leader during the Revolutionary War. Reverend Samuel Stillman was one of the few ministers that kept his church open during the war. In 1787, Reverend Samuel Stillman was the only minister among the attendees of the Constitutional Convention which adopted the Constitution.

Hannah Morgan, Reverend Samuel Stillman's wife, was one of the founders of what is now the Children's Service Association in Boston. Her portrait, painted by Gilbert Stuart, is hanging in the Board Room of this organization. Another portrait of Hannah Stillman, this one painted by Christian Gullager, is in the DAR Museum in Washington, DC.



The Life, Conversion, Preaching, and Sufferings of Elias Smith written by himself presents in chapters 13 and on a description of many of Elias's experiences with Reverend Samuel Stillman DD.


From The Christian History Institute with corrective editing:
JANUARY 9, 1765

STILLMAN INSTALLED AT FIRST BAPTIST, BOSTON

When he came to his new charge in the important Boston church, he probably had little idea that he would play a significant role beyond his pastoral duties. Indeed, he would be a strategic player in the ratification of the American constitution. It was for the meager salary of only $10.00 per week and firewood that on this date in 1765 the Rev. Dr. Samuel Stillman (1737-1807) became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston. He was installed by the Congregational ministers of the town and preached the sermon at his own installation. His pastorate lasted for forty-two years.

Stillman was converted by the preaching of Oliver Hart, who also helped to set his face toward the ministry. He was ordained in 1759, and then served for about two years as pastor on James Island, near Charleston. It was during this period that he traveled to Philadelphia where he met and married the daughter [curator's correction] of Evan Morgan and Joanna Biles Morgan. [John Morgan, Doctor of Medicine, who founded the medical school of Philadelphia - was the brother of Hannah Morgan]. At this time he [Samuel Stillman] was awarded two honorary degrees, one from the College of Philadelphia (the future University of Pennsylvania) and one from Harvard. In 1761 Stillman moved to Bordentown, New Jersey and two years later was called to be the assistant pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston, the first step to his long service at First Baptist. The draft of the new Constitution of the United States was submitted to the states for ratification in September of 1787. At issue was the lack of reference to religious tests, a cause of some contention. It was feared that it might not be ratified. The pivotal states were Massachusetts and Virginia, in each of which the Baptists held the balance of power. A convention of delegates from all parts of Massachusetts assembled in Boston in January of 1788 to discuss the question. Dr. Stillman and two or three other ministers who were members of the convention, supported ratification advocate James Manning, President of Rhode Island College, and they carried the day. The Massachusetts convention approved ratification of the Constitution by a majority of nineteen.

However, Dr. Stillman is best known for his evangelical efforts. His church, First Baptist, and the Second Baptist Church, in Boston, participated in a "great awakening" in 1803. Itwas reported in the Baptist Magazine of 1804-05 as follows:

"A special seriousness made its appearance in both Baptist churches early in 1803. Its first indications were a solemn stillness, and a deep, fixed attention on the Sabbath. The work gradually continued to extend from week to week, through two or three years. . . . Although these two societies (churches) have been the principal sharers in this work it has not been confined to them. Persons from almost every society in town, and numbers from adjacent towns, have frequently attended on our lectures; and we have reason to believe that many have reaped saving advantages.

"The work was still, and without confusion. The gospel preached was principally blessed, almost everything seemed to preach. The converts generally had a deep sense of the depravity of their own hearts; of the infinite evil of sin, as committed against a holy God. It reclaimed the profane swearer, the gambler, and the Sabbath breaker. It made youngmen sober minded."

On March 12, 1807, two years after this report was published, Dr. Stillman died, having suffered a paralyzing stroke.



History of the United States by George Bancroft (6 Volumes) Volume 6 HISTORY OF THE FORMATION OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN FIVE BOOKS Book Fourth -- The People of the States in Judgment on the Constitution Chapter 3 The Constitution in Connecticut and Massachusetts On the sixth the office of closing the debate was by common consent assigned to Samuel Stillman, a Baptist minister of Boston. Recapitulating and weighing the arguments of each side, he said, in the words of a statesman of Virginia: "Cling to the union as the rock of our salvation," and he summoned the state of Massachusetts "to urge Virginia to finish the salutary work which hath been begun."


Reverend Samuel Stillman DD
Born: 27 Feb 1737
Place: Philadelphia, PA
Died: Boston, MA
Place: 12 Mar 1807
Married: Hannah Morgan
Born: 1737
Place: Philadelphia, PA
Died: 1821
Place: Boston, MA
Date Married: 1759




Children of Reverend Samuel Stillman, Doctor of Divinity
and Hannah Morgan

daughter of Evan Morgan and Joanna Biles


Elizabeth Stillman
Born: 30 July 1760
Place: James Island, SC
Died:
Place:
Married: William Newman
Born: circa 1758
Place:
Died:
Place:
Date Married: 8 Dec 1778 in Boston, MA


Samuel Stillman
Born: circa 1761
Place: James Island, SC
Died: circa 1762
Place: James Island, SC


Hannah Stillman
Born: circa 1763
Place: James Island, SC
Died:
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Born:
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Died:
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Date Married:


Benjamin Morgan Stillman
Born: 13 Feb 1765
Place: James Island, SC
Died:
Place:
Married: Mary Balche
Born: circa 1767
Place:
Died:
Place:
Date Married: 19 Dec 1789 in Boston, MA

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution (17 Vols)From Vol 15, page 26 - [p.26] "Stillman, Benjamin. Private, Capt Roswell Downing's co., Col. Miles Powells's (Berkshire Co.) regt.; entered service July 19, 1779; discharged Aug. 27 (also given Aug. 23), 1779; service, 1 mo. 9 days; company marched to New Haven, Conn., to serve for 1 month."

From War of 1812 Muster Rolls "Stillman Benjamin M; Capt Skilling's Co., Art'y, Sea Fencilbes, Massachusetts Militia; Rank Induction - Private; Rank Discharge - Private"


Mary Stillman
Born: 20 Jul 1766
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Married: Nathaniel Balche, Jr.
Born: circa 1764
Place:
Died:
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Date Married: 17 Dec 1789 in Boston, MA


Harriet Stillman
Born: 20 Feb 1768
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Phoebe Stillman
Born: circa 1769
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Deborah Stillman
Born: 15 Jun 1770
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Married: Reverend Thomas Gray, Doctor of Divinity
Born: 1772
Place: Jamaica Plain, MA
Died:
Place:
Date Married: 1793 in Boston, MA


Samuel Stillman, Jr.
Born: 18 Aug 1771
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Married: ???
Born: circa 1773
Place:
Died:
Place:
Date Married: 1796 in Boston, MA


John Morgan Stillman
Born: 25 August 1772
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Married: Nancy (Davis) Stackpole/Stagpole
Born: circa 1774
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Date Married: 15 Feb 1795 in Boston, MA


George Morgan Stillman
Born: 10 Apr 1776
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
Place: in the West Indies of yellow fever
Married:
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Thomas Morgan Stillman
Born: circa 1778
Place: Boston, MA
Died: circa 1779
Place: Boston, MA


??? Stillman
Born: 1780
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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??? Stillman
Born: circa 1782
Place: Boston, MA
Died:
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Information on this page has been provided by John Alexander Craig of New York, NY - direct descendent of Evan Morgan and Joanna Biles Morgan

Information contained on this page has been provided by George A. Gray - direct descendent of Samuel Stillman and Hannah Morgan through their daughter Deborah who married Doctor Thomas Gray, Doctor of Divinity

Information and data on eight oldest children of Reverend Samuel Stillman and Hannah Morgan has been obtained from Boston Births, 1700-1800

Information and data on Deborah Stillman has been obtained from The Pilgrims of Boston and Their Descendents; The Gray Family of Boston

Updated Jan 2005