Do Sabbatarians Have a Documented History in the U.S. before 1800?

Do Sabbatarians Have a Documented History in the U.S. before 1800?

by Joe Bellefeuille


Yes, Sabbatarians have a long and rich history in the United States. There are written records of sabbatarians in Rhode Island going back to the 1670’s. In my brief survey of early American sabbatarians, I have found evidence of sabbatarians in ten of the thirteen colonies and references to 31 sabbatarian congregations/groups in nine of the colonies.


In order to share some of this surprising information in an organized format, this article is divided into the following categories:

  1. Questions & Answers
  2. A list of 31 known pre-1800 congregations/groups
  3. A list of some family surnames of early Sabbatarians
  4. Bibliography of sources consulted


  1. Questions & Answers

Who was the earliest known American sabbatarian?

  • Stephen Mumford. He came from England to Newport, Rhode Island in 1664. (Gaustad’s New Historical Atlas of Religion in America on page 3 mentions colonial records of Connecticut that state there were “four or five seventh day men” there in 1670. Unfortunately, the reference does not identify who they were, when they originally arrived, or where they lived.)


Where was the first known American sabbatarian congregation?…
(this article is an excerpt from the March-April 2006 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)


To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 14, click this link:

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