How Were Early American Sabbatarians Viewed?

How Were Early American Sabbatarians Viewed?

by Joe Beliefeuille

“How were early American Sabbatarians viewed by their fellow Americans? Of course the full, complete answer would involve thousands of interviews with the early colonists/Americans who lived in various states/ colonies who were members of various religious denominations or diverse racial/ethnic groups, age groups, genders, or occupations. Since no one from the 1600s and 1700s is still alive today, we must rely on written accounts that have survived the ravages of time. Many historical records by (or about) early American Sabbatarians still exist. Some of them are even “hidden” in plain sight like the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. From the documents that I have come across, I have narrowed the choices dawn to five. They do not cover the entire gamut of all possible opinions but they do give five diverse—yet interesting and sometimes, unexpected—viewpoints.

The five opinions are offered by Thomas Mumford (who has the same last name as Stephen Mumford — the first known American Sabbatarian), Ben Franklin (one of the founding fathers of the U.S.), John Tobler, Morgan Edwards, and John Asplund. The format of the rest of this article will be: first, a brief introduction of who the writer was: then, second, their opinion(s) of the early Sabbatarian(s); and finally a bibliography…”

(this article is an excerpt from the Nov-Dec 2013 edition of the Sabbath Sentinel)

To read the rest of this article, which starts on page 18, click this link:

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