SEABURY, SAMUEL American Protestant Episcopal bishop, was born on Nov. 3o, 1729, in Groton, Conn. He graduated at Yale in 1748; studied medicine at Edinburgh; became a catechist at Huntington; was ordained in 1753 ; was missionary in New Brunswick, N.J., in and rector in Jamaica, N.Y., in 1757-66, and of St. Peter's, Westchester, N.Y., in 1766-75. He was one of the signers of the White Plains pro test of April 1775 against "all unlawful congresses and commit tees," in many other ways proved himself a devoted loyalist, and wrote the Free Thoughts on the Proceedings of the Continental Congress (1774) by "A. W. Farmer" (i.e., a Westchester farmer), followed by The Congress Canvassed (1774). These "Farmer's Letters," which combined with the bluntness and plain speaking of the countryman, eloquence and knowledge of history, politics and constitutional law, created consternation among the radicals. The most notable of the answers they called forth was by Alex ander Hamilton, A Full Vindication of the Measures of the Con gress, from the Calumnies of their Enemies. To this Seabury replied in A View of the Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies, an acute and learned treatment of the whole contro versy. When seeking episcopal consecration in England in 1783, Seabury also claimed a fourth unsigned pamphlet, An Alarm to the Legislature of the Province of New Yorie( 1775), which discussed the power of this, the only legal political body in the colony.
On the suspicion that he was the author of the tracts, he was seized in his schoolroom, in Nov. 1775, by a mob of lawless Whigs and was kept in prison in Connecticut for six weeks; his parochial labours were broken up, and after some time in Long Island he took refuge in New York city, where he was appointed in 1778 chaplain to the king's American regiment. In March 1783, he was chosen their bishop by ten episcopal clergymen of Connecti cut ; as he could not take the British oath of allegiance, Seabury was shut out from consecration by the English bishops and he was consecrated by Scotch bishops at Aberdeen in Nov. 1784. The validity of his consecration was at first questioned by many but was recognized by the General Convention of his church in 1789. In 1790 he took charge of the diocese of Rhode Island also. He died in New London, Conn., on Feb. 25, 1796. He was a great organizer and a strict churchman as well as one of the ablest controversialists on the Tory side in the American Revolution.
See E. E. Beardsley, Life and Correspondence of the Rt. Rev.. Samuel Seabury (Boston, 1880 ; M. C. Tyler, Literary History of the American Revolution (1897) ; W. J. Seabury, Memoir of Bishop Seabury (1908) ; and G. B. Hertz, "Bishop Seabury," Engl. Hist. Rev., vol. xxvi., p. 57-75 (19").