Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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FREEMAN, Barnardus, clergyman, born at Gilhuis, in Hanover, in 1660; died at New Utrecht, L. I., in January 1743. He was at one time a tailor in Westphalia, but was ordained by the classis of Lingen, 16 March 1698. At the call of Gerrit Bancker, of Albany, he resolved to go to America. He reached Schenectady, 28 July 1700, and at once began his labors as dominie of the Reformed Dutch Church, which was then independent of the Amsterdam classis, He was of great natural abilities, and, in addition to a knowledge of English, Dutch, and German, he mastered the Mohawk tongue, and soon began teaching and catechizing the Mohawks. With the aid of the half-breed interpreter Hillities, he translated portions of the Anglican liturgy and the Bible into their tongue. His influence over the Indians was spiritually powerful, in addition to its being a strong factor in promoting their friendship with the Dutch and English. He married 25 couples, baptized 101, and received 14 adults, all Indians, into the Church. After his removal, they petitioned for his return to them. Under a commission from Lord Cornbury, dated 25 December 1705, he removed to Long Island, and officiated as dominie in the Reformed Churches of New Utrecht, Flatbush, Bushwick, and Brooklyn. This act of the governor was a part of his settled policy to obtain control over the Dutch Churches, and to establish episcopacy. He used his influence to have an American classis established, so that the Dutch Churches in America would be free from the jurisdiction of the elassis of Amsterdam. He was made pastor emeritus in 1741, after forty-one years' service. A portrait in oil of Mr. Freeman, showing a vigorous physique, exists. He published parts of the English liturgy in Mohawk (1705); "De Spizel der SelfKennis" (Mirror of SelfKnowledge) (1720); "De Weegshale der Gerade Gods" (Balance of God's Grace) (1721); and "Verdigiging" (Defence against the Church of Raritan) (1726).
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