Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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DAVIS, John, clergyman, born in Newcastle County, Del., in 1737; died in Ohio, 13 December 1772. His father came from Wales in 1710, and was made pastor of the Baptist Church in Welsh Tract, Newcastle co. The son was graduated at Philadelphia College, and, while supplying his father's pulpit after the death of the latter, attracted attention by his eloquence, and was called to the pastorate of the 2d Baptist Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He was appointed agent of the Baptists of the colony, to represent their grievances under the exclusive laws then in force in Massachusetts, and took the ground that the charter granted religious equality, and that Congregationalism was not the established religion of the commonwealth. When, after receiving the representations of the grievance committee, the general court passed a new certificate law, requiring that certificates issued to Baptists should state that they were "conscientiously" of that faith, the committee, of which he was the head, decided not to accept the act in that form. In 1772 his health failed, and he returned in July to Delaware, then undertook a journey for his health down the Ohio, and died in the wilderness below the present site of the City of Wheeling, W. Va.
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