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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ROGERS, John, founder of a sect, born in New London, Connecticut, in 1648; died there ill 1721. He became a dissenter from tile Congregational church, assumed the ministerial offices of preaching and baptizing, and, having gained a few disciples, founded a sect whose members were called Rogerenes, and also Rogerene Baptists or Quakers. He and his followers were frequently fined and imprisoned for profanation of the Sabbath, for, although they worshipped on that day, they regarded themselves free to labor. Rogers was put in the stocks for an insult to the assembled congregation, and upon his release from prison rushed into the meeting-house and disturbed the services, for which he was sent to Hartford for trial and was seated on a gallows with a halter around his neck for several hours. He frequently came into collision with the town authorities, and his aggressive spirit did not cease with his old age, for in 1711 he was fined and imprisoned for misdemeanor in court, contempt of its authority, and vituperation of the judges. Upon his release he was charged with insanity and confined in a clark prison. The populace became enraged, and several English officers applied to the town authorities to mitigate his treatment. He finally escaped in a boat to Long Island, went to New York, and begged the protection of Governor Hunter. On his return to New London he prosecuted his judges, but was nonsuited and charged with a heavy fine. He wrote many books on theology, including "The Midnight Cry."
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