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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HARRIS, Samuel, apostle to Virginia, born in Hanover county, Vermont, 12 January, 1724; died there probably in 1794. During his early manhood and in middle life he occupied many public offices, was church warden, burgess for the county, sheriff, justice of the peace, colonel of militia, and commissary. While riding through the country in full military dress, he came upon a camp meeting in the woods. Two itinerant Baptist clergymen were haranguing the assemblage, and, on seeing the colonel, at once directed their discourse to him. So greatly was he impressed with their arguments that he was baptized, and became an exhorter among the poor white settlers. In 1770 he was ordained, and the Baptist association to which he belonged invested him with the office of "apostle." He relinquished his large property, lived with extreme frugality, and suffered much persecution from the established church, of which he had formerly been a member. He exercised a great influence over the masses, and was distinguished as an exhorter.
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