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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TAGGART, Samuel, clergyman, born in Londonderry, New Hampshire, 24 March, 1754 ; died in Colerain, Massachusetts, 25 April, 1825. His father. James, came from Ireland to this country when he was eleven years old. The son entered the junior class in Dartmouth, where he was graduated in 1774, was licensed to preach in the Presbyterian church in 1776, and on 19 February, 1777, was ordained and installed as pastor of a church in Colerain, Massachusetts In 1802 he performed in western New York a missionary journey of about three months, his manuscript journal of which is still preserved. In 1802 he was elected to congress as a Federalist, and served, by repeated re-election, from 1803 till 1817. His protracted absences from his charge caused dissatisfaction, and in 1818 he resigned his pastorate, though he afterward preached occasionally. When he entered congress, John Randolph of Roanoke, on learning that Mr. Taggart was a clergyman, instantly quoted to him from I. Samuel, xvii., 28 : "With whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness ?" Mr. Taggart was absent-minded and eccentric, but possessed a very retentive and accurate memory. While he was in college he was reprimanded for inattention by a professor, who had seen him catching flies during a lecture, but in his vindication the boy immediately repeated a great part of what his instructor had said. He published an oration on the death of Washington (1800); a Fourth-of-July oration at Conway (1804);" Scriptural Vindication of the Doctrine of the Final Perseverance of all True Believers" (1801); a "Treatise on the Evidences of Christianity" (1811); an address to his constituents on the subject of impressments (1813) ; and sermons and speeches.
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