Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FROELIGH, Solomon, clergyman, born at Red Hook, Dutchess County, New York, 29 May 1750; died in New Jersey, 8 October 1827. He was early impressed with the religious teaching of the pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church that he attended, and induced his father, who was a farmer, to give him an education that he might fit himself to be a clergyman. His patriotism was ardent, and during the Revolution, when the British occupied Long Island in 1775, he narrowly escaped with his life. He received his education under Dirck Romeyn and Johannes It. (3oetschius, and was licensed to preach by the general meeting of ministers and elders in 1774.
In 1786 he settled in Hackensack, New Jersey, and attempted to bring together the conservative and independent branches of the Church there, but the members were divided by the political controversies arising from the Revolution, and his efforts were fruitless. For a time he succeeded in uniting the two congregations, but dissensions soon broke out afresh in their midst, the Church was struck by lightning, and the stone over the entrance on which were inscribed the words "Union makes Strength" was broken in two. So great an effect did this occurrence have on the superstitious congregation that the Churches disunited, and not even the efforts of the synod could bring them together.
From 1795 till 1800 Mr. Froeligh passed his life in ecclesiastical discussion, and in 1822, with that portion of the Church that favored independent American organization, affected a schism under the name of the " True Reformed Dutch Church." Dr. Froeligh was arraigned before his synod, and was suspended in 1822 for secession and contempt of ecclesiastical authority, He printed various sermons, most of them in the "Banner of Truth," including "Sermen on Occasion of the Lightning rending the Church Steeple" (1795), and published "The Trial of Universal Charity by a Jury" (New York, 1824), and "Reasons assigned by a Number of Ministers, Elders, and Deacons for declaring themselves the True Reformed Dutch Church in the United States" (Hackensack, 1822).
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