Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MORRELL, Thomas, clergyman, born in New York city, 22 November, 1747" died in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, 9 August, 1838. In 1792 the family removed to Elizabethtown, New Jersey, and Thomas engaged in business with his father until the beginning of the Revolutionary war. On receiving the news of the battle of Lexington a militia company was raised, of which he was chosen captain. His first military exploit was the capture, about forty miles from Sandy Hook, of the "Green Mountain Valley." of twelve guns, laden with provisions for the British army. This he accomplished without the loss of a man. His second achievement was the safe conveyance of a large quantity of powder through a hosthe section of New , Jersey for General Washington in Boston. In June, 1776, he was made captain in the Continental army, and ordered to raise a company of seventy-five effective men. Captain Morrell was severely wounded at the battle of Flatbush, and only escaped falling into the hands of the enemy by feigning death. In 1777 he was promoted major of the 4th New Jersey regiment, and was present at Brandywine and Germantown. After this he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. Returning to business in Elizabethtown, he became a member of the Methodist church in 1786, and at once began to preach. From 1787 till 1803 he labored successively in New York city, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. He then returned to Elizabethtown, where he discharged all the duties of his pastorate until 1822. Subsequently he confined himself to preaching once a day on the Sabbath until he had reached the advanced age of eighty-one. Father Morrell at his death had been fifty-three years a preacher of the gospel, and was one of the pioneers of American Methodism.
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