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Dr. Samuel Stillman (1737–1807) was an American Baptist minister. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in South Carolina, he married Hannah Morgan and took a pastorate in South Carolina for several years.
In 1764, Stillman joined The Reverend James Manning, The Reverend Ezra Stiles, the Reverend Isaac Backus, the Reverend John Gano, the Reverend Morgan Edwards, William Ellery, and former Royal Governors Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward among thirty-five others as an original fellow or trustee for the chartering of the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (the original name for Brown University).
From 1765 Stillman was minister of the First Baptist Church of Boston, Massachusetts, until his death. John Hancock, although a Unitarian, was one of his admirers and often rented a pew there so that he could hear him. President John Adams and General Henry Knox also came to hear him preach.
American Revolutionary Period
He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and was politically active as a member of the 1779 Massachusetts Senate Convention for the formation of the State constitution; and also for the 1788 adoption of the United States Constitution. According to editor Frank Moore, Stillman was "a member of the Senate Convention for the formation of the state constitution in 1779; as also for the adoption of the federal constitution in 1788; in the last body he delivered a very eloquent speech in its support, and was considered at the time as having contributed much toward its adoption, and confirmed many members in its favor who were previously wavering upon that question. To that constitution he ever after continued a firm, unshaken friend, and a warm approver of the administration of Washington and Adams."
In 1802, Samuel Stillman was instrumental in founding the first Baptist Missionary Society in America (now known as The American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts).
- Frank Moore, editor, The Patriot Preachers of the American Revolution, with Biographical Sketches, 1766-1783 (n.p.) (1860), pp. 258–288.
- Samuel Stillman. Select sermons on doctrinal and practical subjects. Manning & Loring, 1808.
- Brown University Charter
- History of the First Baptist Church of Boston
- Furman University's Special Collection on Baptists
- Baptist Identity and Christian Higher Education, monograph by Donald D. Schmeltekopf and Dianna M. Vitanza