The Acquisitions Table: Lemuel Haynes Sermon

Haynes, Lemuel, “A Sermon Delivered at Rutlan West Parish in Vermont June 1805.”

Lemuel Haynes (1753-1833) was a highly influential religious and anti-slavery leader.  Among Haynes’s many firsts, he was the first African-American to be ordained to the Christian ministry and the first African-American to receive a college degree (an M.A. from Middlebury in 1804).  After serving in the Continental Army during the Revolution, Haynes began his career as a minister in Rutland, Vermont, where he remained for thirty years.  It was during this ministry that Haynes delivered his famous sermon, Universal Salvation, a Very Ancient Doctrine: with Some Account of the Life and Character of Its Author.  Delivered as a response to a lecture by Hosea Ballou on the doctrine of universal redemption, Haynes’ Universal Salvation stands as one of the most famous and reprinted works of religious satire.  This copy of the sermon, in Haynes own hand, contains more than sixty textual differences and three deletions from the printed copies.  Including this copy, only three sermons in Haynes’s own handwriting are known to exist.

Published by

Tracey Kry

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Reference Librarian, American Antiquarian Society

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