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where he had a house, surrounded by a number of Indian wigwams. This priest endeavored to persuade some of the settlers at Frankfort to remove where they should be under his influence, promising to each family that would do so, two hundred acres of land. This proselyting movement was of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the General Court, and led to the building of the forts at Augusta and Winslow. Still no Protestant minister was to be found east of Brunswick.
In 1755 a petition was sent to the (English) “ Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts” from “ the Inhabi tants of Georgetown on the Kennebeck River" and also one from “ Frankfort on the same River," setting forth their poverty, “and that it saddens their soul to consider that they shall find it hard to keep alive the sparks of Religion in themselves without the Administration of God's Word and Sacraments, * * * unless the Society shall send a Missionary to officiate to and instruct them, &c. Governor Shirley and other very worthy persons recommending Mr. Macclenaghan, that he had been for many years a Dissenting Teacher, but was become a Convert to the Church of England, as a proper Person for this Mission, * * The Society, Mr. Macclenaghan having been received into the Holy Orders of our Church, hath appointed him their Missionary to George Town and Frankfort, and to the neighboring Places on the Eastern Frontier of the Province of Massachusetts Bay."
A stipend of £50 sterling was appropriated to this Mission. Mr. Macclenaghan arrived in Kennebec in May 1756, and took up his abode in Fort Richmond, just north of the present village of Richmond.
In his report to the Society above named in 1757, he informs them, “ that he continues diligent in preaching the Gospel on
* Mr. Macclenaghan had officiated in Georgetown as a Presbyterian min ister for ten years from 1734.
common Days, as well as the Lords Day; • * complains that there is no Church either at George Town or Frankfort, nor Glebe nor House, as was promised to the Society on his appointment; but he had to that Time resided in an old, dismantled Fort, wonderfully through God's mercy preserved from a merciless Enemy, to whom he is often exposed, &c. &c.” Mr. McLennaghan remained with his family, officiating as a Church of England minister at Frankfort and Georgetown, until December 1758, when he removed to Pennsylvania.*
A petition was again sent to the same English Society from the inhabitants of Frankfort, and in answer to it the Rev. Jacob Bailey, a native of Rowley, Mass., was sent as an “ Itinerant Missionary on the Eastern Frontiers of Massachusetts Bay.” Mr. Bailey arrived at Frankfort in 1760, and continued there for nineteen years. He says “ The first summer of my mission I officiated in Georgetown, every third Sunday.” This place continued to be under his supervision and to enjoy a portion of his services while he remained in the neighborhood, with the exception hereafter to be stated.
Mr. Bailey says in his first report to the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, that “he found in the County of Lincoln, which contains 1500 families, scattered over a country 100 miles in length and 60 in breadth, no Teachers of any Denomination, except a number of illiterate Exhorters. In George Town, where he has frequently preached and administered the Sacraments, the Dissenters, he thinks, incline so much to our Church, that had they a Missionary
* It appears from the journal of the Rev. Thomas Smith of Falmouth, that this Mr. Macclenaghan, whom he calls McClanethan, was installed at Cape Elizabeth Nov. 15, 1736, as a Presbyterian minister; that he stirred up an exciting religious controversy there, which ended in his dismission after a short time. In 1748 he was preaching in Chelsea, Mass., and was invited to settle there. Smith's journal, Willis' ed. pp. 84, 85. [Ed.]
resident, they would probably come over to it. His communicants at George Town are 17.”
The English Society which thus cared for the poor settlers on the Kennebec “received a petition from the Inhabitants of George Town and Harpswell, dated Decr. 11th, 1761, thankfully acknowledging the Society's charity to them, to which it is owing, under God, that a sense of Religion is preserved among them” and requesting an additional Missionary. They state that “they have begun to build a Church, which is now in great Forwardness, and engage in their present low and laborious state to give the Missionary the Society shall be pleased to send 20£ sterling per Annum, build him a Parsonage House, and, as their circumstances enlarge, give him from Time to Time such further Encouragement as may be a Proof how highly they value the Blessing they now petition for.”
Seven years passed on without the Missionary being sent to reside at Georgetown, during which time Rev. Mr. Bailey gave the people as much clerical service as was in his power.
In 1768, the sum of £40, was appropriated to the Missionary who should officiate " at George Town and places adjacent on Kennebeck River.” This was additional to £50 paid by the same Society to Rev. Mr. Bailey.
The Rev. Wm. Willard Wheeler, a native of Concord Mass., arrived in Georgetown as a Missionary of the Church of Eng. -land in the Autumn of 1768. The next year he “ acquaints the Society that his Parish extends near 20 miles westward and 12 eastward. His people have erected the frame of a church since his coming; he has statedly preached twice on Sundays, besides giving lectures on week days and has baptized 28 children.”
Mr. Wheeler remained at Georgetown till April 1772, and then removed to Rhode Island.
On the departure of Mr. Wheeler Mr. Bailey resumed the
oversight of the Episcopalians at George Town and visited them as frequently as circumstances would allow, till he left the country in June 1779.
Those of his Journals that have been preserved contain frequent notices of his journeys to this place, mention among others the names of Drummond and Preble, and contain entries of official acts, such as baptisms, &c. In fact it was from the house of one of these families that Mr. Bailey departed when he left the country in the year before named.
The writer of the History of Bath, before spoken of says, (Maine IIistorical Collections II. p. 220) “ The house of worship was near the Mansion IIouse of the late Major Lithgow, where Mr. McLanathan usually officiciated.” There was, it is true, a house of worship at the place spoken of, but it is next to certain that it could not have been built during the time of Mr. MacLanathan's ministry, i. e. from 1734 to 1744. We may suppose that the erection of the Mansion of Maj. Lithgow, a large and elegant structure, had something to do in determining the location of this house of worship. But Major Lithgow's house was not built till 1766. Again, Rev. Mr. Wheeler reports that “his people have erected the frame of a church since his coming,” i. e. in 1768. No other house of worship than the one referred to is known to have existed in the neighborhood. And as it is certain that Mr. Wheeler resided a part of the time, at least, in the family of Maj. Lithgow: this circumstance wouldseem to support the belief that the church was nigh at hand, and that in fact it was the building erroneously supposed by some to have been erected many years before the coming of this Missionary.