Early Sabbath Keeping in North America
When was the Sabbath first kept in North America?
Did the pilgrims on the Mayflower keep the seventh-day Sabbath?
Many have wondered about all of this.
Did the Pilgrims Who Arrived on the Mayflower Keep the Seventh day Sabbath?
Some have believed that the Sabbath was kept by the pilgrims who arrived in Plymouth Rock in 1620.
Notice the following accounts in A History of the True Church Traced From 33 A.D. to Date by Andrew N. Dugger and Clarence O. Dodd:
It will not be thought strange that the churches of God in London were reduced from seven congregations down to three from 1646 to 1677, when severe persecutions were being carried on against the Sabbath-keepers of England during this period, and in America there was an open door offered the Church of God. "The earth helped the woman," as John the Revelator expressed it in Revelation 12:16. It was to this country the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the Quakers came, the first ones landing at Plymouth the year 1620, and many others followed. It was quite natural that churches in England at this time would come to America, the only place in the world where freedom of religion was offered the persecuted ones.-- In the next chapter we shall trace the Church of God from England and Europe to America, and it will be shown that among the Pilgrim fathers, who risked their lives on the Mayflower, and landed at Plymouth 1620, were Sabbath-keepers, observing the seventh day of the week, who baptized by immersion, and called themselves the "Church of God." …
That the Pilgrims were Sabbath-keepers, and evidently from the same line of Sabbatarian-Puritan preachers mentioned in this work, the following evidence will confirm.
While one of the authors was living in the city of St. Joseph, Missouri, during the winter of 1934, the following editorial appeared in the St. Joseph, Mo., Daily Gazette, during the Christmas season, written by the editor, Mr. Hugh Sprague.
"Strange as it may seem, in the early history of America there was an attempt at suppression of Christmas spirit. The stern Puritans at Plymouth, imbued with the rigorous fervor of the Old Testament, abhorred the celebration of the orthodox holidays. Their worship was on the Sabbath (Saturday), rather than Sunday, and Christmas in particular they considered a pagan celebration. Later immigrants attempted to observe Christmas as a time of joy, but were suppressed. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Miles Standish and other leaders were firm against the yuletide spirit as we know it today."
The author's wife, having first noticed the above editorial, called his attention to it. He immediately drove over to the Gazette office where, upon finding Mr. Sprague, he asked him where he obtained the evidence of the Pilgrim Fathers keeping the Sabbath or Saturday. He said, "Why do you desire this information? Do you doubt the truth of the statement!" He answered, that from information already at hand he had frequently made the statement that they were observers of the seventh day of the week, but thought he might have something additional. He said he did not know of any book mentioning this, but that he had additional evidence. He said, "The Pilgrims are my direct ancestors, and we know very well their religious practice, and belief." He assured him that all his grandparents and great-grandparents knew that the Pilgrims of the Mayflower days were strict Sabbath-keepers on the seventh day of the week instead of Sunday.
Notice also something from the late John Kiesz (died 1993) that was republished in 2016:
The history of the Church of God organization, as
we know it in the 20th century, seems hard to trace accurately as to its
origin. But, if we look into articles and letters still available to us that
have been published in The Review and Herald (a Seventh-day Adventist
paper), the Home of Israel (a Church of God paper) and a few references from
the Seventh Day Baptist publications, etc., we may draw some conclusions
regarding our faith and heritage. Sabbath-keepers in America can be traced to
early colonial days. It is evident that there were seventh-day observers among
those who landed on the American shores when they arrived on the Mayflower
in 1620. Local congregations developed in several of the New England states, in
some of the Eastern, Southern and later even in the Midwestern States, as time
rolled on. ...
Were there really any Sabbatarians on the Mayflower, which brought the Pilgrims to America? The evidence seems to be in favor of their presence in the Plymouth Colony. In the month of December 1934 Hugh Sprague, editor of The St. Joseph Gazette (Missouri) wrote an editorial on this very matter, as fol- lows: “Strange as it may seem in the early history of America there was an attempt at suppression of the Christ- mas spirit. The stern Puritans at Plymouth, imbued with the rigorous fervor of the Old Testament, abhorred the celebration of the orthodox holidays. Their worship was on the Sabbath (Saturday), rather than Sunday, and Christmas in particular they considered a pagan celebration. “Later immigrants attempted to observe Christmas as a time of joy, but were suppressed. Governor Bradford, Elder Brewster, Miles Standish and other Leaders were firm against the yuletide spirit as we know it today.”
Sabbatarian and similar
In a private conversation between Elder A.N. Dugger and Hugh Sprague after this editorial appeared, the latter stated that the Pilgrims were his direct ancestors and that he very well knew their religious beliefs and practices. In addition he stated that all his grandparents and great-grandparents knew that the Pilgrims of the Mayflower were strict Sabbath observers on the seventh day of the week instead of on Sunday.
Now, just because a Sabbath keeping person makes a claim that does not mean the claim is correct.
All need to be careful about the truth. Here is essentially a rebuttal to the Mayflower claim by another Sabbath keepting elder, Doug Ward:
However, despite the claims of Hugh Sprague, there is strong evidence that the Pilgrims actually observed a Sunday Sabbath. One good source of information on this question is the Journal of the English Plantation at Plimoth, which was published in London in 1622. This book is our earliest record of the voyage of the Mayflower and the establishment of the Plymouth colony. It gives a first-hand, day-to-day account of the experiences of the Pilgrims.
Two of the entries in this journal indicate that it was the custom of the Pilgrims to rest and meet for worship on Sunday. In early December 1620, the Mayflower was off the coast of what is now Massachusetts as the Pilgrims looked for a good location for a settlement. According to the journal,
``10. of December, on the Sabbath day wee rested, and on Monday we sounded the harbour, and found it a very good Harbour for our shipping ... .''
Then for January 1621, the notes include the following:
``Saturday 20, we made up our Shed for our common goods.
Sunday the 21. we kept our meeting on Land.
Monday the 22. was a faire day, we wrought on our houses, and in the after-noone carried up our hogsheads of meale to our common storehouse.''
All the sources on the Pilgrims that I have examined agree that the Plymouth Colony kept a Sunday Sabbath. It is true, though, that Edmund Dunham, the grandson of Plymouth settler John Dunham, later became a prominent Saturday Sabbatarian [2, pp. 111-112].
Presuming the above account is true, then while ancestors to Hugh Sprague, possibly with some ties to an early European in North America, kept the Sabbath, this would mean that the original pilgrim settlers to Plymouth Rock did not.
Furthermore, I did my own research into the Journal of the English Plantation at Plimoth and found the following accounts:
But the next morning, being Thursday the 21st of December … Saturday, the 23rd, so many of us as could, went on shore, felled and carried timber, to provide themselves stuff for building.
Sunday, the 24th, our people on shore heard a cry of some savages (as they thought) which caused an alarm, and to stand on their guard, expecting an assault, but all was quiet.
Monday, the 25th day, we went on shore, some to fell timber, some to saw, some to rive, and some to carry, so no man rested all that day. …
Friday and Saturday, we fitted ourselves for our labor, but our people on shore were much troubled and discouraged with rain and wet, that day being very stormy and cold. We saw great smokes of fire made by the Indians, about six or seven miles from us, as we conjectured.
Monday, the 1st of January, we went betimes to work. …
Saturday, 20th, we made up our shed for our common goods.
Sunday, the 21st, we kept our meeting on land.
Monday, the 22nd, was a fair day. …
Sunday, the 4th of February, was very wet and rainy . . . Saturday, the 17th day, in the morning we called a meeting for the establishing of military orders among ourselves, and we chose Miles Standish our captain, and gave him authority of command in affairs.
The accounts show that the pilgrims were working on Saturday, and seemed to rest on Sundays.
The Bible teaches:
8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
The account of the pilgrims showed that they worked on the seventh day, and hence did not obey God's command. More on the Sabbath can be found in the article The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad.
It is not wise for Sabbath keepers to claim that those from the Mayflower kept the Seventh day Sabbath as the evidence is against it. Making improper claims can get people to blaspheme the way of truth (2 Peter 2:1-2).
The Church in England Begins to Emerge in the 16th /17th Century
Over in Europe, Sabbath keeping in the Church of God in England started to emerge in the 1500s.
The Catholic Encyclopedia noted:
Persons rejecting infant baptism are frequently mentioned in English history in the sixteenth century. We learn of their presence in the island through the persecutions they endured. As early as 1535 ten Anabaptists were put to death, and the persecution continued throughout that century. The victims seem to have been mostly Dutch and German refugees.
The same article also stated that some groups related to them, including at least one that used the term “Church of God” (though it probably was not itself a COG), practiced “feet-washing.”
Though not precisely documented, some claim that a seventh-day group may have begun meeting in Braintree, England no later than 1527.
Records show that seventh-day Sabbath-keeping was causing controversy in England in 1584.
The Seventh Day Baptists reported that there was a sabbath-keeping church that apparently became established in the United Kingdom in the late 1500s/early 1600s known as the Mill Yard Church:
MILL YARD, LONDON. 1617.
Origin. Some have supposed that this church owes its origin to the labors of John James, who was martyred Oct. 19, 1661. President Daland goes back as far as about 1580. In 1617 (or 1616) John Trask came to London from Salisbury, and held revival meetings. One of his disciples, named Hamlet Jackson, was the means of bringing Trask and many, if not all, of his congregation to the observance of the seventhday Sabbath in about 1617, and Elder William M. Jones says that this Traskite congregation was the origin of the Mill Yard Church. All the records of this church, prior to 1673, were destroyed in the fire of 1790…
Pastoral service. The early pastorates are difficult to determine; the following arrangement is probably very nearly, if not entirely, correct:
John Trask…………….. 1617-1619
Dr. Peter Chamberlen…. 1653-?
John James…………………. ?-1661
William Sellers……....... 1670-1678
Henry Soursby………… 1678-1711…
John Maulden…………. 1712-1715 
(Note: Some have questioned some of the details in the list. It has been indicated that William Sellers/Sallers took over as early as in 1661.) John Traske (sometimes spelled Trask or Trasque) helped form the nucleus of that early church in the early 1600s. According to a seventeenth century manuscript at Trinity College Library in Dublin, some were keeping the seventh-day Sabbath in Ireland around that time as well.
He and other Sabbath-keeping “Puritians” were condemned in a 1618 writing by a Catholic priest named John Falconer:
John Traske and the other Puritans in their ceremonial and precise manner of observing the Sabaoth, are superstitious imitators of the Jews, our saviour’s adversaries…
Of course Jesus and Paul were Jews and Paul taught to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 1:11).
John Traske seems to have at least partially observed something on Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread as, according to Priest Falconer, he wrote:
‘the fourteenth of the March moon’ to coincide with the Jewish Passover, and should be followed by the eating of unleavened bread for seven days.
John Traske also taught against eating swine’s flesh.
John Traske received a sentence of a fine, whipping, imprisonment, and to be branded with the letter “J” (for “Jewish opinions”), but how much of this sentence was actually carried out was unclear.
Sadly, he later apparently apostatized from various COG doctrines, including the seventh day Sabbath. His wife Dorothy, however, did not apostatize, and she was arrested for her beliefs against Sunday and for the Sabbath (she seeming carried the truth of this message to others); she died after several harsh years in prison in 1645.
Bryan W. Ball noted:
…from the late 1640s, with new religious liberty and freedom of expression and practice, the seventh day came into the open in a way previously unknown in England.
Dr. Chamberlen, who rose up about that time, descended from a family of Hugeonots that came to England in 1569. Dr. Chamberlen’s beliefs reportedly included baptism by immersion, anti-trinitariansism, footwashing and the seventh day Sabbath. John Maulden, a later successor, also believed in footwashing and an annual Passover/Lord’s Supper, but his immediate successor did not.
In 1726/1727, Robert Cornthwaite became the leader. Here is some of what he wrote:
Had either the abrogation or change of the Sabbath from the seventh to some other day of the week, been designed by God to take place under the Christian dispensation, as they would have been considerable innovations, and consequently have met with great opposition from the Jews, they would undoubtedly have been frequently inculcated, and the reasons of such abrogation or change plainly assigned, not only by Christ, but also by his apostles, and all the first publishers of the Christian religion. Whereas Christ and his apostles not only kept the seventh-day Sabbath, but also said never word, that we can find, either that it should be abrogated or changed for another. On this account, therefore, we may strongly infer that no abrogation or change of the Sabbath was ever intended under the Christian dispensation; for, if neither Christ, who was faithful as a son, and who assured his disciples that he had made known to them all things that he had heard of his Father,—nor St Paul, the great apostle of the Gentile world, who appeals to others that he had not kept back anything useful from them, nor shunned to declare to them all the counsel of God,—have signified anything concerning either the abrogation or change of the Sabbath, it is a strong indication that such an abrogation or change was no part of the will of God, which was to take place under the Christian dispensation…
We never read of any complaint which the Jews ever made on account of any pretended attempt to set aside the seventh-day Sabbath. Whoever impartially considers the great bickerings which a declaring the Gentile converts only exempted from the necessity of submitting to circumcision, and some other rites of the law of Moses, perpetually occasioned from the Jewish converts for a considerable number of years after the death of Christ, as plainly appears from the history of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St Paul, will not, I imagine, easily give in to the belief of their hushing up, in so very tame and silent a manner, this so very considerable an alteration, as they must have done, in case it obtained in the days of our Saviour or his apostles.
Tis not to be supposed the Jews would ever suffer the Sabbath to be changed, the due observation of which they justly imagined to be the very foundation, as it were, of all religion, without making any opposition, when they so long made such a stir and bustle about things of a much inferior kind.
Also notice this report about Robert Cornthwaite:
In reference to the incidents recorded in John xx. 19, 26, and Acts ii. 1, he asks: “But what relation have any of these actions to a Sabbath? Or where have we any intimation that any, or all of them taken together, should constitute that day of the week the Christian Sabbath, on which they should happen? And if they have no natural relation to any such thing, nor are signified by a proper authority to be interpretative of it, I know no one Protestant principle that will justify our concluding them as so many signals of a change of the Sabbath.”
His arguments are still just as valid today. Robert Cornthwaite was pastor of the Mill Yard church “remaining such until his death, April 19, 1755, in his fifty-ninth year. Mr. Daniel Noble, his pupil and successor, preached his funeral sermon.”
It may be of interest to note that the Mill Yard Church was clearly anti-trinitarian, at least for much of the 1700s. Yet, Seventh Day Baptists are trinitarian, though they trace their early history through the Mill Yard Church, including Robert Cornthwaite.
Although they now call Passover communion, notice that at least as of 1926, this Mill Yard Church observed Passover annually and at the biblical time:
The 1926 Seventh Day Baptist Manual notes that the “Mill Yard Church of London...celebrates it but once a year, at the time of the Passover of the Jewish Church”.
According to A.N. Dugger, the Mill Yard Church and the Church of God, Seventh Day (CG7) had essentially the same doctrines in the 1930s, and thus he taught that the Mill Yard Church was part of the spiritual ancestry of CG7:
It was the pleasure of one of the authors of this book to spend some months during 1931 and 1932 with the Mill Yard church in London, and we were caused to rejoice, upon finding them advocating the same doctrine on the great essentials, in perfect harmony with the Church of God in America, and throughout the world...The Mill Yard church in London being the oldest Sabbath-keeping church of which we have a definite record, and at this date, 1935, their doctrine agrees with that of the churches of God throughout America.
Thus, there was one congregation that held Church of God doctrines (off and on) in England for over 300 years.
R. Nickels reported:
…Edward Stennett and John James began to defend the Sabbath …Stennett…published a defense of the Sabbath in 1658…
On Sabbath, October 19, 1661…John James was forcibly removed from the pulpit…and charged with treason for having called Jesus Christ the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland…he was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging…his head was set up in Whitechapel on a pole opposite the alley of the Mill Yard meetinghouse…
Stephen Mumford, a member of Stennent’s congregation fled to Rhode Island in 1664, barely three years after John James’ death.
In the 1500s, people of the Jewish faith came to the Americas and many of them would have kept the Sabbath.
In the 1600s there were several, but small, Sabbath-keeping congregations in England. As well some in the Americas according to O. Leonard:
Sabbath keepers of the middle ages...and… transferred to America, in Rhode Island in 1664-65, and earliest showed itself in Newport, R. I., in 1644. The first Seventh Day Baptist church was established in midwinter in Newport in 1671.
From these groups, many became known as Sabbatarian Anabaptists or Seventh Day Baptists (SDBs). Irrespective of what they were called originally, most of those groups tended to be loosely affiliated. Some of them kept COG doctrines, while others were more Protestant in approach.
Regarding another of those early English Sabbath-keeping congregations it was noted:
An interesting article appeared, April 13. 1901, in the Birmingham Weekly Post, from which the following is an extract:
...at Natton, in the parish of Ashchurch. There the congregation meets on Saturday mornings when all their neighbors are about their secular occupations...The existence of the sect is known to but few people, and rarely does a stranger make an addition to the regular congregation of half a dozen or eight persons. But it is certainly an interesting fact that such a body should have existed for two centuries and a half. The curious in such matters would do well to store up a record of the sect before it passes out of existence altogether. There appears to be little attempt to propagate the faith, and without such effort the number of adherents is not likely to increase. The tiny congregation...is one of the oddest things in the ecclesiastical world. Not merely is the gathering inconvenient, one would think, but the place of assemblage is a remote corner -- in a farmyard.”
How could there be anything but decline under the circumstances...?
For 250 years, there was at least one other small, but ineffective, group in England.
Back in 1719 England, John Ozell, a non-Sabbath-keeper wrote the following about some of the Sabbath-keepers he encountered:
…People, who…go by the name Sabbatarian make Profession of expecting a Reign of a Thousand Years…These Sabbatarians are so call’d, because they will not remove the Day of Rest from Saturday to Sunday…They administer Baptism only to adult People…The major part of them will not eat Pork, nor blood…their outward conduct is pious and Christian-like.
The beliefs mentioned above are still held by those in the Church of God.
Some Sabbath keepers were once called Albigensians and were condemned by various councils. And one, the Catholic Council of Albi (sometimes spelled Alby), France, in 1254 apparently stated:
They savour of Judaism...they observe the Jewish sabbath, but say that the holy Dominical day is no better than any other day; let them be accursed.
The same source also noted that those who kept the Sabbath in those days were sometimes called semi-Judaizers.
Additionally, there was a group of Germans who came to the Americas in the 1600/1700s that kept the Sabbath:
...while the Order of the Woman of the Wilderness, as they were popularly known, or The Contented of the God-loving Soul, as they styled themselves, were not actual Seventh Day Baptists, we do know that they observed the Seventh Day as the Sabbath...
It is possible that the above group was a compromised (they may have also held certain Lutheran as well as monastic doctrines) descendant of certain faithful Albigensian groups. The group emphasized the millennium and tried to figure out who the “ten lost tribes of Israel” were (they wondered if the American Indians were the descendants). Many, if not nearly all, of the German Sabbath-keepers in the 1600-1700s were also pacifists and considered to be separatists, even in Germany.
Stephen Mumford and Details on the Church in the Americas
Precisely when those of the true Church came to the Americas is not totally certain, but there were clearly Sabbath-keepers there in the 17th century.
In his 1811 book, Henry Clarke reported:
Mr. Stephen Mumford came over from England in the year 1664 and brought the opinion with him, that the whole of the Ten Commands, as they were delivered from mount Sinai, were moral and immutable and that it was the antichristian power which thought to, change times and laws, that changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the -week… in Dec. 1671…William Hiscox, Samuel Hubbard, Stephen Mumford, Roger Baxter and three Sisters, joined in covenant as a distinct church; and Mr. Hiscox was their first pastor…
It has been reported by J. N. Andrews that:
The first Sabbath-keeper in America was Stephen Mumford...came as a missionary from London... 
Now this may be in slight conflict with a report from a Seventh Day Baptist named Tamar Davis (who may have possibly meant 1671 instead of 1641):
The Sabbatarian church at Newport was instituted in 1641. It then contained seven members…Stephen Mumford, William Hiscox, Samuel Hubbard, Roger Baster, and three sisters; William Hiscox became their first pastor…William Gibson, from London, where he received his ordination, was his successor…He fulfilled the office of pastor to the church at Newport until his death, which occurred in 1717, in the 79th years of his age.
The slight conflict is that if it was Stephen Mumford who was first and he came as a Sabbath-proclaiming missionary, it would seem that he would have been the first pastor, but the above shows that William Hiscox occupied this role, not Mumford. And it is possible, and even likely, that there were some Sabbath-keepers in the Americas before Stephen Mumford as other sources have indicated.
William Hiscox, first pastor of the first Seventh-day Baptist Church in America, was born in 1638. But little is known, however, of his early history...In 1666 he embraced the views of the Seventh-day…By whom he was ordained, we do not learn…
It may be that William Hiscox (whose group back then was not referred to as “Seventh-day Baptist”; a letter to it from the group in London called it the “Church of Christ keeping the Sabbath on Rhode Island”) could have been ordained by another Sabbatarian leader, such as possibly one of the male Cottrells (Dorothy Cottrell was listed as an original member of the congregation in Westerly and John was in a later 1692 list of congregants).
William Hiscox, himself, endorsed the laying on of hands and mentioned one of the Cottrells (who apparently he had issues with) as he wrote:
The general meeting of the church at Westerly, Sept the 17th, 1698, being the Sabbath; Samuel Beebee and MaryCrandall submitted to the ordinance of hands, and were added to the church… John Cottrell, for some time stood as a brother in this congregation, and having for a long time neglected his duties in the church,…and having withdrawn his communion from us, the church do take themselves discharged, from their watch and care over him…
Another SDB writer proclaimed:
So far as known, the first Seventh-day Baptist in America was Stephen Mumford. We know very little of his history till he came from England to Newport, R. I., in 1665. Some writers say he came in 1664…
(Of course, the group was not called “Seventh-day Baptist” at that time, and there seemed to be other Sabbath-keepers before him.)
In the 1800s, Isaac Backus wrote:
…in Newport... A small church was formed…in December, 1671, holding to the seventh-day Sabbath, which yet continues.
Dr. Edward Stennett, of the church in Bell Lane, London (a group apparently known not only for the seventh-day Sabbath, but also for unusual millennialist views), wrote a letter to Sabbath-keepers in Rhode Island dated February 2, 1668 that stated:
I rejoice in the Lord on your behalf, in that he hath been graciously pleased to make known to you his holy Sabbath, in such a day as this; when truth falleth in the streets and equity cannot enter. And with us we can scarcely find a man that is really willing to know, whether the Sabbath be a truth or not—and those who have the greatest parts, have the least anxiety to meddle with it.
“We have passed through great opposition for this truth sake, especially from our brethren, which made the affliction heavier. I dare not say how heavy, lest it should seem, incredible.
“But the opposers of truth seem much withered; -and at present the opposition seems to be dying away—, for Truth is strong…
“Here is in England about nine or ten churches that keep the Sabbath ; besides many scattered disciples, who have been eminently preserved in this tottering day, when many eminent churches have been shattered to pieces.”
A follow-up letter dated 26th March, 1668 signed by William Gibson said:
The church of Christ, meeting in Bell Lane, London, upon the Lord’s holy Sabbath; desiring to keep the Commandments of God, and the testimonies of Jesus—sendeth salutations to a remnant of the Lord’s Sabbathkeepers, in or about Newport (R. I.) in New-England—unfeignedly wishing all needful grace, truth and holiness, may be multiplied and increased in you more and more unto the perfect day.
So, while it may not have been considered to be a church, apparently a group of Sabbath-keepers existed in the USA by 1668. And Edward Stennett mentioned that there were many scattered disciples in the British Isles then as well.
Being a Sabbath-keeper in America apparently landed some in prison in the 1600s:
In both March and September, 1676, Mr. Hiscox and Mr. Hubbard were sent again to New London…It is not till December, 1677, that we find another mention of New London. At this time, “brethren Hiscox, Maxson and Hubbard” were sent. Sarah Rogers, wife of Joseph, was baptized. Their meetings were broken up three times on the Sabbath and twice on the same Sabbath were they taken before the magistrate …The constables again made trouble on account of the baptizing. In a few clays we find James Rogers and his three sons in jail for working on the First-day of the week. In a letter they describe their imprisonment…
Twice after this, we find some of this group of Sabbathkeepers in prison on account of their principles. July, 1678, Mr. Hubbard writes describing an imprisonment which had just ended… August, 1682 John Rogers writes from New London prison… Notwithstanding the persecution, in 1678 ten communicants are reported in New London…
Here is a report of succession of early Sabbath-keeping leaders in a church:
NEWPORT (R. I.) CHURCH
WAS constituted or organized, by Mr. Hubbard’s account in October, 1671. First number, seven members. Their first pastor was William Hiscox—He died, May 24th, 1704, in the 66th year of his age. Their second elder was William Gibson, from London...He died, March 12, 1717... Their next, or third elder, appears to be Joseph Crandall, who was ordained, May 8, 1715, and was a colleague with elder Gibson for two years, and then took the lead in said church.—He died, Sept. 13, 1737.
It appears, by the church records of Hopkinton, that Joseph Maxson was chosen to the office of an evangelist or travelling preacher, at Westerly, the 17th of September, 1732 …and died, Sept. 1748, in the 78th year of his age…
There was also, one or two elders, by the name of Peckham, who officiated as ministers in the Sabbatarian order, about this time: but I find no regular account of what church they belonged to, or when they died. One of them I well remember, when I was young.
So there was some type of leadership succession in the Rhode Island area in the 17th and 18th centuries (there are also later records of this at two of those churches, but those later individuals seemed to have adopted some non-COG doctrines).
There were also churches and group in other areas as the following suggests:
THIS church, it appears, by their information or church records sent to me, was constituted March 27th 1737, by about 20 members ; part of which had removed from Piscataway church. Previous to their forming a Sabbatarian church here, and as early as 1695 elder Jonathan Davis (I do not learn from what church) moved from Long-Island, (N. Y ) into the Jersey state, near to Trenton, and preached thereabouts to the day of his death, in 1750; but it is not stated that any church gathered near Trenton.
The Cottrells and the Church in the Americas in the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries
Apparently, a Sabbatarian family named Cottrell, also from England, came to America earlier than Stephen Mumford.
The late Richard Nickels, who relied on multiple sources, reported:
Who was the first Sabbath-keeper in America?...as early as 1646, Sabbath discussion embroiled New England…The Baptist historian Griffiths reports that the earliest Sabbath-keepers were at Newport, Rhode Island in 1644…
There…is a record of at least one former Seventh Day Baptist who entered the Adventist ranks: Roswell F. Cottrell. He descended from a long line of Sabbath-keepers; the Cottrells were an Albigensian family or clan of southwestern France...The Cottrell family of England was descended from John Cottrell the Norman, one of the few survivors of the devastating Albigensian Crusades. In 1638 (two years after Rhode Island plantation was founded by Roger Williams), Nicholas Cottrell came from England and settled Rhode Island.
The Cottrell name is found among the earliest Church of God people (later Seventh Day Baptist) people in America. John Cottrell was a member of the “mother” church in Newport, Rhode Island in 1692. Nicholas and Dorothy Cottrell were members of the Westerly Church (Rhode Island) in November 1712.
Roswell F. Cottrell, born in New York, was sixth in the line of descent from the original Nicholas Cottrell. Several Cottrells were Seventh Day Baptist preachers. Roswell was reared in a Sabbath-keeping family and observed the Sabbath all his life.
...the Cottrell family left the Seventh Day Baptists because the Cottrells refused to believe in the immortality of the soul. Original Sabbatarian Baptist (Church of God) leaders were outspoken against the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and were derisively termed “soul sleepers” by their opponents. But the belief in the immortality of the soul eventually crept into Sabbatarian Baptist teachings through men such as William Davis.
After leaving the Seventh Day Baptists, the Cottrells were known as “Seventh Day Christians”. A good-sized group of believers was raised up, whose members were sometimes termed “Cottrellites”...
But in 1851, through Joseph Bates and Samuel Rhodes, now Sabbath-keepers, Roswell, his brother and his father John accepted Adventist teaching. Roswell became a leading Adventist minister and writer.
During the debate over a church name, Roswell F. Cottrell stood for “Church of God”. He was not able to attend the Battle Creek Conference of 1860 when the church name was selected, but his article “Making Us a Name,” published in the Review and Herald of March 22, 1860 was counted as support for the group that opposed organizing under the name Seventh Day Adventists. In the Review of May 3, 1960, he wrote, “I do not believe in popery; neither do I believe in anarchy; but in Bible order, discipline, and government in the Church of God”.
Regarding the senior Nicholas Cottrell, although he apparently came from a COG background, he may not have been dedicated to all COG doctrines. There are also conflicting reports, with one saying that he was born in Rhode Island in 1622. But others suggest that he was born in the British Isles in 1600s (likely 1622) and not Rhode Island, and that he arrived in Rhode Island in 1632 or later that decade. What is known is that his name was found on a list of people there in 1638. Plus his name appears in another list I saw dated May 16, 1669. Nicholas Cottrell’s name is also listed amongst Sabbath-keepers in 1670 by SDB historians.
SDB Tamar Davis reported:
Lucius Crandall received an appointment to that field, which he continued for three years. He was succeeded in 1846 by Libbeus Cottrel, a young man of considerable promise.
L.M. Cottrell was listed as part of the SDB ministry in “1860-1866.” Though certain Cottrells ended up with the SDAs, the SDBs had several Cottrells in leadership positions after the SDAs formed. The family name was divided.
Here is one brief mention of the 19th century Sabbath-keeper Roswell Cottrell from a Seventh-day Adventist source:
Roswell F. Cottrell, of western New York, descendant of French Albigensians, Seventh Day Baptist, and convert of Joseph Bates…
Note: As Roswell Cottrell denied the immortality of the soul doctrine, he was probably not truly a member of the Seventh Day Baptists, as they mainly accepted the immortality doctrine by that time. He, however, seemed excessively impressed with Ellen White’s “prophetic abilities” and this seems to have been a major factor in him becoming part of the SDAs as I believe his initial “conversion” was prior to being in contact with Joseph Bates.
As alluded to before, Nicholas Cottrell’s name is on a list of immigrants who settled in New England, primarily Rhode Island, and were Sabbath-keepers in what appears to be the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The reasonably long list of about 150 names indicates that perhaps many Sabbath-keepers did come to the New World (though many on the list appear to be descendants of those who arrived to the New World).
Another report states:
Tradition persists that the family of COTTRELL (also spelled as Cotterell, Catterell, etc.) was among the first of the Albigensians to find refuge in England, predating the Huguenot movement.
So for at least two centuries, there was a Sabbath-keeping family in the Americas that came from Europe (and it is possible that part of this family was in the true church from no later than the 12th century, see chapter 30). Apparently, many of them became Adventists in the latter portion of the 19th century. I also heard that there had been Cottrells in the 20th century who had once been part of the old WCG in Canada, but have not been able to completely verify this.
I have, however, personally spoken with retired Seventh-day Adventist minister, Stanley Cottrell, who often lectures on church history. Over the telephone, Stanley Cottrell verified the Richard Nickels’ account with me on 7/29/08 and 7/30/08. Stanley Cottrell specifically confirmed that his family came from the Albigensians in France, moved to England, Anglicized their name, came to (or were in) Rhode Island in 1638, and were seventh-day Sabbath-keepers.
A 20th century report by another SDA Cottrell admits:
Raymond F. Cottrell notes: “The extent to which pioneer Seventh-day Adventists were indebted to Seventh Day Baptists for their understanding of the Sabbath is reflected in the fact that throughout the first volume [of Advent Review and Sabbath Herald] over half of the material was reprinted from Seventh Day Baptist publications”.
One reason that this is significant is because it shows there were ties between those who had been SDBs and SDAs. And some of them may not actually have been SDBs, but in the COG.
Here is an account from someone part of a different group calling itself COG in the 1800s:
While the churches of God were earnestly contending for the unity of the body of Christ, schisms developed in some organizations, and new denominations sprung up. The Seventh-Day Adventists arose in 1845.
Here are two more reports from A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd which suggest COG connections. The first is about a church in the Western Hemisphere, specifically one in Rhode Island, and the second mentions a Coterell:
The church in Rhode Island was founded the year 1671, and Ephreta, Pennsylvania, May, 1725, with numerous other congregations throughout the eastern states as previously mentioned in this work. During these early colonial days congregations were at first isolated because of distance and a lack of means of travel with no roads between them. Thus being isolated from fellowship with one another, we find companies in one place called the Church of Christ, and the Church of God, while in other communities they were simply called “Sabbatarian Congregations,” but the belief was practically the same. They stood for the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, observing the true Sabbath, keeping the Lord’s Supper yearly on the 14th of the first month, with other tenets of faith in harmony with the true faith today. Owing to the isolation of these scattered companies they were known by different names which evidently gives rise to the Scriptural statement relative to the Sardis period, “I know thy works, that thou hast a NAME,” Revelation 3:1…
Names of Ministers from 1844 to 1860
It will be of interest to know who were leaders in the Church of God in America as the truth spread from state to state toward the west, and to the north and the south. Some of the leaders were as follows, J. N. Loughborough, M. E. Cornell, James White, Isaac Sanborn, Wm. S. Ingrahm, W. M. Allen, Joseph Bates, John Bostwick, J. N. Andrews, B. F. Snook, E. W. Shortridge, D. Richmond, C. Stanley, J. Sisley, J. Byington, H. Keeney, R. F. Cornwell, James Sawyer, B. F Robbins, E. J. Wagoner, B. McCormick, E. E. Taylor, G. W. Holt, J. Dudley, L. E. Jones, J. P. Fleming, J. Clark, Brother Butler, S. W. Rhodes, Luther Kerr, Brother Cramner, R. V. Lyons, R. E. Cotterell, A. C. and D.C. Bordau, A. S. Hutchinson, Brother Spery, H. S. Garney, M. S. Kellogg, Washington Morse, H. R. Lasher, and others.
It seems of interest to note that A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd considered the churches in the 17th and 18th centuries to be part of the Sardis Church of Revelation 3:1; which ones were truly COG and which were not, however, is not always clear.
It seems likely that Abel Noble, who came to the New World in 1684 from England, may have also brought Sabbatarianism with him. He is the one that apparently to first introduce it to those living in Penn’s colony. He may have been a minister in the Mill Yard Church in London prior to coming to the Americas, according to “two letters sent from London to Piscataway.”
Why Differing Accounts?
One question these accounts raise is, “Why are there differing accounts of early Sabbath keeping in the Americas?”
There are several reasons for this, including lack of records (“home” churches often have none), incomplete records, lost records, the appearance of Sabbatarians in more than one location, lack of actual as well as documented communication/coordination among Sabbath-keepers, and apparently doctrinal differences amongst the later historians.
Furthermore, based upon my research as well as my discussions with Stanley Cottrell, I am not sure why J. N. Andrews left out the Cottrells from his published research. Roswell F. Cottrell was not only a member, but a Sabbatarian minister.
Although “R. E. Cotterell” (possibly the same person as R. F. Cottrell) was mentioned in a book by A. N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd of CG7 as a minister, it may be that they left a discussion of the early Cottrells out of their book because by the time they wrote, many of the Cottrells were clearly part of the SDA or SDB, and not COG, movements.
The Cottrell family was quite prominent within the SDA movement for the entire 20th century.
However, they have been included in this text because it seems that some of the Cottrells in the 17th,, 18th, and early 19th century were probably part of the true COG. The fact that ultimately their descendants decided to follow the church of Ellen White is unfortunate, but does not change the link of that family from Europe to the Americas. Roswell Cottrell was also semi-Arian and apparently held that position until his death.
Furthermore, the Cottrell family helps demonstrate that there were Sabbath-keepers prior to the Millerite movement that ended up associated with it. Sabbath-keepers who expected the return of Christ were not a development that occurred after James and Ellen White (and some others associated with the Millerite movement) decided to observe the seventh-day Sabbath.
Whether the Mumfords were part of the COG movement or not has been debated. The fact is that there were Sabbath-keeping groups in Rhode Island in the 1600s, and some of them held COG doctrines. At least some of them appear to have been the spiritual descendants, as well as part, of the Sardis era Church.
It is reported that some of the American Sabbath-keepers may have kept the Feast of Tabernacles back then:
By 1683 the American churches had realized the need of closer personal contact between the members. With one church at Newport, on an island, and various scattered members on the mainland, they found great difficulty in meeting together as a group.
On October 31 of that year Hubbard wrote to Elder William Gibson, who at the time was living in New London, “O that we could have a general meeting! but winter is coming upon us.”
The first “General Meeting” was held in late May, 1684, shortly after Pentecost. All the brethren in New London, Westerly, Narraganset, Providence, Plymouth Colony and Martha’s Vineyard were invited to attend.
“The object of this meeting was to bring the members, so widely scattered together at a communion season.”
This was the first recorded general meeting of Sabbath-keepers in America. According to Hubbard 26 or 27 people were in attendance. Prayers were given and discussion took place on several doctrinal issues.
“By this time, more members lived on the mainland than at Newport. Sabbath keepers had lived at Westerly since 1666, converts of Mumford. At a yearly meeting of the Church, at Westerly, on September 28, 1708 (New Style), the decision was made to separate into two churches. There were 72 at Westerly and 41 at Newport. (The Feast of Tabernacles for that year started Saturday, September 29.) Previously it was common to hold the yearly meeting at Westerly. Its first elder, John Maxson, was ordained October 1, `by fasting and prayer and laying on of hands.”
There are strong indications that many of these annual meetings took place either during the fall Holy Day season or near Pentecost. Although these people probably had only a limited knowledge of God’s Plan of Salvation, pictured by these days, they were at least attempting to follow the Holy Day pattern that God had ordained.
So, Passover may not have been the only Holy Day that some American Sabbatarians in the 17th century were keeping.
Here is some information about one of the earliest groups in America in the 18th century:
In the year 1705, a church of Sabbath-keepers was organized at Piscataway, N.J. The first record in the old church record book, after the articles of faith, was the following statement, proving beyond all question that these early churches retained the Scriptural name of the Church of God. The record reads:
“The Church of God keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus Christ, living in Piscataway and Hopewell, in the province of New Jersey, being assembled with one accord, at the house of Benjamin Martin, in Piscataway, the 19th day of August, 1705 -- we did then, and with one mind, choose our dearly beloved Edward Dunham, who is faithful in the Lord, to be our elder and assistant, according to the will of God; whom we did send to New England to be ordained; who was ordained in the church-meeting in Westerly, Rhode Island, by prayer and laying on of hands, by their elder, William Gibson, the eighth of September, 1705.” -- Idem, p. 121, Vol. 2, No. 3.
The faith of the Piscataway church reads as follows:
“I. We believe that unto us there is but one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between God and mankind, and that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. I Corinthians 3:6, I Timothy 2:5, II Timothy 3:6, II Peter 1:21.
“II. We believe that all the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration, are the Word of God -- II Peter 1:19, 20, 21, II Timothy 3:16, Mark 7:13, I Thessalonians 2:13, Acts 4:29, 31 -- and are the rule of faith and practice.
“III. We believe that the ten commandments, which were written on two tables of stone by the finger of Cod, continue to be the rule of righteousness unto all men. Matthew 5:17, 18, 19, Malachi 4:4, James 1:21, Romans 7:25, Romans 3:21, Romans 13:8, 9, 10, Ephesians 6:2.
“IV. We believe the six principles recorded in Heb. 6:1, 2, to be the rule of faith and practice.
“V. We believe that the Lord’s Supper ought to be administered and received in all Christian churches. Luke 2:19, I Corinthians. 11:23, 26.
“VI. We believe that all Christian churches ought to have church officers in them, as elders, and deacons. Titus 1:5, Acts 6:3.
“VII. We believe that all persons thus believing ought to be baptized in water by dipping or plunging, after confession is made by them of their faith in the above said things. Mark 1:4, 5, Acts 2:38, Acts 8:37, Romans 6:3, 4, Colossians 2:12.
“VIII. We believe that a company of sincere persons, being formed in the faith and practices of the above said things, may truly be said to be the Church of Christ. Acts 2:41, 42.
“IX. We give up ourselves unto the Lord and one another, to be guided and governed by one another, according to the Word of God. I Corinthians 8:5, Colossians 2:19, Psalm 84:1, 2, 4-10, Psalm 133:1.” -- Idem, pages 120,121, Vol. 2, No. 3.
Although the Seventh Day Baptists claim that the above church was part of them, the fact that it originally taught that they were part of “The Church of God,” left out the term trinity, and stated that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God suggests that those in it were NOT what are NOW called Seventh Day Baptists. Seventh Day Baptists officially now teach the trinity. It is the non-trinitarian Church of God that continues to teach that the Holy Spirit is simply the Spirit or Power of God.
Perhaps it should be mentioned here that in 1851, a Seventh Day Baptist author partially traced the history of her church through semi-Arians in Armenia, thus the SDBs have included non-trinitarians in their history (and some COG-writers have erroneously included true Arians, which this text attempts not to do).
The following may describe the first Sabbatarians in Canada:
The first Sabbath-observers in Canada...were brought to Quebec against their will. The German Sabbatarians were pacifist fur traders in the Shenandoah Valley. In March 1757 a French priest led a party of Indians to attack the German Sabbatarians...Most of the German Seventh-Day Baptists were killed and scalped...Only three Germans were taken as prisoners...They eventually were taken to France...they died.
It may also be of interest to note that some Sabbatarians in New Jersey encouraged footwashing, as they wrote in 1750:
And now, dear brethren, we shall use the freedom to acquaint you with one thing, and do heartily desire to recommend it to your serious and Christian consideration, and that is about the duty to wash one another’s feet...1750.
practice of footwashing was also followed in Virginia and other churches in
West Virginia, and the Middle Island Church adopted it in 1870.
While evidence is against the idea that the pilgrims from the Mayflower kept the seventh day Sabbath, there is a lot of evidence and proof that Sabbath keepers did arrive in North America in the 1600s.
And, of course, there are still Sabbath keepers in North America today.
To learn more about early Sabbath keeping among Christians, see the article The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad.
To learn more about church history, see our free online booklet Continuing History of the Church of God.
Thiel B. Early Sabbath Keeping in North America. http://www.cogwriter.com/early-sabbath-keepings-america.htm COGwritr (c) 2016/2020
 Dugger AN, Dodd CO. A History of True Religion, 3rd ed. Jerusalem, 1972 (Church of God, 7th Day). 1990 reprint, chapters 20 & 21
 Kiesz J. CG7 elder and evangelist Kiesz gives church history. The Journal: News of the Churches of God, February 29, 2016, pp. 1,4
 Ward, Doug. The Pilgrim Sabbath. http://graceandknowledge.faithweb.com/pilgrims.html accessed 0305/16
 Mourt's Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, 1622, Part I. A RELATION OR JOURNAL OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE PLANTATION settled at Plymouth in NEW ENGLAND. http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/plymouth/mourt1.html accessed 0305/16
 Baptists. The Catholic Encyclopedia.
 Ball B. Seventh Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800, 2nd edition. James Clark & Co., 2009, p. 266
 Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, p. 485
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: a series of historical papers written in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, celebrated at Ashaway, Rhode Island, August 20-25, 1902, Volume 1. Printed for the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference by the American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Apr 11, 2008, pp. 39,40
 Ball, p. 85
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Vol 1 (pp.107-111.) Published by the American Sabbath Tract Society, Plainfield, NewJersey 1910 as quoted in Lyell L. John Trask. Friends of the Sabbath. July 1996, p. 11
 Ball, p. 311
 Falconer John. A Breife Refutation of John Traskes Judaical and Novel Fantyces. St. Omer, 1618, p. 31. As cited in Parker, p. 166
 Falconer, pp. 57-58. As cited in Ball, pp. 49-51. I have been unsuccessful in finding Falconer’s writing and quoted all that Ball actually quoted in this section, but without other added comments.
 Ball, p. 54
 Ball, pp. 56-57
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Vol 1, p. 12; Ball, p. 55
 Ball, p. 55
 Ball, p. 100
 Ball, pp. 89-91
 Ball, p. 89
 Ball, p. 97
 Daniel Noble, article. Originally in The Baptist Quarterly, July 20, 1922, pp. 135-138 http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/bq/01-3_135.pdf viewed 03/17/12
 1727 from Ball, p. 90; 1726 from “Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America” Volume 1, 1910 pp 63 - 115; 1726/1727 from Corrections to “Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America” Volume 1 as shown at http://www.seventh-day-baptist.org.au/library/books/sdbhist3.htm 3/17/12
 Cornthwaite R. An Essay on the Sabbath, pp. 42-43, 44, as cited in Cox R. The literature of the Sabbath question, Volume 2. Maclachlan & Stewart, 1865, p. 199.
 Ibid, p. 56, cited in Cox, pp. 199-200
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Volume 1, 1910 pp 63 - 115
 Ball, pp. 90,97-98
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, Volume 1, 1910 pp 63 - 115
 Cited in Nickels R. Six Papers on the History of the Church of God, p. 83
 Dugger, A History of True Religion, pp. 241,273
 Nickels, Six Paper on the History of the Church of God., pp. 20-21
 Ball, p. 290
 Ball, p. 120
 Leonard O. HISTORICAL SKETCH OF SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS OF NEW JERSEY in Griffiths TS. A History of Baptists in New Jersey. Barr Press Pub. Co., 1904. Original from Princeton University. Digitized Mar 17, 2008, p. 518
 THE SABBATH IN ENGLAND (A.) BRIEF HISTORY OF KNOWN CHURCHES, pp 39-63
 Ozell J. M. Mission Observations in His Travels over England. 1719. As cited in Ball, p. 9
 Quoted in Davis, Davis, Tamar. A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches. 1851; Reprinted 1995 by Commonwealth Publishing, Salt Lake City, p. 64
 Quoted in Davis, pp. 95-102
 Randolph CF. THE GERMAN SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS. In Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: A Series of Historical Papers Written in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, Celebrated at Ashaway, Rhode Island, August 20-25, 1902, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. Seventh Day Baptist General Conference by the American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized, Sep 25, 2007, p. 936
 Ibid, pp. 949-950
 Ibid, pp. 938-939
 Clarke H. A history of the Sabbatarians or Seventh Day Baptists, in America; containing their rise and progress to the year 1811, with their leaders’ names, and their distinguishing tenets... Seward and Williams, 1811. Original from the New York Public Library, Digitized Jul 21, 2008, pp. 8-9
 Andrews, pp. 498-499
 Davis T., cf. pp. 148, 207
 Davis T., pp. 148, 149
 The Memorial: Portraits of William Bliss [and others], pp. 2, 71
 Ibid, p. 119
 Ibid, pp. 31, 121
 Ibid, p. 127
 Burdick, WL. The Eastern Association. In Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: A Series of Historical Papers Written in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, Celebrated at Ashaway, Rhode Island, August 20-25, 1902, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. Seventh Day Baptist General Conference by the American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized, Sep 25, 2007, p. 589
 Backus I. Church history of New England from 1620 to 1804: containing a view of the principles and practice, declensions and revivals, oppression and liberty of the churches, and a chronological table. American Baptist Publ. and S.S. Society, 1844. Original from the University of California, Digitized Dec 5, 2007, p. 109
 Ball, pp. 105-107
 Clarke, H. A history of the Sabbatarians or Seventh Day Baptists, in America; containing their rise and progress to the year 1811, with their leaders' names, and their distinguishing tenets... Seward and Williams, 1811. Original from the New York Public Library, Digitized Jul 21, 2008, pp. 10-11
 Clarke, p. 11
 Burdick WL. The Eastern Association. In Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: A Series of Historical Papers Written in Commemoration of the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, Celebrated at Ashaway, Rhode Island, August 20-25, 1902, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference. Seventh Day Baptist General Conference by the American Sabbath Tract Society, 1910. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized, Sep 25, 2007 , pp. 649-650
 Clarke, pp. 19-22
 Clarke, p. 36
 Nickels, Six Paper on the History of the Church of God. pp.41, 161-162
 Nicholas Cottrell of Rhode Island. From: Rootsweb Archieves - COTTRELL Mailing List
Handwritten manuscript of “Descendants of Nicholas Cottrell of Newport and Westerly Rhode Island 1638. Outline compiled by Miss Ellen Rowland Cottrell of Old Mystic Conn. 1904-1910; added to and listed according to generations by Mr. and Mrs. Lisle Cottrell, Homer NY 1952”. This manuscript was sent to a only a few libraries, including the Seattle Public Library. http://www.jowest.net/genealogy/Jo/Hopkins/Cottrell.htm viewed 03/05/10
 The Tomaszewski Family Tree Cottrell Branch. http://tomaszewski.net/Family/Tree/Cottrell.shtml viewed 03/05/10. Cottrell E. NICHOLAS COTTRELL BIRTH TOWN. “The birth place probably should have been “Halesowen, Worcestershire, England”. “ http://mytreewebsite.com/cccottrell/Halesowen.html viewed 03/06/10
 The Memorial: Portraits of William Bliss [and others], p. 83
 Burdick, p. 634
 Davis T., p. 154
 Burdick, p. 656
 Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: a series of historical papers written in commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the organization of the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, celebrated at Ashaway, Rhode Island, August 20-25, 1902, Volume 1, pp. 233,278,298,310,378,455,508
 Spalding , Arthur Whitefield. Captains of the Host: A History of the Seventh Day Adventists. Published by Kessinger Publishing, 2005, p. 198
 Dedication of Minsters’ Monument, Aug. 28, 1899. By Hopkinton (R.I. : Town). First Hopkinton Cemetery Association, First Hopkinton Cemetery Association, Hopkinton, R.I. First Hopkinton cemetery association, Hopkinton (R.I. : Town). Published by Printed for the Association by the American Sabbath tract society, 1899.
Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Mar 15, 2006, pp. 6,22
 Bierce, Thurber Hoffman and Cottrell, Lisle. Ancestors in the United States of Byron H. Bierce and His Wife Mary Ida Cottrell of Cortland County, New York, 1962. Original from the University of Wisconsin - Madison
Digitized Jun 6, 2007, p. 94
 “Seventh Day Baptists and Adventists: A Common Heritage, Spectrum 9 , p. 4. As cited in Bacchiochi S. The Sabbath Under Crossfire. Biblical Perspectives, 1999, p. 89
 Forney CH. History of the Churches of God in the United States of North America. The Churches of God, 1914. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Jan 18, 2008, p. 78
 Dugger, A History of True Religion, pp. 252-253
 Burdick, pp. 668-670
 Nickels, Six Paper on the History of the Church of God, p.50
 Fletcher, I.C. THE INCREDIBLE HISTORY OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH. Copyright 1984, chapter 13
 Cited in Dugger, A History of True Religion, pp. 275-277
 Davis, pp. 20
 Neumann B. A History of the Seventh-Day Sabbath Among Christians in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Bible Sabbath Association, Gillette (WY), 2004, p. 28
 Randolph C.F. A History of the Seventh Day Baptists in West Virginia, 1905. Reprint 2005. Heritage Books, Westminster (MD), pp. 15-16
 Ibid, p. 15