Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Madness - Henry Loveall, aka Desolate Baker

This morning's adventure at Google Books has taken me on a historical journey into the life of Henry Loveall, aka, Desolate Baker. I have always "had", The History of the Loveall Family in America, written by Michael Sullivan, genealogist and family researcher. However, I've found so many wonderful quotes to back up Sullivan's narrative.

To note, this was an easy search, as Henry Loveall was a note-worthy man; famous for his licentious behavior in the Baptist Church, and well documented.

A few of my finds:

John Houston Harrison, 1975, Settlers by the long grey trail: some pioneers to old Augusta Co., Virginia and their harrison Descendants (Shortened), Google Books, pg 176.

""...The Chestnut Ridge church, at Baltimore, Maryland, was the 24th oldest church of the Baptists in America....The first pastor of the church was Rev. Henry Loveall, a native of Cambridge, England, and a former resident of Newport, Rhode Island, 1729, and Piscataway, New Jersey, 1730. From New Jersey he removed to Chestnut Ridge, Maryland, in 1742 and to Virginia in 1746. The Rev. Loveall was FORCED TO RESIGN, and in 1751-2 was succeeded by Rev. Samuel Heaton...."."

Jon Butler, Awash in a sea of faith: Christianizing the American people, Google Books, pg 122.

"".... in 1728 or 1729 the Piscataway congregation ordained Henry Loveall as its minister, despite an association suggestion that they wait until Loveall had preached to them for a trial period. After ordaining him, the congregation discovered that Loveall was an impostor named Desolate Baker who had changed his name to hide a BIGAMOUS second marriage, sexual LIASONS with slaves and Indians, and even a case of syphilis. The assocation used Piscataway's predicament to shame it into acknowledging the association's authority. Nathaniel Jenkins, the association's correspondent, flippantly observed that Desolate Baker's alias was all too well suited to "one who loves so well the Black, the swarthy and the White"...."."

Elder John Sparks, The Roots of Appalachian Christianity: The Life and Legacy of Elder Shubal Stearns, Google Books, pg 20.

"".... while on the journey he helped ordain a preacher who went by the name of Henry Loveall, who later turned out to be AN ESCAPED CONVICT from Long Island named Desolate Baker who used his position in the General Baptist ministry for several years as a cover for his real identity as well as additional questionable activities...."."

Julius Friedrich Sachse, The German Sectarians of Pennsylvania: 1742-1800, Google Books, pg. 101.

"....back to Burlington county to visit a hermit or recluse who lived the life of an anchorite near Crosswick Creek, a short distance from Burlington. The Chronicon speaks of him as 'John Lovell, an old Pythagorean'. Who he was or what connection there was between the Ephrata Brotherhood and this recluse does not appear.
In an old Baptist record, dated 1746, mention is made of one Henry Loveall, or Lovell, who came to New Jersey from New England about 1730-1732 and settled near Piscataqua, three miles east of New Brunswick, and one north of the Raritan river. The town was on the site of an old Indian village, and was a seat of justice as early as 1683. This Loveall, or Lovell, preached to the Baptists there for over two years, and then was ordained.
The old record further states that Lovell was never permitted to administer the holy ordinances, and that he was soon after excommunicated from the church for behaving himself in an eccentric and disorderly manner.
There can be but little doubt that the John Lovell of the Chronicon and the Henry Lovell of the Baptist records were one and the same person. Whether he was, as claimed, identical with the hermit, who lived for almost forty years in the dense pines about four miles east of Burlington, and who, in his obituary notice, is called Francis Furgler, is an interesting question. Whether the name "Lovell" by which the Ephrata Brethren knew the recluse, was his real or assumed name we have no means of knowing. If the name in the obituary was the true one, and it was the same person, there is some possibility of his having originally come from Germany....."

The latter, mentioning Henry Lovell as also a John Lovell and a potential German recluse, I do not consider factual. There is no data to back this up - where as there is much data acknowledging his true name as Desolate Baker, from Cambridge, England.

Just goes to show that not all is true! It is only one perspective on telling history, and in this case, I consider it false. Still, an interesting look into the Lovell family (who knows what ties Henry Loveall had with existing Lovell's in old New England).

Again, the fascination with the Loveall family in America is that, so far, everyone surnamed LOVEALL is tied to Desolate Baker. Many have changed their name to LOVELL over the years, which makes things a bit confusing as not all LOVELL's are attached to the LOVEALL family.

Sounds though that Desolate Baker, aka Henry Loveall (or the other way around) was a licentious man, an "impostor" perhaps. And potentially an escaped convict? Ooh, I'll have to explore that one more. Definitely fitting for Monday Madness.

Thanks Google Books for thrusting me into a Monday exploration.