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Browsing: Legal Papers of John Adams, Volume 2

This note contained in document ADMS-05-02-02-0003-0002-0001
7. Act of 25 Jan. 1758, c. 20, §§1, 3, 4 A&R 67–68, renewed to 30 Jan. 1771 by Act of 31 Jan. 1761, c. 21, 4 A&R 420. As to the construction of this act, see note 8 below. The 1758 act did not contain the provisions of earlier measures (note 4 above) that those exempted should be deprived of the vote on church matters and that the exemption should not apply in new towns. As to the former, see No. 31, note 511. As to the latter, see text at note 10 below. Subsequent legislation carried forward the exemption and certificate provisions, with the major variation that a town could vote to exempt Baptists and Quakers without regard to certificates. See Act of 20 Nov. 1770, c. 10, 5 A&R 111; Act of 16 June 1774, c. 6, 5 A&R 392. For Baptist objections to the 1753 act, see Petition of 29 May 1754, 4 A&R 122–126, discussed in Goen, Revivalism and Separatism 270–271. Although the 1753 act's requirement of certification by other churches (text at note 6 above) was not carried forward by statute after 1758, the practice seems to have been continued. The Baptists of Haverhill in John White's case (note 8 below) submitted to the assessors not only the requisite certificate of their pastor and elders, but certificates of the First and Second Baptist churches of Boston and James Manning's Warren, R.I., church that the Haverhill church had been received as “Breathern and Sisters of the same Denomination,” and that the pastor, Hezekiah Smith, was duly ordained and qualified. SF 131793.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018.