Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Rev. Dr. William Hague, Born in Pelham in 1808


On Saturday, July 30, 1887, Rev. Dr. William Hague laid aside his pen after finalizing revisions to the printer's proofs of the last pages of his book entitled "Life Notes or Fifty Years' Outlook."  That day he mailed those final revisions from his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts to his publishers in Boston.  The first thirty-six pages of his book were a chapter entitled "OLD PELHAM AND NEW ROCHELLE," containing his reminiscences of the boyhood he spent in Pelham during the early 19th century.  See Hague, William, Life Notes or Fifty Years' Outlook, pp. 1-36 (Boston, MA:  Lee and Shepard Publishers, 1888).  

Two days later on Monday, August 1, 1887, Hague traveled to Boston "to exchange congratulations with his publishers on the happy conclusion of his literary labors by the successful completion of his 'Life Notes or, Fifty Years' Outlook."  At 12:30 p.m., as he walked with friends on Tremont Street and passed in front of Tremont Temple, he collapsed and was caught by his friends before hitting the ground.  His friends helped him into the entrance of Tremont Temple and there, only moments after his collapse, he died of a massive stroke.  Reverend Hague, of course, never held a published copy of the book on which he had labored so hard.  It was published posthumously the following year, including its first chapter regarding his reminiscences of old Pelham.

I have written before about Rev. Dr. William Hague.  For two examples, see:  

Mon., Jun. 11, 2007:  Biography of Rev. William Hague, Born in Pelham in 1808.  

Tue., Sep. 30, 2014:  Pelham Resident Recorded His Impressions of Meeting Aaron Burr.  





Rev. Dr. William Hague.  Source:  Brown, John Howard, ed.,
p. 458 (Boston, MA: James H. Lamb Company 1900).
NOTE:  Click on Image to Enlarge.

A brief biography of Rev. Dr. William Hague appeared in his book published posthumously in an introductory section entitled "PUBLISHERS' NOTE."  It read, in part:

"Dr. Hague was born in Westchester County, N.Y., Jan. 4, 1808, and was a graduate of Hamilton College, New York, in the class of 1826.  He took his theological course at the Newton Institute, graduating in 1829.  He was ordained Oct. 20, 1829, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Utica, N.Y.  There he remained until called to the pastorate of the First Church in Boston:  his installation took place Feb. 3, 1831, the Rev. Dr. Wayland preaching the sermon.  In June, 1837, he entered upon his duties as pastor of the First Church in Providence, over which he was installed July 12, 1837, the sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. Barnas Sears.  The church commemorated while he was pastor the second century of its foundation, Nov. 7, 1839, and he preached an historical discourse on the occasion, which was published.  During nine months of the year 1838-39 he was abroad.  Sept. 20, 1840, in the Federal-street Church, Boston, he commenced his labors.  His subsequent pastorates have been in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Newark, N.J., Albany, N.Y., New-York City, Boston, Chicago, and Orange, N.J.  He was senior pastor of the Baptist Church at Wollaston Heights, Mass., at the time of his death.  Dr. Hague received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brown University in 1849, and from Harvard College in 1863.  He was chosen a trustee of Brown University in 1837.  Among the many productions of his pen were, 'The Baptist Church Transplanted from the Old World to the New,' 'Guide to Conversation on the Gospel of John,' 'Review of Drs. Fuller and Wayland on Slavery,' 'Christianity and Statesmanship,' 'Home-Life,' 'Emerson,' etc."

In his many writings, Hague wrote about his recollections of meeting Aaron Burr who had a home in Pelham Manor.  He wrote of witnessing a naval skirmish between British and American boats off the shores of Pelham during the War of 1812.  He wrote of Pelham during a much simpler time with love and sincerity.  The first chapter of his book Life Notes or Fifty Years' Outlook should be required reading for any student of Pelham history. 

*          *          *          *          *

Below is the text of a few items about the life and death of Rev. Dr. William Hague who was born in Pelham on January 4, 1808.  Each is followed by a citation and link to its source.

"THE REV. DR. HAGUE DEAD.

BOSTON, Aug. 1.  --  The Rev. William Hague, D. D., Senior Pastor of the Wollaston Heights Baptist Church, dropped dead in front of Tremont Temple this afternoon.  Mr. Hague was born at Pelham, Westchester County, N. Y., in 1808.  He was graduated from Hamilton College in 1826, and took his theological course at the Newton Seminary, where he was graduated in 1829.  He was ordained the same year, and became Pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Utica, N. Y., where he remained until he was called to the First Church in Boston in 1831.  He had been Pastor of churches in Jamaica Plain, Newark, N. J. and Albany, N. Y.  He received the degree of D. D. from Brown University in 1849, and from Harvard in 1863.  Dr. Hague was appointed a Trustee at Brown University in 1857, and he was the oldest living member of the board.  He wrote a number of religious and other works, and was regarded as one of the ablest and most scholarly ministers of the Baptist denomination.  The cause of his death is supposed to have been apoplexy."

Source:  THE REV. DR. HAGUE DEAD, N.Y. Times, Aug. 2, 1887, p. 1, col. 6 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).

"Death of Rev. William Hague.

BOSTON, Aug. 1.  --  Rev. William Hague, D. D., senior pastor of the Wollaston Heights Baptist church, dropped dead in front of Tremont Temple at 12:30 o'clock this afternoon."

Source:  Death of Rev. William Hague, The Wilkes-Barre News, Aug. 2, 1887, p. 4, col. 6 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).  

"PERSONAL AND GENERAL. . . .

REV WILLIAM HAGUE, D. D., aged seventy-nine, senior pastor of the Wollaston Heights Baptist Church, Boston, dropped dead in front of Tremont Temple on the 1st.  Mr. Hague had at various times been pastor of churches in Utica, Jamaica Plains, Albany, N. Y., and Providence, R. I."

Source:  PERSONAL AND GENERAL. . . . REV. WILLIAM HAGUE, D. D., Marion County Herald [Palmyra, Missouri], Aug. 5, 1887, p. 2, cols. 2-3 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).  

"Funeral of Rev. William Hague.

BOSTON, Aug. 6.  --  The funeral of the Rev. William Hague, D. D., took place in the presence of a large assemblage in Tremont Temple yesterday.  The audience was composed chiefly of aged contemporaries of the deceased, representatives of the Baptist denomination from near and far.  There was a profusion of the most delicate flowers arranged in varied and beautiful designs.  Rev. J. H. Murdock conducted the services and addresses were made by Rev. Mr. Olmsted, Rev. Dr. Hovey, Rev. George C. Lorimer, of Chicago, and Rev. J. C. Stockbridge, of Providence.  The body was taken to Albany for interment."

Source:  Funeral of Rev. William Hague, The Evening Bulletin [Maysville, KY], Aug. 6, 1887, p. 1, col. 5 (Note:  Paid subscription required to access via this link).  

"PUBLISHERS' NOTE.
-----

The eminent author of this volume closed suddenly his earthly life almost immediately after he had examined the last page of the appendices of this book.  On Saturday, the 30th of July, 1887, Rev. Dr. Hague sent by the mail, to the publishers, the last 'proof' pages of this work, which he had examined that morning at his residence in Cambridge, Mass.  He had written his final word, and had made his last revision.  On the Monday following he visited Boston, and was on his way to exchange congratulations with his publishers on the happy conclusion of his literary labors by the successful completion of his 'Life Notes:  or, Fifty Years' Outlook,' when he was stricken with apoplexy while walking on Tremont Street, and would have fallen to the pavement but for the timely assistance of friends.  He died soon after, in the entrance to Tremont Temple, near the place where much of his life-work had been done.

Dr. Hague was born in Westchester County, N.Y., Jan. 4, 1808, and was a graduate of Hamilton College, New York, in the class of 1826.  He took his theological course at the Newton Institute, graduating in 1829.  He was ordained Oct. 20, 1829, as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Utica, N.Y.  There he remained until called to the pastorate of the First Church in Boston:  his installation took place Feb. 3, 1831, the Rev. Dr. Wayland preaching the sermon.  In June, 1837, he entered upon his duties as pastor of the First Church in Providence, over which he was installed July 12, 1837, the sermon being preached by the Rev. Dr. Barnas Sears.  The church commemorated while he was pastor the second century of its foundation, Nov. 7, 1839, and he preached an historical discourse on the occasion, which was published.  During nine months of the year 1838-39 he was abroad.  Sept. 20, 1840, in the Federal-street Church, Boston, he commenced his labors.  His subsequent pastorates have been in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Newark, N.J., Albany, N.Y., New-York City, Boston, Chicago, and Orange, N.J.  He was senior pastor of the Baptist Church at Wollaston Heights, Mass., at the time of his death.  Dr. Hague received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brown University in 1849, and from Harvard College in 1863.  He was chosen a trustee of Brown University in 1837.  Among the many productions of his pen were, 'The Baptist Church Transplanted from the Old World to the New,' 'Guide to Conversation on the Gospel of John,' 'Review of Drs. Fuller and Wayland on Slavery,' 'Christianity and Statesmanship,' 'Home-Life,' 'Emerson,' etc.

Dr. Hague was in the eightieth year of his life, which had been marked especially by ministerial, literary, educational, and philanthropic achievement.  He was a scholar in a broad sense, and his acquirements and abilities were of the highest order.  He was a clergyman of profound religious convictions and of rare persuasive eloquence.  He gave character to all his endeavors, and embellished every occasion with which he was associated.  His aid to educational and to philanthropic institutions and causes is of permanent value.  His writings will have a lasting and important place in history; and this book, intended to be autobiographical to a considerable extent, will be found to contain the rich personal reminiscences of a noble life filled with great deeds, and consecrated to all that is uplifting, -- a life of love, of sincerity, and of truth."

Source:  Hague, William, Life Notes or Fifty Years' Outlook, pp. iii-iv (Boston, MA:  Lee and Shepard Publishers, 1888). 

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