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Lemuel Haynes (1753 – 1833) was one of the most significant ministers during the founding generation of America. The son of a free black man and a white woman, Haynes would become one of the first people of African descent to become an ordained minister and receive a degree of higher education in the nation. He would eventually rise to prominence as a talented preacher and preside over integrated congregations. Earlier in his life, however, Haynes worked on a farm in Connecticut as an indentured servant before volunteering to fight in the militia during the War for Independence. Serving notably during the siege of Boston, he harbored a deep admiration for General George Washington throughout the rest of his life.

After the war Haynes studied Latin and Greek, In many his sermons and writings, Haynes staunchly denounced slavery and instead advocated for the equality of rights in society for both whites and blacks. In 1787, the same year that the US Constitution was written, he was officially ordained as a preacher, and in 1804 he received a degree from Middlebury College. Politically, Haynes was a staunch Federalist and opposed the War of 1812. This sermon was preached by Haynes in 1820 and this copy specifically was seemingly given by Haynes to a fellow minister Israel Warburton Putnam.

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