This Week's Gravestone

Reverend Amos Drury


Meeting House-Congregational Burial Yard Cemetery, Pittsford VT

Editor's note: Peggy Jenks is working on a history of early gravestone carvers. She sends this addendum: I believe that broken Pittsford stone on the web site was carved by Smith Sherman & sons of Castleton or at least someone in that group. There is a matching signed stone Old Hartford, NY. Also the Carolyn B. Ellis, 1824-1845 stone in West St., Fair Haven. The Sherman's carved many stones in Castleton.

Reading from the The Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Volume 3 by Abby Maria Henemway, 1877:

Rev Amos Drury was born in Pittsford, Vt Dec 8, 1792. He was the eldest of 9 children of Deacon Calvin and Azubah Harwood Drury. His father Calvin was born in Temple, Mass May 8, 1765 and was the son of Ebenezer, born in Shrewsbury, Mass January 19, 1734. His mother was the daughter of Rev E Harwood, the first pastor of the Congregational church Pittsford, Vt.

While a child he was hopefully converted, and united with the church, in his native town when only 8 years of age. He had no literary education except from the common school and academy; worked on his father's farm till of age. Then to gratify his father's choice, studied medicine with the physician of his native town and attended one course of lectures at the Medical Institute, Castleton, Vt. His own desire had been to become a minister and before completing his medical studies, he changed his purpose in that direction. Studied theology with Rev EH Dorman of Georgia Vt and Rev Josiah Hopkins DD of New Haven, Vt teaching district and singing schools at intervals to defray his expenses. He was licensed to preach in the fall of 1818 by the Addison Association and first settled as pastor of the Congregational church in West Rutland, Vt as successor of Rev Lemuel Haynes (the colored minister) preaching the sermon. Here he continued until after the breaking out of the anti Masonic excitement occasioned by the murder of Morgan. Being himself a Free Mason his connection with the order was attacked and he was dismissed at his own request April 22, ’29. Without a Sabbath's interval he went to Fair Haven where he was installed pastor May 6, ’29, Rev Beriah Green of Brandon preaching the sermon. From Fair Haven he was dismissed in May ‘37 and again without a Sabbath's interval began preaching at Westhampton, Mass having declined a call to Windsor, Vt. He was installed pastor of the Congregational church at Westhampton June 29 ’37, Rev Harley Goodwin of New Haven Conn preaching the sermon. He died while on a visit to friends at Pittsford, Vt July 22, ‘41 in his 49th year.

His disease was pronounced by Dr. Perkins of Castleton Medical Institute to be yellow lever, as nearly as the climate would admit of. His farewell sermon at West Rutland was published; also one or two sermons or addresses delivered before the order of Free Masons. He received the degree of MA from Middlebury College, in 1824. Feb 7, ‘20 he was married to Sarah P Swift of Fairfax, Vt who survived him 23 years—children: Amos K, George B, Sarah A, Horace and Henry twins b. April 27, 1828 d. Sept 8 and 9 ‘28 Horace Henry b. Sept 25, ‘29 d. April 19 ,33 and 3 children that in infancy.

Rev Willard Child DD preached his funeral sermon at Pittsford from Matt. 25,23: “His Lord said unto him well done”, &c. The last sermon he wrote he did not live to preach. It was prepared for the Communion Sabbath after he should return from his visit to Vermont. It was read to his people by Rev Mr. Wiley at the first communion service after his death. The last benediction which he pronounced to his own people was Num 6 24 to 26: “The Lord bless thee and keep thee” &c.

Mr. Drury is characterized as not a great sermonizer but an impressive preacher a man of very solemn deportment in the pulpit and more than usually gifted in prayer of deep feelings and warm attachments faithful and self- sacrificing. A man of more than ordinary ability and success; possessing great knowledge of human nature and a large stock of common sense; of jovial disposition; generous nature always governed by Christian principle; firm in family government; could not tolerate trifling or duplicity; a good pastor who knew familiarity and these traits constantly tested for his wife was always an invalid. His salary was small and he was always pecuniarily embarrassed until the last two years of his life.

Abby Maria Henemway's article has Reverend Drury passing on July 22, 1841; his headstone is inscribed August 22, 1841. On the lower portion of his headstone, a cinerary urn is carved. Most cinerary urns are 'draped' urns; this one is not. It would be interesting to take a probing rod and see if the missing piece of stone is under the sod!