An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Jarvis, Samuel Farmar

(Jan. 20, 1786-Mar. 26, 1851). First historiographer of the Episcopal Church. He was the son of Bishop Abraham Jarvis of Connecticut. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Jarvis graduated from Yale College in 1805. He was ordained deacon on Mar. 18, 1810, and priest on Apr. 5, 1811. From 1811 to 1813, he served St. Michael's Church, Bloomingdale, New York, and from 1813 until 1819, he was the rector of St. James' Church, New York City. In 1819 he became the first professor of biblical learning at the newly established General Theological Seminary. Jarvis left that position in 1820 over a disagreement with Bishop John Henry Hobart. From 1820 until 1826, Jarvis was the first rector of St. Paul's Church, Boston. For the next nine years he traveled in Europe, visiting its most important libraries. In 1835 he returned to the United States, and for two years was the professor of oriental literature at Washington (now Trinity) College. From 1837 until 1842, Jarvis was rector of Christ Church, Middletown. On Sept. 16, 1838, the General Convention named him historiographer of the Episcopal Church, with the directive to prepare “from the most original sources now extant, a faithful Ecclesiastical History, reaching from the Apostles' times, to the formation of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States.” Only one volume, The Church of the Redeemed, was published, in 1850. Jarvis died in Middletown, Connecticut.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.