A Meeting in Maine

The Israel Dammon Story  

 Four years ago, while searching through Maine newspapers for the period 1827-1846, Frederick Hoyt, a history and political science teacher at Loma Linda University, found an item in one, the "Piscataquis Farmer." Recently, he showed it to Jonathan Butler (formerly of LLU, and currently working on a monograph entitled, "Ellen G. White and Victorian America: A Study of Prophecy, Culture, and Social Change" see WM-l72 for our analysis of that monograph, and WM-118 for an earlier statement on this forthcoming study), Ronald Graybill, associate professor of history at LLU (the individual who wrote the devastating attack on Ellen G. White for his doctoral thesis at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, completed in 1984 -see WM-77 for our analysis of that thesis), and Rennie Schoepflin, a history teacher at LLU.

They subsequently read into that newspaper report all kinds of terrible implications, as printed in "Spectrum," Volume 17, Number 5. For example, their implied conclusion that Ellen White and the faithful believers who attended that February meeting in Maine were fanatics:

"Hoyt: Maybe you don't want to deal with the term 'fanaticism: but it seems that we need a definition. Ellen White claims she was not a fanatic, that she was fighting fanaticism. What did she mean by this?

“Schoepflin: Fanaticism is bizarre and extreme behavior.

"Graybill: Could we try to position Ellen White in terms of any or all of the behaviors that any of these people [the false reports of the ungodly witnesses for the prosecution at the Israel Dammon Trial] might have considered fanatical?

"Hoyt: Sure, you can list them.

"Group Trances, shouting, rebaptism, crawling, rolling on the floor, kissing of feet, spiritual kissing (the holy kiss), condemnation, healing, feet washing, shut door, and work,"

That will afford you an idea of their view of Ellen and the faithful who attended that meeting.

This present analysis will provide the reader with an alternative view of what took place at that and similar night meetings. The following can only be considered as a thoughtful opinion, but then that is all that can be said for the conclusions of the men, mentioned above.

The premises that one brings to an analysis are impor­tant. A fundamental premise of Butler, Graybill, and Schoepflin would appear to be this: The prosecution witnesses gave an essentially truthful report of the meeting. In contrast, we will assume less credence for the accuracy of the witnesses for the defense. The near-scandalous conclusions that Butler, Graybill, and Schoepflin build on such premises are inevitable. The present writer will base his analysis on different pre­mises:

1. Ellen White was a prophet of God. She was present at that Saturday night meeting and apparently only rebuked individual sins, -not the wrongs that the witnesses for the prosecution claimed to be existing at that meeting.

2. Therefore, the believers present at that meeting were either devoted Christ­ians or individuals seeking a far deeper experience. Their testimony, as witnesses for the defense, at the trial would tend to be quite truthful and relatively accurate, to the degree that they could remember what had taken place.

3. The witnesses for the prosecution gave a radically different testimony that cannot be relied upon, for reasons given below.

In view of the above premises, let us re-examine what took place at that meeting. Our conclusions are based on the testimony of the witnesses for the defense-honest-hearted Advent believers,-as reported in the "Piscataquis Farmer" newspaper article.

Source: a February 1845 newspaper article in the "Pis­cataquis Farmer," describing the trial of Israel Dammon, on Monday and Tuesday, February 17-18, and the Saturday night meeting, in one of the believer's small living rooms, that preceded it.

Israel Dammon was a good man who had lived in that area for at least 30 years, and was well-thought of by most of the citizenry, until recently when some of the irreligious and ungodly men of the community became offended at his straight-forward preaching. He treated his wife well, had always supported her, and was doing so at the present time. He had enough supplies and savings stored up so that he could easily do this. But now he was occupying himself with full­time preaching, rather than regular employment, for it was his sincere conviction that Jesus was about to return. For this reason, he urged others to give their first attention to preparing for the soon-coming Advent. If you and I were there at that time, with the same convictions, we would probably do as he did.

Dammon had been holding night meetings in various re­sidences in the area. But, poor people as they all were, the severely limited space in family living rooms did not afford sufficient room for all that thronged in. So tables and other furniture were removed, and the few chairs in the house were pushed back against the walls, so that some of the ladies might sit on them, -and all the rest of the congregation sat in an orderly arrangement upon the floor. There was nothing wrong in any of this. (Jesus used the same method on at least one occasion; see Desire of Ages, page 365:3). They did the best they could with what they had. They were convicted that they had to be present at those meetings, and so they came-and filled the entire living room. So great was the urgency to be there that, occasionally when the room was too crowded, some would sit on the laps of others. But, as reported at the trial, in such instances of crowding, only those of the same sex would sit in this manner.

These little groups were not permitted to hold their meetings in the regular churches; why did they not get toge­ther and build themselves a meeting house? Two reasons: First, they felt that the coming of Christ was near; so why spend the time erecting church buildings. Second, they had al­ready been so deeply hurt by the vicious talk of non-believers in the community-both before and after the Great Disappointment of October 22,-that they preferred to meet privately in the homes of believers-in the hope that no non­believers would intrude themselves.

Upon arriving at the place of meeting, they would greet one another with a "holy kiss," probably upon the cheek or forehead. The unfortunate excesses indulged in by the McAllister group, in the late 1870's and early 1880's-all apparently starting with the "holy kiss," combined with warning statements given in later years in the Spirit of Prophecy, reveals that if such a greeting kiss is given, it is best reserved for men to men, and women to women. But Dammon's group did not have that insight, and God saw best not to clarify it through the Spirit of Prophecy until a later time.

But others also decided to come to those meetings. These were ungodly, rowdy men who would sit and heckle Dammon and the others during their solemn meetings. This is why Dammon became angry, called them devils, ordered them out, and even tried to forcibly eject them. If those men had merely come and sat quietly, no problems would have arisen.

And then those irreligious men left the meetings and, with proud taunts, slandered the characters of the faithful believers and spread false stories about what went on in their meetings. These were hardened men who had rejected the appeals of William Miller and all others, and had turned against genuine religion. So hardened were they that they could even attend such meetings as those that Brother Dammon conducted- and laugh and ridicule the faithful openly in these, their own gatherings!

And these were the men who became the witnesses for the prosecution! These are the men whose words Butler, Graybill, and Schoepflin accept in preference to the humble, honest statements of the early Advent believers living in Piscataquis County.

Those hooligans, in and around Atkinson, Maine, that did all they could to break up the meetings of the believers, first by their sarcasm, and then by calling in the local sheriff to arrest the preacher, -these are the kind of people spoken of in Jude 16 and 15 who are hell-bound. And shall we accept their testimony as truthful? No, for it proceeds from the prince of darkness.

And what went on at those meetings? First, there was preaching, -earnest, clear, and forceful. And there was concern to be ready for the coming of Christ. Some probably spoke to one another during the meetings: "Are you ready, my brother?" "Would you please forgive me? I have spoken against you." Such were the heart-touching scenes that transpired.

While some listened to the preaching, others prayed, still others wept. And others spoke with one another. There were also those who left the room to pray together for themselves and loved ones.

This was the "hollering, commotion, and disorder" that the men of Belial afterward reported as taking place at those gatherings. -Which was about all the sense they could make of it, for they had so steeled themselves against the influences of the Holy Spirit, that Satan now controlled their hearts.

What about the fact that people sat on the floor? There was nothing wrong in that. Lacking sufficient space and chairs they could not do otherwise. Folk sat in orderly rows; perhaps a man and his wife here; another man and his wife in front of them. One of the wicked men reported that women sat between the legs of men. They were speaking about possibilities they enjoyed thinking about. In reality, a woman might be seated on the floor in the next row in front of a man. There is no more evil in that than when you go to church and a woman sits in front of you. It requires an evil mind to imagine something bad about that.

One of the believers testified that the men and women sat on the floor "promiscuously." That word, a century-and-a-half ago meant that they sat on the floor in mixed groups; commonly. As the believers entered the room from the outside, they would be seated in orderly rows, one by another. In a meeting house filled with seats, you can select where you will sit. But when seated on the floor, it is best that the next one arriving be seated next in the row; then when it is filled, a new row is begun. And that is all that the word "promiscuous" means. Again, no evil intent, as the "Spectrum" commentators hinted.

Yet the space was not taken up so fully that individuals could not move to where another person was located. There were probably aisleways and an occasional row-way. The people were not static for hours on end. This was something of a social meeting as well as a preaching service. No one preached for 6 hours straight! There was preaching; there were also dis­cussions and conversations.

Visualize the situation: A meeting is in progress that may last for hours. The end of time is thought to be rapidly nearing, and the people are anxious to be there in that meeting with fellow believers. But, while it is in progress, in­dividuals here and there have a burden to speak with one an­other. How do they do it? by crawling. If you or I were there, that is how we would do it also. The speaker is normally the only one standing. To stand up would be a sign of disrespect to him, and would impede the view of those behind you. With so many sitting on the floor listening, if several stood up, it would break up the service for the amount of distraction it would introduce. So individuals would quietly crawl on their knees to one another and then speak softly together. This was no problem; nearly all were farmer-folk, used to every-day work around the farm, and they came wearing older clothing suitable for the occasion.

Very likely, the only time an individual stood to his feet was when he was the next speaker in front of the congregation, or when, having crawled to an exit, he would arise to leave the room entirely through a door.

Dammon probably was not the only one who spoke. Others may have also. No formal preaching probably occurred part of the time. And at other times, the preaching was so earnest and gripping that all were silent, until broken by some­one here or there that was convicted to speak to another, or give a testimony. These were real meetings, not formal play gatherings as so many are today. Jesus was about to return!

Yet, in a gathering - of so many - in a small room - with almost no chairs - in a service that might continue on for hours, -the only practical expedient would be for all to sit. Given such a gathering of country folk, it should not shock anyone that such folk would crawl on their hands and knees to speak with one another. If you were a man, would you rather have your wife crawl over to visit with another lady -or walk over past other men sitting, leaning on their elbows, perhaps below her dress length? Which would be more modest? The crawling would be preferable.

One witness remarked that Dammon had said that he had a spiritual wife and was proud of it. He only had one wife, and she was an earnest, spiritual-minded Christian. There was nothing wrong with his statement.

Why are these denominationally-salaried Bible teachers down at Loma Linda trying so hard to dig up dirt about the kind of meetings that Ellen Harmon attended in 1845? Dammon, and others with him, believed that it was too late for many to be saved (the shut-door theory), After the Satanic hardening of heart that had transpired before and after the previous October, that was not a remarkable view. Indeed, it was too late for some of those people to be saved; they had turned against a flood of light and powerful convictions by the Holy Spirit. Brother Dammon's meeting was held only four months after October 22,1844. Their innocent error regarding the finality and universality of the shut door was later to be corrected.

The "Spectrum" commentators were amazed that these folk believed in rebaptism,-as though it were some kind of fanatical error. They would do well to read the Spirit of Prophecy; the doctrine of rebaptism is a solid one, and many in our church stand in need of it today.

Dammon and some of the others (how many we are not told) erroneously believed that Jesus would return to earth "within a few weeks." Because of that fact, he felt that the faithful should prepare their hearts for Christ's immediate return, instead of engaging in normal employment. But he added that if Christ did not return soon, they should resume their regular employment. Brother Dammon had a doctrinal error, but it was an honest error, later to be corrected.

If any "rolling on the floor" occurred, it probably came as a result of heavy conviction by the Holy Spirit. There are other instances, in and out of the Adventist Church, where individuals have been so strongly moved by the Holy Spirit that they fell to the ground.

Foot-kissing is one of the distortions that the ungodly at the trial presented in order to make their case look better.

Graybill and the others, quoted in the "Spectrum" analysis of the Dammon court trial, said that "trances [being taken off into vision as occurred to Ellen Harmon that evening], condemnation [reproving of sins], healing, rebaptism, and feet washing were, each, evidences of fanaticism. We dis­agree. Almost anything can be carried to extremes, but we have seen no evidence of extremism at the Dammon meeting which Ellen Harmon attended that February 1845 evening.

Dorinda Baker, a 23 or 24-year-old young lady, was frail but respected by the group. That evening, either feeling ill or deeply concerned, she was helped into an adjoining bedroom by one or more ladies, at least one of whom remained in there with her. Later, a gentleman, not James White, was asked to go in and help her walk out. This he did.

Israel Dammon was generally the main speaker at these meetings, but on this particular night Ellen Harmon was in town and she met with the believers. A young Millerite preacher, James White, was with her. At most of these, her earlier first meetings, Ellen recounted the vision of her journey to heaven, but at this one, probably after speaking, she was taken off into vision. They laid her gently on the floor and, while  James supported her head, the believers considered the things that she would say as, from time to time, she would come out of vision and speak with them. Among other things, she reproved individual sins of some of those present.

Please note that she did not rebuke the fanaticism that the prosecution claimed was occurring all evening in that room. This is an important point. The reason she did not do so, was because there were no fanatical demonstrations by the believers.  

We are well aware that fanaticism was occurring at this general time in New England. But we should not think that it was taking place in that room that night, for it was not. If such had been the case, she would have reproved it. In other meetings during these same months, she quite openly and decidedly reproved fanaticism. If it had existed at Dammon's meeting, she would have been impressed by the Spirit of God to do it there.

Israel Dammon felt strongly that many of the other churches in that area were corrupt. His testimony matched that of Ellen White regarding the partial fulfillment at that time of the Second Angel's Message of Revelation 14:8. De­termined rejection of the Millerite Message and the Loud Cry Message that had climaxed only a few months earlier in October, was the reason for that dangerous condition of the churches at that time.

In all of this, we see no problem. That Saturday night meeting that Ellen White attended was normal, even routine, and without particular fault on the part of the brethren.

Our only danger today is to take the word of men who had rejected those solemn messages of the summer and early fall of 1844, instead of accepting the testimony of those who had proved faithful to them-even up to February of the next year.

It is of interest that Brother Dammon only quoted Scripture in defense of himself at the trial. He and the other faithful present in that courtroom were certain that time was short. Soon Jesus would return and all the persecutions of earth would be past. Why need they be concerned as to the outcome of this court trial?

Most of the courtroom proceedings occurred on Monday, February 17, 1845, and part of the next morning. That afternoon, Elder Dammon and his witnesses-which were the faithful Advent believers who, with him, looked forward to the soon return of Jesus,-requested permission to sing.

We read the transcribed words of their song at the conclusion of the newspaper report of the trial. And it is a sweet song. Just now, turn to the end of the "Piscataquis Farmer" newspaper report and read it, and recreate in your own heart the faith that burned in theirs so long ago.

If Satan comes to tempt your mind,
Then meet him with these blessed lines.
Saying, "Get behind me, Satan." I have naught to do with thee.
The battle is not to the strong,
The weak may sing the conqueror's song.
I've been through the fiery furnace, And no harm was done to me.

A little longer here below, And home to glory we will go;
I believe it! I believe it! Hallelujah, I am free!
We'll soon remove to that blest shore, And shout and sing forever more,
Where the wicked cannot enter To disturb our harmony.

  In offering the public the following report I feel it due to them as well as myself, to make a few remarks. When I volunteered to do it, I had no doubt but that the examination would have been gone through within the course of a few hours. Judge then, what must be my surprise on finding the Court House filled to overflowing, and having it occupy such a length of time. To the witnesses I will say, I have abridged your testimony as much as possible, and have omitted much of the most unimportant part, in order to shorten the work, but have endeavored in no case to misrepresent you, and if you find an error, I beg you to impute it to my head, instead of heart.-To the reader I will remark, that much of the testimony was drawn out by questions, and I have omitted the questions in all cases where it could be dispensed with and shorten the work. To all, I offer it as an imperfect and impartial report. In consequence of my total inexperience, being but a laboring man, I should shrink from publishing it, but from the urgent solicitation of others. Thanking the Court for the favor of a seat, by them, and the Court and Counsel for the use of their minutes, I sign myself this once THE REPORTER.

N. B. I have preserved the language of the witnesses as much as possible.

Monday, Feb.17,1845.


Prisoner arraigned before Moses Swett, Esq. of Foxcroft, associated by Seth Lee, Esq. of Atkinson, on the following complaint, to wit.

To Charles P. Chandler, Esq. one of the Justices of the Peace within and for the County of Piscataquis.

"HARTFORD J. ROWE, of Dover, in the Co. of Piscataquis, Yeo­man, upon his oath complains, that Israel Dammon, Commorant of Atkin­son, in said County, Idler, is, and for several days last past, has been a vaga­bond and idle person, going about in the town of Atkinson, aforesaid, in the county aforesaid, from place to place, begging:-that he the said Israel Dammon is a common railer or brawler, neglecting his calling, or employment, misspending his earnings, and does not provide for the support of himself family, & against the peace of the State of Maine, and contrary to form of Statute in such cases made and provided.

He therefore prays that the said I. Dammon, may be apprehended and held to answer to said complaint and dealt with relative to the same as law and justice may require."

Plead Not Guilty.

Court adjourned to one o'clock, P.M.

Opened agreeably to adjourment . C. P. Chandler, H. G. O. Morison, for State. J. S. Holmes, for Respondent.

Opened by Chandler. Cited chap. 178, sec. 9, Revised Statutes. Adjourned to Court House.

Ebenezer Blethen sworn. Have been in the house three times, saw nothing out of the way in elder Dammon. Have seen others. Objected to by Holmes. Confine your remarks to prisoner, he can in no ways be ac­countable for the conduct of others, and I object to any testimony except what goes to show what respondent has said or done as wholly irrelevant.

Question by Chandler. Who was the presiding elder at the meeting?

Answer- Elder Dammon presided and took the lead of the meetings that I attended.

Chandler and Morison. The meetings appear to be Elder Damman's meetings- he took the lead and guided them, and is accountable for any public misconduct, and ought to check it. We propose to show the character of his mee­tings, to show the character of the man.

By the Court: You may relate anything that took place at the meetings, where the respondent was presiding elder.

Witness: The first meeting I attended was two ­weeks ago yesterday-saw people setting on the floor, and laying on the floor; Dammon setting on the floor; they were leaning on each other. It did not have the appearance of a religious meeting.

Cross examination: Saw nothing like licentiousness-there was exhortation and prayer each evening. Was there last time after part of my family.

J. W. E. Harvey, sworn. Have attended their meetings two days and four evenings. First meeting lasted eight days-have known Dammon six weeks-Dammon, White and Hall were leaders. Dammon said the sinners were going to hell in two days. They were hugging and kissing each other-Dammon would lay on the floor, then jump up-they would frequently go into another room. Dammon has no means to support himself that I know of. The meeting appeared very irreligious-have seen him sit on the floor with a woman between his legs and his arms around her.

Cross examined. The room they went into was a back room; don’t know what was in it-I was in two rooms where there was a fire. In the back room they said the world's people must not go. Dammon said the meeting was to be a private meeting and they wanted no one to come unless they believed as he did in the Advent doctrine. I did go considerably-if the meetings were religious ones I thought I had a right to go to them-I went to satisfy myself what was done. I had no hostile feeling against them. I think they held the first meeting a fortnight. Dammon said he wanted no one to attend their meetings unless they believed in the advent doctrine.

Wm. C. Crosby, Esq. sworn: I was at the meeting last Saturday night, from about 7 o'clock to 9. There was a woman on the floor who lay on her back with a pillow under her head; she would occasionally arouse up and tell a vision, which she said, was revealed to her. They would at times all be talking at once, hallooing at the top of their voices; some of them said there was too much sin there. After the cessation of the noise, Dammon got up and was more coherent-he complained of those that came there who did not believe in the advent doctrine. At one time Dammon said there was hogs there not belonging to the band, and pointed at me, and said, I mean you, Sir. Subsequently he addressed me again-said, you can't drive us out of town; he stared me in the face and said, I am an honest man, or I could not look you in the face, and you have hell's brass or you could not look me in the face. Dammon said if he was owner of the house he would compel all unbelievers to leave it-they were setting and laying on the floor promiscuously and were exceedingly noisy.

Cross examined. Did he not say if there was any there who did not come for instruction, he did not want them there.

Ans. That is not what he said-he pointed to me and said he meant you-I never was more pointedly addressed in my life-we stood 5 or 6 feet apart, most of the men were on the floor-most of the women in chairs-Do not know how long Dammon has been in town.

Thomas Proctor sworn. Saw the prisoner last Saturday-was present when he was taken; know nothing of the meetings myself.

Moses Gerrish, sworn: I have never attended any of their meetings, when the prisoner was present.

Laton Lambert, sworn: They were singing when I arrived-after singing they sat down on the floor-Dammon said a sister had a vision to relate-a woman on the floor then related her vision. Dammon said all other denominations were wicked-they were liars, whoremasters, murderers, etc.­ He also run upon all such as were not believers with him. He ordered us off-we did not go. The woman that lay on the floor relating visions, was called by Elder Dammon and others, imitation of Christ. Dammon called us hogs and devils, and said if he was the owner of the house he would drive us off-the one that they called imitation of Christ, told Mrs. Woodbury and others, that they must forsake all their friends or go to hell. Imitation of Christ, as they called her, would lay on the floor a while, then rise up and call upon some one and say she had a vision to relate to them, which she would relate; there was one girl that they said must be baptised that night or she must go to hell; she wept bitterly and wanted to see her mother first; they told her she must leave her mother or go to hell­, one voice said, let her go to hell. She finally concluded to be baptised. Imitation of Christ told her vision to a cousin of mine, that she must be baptised that night or go to hell-she objected, because she had once been baptised. Imitation of Christ was said to be a woman from Portland.

A woman that they called Miss Baker, said the devil was here, and she wanted to see him-she selected me and said, you are the devil, and will go to hell. I told her she want my judge. Mr. Ayer then clinched me and tried to put me out door. I told him we had not come to disturb the meeting. The vision woman called Joel Doore, said he had doubted, and would not be baptised again-she said Br. Doore don't go to hell. Doore kneeled to her feet and prayed. Miss Baker and a man went into the bed room-subsequently heard a voice in the room hallo Oh! the door was opened-I saw into the room-she was on the bed-he was hold of her; they came out of the bed room hugging each other, she jumping up and would throw her legs between his. Miss Baker went to Mr. Doore and said, you have refused me before, he said he had-they then kissed each other-she said "that feels good"-just before they went to the water to baptise, Miss Baker went into the bed room with a man they called elder White--saw him help her on to the bed-the light was brought out and door closed. I did not see either of them afterwards. Once I was in the other room talking with my cousin. Dammon and others came into the room and stopped our discourse, and called her sister and me the devil. Imitation of Christ lay on the floor during the time they went down to the water to baptise, and she continued on the floor until I left, which was between the hours of 12 and 1 o'clock at night.

Cross examined. Answer. The visionist lay down on the floor I should think about 7 o'clock-she lay there from that time until I left. Dammon and others called her Imitation of Christ. Part of the time Dammon was down on the floor on his back--can't say certainly who first said she was in Imitation of Christ, but can say Dammon repeatedly said so-Dammon said Christ revealed to her and she to others. I am not acquainted with elder White. They called him Eld. White. They said if the Almighty had any thing to say, he revealed it to her, and she acted as mediator.

Wm. Ricker, sworn. Know elder Dammon -l went to attend their meeting once: they told me there would be none-l asked them where it would be on the next Sabbath? they told me they know not where; but they did not admit any but the advent band. I asked Dammon if that was Christ's religion? He said it is ours.

Leonard Downes, sworn. Went to meeting with Loten Lambert, and kept with him; heard him testify, and know what he has related to be true. He omitted one thing. I saw Dammon kiss other people's wives. Witness under­went a severe cross examination, in which his testimony was so near a repetition of Mr. Lambert's, that it is by me, considered useless to copy it.

Wm. C. Crosby re-examined. I saw no kissing, but heard about it. I did not stay late, went about 7, left about 9 o'clock. After the visionist called them up she told them they doubted. Her object seemed to be to convince them they must not doubt.­ Dammon called the churches whore­masters, liars, thieves, scoundrels, wolves in sheep's clothing, murderers, etc. He said read the Star. By spells it was the most noisy assembly I ever attended-there was no order or regularity, nor any thing that resembled any other meeting I ever attended-Dammon seemed to have the lead and the most art. I don't say Dammon shouted the loudest; I think some others stronger in the lungs than he.

Dea. James Rowe, sworn. I was at Ayer's a short time last Saturday evening-EIder Dammon found fault with us for coming to his meeting, he spoke of other denominations as Esq. Crosby has just testified-said the church members were the worst people in the world. I have been young, and now am old, and of all the places I ever was in, I never saw such a confusion, not even in a drunken frolic. Dammon stood up on the floor and said, I am going to stand here and while I stand here, they can't hurt you, neither men nor devils can't hurt you.

Cross examined. He said all churches, made no distinction. I put no meaning to what he said, I only state what he did say. I have been acquainted with the prisoner 20 or 30 years; his character was good until recently.

Jeremiah B. Green, sworn. I attended an afternoon meeting a fort­night ago yesterday-they had an exhortation and prayer in the evening-saw men wash men's feet, and women wash women's feet-they had dishes of water. Elder Dammon was the presiding elder--I saw Dammon kiss Mrs. Osborn.

Ebenezer Trundy, sworn. I was at meeting week before last, -I heard Dammon say "God's a coming! God's a coming!!" Mr. Boobar was telling of going into the woods to labor-Dammon said he ought not to go. Boobar said he had a family to support and was poor. Dammon told him he must live on them that had property, and if God did not come then we must all go to work together.

Joseph Moulton, sworn. When I went to arrest prisoner, they shut the door against me. Finding I could not gain access to him without, I burst open the door. I went to the prisoner and took him by the hand and told him my business. A number of women jumped on to him-he clung to them, and they to him. So great was the resistance, that I with three assistants, could not get him out. I remained in the house and sent for more help; after they arrived we made a second attempt with the same resuIt-I again sent for more help--after they arrived we overpowered them and got him out door in custody. We were resisted by both men and women. Can't describe the place-it was one continued shout.

Wm. C. Crosby, Esq. called again.

Prisoner has been reported to have been there about a fortnight with no visible means of support.

J. W. E. Harvey, re-examined.

Prisoner has been there considerable. I know of no means he has of support, other than to live on his followers.

T. Proctor, re-examined. Prisoner has been reported as a man who has no means of support-I do not know of his having any.

Jacob Martin sworn: It is the common report that the prisoner is living upon his followers. I have attended no meetings of theirs. Have seen a number of sleighs there, and fifteen or twenty strangers.

Benjamin Smith, Esq., Selectman of Atkinson sworn: I have been called upon by the citizens of Atkinson to interfere and put a stop to these meetings-they gave as a reason, that the defendant and others were living upon certain citizens of said town-and that they were liable to become town charge. I started to-day to go there, but learned that the prisoner had been arrested and that the others had dispersed.

Here the government stopped. Court adjourned to half past six o'clock.

Evening-Respondent's witnesses.

James Ayer, Jr., affirmed: The most of the meetings were at my house. I have generally attended them-sometimes I was out. I have heard the testimony on the part of the State. Some things stated I do not recollect. I was there last Saturday evening-saw no kissing. I agree with Crosby and Lambert substantially. I understood prisoner to say there were members of the churches who he re­ferred to instead of the whole. Saw the woman with a pillow under her head, ­her name is Miss Ellen Harmon, of Portland. I heard nothing said by her or others about imitation of Christ. I saw Miss Baker laying on the floor. I saw her fall. Saw Miss Baker and sister Osborn go into the bedroom-sister Osborn helped her on to the bed, came out and shut the door. There was no man in the bedroom that evening. I heard the noise in the bedroom, brother Wood of Orrington and I went in; asked her what was the matter, she made no reply, and I went out. Brother Wood assisted her off of the bed, and helped her out-she appeared in distress. She told brother Doore she was distressed on his account-was afraid he would loose his soul, and advised him to be baptised. Did not see them kiss each other. It is a part of our faith to kiss each other-brothers kiss sisters and sisters kiss brothers, I think we have bible authority for that. I understood the prisoner to say, there was an account in the Star, of a Deacon who had killed seven men. The reason of our kneeling, I consider an object of humiliation.

Cross examined.-I know nothing about Miss Harmon's character. I did not say there was no kissing-I saw none. Did not hear her called imitation of Christ. Elder Dammon has had no other business, but to attend meetings. He and another man from Exeter, came with a young girl. Dammon said he had a spiritual wife and he was glad of it. I went to Mr. Lambert and said if he disturbed the meeting, he must go out door. We went to the water after eleven o'clock-brother Dammon baptized two. I know nothing about sister Baker's character-seen her at meeting in Orrington. I understood sister Harmon had a vision at Portland, and was traveling through the country relating it.

Job Moody affirmed: I was at meeting Saturday evening. Brother Dammon said in relation to other churches they were bad enough; said they were corrupt; he spoke of the Star-he did say they were thieves, etc. I am not certain, but think he said that evening there was exceptions. Sister Harmon would lay on the floor in a trance, and the Lord would reveal their cases to her, and she to them.

By the Court.

Answer. Mr. Dammon repeatedly urged upon us the necessity of quitting all labor. Kissing is a salutation of love; I greet them so -we have got positive scripture for it-I reside in Exeter.

Here the witness was told he might take his seat. He said I have some testimony in relation to brother Dammon's character, if I am not a going to be called again. He then stated that he had been acquainted with brother Dammon five or six years, and his character was good. He works part of the time, and preaches a part of the time. I have been serving the Lord and hammering against the devil of late.

Isley Osborn affirmed: I know nothing bad in brother Damman's character. He believes there is good, bad, and indifferent in all churches, he thinks it best to come out from them, because there is so many that has fallen from their holy position.-Do not recollect hearing him use the expressions about churches they have sworn to, but have heard him use as strong language against them. Do not call sister Harmon imitation of Christ. They lose their strength and fall on the floor. The Lord communicates to them through a vision, so we call it the Lord. Brother White did not go into the bedroom, nor any other man.

Cross-examined: She told them their cases had been made known to her by the Lord, and if they were not baptized that evening, they would go to hell. We believed her, and brother Dammon and I advised them to be baptised. Brother Dammon thought it best to keep the meetings secret, so they would not crowd in. Hold to kissing-have scripture exhortation for that. Sister Baker has a good character-the wickedest man in Orrington says she has a good character, and that’s enough to establish any character, when the worst man admits it (roar of laughter) We wish to go through the ordinance of washing feet in secret. Did not see any kissing, but presume their was, as it is a part of our faith. Think Esq. Crosby's testimony correct.

By Court:­

Answer. Elder Dammon does advise us to quit work.

Abraham Pese, affirmed. Reside in Exeter, prisoner's character is as good as any man in Exeter. He has a small farm, and small family. He is a reformation peacher-reformation has followed his preaching.

Gardner Farier, affirmed: Reside in Exeter-prisoner provides well for his family. He has been to my house, and I to his-he always behaves well. I saw him in Atkinson a fortnight ago last Tuesday.

Court adjourned to Tuesday morning 9 o’clock.

Tuesday, 18. Jacob Masor affirmed: Reside in Garland. Brother Dammon said the churches were of that description, said they were liars, rogues, &c. I did not understand him to include all, but individuals. Sister Baker’s character is good. Do not recollect of brother Gallison using any compulsion, to make his daughter go forward in baptism. I saw elder White after sister Baker went into the bedroom, near sister Harmon in a trance-some of the time he held her head. She was in a vision, part of the time insensible. Saw nothing improper in brother Dammon that evening. I never knew him a beggar, or wasting his time.

Cross-examined: Do not know who it was that went into the bed-room with sister Baker. -he was a stranger to me; he soon came out. Can't say how soon he went in again. I have heard Crosby testify, and think him correct. I thought her visions were from God---­she would describe out their cases correct. She described mine correct. I saw kissing out door, but not in the house. A part of the time we sat on the floor-both me and women promiscuously. I saw no man go into the bed­room. They wash feet in the evening. It is a practice of our order to kiss, on our meeting each other. Sister Harmon was not called imitation Christ to my knowledge. I think I should have heard it if she was. I believe in visions. Sister Harmon is 18 or 19 years of age; she is from Portland.

Joel Doore, affirmed: Reside in Atkinson -elder Dammon said there was bad characters in the churches; I did not understand him to say all. He preaches louder than most people; no more noisy that common preachers of this faith. The vision woman would lay looking up when she came out of her trance-she would point to some one, and tell them their cases, which she said was from the Lord. She told a number of visions that evening. Brother Gallison's daughter wanted to see her mother before she was baptised, but finally concluded to be baptised without seeing her.

Sister Baker got up off the floor, and went to Lambert to talk with him. I saw no more of her, until I heard a noise in the bed-room; they went and got her out, as the other witnesses have stated. After she came out, she said she had a message to me. She said I had thought hard of her, (I acknowledged I had) but I became satisfied of my error, and fellowshiped her. We kissed each other with the holy kiss-I think elder White was not in the bed-room that evening; but I don't know how many, nor who were there. The girls that was baptised were 17 years old, one of them had been baptised before. We have scripture enough for every thing that was done. There was not one tenth part of the noise Saturday evening, that there generally is at the meetings I attend. As far as I am acquainted with elder Dammon, I consider him a moral good man.

Cross examined. When she kissed me, she said there was light ahead. We believe her (Miss Baker's) visions genuine. We believe Miss Harmon's genuine-t'was our understanding that their visions were from God. Miss Hammond told five visions Saturday night. I did not tell any person yester­day that it was necessary to have any one in the room with her to bring out her trances I did engage counsel in this case to defend the prisoner.

John H. Doore, sworn. I was not at meeting Saturday evening. I belong to the society, and have seen nothing out of character in anyone. Don’t consider elder Dammon a bad man-he’s a man I highly esteem. My daughter was baptised Saturday evening-she has been baptised before. I have both seen men and women crawl across the floor on their hands and knees.

George S. Woodbury, sworn. I am a believer in the Advent doctrine-I have attended every one of the meet­ings in Atkinson.

[This witness was very lengthy in his testimony, both on examination and cross examination. It amounts to the same as the preceding witnesses for the defence with the following additions.]

He thinks elder White was not in the bed room, but others were in. We don't acknowledge any leaders, but speak according to the impulse. The elders baptise. I believe in Miss Harmon's visions, because she told my wife's feelings correctly. It is my impression that prisoner kissed my wife. I believe the world will come to an end within two months-prisoner preaches so. I believe this is the faith of the band. It was said, and I believe, that sisters Harmon and Baker's revelations as much as though they came from God. Sister Harmon said to my wife and the girls if they did not do as she said, they would go to hell. My wife and Dammon passed across the floor on their hands and knees. Some man did go into the bed-room. Heard brother Dammon say the gift of healing the sick lay in the church.

By the Court.

Ans. Elder Dammon advises us not to work, because there is enough to live on until the end of the world. John Gallison, affirmed. [Chandler observed that he had thought of objecting to this witness on the ground of insanity, but upon reflection, he would let him proceed, as he believed it would sufficiently appear in the course of the examination.]

I have been acquainted with elder Dammon as a Freewill elder a number of years. He asked Dammon how long it was. D. answered 6 years. I have been at his house frequently-everything was in order and in its proper place. I have attended every meeting. I have seen some laying on the floor, two or more at a time-have seen nothing bad in the meetings. (Witness here described the position Miss Harmon lay in on the floor, when she was in a trance, and offered to lay down and show the Court if they wished to see. Court waived it]

Witness related the visions similar to the other witnesses, but more unintelligible.

Did not hear her called Imitation of Christ. I know she won't, for we don't worship idols.

Cross examined. I believe in visions, and perfectly understand that, but suppose we are not before an Ecclesiastical Council -Elder Dammon does not believe as he used to. [Witness read from the Bible.] We do wash each other's feet-do creep on the floor very decently. I think he has baptised about eleven, but can't say certain how many-I have the privilege of knowing how they behave as well as anyone else. I have no doubt sister Harmon's visions were from God-she told my daughter so. I expect the end of the world every day. I was in favor of my daughter being baptised-I could not see ahead to see the devil's rabble coming, but since they have come, I am certain we did just right

Abel S. Boobar, affirmed. [Most of the testimony of this witness was a repetition of what others have testified to, of which the reader I think must be weary]

I did not see White go into the bedroom with Miss Baker-heard the noise in the bed room. Others did go in. Elder D said the churches were in a fallen state, and he had rather risk himself in the hands of the Almighty as a non-professor, than to be in the place of some of the churches. I believe fully in the faith. [Witness affirmed the story of kissing, rolling on the floor, and washing of feet.]

Joshua Burnham, sworn. I have known Miss Dorinda Baker from five years of age-her character is good­-she is now 23 or 24 yes of age. She is a sickly girl, her father has expended $1000 in doctoring her. I was at the meeting Saturday night-it was appointed for the lady to tell her visions.

Adjourned to half past one o'clock.

Levi M. Doore, sworn. I have attended more than half of the meetings-my brother's testimony is correct-agree also with Mr. Boobar.

Question by Respondent. Answer. Elder Dammon's mode of worship now is similar to what it used to be.

Cross examined by Morrison. Did they use to sit on the floor? Ans. No. Did they use to lay or crawl on the floor? Ans. No. Did they use to kiss each other? Ans. No. Did they use to go into the bed-room? Ans. No. Did they use to tell visions? Ans. No.

By Morrison. Why do you say that his mode of worship is similar to what it used to be? Because he preaches similar.

Did he use to preach that the end of the world was at hand, and baptise in the dead hours of night? Ans. No. The reason we sit on the floor is to convene more people-sometimes we take some in our laps, but not male and female. Don't know of br. D. spending money uselessly. I am a believer. Sometimes we sit on the floor for formality. Our faith don't hold it to be essential. [Witness repeated the mode of kissing, visions, etc. similar to the others] I never heard br. Dammon say he wished to destroy the marriage covenant. [Respondent here re­examined a number of witnesses, all of whom testified that he used his wife well, and appeared to love her.]

Stephen Fish, Exeter, sworn. I attended the meetings at Atkinson, last summer-have attended most all of the Quarterly Meetings for seven years-have been to elder Dammon's house, and he to mine-he provides well in his house-he has always opposed the mode of paying the ministry by regular salary. [Here the defence closed.]


Ebenezer Lambert, Esq. sworn. Last Sunday evening Loton Lambert told me the story of the meeting the evening before-he related as he testified yesterday almost verbatim.

John Bartlett, of Garland, sworn. I have heard the respondent say that one of their band was near to him as another--he considered them all alike. It is the general opinion in our town that the prisoner is a disturber of the peace, and ought to be taken care of. I have been acquainted with Elder Dammon seven years--his character was always good until within about 6 weeks.

Loton Lambert re-examined. He affirmed all his former testimony; does not know Elder White, but Joel Doore told me it was White that was in the bed room with Miss Baker.

Cross examined. There was nothing to obstruct my views-the man had on a dark colored short jacket, and I think light pantaloons.

Leonard Downes re-examined. Did see Miss Baker come out of the bed room with a man, he had his arm around her-see her go in with a man and shut the door. He had on a short jacket, dark colored, and light colored pantaloons-saw her kiss Mr. Doore-she said "that feels good."

Thomas Proctor re-examined. Prisoner stated to me that Miss Baker had an exercise in the bedroom, and he went in and helped her out.

Cross examined. I have said I wished somebody would go and do it. I have said elder Hall ought to be tarred and feathered if he was such a character as I heard he was. I was at one meeting, but as to divine worship there was none. They told us they allowed none there but believers.

A.S. Bartlett, Esq. sworn. Yesterday I saw Mr. Joel Doore and Loton Lambert conversing together. I went to them-I heard Doore say to him, it was Elder White that was in the bed room with Miss Baker-Lambert said that was what I wanted to know. I so understood, and think I am not mistaken. I also heard Doore say there was a noise in the bed-room. Elder Flavel Bartlett, sworn. I think Prisoner does not belong to the Free Will Baptist Church. He is not in fellowship with them.

Joseph Knights of Garland, sworn. I attended one of Dammon's meetings in Garland, he behaved well until meeting was over. After meeting was over I saw him hugging and kissing a girl. It is the common re­port in Garland, that he is a disturber of the peace.

Plyn Clark, sworn. I attended their meeting a week ago last Wednesday or Thursday night. [This witness gave a general character of the meeting as described by others.]

I heard one hallo out "I feel better"-others said "good enough." I think the whole character of the meeting was demoralizing.

J. W. E. Harvey, called. I have attended the meetings a number of times-I have seen prisoner on the floor with a women between his legs-I have seen them in groups hugging and kissing one another. I went there once on an errand-Dam. halloed out "Good God Almighty, drive the Devil away." I once saw elder Hall with his boots off, and the women would go and kiss his feet. One girl made a smack, but did not kiss his foot with her lips. Hall said "he that is ashamed of me before men, him will I be ashamed of before my father and the holy angels." She then gave his feet a number of kisses.

Joel Doore, Jr. called for the defence. I have heard brother Dammon preach that the day of grace was over with sinners. Respondent said "that is my belief."

Levi M. Doore, called. Br. Wood was dressed in light pants and dark jacket.

Joel Doore, Jr. called. Br. Wood went to the baptism and was about all the evening.

James Boobar called. Sister Baker and br. Wood were about all the evening. Elder White had a frock coat and dark pants.

Prisoner opened his defence & cited Luke 7 chapter 36 verse ­John 13 chapter-Last chapter in Romans-Philippians 4th chapter-1st Thessalonians 5th chapter. Holmes followed with the defence. Holmes closed the defence with signal ability. Chandler commenced in behalf of the State. Cited 178 chapter 9th and 10th sections Revised Statutes; he dwelt upon the law; after which Morrison summoned up the testimony and closed with a few brief and appropriate remarks.

Elder Dammon again rose for further defence. Court indulged him to speak. He read 126th Psalm, and the 50th Psalm. He argued that the day of grace had gone by, that the believers were reduced; but that there was too many yet, and that the end of the world would come within a week.

The Court after consultation sentenced the prisoner to the House of Correction for the space of Ten Days, From this judgment Respondent appealed.

Tuesday morning the prisoner having taking his seat, rose just as the Court came in, and shouted Glory to the strength of his lungs.

[We placed the following poem in paragraph form to save space.-vf]

"COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE." See Rev. 18th Ch. 4th V. By John Craig.

While I was down in Egypt's land, I heard my Saviour was at hand;
The midnight cry was sounding, And I wanted to be free, 
So I left my former brethren, To sound the jubilee.

They said that I had better stay,
 And go with them in their old-way;
But they scoff at my Lord's coming
With them I could not agree, 
And I left their painted synagogue 
To sound the jubilee.

Then soon I joined the Advent Band,
Who just came out from Egypt's land;
They were on the road to Canaan,
A blest praying company,
And with them I am proclaiming
That this year's the jubilee.

They call us now a noisy crew,
And say they hope we'll soon fall thro;
But we now are growing stronger,
Both in love and unity,
Since we left old mystic Babylon
To sound the jubilee.

We're now united in one band,
Believing Christ is just at hand 
To reward his faithful children 
Who are glad their Lord to see;
Bless the Lord! our souls are happy 
While we sound the jubilee.

Though opposition waxes strong,
Yet still the battle won't be long; 
Our blessed lord is coming, 
"His glory we shall see” 
Keep up good courage brethren
This year's the jubilee.

If Satan comes to tempt your mind,
Then meet him with these blessed lines,
Saying, "Get behind me, Satan, "  p;
I have naught to do with thee; 
II have got my soul converted, 
And I'll sound the jubilee.o:p>

TThe battle is not to the strong,
The weak may sing the conqueror's song;
I've been through the fiery furnace,
And no harm was done to me,
 I came out with strong evidence 
This year's the jubilee.o:p>

AA little longer here below,
And home to glory we will go;
I believe it! I believe it! 
Hallelujah, I am free 
From all sectarian prejudice 
This year's the jubilee. /font>

We'll soon remove to that blest shore,
AAnd shout and sing forever more,
Where the wicked cannot enter 
To disturb our harmony; 
BBut we'll wear the crowns of glory 
With our God eternally."p>