Black Sabbatarian and Seventh-day Adventists, 1850s-1870s

 Eugene Hardy (Courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Library)


Elias Leonard Platt and Henrietta Jane (Hellem) Platt

Birth date (Elias): 1813

Conversion: 1851

Children: William Kendrell (1835-1918), Benjamin (d. 1858), Charles, James, Gerrit, Amelia

Occupation (Elias): Lumber, real estate, entrepreneur   

Death date (Elias): May 13, 1854

Death place (Elias): Callao, Peru

Report: “We formed a happy acquaintance with Bro. and Sr. Platt who kindly entertained us much of the time we were in Bath. We were delighted with the order, and good behaviour of their dear children. We do not design to flatter; but as an orderly family, where children are trained as they should be, is so seldom found, we cannot refrain from mentioning this case. We hope to hear that the entire household is devoted to God, observing all his commandments.” -James White, “Our Tour West,” Adventist Review, February 17, 1852, p. 5.

Total black Adventists in family: 8 (Elias, Henrietta, William, Benjamin, Charles, James, Gerrit, Amelia

Eri Barr Family

Name: Eri L. Barr

Birth date: May 23, 1814

Birthplace: Reading, Vermont

Father: William Barr

Conversion: 1852

Spouse: Lori Ze(r)viah Harvey

Wedding date: December 7, 1842

Child: Emma (b. 1844)

Occupation: Mechanic, Adventist minister

Death date: May 16, 1864

Death place: Alma, New York

Total black Adventists in family: 2 (Eri, and Emma)

Horace Barr Family

Name: Horace Barr

Birth date: October 20, 1815

Birthplace: Maine

Father: William Barr

Conversion (Horace): c. 1852 by brother Eri

Spouse: Betsey Wilder (race: white), Harriet (race: black)

Children: Ella/Eunice, Anna (both with Betsey)

Occupation (Horace): Farmer, local elder in the Andover SDA Church (Vermont)

Death date (Horace): December 7, 1886

Total black Adventists in family: 4 (Horace, Harriet, Ella, Anna)

Canadian Abolitionist

Name: Unknown

Origins: Upper Canada (Toronto)

Conversion: August 1855 from meetings given by Joseph Bates and Eri Barr

Occupation: Abolitionist, lecturer

Report: Joseph Bates and E.L. Barr, “Tent Meetings,” Review and Herald, September 4, 1855, pg. 36

Hardy Family

Name: William J. and Eliza (Watts) Hardy

Birth date (William): January 9, 1823

Birthplace (William): New York State

Wedding date: 1844

Children: Alice (b. August 1847), Eugene D., Asher, Lloyd, William H., Mary Ellen

Conversion (Eliza): c. June 1857 in an evangelistic effort by J.B. Frisbie; William followed shortly after

Occupation (William): Politician; church clerk and elder of Caledonia/Gaines SDA Church

Occupation (Eliza): Housekeeper

Death date (William): June 8, 1888

Death date (Eliza): December 13, 1890

Death place: Dutton, Michigan

Total black Adventists in family: 8 (William, Eliza, Alice, Eugene, Asher, Lloyd, William, Mary)

Phila Weston

Name: Phila Weston

Conversion: January 1853

Place: Sandy Hill, Washington County, Vermont

Report: "We found a Bro. Freeman and his daughter in Sandyhill, who appeared interested in the Sabbath, and a colored sister Weston who saw the Sabbath, and said she should keep it."

-Elon Everts, "From Bro. Everts," Review and Herald, January 20, 1853, pg. 2


Melissa “Busha” Dixon

Birth date: 1845

Birthplace: North Carolina

Occupation: Helper, nurse

Contact with Adventism: Student at Battle Creek in 1869-1870

Report: “My first book will be ready for distribution next week. Will send you one when it is out. We have Busha Dixson with me sewing now. She seems to be a very fine, good girl. She is mulatto. Has been at the Institute for eight months.” -Ellen G. White, May 17, 1870

Addie Guy

Name: Addie Guy

Life dates: February 20, 1862-April 3, 1876

Lived: Salon, Kent County, Michigan

Total black Adventists in family: 1

Minisee Family 

Name: James Henry Minisee

Birth date: February 25, 1823

Birth place: Yates, Dutchess County, New York

Spouse: Marie/Maria

Wedding date: 1854

Children: George Henry, Mary, Charles, Jane, Frank, Julia Grace, Helen Elizabeth, Emma Margaret, Anna Maria

Conversion: c. 1863

Occupation (James): Farmer

Death date (James): April 6, 1913

Total black Adventists in family: 10 (James, Marie, and 8 children)

Minisee Family 

Name: William F. Minisee/Minesee

Birth date: c. 1826

Birth place: New York State

Wife: Mary A.

Children: One son

Conversion: c. 1859

SDA Church: Gaines Township, Michigan

Occupation (William): Farmer

Death date: May 24, 1877

Total black Adventists in family: 3 (William, Mary, and son)

Unknown Enslaved Black Man

Conversion: Summer-Fall 1864, through preaching of Isaac Sanborn and L.G. Bostwick, in Johnstown Center, Wisconsin

Former occupation: “Coach driver for his master,” later escaped

Source: I. Sanborn, “Quarterly Meeting in Johnstown, Wis.,” Review and Herald, October 18, 1864, 165 


Four converts in Powder Mills, Kentucky

Conversion: May 1875, Powder Mills, Kentucky, through preaching of Silas Osborn

Report: Silas Osborn, "Kentucky," Review and Herald, April 1, 1875, 6

Edmund Killen 

Conversion: March 1878, in Reynolds, Georgia

Occupation: Sharecropper, minister

Report: C.O. Taylor, "Reynolds, Georgia," Review and Herald, March 14, 1878, 5

Charles Marshall Kinny/Kinney

Birth date: 1855

Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia

Conversion: September 28, 1878, in tent meeting in Reno, NV, held by J.N. Loughborough

Occupation: Minister

Death date: August 3, 1951

Death place: Nashville, Tennessee

Sharecroppers on W.F. Killen's land

Conversion: December 1877, Reynolds, Georgia

Report: C.O. Taylor, "Reynolds, Georgia," Review and Herald, January 3, 1878, 6-7