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The William Ellis Foy Collection


William Ellis Foy (c. 1818-1893) was a seminary-trained black Millerite preacher who received two visions in 1842, which he lectured on extensively and published in The Christian Experience of William E. Foy, a 24-page booklet, in 1845.  Foy received a third and fourth in 1844. A teenage Ellen Gould Harmon (White) went to hear Foy relate his visions several times in her hometown of Portland, Maine, later stating that "it was remarkable testimonies he bore." After the Great Disappointment Foy spent four decades in active ministry.


 

This photo is believed to be of William Foy's son, Orrin

(Courtesy of Michael W. Campbell)



The cover of William Foy's booklet, which outlines his conversion experience and first two visions

(Courtesy of James R. Nix)



The last page of Christian Experience, featuring signatures of witnesses of Foy's visions as well as a certificate of his membership at the Freewill Baptist Church

(Courtesy of James R. Nix)



The site of William Foy’s second vision, the African Methodist Episcopal Church on May Street on Beacon Hill, Boston

(Courtesy of Boston Public Library)



The Second Methodist Chapel on Bromfield Street in Boston, where Foy first shared his visions

(Courtesy of Congressional Library Exhibits)



Casco Street Church in Portland, Maine, where Ellen White first heard William Miller in 1840 and most likely where William Foy also spoke

(Courtesy of Ellen G. White Estate)



A portrait of Nancy Foy Lawson, first cousin of William Foy, by William Matthew Prior (Courtesy of Shelburne Museum)



Silas Curtis, the minister who converted and baptized William Foy in 1835

(Courtesy of the Ellen G. White Estate)



Grove Street where Foy lived during the period he received his visions. Located on Beacon Hill, its crowded citizenry contained both black and white residents

(Courtesy of Delbert W. Baker)



Map of the city of Boston as it looked in 1843. Beacon Hill and other streets referred to by Foy can be found in Section 6

(Courtesy of Delbert W. Baker)



The 1841 Boston Directory with Foy at bottom

(Courtesy of Delbert W. Baker)



The earliest extant photo of James and Ellen White, 1857

(Courtesy of Ellen G. White Estate)



The only extant photo of Robert Harmon, Ellen White’s father, who took her and the family to hear William Foy speak on numerous occasions

(Courtesy of the Ellen G. White Estate)



New England camp meeting in the middle 1800s with blacks sprinkled throughout the audience



Anti-Millerite poster from the 1840s conspicuously showing blacks connected with the movement



William Foy's Record of Death

(Courtesy of the Ellen G. White Estate)

 


William Foy's tombstone located in the Birch Tree Cemetery in East Sullivan, Maine. On his tombstone is inscribed an appropriate epitaph: "I have fought a good fight..."

(Courtesy of Delbert W. Baker)