The Reverend John Williams (1664-1729) of Deerfield, Massachusetts, died twenty-five years after being taken captive with his family and other Deerfield residents in the French and Indian raid on the town in 1704. Williams was well-known in New England because of his two-year captivity ordeal and for his unceasing efforts to bring home his children and other Deerfield captives still in Canada. The Reverend Isaac Chauncey's funeral sermon for Williams was typically lengthy. It extolled repeatedly Williams's personal piety and sterling ministerial qualities despite personal tragedy and affliction. Printing particularly noteworthy sermons was a common practice in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Date: June 12, 1729