Samuel John Mills

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Samuel John Mills Jr. (April 12, 1783 – June 16, 1818) was an American missionary. Born at Torringford (now part of Torrington), Connecticut, his father was Congregational minister Samuel John Mills (1768–1833) and mother was Esther Robbins.[1] He attended Williams College in Massachusetts and there organized the prayer group that held the Haystack prayer meeting. He entered Andover Theological Seminary in 1810, and was licensed to preach in 1812. While he was one of the group that led to the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions his missionary service was confined to the Mississippi valley. He suggested the formation of a National Bible Society. In May, 1816, thirty-five different bible societies met at New York and organized the American Bible Society. He also played a leading role in the formation of the American Colonization Society in 1817.

In 1818, following a brief stay in England, he sailed to the west coast of Africa to purchase land for the American Colonization Society, then embarked for the United States on May 22, and died at sea. His associate, Dr. Robert Finley, the founder of the National Colonization Society had died in 1817. His niece Julia Sherman Mills (1817–1890)[2] married missionary Samuel C. Damon (1815–1885), whose son Samuel Mills Damon (1841–1924) became a wealthy banker.[3]


  1. ^ William Buell Sprague; Noah Porter (1857). "Samuel John Mills". Annals of the American Pulpit: Trinitarian Congregational. 1. Robert Carter and brothers. pp. 672–677.
  2. ^ Hawaiian Mission Children's Society (1901). Portraits of American Protestant missionaries to Hawaii. Honolulu: Hawaiian gazette co. p. 79.
  3. ^ Samuel Chenery Damon (1882). Damon memorial: or, Notices of three Damon families who came from old England to New England in the XVIIth century.
  • Sarah Johnson and Eileen Moffett (Spring 2006). "Lord, Send Us". Christian History & Biography. 90: 35.
  • Richards, Thomas C. (Thomas Cole). Samuel J. Mills, Missionary Pathfinder, Pioneer and Promoter. Boston, New York [etc.] The Pilgrim press, 1906.