Interim Content

Covel, James


Ca. 1770–Feb. 1850. Preacher, doctor. Likely born in Massachusetts. From 1791–ca. 1797, served as Methodist itinerant preacher, first in Litchfield, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, circuit; then in Otsego, Otsego Co., New York, circuit; Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, circuit; Marblehead, Essex Co., Massachusetts, circuit; and Lynn, Essex Co., circuit. Appointed a Methodist deacon, 1793. Married Sarah Gould, 28 Oct. 1795, in Marblehead. Settled in Marblehead, by 1796. Appointed an elder in Methodist church, by 1797. Moved to Maine, after 1800. Moved to Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Co., New York, 1808. Lived at Poughkeepsie until at least 1818. Moved to New York City, by July 1822. With William Stilwell, he ordained first elders of African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, 17 June 1822. A Communitarian; with William Stilwell and others, founded New York Society for Promoting Communities, ca. 1822. Established medical practice and drugstore with his son, John C. Covel, in New York City. Challenged Methodist establishment; presided over new Methodist Society meeting in New York City, 1826. Attended conferences of Methodist church in New York. Resided in Canadice Township, Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Elected president of Rochester Conference of Methodist Society, 13 Feb. 1830, in Ontario, Wayne Co., New York. A Jan. 1831 revelation counseled Covel to be baptized into Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; soon after, Covel rejected command to be baptized. Died in New York City.