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HOOKER, Thomas (Rev.) [1586-1647] -- American colonial preacher

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Founder of the State of Connecticut and the city of Hartford, he is considered the Father of American Democracy. Renowned as a powerful and gifted preacher, whose talents and refusal to strictly conform to the tenets of the established Church of England, then under Archbishop Laud, forced him to flee to Holland in 1630. From there he immigrated to MBC in 1633. After his arrival, differences with the Massachusetts authorities, notably John Cotton, over the issue of suffrage were peaceably resolved when Rev. Hooker led a party of 100 followers overland to found the new town of Hartford in 1636. Later, this and two other settlements joined together to form the Connecticut Colony. The Rev. Hooker's liberal political principles were put into practice when the new colony adopted the Fundamental Orders - the first written constitution.

He was the author of the Survey of the Summe of Church Discipline (1648), which work has been called the most important of Congregational church polity.  -30-
 

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