Ezra Ripley Edit Profile
He was graduated from Harvard in 1776, taught, and subsequently studied theology, and in 1778 was ordained to the ministry in Concord, Massachusetts, where he continued for 63 years, preaching his last sermon the day after his 90th birthday.
Harvard gave him the degree of D.D. in 1818. Ripley was a leader in the temperance movement. At the time of his settlement in Concord the town was divided into two religious factions, but he quickly succeeded in binding them in a union that existed for nearly 50 years.
For nearly 50 years he was the only minister in town. His step-grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said of him:
With a limited acquaintance with books, his knowledge was an external experience, an Indian wisdom. He resided in the Old Manse.
In 1836, he gave land for the use of installing a monument to commemorate the battle of Concord, April 19, 1775. After the American Revolution, for 50 years there was a controversy between Concord and Lexington for the honor of “making the first forcible resistance to British aggression.” Ripley wrote a pamphlet on that subject, entitled a History of the Fight at Concord, in which he proved that, though the British had fired first in Lexington, the Americans fired first in his own town (Concord, 1827). He also published several sermons and addresses, and a Half-Century Discourse (1828).
Member school committee Concord. Member Massachusetts Temperance Society.
Married Phoebe Bliss, 3 children.