Written July 1, 2020: This Coming Sunday, July 5, is the 241st Anniversary of the Invasion of West Haven, the Rev. Carl Howard will restore a tradition begun one year after the invasion by the Rev. Noah Williston, the Minister of the First Congregational Church of West Haven at that time. On the day of the invasion with the British Army approaching, Rev. Williston, trying to escape with Church records, fell and broke his leg while scaling a fence. As he was being tormented by British soldiers, Adjutant William Campbell, the senior captain and usually the highest officer in the front line of battle, ordered his soldiers to stop and to take Rev. Williston to his own surgeon to set the Reverend’s leg. Adjutant Campbell was killed later that day and is buried in Allingtown.
In memory of that act of mercy, Rev. Williston preached every year for the next 30 years (He died in 1811.) On the Sunday nearest July 5, on the subject of Jesus’ Beatitude: Blessed Are The Merciful, which will also be Rev. Howard’s topic this Sunday, July 5.
Adjutant Campbell’s act of mercy is the reason that West Haven is the only city in America where the main avenue is named in honor of an enemy soldier who attacked the city.