Covel, James 

Biography

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. With other reformers, challenged Methodist establishment. 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 1817. Moved to New York City, by July 1822. With William Stilwell, he ordained the first elders of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Member of John Street Church in New York City. Presided over meeting in New York City, 1826. Established medical practice and drugstore with son, John C. Covel, in New York City. Member of New York County Medical Society, 1823. Attended conferences of Methodist church in New York. Member of clergy in Methodist church. A Communitarian; with William Stilwell and others, founded New York Society for Promoting Communities. 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. Likely baptized into LDS church. A Jan. 1831 revelation concerned Covel and his covenant with the Lord; soon after, another revelation noted Covel’s breaking of that covenant. Died in New York City.