Southampton Sons of the Ministry – Excerpt
by Rev. John P. Richardson
Israel Watson Searle is given a place among Southampton’s sons in the ministry from the fact that he was a foreign missionary. Although not ordained, nor even licensed to preach, yet he was, in some true sense, a minister… He was a native of the west part of the town, at the home now of Mr. Lyman W. Searle… He persevered in his studies until he was ready for college, in 1828, the year before Sheldon Academy opened. Then he entered Amherst College. He found there in the Senior class, Jeremiah Pomeroy; in the Sophomore class, Jesse L. Frary; and in the Freshman class with himself, Mahlon P. Chapman.
A practical shape was given to that question [of slavery], the year after Watson Searle graduated from college, by the formation of the American Anti-slavery Society, which had, for its end, death to slavery. In another way, it had shaped itself by the founding of Liberia, which was to be the home for freedmen from America, in which home they might enjoy privileges then denied them in the United States…
After teaching for a short time, at Keene, N. H., he was, indeed, sent to Liberia on a mission to the freedmen. He went out under appointment from the ladies of New York City as Superintendent of Schools. After a time, there appeared the following in the :”Liberia Herald,” published at Monrovia, Oct. 29, 1843:- : “Died in this town, of congestive fever, on Saturday, 13th, Mr. Israel W. Searle, aged twenty-four.”