Deacon Samuel Chapin was born October 08, 1598 in Paignton, Devonshire, England, and died
November 11, 1675 in Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. He married Cicely Penny February
09, 1623/24 in Paignton, Devonshire, England, daughter of Henry Penny and Jane. She was born
February 21, 1601/02 in Paignton, Devonshire, England, and died February 08, 1682/83 in Springfield,
Samuel Chapin was the son of John Chapin of Paignton, and was Christened October 8, 1598. He
brought to the new world his wife, Cicelly Penny (Penney or Peny) daughter of Henry Penny of Paignton,
was Christened Feb. 21, 1601, whom he married at Paignton, February 9, 1623, and their five children.
(Some reports stated they brought their 'seven' children) In 1642 he became one of the founders of the
new settlement of Springfield, in Massachusetts, where William Pyncheon had already established
himself. He took a prominent part in the town in both civil and religious affairs, was a Deacon of the
church and a member of the first board of selectmen, for nine consecutive years.
As the story goes, the problem began in Scotland just about the time when Samuel decided to leave
England. A policy began of enforcing the new prayer book on Scotland. It was very nearly the same
prayer book as the new prayer book of today. That action set all of Scotland in flame. No doubt far and
wide there was the grumbling of the future revolution and the Pilgrim fathers were only samples of a
movement that was wider spread. They would not stand for it and remain in the old country. They loved
their country, but would go to a country where there was no fear of Roman domination or even High
church domination and so that exodus, so different from the colonization under Raleigh - took place.
They brought their children to the New World in 1638 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts and later
moved to Springfield where he was one of the founding members of the community. Deacon Samuel
Chapin was a forceful and dynamic man. He served his town in many capacities including Selectman,
Auditor and Magistrate and he was Deacon of the church for some 25 years.
One of Augustus St. Gaudens' most notable works is the statue erected to the memory of Samuel
Chapin, which was unveiled November 24, 1877, in Stearns Park, Court Square, Springfield. There are
replicas in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, at City Hall Square, Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, the Louvre, Paris, and the Dresden Gallery. In its title, The Puritan, the work assumes a
broad significance. It stands for a type of the Puritan character, stern, individual, resolute, vigorous,
God-fearing, the pioneer of the new world. The sturdy forceful man strides along on his way to meeting
on the Lord's Day with staff and Bible and with face set strongly towards his destination. The figure is of
bronze of heroic size, wearing the costume of his day, which lends itself admirably to picturesque
treatment, the long plain doublet, roomy breeches, heavy hose, buckled shoes, thick sugar-loaf hat, and
the great flowing cloak used by the sculptor to produce an original and unique effect.
Bronze figure, 8 feet 7 1/2 inches (2.63 m) The Puritan (Deacon Samuel Chapin),1883-86
The figure was commissioned by Chester W. Chapin (1798-1883), whose bust portrait served as a model
for the head of the figure of his ancestor. The monument was unveiled in Stearns Square, Springfield,
Massachusetts, on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. The Chapin family participated in the design of the costume
from their research of seventeenth-century woodblock prints. The Puritan is one of the first of his most
popular works from which Saint-Gaudens made reductions, beginning in 1898. Saint-Gaudens later
reworked the figure, retitled The Pilgrim, for Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.