Franklin Bowditch Dexter.

Biographical sketches of the graduates of Yale College : with annals of the college history (Volume 4) online

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ident Stiles's unwillingness to distinguish him by special

The number of the graduating class at its entrance in
1781 had been small, owing mainly to the favorable busi-
ness opportunities which arose at the close of the war ; but
by the time of graduation it had risen to seventy a num-
ber which was not exceeded by any graduating class until

The College records preserve the following memo-
randum of the expense of the dinner furnished on
Commencement Day :

A List of Articles used in Commencement Dinner, Sept. 14, 1785

140 Ib. Flour @ 2d % , 1. 6. 3

67 Ib. Fresh Pork @ 4d I. 2. 4

ioy 2 Ib. Lamb @ 4d 3. 6

20 Ib. Butter @ lod 16. 8

2 doz. Fowls @ IDS i.

20 Ib. Salt pork 8d 13. 4

5 Bushlls. Apples y$ 7. 6

i Bushll beats 4.

Cabbage 5-

Potatoes 3.

Spices 6.

Pepper ^ Salt 2/ 4. 3

Vinegar ^ Pickles 3/ 4. 6

Hogslard, 10 Ib. 6/ 2 Load Wood i8/ i. 4.

i Ib. Candles lid Soap 2/ 2.11

i Woman 3 Days @ 3/ 9.

37 6 Yale College

1 do. 2 l / 2 Days to Scour 3 / 6 8. 9

2 Men 6 Days each @ 4/ 2. 8.

i Barrell Cyder 8.

6 Gallns old do 6.

12 Ib. Cheese 6d 6.

no Ib. Beef @ 3^d 1.12. i

Use of Platters, plates, Table Cloths, &c. )

Sundry small things f

To my Time & Trouble in preparing 3.10.

19.11. i

Erros Excepted Jeremiah Atwater Steward

Sketches, Class of 1785

*Samuel Jacobus Andrews

*Jeremias Mix Atwater, A.M. "1832

*Josephus Badger * 184.6

*David Ludovicus Beebe, A.M. 1789 *i8c>3

*Guilielmus Pitt Beers *i8io

*David Belden, 1787 "1832

*Ebenezer Belknap *i842
*Barnabas Bidwell, A.M. et Guil. 1797, LL.D.

Brun. 1805, Tutor, e Congr., Reip. Mass. Reb.

Judic. Praefect. *i833

*Tillotson Blakesley *i8i -

*Solomon Blakslee * I 835

*Petrus Bulkley *i8o8

*Fredericus Butler, A.M. "1843

*Caleb Clap ^1787

*Abrahamus Lynsen Clarke, A.M. 1791 *i8io

* Jacobus Bayne Clarke *i842
*Enos Cooke

* Johannes Devotion *i8io
*Abrahamus VanHorn DeWitt *i82O

Biographical Sketches, 1785 377

* Johannes Dean Dickinson, e Congr. *i84i

*Josephus Drake * I 794

*Rogerus Eells, A.M. *i?9O

* Johannes Ellsworth * I 79 I

*Richardus Ely, M.D. Soc. Med. Conn. 1814 *i8i6

*Reuben Fairchild "1788

*Simeon Field, M.D. 1817 "1822

*Abel Flint, A.M. et Brim., S.T.D. Cone. 1818 "1825
*Hezekias Goodrich, A.M. 1792 *i8i2

*Russell Goodrich, A.M. "1837

*Guilielmus Graves, A.M. 1801 "1813

*Pearleius Grosvenor *i-7&7

*Levi Hackley, 1786 "1786

*David Hale, A.M. "1822

*Josua Henshaw *i84<D

* David Hi g gins, A.M. *i842

*Dyar Throop Hinckley "1847

*Guilielmus Hubbard, A.M.
*Guilielmus Gold Hubbard
*David Hull *i834

*Enochus Huntington, A.M. *i826

*Samuel Huntington, et Dartm. 1785, A.M., Reip.

Ohion. Cur. Supr. Jurid. Princ. et. Gubernator "1817
*Isaacus Ives

*Caleb Johnson, A.M. 1791
*Henricus Sherburne Langdon, A.M.
^Jonathan Leavitt, A.M.
*Micha Jones Lyman *i85i

*Johannes McClellan "1858

*Matthaeus Marvin
*Carolus Mather
*Return Jonathan Meigs, Reipubl. Ohion. Cur.

Supr. Jurid. Princ. et Gubern., Rerumpubl. Foed.

Cur. in Jurisd. Mich. Jurid. et Sen. et Rei Vered.

Curator Summus ""1825

*Phineas Miller, A.M. *i8c>3

*Daniel Nash
*Rogerus Newton, A.M., Tutor

378 Yale College

*Matthaeus Noyes, A.M., Socius * l &39

*Zacharias Olmsted, A.M. *i8si

^Benjamin Perkins *i84i

*Samuel Perkins, A.M. *i85o
*Timotheus Pitkin, A.M., LL.D. 1829, e Congr. "1847

*Nathanael Rossiter * I &35

*Elihu Platt Smith "1795

* Robertas Spelman "1803

^Thomas Stedman *i838

*Guilielmus Taylor, A.M. *i84i

*Abrahamus Tomlinson *i82o

*Thomas Tousey *i84O

*Decius Wadsworth, A.M. *i82i
*Guilielmus Wheeler
*Ezekiel Williams, A.M.
*Timotheus Williams, A.M. 1799

*Gideon Woodruff *i847

*Joel Wright *i797

SAMUEL JAMES ANDREWS, the eldest son of the Rev.
Samuel Andrews (Yale 1759), was born in Wallingford,
Connecticut, on February 16, 1766. His father's useful
ministry in the Episcopal parish in Wallingford was inter-
rupted during the Revolution by his loyalty to the crown,
and this probably hampered the son's course in College.
His account-book, still preserved, shows that he supported
himself on an annual allowance of 25.

Just after his graduation the rest of the family removed
to New Brunswick, and he took up the life of a shipping-
merchant in Derby, Connecticut, and married, in 1795,
Damaris, daughter of Samuel and Damaris (Atwater)
Tyler, of Wallingford.

He was eminently successful as a West-India trader,
and held a prominent position in Derby, where he was
Postmaster by appointment of President Madison.

He was, however, well nigh ruined by the Embargo
which preceded the War of 1812, with the result that after

Biographical Sketches, 1785 379

severe losses his property was substantially reduced to two
vessels engaged in the West India trade; and when the
last of these was captured by the British blockaders off
New Haven harbor, he had little remaining except a large
tract of land at the Falls of the Genesee, in Western New
York, which he had purchased in 1812, on a visit to that
region, in connection with his brother-in-law, Dr. Moses
Atwater (Yale 1787).

Under these circumstances he made up his mind in 1815
to remove with his family to his Western lands, which
were within the limits of the new village of Rochester,
where he found only two families already settled.

He brought with him a stock of goods for trade, and
in 1816 began to erect mills at the Falls, and also built a
bridge across the Genesee River and a schoolhouse. In
the succeeding years he laid out a large part of the present
city, and aided in the establishment and promotion of
many of its religious and social institutions. He was one
of the founders of St. Luke's Church, the first Episcopal
Church in Rochester, in 1817, as also subsequently in 1827
of St. Paul's, the second Episcopal Church, of which the
stone for the building was a gift from him.

He built for himself a substantial stone house (the first
structure, other than wood, in Rochester), which is now
occupied by a grandson.

He died in Rochester on January 12, 1832, aged 66

His wife long survived him, dying in Rochester on
September 18, 1855, in her 87th year. A brass tablet with
an appropriate inscription to their memory in Latin, is
erected in St. Andrew's Church in that city.

Five of their six children, three sons and two daughters,
survived the father. James Andrews Swan (Yale 1867)
is a grandson.


J. Sherlock Andrews, MS. Letter, Phelps and Gorham's Purchase, 600.
Dec. 2, 1906. Turner, Hist, of

380 Yale College

JEREMIAH [Mix] ATWATER, the second son and fifth
child of Jeremiah Atwater, of New Haven, for many
years the College Steward, and grandson of Jonathan and
Martha (Bradley) Atwater, was born in New Haven on
February 15, 1767. His mother was Anna, daughter of
Nathaniel and Rebecca (Lines) Mix, of New Haven. He
assumed a middle name after graduation.

/His life was spent in New Haven, where he was
engaged in business. He was usually called "Major
Jerry" Atwater, from his rank in the militia.

He married, on February 3, 1789, Elizabeth, youngest
daughter of the Rev. Dr. Naphtali Daggett (Yale 1748),
who died on May 20, 1790, aged 21 years.

He next married, on February 15, 1793, Mary, daughter
of Richard and Hannah (Howell) Cutler, who long sur-
vived him, dying on November 8, 1861, aged 91^2 years.

By his second marriage he had one son and seven

He died in New Haven on February 27, 1832, aged 65

Atwater History, 137, 182-83. Bailey, Early Conn. Marriages, i, 18.

JOSEPH BADGER was born in Wilbraham, Massachusetts,
on February 28, 1757, the son of poor but pious parents,
Henry and Mary (Langdon) Badger, and grandson
of Nathaniel and Mary (Lunt) Badger, of Norwich West
Farms, now Franklin, Connecticut. In 1766 the family
removed to Partridgefield, now Peru, in Berkshire County,
about forty miles to the northwest of Wilbraham.

In the Spring of 1775 he entered the Revolutionary
army; he was present at the battle of Bunker Hill, and
was afterwards with General Arnold in Canada. He was
discharged in the Spring of- 1777, but soon enlisted again
for the remainder of the year.

Biographical Sketches, 77^5 381

In February, 1778, he went to New Preston Society, in
Washington, Connecticut, to work at weaving, and in the
fall became a boarder in the family of the clergyman of
the parish, the Rev. Jeremiah Day (Yale 1756), and
pursued elementary studies. In 1779 he experienced a
new interest in religion, and united with the church.

He now gave up his previous intention of returning to
the army, and determined to prepare for the ministry.
He supported himself in the meantime by teaching, and
was able to enter College at Commencement in 1781.
While here also he earned money by teaching, and in his
Junior year by constructing a Planetarium for the College.
In October, .1784, during the fall vacation, he married Lois
Noble, of Kent, Connecticut, whom he had known in New
Preston, she being the youngest sister of Mrs. Day.

During the year after graduation he kept a school in
Waterbury, Connecticut, and studied divinity under the
direction of the Rev. Mark Leavenworth. He was
licensed to preach by the New Haven East Association of
Ministers in October, 1786, and for a few months supplied
the pulpit in Northbury Society, now Plymouth, Con-

In the Spring of 1787 he set out for Vermont; but
stopped in Blandford, Massachusetts, and preached there,
until he received a nearly unanimous call to the pastorate,
on a salary of three hundred dollars. He accepted the
call, and was ordained there on October 24.

After a few years he found that his support was
inadequate; and as ill-feeling was aroused by his com-
plaints, he finally deemed his usefulness at an end and
resolved to go elsewhere.

He was dismissed by a council on October 24, 1800, and
three weeks later set out, under the appointment of the
Connecticut Missionary Society (of which his classmate
Flint was the Secretary), as a missionary to the Western
Reserve of Ohio. After visiting every family on the
Reserve he returned to Blandford on January I, 1802.

382 Yale College

Having found an open door for extensive ministerial
usefulness, he now decided to remove with his wife and
six children to the Reserve, and set out in February.
They reached Austinburg late in April, and there estab-
lished a new home. Though a Congregationalist by
conviction Mr. Badger now joined the Ohio Presbytery,
as the only organization with which he could unite. His
missionary life was extremely laborious, and after the
Connecticut Society felt obliged to reduce his stipend (from
seven to six dollars a week), he regretfully resigned his
appointment (in January, 1806), and accepted one from
the Western Missionary Society, located at Pittsburgh.
Under their direction he labored among the Wyandotte
Indians, in the neighborhood of Sandusky, Ohio, for some
three or four years.

In April, 1810, he removed his residence a few miles
northwards to Ashtabula, and spent half his time in
preaching to the church in that town, and the rest in
missionary labor in the vicinity under the direction of the
Massachusetts Missionary Society.

When the War of 1812 broke out, his knowledge of the
territory was considered of value, and in order to secure
his services General Harrison appointed him Brigade
Chaplain and Postmaster, and he remained with the army
for six months.

After the war he continued preaching, with a very
scanty support from the people. His wife died suddenly,
after a few days' illness, on August 4, 1818, in her 64th

In the following February, at the suggestion of friends,
he made the acquaintance of Miss Abigail Ely, of North
Wilbraham, Massachusetts, who was then visiting her
sisters in Salem, Ohio; and as the result they were
married on April 13, 1819.

In the Spring of 1822 he removed to Kirtland, where
and in Chester he preached alternately for four years.

Biographical Sketches, 1785 383

In 1826 he was placed on the pension roll as a Revolu-
tionary soldier, and from that time received eight dollars
a month from the government.

In the Spring of 1826, in compliance with an invitation
from the people of Gustavus, in Trumbull County, he
removed to that place, formed a Congregational Church
of twenty-seven members, and was installed pastor of that
Society by the Grand River Presbytery in October follow-
ing. Here he preached for eight years with measurable
success, until his lungs and voice began to fail and his
general health to be somewhat impaired. He then pro-
posed to give up his charge, but at the request of his
people remained with them until a successor was agreed
upon. His dismission took effect on June 26, 1835, and
in the following October he removed to the house of his
only surviving daughter, in Plain, Wood County.

He partially recovered the use of his voice, so as to be
able to preach in the destitute settlements in that neighbor-

In the winter of 1844 he removed to Perrysburg, in
the same vicinity, to live with a married granddaughter.
He was soon for the most part confined to his room, and
died there, on April 5, 1846, in his QOth year. His wife
survived him about six months.

His children, by his first marriage, were three sons and
four daughters. Two children only survived him.

The testimony of one who remembered him well is:

In personal appearance he was tall, slim, erect, had blue eyes,
brown hair, and a pleasing expression of face. In temperament
and action he was quick and somewhat impulsive, yet he was con-
siderate & slow of utterance, rarely, if ever, uttering an imprudent
word. In his social intercourse he was sedate or facetious as the
occasion seemed to require. He enjoyed hearing and telling
amusing anecdotes. In his style of preaching he was apostolic,
plain, simple and logical. He had but one grand aim in life, &
that was to do what he could to advance the moral and spiritual
welfare of mankind.

3^4 Yale College

A sketch of his life, contained in a letter from him to
a friend, dated in June, 1840, was published in the
American Quarterly Register for February, 1841 (pp.

After his death a great-nephew of his wife, Professor
Henry N. Day (Yale 1828), published the following:

A Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger ; containing an Autobiography,
and Selections from his Private Journal and Correspondence.
Hudson, Ohio, 1851. 12, pp. 185 -j- plate.

The volume is mainly of Mr. Badger's own composition; it also
contains an engraving from his portrait.

Interesting extracts from his correspondence with the
Connecticut Missionary Society, while in their employ,
were published in the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine.

Two letters of reminiscences, written by him in 1843, are
published in The American Pioneer, edited by J. S.
Williams, Cincinnati, 1843, vol. 2, pp. 275-78, 374-76.


American Quarterly Register, xiii, Centennial ed., iii, 345. Keep, Dis-

317-28. Boltwood, Noble Genealogy, course at Blandford, 13, 21-22.

47, 66-67. Conn. Daily Courant, Kennedy, Plan of Union, 18-23.

April 21, 1846. Conn. Evangelical Magazine of Western History, i,

Magazine, i, 239, 358-59; ii, 118; iii, 432-43. Sprague, Annals of the

304-05, 317-20; iv, 113-18, 331; vi, Amer. Pulpit, iii, 473-79. Stebbins,

288; 2d series, ii, 154-56. Eaton, Hist. Address at Wilbraham, 269.

Hist, of Erie Presbytery, 218-30. Pres. Stiles, Literary Diary, iii, 88,

Howe, Hist. Collections of Ohio, 113, 287.

DAVID LEWIS BEEBE, the younger son of the Rev. James
Beebe (Yale 1745), of Unity Parish, now Trumbull,
Connecticut, was born in Trumbull on January 16, 1763.
His father died the week before his graduation.

He studied theology, but it was not until February 23,
1791, that he was ordained as pastor of the Congrega-
tional Church in Woodbridge, Connecticut. The sermon
preached on this occasion by the Rev. Izrahiah Wetmore

Biographical Sketches, 1785 385

(Yale 1748), the successor in his father's pulpit, was after-
wards published.

On February 29, 1792, he married Mary (or Polly),
second daughter of Caleb and Abigail (Jones) Atwater,
of Wallingford, Connecticut.

He labored acceptably and successfully in Woodbridge
for nine years, but was dismissed on account of ill health
on March 18, 1800.

He then removed to Wallingford; but soon after went
into mercantile business in Catskill, New York, where he
died on June 3, 1803, in his 41 st year.

His widow died in Wallingford in 1845, a ^ the age of
76. Their children were three daughters and two sons.
A granddaughter married the Rev. Edwin R. Gilbert
(Yale 1829).


Atwater History and Genealogy, ford, ii, 1142.- Pres. Stiles, Literary
123, 151. Bailey; Early Conn. Mar- Diary, iii, 412-13.
riages, iv, 65. Orcutt, Hist, of Strat-

WILLIAM PITT BEERS, the younger son of Samuel
Beers, of Stratford, Connecticut, and grandson of Samuel
and Sarah (Sherman) Beers, of Newtown, was born in
Stratford on April 12, 1766. His mother was Sarah,
second daughter of Colonel Jabez and Elizabeth
(Edwards) Huntington, of Windham, Connecticut, and
widow of Hezekiah Wetmore, of Middletown, Connec-

He studied law, and settled in Albany, New York, where
he became somewhat distinguished in his profession. On
June 9, 1793, he married Anna, daughter of the Hon.
Jonathan Sturges, of Fairfield, Connecticut, and sister of
Lewis B. Sturges (Yale 1782), who was baptized on April
14, 1765.

In February, 1810, he was elected Clerk of the City and
County of Albany ; but his health soon failed, and he died

386 Yale College

at his father-in-law's house in Fair field on September 13,
1810, in his 45th year.

In one of the notices of his death his Essays on political
subjects are likened to those of Junius.

His wife survived him. One son was graduated at the
Yale Medical School in 1824.


Bailey, Early Conn. Marriages, vi, Hist, of Stratford, ii, 1144. Perry,
45. Goodwin, Genealogical Notes, Old Burying Ground of Fairneld, 54.
302. Hurd, Hist, of Fairneld County, Schcnck, Hist, of Fairneld, ii, 499.
293. Huntington Family, 97. Orcutt,

DAVID BELDEN was born in Wilton, then part of Nor-
walk, Connecticut, on July 16 [or 19], 1764, the youngest
son of Azor and Mary Belden, and grandson of William
and Margaret (Arms) Belden, of Wilton.

He did not receive his degree until 1787. [

In the meantime he had studied theology, and on Sep-
tember 21, 1786, had been admitted to the diaconate in
the Episcopal Church by Bishop Seabury at Derby.

He exercised his ministry for a short time in Fairfield
County, his longest service being for four months in
1788 in Ridgefield, but ill health compelled him to forego
advancement to the priesthood, and he retired to his farm
in Wilton, where he lived quietly for the rest of his days.

He died in Wilton, of consumption, on March 2, 1832, in
his 68th year.

He married on December 21, 1794, Martha, youngest
daughter of Seth and Elizabeth (Mallory) Hull, of Red-
ding, Connecticut. She died in Danbury, on July 31,
1846, aged 72 years. Their children were two sons and
two daughters.


Beardsley, Hist, of the Episcopal Convention, 1866, 165. Selleck, Nor-
Church in Conn., i, 386-87. Convo- walk, i, 394-95. Stiles, Hist, of
cation Records, Diocese of Conn., Wethersfield, ii, 91. Todd, Hist, of
44, 152. Journal of Conn. Episcopal Redding, 200.

Biographical Sketches, 1785 387

EBENEZER BELKNAP was probably born in Durham,
Connecticut, in 1761.

He first entered Dartmouth College, but when a Junior
there took a dismission, on February 26, 1784, and applied
for admission to Yale in April. He was not then success-
ful, but applied again in September and was admitted.

After graduation he studied medicine, and practiced for
a short time, though apparently not in Connecticut. He
then returned to Durham, and about 1816 removed to New
York City, where he was employed in the Custom House
until near the close of his life.

He died in New York on December 8, 1842, aged 81

For the first half of his life or more he was a free-
thinker but later became a Swedenborgian.


Prof. W. C. Fowler, MS. Letter, Diary, iii, 119, 135.
March 7, 1867. Pres. Stiles, Literary

BARNABAS BIDWELL, younger son of the Rev. Adonijah
Bidwell (Yale 1740), was born in that part of Tyringham
which is now Monterey, Massachusetts, on August 23,
1763. His mother died in his childhood, and his father in
June of his Junior year. He excelled in the languages in
his College course.

Immediately after graduation he began teaching a
young ladies' school in New Haven (formerly taught by
Jedidiah Morse, Class of 1783), in conjunction with his
classmate Leavitt.

On October 18, 1787, he was elected to a tutorship in the
College, and he entered on his duties the next week. He
continued in the office for three years, retiring at Com-
mencement, 1790, with a considerable reputation for
elegance as a writer.

388 Yale College

He studied law, and settled in practice in Stockbridge,
Massachusetts, where he soon became prominent.

He se'rved as Treasurer of Berkshire County from
September, 1791, to August, 1810. Meantime he was a
member of the State Senate from 1801 to 1805, and was
then elected to the National House of Representatives.
He was a recent convert from Federalism to Republi-
canism, and went to Congress with a reputation for leader-
ship and oratory from which great things were hoped by
his party; but he disappointed their expectations. The
honorary degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred on him
by Brown University in 1805.

In June, 1807, he accepted the appointment of Attorney-
General of the State, in preference to a return to Congress.

There had previously been some charges against his
honesty, but they were supposed to be due to party malice.
In June, 1810, however, a private investigation into his
accounts as County Treasurer disclosed a failure to pay
over sums collected by him and a corresponding falsifica-
tion of the records. The matter was on the point of being
carried to the Courts, when he absconded, early in August,
to avoid a prosecution for embezzlement. The funds
abstracted were supposed to amount, with interest, to
about ten thousand dollars.

Just at that time President Madison had his name under
consideration for a place on the bench of the Supreme
Court of the United States.

He settled with his family in Bath, a village on the Bay
of Quinte, north of Lake Ontario, in Upper Canada,
whence he removed about 1820 to Kingston, some twenty
miles to the eastward. Being an alien he was not
admitted to practice in the Courts (though he gave some
attention to office-consultations), and he was also unable
to accept an election to the Canadian Parliament, though
a prominent figure in relation to public affairs. He made
a profession of religion in 1825.

He retained his mental vigor to the last, and died in
Kingston, after a brief illness, on July 27, 1833, at tne

Biographical Sketches, 1785 389

of seventy. A Sermon preached on his death, by his
pastor, the Rev. J. Smith, was published.

One who remembered him well in this last portion of
his life describes him as "a profound jurist, a man of
great culture and attainments outside of the law as well as
in it," "distinguished for his courtly and agreeable
manners, his great conversational powers, his mental and
personal activity."

He married in Watertown, Massachusetts, on February
21, 1793, Mary Gray, a native of Stockbridge. She died
on February 2, 1808, in her 44th year. Their children
were one daughter, who never married, and one son, who
became a distinguished lawyer in Canada and in New
York City.

He published:

1. The Mercenary Match, a Tragedy. By Barna Bidwell. New-
Haven [1784]- 16, pp. 57-

[C H. S. (imperfect). U. S. (imperfect).

' Written, and published by Subscription, while the author was a
Senior, and acted in College. For a brief notice, see Dunlap's
History of the American Theatre, 71. The play is in blank verse, in
five acts. The scene is laid in Boston, and the time is that of

2. An Oration on the Death of Roger Newton, Jun'r., A.M., a
Tutor of Yale-College, in New-Haven, who died August loth,
1789; Pronounced in the College-Chapel, September 2nd. New-
Haven. 8, pp. 23.

[A. A. S. A. C. A. Brit. Mus. C. H. S. Y. C.

3. An Oration, delivered at the celebration of American Inde-
pendence, in Stockbridge, July, 1795. Stockbridge, 1795. 8, pp.

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