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Biographical sketches of the graduates of Yale College : with annals of the college history (Volume 3) online

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Annals of the College History


MAY, 1763- -JuLY, 1778



"iva /J.TI Ti a.Tr6\7irai. John vi, 12.

Nee vixit male, qui natus moriensque fefellit.

Horace, Ep. i, 17, 10.

Omne hoc, quod vides, . . unum est : membra sumus
corporis magni.

Seneca, Epist. 95, 52.

Res ardua vetustis novitatem dare, novis auctoritatem,
obsoletis nitorem, obscuris lucem.

Pliny, Nat. Hist. Praef.


THE identity of the plan of the present volume and of its
predecessors makes an extended preface "" unnecessary. The
author is fully conscious of the imperfect nature of many of
the sketches, but under the pressing limitations of time and
opportunity he has judged it wiser to commit his material to
print, with all its shortcomings, than to delay for doubtful

He is indebted to his friend Mr. John M. Gaines (Yale
College 1896), of the New York Life Insurance Company, for
interesting vital statistics which are given in the Appendix.

Another volume of like extent would end with the Act of
May, 1792, by which the State of Connecticut was admitted to
a share in the government of the College ; some preparation
has been made for such a volume, but the possibilities of the
future must be left uncertain.

May, 1903.


Preface .......... v

Annals, 1763 ........ i

Sketches, Class of 1763 ...... 3

Annals, 1763-64 . . . . . . . . 57

Sketches, Class of 1764 . . . . . .60

Annals, 1764-65 ........ 93

Sketches, Class of 1765 . . . . . -95

Annals, 1765-66 ........ 167

Sketches, Class of 1766 ...... 171

Annals, 1766-67 . . . . . . . 207

Sketches, Class of 1767 . . . . . .211

Annals, 1767-68 ........ 263

Sketches, Class of 1768 ...... 266

Annals, 1768-69 . . . . . . . . 302

Sketches, Class of 1769 ...... 304

Annals, 1769-70 ........ 365

Sketches, Class of 1770 ...... 366

Annals, 1770-71 . . . . . . . . 399

Sketches, Class of 1771 ...... 400

Annals, 1771-72 ........ 430

Sketches, Class of 1772 ...... 431

Annals, 1772-73 . . . . . . . . > 466

Sketches, Class of 1773 ...... 468

Annals, 1773-74 ........ 513

Sketches, Class of 1774 ...... 514

Annals, 1774-75 ... . 545

Sketches, Class of 1775 ...... 547

Annals, 1775-76 ........ 598

Sketches, Class of 1776 ...... 600

Annals, 1776-77 ........ 641

Sketches, Class of 1777 . . . . . . . 643

Annals, 1777-78 ........ 713

Appendix ......... 715

Additions and Corrections ...... 718

Index .......... 721




Annals, 1763

At a special meeting of the President and Fellows, held
on Tuesday, June 28, two vacancies in the Corporation were
filled : one, which had existed for two years, since the
death of the Rev. Joseph Noyes, by the election of the
Rev. Jonathan Merrick (Yale 1725), of (North) Branford,
the Rev. Samuel Hall, who had been offered the place
in July, 1761, having declined it ; the other vacancy, caused
by the death of the Senior Fellow, the Rev. Jared Eliot
(Yale 1706), in April, 1763, was filled by the choice of the
Rev. George Beckwith (Yale 1728), of Hamburg Society,
in Lyme.

The new Chapel was now so far finished as to be toler-
ably fitted for use, and accordingly it was dedicated by
religious services, which were held on the morning after
the Corporation's session, and included a sermon by Pro-
fessor Daggett ; towards evening of the same day another
service was held in the new building, at which orations in
English were given by two of the students.

The President reported to the Corporation that the
building had thus far cost nearly ^800 sterling, to meet
which some ^250 had been promised by popular subscrip-
tion and ^300 had been advanced from the College treasury
But the inside of the building was unfinished, and at least
^50 more must be expended to make it "in any good
measure fit for use." The Corporation therefore authorized

2 Yale College

the sale of about 170 acres of land "commonly called
Lambert's land," probably that received under the will of
Samuel Lambert, who died in 1718. (See vol. 2, p. 73.)

At their meeting at Commencement (September 14),
the Corporation appointed a Committee to memorialize
the General Assembly for the revival of the annuity to the
College, for help about the debt on the Chapel, and for
help in suppressing disorders at Commencement.

In 1 763, according to the Memoir prefixed to the Poet-
ical Works of John Trumbull in 1820, "the study of
Algebra was first introduced by the tutors, and made a part
of the collegiate exercises."

Biographical Sketches, 1763

Sketches, Class of 1763

*Phineas Lyman

*Samuel Woodbridge, A.M. * J 797

*Ebenezer Moseley, A.M. 1768 '1825

*Moses Bartlett *i8io

*Nehemias Brainerd *i8o7

*Jacobus Eells, KM.. *i8o5

*Josephus Whiting Marsh "1764

^Jonathan Lee '1814

*Stephanus VanRensselaer, A.M. 1769 "1769

*Timotheus Stone, A.M. * T 797

^Jonathan Landon, A.M. "1815

*Hezekias Brainerd *i8o5

*Vine Elderkin, A.M. *:8oo

*Cyprianus Strong, A.M. 1767 et Dartm. 1797,

S.T.D. 1803 *i8n

*Ebenezer Gray, A.M. et Dartm. 1773 * J 795

*Ephraimus Judson, A.M. '1813

^"Daniel Osborn *i8oi

*Josephus Kellogg, A.M. 1773 "1798

*Hezekias Ripley, A.M., S.T.D. Neo-Caes. 1802,

Socius '1831

^Bradford Ripley *i775

*Sanford Kingsbury, A.M. Dartm. 1801 '1833

*Ruggles Kent, A.M. *i7 9 o

*Zacharias Chapman '1825

*Salmon Hurlbut, A.M. 1770 *i8i6

^Josephus Trowbridge, A.M. *i793

*Carolus Mather, 1781, A.M. 1781 '1823

*Robertus Geer *i834

*Josua Howard *i7

* 'Samuel Munson, A.M. * 1 8 1 4
*Ebenezer Baldwin, A.M., Tutor

4 Yale College

*Stephanus Mix Mitchell, A.M., LL.D. 1807, Tutor,
e Congr., Soc. ex officio, Rerumpubl. Foed. Sen.,

Reip. Conn. Cur. Supr. Jurid. Princ. "1835

*Amos Botsford, A.M., Tutor '1812

*David Ingersoll, A.M. *i?74

*Elisaeus Rexford, A.M. *i8o8

*Silas Humpherville * J 79 2

*Josephus Denison, A.M. * 1 77

*Ebenezer Chaplin, A.M. 1767 *i822

*Cyrus Brewster, A.M. 1769 '1823

*Guilielmus Giles * 1 766

*Guilielmus Judd, A.M. 1778 "1804

*Nathan Tuttle, A. M. * 1 7-

*Truman Wheeler '1815

EBENEZER BALDWIN, the eldest son of Captain Ebenezer
Baldwin, of Norwich, Connecticut, and grandson of Thomas
and Abigail (Lay) Baldwin, of that part of Norwich which
is now Bozrah, was born on July 3, 1745. His mother
was Bethiah, sister of the Rev. Nehemiah Barker (Yale
1 742), under whose direction he was prepared for College.
He was a favorite pupil of President Clap, and especially
proficient in mathematics and kindred branches. He deliv-
ered the Latin Salutatory address at graduation.

He taught in an academy in Hatfield, Massachusetts,
until his entrance on a tutorship in the College in Septem-
ber, 1 766, at the time of the reorganization of the Faculty
in connection with President Clap's resignation. As the
first in rank of the new board of tutors, he was responsible
for much of the policy pursued, and was considered an
inspiring teacher. In the meantime he was studying
theology under the direction of President Daggett, and
having been licensed to preach was invited as early as
November, 1767, to settle in the ministry at Mount Carmel,
a suburb of New Haven. This call he declined, and he
continued at his post as tutor with growing reputation

Biographical Sketches, 1763 5

until the close of the College year in the summer of 1770.
In these years he had made an unusual preparation for his
life-work by importing from England a large and valuable
library of theological and classical literature.

On September 4, 1 769, he was called by unanimous vote
to the pastorate of the First Congregational Church in
Danbury, Connecticut, and though he declined the call for
the time, it was unanimously renewed on May 21, 1770.
The church had been without a pastor since the retirement
of the Rev. Noadiah Warner (Yale 1759), m February,
1768, and Mr. Baldwin's ordination to that office on Sep-
tember 19, 1770, was welcomed with high hopes. The
sermon on that occasion was preached by the Rev. Presi-
dent Daggett, and was afterwards published ; it refers with
special emphasis to his professed soundness in the faith,
and his prudent conduct in the tutorship. Dr. Ezra Stiles
states in his Diary that Mr. Baldwin showed himself in
his examination openly and fully in favor of the " New
Divinity," as might have been expected from a favorite
pupil of Dr. Daggett ; and that the Consociation voted to
proceed to his ordination after great reluctance.

In August, 1776, he joined as a volunteer chaplain the
militia regiment from Danbury, commanded by Colonel
Joseph P. Cooke (Yale 1750), which was active in the
defence of New York City. While in the performance of
his duties there, he contracted a fever that prevailed in the
camp, and had only strength sufficient to reach his parish,
where he died on October i, 1776, in his 32d year. He was
never married. He had previously made and sent home
his will, dated " at The Camp below Turtle Bay near New
York" on September 10, in which he made provision for
the return to the parish of the ^200 settlement which he
had received. Fifty-four persons had been added to the
church during his brief ministry.

In addition to his parochial labors he began in 1773 to
superintend the education of a few boys who were prepar-
ing for college ; among them were a younger brother,

6 Yale College

Simeon Baldwin (Yale 1781), and his classmate, James
Kent. In the Address which he gave at New Haven in
1831, Chancellor Kent paid a glowing tribute to his old
instructor, from which the following sentences are ex-
tracted :

His style of preaching was simple, earnest, and forcible, with
the most commanding, and the most graceful dignity of manner.
. . . His zeal for learning was ardent, and his acquisitions and
reputation rapidly increasing.

The same authority has said of him elsewhere :

He was a very handsome, well-built man, with manly health
and cheerful spirits. . . . No person could be more revered by
the inhabitants of Danbury and the clergy in that quarter.

The Rev. Thomas Robbins (Yale 1796), in his Century
Sermon, delivered at Danbury January i, 1801, described
Mr. Baldwin as " A man of great talents and learning, a
constant student, grave in manners, a constant and able
supporter of the sound doctrines of the gospel."

It is the received tradition that he was thought of at the
time of his death as one of the most prominent candidates
for the Presidency of the College, to which Dr. Stiles was
elected in the following year.

The inscription on his tombstone, which is said to have
been prepared by President Stiles, thus describes him :

He was eminent for literature and piety, an enlightened divine,
an instructive preacher. Distinguished for dignity of manners,
and public usefulness ; a true and faithful patriot, an ornament
to the church, to the ministry and to his country.

The Connecticut Journal, in noticing his death, charac-
terizes him as "an instructive, correct, and eloquent

He published :

i. A Funeral Oration in Memory of M r . Jonathan Lyman.
. . . Pronounced in the Meeting-House at Hatfield June i8th,
A. D. 1766. New-Haven, 1767. 4. pp. 19.

[A. A. S. U. S. Y. C.

Biographical Sketches, 1763 7

The author's name does not appear on the title-page of this
highly rhetorical composition, but is affixed to the Preface. He
was associated with Mr. Lyman in the work of instruction.

2. An Appendix [to A Fast Sermon, by the Rev. Samuel Sher-
wood (Yale 1749), of Fairfield], Stating the heavy Grievances
the Colonies labour under from several late Acts of the British
Parliament, and shewing what we have just Reason to fear the
Consequences of these Measures will be. New Haven [1774].
8. pp. 43-82.

[A. C. A. B. Publ. C. H. S. M. H. S. U. T. S. Y. C.

Originally an address prepared for the instruction of his own
people, including a lucid historical statement of the grave ques-
tions at stake, from the standpoint of the most advanced patriot-

3. The Duty of Rejoicing under Calamities and Afflictions,
Considered and Improved in a Sermon [from Habakkuk iii, 17-18],
Preached at Danbury, November 16, 1775, a Day set apart for
Thanksgiving. . . . New-York, 1776. 8. pp. 42.

[B. Ath. C. H. S. N. Y. H. S. U. T. S. Y. C.
A thoroughly reasoned review of both the discouraging and
encouraging features of the war at the date named.

He is also supposed by some authorities to have been
the author of the following anonymous pamphlet, which is
attributed elsewhere to the Rev. Benjamin Trumbull (Yale
1759) J it i s not unlikely that both were concerned in it:

A Letter to An Honorable Gentleman of the Council-Board,
for the Colony of Connecticut, shewing that Yale-College is a
very great Emolument, and of high Importance to the State ;
Consequently, That it is the Interest and Duty of the Common-
wealth to afford it publick Countenance and Support : And wherein
such Objections are considered and obviated as would probably
be made against the Tenor of such Reasoning. By a Friend of
College, the Church and his Country. N.-H., 1766. 4. pp. 26.
[B. Ath. M. H. S. Watkinson Libr. Y. C.

He was the author of one or more of three series of
Observations which appeared in the Connecticut Journal,
at New Haven, between October, 1773, and March, 1774,
on the Slavery of Negroes and on Slave-keeping ; these

8 Yale College

essays took what was at that time advanced ground in
condemnation of slavery.

Extracts from a fragment of a Diary written in his
Junior year in College (1762) are printed in volume i of
Dr. W. L. Kingsley's Yale College, pp. 444-46.

A letter of his, dated October 30, 1775, and addressed
to his cousin, Silas Deane (Yale 1758), is printed in volume
2 of the Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society,
pp. 312-15.


Bailey, Hist, of Danbury, 286-90. Hist. Sketch of ist Congregational

S. Bald-win, in Sprague's Annals of Church of Danbury, 6-10. Johnston,

the Amer. Pulpit, i, 635-40. Baldwin Yale in the Revolution, 232-33. Kent,

Genealogy, i, 273. Conn. Journal, Phi Beta Kappa Address (1831), 31-34.

October 30, 1776. Dutton, Address at Robbins, Century Sermon at Danbury,

Funeral of S. Baldwin, 5-8. Hough, 20. Ezra Stiles, Literary Diary, i, 159.

MOSES BARTLETT, the third child and eldest son of the
Rev. Moses Bartlett (Yale 1730) and Lydia (Fiske) Bart-
lett, was born in his father's parish (later the town) of
Chatham, in what is now Portland, Connecticut, on Sep-
tember 3, 1740. A brother was graduated in the next

His father, besides his pastoral duties, was employed to
a considerable extent as a physician, and this son adopted
medicine as a profession, having pursued his studies with
Dr. Benjamin Gale (Yale 1733), of Killingworth, now

He settled in Chatham, and had a reputable career there,
remaining in practice until his death, on March 3, 1810, in
his 7oth year.

He served as one of the Representatives of the town in
the General Assembly in the session of October, 1782.
From the 27th of October, 1791, until his death he was a
deacon in the church of which his father was formerly

Biographical Sketches, 1763 9

He married on February 18, 1767, Mary Cooper, who
was probably the daughter of Captain John and Susanna
(Warner, Gaines) Cooper, of Chatham. She died in Octo-
ber, 1826, in her 8ist year. They had at least five children.


Field, Centennial Address at Middle- and Geneal. Register, Ivi, 161. F. F.
town, 255, 258 ; Statistical Account of Starr, MS. Letter, June 21, 1902.
Middlesex County, 141. N. E. Hist.

AMOS BOTSFORD, the son of Gideon Botsford, a respec-
table farmer of Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut,
was born in that village on January 31, 1744.

He graduated with the rank of a Berkeley Scholar, and
remained in New Haven for the study and practice of the
law. In the meantime he served as Tutor for the College
year 1768-69. Soon after this date he married Sarah,
second daughter of Joshua Chandler (Yale 1747), of New
Haven, and he pursued successfully the uneventful practice
of his profession here until the Revolution. His con-
science then led him to adhere to the crown, and it is
perhaps not without significance that as late as November,
1778, though holding these avowed principles, he was still
acting as attorney for General Benedict Arnold in the
management of his New Haven property.

On the occasion of the British invasion of New Haven,
in July, 1779, Mr. Botsford and his family, in company
with his father-in-law, left town for New York City, where
they remained until September, 1782, when Mr. Botsford
was appointed by Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander-
in-chief, an agent of the government in connection with
the transfer of loyalists to Nova Scotia. He arrived at
Annapolis with the earliest relay of such immigrants in
October of that year.

When New Brunswick was set off in 1784, he settled
in Westmoreland, the easternmost county of that province,

io Yale College

which he represented in the first House of Assembly (in
1786), of which House he was elected Speaker. He was
re-elected to the latter office by each successive House
until his death, making a term of service of twenty-six years ;
he also filled the office of Register of Deeds for the county.
At the time of his death he was the senior barrister-at-law
in the Province.

He died in St. Johns, New Brunswick, on September
14, 1812, in his 69th year.

The property which he left behind him in New Haven
was confiscated by a decree of the Probate Court two
months after his flight, but exceeded in value the amount
of his unpaid debts by only about 400. In May, 1782,
his attorney, the Hon. William Samuel Johnson (Yale
1744), entered an appeal to the Superior Court for a
reversal of the decree of confiscation, and this was finally
carried in February, 1 786. The General Assembly allowed
him, in October, 1 784, to collect the debts due him
within the Colony, for use in the education of his chil-
dren. He also petitioned the English government in 1 786
for compensation, estimating his losses at upwards of
,4,000 ; he was finally allowed ^700, and an annual pen-
sion of ,225, that being about his average annual clear
income from his profession before his flight.

His family consisted of two daughters and one son
(Yale 1792). The daughters married two brothers, one of
whom, the Rev. John Millidge, was a clergyman of the
Church of England in Annapolis.


Chandler Family, 2d ed., 257, 476- xix, 26, 79. Sabine, Loyalists of the
78. Eaton, The Church in Nova Scotia, Amer. Revol., i, 238.
251. N. E. Hist, and Geneal. Register.

HEZEKIAH BRAINERD, fifth child and second (but eldest
surviving) son of Colonel and Deacon Hezekiah Brainerd,
of Haddam, Connecticut, and grandson of the Honorable

Biograpliical Sketches, 1763 1 1

Hezekiah and Dorothy (Mason) Brainerd, of Haddam,
was born in that town on July 28, 1742. He was thus a
nephew of the well-known David Brainerd, and through
his mother, Mary, daughter of the Rev. Phineas Fiske
(Yale 1704), of Haddam, he was an own cousin of his
classmate Bartlett.

Like his cousin he studied medicine with Dr. Gale, of
Killingworth, and then settled in his native town, where he
was for many years the principal physician, and especially
noted as an inoculator for the small-pox.

He also succeeded his father (who died in 1774) to some
extent in public life, serving as a Representative in the
General Assembly at six sessions of the Legislature between
1776 and 1785, and on the formation of Middlesex County,
in the latter year, being appointed a Judge of the Court of
Common Pleas. In 1 788 he was a member of the State
Convention for the ratification of the United States Con-

In 1 795 he suffered from a paralytic attack, which caused
his retirement from the bench, and finally prevented all
attention to business. His death followed, in Haddam, on
July 1 6, 1805, at the age of 63.

He married on November 5, 1772, Elizabeth, second
daughter of the Rev. Stephen Johnson (Yale 1743), of
Lyme, Connecticut, by his first wife, Elizabeth Diodate.
She was distinguished for good sense, and exerted an exten-
sive and happy influence in her new home. She died after
a short illness on December 12, 1813, at the age of 63.
Their children were one son (Yale 1 793) and two daughters ;
but they all died from consumption, in early manhood and
womanhood. The sermon preached at the funeral of Mrs.
Brainerd, by the Rev. David D. Field, of Haddam, was


Conn. Medical Society, Proceedings Funeral of Mrs. Brainerd. Salisbury,
for 1877, 152. Field, Brainerd Gene- Family Histories and Genealogies, ii,
alogy, 236, 240-41 ; Sermon at the 347-49.


NEHEMIAH BRAINERD, the only child of the Rev. Nehe-
miah Brainerd (Yale 1732) and Elizabeth (Fiske) Brainerd,
of Glastonbury, Connecticut, was a double first cousin of
his classmate of the same surname. After his father's early
death (in November, 1 742) his mother returned to Haddam,
her native place, and there he spent his life, not engaged in
any profession, but occupied in part with agriculture and in
part with general public business.

He was long Town Clerk, and held a commission as Jus-
tice of the Peace from 1 777. He was also commissioned as
Captain in the militia in 1777, and between that year and
1792 represented Haddam eight times in the State Legis-
lature. For about twenty-three years before his death he
was a deacon in the Congregational Church.

He married on November 15, 1763, his second cousin,
Sarah, daughter of Gideon and Sarah (Selden) Brainerd,
who died in Haddam on September 26, 1819.

Their children were six daughters and four sons, all of
whom lived to adult age except one son.

Deacon Brainerd died in Haddam on November 8, 1807,
aged 66 years.


Field, Brainerd Genealogy, 248.

CYRUS BREWSTER, son of Benjamin Brewster, and grand-
son of Deacon William (son of Love) and Lydia (Partridge)
Brewster, of Duxbury, Massachusetts, was born in Preston,
Connecticut, on June 23, 1 735. His mother was Elizabeth,
daughter of Ebenezer and Dorothy (Morgan) Witter.

Soon after graduation he spent a year or two in Guade-
loupe, in the West Indies, and subsequently bought a large
tract of timber-land near Fort Ticonderoga, New York,
and engaged in the lumber business, with New York City
as a market. He is also said to have held a civil commis-
sion as a sheriff.

Biographical Sketches, i?6j 13

When the British captured Ticonderoga in 1777, he was
stripped of everything, except what he could take with him
as he fled by night on horseback. He then went to Ver-
mont, and settled in Norwich, on the banks of the Connec-
ticut, his choice of a location being perhaps partly deter-
mined by the immediate vicinity of Dartmouth College,
which afterwards enlisted his warm interest. He is said to
have kept up his scholarship, especially in Hebrew, and to
have been on terms of intimacy with some of the Professors
in Hanover. In his later life he was a Wesleyan Methodist
by church connection.

He died in Norwich on October 17, 1823, in his 8gth

He first married Tabitha Jones, who died, leaving no
issue, about the time of his leaving Ticonderoga. He sub-
sequently married Hannah Wills, who died many years
before him, leaving two daughters. His only living descen-
dant in 1896 was a grandson, Samuel B. Phelps, of Han-
over, New Hampshire.

S. B. Phelps, MS. Letters, 1896.

EBENEZER CHAPLIN, the eldest son of Ebenezer and
Jamison (Alden) Chaplin, of that part of Pomfret, Con-
necticut, now included in the township of Hampton, was
born on September 16, 1733, and was baptized in Hamp-
ton parish on June 2, 1734. His grandfather, Deacon
Benjamin Chaplin, Senior, from Lynn and Reading, Massa-
chusetts, removed to the southwestern part of Pomfret
about 1720. The adjoining town of Chaplin received its
name in memory of an uncle of the graduate, who endowed
the church in that village.

Ebenezer Chaplin, Junior, was admitted to membership
in the Hampton church on August 21, 1763, and at once
began the study of divinity with the Rev. Dr. David Hall

14 Yale College

(Harvard 1724), pastor of the First Parish in Sutton,
Worcester County, Massachusetts. The Second or North
Parish in that town (set off in 1813 as a separate town,
named Millbury) was then without a minister, and he

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