Dwight, Timothy

Dwight, Timothy,

1752–1817, American clergyman, author, educator, b. Northampton, Mass., grad. Yale, 1769. He renounced legal for theological studies and after 1783 was pastor for 12 years of a Congregational church at Greenfield Hill, Conn. During his pastorate he became famous throughout New England for his preaching and for the excellent private school he established near his church. One of the leaders of the Connecticut WitsConnecticut Wits
or Hartford Wits,
an informal association of Yale students and rectors formed in the late 18th cent. At first they were devoted to the modernization of the Yale curriculum and declaring the independence of American letters.
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, he tried to modernize the curriculum at Yale. At the death of Ezra StilesStiles, Ezra,
1727–95, American theologian and educator, b. North Haven, Conn., grad. Yale, 1746. He studied theology, was ordained in 1749, and tutored (1749–55) at Yale.
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, Dwight was named president of Yale, and from 1795 to 1817 he presided over the college. A great leader and teacher in his day and a strong believer in theocracy and Federalism, he vigorously opposed the rising Republicanism of Connecticut and the nation. His theology owed much to that of his grandfather, Jonathan EdwardsEdwards, Jonathan,
1703–58, American theologian and metaphysician, b. East Windsor (then in Windsor), Conn. He was a precocious child, early interested in things scientific, intellectual, and spiritual.
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.

Bibliography

See his Theology, Explained and Defended (5 vol., 1818–19) and Conquest of Canäan (1788, repr. 1970); biographies by C. E. Cunningham (1942) and K. Silverman (1969).


Dwight, Timothy,

1828–1916, American educator, b. Norwich, Conn., grad. Yale, 1849; grandson of Timothy Dwight (1752–1817). Appointed professor of sacred literature at Yale, he assisted in the reorganization of the divinity school, edited the New Englander (1866–74), and served on the American committee on the revision of the Bible (1873–85). In 1886 he succeeded Noah Porter as president of Yale. He expanded the institution, securing the legislative charter that authorized the title university instead of college, and retired in 1898. He is the author of Thoughts of and for the Inner Life (1899) and Memories of Yale Life and Men (1903).

Bibliography

See F. Parsons, Six Men of Yale (1936, repr. 1971).

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Dwight, Timothy

(1752–1817) educator, Congregational minister, poet; born in Northampton, Mass. (grandson of Jonathan Edwards). He studied at Yale (1766–69), was a tutor there (1771–77), and was chaplain for the Connecticut Brigade during the American Revolution (1777–79). A member of the Massachusetts Legislature (1781–82), he served as a Congregational minister (1783–95), then became president of Yale (1795–1817). He was a conservative Federalist and Calvinist, and his verse is noted for its early use of American settings and its scorn of contemporaries' behavior he regarded as indicative of a decline in values.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.