Rev. Sereno Edwards Dwight, Pres. Hamilton Col.

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Rev. Sereno Edwards Dwight, Pres. Hamilton Col.'s Geni Profile

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Sereno Edwards Dwight, DD, DD, Pres. of Hamilton Coll.

Birthdate: (64)
Birthplace: Greenfield Hill, CT, USA
Death: November 30, 1850 (60-68)
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Place of Burial: New Haven, CT, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Timothy Dwight, IV, President of Yale and Mary Dwight
Husband of Susan Edwards Dwight
Father of Charlotte Dwight
Brother of Timothy Dwight; Benjamin W. Dwight, MD; John Dwight [twin]; Rev. William Theo. Dwight, DD; Rev. Henry E. Dwight, MD and 2 others

Occupation: Teacher; Tutor at Yale
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Rev. Sereno Edwards Dwight, Pres. Hamilton Col.

Prest. Sereno Edwards Dwight, D.D. (son of Prest. Timothy Dwight of Yale, and Mary Woolsey), b. at Greenfield Hill, Ct., May 18, 1786, grad. at Yale in 1803, taught school at Litchfield, Ct., for a year; and the next year was his fathers amanuensis, and afterwards tutor at Yale for 10 years (1800-10). While tutor, he studied law with Hon. Charles Chauncey, and Nathan Smith, Esq., both eminent jurists, and practiced the profession at New Haven (1810-10). He in., Aug. 28, 1811, Susan Edwards Daggett, b. June 30, 1788 (dau. of Hon. David Daggett of New Haven, and Wealthy Ann Munson, dau. of Dr. AEneas Munson of New Haven). While engaged in the practice of law, he prepared the "Hebrew Wife," a 12mo of 200 pages, designed to show the unlawfulness of marrying a wife's sister. It was republished with strong commendations in England. In 1812 he became the victim of a very severe and slow fever, in the cure of which mercury was freely used, so as to poison his blood and to fasten upon him, for the rest of his life, a fiery eruption of the most painful kind. How to heal, or how to mitigate, the torturing power of that malady upon his physical well-being, became ere long the one ever-present subject of his thoughts, when not strongly drawn from it by some objective demand upon his time and strength.

Becoming a Christian decisively in 1815, he soon renounced the law for the ministry, and, on Oct. 8, 1816, was licensed to preach, and was at once elected chaplain of the U. S. Senate, at Washington. On Sept. 3, 1817, he became pastor of The Park St. Ch. at Boston, Mass., and remained such until April 10, 1826, having spent a year of the time (1824-5) in travel in Europe, for the re-establishment of his health, and in vain. In 1828 he opened at New Haven, Ct., with his brother Henry, "The New Haven Gymnasinm," a first-class boarding-school for boys, with similar appointments in the number and character of its officers to a college. Two of them were Profs. Ethan A. Andrews and Solomon Stoddard, the authors of the well-known Latin Grammar of "Andrews and Stoddard" — the first teaching Latin, and the other, Greek. The health of each of the brothers Dwight proved inadequate to the continued prosecution of this enterprise, although very successful; and at the end of 1831, it was abandoned. It was during these years (1826-33) that he prepared the works of Prest. Edwards, in 10 vols., for the press, with his own elaborate memoir of him, as well as also a similar memoir of David Brainerd.

In 1833, he became President of Hamilton College, N. Y., where his brother Woolsey was at the same time Treasurer; but, after 2 1/2 years of much bodily suffering — the same physical plague, that had before broken up all his plans of usefulness, overcoming his energies now — he resigned this post of public usefulness and honor, never to accept another.

He was a man of very impressive form and features, more than six feet in height, perfectly erect and finely proportioned, finished always in his personal attire and kingly in his carriage, with an imperial brow, an aquiline nose and a strikingly classical profile throughout, and also an intellectual, earnest, radiant cast of face. Wherever he went, he was felt at once to be, in word and work and even in looks, a man of power. His preaching was always, in respect to choice of subjects, excellence of composition, and earnestness of delivery, as well as grace, of a superior kind. A volume of his sermons, with a memoir, was published by his brother, Dr. Wm. T. Dwight of Portland, Me., after his decease. As a teacher in college, of metaphysics, moral philosophy and natural theology, he is remembered well by the author as evincing superb qualities of intellectual strength and professional skill. The physical virus that was in his system, and which broke out continually into ever new sores of the most irritable kind upon his person, he never could subdue with any potions or lotions to which ho resorted abundantly, at many times, for relief. His wife, dying in 1839, left him, for the last 11 years of his life (1839-50), to be a lonely wanderer in the world. These years he spent chiefly in New York among books by day, wherever he could find those that he relished most, and in a lonely boarding-house at night.

Death at last put an end to his physical and, therefore professional, disappointments in life, Nov. 30, 1850, when at the age of 64. He d. at Philadelphia, whither he had gone a little while previously, in the vain hope of help from hydropathic treatment to his ever greatly impaired health. His remains were carried to New Haven, where so much of the consecrated dust of the family rests in peace.

Mrs. Dwight d. Aug. 18, 1839, aet. 51. She possessed a vigorous, vivacious and cultivated mind. She was of a slender figure and a bright, intellectual aspect, with large, lustrous, black eyes, and had very pleasing and graceful manners. Her acquaintance with good books was large, and she was earnest in her religious character. While sympathizing warmly with her husband, in his varied plans of usefulness, and greatly admiring his talents, she like him was the victim of severe, chronic disease in the form of dyspepsia, from the effects of which in the end she died. She was the author of " An Abridgment of The Memoirs of Mrs. Susan Huntington," her friend. She aided also her husband when editing the works of Edwards, in preparing them for the press.

They had but one child:

190. i. Charlotte Dwight, b. and d. Aug. 1816, living but one day.

Source: The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass., Volume 1 (Google eBook), Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders, 1874, pp 204-05. Downloaded 2011.

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Rev. Sereno Edwards Dwight, Pres. Hamilton Col.'s Timeline

May 18, 1786
Greenfield Hill, CT, USA
August 1816
Age 30
November 30, 1850
Age 64
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Yale 1806
New Haven, CT, USA