Timothy Dwight, Founder of Andover Theological Seminary - January 11
- 2017 11 Jan
Grandson of Princeton president Jonathan Edwards, he could read at age 4 and entered Yale at 13. He was a chaplain in the Continental Army until his father died, when, as the eldest of 13, he worked the family farm to pay off debts. He was in Massachusetts' first State Legislature. This was Timothy Dwight, who was Yale's 4th president. In 22 years at Yale, Timothy Dwight created Departments of Chemistry, Geology, Law, Medicine, and founded Andover Theological Seminary. Dwight pioneered women's education, and was critical of slavery and encroachment on Indian lands. Originally a Puritan college, Yale students became enticed by France's deistic "cult of reason," which birthed the bloody French Revolution. Timothy Dwight answered students' questions on faith and by his death, JANUARY 11, 1817, Yale had grown from 110 to 313 students, with a third professing Christianity and 30 entering ministry. Timothy Dwight wrote in 1798: "Religion and liberty are the meat and drink of the body politic. Withdraw one of them and it dies...Without religion we may possibly retain the freedom of savages, but not the freedom of New England...If our religion were gone, our state of society would perish with it and nothing would be left worth defending."