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ELIHU WHITTELSEY BALDWIN
Source: Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Biographical sketches of the graduates of Yale College. New York; H. Holt, 1912 p 442
Elihu Whittelsey Baldwin, the fourth child and eldest son of Deacon Jonathan Baldwin of Durham, Greene County, NU and grandson of Abiel and Mehitabel (Johnson) Baldwin of Duram, Connecticut was born Dec 25, 1789. His mother was Submit, youngest child of (Deacon) Christopher and Patience Lord of Saybrook, Connecticut and niece of the Rev. Nathan Strong (Yale 1742). He was prepared for college by his pastor, the Rev. Jesse Townsend (Yale 1790), and entered Yale in the fall of 1807. In May of the freshman year he united with the College Church on profession of faith. He left College at the opening of the Sophomore year in order to earn money and spent nearly a year in Bethelhem, Connecticut as an assistant in the school of the Rev. Azel Backus (Yale 1787), and during the next winter had charge of the Academy in Fairfield returning to the next lower class in college in June 1810. For the two years next after graduation he again had charge of the Fairfield Academy, and he then spent 3 years in the Andover Theological Seminary. On May 1, 1817 he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Newburyport, and with the expectation of spending some time in missionary labor in westernNY and Ohio, he was ordained as an evangelist on Sept 10 at Londonderry, New Hampshire, by the Presbytery of Londonderry. While visiting in NY city, on his way to his destination he was persuaded to accept an appointment as City Missionary and for 3 years for October 1817 laborered without stint in that arduos field. On May 12, 1819, he married Julia Cook, only daughter of Elias A and Elizabeth (Cook) Baldwin of Newark, NJ and sister of the Rev. Joseph B. Baldwin (Yale 1827). His labors in a populous portion of the city resulted in the formation of a church, in March 1818 with the title of the Seventh Presbyterian Church over which he was installed pastor on Dec 25, 1820. He retained this position amid trials and discouragements and many tokens of success for upward of 14 years, declining meanwhile various offers of other fields. In addition to his pastoral duties he undertook much labor in connection with the New York Evangelical Missionary Society of Young Men, by which eh wasin part supported and of which he became the Corresponding Secretary in 1821. In November 1834, he was approached by an agent for Wabash College, an institution founded two years before at Crawfordsville, Indiana for the supply of educated minister for that state with the offer of the presidency. The claims of such a service appealed to him strongly and in February 1835, he signified his acceptance of the appointment. He left his people on the first of May; and devoted several months to securing funds for the college, before entering on his duties, early in November. He was duly inaugurated at Commencement in July 1836. In February 1838, he received an urgent call to the pastorate of the Manhattan Presbyterian Church in New York City, but he declined from a sense of duty to the College. He declined a similar invitation later in the same year from the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis. In July 1839, he received the honorary degree of Dr. of Divinity from Hanover College, Indiana, an institution under the control of the Old School Branch of the Presbyterian Church to which President Baldwin did not belong. After the College Commencement in July 1840, he made a tedious journey into the northern part of the state and in September he was seized with the local bilious fever of which he died in Crawfordsville after a month's painful illness on October 15, in his 51st year. His widow died in Indianapolis Dec 12, 1850 in her 51st year. Their children were four sons and four daughters of whom three sons and a daughter died early in life. The surviving son was graduated at Wabash College in 1846. Dr. Baldwin impressed all beholders as a remarkably gentle, guileless and godly man, a simple, practical preacher, of uniform equanimity and indefatigable industry. His portrait is given in the Memoir by Dr. Hatfield.
Note: He published: (1) Fashionable Amusements. New York: American Tract Society, 12, p 12. (2) The Final Judgment. A Sermon from Hebr ix, 29. In the National Preacher vol. 2, p 107-1, Dec 1827. (3) Considerations for the American Patriot. A sermon (from ps. ii, II) delivered on occasion of the Annual Thanksgiving, Dec 12, 1827. New York, 1828, pp 24. (4) The Five Apprentices (procrastination or the history of Edward Crawford). Philadelphia, 1828 - written for the American Sunday School Union. (5) Extracts from a charge delivered at the Ordination of five home missionaries, in Newburyport, Mass Oct 25, 1828 are given in the Home Missionary vol. 1, p 111-13 Nov 1828. (6) The young Freethinker reclaimed. Philadelphia, 1830. Written for the American Sunday School Union. (7) An extract from a private letter of December 1832 on the voluntary church efforts of American Christians is printed in the Congregational Magazine of London, vol 16 pp 495-97, August 1833. (8) An address delivered in Crawfordsville, Indiana July 13, 1836. On occasion of his Inauguration as President of Wabash College. Cincinatti, 1836, p 33. (9) A sermon (from ps cxxvi, 3) preached at the Dedication of the Presbyterian Church in Madison Street, New Yor 27 August 1837. New York, 1837 p 20. The Madison street church was a colony from that of which Dr. Baldwin had been pastor. (10) Copious extracts from his diary, parts of his addresses to the graduating classes of Wabahs College and other compositions are given in his Memoir by the Rev. Edwin F. Hatfield (New York: 1843). Authorities: Baldwin Genealogy ii, 518, 527, 557-58. Hatfield, Memoir of E.W. Baldwin, NY Observer, Oct 31, 1840. Sprague, Annals of the Amerc. Pulpit, iv 572-81. Wabash College Semi-Centennial 24-27.
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