Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dartmouth College and Phelps family

Davenport Phelps was in Piermont NH till 1792. He owned 130 acres of land, what is now Piermont Village, then called Phelps Farm. Episcopalian minister, and settled at Geneva, in the State of New York, and died there before 1816. He marrued Catherine, the daughter of Doct. Gideon Tiffany of Hanover New Hampshire.His father, Hon. Alexander Phelps, was a graduate of Yale and an influential man. His Grandfather Wheelock was the first president of Dartmouth College. His father was instrumental in moving the Indian School to Hanover. Well known friends of the Chief Tecumseh

Alexander Phelps, son of Nathaniel Phelps, of Hebron, Conn., was born Jan 6, 1723-24; graduated at Yale College, 1744; prepared for the ministry, and preached a while, but is said to have been later a lawyer. His letters show that he adhered to the English Church. He was a tutor at Yale 1747-49; member of the Connecticut Colonial assembly eleven sessions, between 1754 and 1762; and twice appointed judge of probate pro tern. He was also lieutenant-colonel of militia in 1766. See More info on Dartmouth Phelps


Theodora Wheelock was born on 23 May 1736 at Lebanon, New London Co., CT. She was the daughter of Eleazar Wheelock (photo above) son of Deacon Ralph and Ruth (Huntington) Wheelock and Sarah Davenport widow of Captain William Maltby of New Haven, Connecticut. Sarah Davenport was daughter of John Davenport and Martha Gould.

Children of Eleazer Wheelock and Sarah Davenport:

  •  Ruth, married Rev. William Patten, D.D., of Halifax, Mass.
  •  Theodora married Alexander Phelps, son of Capt. Nathaniel Phelps and Abigal Pinney, on January 9 1751/52 Hebron, Co., CT.  
  • Theodora Wheelock married 2nd John Young on April 27 1777 Hanover, NH. Theodora Wheelock died after 1811 at Piermont, NH.
  • Rev. Ralph, who graduated at Yale College in 1765

    Children of Theodora Wheelock and Hon. Alexander Phelps
  • Sarah Phelps  b. 15 Jul 1753
  • Rev. Davenport Phelps + b. 12 Aug 1755, d. 27 Jun 1813
  • Theodora Phelps b. 8 Sep 1757
  • Alexander Phelps b. 2 Sep 1759
  • Lucey Phelps b. 17 Mar 1762, d. 14 Apr 1767
  • Emelia Phelps b. 14 Jun 1764
  • Eleazar Wheelock Phelps b. 16 Oct 1766, d. 12 Oct 1818
  • Ralph Rodolphus Phelps b. 21 Mar 1772, d. 23 Mar 1849 weighed at birth 16.J pounds (Mass. Gazette, April 13, 1772)
Colonel Phelps died April 19, 1773, age  49 (N. H. Gazette, April 30,1773). He is spoken of as "a gentleman of a liberal education, who had sustained several offices of trust in Connecticut, which he discharged with fidelity." Jointly with Colonel Morey he appears in December, 1771, as agent for the town of Oxford before the General Assembly of New Hampshire.
From History of Dartmouth 
Wheelock's Diary, June 18, 1778.
Hanover, at a special meeting, April 2, chose Jonathan Freeman her delegate, and appointed a committee of six1 to determine his instructions. At a later meeting (May 25), they joined with him two associates, Capt. John House and Ensign Nathaniel Wright, and again adjourned to the next Saturday to settle the instructions. How they were settled we know not.
We have no record of the meeting at Lebanon, but we know from collateral circumstances that the union was there accepted. Orford (whose delegate was Wheelock's grandson, Davenport Phelps), at a special meeting the first Wednesday of June, "veted nem. con. that they accede and agree a union with the State of Vermont, agreeable to the doings of the above convention at Lebanon."

"Colonel Wyllis and Esquire Ledyard," of Hartford, were among Dr. Wheelock's legal advisers in 1768, and probably at this period. June 7,1769, we find Dr. Wheelock addressing Governor Wentworth as follows:
"I have been making some attempt to form a Charter, in which some proper respect may be shown to those generous benefactors in England who have condesceilded to patronize this school, and I want to be informed whether you think it consistent to make the Trust in England a distinct corporation, with power to hold real estate, etc., for the uses and purposes of this school." But the impress of Governor Wentworth does not appear till a somewhat later period. August 22,1769, Dr. Wheelock informs him that he is about to present him a " rough draught" of a Charter, for an "Academy," adding this somewhat significant postscript: "Sir, if you think proper to use the word College instead of Academy in the Charter, I shall be well pleased with it."

 Alexander Phelps

Dr. Wheelock's son-in-law, Mr. Alexander Phelps, and Rev. Dr. Whitaker seem to have been the principal agents to confer with Governor Wentworth in regard to the Charter.
October 18, 1769, he gives his views at length, in a letter to Dr. Wheelock, advising some amendments. Proposing some additions to the Board of Trust, he says: "The nomination of the Provincial officers I strongly recommend, though I do not insist upon. It was indeed resolved on my side that the Governor should be one" of the Board. "That I did not mention any other than the Governor can by no means be preclusive. Neither did I so intend it. The three provincialofficers will be a natural defense, honor and security to the institution."
The following letter indicates that Governor Wentworth had eminent legal counsel:
"Rev. Sir: I have had an opportunity of conferring with Colonel Phelps on the affair of the College proposed to be erected here. You 'll find some alterations in the scheme and draft of the Charter; they are supposed to be amendments, and I think they, to say the least, will not be impediments. I cannot stay to enumerate them ; the Charter will show them and the Colonel will be able to explain the grounds and reasons of them. I have spent some considerable time with the Governor to form the plan in such a manner as will make it most beneficial, and to prevail on him to make such concessions as would suit the gentlemen with you. I am apt to think the plan will be more serviceable as it now stands than as it was before.
I shall be glad to serve the cause, and have persuaded Colonel Phelps to communicate it before the finishing stroke, though it will cost him another journey. I have only to add that I am, with great esteem,
"Your most obedient humble servant,
William Parker.
"portsmouth, October 28, 1769."

Edward E Phelps Faculty 1879
Prof. Edward Elisha Phelps, M.D. LL.D., died at his residence in Windsor, Vt., on Friday, Nov. 26, 1880. He was born in Peacham, Vt., April 24, 1803. In 1822 we find him in attendance on his first course of medical lectures, at Dartmouth Medical College. He was for two years a student in medicine with Prof. Nathan Smith, then a resident of New Haven, Conn., but early in life settled in Cornish, N.H., and at Hanover. He graduated in Medicine at Yale, in the class of 1825. More info on Edward E Phelps

     William Phelps Kimball Thayer School at Dartmouth

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