May 14, 1752, Northampton, Massachusetts.
January 11, 1817, New Haven, Connecticut.
Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut.
Dwight was a man for all seasons: An ordained Congregational minister, grandson of preacher Jonathan Edwards, personal friend of American president George Washington, and Army chaplain.
He began reading the Bible at age four, and secretly learned Latin despite his father’s prohibition.
In 1785, he published the 11-volume Conquest of Canaan. In 1787, he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Princeton University.
In 1795, he became president of Yale University (where, like his grandfather Jonathan Edwards, he matriculated at age 13).
He helped found the Andover Theological Seminary—the first seminary in New England—in 1809.
Dwight’s accomplishments are amazing considering his medical handicap. A smallpox inoculation actually gave him the disease, and affected his sight. For almost four decades, he could read only 15 minutes at a time, and was plagued by constant, agonizing pain at the back of his eyes.
He eventually died of cancer after serving as president of Yale for 22 years.
His works include: