- Robert M. Calhoon
Odell, Jonathan (25 September 1737–25 November 1818), Anglican clergyman, Loyalist, and poet, was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of John Odell, a skilled carpenter, and Temperance Dickinson, the daughter of President Jonathan Dickinson of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). Odell’s father provided in his will for a college education for his son. After graduating from the College of New Jersey in 1754, Odell conducted the college’s grammar school, receiving in payment two-thirds of the school’s proceeds. In 1756 he studied medicine and then joined a regiment of the British army, serving in the West Indies as an army surgeon. He received his A.M. from the College of New Jersey in 1757. During this period he decided to seek ordination as an Anglican clergyman, in spite of his family’s historic ties to the Congregationalist church. While in England studying for the ministry, he taught at James Elphinston’s Academy in Kensington and published his first poems. He met ...