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date: 25 February 2020

Hitchcock, Roswell Dwightlocked

(15 August 1817–16 June 1887)
  • Robert T. Handy


Hitchcock, Roswell Dwight (15 August 1817–16 June 1887), church historian and seminary president, was born at East Machias, Maine, the son of Roswell Hitchcock and Betsey Longfellow. He prepared for college there at Washington Academy and entered Amherst as a sophomore in 1833, graduating three years later. After two years as the principal of an academy, he attended Andover Theological Seminary but after a year was called back to Amherst as a tutor and only in 1842 returned to seminary, graduating in two years. In 1845 he married Elizabeth Anthony Brayton (three children were born of the union) and was ordained as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Exeter, New Hampshire. After a leave of absence to study at Halle and Berlin (1847–1848), he returned to his parish but was appointed professor of religion at Bowdoin College in 1852. Three years later he was elected to the newly endowed Washburn Chair of Church History at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, a post he held for the rest of his life. Once at Union he transferred his ministerial credentials to the New School Presbyterian church and showed loyal devotion to the Westminster Confession, interpreting it in the light of the demanding intellectual trends of his times....

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