Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758

Alternative names
Birth 1703-10-05
Death 1758-03-22

Biographical notes:

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) was a colonial American Congregational preacher and theologian. He was president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) from February 1758 to his death, one month later.

From the description of Jonathan Edwards family collection, 1723-1798. (Princeton University Library). WorldCat record id: 276567983

American theologian.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Stockbridge, to The Reverend Joseph Bellamy, 1753 Aug. 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270743085

Jonathan Edwards was born in East Windsor, Connecticut in 1703. He graduated from Yale College in 1720 and continued his theological study for two more years. He served as minister in churches in New York City and Northampton, Massachusetts. His attack on New England's moral ills in published sermons brought about a spiritual revival in the Connecticut River Valley from 1734-1735. In 1750, he was dismissed from the church in Northampton as the result of a controversy over church membership. He moved to Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1751 and became a missionary to the Indians and minister of a small town. In January, 1758, he became president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). His term lasted only three months due to his death in March.

From the description of Jonathan Edwards papers [microform]. (Yale University). WorldCat record id: 122390402

Congregational clergyman and theologian, president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton).

From the description of Letter, 1757 Nov. 11. (American Congregational Association). WorldCat record id: 70954094

Clergyman and educator.

From the description of Jonathan Edwards letter, 1750. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71009890

Jonathan Edwards, theologian and leader of the Great Awakening, minister of the Congregationalist Church at Northampton, Mass., later missionary to the Stockbridge Indians, author of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. He was the only son of Timothy and Esther Stoddard Edwards; one of his ten sisters was Hannah Wetmore. He married Sarah Pierpont and had eleven children, one of them Jonathan Edwards, Jr., whose son was Jonathan Walter Edwards.

From the description of Jonathan Edwards collection, 1696-1972 (bulk 1726-1758). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702138537

Jonathan Edwards, among the foremost theologians and philosophers of his time, was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, on October 5, 1703. He attended Yale College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1720. He returned in 1723 to receive his Master of Arts degree, and served as a tutor from 1724 to 1726. Upon leaving Yale, he succeeded his grandfather, Solomon Stoddard, as minister of the Congregationalist Church at Northampton, Massachusetts from 1726 to 1750. There he became known as an evangelical preacher and stern Calvinist, helping inspire the "Great Awakening" of the 1740s. His writings, which were widely circulated, included A Faithful Narrative, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, Some Thoughts Concerning the Revivals, and A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections .

Edwards eventually became alienated from his Northampton congregation, and was dismissed after a protracted controversy over qualifications for church membership. In 1751 he became a missionary to the Mahican and Mohawk Indians at Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and minister to the English congregation there. While at Stockbridge he continued writing treatises that expounded his theology, including Freedom of the Will, Original Sin, The Nature of True Virtue, and The End for Which God Created the World . In 1757, he accepted an offer to become the president of the College of New Jersey, now Princeton University. In March 1758 he received a smallpox innoculation which proved to be infected, and died.

For more information on Edwards's life, see Perry Miller, Jonathan Edwards (New York: Sloan, 1949); Ola E. Winslow, Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758: A Biography (New York: Macmillan, 1941); and Iain H. Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography (Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth, 1987). Readers should also consult The Works of Jonathan Edwards (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1957-ongoing) for further definitive information on Edwards's life and writings.

Note: The people listed here are represented prominently in the collection, and are therefore mentioned in the Description of the Collection.

Timothy Edwards (1669-1758) m. (1694) Esther Stoddard (1672-1771)

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) m. (1727) Sarah Pierpont (1710-1758)

Jonathan (1745-1801) m. (1770) Mary Porter

Mary m. James Hait [Hoyt?]

Jonathan Walter m. Elizabeth Tryon (daughter of Moses Tryon)


9 other children

Jerusha m. Calvin Chapin

Ten children

Hannah (1713-1773) m. (1746) Seth Wetmore (1700-1778)

Lucy (1749-1826) m. (1770) Chauncey Whittelsey (d. 1812)

Nine daughters

From the guide to the Jonathan Edwards collection, 1696-1972, 1726-1758, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)


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  • Indians of North America--Missions
  • Preaching--History--17th century
  • Sermons--Outlines, syllabi, etc
  • Revivals--Massachusetts--Northampton
  • Theology--History--18th century
  • Calvinism
  • Congregational churches--Clergy--18th century
  • Congregationalism--18th century
  • Preaching--United States--History--17th century
  • Sermons, American--Manuscripts--Facsimiles
  • Clergy--18th century
  • Sermons, American
  • Theology
  • Theology, Doctrinal--History
  • Theology, Doctrinal--United States--History
  • Congregational churches--Sermons
  • Congregational churches
  • Congregationalism--Sermons
  • Revivals
  • Indians of North America--Missions--Massachusetts
  • Student newspapers and periodicals--History
  • Congregational churches--Clergy--Correspondence
  • Theology Early works to 1800
  • Messiah--Prophecies
  • Calvinism--United States
  • Congregational churches--Clergy
  • Educational fund raising--18th century
  • Great Awakening


  • Educators
  • Theologians--Massachusetts--Stockbridge
  • Clergy


  • Connecticut (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Stockbridge (as recorded)
  • Stockbridge (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Massachusetts--Northampton (as recorded)
  • Northampton (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Northampton (Mass.) (as recorded)
  • Princeton (N.J.) (as recorded)
  • Australia--Warrandyte (Vic.) (as recorded)