Strong, Augustus Hopkins, 1836-1921

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Augustus Hopkins Strong was born on August 3, 1836, in Rochester, New York. His father, Alvah Strong, was one of the original settlers of that town and one of the founders of the Rochester Theological Seminary. Augustus graduated with the Yale College class of 1857 and then entered the school his father helped found. He was ordained in August, 1861, and for the next decade was pastor at churches in Massachusetts and Ohio. In 1872, he resigned his pastorate to become president of Rochester Theological Seminary and chair of systematic theology. He held these jobs for forty years, during which time he produced numerous books and increased the school's endowment tenfold. He died on November 29, 1921, while vacationing in Pasadena, California.

Augustus Hopkins Strong, B.A. 1857

Born August 3, 1836, in Rochester, N. Y.

Died November 29, 1921, in Pasadena, Calif.

Augustus Hopkins Strong was born in Rochester, N. Y., August 3, 1836, the son of Alvah and Catharine (Hopkins) Strong. His father was a pioneer of Rochester. He was publisher of the Rochester Daily Democrat (now the Democrat and Chronicle ) for thirty years, and was one of the founders and the first treasurer of the Rochester Theological Seminary. His parents were Dr. Ezra Strong and Betsey (Dunning) Strong, and he was a direct descendant of Elder John Strong, who landed at Plymouth in 1630 and later removed to Northampton, Mass. On the maternal side Augustus Strong traced his ancestry to John Hopkins who came from England to Massachusetts with the Rev. Thomas Hooker in 1633. His mother was the daughter of Mark and Almira (Stanley) Hopkins.

After completing a course at the Rochester Collegiate Institute, he spent a year in the counting room of the Rochester-Democrat, and then entered Yale. In his Sophomore year he won two first prizes in English composition and a first prize in declamation. He received dissertation appointments in both Junior and Senior years and was awarded the DeForest Gold Medal. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

He studied at the Rochester Theological Seminary from 1857 to 1859 and then went abroad for a year of travel. Returning to America in July, 1860, he spent a few months in Chicago, where he supplied the pulpit of the North Baptist Church. He was ordained in August, 1861, and became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Haverhill, Mass. He was called to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1865, his installation taking place in October, and served this church until 1872, when he resigned to accept the presidency of Rochester Theological Seminary. He served in this capacity for forty years, during this period also holding the chair of systematic theology. Upon his retirement in 1912 he was made president emeritus. During his presidency the endowments of the institution were increased from less than $200,000 to more than $2,000,000. Dr. Strong had devoted the last few years of his life to travel and writing. In 1916-17 he made a tour of the Orient, visiting mission stations of the American Baptist Foreign Missionary Society. He was president of the American Baptist Missionary Union from 1892 to 1895 and of the General Convention of Baptists of North America from 1905 to 1910. He had been first vice-president and president of the Rochester Historical Society, of which he was one of the founders. His principal theological work was Systematic Theology, which was published in 1886, ran through six editions, and was revised and enlarged in 1908, appearing in three volumes. Other published works include Philosophy and Religion (1888); The Great Poets and their Theology (1897); Christ in Creation and Ethical Monism (1899); Miscellanies (in two volumes, 1912); One Hundred Chapel-Talks to Theological Students (1913); Union with Christ (1914); Popular Lectures on the Books of the New Testament (1914); American Poets and their Theology (1916); and A Tour of Missions (1917). He received the honorary degree of D.D. fromBrown (1870), Yale (1890), and Princeton (1896), that of LL.D. from Bucknell University (1891) and Alfred University (1904), and that of Litt.D. from the University of Rochester (1912).

He died November 29, 1921, in Pasadena, Calif., where he had gone to spend the winter. His death followed a blood transfusion, which had been resorted to in preparation for an operation. Interment was in Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester.

Dr. Strong was married November 7, 1861, in Rochester, to Harriet Louise, daugher of Eleazer and Harriet (Crowell) Savage, who died in July, 1914. His second marriage took place in DeLand, Fla., January 1, 1915, to Marguerite Geraldine vanIngen Jones, daughter of Gerrit and Petronella Roda vanIngen, and widow of John Jay Jones of Orange, N. J. She survives him, and he also leaves six children by his first marriage: Charles Augustus (B.A. University of Rochester 1884); Mary Belle (Mrs. Robert George Cook); John Henry (B.A. Rochester 1889, and Yale 1890); Cora Harriet; Kate Louise, the wife of Charles Grenville Sewell; and Laura Rockefeller, who was married on June 1, 1910, to Edmund H. Lewis, '07. Dr. Strong is also survived by thirteen grandchildren.

From the guide to the Augustus Hopkins Strong papers, 1851-1921, (Manuscripts and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Gates, Frederick Taylor. Papers, 1888-1906 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Gates, Frederick Taylor, 1853-1929. Papers, 1888-1906 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Strong, Chares A. (Charles Augustus), 1862-1940. Charles A. Strong Papers, 1877-1961 (bulk 1906-1939). Rockefeller Archive Center
referencedIn Goodspeed, Thomas Wakefield, 1842-1927. Papers, 1865-1927 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Robinson, Ezekiel Gilman, 1815-1894. Lectures on theology / by Dr. Robinson. Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Ambrose Swasey Library
referencedIn Dodge, Henry Nehemiah, 1843-1937. Papers, 1857-1962 (inclusive), 1857-1936 (bulk). Harvard University, Divinity School Library
referencedIn Gates, Frederick Taylor, 1853-1929. Papers, 1888-1906 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
creatorOf Hovey, Alvah, 1820-1903. Papers, 1842-1903. Andover Newton Theological School, Franklin Trask Library
creatorOf Strong, Augustus Hopkins, 1836-1921,. [Scrapbook of Yale memorabilia of Augustus H. Strong, of the class of 1857, Yale college]. Yale University Library
creatorOf Strong, Augustus Hopkins, 1836-1921. Augustus Hopkins Strong papers, 1851-1921 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Augustus Hopkins Strong papers, 1851-1921 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1857-1962. Andover-Harvard Theological Library
referencedIn Goodspeed, Thomas W. Papers, 1865-1927 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Dodge, Henry Nehemiah, 1843-1937. person
associatedWith Gates, Frederick Taylor, 1853-1929. person
associatedWith Goodspeed, Thomas Wakefield, 1842-1927. person
associatedWith Hovey, Alvah, 1820-1903. person
associatedWith Robinson, Ezekiel Gilman, 1815-1894. person
associatedWith Strong, Chares A. (Charles Augustus), 1862-1940. person
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
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United States
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Birth 1836-08-03

Death 1921-11-29

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