Wentworth, Erastus

Life Span
Dickinson Connection
Faculty, 1850-1854
    Full name
    Erastus Wentworth
    Place of Birth
    Birth Date Certainty
    Death Date Certainty
    Free State
    Other Education
    Wesleyan University, CT
    Relation to Slavery
    White non-slaveholder
    Church or Religious Denomination

    Erastus Wentworth (Dickinson Chronicles)

    Erastus Wentworth was born in Stonington, Connecticut on August 5, 1813. He was educated at local and Congregationalist schools till at eighteen he converted to Methodism at a revival. He attended the Cazenovia Seminary beginning in 1832 and by 1837 had earned an undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University.

    He embarked on his teaching career at Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary in 1838, serving under the young Jesse Truesdell Peck. He followed Peck to his new post as head of the Troy Conference Academy in Poultney, Vermont in 1841. In 1846 Wentworth himself was named to the presidency of McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois. In 1850 he was unanimously elected to the chair of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, replacing Spencer Fullerton Baird who had resigned to accept a position as Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His old mentor Peck was again involved in this appointment as he was currently serving as the tenth president of Dickinson. Allegheny College had awarded him a doctorate in 1850, and Doctor Wentworth's combination of preaching skills and a witty but gentle sarcasm made him a extremely popular professor among students at the College over the next four years. But in 1854, he resigned his position to lead a Methodist Mission to Foochow in China, taking with him some of the Dickinson graduating class, notably Otis Gibson.

    He served in China until 1862 when the declining health of his wife forced the couple's return to the Troy Conference as a pastor. In 1872, he was named as editor of the Ladies Repository which was then published in Cincinnati, Ohio. He left this post four years later and entered a semi-retirement mostly spent writing and serving on committees for the Methodist Church. On May 26, 1886, Erastus Wentworth died at his home in Sandy Hill, New York. He was seventy-three years old.
    John Osborne and James W. Gerencser, eds., "Erastus Wentworth," Dickinson Chronicles, http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/encyclo/w/ed_wentworthE.htm.

    Erastus Wentworth (Cyclopaedia of Biblical…Literature)

    Wentworth, Erastus, D.D., a Methodist Episcopal minister, was born at Stonington, Conn., Aug. 5, 1813. He was converted in 1831 ; studied at Cazenovia, N. Y. ; graduated from Wesleyan University, Conn., in 1887; became a teacher in Gouverneur Seminary in 1838, and in 1841 in Troy Conference Academy, joining the Troy Conference the same year; in 1846 was elected president of M’Kendrie College, Ill. ; in 1850 professor in Dickinson College, Pa. ; in 1854 went as a missionary to Foochow, China; in 1862 became pastor of North-second Street Church, Troy, N. Y.; in 1865 of State Street Church, in the same city; in 1868 at Pittsfield, Mass.; in 1871 at Amsterdam, N. Y.; in 1872 editor of The Ladies’ Repository, at Cincinnati, O.; in 1877 became superannuated, and died at Sandy Hill, N. Y., May 25,1886. He was possessed of remarkable and varied talents, wrote much and brilliantly, especially for the journals, and several times was a member of the General Conference. See Alumni Record of Wesleyan University, 1882, p. 17, 654.
    John McClintock and James Strong, “Wentworth, Erastus,” Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1889), 2: 1075.
    How to Cite This Page: "Wentworth, Erastus," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/6833.