Encyclopedia Brunoniana

Smith, Hezekiah

Hezekiah Smith (1737-1805), early supporter of the College, was born in Hampstead, Long Island, on April 21, 1737. He attended Hopewell Academy and graduated from New Jersey College (Princeton) in 1762 in the same class as James Manning. After his graduation he traveled in the South for his health and was ordained in Charleston in September 1763. In May 1765 he became the pastor of the Baptist Church in Haverhill, Massachusetts. From October 1769 to June 1770 he made a trip to South Carolina and Georgia, preaching and receiving subscriptions for Rhode Island College. He collected about $2500, most of which was used for the College Edifice. The Corporation gratefully offered to make up to Smith his lost salary amounting to 66 pounds, thirteen shillings and four pence, but he would accept nothing but a remission of his own forty dollar subscription to the College. During the Revolution Smith was a chaplain and was present at the battles of Bunker Hill, Long Island, Stillwater, and Saratoga. He continued as pastor of his church in Haverhill until his death on January 22, 1805.