28 Facts About Ezra Stiles


Ezra Stiles is noted as the seventh president of Yale College and one of the founders of Brown University.


Kezia Taylor Stiles died four days after giving birth to Ezra.


Ezra Stiles studied works by Thomas Farnaby, Isaac Watts, and John Ward.


Ezra Stiles was conferred a perfunctory Master of Arts degree from Yale and became ordained in 1749 after further studies in theology.


From 1749 to 1755, Ezra Stiles worked as a tutor at Yale.


In 1753 Ezra Stiles resigned from his position as a tutor to pursue a career in law and practice at New Haven.


In 1768, Ezra Stiles was elected to the American Philosophical Society.


In 1752, Ezra Stiles traveled to Newport, Rhode Island, for his health.


In 1757, Ezra Stiles married Elizabeth Hubbard, with whom he had eight children.


From time to time, Ezra Stiles invested with the merchants and sea captains of his congregation; in 1756, he sent a hogshead of rum along on a voyage to Africa and was repaid with a 10-year-old male slave, whom he renamed "Newport".


In drafting the document, Ezra Stiles combined broad-minded public statements defining Rhode Island College as a "liberal and catholic institution" in which "shall never be admitted a religious test" with private partisanship: his draft charter packed the board of trustees and the fellows of the college with his fellow Congregationalists.


Ezra Stiles struck up a close friendship with Haim Isaac Carigal of Hebron during the Palestinian Rabbi's 1773 residence in Newport.


Ezra Stiles' records note 28 meetings to discuss a wide variety of topics from Kabbalah to the politics of the Holy Land.


Ezra Stiles improved his rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew, to the point where he and Carigal corresponded by mail in the language.


Ezra Stiles believed, as did many Christian scholars of the time, that facility with the text in its original language was advantageous for proper interpretation.


Ezra Stiles conducted research on the Native Americans of New England.


Ezra Stiles additionally documented information on the languages and petroglyphs of New England's native peoples.


Ezra Stiles left Newport in 1776 prior to the arrival of British troops their subsequent occupation of the city.


In 1776 and 1777, Ezra Stiles served briefly as minister of the Dighton Community Church in Dighton, Massachusetts.


In 1777, Ezra Stiles became pastor of North Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


In 1778, Ezra Stiles was appointed president of Yale, a post he held until his death.


Ezra Stiles was an amateur scientist who corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin about scientific discoveries.


Ezra Stiles charged a glass tube with static electricity and used it to "excite the wonder and admiration of an audience".


Ezra Stiles shocked 52 people at once, fired spirits of wine and rum, and caused counterfeit spiders to move about as if they were alive.


Ezra Stiles was more a learner and teacher than an experimenter.


Ezra Stiles refers to the US as an "American Israel, high above all nations which He hath made, in numbers, and in praise, and in name, and in honor", suggesting that the White Americans are like the Chosen People of Israel.


Ezra Stiles died in New Haven in 1795, while serving as president.


Ezra Stiles married twice and had eight children.