Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DYER, Eliphalet, jurist, born in Windham, Connecticut, 28 September 1721 ; died there, 13 May 1807 he was graduated at Yale in 1740, studied law, and was admitted to practice in 1746 after which he was town clerk and justice of the peace in Windham. He was many times member of the legislature between 1747 and 1762, and was the original promoter of the project to establish a Connecticut colony in the valley of the Susquehanna. In 1753 he was a member of the committee to purchase the title to the land selected for the proposed colony at Wyoming, and in 1755 was agent to petition the general assembly in its behalf. The French and Indian wars interrupted the plan, and in August 1755, Mr. Dyer was lieutenant colonel of a regiment sent to reduce Crown Point. He was colonel of a regiment sent against Canada in 1758, and in 1762'84 was annually elected an assistant.
As an active member of the Susquehanna land company, he was sent as their agent,, in 1763, to England, but failed in his effort to obtain confirmation from the crown of the title to the Wyoming region. On his return he became comptroller of the port of New London, and in September 1765, he was the first of the commissioners sent to the stamp act congress from Connecticut. Afterward, with a majority of the Connecticut assistants, he withdrew from the governor's house rather than assist in his taking the oath to carry out the provisions of the act. Colonel Dyer was elected judge of the superior court in 1766, and held that office till 1793, serving during the last four years as chief justice. He was a delegate to the 1st Continental congress in 1744, and was reelected to each succeeding congress, with the exception of those of 1776 and 1779. He became a member of the state committee of safety on its formation in May 1775, and in December 1776, declined an appointment as brigadier general of militia. Yale gave him the degree of D. D. in 1787. John Adams said of him:" Dyer is longwinded and roundabout, obscure and cloudy, very talkative and very tedious, yet an honest, worthy man; means and judges well." He published a pamphlet entitled "Remarks on Dr. Gale's Letter" (Philadelphia, 1769).
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