Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HILLHOUSE, James, clergyman, born in Ireland about 1687; died in Montville, Connecticut, in 1740. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, studied theology there, and was ordained by the presbytery of Londonderry, Ireland. It is supposed that he joined the Presbyterian emigrants who established themselves in New Hampshire in 1719. In 1720 he published a sermon in Boston, and was spoken of by Cotton Mather as a "worthy hopeful young minister lately arrived in America." In 1722 he was installed pastor in the newly instituted parish of New London, Connecticut--His son, William, jurist, born in Montville, Connecticut, 25 August, 1728; died there, 12 January, 1816, received a good education, studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He represented New London in the legislature from 1755 till 1785, and was also made "assistant," or member of the council, serving altogether in 106 semi-annual legislatures. He was judge of the court of common pleas for about forty years, a major in the 2d regiment of Connecticut cavalry in the Revolution, and from 1783 till 1786 a member of the Continental congress. At the age of eighty he declined a re-election to the council, and retired from public life.--Another son, James Abraham, lawyer, born in Montville, Connecticut, in 1730; died in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1775, was graduated at Yale in 1749, and in 1750 was appointed tutor there, which post he held till 1756. He then practised law successfully in New Haven, and in 1772 was elected one of the twelve "assistants."--William's son, James, lawyer, born in Montville. Conn., 21 October, 1754; died in New Haven, Connecticut, 29 December, 1832, was graduated at Yale in 1773. He served in the Revolutionary war, and in 1779 was captain of the Governor's footguards when New Haven was invaded by the British under Tryon. He was a representative in the legislature from 1780 till 1789, when he was called to a seat in the council. He was then elected as a Federalist to congress, where he took an active part in debates and served in 1791-'5. In 1796 he entered the United States senate, having been chosen for the unexpired term of Oliver Ellsworth, who had resigned his seat to become chief justice in the United States supreme court. He was elected for a full term in 1797, and again in 1803 and 1809. When Thomas Jefferson withdrew from the senate after his election to the presidency, Mr. Hill-house was appointed president pro tempore of that body. Although he was a strong Federalist, he proposed amendments to the constitution, in 1808, to correct what he considered dangerous tendencies in the system of Federal government. In 1810 he resigned his seat to become commissioner of the school fund of Connecticut, which office he held till 1825, rescuing the fund from gradual destruction and adding by judicious investments the sum of $500,000. From 1782 till his death he was treasurer of Yale, from which he received the degree of LL.D. in 1823. He published numerous speeches. See " Sketch of the Life and Character of Honorable James Hillhouse" (New Haven, 1860).--James Abraham, son of the second James, poet, born in New Haven. Conn., 26 September, 1789; died there, 5 January, 1841, was graduated at Yale in 1808, after which he spent three years in Boston, preparing for a mercantile career. He engaged in business in New York, and in 1819 went to Europe, where he met many distinguished men. Zachary Macaulay, father of the historian, spoke of him "as the most accomplished young man with whom he was acquainted." In 1822 he married Cornelia, daughter of Isaac Lawrence, of New York. and retired to his country-seat, '" Sachem's Wood," near New Haven. where he spent the remainder of his life, devoting his attention to literature. He published "The Judgment, a Vision," a poem delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa society of Yale (New York, 1812); "Percy's Masque," a drama (London, 1819; reprinted, with additions, New York, 1820); "Hadad," a sacred drama (New York, 1825); and a collected edition of his writings, containing the additions of "Demetria," a domestic Italian tragedy, written in 1813; "Sachem's Wood," a poem; and several discourses, under the title of "Dramas, Discourses, and other Pieces" (2 vols., Boston, 1839). --Augustus Lucas, another son of the second James, born in New Haven, Connecticut, 9 December, 1791; died in Paris, France, 14 March, 1859, was graduated at Yale in 1810. He was the author of the hymn " Trembling before thine Awful Throne."
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