New Haven, CT: 1787. 24 x 30 cm. Manuscript diploma in ink, text in Latin, signed in two places by Ezra Stiles. Official seal upper left corner. Some previous folds repaired with archival tape, water staining, browned. Legible overall. Holograph document in Latin stating that the Reverend Samuel Wales and Senior Tutor Ebenezer Fitch have tested and certified certain Yale students (not named) for candidacy for a baccalaureate degree. Dated July 18, 1787 (in Roman numerals). Also signed by the Vice Beadle Huntington "Artium Bauslaureus").The names of other tutors are listed on the verso including the Reverend doctors Ebenzer Fitch, Abial Holmes, and Joseph Denison, Jonathan Edwards, Tobias Meigs, Simon Baldwin, Samuel (?). Also listed are Drs. Leavitt, Cook, and Hitchcock.
Samuel Wales was born in Raynham, Massachusetts, 2 March, 1748; died in New Haven, Connecticut, 18 February, 1794. Samuel was graduated at Yale in 1767, was minister of Milford in 1770-'82, and in the latter year received the degree of D. D. from Yale, where he was professor of divinity from 12 June, 1782, until his death. He published "Dangers of Our National Prosperity," an election sermon (Hartford, 1785). Jonathan Edwards, Jr. was known for his part in leading Connecticut Congregational ministers in successfully petitioning the state legislature to ban the slave trade. In 1790 he then formed the "Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom and the Relief of Persons Unlawfully Held In Bondage." Ebenezer Fitch (1756-1833) was born in Norwich, Connecticut. He was graduated at Yale in 1777, and was a tutor there in 1778-83 and 1786-91. In 1791 he became principal of Williamstown Academy, and when this became Williams College, in June 1793, he was elected its first president, an office which he held until 1815, when he resigned to become pastor of the Presbyterian Church in West Bloomfield, N.Y. He resigned this charge in 1827, but preached occasionally after that almost until the time of his death. Item #63734