Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Bentleys in:
 • Harmony Grove Cemetery
 • Salem
 • Essex County
 • Massachusetts
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
William Bentley
Birth: Jun. 22, 1754
Suffolk County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Dec. 29, 1819
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA

Unitarian clergyman, diarist. He was ordained September 24, 1783, and became pastor of East Church in Salem where he spent the rest of his life. An ardent diarist, he concisely recorded daily events in the seaport ranging from the burgeoning China Trade, maritime construction, national and global politics and how each affected the community, freemasonry, slavery, and numerous other issues of the day. His observations are cited in numerous historical works. He was a friend of Presidents John Adams and James Madison, and once declined Thomas Jefferson's offer to head the University of Virginia while still in the planning stage. A scholar, he spoke several languages, and acquired a personal library of 4,000 books. A strong advocate for public education, he tutored Nathaniel Bowditch, who literally wrote the book on navigation. On spiritual matters he advocated praticing what he preached, advocating relief for the poor and good works. He bequeathed his library to various educational institutions, and portions of it are now held by Harvard and Tufts universities, Allegheny College, American Antiquarian Society and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. (bio by: Bob on Gallows Hill) 
Family links: 
  Joshua Bentley (1727 - 1819)
  Elizabeth Paine Bentley (1738 - 1804)
Harmony Grove Cemetery
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob on Gallows Hill
Record added: Apr 28, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10865654
William Bentley
Added by: Bob on Gallows Hill
William Bentley
Added by: Bob on Gallows Hill
William Bentley
Cemetery Photo
Added by: BobBoston
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Marie Annette Livengood Neely
 Added: Mar. 9, 2016

- poddop
 Added: Dec. 29, 2014

- Ernest Sharpe Jr
 Added: Oct. 7, 2012
There are 25 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (3.5 after 17 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service