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Dr Truman Jay Backus
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Birth: Feb., 1842
Cayuga County
New York, USA
Death: Mar. 25, 1908
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA

BACKUS Truman Jay, educator, was born in Locke, Cayuga county, N. Y., Feb. 11, 1842. He is descended on both sides from several generations of American ancestry, thoroughly imbued with the New England spirit of religious and educational progress. His father, Rev. Jay Spicer Backus, inherited the energy and intellectual courage which characterized his well-known ancestor, Isaac Backus. He was a fearless abolitionist and a prominent preacher and organizer among the Baptists of the United States. Truman Backus received his early education in the public schools of New York city, and was graduated with distinction from the University of Rochester in 1864. He then became one of his father's assistants in the office of the Baptist home mission society in the city of New York, where he was trained iu the art of organization, in which his father was an adept. He had already won much appreciation when Matthew Vassar inaugurated his bold plan for the thorough collegiate education of women. In 1867, through his advisers, he invited young Backus to fill the chair of rhetoric and English literature in the new institution. Accepting the charge, Mr. Backus fulfilled it with constantly increased efficiency during sixteen years. He took a large share in the administration of Vassar college, and was the coadjutor of John H. Raymond and Maria Mitchell in establishing those lines of work through which this pioneer college proved the wisdom of higher training for women substantially equal to that of men.

Bio contributed by Ruth Breslin

Truman Jay Backus, educator, was born in Milan, N.Y., Feb. 11, 1842; son of the Rev. Jay Spicer and Mercy (Williams) Backus, and a descendant of Isaac Backus. His father was stationed in Syracuse and he graduated from Syracuse high School in the class of 1860 and not long after that the family moved to Rochester. He was graduated from the University of Rochester in 1864; attended the Rochester theological seminary, 1864-'65, and was assistant secretary to the American Baptist Home Mission society, 1866-'67. He was professor of rhetoric and the English language at Vassar college, 1867-'83, and president of Packer Collegiate institute, Brooklyn, N.Y., from 1883. He was president of the Long Island state insane hospital. He received the degree LL.D, from Rochester in 1883; rewrote Shaw's "History of English Literature" and published "Great English Writers (1885); "Outlines of English Literature" (1887).

Adapted from: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Four children were born of the first marriage: Raymond R. Backus, Mrs. Roscoe C.E. Brown, Grosvenor H. Backus and the Rev. A. Hamilton Backus.

Family links: 
  Sarah C. Glass Backus (1840 - 1882)
  Helen Hiscock Backus (1852 - 1906)
  Grosvenor Hyde Backus (1874 - 1948)*
  Alexander Hamilton Backus (1876 - 1937)*
*Calculated relationship
Oakwood Cemetery
Onondaga County
New York, USA
Plot: Sect 3 plot 1
Created by: Diane LM
Record added: Jul 31, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 74232837
Dr Truman Jay Backus
Added by: Ruth Alice Breslin
Dr Truman Jay Backus
Added by: Diane LM
Dr Truman Jay Backus
Added by: Diane LM
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 Added: Aug. 13, 2011

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