Samuel Lunt Caldwell, future Brown trustee, was born in 1820 in Newburyport, Massachusetts. His mother, Hannah Caldwell, had hopes that this firstborn of her nine children would become a missionary. This ambition of hers, along with Caldwell's lack of athletic and mechanical prowess, made him an ideal candidate for higher education. The studious boy prepared for college in the local grammar schools, then entered Maine's Waterville College (now called Colby College), in 1835. The fourteen-year-old was the youngest student in his class, but by his sophomore year, was widely acknowledged as one of the school's most skilled writers. After his graduation in 1839, Caldwell taught school in New Hampshire for a year, then returned to Newburyport in 1840, where he became principal of the West Grammar School.
Caldwell's mother, who had died in 1835, never relinquished her wish that he enter the ministry, and finally, years after her death, her son decided to train for this profession at the Newton Theological Institution. He graduated in 1845 and was ordained as a Baptist minister. After a brief stint as a pastor in Alexandria, Virginia, Caldwell took the pulpit of the First Baptist Church of Bangor, Maine, where he served from 1846 until 1858. In 1858, he took the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in Providence, Rhode Island. He spent fifteen years in this position, during which time he wrote editorials for the Providence Journal, published a number of sermons, edited several books, and worked to reinforce the relationship between the Baptist church and Brown University.
Caldwell served as a trustee of Brown University from 1859 until 1862, and then was elected Fellow of the University (a position which he occupied until his death). In 1873, Caldwell left Providence to take a professorship of Church History at Newton Theological Institution. There, he also trained students in homiletics (that is, the art of preaching). In 1878, Caldwell accepted the presidency of Vassar College. He served in this position until 1885, then retired to Providence, where he spent his last years, writing his book, Cities of Our Faith, and serving as a member of the Rhode Island Historical Society and the Providence Athenaeum. At the time of his death in 1889, Caldwell was the recipient of an honorary D.D. from Colby College (1858), and an honorary L.L.D. from Brown University (1884).
In 1846, Caldwell married Mary Lenord Richards, a woman from his hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Two of the couple's sons, William Emery Caldwell and Samuel Lenord Caldwell, gave this portrait to Brown in 1892. This portrait was painted by Anne Lodge Parrish (b. 1859), an artist known for her paintings of Delaware and Colorado landscapes, as well as her portraits. Parrish painted this portrait after Caldwell's death, from a photograph. She was married to Thomas Parrish, also a painter. Their daughter, Anne Parrish (1888-1957), was a well-known children's book illustrator.
Created by: Linda Mac
Record added: May 29, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70558789