Brownell, Thomas C, Dd
Brownell, Thomas C., D.D., bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Connecticut, was born at Westport, Mass., October 19, 1779. He entered the College of Rhode Island (now Brown University) in 1800; removed, with President Maxcy, to Union College in 1802, and graduated there in 1804. His mind had before this time been drawn to the study of theology, but the difficulties of the Calvinistic system perplexed and repelled him from the ministry. When the Rev. Dr. Nott, under those direction he had placed himself in his theological studies, was elevated to the presidency of Union College, he (Brownell) was made tutor in Latin and Greek. Two years later he was appointed professor of Belles-Lettres and Moral Philosophy, and after two years was transferred to the chair of Chemistry and Mineralogy. In 1809 he visited Europe, and spent a year in attending lectures and travelling over Great Britain, chiefly on foot. It was during these pedestrian peregrinations that he, with a companion, was on one occasion arrested on suspicion of being concerned in a robbery and murder-a charge ludicrously inconsistent with his harmless character. In 1810 he returned to America, and entered on the duties of his professorship. He had been bred a Congregationalist, but in 1813 he united with the Protestant Episcopal Church. In 1816 he was ordained deacon and priest, and some time after became one of the ministers of Trinity Church, New York. In 1819 he was elected bishop of Connecticut, and was consecrated on the 27th day of October. His administration of his diocese was eminently wise and successful. In the interest of domestic missions, he made a laborious journey to survey the Mississippi country as far as New Orleans. In 1824 he was the chief instrument in founding Washington College (now Trinity College), of which he was president until 1831. When, in that year, the pressing duties of the episcopate compelled him to relinquish the presidency of the college, he was made its chancellor, and continued to occupy that dignity up to the time of his death. In 1851, when the burden of age and the sense of growing infirmities admonished him to retire from active service, an assistant bishop was chosen at his request. In 1852, the death of Bishop Chase elevated him to the dignity of presiding bishop, and he held it for thirteen years. His last years were spent in peaceful retirement, and he died at Hartford, January 13, 1865. Among his publications are, A Commentary on the Common Prayer (N. Y. 1846, and often, imp. 8vo); Consolation for the Afflicted, 18mo; Christian's Walk and Consolation, 18mo; Exhortation to Repentance, 18mo; Family Prayer-book; and some smaller practical works.-American Church Review, July, 1865, p. 261; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, i, 266.