Kinnersley, Ebenezer

Kinnersley, Ebenezer a Baptist minister, and an eminent scientist, was born in Gloucester, England, in 1711. In 1714 he was brought to America. His early life was spent in Lower Dublin, near Philadelphia, where he pursued his studies under the supervision of his father. He was ordained for the ministry in 1743. In 1746 his attention was directed to scientific pursuits and discoveries. Afterwards he became associated with Dr. Franklin in some of his most splendid discoveries, and delivered scientific lectures in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Newport. In 1753 he was chosen chief master of the English school in connection with the academy at Philadelphia, and in 1755 was unanimously elected professor of the English language and of oratory in the college. Successful in this department, he was honored, in 1757, by the trustees with the degree of master of arts, and in 1768 was chosen a member of the American Philosophical Society, which was then composed of the most learned and scientific men in the city. In 1772 he resigned the professorship, and visited the island of Barbadoes on account of his failing health. He afterwards returned to America, and died July 4, 1778. Mr. Kinnersley was of dignified personal appearance, and eminent as a teacher of public speaking. He acquired his chief renown not in the ministry, but in his scientific pursuits and experiments.-See Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 6:45. (J. L. S.)

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