Williams, Samuel, Lld
Williams, Samuel, LL.D.
a Congregational minister, son of Reverend Warham Williams of Waltham, Massachusetts, was born there, April 23, 1743. He graduated from Harvard College in 1761; was selected by professor Winthrop to accompany him, the same year, to Newfoundland, to observe the transit of Venus taught school at Waltham, and pursued his theological studies; was licensed to preach October 11, 1763; preached at Concord and Bradford, Mass., and was ordained in the latter place November 20, 1765. In May 1780, he was installed in the Hollis professorship of mathematics and natural philosophy in Harvard College. He was a member of the Meteorological Society of Mannheim, Germany, and of the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia; also of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Massachusetts. In 1786 he went to Penobscot Bay to observe a total eclipse of the sun, in a galley fitted out by the General Court of Massachusetts. The same year the government of Massachusetts appointed him to assist in running the line of jurisdiction between that state and New York. He resigned his professorship in 1788, and removed to Rutland, Vermont, preaching there as a stated supply from January 1789, to October 1795. Subsequently he preached at Burlington more than two years. He died at Rutland, January 2, 1817. In 1794 he published The Natural and Civil History of Vermont (8vo). which was republished in two volumes in 1809. In 1805 governor Tickenor appointed him to ascertain the boundary of the state of Vermont. A course of lectures was delivered by him in the University of Vermont soon after its establishment. Many MSS. on astronomical, philosophical, and mathematical subjects of great value are among his literary remains. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 1:595.