Woodhull, Selah Strong, Dd
Woodhull, Selah Strong, D.D.
a (Dutch) Reformed minister, was born in New York city, Aug. 4, 1786. At the age of twelve, while a freshman in Columbia College, he lost both his parents. He then went to Yale College, graduated in 1802, studied theology under his uncle, Rev. Dr. Woodhull, of Freehold, N. J., and afterwards at Princeton: with Dr. Henry Kollock, and was licensed to preach at the age of nineteen by the Presbytery of New Brunswick (1805). After one year of service as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Boundbrook, N. J., he removed to Brooklyn, and until 1825 continued the popular and useful minister of the First Reformed Church in that city. He was then (1825) elected by the General Synod of the Church as professor of ecclesiastical history and pastoral theology in the Theological Seminary, and by the trustees of Rutgers College as their professor of metaphysics and philosophy. These eminent positions he accepted, and entered upon his duties with ardor in November of that year. But, after only four months of hard labor, he died from an inflammatory fever, Feb. 27, 1826. For five years he was secretary for domestic correspondence of the American Bible Society (1820-25), an office which he discharged until his removal to New Brunswick with great assiduity and success. In 1814 he held a commission as chaplain in the United States army, and officiated during part of the existing war with Great Britain. He was stated clerk of the General Synod, 1818-20, and its president in 1821. His great business capacity led to his selection for these and many other important positions, in all of which he commanded universal confidence. He was the impersonation of activity, decision, energy, and persevering industry. He was a diligent student, a faithful pastor, an instructive, methodical, solemn, earnest, practical, graceful, and attractive preacher. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 9:161-164; Livingston [Dr. J.H.], Memoir, p. 401-402; Corwin, Manual of the Reformed Church in America, p. 271. (W.J.R.T.)