Jeremiah Chaplin

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Jeremiah Chaplin
Jeremiah chaplin colby.jpeg
Founder and President of
Colby College
In office
Succeeded byRev. Rufus Babcock
Personal details
Born(1776-01-02)January 2, 1776
Rowley, Massachusetts (now Georgetown, Massachusetts
DiedMay 7, 1841(1841-05-07) (aged 65)
Hamilton, New York
Alma materBrown University

Jeremiah Chaplin (January 2, 1776 – May 7, 1841) was a Reformed Baptist theologian who served as the first president of Colby College (then called the Waterville College) in Maine.[1]

Chaplin was born in Rowley, Massachusetts (now Georgetown, Massachusetts) in 1776, he worked on the family farm, and in 1799 he graduated from Brown University, a school with an historical Baptist affiliation. Chaplin spent a year at Brown as a tutor and then studied theology eventually becoming pastor of a Baptist church in Danvers, Massachusetts, he left this pastorate in 1817 to become president of the new Waterville College (later Colby College) at which he served until 1833. Chaplin first met Gardner Colby during this period while Colby was still a child, and Chaplin assisted Colby's family after Colby's father died.

During the remainder of his life, Chaplin preached in Rowley, Massachusetts and Willington, Connecticut, and then moved to Hamilton, New York where he died in 1841. Chaplin held to a Calvinist Baptist theology throughout his life.[2]

A Liberty ship constructed in 1943, the SS Jeremiah L. Chaplin was named in his honor.[3][4]

Published works[edit]

  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1872). Life of Henry Dunster, first president of Harvard College. J.R. Osgood and Co. OCLC 11250203.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1865). The life of Charles Sumner. Sheldon and Co. OCLC 2034090.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1874). Duncan Dunbar : the record of an earnest ministry : a sketch of the life of the late pastor of the McDougal St. Baptist Church, New York. D. Lothrop. OCLC 317694352.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1876). The life of Benjamin Franklin. D. Lothrop and Co. OCLC 2741719.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1881). Chips from the White House; or, Selections from the speeches, conversations, diaries, letters, and other writings, of all the presidents of the United States. D. Lothrop and Co. OCLC 2949595.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1886). Words of our hero, Ulysses S. Grant. D. Lothrop and Co. OCLC 52292874.
  • Chaplin, Jeremiah (1859). The evening of life, or, Light and comfort amid the shadows of declining years. Gould and Lincoln. OCLC 9494622.


  1. ^ Portrait of Chaplin
  2. ^ Eulogy of Jeremiah Chaplin (1843)
  3. ^ Mayflower Hill, A History of Colby College, Earl H. Smith, University Press of New England, 2006, p. 57 n32
  4. ^ Liberty: The Ships That Won the War, Peter Elphick, Naval Institute Press, 2006, p 131.