Collection History

Adonijah Bidwell (1716-1784) was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1716 to Thomas and Prudence Bidwell. He attended Yale, graduating in 1740, and in April of 1745 joined the Connecticut Fleet preparing to sail for Canada as part of a response to escalating hostilities on British colonial holdings in Nova Scotia (King George’s War). As part of the Fleet, Bidwell served as chaplain on the Sloop of war “The Colony,” sent to Cape Breton Island. Bidwell returned to Hartford, and in 1750 settled in Tyringham (now Monterey), Massachusetts, as their first settled pastor. In 1752, Bidwell married Theodosia Colton, daughter of his Yale tutor Rev. Benjamin Coulton. Theodosia died in 1759, childless. In 1760, Bidwell married Theodosia’s first cousin, Jemima Devotion, with whom he had four children before her death in 1770. Bidwell married Ruth Kent, his third and final wife, in 1772. Adonijah Bidwell died in 1784.

For more detail about the collection, see the archival finding guide.

In these booklets, Bidwell uses personalized shorthand and abbreviations. A preliminary reference is provided here:

ΑAlphaGospel of Matthew
ΒBetaGospel of Mark
ΓGammaGospel of Luke
ΔDeltaGospel of John
ΖZetaBook of Romans
ΘThetaShorthand for "God"


Digital Materials

Sermon booklet, circa 1754-1769 & undated

This collection contains sermon notes and scriptural references for sermons preached by Bidwell at Tyringham, Massachusetts. Sermons are dated with multiple years, most likely indicating years when sermons were re-preached. In some cases, it is difficult to tell what is the original date of creation, and what is a date of re-use. The booklets contain notes on their "covers" with date and locational information. Whether this information is original to Rev. Bidwell is difficult to determine. Due to this date confusion, the dates describing the items in this collection, in both the Summary and Contents section, are based on the best information available, but may not be correct.