Bidwell, Adonijah. Sermon booklets

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Adonijah Bidwell sermons, circa 1754-1781, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

Rev. 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, Rev. Bidwell served as chaplain on the Sloop of war "The Colony", sent to Cape Breton Island. Rev. 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, Rev. Bidwell married Theodosia’s first cousin, Jemima Devotion, with whom he had four children before her death in 1770. Rev. Bidwell married Ruth Kent, his third and final wife, in 1772. Adonijah Bidwell died in 1784.

The digital materials below include two sermon booklets created by Rev. Bidwell, in which he records the text of various sermons and the dates and locations of preaching. The volumes are organized chronologically. For additional information please see the finding aid.


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

Α Alpha Gospel of Matthew
Β Beta Gospel of Mark
Γ Gamma Gospel of Luke
Δ Delta Gospel of John
Ζ Zeta Book of Romans
Θ Theta Shorthand for "God"


Digital Materials

Sermon booklet, circa 1754-1769, undated

This booklet contains sermon notes by the Rev. Bidwell, who used them for preaching on numerous occassions. The notes vary in length, some brief and written with numerous shorthand annotations, and other passages which are more comprehensive. The dates of preaching are occassionally listed with the sermon text.

Sermon booklet, circa 1757-1781, undated

Similar to the above, this booklet consists of sermon notes by Rev. Bidwell, with a large number of shorthand annotations.