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Sprague, William Buell (1795-1876) | Litchfield Historical Society

Name: Sprague, William Buell (1795-1876)

Historical Note: William Buell Sprague (1795-1876) was born in Andover, Conn, a son of Benjamin Sprague and Sybil Buell. William Sprague's great grand uncle, John Buell, was one of the original proprietors of Litchfield. After graduation at Yale in 1815 Sprague was a private tutor, studied two years at Princeton theological seminary, and in 1819 was ordained pastor of the 1st Congregational church in West Springfield, Mass., as a colleague of Rev. Joseph Lathrop, D. D., remaining there until 1829, when he was installed as pastor of the 2d Presbyterian church in Albany, N. Y. He held this charge till 1869, when he resigned and removed to Flushing. In 1828 and 1836 he visited Europe. He received the degrees of A.M. from Yale in 1819; S.T.D. from Columbia in 1828, and Harvard in 1848; and LL.D. from Princeton in 1869. Dr. Sprague made extensive collections of religious pamphlets and autographs, and presented the former to the state library at Albany, to which he also gave a manuscript volume of the “Letters of Gen. Sir Jeffrey Amherst.” Dr. Sprague also presented to the library of Harvard the papers of Gen. Thomas Gage. He gave his autographs, numbering nearly 100,000, to his son. Spraue was the author of more than 100 published sermons, memoirs, addresses, and essays, and wrote many introductions to books. His principal work was “Annals of the American Pulpit.”

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