Biography of Thomas De Witt Talmage
Celebrated Americans

THOMAS DE WITT TALMAGE, one of the most celebrated American preachas, was born January 7, 1832, and was the youngest of twelve children. He made his preliminary studies at the grammar school in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At the age of eighteen he joined the church and entered the University of the City of New York, and graduated in May, 1853. The exetcises were held in Niblo's Garden and his speech aroused the audience to a high pitch of enthusiasm. At the close of his college duties he imagined himself interested in the law and for three years studied law. Dr. Talmage then perceived his mistake and prepared himself for the ministry at the Reformed Dutch Church Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, New Jersey. Just after his ordination the young minister received two calls, one from Piermont, New York, and the other from Belleville, New Jersey. Dr. Talmage accepted the latter and for three years filled that charge, when he was called to Syracuse, New York. Here it was that his sermons first drew large crowds of people to his church, and from thence dates his popularity. Afterward he became the pastor of the Second Reformed Dutch church, of Philadelphia, remaining seven years, during which period he first entered upon the lecture platform and laid the foundation for his future reputation. At the end of this time he received three calls, one from Chicago, one from San Francisco, and one from the Central Presbyterian church of Brooklyn, which latter at that time consisted of only nineteen members with a congregation of about thirty flve This church offered him a salary of seven thousand dollars and he accepted the call. He soon induced the trustees to sell the old church and build a new one. They did so and erected the. Brooklyn Tabernacle, but it burned down shortly after it was finished. By prompt sympathy and general liberality a new church was built and formally opened in February, 1874. It contained seats for four thousand, six hundred and fifty, but if necessary seven thousand could be accommodated. In October, 1878, his salary was raised from seven thousand dollars to twelve thousand dollars, and in the autumn of 1839 the second tabernacle was destroyed by fire. A third tabernacle was built and it was formally dedicated on Easter Sunday, 1891.

A Biographical Record
Of Schuyler County, New York
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
New York and Chicago 1903.


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