Biography of Sylvester Burnham
Madison County, NY Biographies





Burnham, Sylvester, D. D., p. o. Hamilton, was born at Exeter. New Hampshire, February 1, 1842, and was prepared for college at the high school at Newburyport, Mass. He was graduated from Bowdoin College in the class of 1862, with the degree of A.B.; he took his A.M. in 1865 and received his D.D. in 1885. In 1863 Dr. Burnham began his active career as a teacher of classics in the Schenectady union school. In 1864 he became professor of mathematics in the Western University at Pittsburg, Pa., and in 1865 became connected with the theological commission service. In 1866 he became principal of Newburyport high school, where he remained until 1869, when he entered the Newton theological institution to study for the ministry. Here he spent four years. including one year of study in Europe. He was graduated from Newton in 1873 and then accepted the pastorate of the Amherst Baptist church, where he remained a year; in 1874 and 1875 he was assistant principal of Worcester academy. In 1875 he came to Colgate University to fill the chair of Old Testament Interpretation. He has produced a manual of Old Testament interpretation and also a Syriac Grammar. Dr. Burnham was elected dean of the theological faculty in 1893. On June 28, 1876, Dr. Burnham married Miriam M. Tucker, and they have one daughter, Alice M. Dr. Burnham's parents were Rev. Edwin and Alice (Dennett) Burnham. His father was a Baptist minister, who gave most of his time to evangelical work. The progenitor of the Burnham family in America was Thomas Burnham, who came over from England and settled at Ipswich, Mass., in 1635. He took part in the Pequot expedition in 1636, was a lieutenant of militia at Ipswich in 1683, and subsequently served as deputy to the general court for several years. His son, John. was the father of David, whose son, also David, was the father of Benjamin, father of Abner Burnham. and grandfather of Dr. Burnham This family had several members in the revolutionary war, who served with distinction and held military commissions. Dr. Burnham's brother, Capt. Burnham, served in the war of the rebellion. He held the rank of lieutenant and was breveted captain for bravery at the battle of Scambia Bridge, over which he led the regiment after the colonel was disabled.

FROM:
Our County and it's people
A Descriptive and Biographical Record of
Madison County, New York
Edited by: John E. Smith
The Boston History Co., Publishers 1890


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