Theodore Dwight (author)

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Theodore Dwight (1796–1866), was an American author.


Theodore Dwight was born March 3, 1796 in Hartford, Connecticut. His father was Theodore Dwight (1764–1846) of the New England Dwight family. His mother was Abigail Alsop (1765–1846), the sister of Richard Alsop (1761–1815).[1] He graduated from Yale College in 1814. He compiled the travelogues of his uncle, Timothy Dwight IV, previously president of Yale, which he brought to publication in 1821. In 1825 he published the second tourist guidebook in the United States, The Northern Traveller, which he would update with regular editions until 1841.[2] A commentator on American society, he wrote a number of works on child rearing, school reform, and in the 1850s and 1860s passionately advocated for the cause of Garibaldi and the unification of Italy.

He married Eleanor Boyd on April 24, 1827. Their children were:[1]

  1. Maria Bayard Dwight was born February 17, 1828 and died February 11, 1852.
  2. Ellen Boyd Dwight was born September 16, 1830, and married Captain Charles C. H. Kennedy, who served in the Confederate Navy during the American Civil War.
  3. Theodore Dwight III was born March 4, 1833 but died December 18, 1852.
  4. Mary Alsop Dwight was born March 17, 1836.
  5. Anna Maria Dwight was born November 18, 1837, and ran a girls' school with sister Mary.
  6. Augusta Moore Dwight was born November 18, 1840, married Sherwood Bissel Ferris.
  7. Rebecca Jaffray Dwight was born March 1, 1842, married Fenton Rockwell, and had one child Benjamin Fenton Rockwell on December 17, 1868.

He died on October 16, 1866 in Brooklyn, New York from injuries in a train accident while traveling to Newark, New Jersey.[1] After accompanying his daughter and two grandchildren, he had jumped off the train as it left the station.[3]


  • A Journal of a Tour in Italy in the Year 1821 with a Description of Gibraltar' (1821)
  • The Northern Traveler (1825; sixth edition, 1841)
  • First Lessons in Modern Greek (1833)
  • The Roman Republic of 1849 (1851)
  • History of Connecticut (1841)
  • The Kansas War: or, the Exploits of Chivalry in the Nineteenth Century (1859)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight (1874). The history of the descendants of John Dwight, of Dedham, Mass. 1. J. F. Trow & son, printers and bookbinders. pp. 231–234.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Richard Gassan, "The First American Tourist Guidebooks: Authorship and Print Culture of the 1820s," Book History 8 (2005), pp. 51-74
  3. "The New-Jersey Railroad—The Death of Theodore Dwight" (pdf). New York Times. October 20, 1866.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links