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Theodore Lyman - Biography

b.20 FEB 1792 — d.18 JUL 1849



Theodore Lyman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, February 20, 1792, son of Theodore and Lydia (Williams) Lyman; grandson of the Rev. Isaac and Sarah (Plummer) Lyman; great-grandson of Captain Moses and Mindwell (Sheldon) Lyman, and a descendant of Richard and Sarah (Osborne) Lyman. Richard Lyman was a native of High Ougar, Essex county, England, and came to America in the ship "Lion" in 1631, settling first at Charlestown, Massachusetts, and in 1635 at Hartford, Connecticut. Theodore Lyman Sr. was an eminent merchant, engaged in the northwest fur trade and in the coast and China trade.

Theodore Lyman, his son, was prepared for college at Phillips Exeter Academy and was graduated from Harvard College A. B. 1810, A. M. 1815. He studied literature in the University of Edinburgh, 1812-14, and in the latter year traveled on the continent for a short time, being in France during the first restoration. He returned to the United States in the autumn of 1814, and revisited Europe in June, 1817, traveling in Germany with Edward Everett, and visiting Greece, Egypt, and Palestine. He returned to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1819. He commanded the Boston brigade. State militia, 1823-27; was a representative in the Massachusetts Legislature, 1821-24, State Senator, 1824, State Representative, 1825, and mayor of Boston, 1834-35. On October 21, 1835, he rescued William Lloyd Garrison from the mob that attacked the meeting of the Female Anti-Slavery Society while he was in attendance.

After his wife's death in 1835, he devoted himself to assisting the poor and criminal classes. He removed to Brookline in 1844. He was president of the Boston Farm School, 1840-46; and in the latter year, and subsequently during his lifetime gave $22,500 to the State Reform School at Westboro, Massachusetts, to which he also left in his will the sum of $50,000. $10,000 to the Farm School of Boston, and $10,000 to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, of which he was a life member. He was the author of: "Three Weeks in Paris" (1814) ; "The Political State of Italy" (1820) ; "The Hartford Convention" (1823) ; "The Diplomacy of the United States" (two volumes, 1828).
He was married. May 15, 1821, to Mary Elizabeth Henderson, of Nev/ York, and resided at Waltham, Massachusetts, 1821-44. He died in Brookline, Massachusetts, July 18, 1849.

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Theodore Lyman

Posted By: Ray Gurganus

Updated: 2-27-2015
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