North American Scholar

SEWALL, Jotham Bradbury

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1825-10-03
  • Born City: New Castle
  • Born State/Country: ME
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1913-06-16
  • Death City: Brookline
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Married: Frances Louisa Swett, 14 Apr. 1855; Emma Louise French, 1909.
  • Education:

    B.A. Bowdoin, 1848; A.M. 1851; D.D., 1894; D.D. Bangor Theol. Sem., 1854; Andover Theol. Sem., 1854-5; ordained, 1855.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tchr. Town Sch. (Winthrop, ME), Fall 1848; Girl's Sch. (Augusta, ME), 1849; princ. Lewiston Falls Acad., 1849-51; tutor Gk. & math. Bowdoin Coll., 1851-2; pastor Central Congreg. Ch. (Lynn, MA), 1855-65; prof. rhet. & orat. Bowdoin Coll., 1865-6; prof. Gk. & Lat., 1866-73; prof. Gk., 1873-7; headmaster Thayer Acad. (Braintree, MA), 1877-96; trustee, 1899-1913; mem. Bd. Overseers Bowdoin Coll, 1877-1913; pres. APA, 1878-9; mem. corp. of M.I.T., 1895-1913.

  • Publications:

    Memoir of Reverend Jotham Sewall (Boston, 1853); In Memoriam [Rev. James DrummondJ: A Discourse Delivered in the North Congregational Church, Springfield, Mass., January 5, 1862 (Springfield, MA, 1862); Evenings with the Bible and Science (Boston & New York, 1864); "On the Distinction between the Subjunctive and Optative Modes in Greek Conditional Sentences," TAPA 5 (1874) 77-82; "The Greek Indicative, Subjunctive, and Optative Moods: What is the Distinction between Them?," PAPA 9 (1878) 19-21; "Presidential Address," PAPA 10 (1879) 6-8; "The Written Alphabet of our Colonial Fathers," TAPA 13 (1882) v-vi; The Timon of Lucian. Fritzsche's Text (Boston & London, 1896).

  • Notes:

    J. B. Sewall was a man more interested in the character of his students than in the scholarship of his professional colleagues. A charter member of APA, he won the wide respect of many as a learned, dedicated educator. He was one of the two secondary-school teachers elected president of the APA (the other was Julius Sachs). He wrote a number of religious and educational essays and he published a useful school edition of Lucian's Timon. When he left Bowdoin, an overseer summed up his career by saying, "the fact is, Sewall, you have been a connecting link between the saints and sinners." At Thayer Academy he was recalled in the memorial address thus: "A classical scholar, an eminent teacher, a Christian gentleman, he was kind and tender, cultivated and pure, without taint of hypocrisy or sham, a lover of all men. His was a gracious presence, irradiating cheerfulness and calm courage, the joy of goodness and virtue, the beauty of simplicity." He was a keen fisherman and outdoorsman, who saw the traces of God's divine plan in nearly every aspect of the natural world.

  • Sources:

    Bowdoin Coll. archives; NatCAB 12:259.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.