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Puritan, Yankee, and Father: An Intellectual Portrait of Elizur Wright, Esq. (1762 - 1845)
Pomona Faculty Publications and Research
  • Char Miller, Pomona College
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Elizur Wright,
  • biography,
  • mathematician,
  • Puritan,
  • Yankee

Elizur Wright, Esq., was bedeviled by science. Although the Connecticut mathematician grew up during the final stages of what has been called the transformation of his native state from Puritan to Yankee, Wright did not complete this transition. Unlike others of his generation, he could not cast off his religious background and solely concern himself with secular matters. A tension was created within him between the demands of religion and science, as first one, then the other, exerted an attraction over him. The intense interest in mathematics that Wright had developed while a student at Yale, heightened this tension: his pursuit of secular knowledge had a disintegrating effect on his religious beliefs. The intellectual crisis this fostered led Wright to attempt to weave together the two prominent threads of his intellectual fabric: Puritan and Yankee.


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© 1979 Connecticut Historical Society
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Citation Information
Miller, Char. “Puritan, Yankee and Father: An Intellectual Portrait of Elizur Wright,” Bulletin Connecticut Historical Society, October 1979, 117-28.