Name: David Beecher 1
Birth: 25 APR 1738 in New Haven, New Haven, CT
Death: 12 JUN 1805 in New Haven, New Haven, CT
Excerpt from book "The Beechers, by Milton Rugoff"
A sturdy man of middle height, David married five times - some nineteenth century women's rights advocates would call that "serial polygamy" - and had twelve children. As a blacksmith, he was an essential craftsman (his hoes were said to have been among the best in New England) and his shop was a center of community life. In summer he also farmed, raising a fine grade of rye "white as wheat".
But the most interesting fact about blacksmith David Beecher was that he was a man of reading and ideas, respected almost as much for his political and social opinions as for his ability to fashion a hoe or a horseshoe. He was part of that early America wherein a man might make his living by the sweat of his brow and the craft of his hands and still be one of the best read and most thoughtful men in the community. David Beecher regularly boarded Yale students and members of the Connecticut legislature (New Haven and Hartford were joint capitals of the state), in part because he liked to exchange ideas and opinions with them.
He prospered and at his death left between four thousand and five thousand dollars, a handsome sum in 1805. But, as his son Lyman summed it up, "In those days, six mahogany chairs in a shut-up parlor were considered magnificent; he never got beyond cherry".
One legacy he bestowed on his family was not quite so admirable. He was subject to what was called dyspepsia - probaly aggravated by the highly spiced food the Beechers served in order to please their boarders - and it was on this that he blamed the fits of depression that sometimes overtook him. Such attacks became a kind of family malaise, reappearing in his son Lyman and in later generations of Beechers.
Father: Nathaniel Beecher b: 7 MAR 1706
Mother: Sarah Sperry b: 26 MAY 1712
Esther Lyman b: 17 FEB 1749
- Lyman Beecher b: 12 SEP 1775
- Title: http://books.google.com/books
Text: Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of the College History ... By Franklin Bowditch Dexter