Philip Milledoler

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Philip Milledoler
Peale, James. Painting of Dr.Philip Milledoler.jpg
5th President of Rutgers University
In office
Preceded byJohn Henry Livingston
Succeeded byAbraham Bruyn Hasbrouck
Personal details
Born(1775-09-22)September 22, 1775
Rhinebeck, New York
DiedSeptember 22, 1852(1852-09-22) (aged 77)
Staten Island, New York

Philip Milledoler (September 22, 1775 – September 22, 1852) was a minister and the fifth President of Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) serving from 1825 until 1840.[1]


Philip Milledoler was born in 1775 in Rhinebeck, New York. His father had emigrated to the United States from Switzerland in 1751.[2]

He graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in 1793 and was ordained into the ministry by the German Reformed Synod in Reading, Pennsylvania on May 17, 1794. He served churches in both the Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed faiths.

He married Susannah Benson and had a daughter, Susan Ann Milledoler (c1790-1867), who married Martin Wiltsie Brett (1788–1879) in 1816. Susan was the great-grandmother of Philip Milledoler Brett.[3]

Milledoler was active in forming the Princeton Theological Seminary, the American Bible Society, and the United Foreign Missionary Society. In 1825, he accepted the presidency of Queen's College after the death of John Henry Livingston, and convinced one of his parishioners in New York City, Colonel Henry Rutgers, a wealthy bachelor, to donate $5,000 to the college, creating a drive to reopen the closed institution. The Board of Trustees named the institution after Colonel Rutgers, and Rutgers College was reopened on 14 November 1825.[4]

Reverend Milledoler was responsible for reorganizing the curriculum of Rutgers College into one that instructed in the liberal arts, offering courses in Greek and Latin, mathematics, philosophy, literature, political economy, and later lectures in geology, mineralogy and chemistry. During this time, enrollment at Rutgers College increased, and the college became more independent of the Dutch Reformed Church. This increased dissension between the Church and the college and prompted Reverend Milledoler to resign in 1839, remaining on the post until the Trustees selected a replacement in 1840.

He died on his birthday, 22 September 1852, while living at the home of his son-in-law, James William Beekman (1815–1877) on Staten Island.[5]


  • Dissertation on Incestuous Marriages (1843)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Philip Milledoler, 1825-1840". Rutgers University. Retrieved 2007-08-26. The change of name from Queen's to Rutgers College can be attributed in large part to Philip Milledoler (1775-1852), the man who succeeded the Reverend John Henry Livingston as professor of theology in the seminary and who was soon elected by the Trustees as president of the College in 1825. It was in Dr. Milledoler's parish in New York City where Colonel Henry Rutgers served as elder. A devoted member of the Reformed Dutch Church, president of its Board of Corporation, and a wealthy bachelor who was inclined to support benevolent causes, Colonel Rutgers epitomized those Christian qualities held in such high esteem by the Synod and the College Trustees. By honoring Henry Rutgers, the Synod and Trustees were also signaling a break from an uneven past and the start of a new and promising era.
  2. ^ "Death of Rev. Philip Milledoler". New York Times. September 23, 1852. Retrieved 2007-08-21. We regret to announce that at an early hour yesterday morning, Rev. Philip Milledoler, D.D., S.T.P., departed this life at the residence of his son-in-law, Hon. J. W. Beekman, on Staten Island. Dr. Milledoler was born as Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, on the 22d of September, 1775, and was just seventy-seven years of age at the time of his decease.
  3. ^ "Brett". New York Times. March 12, 1867. Retrieved 2007-08-21. On Sunday evening, March 10, Susan Ann, wife of Martin W. Brett, and daughter of the late Rev. Philip Milledoler, D.D. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral from her late residence, No. 32 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, on Thursday, the 14th, at 3 o'clock P.M., without further invitation.
  4. ^ "Philip Milledoler". Appleton's Encyclopedia. 1888. Milledolar, Philip, clergyman, born in Rhinebeck, New York, 22 September 1775; died on Staten Island, New York, 23 September 1852. His father, a Swiss, emigrated to the United States in 1751. The son was graduated at Columbia in 1793, studied theology, and at nineteen years of age preached in German and English at the German Reformed church in Nassau street, New York city. He was pastor of the collegiate Dutch Reformed church in 1800, and soon afterward of the Pine street Presbyterian church of Philadelphia. He was secretary of the board of trustees of the Presbyterian church in 1801, and became pastor of the Collegiate Presbyterian churches of New York in 1804:, and of the Collegiate Dutch church in 1813. He was also professor of didactic and polemic theology at the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and president of Rutgers in 1825-'35, holding both offices at the same time. The University of Pennsylvania gave him the degree of S.T.D. His publications in-elude many sermons and addresses, and a "Dissertation on Incestuous Marriages" (New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1843). One of his sons was a well-known clergyman of the Episcopal church.
  5. ^ Appleton's Cyclopedia published his death date incorrectly as 23 September 1852. This was the date his obituary was published.
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Henry Livingston
President of Rutgers University
Succeeded by
Abraham Bruyn Hasbrouck