User:WilyD/William Case/Darius Dunham

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Darius Dunham was a Methodist circuit rider. His blunt style earnt him the nickname "Scolding Dunham". Dunham was known as a pious and witty man, too. On one occasion he was chastised by a new magistrate for riding a fine horse when his predecessor had ridden a donkey. Dunham agreed with the magistrate's assessment, and that he would ride a donkey, but that the task of finding one was difficult as the "government having made up all the asses into magistrates!"[1]

Dunham received an education in sciences, but decided to pursue a career in the priesthood instead. In 1788 he was received on trial, and assigned the newly created Shoreham circuit to ride. In 1789 he rode the Cambridge circuit, and in 1790 he was ordained a deacon. He remained on the Cambridge circuit that year.[2] He rode the Columbia circuit in 1791. He was ordained a deacon in 1792, and was assigned to ride the Cataraqui circuit, centred on Kingston.[3] Both he and William Losee, another circuit rider on the neighbouring Oswegotchie circuit courted Elizabeth Detlor of Fredericksburgh. Detlor married Dunham, and the grief drove Losee out of the service.[4] Dunham was not assigned any circuits in 1793-1794. In 1794-1795, Dunham was made the presiding Elder of the Lower Canada circuit, with one other circuit rider under him, James Coleman.[5] He was bounced around various Upper Canada and Lower Canada circuits until 1800.

At the New York conference in 1800, Dunham was "located", after 12 years of circuit riding.[6]He settled near Napanee, Upper Canada.[7]


  1. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 38
  2. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 36
  3. ^ Carroll, John (1867). Case and his cotemporaries, or, The Canadian itinerants' memorial constituting a biographical history of Methodism in Canada, from its introduction into the Province, till the death of the Rev. Wm. Case in 1855. I. Toronto: Wesleyan Conference Office. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 13
  5. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 14
  6. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 15
  7. ^ Carroll, Volume I, page 37