Cutler, Manasseh

Cutler, Manasseh mənăsˈə [key], 1742–1823, American clergyman, scientist, and one of the organizers of the Ohio Company of Associates, b. Killingly, Conn. A student of both law and theology, he was admitted to the bar in 1767 and was ordained (1771) pastor of the Congregational Church at Hamilton, Mass. He also studied medicine and became a practicing physician. In science Cutler used both the telescope and microscope and contributed his observations to the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which he was a member. His botanical papers, taken together, form the first systematic description and classification of New England flora. He aided (1786) in forming the Ohio Company and in 1787 was sent as agent to the Continental Congress to secure a grant of land on the Ohio River for settlement. By skillful lobbying he succeeded in negotiating the land purchase. He also promoted the Ordinance of 1787, which provided for the establishment of territorial government in the area. He was (1801–5) a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Cutler wrote, in addition to his scientific papers, Description of Ohio (1787, repr. 1896).

See W. P. Cutler and J. P. Cutler, Life, Journals, and Correspondence of Rev. Manasseh Cutler (1888).

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