AUSTIN PUTNAM, M. A., son of Samuel and Susan Gibson Putnam, and grandson of Caleb Putnam, was born March 6, 1809. After pursuing his studies in the district school and at Newport Academy, he entered Dartmouth College in 1825. At the close of his second year, circumstances led him to relinquish his plan of a full collegiate course, and he soon after commenced the study of law in the office of Hon. F. A. Tallmage and Charles F. Grim, Esqrs., of New York City, and completed it in the office of Hon. John P. and J. Newland Cushman, Esqrs., of Troy, N. Y., and at the Law School at Litchfield, Conn. He was admitted to the bar at Utica, in July, 1831. He immediately commenced practice at Troy, N. Y., with highly encouraging prospects. But after spending a short time in his profession, he experienced a total change in his views on the subject of religion. At what he conceived to be the call of duty he left the profession which he had chosen, and which he loved, and commenced the study of theology, under the instruction of Rev. Nathan S. S. Beman, D. D., of Troy. He was ordained at Lowville, N. Y., in 1834. After a few years of successful labor in New York City and at New Haven, he was, October 31, 1838, installed as pastor of the Congregational Church at Hamden, Conn., where he is now living. In 1843 he was married to Caroline W. Northop, daughter of Gen. Joseph A. Northop, of Lowville, N. Y. In 1844-5 he spent a year in Europe, traveling over the different countries. In 1839 he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Yale College. He has long been regarded as a man of rare endowments.
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