Reverend Ezra Stiles, 1727-1795, of Newport was a Congregational clergyman, scholar, diarist, author, civic leader and president of Yale University from 1778-1795. Stiles was one of the foremost intellectuals of colonial Rhode Island. During his tenure in Newport (1755-1776), he served as librarian of Redwood Library, pastor of the Second Congregational Church, and a spokesman for the patriot cause prior to the American Revolution. His fifteen-volume diary and six volumes of notes on his “itineraries” are a major source for late 18th century American history.
Ezra Stiles (1727-1795), B.A. 1746, M.A. 1749,” painted by American artist Nathaniel Smibert, oil on canvas, 29 in. x 24 3/4 in. Courtesy of the Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.