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Jeremiah Chaplin Edit Profile

Clergyman , College president

Jeremiah Chaplin was a Reformed Baptist theologian who served as the first president of Colby College in Maine.


Chaplin, Jeremiah was born on January 2, 1776 in Rowley (now Georgetown), Massachusetts, United States. Son of Asa and Mary (Bailey) Chaplin.


He worked on the family farm, and in 1799 he graduated from Brown University, a school with an historical Baptist affiliation. Chaplin spent a year at Brown as a tutor and then studied theology eventually becoming pastor of a Baptist church in Danvers, Massachusetts.


He left this pastorate in 1817 to become president of the new Waterville College (later Colby College) at which he served until 1833. Chaplin first met Gardner Colby during this period while Colby was still a child, and Chaplin assisted Colby's family after Colby's father died. During the remainder of his life, Chaplin preached in Rowley, Massachusetts and Willington, Connecticut, and then moved to Hamilton, New York where he died in 1841.

Chaplin held to a Calvinist Baptist theology throughout his life. A Liberty ship constructed in 1943, the SS Jeremiah L. Chaplin was named in his honor.


  • Other Work

    • Author: The Greatness of Redemption, 1808. The Evening of Life, 2d edition., 1859. The Memorial Hour, published posthumously, 1864.


Married Marcia O’Brien, 10 children.

Asa Chaplin

Mary (Bailey) Chaplin

Marcia O’Brien