Doctor of Divinity. Resident of Durham (Ct?) (Browning, Charles. Americans of royal descent, 7th ed., Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co., 1969, pg. 71).
Graduated Yale in 1752 and was a tutor there in 1755; deeply interested in mathematics and astronomy, and in the busiest scenes of his subsequent ministry rarely failed to calculate the eclipse of each successive year; and when the aurora borealis of 1780 made its appearance, he drew up one of the fullest and most accurate accounts of it ever published, with exact drawings of the auroral arch. In November 1756 he was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church in Durham, Ct. in which office he continued until his death.
He was an accomplished teacher, having prepared some three hundred young men for college and public life. In 1776, he was elected into the corporation of Yale College; was an active friend of the Revolution, preaching on the right of resistance and urging his people to lay down their property and lives in the conflict. He published several sermons, and left behind him some hundreds of elaborate essays on difficult passages of Scripture (Case, Lafayette Wallace. "The Goodrich family : a genealogy..." Chicago : Fergus Pub. Co., 1889, pg. 75).
Congregational clergyman, was born in Wethersfield, Conn., the sixth child of David and Hepzibah (Boardman) Goodrich, who came from England and settled in Wethersfield about 1643. He prepared for college under Rev. James Lockwood, graduated from Yale in 1752, studied theology, was tutor at Yale in 1755, and the following year became pastor of the Congregational church, Durham, Conn., where he was ordained Nov. 24. Here he remained until his death, at which time he was recognized as one of the most stalwart and able representatives of the established order. He was an excellent scholar and devoted much time to the interpretation of difficult passages in the Scriptures. His interest in mathematics and astronomy was almost equally keen. He computed the elipses of each year and wrote a notable account of an Aurora Borealis display. To augment his meager salary, he began to prepare boys for college, and nearly three hundred passed under his instruction. In 1776 he was elected to the Corporation of Yale College. "No man living probably so well understood the interests of our University," Timothy Dwight stated in his funeral discourse on Goodrich, "or for more than twenty years took so active and important a part in its concerns." He and Ezra Stiles received an equal number of votes for the presidency of Yale in 1777, and it was through his exertions in Stiles's behalf that the latter was finally elected. He was repeatedly chosen as a member of the Conventions of Delegates from the Synod of New York and Philadelphia and the Association of Connecticut (1766-75), the first of which was called because of alram over the report that diocesan bishops would be stationed in each of the colonies either by Act of Parliament or the agency of the Church of England. For these conventions he drew up a number if reports, including one in 1774 on the subject of religious liberty in Connecticut. (See "Minutes of the Convention of Delegates," etc., 1843, and "Historical Magazine," July 1868). He urged participation in the Revolution as a religious duty, and at one election more than a thousand citizens registered a protest against a supposed weakness in Gov. Trumbull's administration by voting for Parson Goodrich. He married, Feb. 1, 1759 Catharine Chauncey of Durham. Among their seven children were Chauncey, lawyer and United States senator, and Elizur, congressman, jurist, and educator. Chauncey Allen Goodrich, lexicographer, Charles Augustus Goodrich, author, and Samuel Griswold Goodrich, better known as Peter Parley, were their grandsons (Dictionary of American biography).
The following is from the notes to Professor Fowler's sermon as cited in Samuel Griswold Goodrich's "Recollections of a lifetime," NY : Miller, Orton & Co., 1856, v.1, pg. 523-526:
"The Rev. Elizur Goodrich, D.D. the second pastor of the church in Durham, was a native of Stepney, since called Rocky Hill, a parish of Wethersfield, Conn., where he was born from a respectable line of ancestors, on the 18th of October, old style, 1734. He early evinced a strong love of letters; and so diligently did he pursue his cherished object, that at the early age of fourteen he entered as a member of Yale College. In 1755, on receiving his master's degree, he was elected a tutor in this institution. The ministry, however, being his chosen profession, he resigned the tutorship the following year, and on the 4th December, 1756, was ordained pastor of the church and congregation in Durham. Not long after his settlement, he became united in marriage with Catherine Chauncey, grand-daughter of his predecessor in the ministry at Durham. The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the college of New Jersey. In 1776, he was chosen a member of the corporation of Yale College, and in the following year, on the occassion of an election to the presidency of that institution, consequent upon the resignation of President Daggett, he was a candidate for that office, as also was Dr. Styles. It is understood that there was a tie in the votes given for these two gentlemen, which coming to the knowledge of Dr. Goodrich, who had declined voting, he insisted upon the right to do so, thus turning the election in favor of Dr. Styles - an act of his life which ever after gave him pleasure, and which seemed to increase and perpetuate his regard for the institution.
"The death of Dr. Goodrich occurred in November, 1797, and was sudden and unexpected. On the 17th of that month, he left home for the purpose of examining some lands which belonged to Yale College, in the county of Litchfield. On the Sabbath following he preached at Litchfield, and on Monday proceeded to Norfolk, where he was entertained by the hospitable family of Capt. Titus Ives. At this time he was in the enjoyment of good health. The evening was spent in pleasant conversation. On the following morning he rose early, as was his custom; he had dressed himself, with the exception of putting on his coat, which he was evidently in the act of doing, proceeding during the same time toward the door, when he fell in an apoplectic fit, and expired, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and the forty-first of his ministry. His remains were carried to Durham on the succeeding Saturday, and were followed to the grave by his family, the church and the congregation, and a numerous concourse of strangers. President Dwight, of Yale College, delivered a solemn and affecting discourse from Ecclesiastes ii. 1-- "The righteous and the wise and their works are in the hands of God."
"Dr. Goodrich may justly be numbered among the distinguished men of his times. He possessed powers of mind adapted to the investigation and comprehension of every subject to which he directed his attention. In classical learning he greatly excelled, and so prefect was his knowledge of the original languages of the Bible as to enable him to dispense with the English version. In the exact sciences, as well as in mental and moral philosophy, he was distinguished. No exercise gave him more pleasure than to sit down to the solution of some difficult problem, as he was wont to do in his hours of leisure. Having the use of the valuable library of his predecessor, many of the works in which were written in Latin, he read extensively in that language. Divinity, however, was the great study of his life. He took large, comprehensive views of the doctrines of Christianity. He loved the Bible, and especially those truths which go to exalt and illustrate the grace of God. Salvation by a crucified Redeemer, without merit on the part of the sinner and the duties of the moral law, was the burden of his preaching. At the same time he occupied a commanding influence in the churches of Connecticut, as a friend and a counselor. In the language of President Dwight -- "He was a man of unusual prudence, and of singular skill and experience in the concerns of congregations, churches, and ministers. His talents were not only great and distinguished, but they were also of the most useful kind, which we call practical. These eminently fitted him for the service of God and for usefulness among mankind, and in these respects he left a reputation which will be honored as long as his emmory shall last." Soon after his death a friend, who was well acquainted with him, thus truthfully and happily summed up his character: "As a Christian divine, he was solid, judicious, and established with grace; equally free from the wildness of enthusiasm and the rigors of superstition. His reading was extensive; his memory tenacious; his piety substantial; his gravity commanding; his profiting appeared unto all men, and his praise is in all the churches, He was a wise counselor, a peace-maker, a friend and lover of his country and mankind."
"Mrs. Goodrich survived her husband for many years, honored and beloved by a large circle of friends and relations. For the church and congregation of Durham she cherished the highest regard, and continued to receive from them the respect and affection to which, by her character, her love for them, and her example among them, she was eminently entitled. Her death occurred in the spring of 1830.
"As to the family of Dr. Goodrich, he left six children, five sons and a daughter, to mourn the loss of a parent whose character justly excited their veneration, and whose example they could, more than most others, safely imitate."