Born April 8, 1786, in Hunterdon County, N.J.
A graduate of the College of New Jersey (Princeton University), he studied at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Department (1812) under Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Later he studied law, with an eye toward politics. Upon passing the bar, he argued cases in New Jersey courts before the Supreme Court of the United States.
He was elected to the State Senate in 1850 and served as its president in 1852.
He was a friend and correspondent of Thomas Jefferson in scientific matters.
Died June 24, 1853, at his home in Clinton.