Fonds MS14 - Jonathan Odell Papers

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Jonathan Odell Papers

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  • Textual record

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  • 1784-1829 (Creation)
    Odell, Jonathan

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1 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Jonathan Odell was born in Newark, New Jersey, September 25, 1737. He studied medicine and was a graduate of Nassau Hall (now Princeton University). He served as a surgeon in the British Army until 1764 when he went to England to study theology. In 1766, he was ordained as a
deacon, and went to Vermont in 1767 as a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. He served as minister of St. Mary's Church in Burlington, Vermont. In 1772, he married Ann de Cou and in 1774 was made a member of the New Jersey medical society.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Odell remained loyal to Britain, and was proscribed by the rebels. In 1776 when British troops were defeated in Burlington by the rebels, Odell retreated with them and eventually went to New York. He served as a Chaplain to a Loyalist
Regiment of the King's American Dragoons. When the Peace Treaty was signed in 1783, he went to England with his family and served as private secretary to Sir Guy Carleton.

Odell was well known for his satirical, anti-revolutionary poetry, and it has been said that "no pen was dipped in more bitter gall than the Odell's". He took an active part in the Loyalist cause as a "doctor, clergyman, poet, soldier, and spy". As a reward for his loyalty, he was appointed Provincial Secretary, Registrar, and Clerk of the Council of New Brunswick. He came to the province with Governor Thomas Carleton (brother of Sir Guy) and from the beginning was a member of the Council.

Odell died in 1818, and left one son, William Franklin Odell, who also served as Provincial Secretary for the province.

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This series consists of correspondence regarding personal business dealings.

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Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

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MC300 York-Sunbury Historical Society Collection

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General note

Researchers should note that the Odell papers can be found in the Harriet Irving Library at the University of New Brunswick.

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