Elizabeth Scudder, Wife of Samuel Lathrop (Lothrop)
Was the Immigrant Ancestress of These Remarkable Descendants

by Margery Boyden, Scudder Association Foundation Historian

©Scudder Association Foundation, All rights reserved

Samuel Lathrop Home[1]

Among the many thousands of descendants of Elizabeth2 (Scudder) Lathrop,[2] there were public servants and ministers and missionaries who have served throughout the globe. Although they were all part of one large family, with a shared heritage of faith and patriotism shown by action, they had a diversity of political and religious opinions. If one looks closely, one can find that in spite of diverse opinions, they have shared many common values and attributes of character: a desire to make the world a better place.

Elizabeth2 Scudder (E)’s husband, Samuel Lathrop (Lothrop), started the tradition of public service in their family by serving as one of the early judges at Pequot, (New London), Connecticut. E. B. Huntington states:[3]

Almost at once Mr. Lothrop is assigned by his new townsmen to places of responsibility and honor. The General Court of the State, in May 1649, organized a local court at Pequot, having for its Judges John Winthrop [Jr.], Esq., Samuel Lothrop, and Thomas Minor, giving them power to sit in the trial of all causes between the inhabitants to which the differences were under forty shillings.[4]

Many descendants were engaged in events of 1774–1789 but this great-great granddaughter of Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) stands out. Martha Devotion supported the American cause of Independence knowing the risks for her husband, Samuel Huntington I, who affixed his signature to the Declaration of Independence.

Martha (Devotion) Huntington, 1738–1794.

Martha Devotion’s husband, Samuel Huntington I, later became governor of Connecticut in 1786 and was heavily engaged in the effort to ratify the new nation’s Constitution. Martha represents a generation of brave women who should be remembered as well as the soldiers and the Continental Congress and the Signers who risked their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to produce the world first model of independent, self-government.

Simon Huntington, signer, 1731–1796

Simon Huntington, signer, 1731–1796[5]

A brief biography of Martha (Devotion) Huntington is included in Green’s, The Pioneer Mothers of America.

Martha Devotion, eldest daughter of Rev. Ebenezer Devotion and Martha Lathrop, was married, in 1761, to Samuel Huntington of Connecticut, who became signer of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Connecticut, and in 1779, President of the Continental Congress. She was twenty-two years old at the time of her marriage, and her husband thirty, and but recently established in the practice of law. They lived at Norwich where Mr. Huntington built up an extended practice and began at an early age to take an active part in political affairs of the Province. Politics was no novelty to his wife, for the Rev. Ebenezer Devotion, her father, was ardently interested in the politics of Connecticut and represented Windham in the General Assembly, from 1760 until 1771, the year of his death.[6]

Martha Devotion’s mother, Martha4 Lathrop. was the daughter of Simon Lathrop3 and Martha3 Lathrop who were first cousins, the grandchildren of Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) through her sons Samuel3 and Israel3. Martha and Samuel Huntington were not blessed with children of their own but adopted and “carefully reared and educated” two children of Samuel’s brother, Rev. Joseph Huntington, due to his early death. These adopted children were Samuel Huntington), who was Governor of Ohio in 1810–1811, and Frances who married Edward Door Griffin who became a president of Williams College.[7]

Other descendants of Elizabeth2 (E) were indispensable in the Patriot cause in Connecticut such as Col. Christopher Leffingwell.[8] Albert Leffingwell writes about Col. Christopher Leffingwell:

For many years he was probably the most illustrious citizen of Norwich, or of that portion of Connecticut.Both he and his brothers were earnest patriots during the Revolutionary War. At the beginning of the conflict, two of them were connected with the State Militia, Christopher with the rank of Colonel, in command of the 20th Regiment. This regiment in October, 1776, was ordered to Rye [NY], to aid in saving Westchester County from falling permanently into the hands of British troops, aided by the sympathizing Tories. In December, 1776, on the appearance of the British fleet off the coast below New London, the Eastern Connecticut troops were summoned to defend the city, and the returns made of the service testify that, of all the forces in the defense, no company equallled in order and equipment the light infantry of Norwich, under Col. Christopher Leffingwell.[9]

Leffingwell also served as a confidential advisor with Gov. Trumbull and Leffingwell’s reputation and notable efficiency is preserved in many references in the American Archives.[10]

Public Servants

Among Elizabeth2 (E)’s notable descendants are two former U.S. presidents, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, 1869–1877, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933–1945, but there were many others who also made their mark on the national and world stage. However, President Grant’s story is a good place to begin.

Ulysses S. Grant, 1822–1855.

ULYSSES S. GRANT, CIRCA 1862

Ulysses S. Grant, circa 1862[11]

Born Hiram Ulysses S. Grant, who lived 1822–1885, he said, “I know only two tunes. One of them is ‘Yankee Doodle’ the other isn’t.” He said a lot more than that. He and his Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant were popular in his day to the present for his Memoirs have never gone out of print. Grant begins his first chapter with his ancestry: “My circle of relatives is American, and has been for generations, in all its branches, direct and collateral.” His knowledge of his heritage is impressive as is his skill in writing. He describes with pride his grandfather Noah Grant, a fifth generation American with an impressive list of military campaigns during the American Revolutionary War, at Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill and that he “served until the fall of Yorktown, or through the complete Revolutionary warfare.” He also notes that his grandfather must have had some furloughs as he “married in Connecticut during the war, had youngsters, and became a widower on the near.”[12] His grandfather, Noah Grant III, had a grandfather Noah, born 1693 at Tolland, Connecticut who married Martha Huntington. Martha was the daughter of Abigail3 Lathrop and granddaughter of Samuel2 and Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) Lathrop so they were Gen Ulysses S. Grant’s 5th great grandparents. Grant, having been financially ruined by a business partner and battling cancer, Mark Twain commissioned Grant to write his memoirs. In a race against time, Grant employed his considerable literary talents with his superb organizational skills and his characteristic determination to finish his autobiography five days before his death, winning his last great battle. The final product was well beyond Twain’s expectations and it continues to offer a priceless historical record that was first published in 1885.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt,

FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, 1933

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933[13]

Before becoming president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt served as governor of New York from 1929–1933, where he gained valuable experience dealing with the economic crisis of the Great Depression. His famous quotes do much to describe his vision, his pragmatism and his daunting challenges. In his First Inaugural Address he bolstered the nation with “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In the Second State of the Union Address in 1935 he said, “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre [sic]. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit….It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers. The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.” But the grip of the Great Depression continued with the task to rebuild the economy remaining difficult. In his Second Inaugural Address in 1937 he said: I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished:

But it is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope—because the nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country’s interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.[14]

When asked about his philosophy in 1933, he said, I am a Christian and a Democrat. That’s all.” In 1935 he is quoted as having said: “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” He also said, “There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.[15] Speaking at the University of Pennsylvania on September 20, 1940, FDR said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”[16]

Besides other achievements, Roosevelt’s talent for leadership was remarkable. Beginning only twelve days after he became president, Roosevelt gathered his nation around their radios for his Fireside Chats whenever he needed to level with the people about the challenges they were facing. He used the technology available to encourage “the greatest generation” as they were tested through the tremendous adversities of World War II.

In 1941–1945, during World War II, the U.S. president and vice-president serving together were both descendants of Elizabeth2 Scudder (E).

Henry Agard Wallace, 1888–1956.

During one term of FDR’s presidency, his vice-president, Henry Agard Wallace, was a distant cousin, also descended of Elizabeth2 (E) and Samuel2 Lathrop through their son John3 Lathrop and Ruth Royce. Henry Agard Wallace, 1988–1965, had a colorful career and was a geneticist of world renown and revolutionizer of agriculture. He was a Secretary of Agriculture for 3 terms, including for FDR’s predecessor. In that capacity, Wallace was a key figure to help formulate and implement FDR’s New Deal. He is also credited with being the one to warn Roosevelt about Soviet plans to develop an atomic bomb.

Henry Agard Wallace, Vice President, 1941–1945[17]

Henry Agard Wallace, Vice President, 1941–1945

Wallace served as vice-president to Roosevelt through the World War II years. He was defeated in the following party convention by the more conservative wing of the party who wanted Harry Truman. Wallace served Truman as Secretary of Commerce but split with him over the Cold War and Truman’s hard-line policies against the Soviet Union. Wallace formed a new, more liberal Progressive Party and ran for president in 1948 as the new party’s nominee. Some credit him with starting the Green Revolution. Vilified by many for his progressive ideas, others claim his vision for America would have changed the course of history to end racism, avoid the expense and trauma of the Cold War and to protect the environment. Whether one agrees with his ideas or not, he was dedicated to the common good. A deeply spiritual man as well as scientist, his quotes about the dangers of American fascism or being under a fascist leader wisely warn of these dangers.[18]

Considered controversial for his earlier soft approach to engaging with the Soviets, in 1952 he wrote, “Where I was wrong”[19] in which he openly admits that he had misjudged Soviet intentions and now supported taking a tougher stance. In another display of his willingness to be his own man, having already broken with the new Progressive party he helped to form, he supported Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower for president, believing Gen. Eisenhower was truly committed to peace.

Elizabeth2 (E) Scudder Lathrop’s posterity includes other government leaders such as Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, 1943–1954, who ran for president of the United States twice: in 1944, against his distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and, in 1948, against Harry S. Truman, an incumbent opponent having succeeded to the presidency at the death of FDR. In the election of 1948, Dewey also ran against his Scudder/Lathrop cousin Henry A. Wallace as a thirdparty candidate. One could say Scudder/Lathrop descendants were very active in politics in the 1930s–1950s but their political opinions sometimes differed.

Gov. Thomas Edmund Dewey, 1902–1971:

Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, New York, 1943–1954[20]

Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, New York, 1943–1954

The 1948 election is known for Truman’s lastminute winning upset over Dewey. So sure were the predictions that Dewey would win by a landslide, even the Chicago Tribune printed its morning edition on election night before all the results were in. Its erroneous headline appeared the morning after the election claiming victory for Dewey. The photo of a grinning Truman holding the Tribune’s error is a classic that shows predictions by pollsters and media were wrong.[21]

In the 1930s and 1940s, during his tenure as New York City prosecutor and District Attorney, Dewey took on the American Mafia and organized crime, successfully prosecuting many and reducing its influence. Gov. Dewey served as governor of New York from 1943 to 1954.

Though unsuccessful in his bids for the presidency in 1944 and 1948, he was a leader in the moderate wing of the Republican Party and credited with having considerable influence to shape the party in his day. He favored the United Nations when some of his colleagues did not. He supported the Cold War efforts to defeat communism when others did not. He was known for cooperating with Democrats to support most New Deal social and welfare reforms of FDR.

Dewey descends from Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) Lathrop through two of her sons, Samuel3 Lathrop and Israel3 Lathrop. Dewey is related to the four missionary Lathrop sisters, featured in prior Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal articles, not only on the Scudder and Lathrop lines but also on their Leffingwell, Bingham, and Huntington family lines they have in common.

Three other descendants of Elizabeth2 (E), who were governors of U.S. states in more recent times, are considered moderates and they all also ran for U.S. president. They were Gov. George Romney of Michigan, 1963–1969 and his son, Gov. Willard Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, 2003–2007, and Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. of Utah, 2005–2009. While these three governors did not become president, they each made unique contributions to America during their times in office. Their leadership to work across party lines for the common good has blessed many Americans, bringing honor to Elizabeth2 (E)’s memory in their own ways.

Gov. George W. Romney, Michigan, 1963–1969[22]

Gov. George W. Romney, Michigan, 1963–1969

Gov. George W. Romney, 1907–1995. He was CEO and president of American Motors from 1954–1962. He served as governor of Michigan from 1963–1969. From 1927–1929, he served a mission to England and Scotland for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he observed the “hopelessness” of poverty in contrast to the conditions enjoyed by England’s privileged class. This kindled desire to do what he could to improve the lot of the common man. He later served his church as Detroit Stake President, an unpaid leadership position that oversees multiple congregations.

A friend of Martin Luther King, Jr., Romney was a Civil Rights activist who not only participated in a Civil Rights march but also tried to get the Republican party to include anti-discrimination policies in its platform in 1964. In his State of the State address in 1964, Gov. Romney said, “Michigan’s most urgent human rights problem is racial discrimination—in housing, public accommodations, education, administration of justice, and employment.” In 2015 the Michigan Civil Rights Commission honored Romney and stated: “At a time of national upheaval and violence, George Romney laid a foundation for tolerance, fairness and cooperation in Michigan.”[23] Romney also reversed the $100,000,000 deficit he inherited to return the state to fiscal health, even a budget surplus. He ran for the presidency but dropped out of the race prior to his party’s 1968 convention. He then became Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Romney and his son descend from Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) Lathrop through her daughter Anne3 (Lathrop) Hough and her granddaughter Hannah Hough who married William Pratt.

Gov. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts, 2003–2007, Current U.S. Senator, Utah, 2018–[24]

Gov. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts, 2003–2007, Current U.S. Senator, Utah, 2018–

Gov. Mitt Romney, 1947–. As CEO of Bain & Company, he helped bring the company out of a financial crisis and then co-founded an offshoot, Bain Capital. Continuing the legacy of Scudder/Lathrop missionary service, in his young adulthood, from 1966-1968, he served as a missionary to France for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later in Boston as a lay person bishop and stake president, positions like a minister and head of a diocese, but as unpaid service outside of one’s professional career.

In 1994, Romney ran unsuccessfully for senator of Massachusetts against incumbent Ted Kennedy, returning to Bain Capital. He was enlisted to become president and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympics which was very successful, leaving a surplus budget and providing ongoing venues for training of future athletes. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 2003–2007, turning down the salary and returning the deficit-ridden state to a surplus, while also providing a model state health care reform law that expanded health insurance to nearly all in the state. He ran for president in 2008, losing in the primaries to Sen. John McCain. He was the Republican candidate for President in 2012, losing to incumbent Barak Obama. Romney subsequently moved to Utah, was elected its senator in 2018 and began his service in the Senate in 2019. In 2020 he voted his conscience in the Trump impeachment and in the summer joined a march for Black Lives Matter, stating, “Force alone will not eliminate riots. We must eliminate the problems from which they stem.” He also provided this food for thought, “Our worldly successes cannot be guaranteed, but our ability to achieve spiritual success is entirely up to us, thanks to the grace of God. The best advice I know is to give those worldly things your best but never your all—reserve the ultimate hope for the only one who can grant it.” And, “America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home.”

Gov. Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., 1960–. Professionally, he was CEO of Huntsman Family Holdings, board member of the Huntsman Corporation, and as chair of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. In addition to serving as governor of the state of Utah from 2005–2009, he has the distinction of serving in several presidential administrations since Ronald Reagan whom he served as a White House staff assistant. Having served as a missionary to Taiwan in his youth for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his Mandarin language skills were put to work for his country. In the administration of George H. W. Bush, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce and at age 32 became U.S. Ambassador to Singapore, becoming the youngest U.S. Ambassador in over 100 years. For George W. Bush, he served as a Deputy United States trade representative.

Governor Jon M Hunstman, Jr., 2005–2009[25]

Governor Jon M Hunstman, Jr., 2005–2009

Huntsman was governor of Utah from 2005–2009 with very high approval ratings. He signed the Western Climate Initiative, supporting a cap and trade policy. In May of 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated Huntsman as Ambassador to China that the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed in August of 2009 at which time he resigned as governor. In 2011, he resigned as Ambassador to pursue a 2012 presidential run. Coming in third in the New Hampshire primary, he ended his campaign. Though he did not support Trump in 2016, in March 2017, Trump nominated him as Ambassador to Russia, an appointment that was confirmed in September. With this appointment, he became the first person to serve as both Ambassadors to China and to Russia. In 2020, Huntsman lost his Republican primary bid for Governor of Utah.

Two other distinguished descendants of Elizabeth2 Scudder (E), through her son Joseph3 Lathrop, were U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who served on the court for 30 years, 1902–1932, and as its acting Chief Justice in 1930.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1841–1935[26]

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., 1841–1935

And his literary father whose efforts to improve society were pushed by his pen rather than by government service.

Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1809–1894[27]

Poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1809–1894

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. is known for his “Autocrat at the Breakfast Table” and many pithy quotes like:

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
&
“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.”
&
“Beware how you take away hope from another human being.”
&
“The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, but its echo lasts a great deal longer.”
&
“The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of an eye. The more light you shine on it, the more it will contract.”
&
“The books we read should be chosen with great care, that they may be, as an Egyptian king wrote over his library, ‘The medicines of the soul.’”
[28]

Other descendants of Elizabeth2 (E) Scudder who carried on the family tradition of public service include U.S. Senator Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois and U. S. Representative Samuel Lathrop from Massachusetts, U. S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who served 1953–1959 under Dwight D. Eisenhower, and U.S. diplomat and humanitarian Hiram Bingham IV who helped more than 2,500 Jews escape from France to avoid Nazi extermination.[29] John Lothrop Motley was both a diplomat and an author who wrote The Rise of the Dutch Republic and The United Netherlands. As a diplomat, he was instrumental in preventing intervention from European nations against the Union during the Civil War. Motley’s cousin, author and poet Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. wrote Motley’s biography. Many other descendants, not as famous, have been community and business leaders at the local level.

Ministers and Missionaries

Elizabeth2 (Scudder) Lathrop (E) is also ancestress to a large number of American ministers and to many missionaries[30] for various denominations who have served throughout the world.

1852 Colton’s Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection

1852 Colton’s Map of the World on Mercator’s Projection[31]

Elizabeth2 (E) had seven descendants who were among the first missionaries from America to take Christianity to the India subcontinent in the 1800s. Previous articles have discussed the first to venture, Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) Winslow of Norwich, Connecticut, who sailed to Ceylon in 1819 with her husband Miron Winslow, Dr. John Scudder and his wife Harriet (Waterbury) Scudder, another distant Scudder cousin Lydia (Middleton) Woddward, wife of Rev. Henry Woodward and with Levi and Mary Spaulding. Not yet having permission to work in India, this group first served in Ceylon [Sri Lanka]. Did Did Dr. John Scudder Know He Had Two Scudder Missionary Cousins Aboard the Indus, 1819?

Harriet Wadsworth Lathrop Winslow

Harriet Wadsworth Lathrop Winslow[32]

Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) Winslow was the granddaughter of Christopher Leffingwell referred to above.[33] See prior Journal articles “Did Dr. John Scudder Know He Had Two Scudder Missionary Cousins on the Indus,” “Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) Winslow: the Third ‘Scudder’ Cousin on the Indus,” and “Who Was Joanna Leffingwell, Missionary Mother.[34] These articles describe her life and the strong call she felt from the Spirit as a young girl that she was to become a missionary to India. Mrs. Harriet Winslow’s fourteen years of missionary service ended by her death at Oodooville (Uduvil), Jaffna, Ceylon in 1833 but the Oodooville Girls Boarding School she founded in 1820 lives on as Uduvil Girls’ College and is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest schools. Three of Harriet Winslow’s sisters and their reverend husbands also served in Ceylon shortly after Harriet Winslow’s death. These were Elizabeth Coit (Lathrop) Hutchings, Charlotte Huntington (Lathrop) Cherry and Harriet Joanna Lathrop (Perry). The missionary service of the latter two sisters was also cut short by death and the remains of these three sisters are buried near one another in a cemetery at Uduvil.

The Oodoville Girls Boarding-School

The Oodoville Girls Boarding-School[35]

Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) Winslow’s daughter, Harriet Lathrop Winslow, married in 1848 to Rev. John W. Dulles. They too served as missionaries to Madras, India where she is buried having died there on 1 September 1864.[36] They were the grandparents of John Foster Dulles who served as Secretary of State to President Dwight D, Eisenhower, 1953–1959. As an aside, Eisenhower’s wife Marie (Mamie) was related to John Foster Dulles on the Leffingwell and Coit lines, among other Connecticut families that are very interconnected.

The four missionary Lathrop sisters had a second cousin who also served in Ceylon who was a single woman schoolteacher. Rebecca Jane Lathrop (known as Jane E. in the mission field) was the daughter of Ezra Lathrop and Rebecca Huntington who were both great-grandchildren of Elizabeth2 (E)’s son Israel3 Lathrop. After Charlotte Huntington (Lathrop) Cherry died, Rev. Henry Cherry married Jane who died four years later at Madras, Tamil Nadu, India. Their cousin David Coit Scudder and his wife served for about a year in India before he drowned at Madurai, Tamil, India in 1862. Like the four Lathrop sisters and their cousin Jane, David Coit Scudder was also a descendant of Elizabeth2 (E) through her son Israel3. He was also a descendant of Elizabeth (E)’s brother John2 (J) Scudder through his son John3 which explains why he had the Scudder surname. These all were distant cousins of Dr. John Scudder, M. D. who descended from Thomas (T) so these 1800s missionaries to Ceylon and India represented all three branches of the American Scudder family. Though he did not go to the India subcontinent like his sisters, their brother Rev. Daniel Whiting Lathrop should not be overlooked. He was asked by the Connecticut Missionary Society to be ordained to the ministry, serving in New York and Ohio as an agent of the American Home Missionary Society. It was Rev. Daniel who inherited Rev. John Lothrop’s Bible. Accolades given at Rev. Lathrop’s funeral include these words:

Mr. [Daniel] Lathrop was a man strong in his convictions, always standing up boldly for what he considered to be right, and in those early days he was a firm friend of the anti-slavery movement, and an earnest worker in the temperance cause. Still, when in controversy he disagreed with others, he would often win his bitterest opponent to himself.[37]

Their sister Fanny Leffingwell Lathrop married the Rev. William A. Hallock who became the secretary of the American Tract Society and Fanny was for 36 years the secretary for the female branch of the Society.

Other descendants of Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) who lived dedicated lives of Christian service include two former presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilford Woodruff and Harold Bingham Lee. They too were descended from the Connecticut branch of the Scudder/Lathrop family that produced so many missionaries and ministers.

Harold B. Lee, 1899–1973[38]

Harold Bingham Lee, 1899–1973. Harold B, Lee’s missionary service was to the Western States Mission 1920–1922. Lee was elected to the Salt Lake City Commission from 1933–1937. An educator and a deeply spiritual man, the Great Depression further honed his practical and organizational skills. Serving at a local level as a stake president from 1930–1937, Lee organized the first Bishop’s Storehouse for his church that was founded on two principles, each member has two basic welfare responsibilities: 1) to become self-reliant to provide for oneself and 2) to care for the poor and those in need. He was later called to organize and become the managing director of the welfare program for his whole church. His visionary work continues today worldwide as members contribute financially and with hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours annually to administer relief at local levels and to provide humanitarian and disaster relief globally. His vision to relieve suffering and to build an individual’s self worth and self-reliance through competence has since then grown exponentially.[39] His teaching and organizational skills were utilized in many ways at church headquarters. He was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1941, serving in that capacity for over forty years. Lee was the 11th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1972–1973 when he died. It was Lee’s unusual capacity to communicate on deeply spiritual matters that endeared him to his people. President Lee encouraged two-way communication with God:

The most important thing you can do is to learn to talk to God. Talk to Him as you would talk to your father, for He is your Father, and He wants you to talk to Him. He wants you to cultivate ears to listen, when He gives you the impressions of the Spirit to tell you what to do. If you learn to give heed…you find those things coming through in the very hour of your need.[40]

Lee descends from Elizabeth2 Scudder (E) on the Connecticut Scudder/Lathrop and Bingham lines through her son John3 Lathrop.

Lee also shares a common ancestor with the wife of Dr. John Scudder, M.D., Harriet (Waterbury) Scudder, on the Waterbury line from Connecticut. There was obviously a great spiritual awakening going on during the period from 1815—1840s that brought Dr. Scudder into the mission field with Miron and Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) Winslow and Rev. Henry Woodward from New Hampshire who married another Scudder, Lydia Middleton, and their fellow missionary traveling companions, the Spauldings described in articles in the June 2019 Journal. That same spiritual awakening propelled the sisters of Harriet Wadsworth (Lathrop) and their spouses into the mission field along with other Scudder/Lathrop cousins. The deeper one looks into these Connecticut families that produced such religious and missionary zeal, the more striking this pool of interconnected families becomes. Environment played a role along with heredity from their common Scudder/Lathrop roots and included families like Binghams, Tracys, Pratts, Royces and Huntingtons.

Wilford Woodruff, 1807–1896: Another product of this time of spiritual awakening among Elizabeth2 Scudder (E)’s Connecticut descendants was the fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1887–1898. As a missionary he served several missions in the United States and England from 1835–1844. His success was legendary. Among the stories of his service in England, he was instrumental in the conversion and baptism of a congregation of 600 United Brethren, who later became pioneers to Utah. His last missionary assignment was president of the European Mission from 1844–1846.

Wilford Woodruff, 1807­–1898

From an early age, Woodruff ‘s mind was “exercised upon religious subjects.” Woodruff was inspired by Robert Mason, his elderly neighbor at Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut, to seek for a restoration of primitive Christianity.[41] Upon hearing it, Woodruff immediately resonated with the message of two Latter-day Saint missionaries. From the day he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1833, he was a dedicated journal keeper as evidenced by his thirty-one volumes and some 7000 pages. These pages are an invaluable eyewitness account of the early history of the Latter-day Saints. Ordained an apostle in 1838, he served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for almost forty years, from 1838 until he became the church president in 1887. Woodruff was known as a deeply spiritual man, well acquainted the wonders of eternity. He served for twenty-seven years as Assistant Church Historian and for another six years as Church Historian. He was the first president of the St. George, Utah Temple from 1877–1884 and dedicated the Manti, Utah Temple in 1888. In his prophetic calling, Woodruff received the revelation in 1890 that ended the early Latter-day Saint practice of polygamy. Undoubtedly the crowning day of his life was presiding at the dedication of the world-renowned Salt Lake Temple on April 6, 1893. Forty years in the building, Woodruff was present in 1847 when Brigham Young marked the spot where he envisioned the temple should be built.

Woodruff descends from Elizabeth2 (E)’s daughter Elizabeth3 Lathrop who married Isaac Royce. He was a 5th cousin on the Scudder/Lathrop line to brothers Parley P. and Orson Pratt with whom he served for many years in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elizabeth2 (E)’s descendants Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt were descended from the Wallingford, Connecticut branch of the Scudder/Lathrop family through Elizabeth2 (E) Scudder’s daughter Ann3 Lathrop who married William Hough. Both Pratts were theologians and published authors as well as missionaries to foreign lands in the mid 1800s. Orson Pratt served a number of missions to various parts of the United States and to the British Isles and Austria and served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for forty-five years.

Parley P. Pratt, 1807–1857. Parley and his wife Thankful Halsey moved from New York state to Ohio where, by his industry, he built an impressive homestead and farm. In Parley’s autobiography, he describes that in early 1830 he “felt drawn out in an extraordinary manner to search the prophets, and to pray for an understanding.” He states that this deep study of the Bible opened to his view a prophesied restoration of doctrines, authority, ordinances and organization of the early Christian church. It also promised a renewal of God’s covenant with Israel prior to the coming again of the Messiah. Like his distant cousin Dr. John Scudder, M.D., Parley felt a call from God that he could not deny or resist.

He was to sell his property and become a preacher. Parley also felt a strong impression that he was to return with his wife to their birthplace in upstate New York. While en route, near Rochester he felt compelled to leave the schooner, telling his wife he would meet her soon at the home of her parents. Shortly thereafter, he says, he met a Baptist preacher by the name of Hamlin who told him about what Hamlin called “a strange, new book. The next day Hamlin loaned Parley a copy of The Book of Mormon. Pratt describes his experience:

I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated, After this I commenced to read its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true…[42]

His autobiography then relates the full story of his encounter with this new religion that had restored those vital elements of the early Christian church for which he was looking. He dedicated the remainder of his life to missionary service in the U.S., South America and the Sandwich Islands and as an apostle from 1835 to 1857. Besides his autobiography, two of his widely read books are Voice of Warning and Key to Theology but his eyewitness accounts of historical events are also valuable.

A Voice of Warning and Key to Theology

A Voice of Warning and Key to Theology[43]

Parley published some thirty-one works and eight of his poems are set to music in the Latter-day Saint hymnal, including the very first one, “The Morning Breaks.” Its triumphal message, that God’s light can overcome darkness to restore unity and peace, would likely have resonated with Pratt’s many missionary cousins from various denominations who were serving throughout the world in the 1800s at the same time he was. Its hopeful message would also likely resonate with his many dedicated cousins over the centuries who have given their lives to public service to try to make a better world. Perhaps the hymn’s message of unity, and its promise of a brighter day, will offer some hope and comfort to our readers during these dark times of 2020 fueled by a worldwide pandemic and dissension.

The morning breaks, the shadows flee,

Lo, Zion’s standard is unfurled1

The dawning of a brighter day, the dawning of a brighter day,

Majestic rises on the world.[44]

Enjoy a musical version of Parley’s hymn performed by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square


[1] Elizabeth and Samuel Lathrop’s Home in Norwich, Connecticut.

[3] Elijah B, Huntington, A Genealogical Memoir of the Lo-Lathrop Family in this Country…” (1884), 39. Hereafter Lo-Lathrop Memoir,

[4] Ibid.

[5] Charles Willson Peale, “Simon Huntington,” 1783, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samuel_Huntington_-_Charles_Willson_Peale.jpg. Other service included President of the Continental Congress, 1779–1781, chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court, 1784–1785 and Governor of Connecticut from 1786 until his death. His wife Martha Devotion was the oldest daughter Rev. Ebeneezer and Martha (Lathrop) Devotion. Having no issue of their own, he and his wife Martha Devotion raised a niece and nephew. “Martha Devotion Huntington, 1738/39–1794,” ColonialHall.com, http://colonialhall.com/huntington/huntingtonMartha.php.

[6] Harry Clinton Green, Mary Wolcott Green, The Pioneer Mothers of America: a record of the more notable women of the early days of the country, and particularly of the colonial and revolutionary periods, (1912), 98–99.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Albert Leffingwell, Leffingwell Record: a genealogy of the descendants of Lieut. Thomas Leffingwell, one of the founders of Norwich, Conn., (1897), 58–60.

[9] Leffingwell, 58–59.

[10] Ibid.

[11] “Gen. U.S. Grant,” from United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/GenUSGrant.jpg.

[12] Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, Part 1, (1885), available through booksellers or online at Project Gutenberg, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5860/5860-h/5860-h.htm.

[13] “Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933,” from United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division, Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FDR_in_1933.jpg.

[14] Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “One Third of a Nation,” Second Inaugural Address, January 1937.

[16] Franklin Delano Roosevelt, The Roosevelt Scholars, The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation, Adams House, Harvard College, https://fdrfoundation.org/the-roosevelt-scholars-program/.

[17] “Henry Agard Wallace,” 1888–1965, bust portrait, facing left, Library of Congress LC-USZ62-49956, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry-A.-Wallace-Townsend_(cropped_3x4).jpeg.

[19] Henry A. Wallace, “Where I was Wrong,” This Week Magazine, September 7, 1952. See John C. Culver and John Hyde, American Dreamer: The Life and Times of Henry A Wallace, (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2000), 339.

[20] “Thomas Dewey, circa 1948,” Greystone Studio, N.Y/Public domain, United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division.

[21] Reneé Critcher Lyons, “The Second Shall Be First, The 1948 Presidential Election—Truman V. Dewey,” Our White House, https://ourwhitehouse.org/the-second-shall-be-first/.

[22] “George W. Romney,” author Urban Housing and Development, unknown date, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/George_W._Romney_official_portrait.jpg. Public domain.

[23] Jacki Miller, “Michigan Civil Rights Commission Honors the Life and Work of George Romney, Michigan.gov, https://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-26847-360242–,00.html.

[24] “Senator Mitt Romney of Utah,” United States Congress, (20 January 2019), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/Mitt_Romney_official_US_Senate_portrait.jpg. Public domain.

[25] Ambassador Jon Huntsman, 24 July 2009, Author, United States Department of State, “https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/33/Ambassador_Jon_Huntsman.jpg. Public domain.

[26] “Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. circa 1930,” original photo by Harris & Ewing, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62, Harris &Ewing/Public domain, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/95/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Jr_circa_1930-edit.jpg.

[27] “Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,” authored by Armstrong & Co. (Boston, Mass., 1879.), https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f9/Oliver_Wendell_Holmes_Sr_c1879.jpg. Public domain.

[29] “Hiram Bingham IV: A Humanitarian Honored for Saving Lives During WW II,” Connecticut Humanities, connecticut.org at https://connecticuthistory.org/hiram-bingham-iv-a-humanitarian-honored-for-saving-lives-during-wwii/.

[30] These include early missionaries to Ceylon, Harriett (Wadsworth) (Lathrop) Winslow and her sisters Elizabeth, Charlotte and Harriet Joanna Lathrop and their spouses, 2nd cousin Jane E. Lathrop, and their cousin David Coit Scudder who served in India. See Scudder Family Historical & Biographical Journal, June and December 2019 for articles about the four Lathrop missionary sisters. Serving near the same time in the 1800s in other parts of the world for various denominations were their cousins Hiram Bingham I and II in Hawaii, Wilford Woodruff in England and the U.S., Parley P. Pratt in South America, Canada, the Pacific islands and the U.S. and his brother Orson Pratt in the United States, England and Austria, all of whom were descended of Elizabeth2 (Scudder) Lathrop (E).

[31] J. H. Colton, “Colton’s Map of the World on Mercator’s Projections, (Columbus, Oh.: J & H Miller, 1852), in W. Blake, The volume of the world: embracing the geography, history, and statistics of the nations of the earth…” (1855 edition), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1852_Colton%27s_Map_of_the_World_on_Mercator%27s_Projection_(_Pocket_Map_)_-_Geographicus_-_World-colton-1852.jpg.

[32] Miron Winslow, Harriet Lathrop Winslow, A Memoir of Mrs. Harriet Wadsworth Winslow, Combining a Sketch of the Ceylon Mission, (1835), Front matter.

[33] Leffingwell, 58–59.

[35] “The Oodooville Girls Boarding-School,” Mary and Margaret Leitch, Seven Years in Ceylon, (New York, American Tract Society, [c 1890]), 73.

[36] Leffingwell, 82.

[37] Huntington, 154–154, 239.

[38] “Harold B. Lee 1944,” from “Elder Harold B. Lee of the Council of the Twelve, Liahona: The Elder’s Journal, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Harold_B_Lee_1944.JPG. Harold Bingham Lee was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 1941–1970, Counselor in the First Presidency, 1970–1972, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1972–until his death in 1973.

[39] “Welfare and Self Reliance,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/topic/welfare-and-self-reliance.
JustServe identifies local needs and facilitates in partnership with other churches and groups to provide community solutions and invites participation in these opportunities at, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/justserve-org-connecting-volunteers-with-community-needs?lang=eng.

Helping Hands provides community service and disaster relief, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/humanitarian-service/helping-hands?lang=eng.
Latter-day Saint Charities, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/humanitarian-service/helping-hands?lang=eng.
LDS Philanthropies oversees a Humanitarian Center to prepare humanitarian supplies for use worldwide and training in employable skills. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/humanitarian-service/center?lang=eng. It also oversees the Perpetual Education Fund and BYU-Pathway Worldwide that offers higher education online at an affordable price to students throughout the world.

[40] The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 130.

[41] Matthias F. Cowley, Wilford Woodruff, History of His Life and Labors as recorded in his daily journals, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1964), 14–18.

[42] Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, 7th ed., (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1968, 33, 36–37.

[43] Parley P. Pratt, Voice of Warning, 10th ed., (Liverpool: H. S. Eldridge, 1871) and Key to Theology, 4th ed., (Salt Lake City, (1883).

[44] Parley P. Pratt, “The Morning Breaks,” performed by The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, www.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DwLsYNUd_Zq4

 


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