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Friends of Spring Grove Cemetery

These pages are dedicated to Spring Grove Cemetery, final resting place of Laurent and Eliza Clerc. Many of their social peers and colleagues have been buried there as well. The Friends of Spring Grove Cemetery attempts to preserve and promote this historic resting place and the fascinating people buried there.

American School Alumni

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Notable Residents

Frances Ellen Burr

(June 4, 1831 - February 9, 1923) was an American suffragist and writer from Connecticut. More information about Frances and her contributions to the suffragist movement in the United States.

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Laurent and Eliza's Eternal Neighbours

Laurent and Eliza will presumably reside in their graveyard enclosure for eternity. So who are their closest neighbors? Check here to find out!

The Reverend Matthew Rice Dutton (June 30,1783 - July 17, 1825)

Matthew was the eldest son of Thomas and Tenty (Punderson) Dutton, of Watertown, CT.  He was born in Watertown on June 30,1783. When about thirteen (13) years old, his family moved  to Northfield, a small parish of Litchfield, where his father kept a small country store, and Matthew was employed, when not otherwise engaged, as a clerk. In the summer of 1799 he kept a school in Northfield, and the next winter in the adjoining town of Harwinton. At seventeen he entered the law office of Ephraim Kirby, of Litchfield; but in consequence of weak eyes and broken health, from an attack of measles, he was soon obliged to abandon his studies. Some years followed, of rest, of further teaching, and of private study, until he decided to endeavor to obtain a College education, substantially by his own efforts. His final preparation for the Junior Class was made under James Morris (Yale 1775), of Litchfield South Farms. He graduated with the highest honors which could be allotted to one who had entered so late, and at Commencement he delivered an "Oration on Enthusiasm". Before graduation he had begun to teach in Farmington, CT, and he went thence to the Fairfield Academy, where he had already taught.

The year 1809-10 was spent in the Andover Theological Seminary, where he succeeded in four (4) years of a College tutorship. At Commencement in 1811 he delivered a master's "Oration on Popularity"; and the same year he was licensed to preach by the Litchfield South Association of Ministers. For throughout his tutorship he suffered severely with his eyes, and was dependent, in great measure, on the voluntary aid of students, even in preparing himself for his daily duties. During the last year of his tutorship he declined, on account of imperfect health, an urgent call from the First or North Church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in succession to the Rev. Dr. Joseph Buck minster (Yale 1770). However, on September 24, 1814, he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Congregational Church in Stratford, Connecticut, the sermon on that occasion being preached by President Dwight.


Matthew, like many others would find his way to Yale University. He remained in Stratford, universally beloved, until his election, in September, 1822, after the death of Professor Alexander M. Fisher (Yale 1813), to the chair of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Yale. Mathematics was a favorite study, and he excelled in it; so that he was tempted to accept the appointment, and was dismissed from his pastoral charge in October, 1822. He entered on his duties with alacrity and ardor; but his constitution, always delicate, was not equal to the effort. His physical powers were soon prostrated, and he died in New Haven, partly from general debility and partly from pulmonary affection, on July 17, 1825, at the age of 42. His funeral sermon was preached by Professor Fitch. Professor Dutton was respected and loved, both as a teacher and preacher. With simple, winning manners, and a well-balanced, symmetrical character, his memory was cherished by his friends with unaccustomed reverence.


Maria Hopkins Dutton (October 19, 1790 - June 11, 1874), was the daughter of Dr. Asa and Abigail (Burnham) Hopkins, of Hartford. Maria long survived Matthew and is buried in the same grave site. Maria married Mathhew soon after his ordination. Matthew and Abigail's children were two sons, of whom the elder was graduated at Yale in 1837. Matthew's brother was a Yale graduate in 1818.





















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