Buckminster. I. Joseph D. D, an American clergyman, born at Rutland, Mass., Oct. 14, 1751, died at Readsboro, Vt., June 10, 1812. He graduated at Yale college in 1790, as one of the three best scholars in his class, remained there three years upon the Berkeley foundation, studying theology, and was afterward for four years tutor in the college. In 1779 he became pastor of the North church at Portsmouth, N. H., where he remained 33 years, when his health became impaired, and he died while on a journey to the mountains of Vermont. He was remarkable for the fervor of his devotional exercises and the earnestness of his preaching. He was deeply interested in the controversy which during his later years made a wide division between the conservative and liberal Congregationalists. The change of views arrived at by his son Joseph Stevens Buckminster, and the discussions between the two, form one of the most interesting features in the memoirs of both. Although differing in creed, and conscientiously tenacious of his own opinions, he preached his son's ordination sermon. He published about 25 sermons, preached on different occasions between 1783 and 1811, and a brief memoir of the Rev. Dr. Mackintosh, and was one of the authors of the " Piscataqua River Prayer Book " for the use of families.
His daughter, Mrs. Eliza Buckminster Lee, has published " Memoirs of the Rev. Joseph Buckminster, D. D., and of his son, the Rev. Joseph Stevens Buckminster " (Boston, 1851). II. Joseph Stevens, an American clergyman, son of the preceding, born at Portsmouth, N. H., May 26, 1784, died in Boston, June 9, 1812. He was educated at Exeter academy and at Harvard college, graduated in 1800, and became an assistant in Exeter academy, where he was one of the teachers of Daniel Webster. In 1804 he began to preach in the Brattle street church, Boston, of which he was ordained pastor, Jan. 30, 1804. He thus became minister of one of the largest and most intelligent religious societies in New England before he was 21 years of age. In 1806-7, his health having become impaired, he travelled extensively in Europe, and while in England purchased many books for the Boston Athenaeum. On his return he became an active member of the Anthology club, from which originated one of the first purely literary periodicals published in America. In 1808 he superintended the republication of Griesbach's New Testament, containing the most important various readings, and was afterward appointed lecturer on Biblical criticism in the university at Cambridge. He was a member of the academy of arts and sciences, and of the Massachusetts historical society.
A volume of his sermons, remarkable for purity of thought and finish of style, with a memoir of his life and character by S. C. Thatcher, was published in 1814, and a memoir of his father and himself by his sister iu 1851. His works were published in two volumes in 1839. A quarter of a century after his death a monument was erected to his memory in the Mount Auburn cemetery.