Cutler. I. Manasseli, an American clergyman, born at Killingly, Conn., May 3, 1742, died at Hamilton, Mass., July 28, 1823. He graduated at Yale college in 1765, engaged in the whaling business, and opened a store at Edgartown, on Martha's Vineyard. While thus employed he studied law, and was admitted to the bar of Massachusetts in 1767. But this profession was not congenial, and he determined to study theology. He removed to Ded-ham, was licensed in 1770, and preached six months as a candidate at the Hamlet parish, then a part of Ipswich, but which was incorporated as the town of Hamilton in 1793. Over this parish he was ordained, Sept. 11, 1771. On the breaking out of the revolution he espoused the cause of the colonies with great vigor, and in September, 1776, received a commission as chaplain. Toward the close of the revolution, as the physician of the Hamlet parish was employed in the army, Mr. Cutler studied medicine, and for several years administered to the bodily as well as spiritual maladies of his flock, for the former services receiving little or no compensation; yet notwithstanding these arduous labors, he soon became noted for his scientific tastes and attainments.
In 1781 he was elected a member of the American academy, and in the volume of memoirs published by that society in 1785 are papers from his pen bearing the following titles: "On the Transit of Mercury over the Sun, Nov. 12, 1782;" "On the Eclipse of the Moon, March 29, 1782, and of the Sun in the following April;" "Meteorological Observations, 1781, '82, '83;" "An Account of some of the Vegetable Productions naturally growing in this part of America;" and in the third volume of the memoirs appeared "Remarks on a Vegetable and Animal Insect." His botanical paper was the first attempt at a scientific description of the plants of New England. He examined and described according to the Lin-ngean system 350 species of plants found in his neighborhood. In 1784 he with six others ascended the White mountains; this party are said to have been the first white men who ever reached the summit. With Dr. Peck's assistance he prepared the chapter on trees and plants in Belknap's "History of New Hampshire." In 1786 he became a member of the Ohio company, founded by officers of the army for the purpose of having their bounty lands located together; and he and Major Winthrop Sergeant visited the seat of government, and made a contract for 1,000,000 acres of land N. W. of the Ohio river, obtaining also a grant of 500,000 acres more, as an allowance for bad lands and incidental charges.
By order of the directors Cutler on his return immediately prepared to fit out an expedition. He had a large wagon built and covered with black canvas, on which were painted in white letters the words "Ohio, for Marietta on the Muskingum." The circumstances under which it left New England and reached that then uncultivated wilderness have placed this exploring wagon historically by the side of the Mayflower. Forty-five men were engaged to accompany it, and to help to settle and defend the new country for three years. They started from Cutler's house in December, 1787; and their number having been increased to 60, they commenced the settlement of Marietta, April 7, 1788, under Gen. Rufus Putnam. Cutler started in a sulky for Ohio, which he reached in 29 days by a route of 750 miles. He examined the fortifications and mounds in the neighborhood, which he considered were the work of a nation more civilized and powerful than any existing tribe of Indians. After remaining a short time at Marietta, he returned to New England. In 1795 Washington tendered him a commission as judge of the supreme court of the Ohio territory, which he declined. He was afterward elected representative to the state legislature of Massachusetts, and from 1800 to 1804 he served as a representative in congress.
He declined a reelection in 1804, and continued till his death to he pastor of the church at Hamilton. II. Jervis, son of the preceding, horn at Hamilton, Mass., in 1769, died at Evansville, Ind., June 25, 1844. In 1788, at the age of 19, he joined the little company who settled at Marietta, Ohio. He cut down the first tree for an emigrant's clearing in that state, and was the last survivor of that pioneer company.