Elijah Hedding , an American bishop, born at Pine Plains, N. Y., June 7, 1780, died in Poughkeepsie, April 9, 1852. He became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in 1798, and commenced his labors as an itinerant preacher on Essex circuit, Vermont. He was received into the New York annual conference in 1801, and sent to Plattsburgh. In 1802 he labored on the Fletcher circuit, Vermont, which then extended from the Onion river to 15 or 20 miles beyond the Canada line, including all the territory between the Green mountains and Lake Champlain. Here he was accustomed to travel 300 miles a month on horseback, to ford rivers, to sleep in log cabins, and to preach once and often two or three times daily. In 1803 he was sent to Bridgewater circuit, New Hampshire, which then embraced 13 towns. In 1804 he was at Hanover, N. H.; in 1805 at Barre, Vt.; and in 1806 at Cheshire, Vt. During 1807-'9 he was presiding elder of the New Hampshire and New London districts. In 1808 he was a delegate to the general conference at Baltimore, and took an active part in the discussion of the policy of a delegated general conference. From 1809 to 1816 he preached in Nantucket, Lynn, and Boston, and from 1816 to 1824 in Portland, Lynn, and New London, being also superintendent of the Boston district.

In 1824 he was elected bishop. During the 26 years of his administration he was distinguished for his clear and comprehensive views of the doctrines and polity of the church, and for his intimate acquaintance with ecclesiastical law. His manual on the "Discipline" is of high authority. In 1848 he was chosen to represent the Methodist Episcopal church in the British conference. He was one of the chief movers in the founding at Boston of "Zion's Herald," the first journal of the Methodist Episcopal church of the United States. - See "Life and Times of the Rev. E. Hedding, D. D.," by D. W. Clark, D. D. (New York, 1855).