Isaac Backus, an American Baptist clergyman, born at Norwich, Conn., in 1724, died Nov. 20, 1806. He left the Congregational church for the Separatists, derisively styled "New Lights," a secession from the "standing order" on grounds connected with controversies that grew out of the great revival under Edwards and Whitefield. The Separatists largely sympathized with the Baptists, among whom Mr. Backus became a leader. To his exertions the Baptist denomination in America is largely indebted for its prosperity. He was sent in 1774 as an agent to claim from congress, then in session in Philadelphia, the same liberties fur the Baptist that were accorded to other churches. In his writings upon the constitution of the church he advocated the entire separation of the church from the state. He was one of the most voluminous of American Baptist writers, and left a valuable history of that denomination, of which a new edition, edited by the Rev. David Weston, was published in 1871, under the auspices of the "Backus Historical Society."