Jesse Truesdell Peck
Jesse Truesdell Peck, the youngest of ten children of
Luther Peck, was born on April 4, 1811 on a farm in Middlefield, Otsego
County, New York. He was educated at Cazenovia Seminary and became a
minister in the Methodist Church. He married Persis Wing on October
13, 1831, and in the following year he joined the Oneida Conference.
In 1837, Peck became the head of a seminary high school. This would
be the first of two seminaries that he would lead up until 1848. In
that year, Peck was chosen to be the tenth president of Dickinson College,
in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, despite having no formal college education
During his presidency, Peck met with some trouble, being unpopular with
the students and often finding himself the butt of student jokes and
pranks. Peck also proved to be an inadequate fundraiser for the college,
and the school's financial situation worsened. In June 1851 he announced
his intention to leave the institution at the end of the following academic
year, citing his belief - most probably accurate - that he was ill-suited
to the tasks associated with the job.
During the Civil War, Peck moved with his wife to California because
of her failing health. He later returned to New York, and in 1870 he
was a presiding officer of the state Methodist Convention in Syracuse.
In 1872 he became a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He also
became one of the founders of Syracuse University in 1870, and was one
of four subscribers of $25,000 to endow this new institution. Jesse
T. Peck served as president of Syracuse University's Board of Trustees
from 1870 to 1873, and he remained a member of the Board until his death
Please visit the following link for materials authored
by Jesse Truesdell Peck maintained in the Their Own Words database:
Peck, Jesse Truesdell, 1811-1883.