Boudinot, Elias

Born in Phila. in 1740, baptized by George Whitefield. President of the Continental Congress, & for a time President of the United States in Congress Assembled (some have claimed him as the first president of the US, a distinction he shares with John Hanson). After the Constitution was ratified, he served as a U.S. Representative & then Director of the U.S. Mint.
Retiring from politics, Boudinot was a trustee of the College of New Jersey (what is now Princeton Univ.). His views on religious tolerance, opposition to slavery, & the perceived demise of religious life in the country led him to found the American Bible Society in 1816. That same year, he published Star in the West, suggesting that Native Americans were the lost tribes of Israel.
Boudinot, a hyper-Federalist, believed that the rise of Jefferson with his heretical religious views & dangerous democratic leanings could only mean the decline of the United States. He reacted against Thomas Paine’s pamphet, The Age of Reason, which among other things sought to discredit the accuracy & infallibility of the Bible & advocated a natural religion, by penning a pamphet of his own, The Age of Revelation.
He married Richard Stockton’s (signer the Declaration of Independence), sister, Hannah, while Stockton married Elias’ sister, Annis. Boudinot died in Burlington, NJ in 1821, & is buried in Saint Mary’s Episcopal Churchyard with his wife.

North, Eric M. Rediscovering Elias Boudinot,” Bible Society Record (May 1954) pp. 72-73

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