Joseph Clay Stiles

December 6, 1795
March 27, 1875
Home Town:
Savannah, GA
Later Residences:
Darien, GA
Richmond, VA
New York, NY
New Haven, CT
Caroline Peck Stiles (August 14, 1820)
Caroline Nephew Stiles (April 2, 1828)
Biographical Notes:
Joseph Clay Stiles was the son of Joseph and Catherine (Clay) Stiles. Born December 6, 1795, Stiles graduated from Yale College in 1814, and later that year joined the army during the last year of the War of 1812. He served as a private in the First Georgia Militia until discharge din 1815. After the war ended, Stiles resumes his education by beginning a course of study at the Litchfield Law School.

He began his legal practice in Savannah with William W. Gordon. Stiles first wife died just one year after their marriage at the age of nineteen and this event led him to a religious conversion. Stiles consequently abandoned the practice of the law and began to preach, often to the slaves on his father's plantation.

After his graduation from the Andover Theological Seminary, ...
"The pleasure of Miss Lewis' company is requested at a Ball to be given at the house of Mr. Phelps, on Tuesday, the 24th int. at 1/2 past 6 o'clock P.M."

Hand-written invitation to Litchfield Law School ball, from George Boardman, George Devereaux, Joseph Clay Stiles, William Holt Averell, and William Greene, 1818

Mary All Lewis Collection, Folder #5, ca. 1818-1823
Additional Notes:
Joseph Clay Stiles is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, VA.

Years at LLS:
Other Education:
Prepared for college by the Rev. Samuel Whelpley in Newark, NJ, and graduated from Yale College in 1814. He then graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1825.

Profession / Service
Military; Lawyer; Religious Calling
Training with Other Lawyers:
After comleting his studies at Litchfield, CT he studied in the office of Hon. John M. Berrien in Savannah, GA.

Related Objects and Documents
In the Ledger:
help The Citation of Attendance provides primary source documentation of the student’s attendance at the Litchfield Female Academy and/or the Litchfield Law School. If a citation is absent, the student is thought to have attended but currently lacks primary source confirmation.

Records for the schools were sporadic, especially in the formative years of both institutions. If instructors kept comprehensive records for the Litchfield Female Academy or the Litchfield Law School, they do not survive. Researchers and staff have identified students through letters, diaries, family histories and genealogies, and town histories as well as catalogues of students printed in various years. Art and needlework have provided further identification of Female Academy Students, and Litchfield County Bar records document a number of Law School students. The history of both schools and the identification of the students who attended them owe credit to the early 20th century research and documentation efforts of Emily Noyes Vanderpoel and Samuel Fisher, and the late 20th century research and documentation efforts of Lynne Templeton Brickley and the Litchfield Historical Society staff.
Handwritten list by William Samuel Johnson, "Catalogue of the Students at Law in the school at Litchfield Conn. at & after Aug. 15th 1817..", Connecticut Historical Society, Johnson Family Papers, 1722-1863, Box - Johnson Papers.

Houghton, Josiah. "LLS Law Notebook 1817-1818." Litchfield Law School Collection, Series 1, Subseries 1, Litchfield Historical Society. Available online at
Secondary Sources:
Wilson, James Grant and John Fiske. Appleton’s Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 5. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888.

Dexter, Franklin Bowditch. Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College with Annals of College History, Vol. 6. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1912.

Obituary Records of Graduates of Yale College 1860-70, 1870-80, 1880-90, 1890-1900. Yale University: 1900.
Honeyman, A. Van Doren. Joannes Nevius and His Descendants. Plainfield, NJ: Honeyman and Company, 1900.

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