John Henry Hobart
Overseer of the Diocese of Connecticut 1816-1819
Following the departure of Abraham Jarvis in 1813, the members of Convention in Connecticut were slow to choose a bishop. They could not agree until 1815, when they elected John Croes, rector of Christ Church in New Brunswick—only to lose him when New Jersey elected him bishop. A chief reason for the delay was the small bishop’s fund could not support a clergyman and his family on such a small salary. In 1816, the Convention asked Bishop Hobart of New York to take care of the diocese. He consented but warned that he would be “exceedingly gratified” when Connecticut would consecrate a bishop to relieve him. In addition to his duties as Bishop of New York, Hobart was rector of Trinity Church Wall Street, and founded both Hobart College and General Theological Seminary. During this time, Hobart had ordained Thomas Church Brownell and assisted in developing his brilliant curate. Chafing under the burden of two dioceses in 1819, Hobart skillfully used his influence with members of the Connecticut Convention to elect Brownell in 1819.
The Diocesan Archives in Connecticut does not have a collection of Hobart's papers, they are held by the Episcopal Archives, in Austin, TX.
Biographical Note by Margaret Smith