He was the brother of Timothy Dwight, president of Yale College, and the grandson of Jonathan Edwards. He was a distinguished lawyer, a leader of the Federalist Party, and a member of Congress in 1806-1807, and was secretary of the Hartford Convention in 1814-1815.
His talent as a writer made him a brilliant editor at the Hartford Mirror, the Albany Daily Advertiser, and the New York City Daily Advertiser, which he founded in 1817. Among his publications are Life and Character of Thomas Jefferson (1839) and History of the Hartford Convention (1833).
He was a member of the State council 1809-1815; elected as a Federalist to the Ninth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of John Cotton Smith and served from December 1, 1806, to March 3, 1807; declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1806; secretary of the Hartford Convention in 1814-1815; moved to Albany, New York in 1815 and published the Albany Daily Advertiser 1815-1817.
He moved to New York City in 1817 and established the New York Daily Advertiser, with which he was connected until the great fire of 1835; returned to Hartford and resided there until about three years before his death, when he returned to New York City, where he died on June 12, 1846, aged 81. He was interred in Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.
In 1839 he published The Character of Thomas Jefferson as Exhibited in His Own Writings, which his law partner William Herndon claimed made Abraham Lincoln "hate him as a man" for his duplicitous character, affair with Sally Hemings et al.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. Missing or empty
This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=D000582".