Lyman, Phineas

Other names: General
Birth: 1715 in Durham, CT
Death: 1775 in West Florida

Yale; Bar of Hampshire county; General Assembly of Connecticut


Yale (1738)






tutor, lawyer, representative, general

  • Durham, CT (from 1715 to 1742)
  • Suffield, MA/CT (from 1742 to 1763)
  • England (from 1763 to 1774)

General Lyman went to England in 1763 following the French and Indian War to obtain a grant for land on the Mississippi. He remained in England until he obtained the territory in 1774.

Marital status

married Eleanor Dwight on October 7, 1742. They had 8 children: Phineas, Gamaliel Dwight, Thaddeus, Thompson, Oliver, Eleanor, Experience, and Thompson.


General Phineas Lyman was a longtime friend of Eleazar Wheelock’s and a supporter of his school. He was born in Durham, CT in 1715 and studied law at Yale. After graduating in 1738, Lyman became a tutor then successful lawyer, and he managed a law school in Suffield, MA. When Suffield was incorporated into Connecticut, Lyman became involved with the Connecticut General Assembly. He served in the French and Indian War, commanding 5,000 Connecticut troops, and was integral in the battle of Lake George in 1755 although General Johnson was credited with the victory. After the war, General Lyman went to England in search of acknowledgment for his war endeavors, and to secure land on the Mississippi or Ohio River for himself and fellow officers. Lyman assured Wheelock he would endeavor to incorporate his school into the territory. However, in April of 1769, Lord Dartmouth wrote to Wheelock indicating that General Lyman had excluded the school from his plea; Sir William Johnson had denounced Wheelock for supposedly deterring Indians from ceding their property. In 1774, after 11 years of negotiations, General Lyman finally obtained the grant for the Mississippi and Yazoo lands; nonetheless, Wheelock had already established his school in New Hampshire. In 1775, General Lyman died en route to the newly acquired territory in West Florida.


Chase, Frederick. A History of Dartmouth College and the Town of Hanover, New Hampshire. Ed. John K. Lord, Volume 1. Cambridge: John Wilson and Son, 1891. Accessed via HathiTrust. Coleman, Lyman. Genealogy of the Lyman Family in Great Britain & America: The Ancestors & Descendants of Richard Lyman, from High Ongar in England, 1631. J. Munsell: Albany, NY, 1872. “PHINEAS LYMAN (1716-1774).” Suffield Library.