PHINEAS LYMAN (1716-1774)

        Born in Durham, Connecticut in 1716, Phineas Lyman graduated from Yale in 1738. He studied law in New Haven and was a tutor at Yale until his marriage and move to Suffield in 1742. He practiced law in Suffield and ran a law school which may have been the first in Connecticut. He was instrumental in the transfer of Suffield from Massachusetts to Connecticut in 1749. He held town offices, was a representative to the General Assembly, and a member of the Governorís Council.

        During the French and Indian War of 1755-1760, Lyman was a Major General in command of the Connecticut troops. For part of the time he was second in command of all American forces. He demonstrated exceptional military ability. In 1762 Britain was at war with Spain; Lyman commanded all the American troops in the successful assault at Havana.

        At the Treaty of Paris in 1763, Britain acquired all Spanish lands east of the Mississippi River. On behalf of a group of war veterans, Phineas Lyman spent eight years in England seeking land grants in the new territory. He succeeded in obtaining a grant only for himself. In late 1773 Lyman, his son and 8 slaves left Suffield to establish a new home 380 miles up the Mississippi River in Natchez. There he died in 1774 before his wife and 5 children arrived, a sad conclusion to an eminent career.