P.S. 214Q Cadwallader Colden School

Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776) was born to Scottish parents in Ireland in 1688, and raised in Duns, Scotland. In his early life, Colden trained to become a Presbyterian minister at the University of Edinburgh until transitioning to the sciences. Colden immigrated to the British colony of Pennsylvania in 1710 where he worked as a doctor and a merchant until moving to New York in 1718. As a scientist, Colden studied biology, botany, chemistry, physics, and astronomy, while pursuing research on cancer, yellow fever, smallpox, and climate-based diseases as a doctor. Some of Colden’s famous academic publications include The History of the Five Indian Nations Depending on the Province of New York (1727), a classification of local species in the Linnaean system (1749), and a critique of Sir Issac Newton’s work in The Principles of Action in Matter (1751).

Colden also pursued roles in public service, holding the position of Master in Chancery and Surveyor General of New York, serving on the Governor's Council, and eventually as acting Governor up until the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Colden was not popular among American colonists due to his British-favoring policies on trade, as seen in incidents such as the Stamp Act Crisis of 1765. Forced out of office by the war, Colden died on his Long Island estate near Flushing, Spring Hill, in 1776. In addition to this school, a nearby playground is also named after him.


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Rhoades, “Cadwallader Colden Playground Reopens At Busy Flushing Site,” July 19, 2001, https://www.qchron.com/editions/north/cadwallader-colden-playground-reopens-at-busy-flushing-site/article_ef5636d1-cc7e-56d8-b5ac-a7a2d17aa119.html

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