Just a clue
Many of the Norwich boys, at the close of the last century, went to school to Master Tisdale in Lebanon. The following sketch of his life has been prepared by Mr. Daniel Hebard : —
Nathan Tisdale, born at Lebanon, Conn., on the 19th of September, A. D. 1732, was the son of Ebenezer Tisdale, who was the fifth in descent from John Tisdale of Duxbury, Mass., afterwards of Taunton, who was the progenitor of all of the name in New England. His father was a blacksmith — a skillful artisan and a sterling patriot, as is evinced by his having been a friend of and counselor with Gov. J. Trumbull. Of his mother, unfortunately we have no record. At the age of sixteen, in common with many of the young men of his native town, Nathan entered Harvard College, and graduated there the following year, 1749, at the early age of seventeen. Among his classmates and acquaintance were Robert Treat Paine and John Adams, by the latter of whom he is said to have been called a better scholar than himself He took a position in his eighteenth year at the head of the school in the "Old Brick School-house" at Lebanon, established mainly through the efforts of the venerable Dr. Williams, and destined under his charge to send forth many of the brightest ornaments to the state, the pulpit, and the bar. There he commenced the training of such men as Hon. Jeremiah Mason, Col. John Trumbull, the "Young Governor Trumbull," Dr. Wheelock, second president of Dartmouth College, Rev. Dr. Lyman of Hatfield, Judge Baldwin, Gen. Eb. Huntington, etc., — by whom he was held in affectionate remembrance. So celebrated was this school that pupils came from the West Indies, and if tradition may be believed, from nine out of thirteen colonies at one time. In certain cases his certificate of fitness was accepted in lieu of an examination for admission to Yale College. Mr. Tisdale was a strict and severe disciplinarian, allowing nothing to interfere with the business of the school, yet gained the reverence and respect of his pupils, amounting often to warm affection. He was known by the honorable title of "Master." Quite late in life he married the widow of Capt. John Porter, who had four children, and yet continued in charge of the school until the fall or winter of 1786, when broken health, the wants of his family, and pecuniary embarrassments, induced him at once to petition the proprietors of the school for relief, and to resign his charge. Scorning under other circumstances to have solicited aid, he refers with glowing pride, which half commands the favor he sues for, to his long and meritorious services, in these words:
"In this business, gentlemen, I have continued nearly the space of forty years, with almost uninterrupted application to the duties of my charge. ... I have educated a large number of youth who have done an honor to this school, who have gone forth into the world and have become bright ornaments to society. I have now spent the prime of life, the flower of my days, in this service; but I have acquired no fortune — and perhaps I may say that I have been more profitable to the community than to myself."