[[File:2241.jpg|left|thumb|Fig. 1,James Frothingham, ''Manasseh Cutler'', 1820. Courtesy of Ohio University Archives.]]
[[File:2238.jpg|rightleft|thumb|Fig. 2, "Dr. Cutler’s Church and Parsonage at Ipswich Hamlet, 1787," in Edwin Erle Sparks, ''The United States of America: 1783-1830, Part 1'' (1904).]]
Born in Killingly, Connecticut, to Hezekiah and Susanna Clark, Manasseh Cutler grew up on a prosperous farm whose boundaries extended into Rhode Island. The family’s ancestors were Puritans who had emigrated from Norfolkshire in 1634 [Fig.1]. From his father, Cutler developed a taste for learning, which led him to Yale University where he received—over time—undergraduate, master’s, and doctor of laws degrees.<ref>Peter S. Onuf, “Manasseh Cutler,” ''American National Biography'' (online); Robert Elliot Brown, ''Manasseh Cutler and the Settlement of Ohio, 1788'' (Marietta, OH: Marietta College Press, 1938), 8; and William Darrach and Ernest G. Vietor, “Reverend Manasseh Cutler, LL.D., 1742–1825,” ''Essex Institute Historical Collections'' 90, no. 2 (April 1954): 111–22.</ref> After receiving his undergraduate degree in 1765, he taught school for one year in Dedham, Massachusetts, and married Mary (Polly) Balch, before going into the mercantile and whaling business on Martha’s Vineyard.<ref>Newcomer 1962, 30, and C. Burr Dawes, “Manasseh Cutler (1742–1823), Forefather of American Botany and American Botanical Gardens” (paper, Ohio Academy of Science and the Ohio Academy of Medical History, Ohio Historical Center, Columbus, April 8, 1972), 4.</ref> He was admitted to the bar in 1767.<ref>Lee Nathaniel Newcomer, “The Big World of Manasseh Cutler,” ''New England Galaxy'' 4, no. 1 (Summer 1962): 29–37.</ref>
[[File:2237.jpg|right|thumb|Fig. 3, Manasseh Cutler, ''A map of the Federal Territory from the western boundary of Pennsylvania to the Scioto River '', ca. 1785.]]
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