Dudley Leavitt was born May 23, 1772, at Exeter. He was the fifth in descent from Deacon John Leavitt, who settled in Hingham, Mass. He was the oldest child of Joshua Leavitt and Elisabeth James, and was named Dudley because both his parents were descendants of Gov. Thomas Dudley. His father moved to Deerfield, but I do not know in what year.
Dudley married Judith Glidden, of Gilmanton, in 1794, and took up his residence in that town. He had always spent his evenings and leisure hours in study, and at twenty was well advanced in the sciences. After his marriage he studied Latin and Greek under Rev. Isaac Smith, of Gilmanton. Later in life he studied Hebrew and some modern languages. He was an intense student until the hour of his death.
His first almanac was for 1797, and his last for 1858. The one for 1852 was in press when he died, and he left six in manuscript. He made the calculations for the "New Hampshire Register" for many years and for the "Freewill Baptist Register" after 1844. He was the author of several school text-books, and at the time of his death had a work on astronomy nearly ready for press.
For many years he taught at least one term during the year, and when not in school received classes at his home. He taught his last pupils in 1846 when he was 74 years old. A copy of the Concord Observer, published in 1819, contains this advertisement:
"Meredith Academic School".
"Dudley Leavitt hereby respectfully gives this information that he proposes to open his School in Meredith near Centre-Harbour, on the 23rd day of August next, for instruction in the various grades usually taught in academies. The Lancrastan method will be adopted as far as practicable. No pains will be spared on the part of the instructor to render the acquisition of useful knowledge easy and pleasant to those young gentlemen and ladies who may attend the School."
"Board reasonable. Tuition $3.00 per quarter; except for teaching Algebra, Navigation, Gunnery, or the Science of Projectiles, &c., Spherick Geometry & Trigonometry, Astronomy & Philosophy, for which the tuition will be $3.50 a quarter & in that proportion for any length of time. Meredith, July 6, 1819."
Dudley Leavitt moved to Meredith in 1806, and settled on the farm which was ever after his home. He never came in from the field so tired but he would take up a book to work his mind while he rested his body. He said his family thought his mind never rested except when he was asleep. He cared little for money matters, but loved knowledge and reverenced God. He fell dead in his home early in the morning on September 15, 1851. Thus ended a worthy man, beloved and respected by all.