200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428
Ulysses Freeman Doubleday

Ulysses Freeman Doubleday (1792-1866)

Author: Candace Summers, 2005


If you would like the full citation version of this biography, please download the PDF here.

     Ulysses Freeman Doubleday was born on December 15, 1792 in New Lebanon, Columbia County, New York.  He was the son of Abner (born:  February 3, 1757, died:  December 28, 1812) and Mercy Freeman Doubleday (born:  November 10, 1762, died:  December 20, 1817).  His father fought in the American Revolutionary War at Bunker Hill and Stoney Point.  His father also fought under General George Washington at Valley Forge.
   
     Ulysses had limited education but later learned the trade of printing.  He was an apprentice printer at Thurlow Weed in Cooperstown, NY in 1809.  He later became a journeyman printer while in Utica and Albany, NY.  
   
     He also served in the War of 1812 at Sackets Harbor.  Sackets Harbor was the United States’ largest naval port at that time.
   
     Ulysses married Hester Donnelly on October 10, 1814 in Newburgh, NY.  Hester was born on August 30, 1788 in Tarry Town, NY.  They had eight children of whom four survived into adulthood.
   
     Ulysses published a number of journals and newspapers as a printer.  He established and edited the Saratoga Courier from 1816-1818 in Ballston Spa, NY.  He also published and edited the Cayuga Patriot from 1818-1819 and the Gospel Advocate from 1828 to 1831 in Auburn, NY.
   
     He became a Jacksonian Democrat and was elected to the 22nd Congress as a U.S. Representative for New York from March 4, 1831 to March 3, 1833.  He was then elected to the 24th Congress from March 4, 1835 to March 3, 1837.  In between those times he was an inspector at Auburn Prison in 1834.
   
     After his time as a U.S. Representative, Ulysses lost his fortunes in the Stock Market Crash of 1837.  He and his family moved to Scipio, Cayuga County, NY where he became a farmer.  The Doubleday’s then moved to New York City where Ulysses and his brother Elisha opened a stationery store on John Street.
   
     On retirement, Ulysses and Hester moved to Bloomington, Illinois with his daughter Amanda Doubleday Eddy and her family.  Amanda was the wife of Reverend Herman James Eddy, who became the pastor of 1st Baptist Church in Bloomington in 1856.
   
     After living in Bloomington for just three years, Hester died on November 4, 1859.  Ulysses followed her in death on March 19, 1866.  Both are buried in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Bloomington, IL.
   
The following is a brief description of Ulysses and Hester’s children.

Colonel Thomas Donnelly Doubleday- born February 18, 1816 in Albany, NY.  He served in the American Civil War as the colonel of the 4th New York Artillery.  He died on May 10, 1864 in New York City after having been run over by an omnibus.

Ruth Maria Doubleday- born January 28, 1817

Major General Abner Doubleday- born June 26, 1819 in Ballston Spa, NY.  He is the most famous of Ulysses and Hester’s children.  He was a West Point graduate in 1842 and served in the Mexican and Seminole Wars.  He was appointed Major General of volunteers in 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.  He is also credited with having invented the modern game of baseball in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. This is a highly contested fact.  A 1905 commission was convened to determine whether or not this fact was true.  In 1907, the commission came to the conclusion that Abner had indeed created baseball based on the testimony of a childhood friend, Abner Graves, and the finding of the “Doubleday Baseball,” which was believed to have been the first baseball used at the first baseball game.  Abner died on January 26, 1893 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

William James Doubleday- born September 1821 and died on October 12, 1822 in Auburn, NY.  
Amanda Doubleday Eddy- born on January 19, 1823 and died on January 29, 1892 in Auburn, NY.

Lieutenant Ulysses Doubleday- born on August 31, 1824 in Auburn, NY.  He served in Company H of the 121st New York Infantry during the Civil War.  He died on February 11, 1893 in Tryon, North Carolina.

Hester Elizabeth Doubleday- born May 1827 and died on December 12, 1830 in Auburn, NY.

Jane Ann Doubleday- born March 5, 1830 and died on June 12, 1843 in Auburn, NY.