I was born at the south-east corner of Elm and Church Streets, in New Haven, Connecticut, on Monday the second of January 1865.
Both my parents were of Connecticut stock; my father came in a direct line from William Phelps, who settled in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1636; my mother's mother was named Sophia Lyon; she was born in Stratford, Connecticut. On her side of the family I am remotely descended from Sir John Lyon, of Scotland, who was married in 1376; he was an ancestor of the Earl of Strathmore, and my Aunt Libbie used to exhibit the Lyon family coat-of-arms bearing the thistle. I am a lineal descendant of Theophilus Eaton, the First Governor of the Colony of Connecticut in 1638. I mention these things, not because I am proud of my Scottish and Connecticut descent, for why should I be proud of something with which I had nothing whatever to do?
The marriage of my father, the Rev. Sylvanus Dryden Phelps (born in Suffield, Conn., 1816) and my mother, Sophia Emilia Lyon Linsley (born in Stratford, Conn., 1823) took place in 1847. My father was a large, powerful man, who developed strength and self-reliance as a boy. His father, a farmer, died when the boy was only twelve. The family were very poor and my father had to do a man's work on the farm. He supported himself through school and college, walking over a hundred miles from Suffield to Providence, to enter Brown University. He had immense