Heathcote, Caleb, 1666-1721, merchant and public official in colonial New York, b. England. He arrived in New York in 1692. He became a member of the governor's council and, in Westchester co., a colonel of militia, county judge, and after 1696 mayor of Westchester borough town. Later he held the offices of mayor of New York City (1711-13) and surveyor general of customs for all northern colonies. He engaged in contracting, milling, and land speculation in large tracts in Westchester, Dutchess, and Ulster counties. In 1701 he received the manor of Scarsdale (Westchester co.), the last manor to be granted in the British colonies. His enthusiasm for the Anglican church led him to take five missionary journeys into Connecticut, and both there and in Westchester he established new congregations.

See D. R. Fox, Caleb Heathcote, Gentleman Colonist (1926).

Cushing, Caleb, 1800-1879, American statesman, b. Salisbury, Mass. After practicing law he served in the Massachusetts state legislature and later in Congress (1835-43). A loyal Whig, he chose to stand by John Tyler, after the death of President William H. Harrison, rather than follow Henry Clay in his opposition program. As the first American commissioner to China, Cushing negotiated (1844) the opening of the ports of China to U.S. trade. He remained prominent in politics, engineered (1852) the nomination of Franklin Pierce at the Democratic convention of 1852, and served efficiently as Pierce's Attorney General (1853-57). Secession convinced him that conciliation was impossible, and he supported Lincoln. He later acted (1871-72) as counsel for the United States at the arbitration of the Alabama claims and was (1874-77) minister to Spain.

See biography by C. M. Fuess (1923, repr. 1965).

Bingham, Caleb, 1757-1817, American textbook writer, b. Salisbury, Conn. He taught until 1796, then became a bookseller and publisher in Boston. He wrote and published some of the earliest grammars, spelling books, and geographies. He was best known for his readers The American Preceptor (1794) and The Columbian Orator (1797), both widely used in New England schools for the next quarter century.
Caleb, in the Bible, principal spy sent into Canaan, noted for his faithfulness to God. The name is mentioned elsewhere, apparently in connection with a clan inhabiting S ancient Palestine. An alternate form is Chelubai.
For other meanings of the word Caleb or Kalev see Caleb (disambiguation)

Caleb (Hebrew ; Tiberian vocalization: Kālēḇ; Hebrew Academy: Kalev), the son of Jephunneh, is an important figure in the Hebrew Bible, noted for his faith in God when the Hebrews refused to enter the "promised land" of Canaan.

When the Hebrews came to the outskirts of Canaan, the land that had been promised them by God, after having fled slavery in Egypt, Moses (the Hebrew leader) sent twelve messengers, scouts (or spies, meraglim in Hebrew) into Canaan to report on what was there—one spy representing each of the twelve (landed) tribes. Ten of the scouts returned to say that the land would be impossible to claim, and that giants lived there who would crush the Hebrew army. Only two, Joshua (from the tribe of Ephraim) and Caleb (representing Judah), returned and said that God would be able to deliver Canaan into the hands of the Hebrew nation.

The Bible records that, because of the testimony of the ten scouts, the Hebrews chose not to enter Canaan: for this disobedience, God caused them to wander in the desert for forty years before being allowed to enter Canaan and conquer it as their home. The only adult Hebrews allowed to survive these forty years and enter Canaan were Joshua and Caleb, as a reward for their faith in God. This is recorded in the Book of Numbers!

Caleb's name is spelled with the same consonants as kéleḇ meaning "dog", prompting the common conclusion that the name Caleb means "dog". However, this is not clear. 1 Samuel 25:3 states that Nabal, the husband of Abigail before David, was of the house of Caleb. In Hebrew, the word used for this reference is Kālibbî, and the presence of the suffix exposes the double consonant indicating two radicals fused together. The Hebrew word lēḇ, meaning "heart", has the same stem form libb-. If kā- is to be understood as the preposition kə- meaning "as; like", and the vowel as the pretone syllable promoted to ā, then the name Kālēḇ could also be understood to mean "as the heart". Indeed, a more flowery form of the word for "heart" is lēḇāḇ, where the two radicals are not fused but separated by a vowel. Biblical text uses the flowery expression kəlēḇāḇ "as the heart" and kilḇaḇ "as the heart of", and there is also the modern expression k'l'vavi "after my own heart".


1. Gary N. Knoppers, I Chronicles 1 - 9 (New York:Doubleday, 2003), p. 305; also see pp. 347-349 in the same book.

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