Daniel Denison Whedon was born on 20 March 1808 in Onondaga, New York, the son of Daniel Whedon and Clarissa Root. As a young boy, Whedon attended a Presbyterian Sunday school and was much influenced by Caleb Alexander, a clergyman and one of the founders of Hamilton College in upstate New York, although Whedon's mother and eldest brother were active Methodists. Deciding that his son should be a lawyer, Whedon's father placed him under the tutelage of Oliver C. Grosvenor in Rome, New York. At eighteen he was admitted to the junior class of Hamilton College where he studied John Locke, William Paley, Ralph Cudworth, Henry More, and Thomas Reid. Following his graduation in 1828, he studied law with Judge Chapin in Rochester and Alanson Bennett in Rome, New York. Hearing the evangelical preaching of Charles G. Finney in Rome, Whedon experienced conversion and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was attracted by Methodism's Wesleyan emphasis on free will, which made salvation possible for all.
From The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers in Oxford Reference.