Educated at Yale (B.A. 1745). Worked briefly as a schoolmaster at Rye, New York. Traveled to England to take orders in the Church of England (1747). Assistant minister, Christ Church, Philadelphia, under Reverend Robert Jenney and Reverend Richard Peters (1747-66). Corresponded with Franklin about evangelization and education of African- Americans. Bore considerable clerical responsibility but suffered from local prejudice against his New England origins and Calvinist education. Retired due to ill health and financial troubles.
Son of Reverend Robert Sturgeon. Possibly born in Britain, but grew up in Connecticut and New York. Married Hannah Denormandie (1749); several children.