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Boardman, Sarah Hall (04 November 1803–01 September 1845), Baptist missionary and translator, was born in Alstead, New Hampshire, the daughter of Ralph Hall and Abiah O. Hall (her maiden name). Sarah learned Latin, read widely in Christian apologetics and philosophy, and taught school for a time. She was also a writer and poet, and as the eldest of thirteen children, she helped to raise her siblings. Sarah converted to the Christian faith at age sixteen and was baptized by Lucius Bolles, a Baptist pastor in Salem, Massachusetts. In 1825 she married the Reverend George Dana Boardman; they had three children. The couple then accepted a missionary assignment with the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions in Burma. Temporarily detained in Calcutta, India, due to the Burmese War, they arrived in Moulmain in 1827 and settled in Tavoy in 1828. In 1831 George died, and Boardman was left with her children in Tavoy, which was under military siege....

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Gallaudet, Thomas (03 June 1822–27 August 1902), Episcopal minister to the deaf, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, educator of the deaf, and Sophia Fowler. Thomas Hopkins had founded the Connecticut Asylum, a school for the deaf in Hartford in 1817, and Sophia was one of its first graduates. They had little money but their work was well known and brought them into contact with the highest echelons of society. Growing up in these surroundings, Thomas early became interested in education for the deaf and particularly in communication through sign language....

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Morgan, Abel (1673–16 December 1722), Baptist minister, translator, and biblical scholar, was born in Alltgoch, Llanwenog, Cardiganshire, Wales, the son of Morgan ap Rhydderch ap Dafydd, a Baptist pastor; his mother’s name is unknown. Although the details of Morgan’s formal education are obscure, his accomplishments indicate that care was taken, for he followed in the traditions of an uncle, a great-uncle, and a great-grandfather, all of whom were noted as poets, writers, or translators....

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Albert Pike. Photoprint, c. 1886. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100590).

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Pike, Albert (29 December 1809–02 April 1891), lawyer, soldier, and Masonic scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Pike, a cobbler, and Sarah Andrews. The boy was torn between his father, whose irreverence and drinking scandalized neighbors, and his mother, who read the Bible to her only son daily and planned on his entering the ministry. In 1813, seeking to supplement his income by farming, Benjamin Pike moved the family to Newburyport, Massachusetts. In 1825 Albert was sent to live with his uncle, a teacher at Framingham Academy, who soon learned that Pike had a prodigious memory that enabled him to digest large volumes and recall their contents at will; the boy learned Hebrew, Latin, and Greek almost effortlessly. Eight months after his arrival in Framingham, Pike passed the entrance examination for Harvard College. He could not afford the tuition, however, so, instead of enrolling at Harvard, he taught common school at Gloucester. The following year Harvard agreed to admit him as a junior, but school officials insisted that he pay the first two years’ tuition. Outraged, Pike abandoned his dreams of a formal education....

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Pool, David De Sola (16 May 1885–01 December 1970), religious leader and author, was born in London, England, the son of Eleazar Pool, a businessman, and Abigail Davis. He graduated from University College of the University of London in 1905. He had concurrently attended Jews’ College, where he pursued rabbinic studies. Continuing his studies at the Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin, he earned in 1907 his doctoral degree from Heidelberg University. His thesis, a study of the ...

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Schereschewsky, Samuel Isaac Joseph (06 May 1831–15 October 1906), Episcopal bishop and translator, was born in Tauroggen, Russian Lithuania, the son of Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky and Rosa Salvatha. His father was of the Ashkenazic and his mother of the Sephardic Jews. Both of his parents, about whom little is known, died when he was a boy, and he was raised by a half brother and his wife, who wanted him to become a rabbi. From about 1846 to 1850 he studied at the rabbinical schools at Krazi and Zhitomir, Russia. From 1852 to 1854 he studied at the University of Breslau, Germany. At Zhitomir and Breslau his interest in Christianity was aroused by missionaries of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews, but it probably was his study of a Hebrew translation of the New Testament that convinced him that Jesus had fulfilled the messianic prophecies of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament)....

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Van Dyck, Cornelius Van Alen (13 August 1818–13 November 1895), medical missionary and translator of the Bible into Arabic, was born in Kinderhook, New York, the son of Henry L. Van Dyck, a physician, and Catherine Van Alen. He attended Kinderhook Academy and studied medicine under his father before going to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he earned his M.D. in 1839....