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Grierson, Francis (18 September 1848–29 May 1927), musician, writer, and mystic, was born Benjamin Henry Jesse Francis Shepard in Birkenhead, England, the son of Joseph Shepard and Emily Grierson. When Grierson was less than a year old, the Shepards migrated to central Illinois, where they took up frontier farming and became active in local abolitionist activities. The boy’s parents taught him to read, using the Anglican catechism as a text. In 1858, when the family lived in Alton, Illinois, and during their first residence in St. Louis from 1859 to 1863, he may have had—the record is not clear—a little more than five years of formal schooling....