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Allen, Young John William (03 January 1836–30 May 1907), missionary, educator, and journalist in China, was born in Burke County, Georgia, the son of Andrew Young John Allen and Jane Wooten. Because of the early death of both parents, Allen was raised by an aunt and uncle, Wiley and Nancy (Wooten) Hutchins, who lived in Meriwether County, Georgia. He received a sizable inheritance from his father, which financed his education at several small private schools near his home in Starrsville, Georgia, including the Baptist-run Brownwood Institute in LaGrange, Georgia, and the Morgan H. Looney schools in Palmetto, Georgia. His inheritance also allowed him to collect a personal library, which made him the envy of his classmates as early as 1850, when he was only fourteen years old. He began college work at Emory and Henry College in Virginia in 1853 but transferred to Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, in the spring of 1854. At Emory, Allen acquired the secular learning of the European tradition as well as knowledge of Christianity. His extracurricular activities included membership in a debating society and religious study groups, both of which prepared him for his subsequent careers in China....

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Anderson, David Lawrence (04 February 1850–16 March 1911), China missionary and first president of Suzhou University, was born in Summerhill, South Carolina, the son of James Harkins Anderson and Mary Margaret Adams. For two years he attended Washington and Lee University, at that time under the presidency of ...

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Andrews, Lorrin (29 April 1795–29 September 1868), missionary and educator, was born in East Windsor (now Vernon), Connecticut, the son of Samuel Andrews and his wife, whose name is unknown. Andrews grew up on the frontier in Kentucky and Ohio and later attended Jefferson College in Pennsylvania. After graduation he studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1825. He worked as a mechanic and printer while in school, and later as a teacher. On 26 April 1827 he volunteered his services to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) and was accepted for work in the Sandwich Islands, as Hawaii was then called. His various job experiences and his life in rough pioneer country where hard work was valued prepared him well for his missionary tasks....

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Bapst, John (07 December 1815–02 November 1887), missionary and educator, was born at La Roche in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland, the son of a prosperous farmer. He received a classical education at the Jesuit College of Fribourg and entered the Society of Jesus in 1835. Two years after his ordination in 1846 the Jesuits were expelled from Switzerland as the result of a brief war in which Swiss Catholics were defeated by Swiss Protestants. Though his success in theological studies seemed to destine him for a career as a professor of theology, Bapst was sent to the United States as a missionary to the Penobscot Indians in Old Town, Maine. It was a daunting assignment since he knew neither English nor the Abnaki language of the Indians. However, with the help of an Indian girl who knew French, he was able to communicate with the natives and learn their language, which he felt somewhat resembled Hebrew....

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Beach, Harlan Page (04 April 1854–04 March 1933), missionary, missions librarian, and professor of missions, was born in South Orange, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Wickliff Beach and Mary Angeline Walkley, farmers. He prepared for college at Phillips Andover Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1878. He taught at Phillips Andover Academy for two years, then entered Andover Theological Seminary, graduating (B.D.) in 1883. His father opposed his decision to be a missionary, but his mother encouraged him. He married Lucy Lucretia Ward on 29 June 1883 and was ordained to the Congregational ministry on 19 July 1883; later in the same year they were sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to serve in North China. After language study he was on the staff of a high school and theological seminary at Tung-chau until December 1889, when his wife’s ill health caused their return to the United States....

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Bliss, Daniel (17 August 1823–27 July 1916), missionary educator and founder and first president of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut (later the American University), missionary educator and founder and first president of the Syrian Protestant College in Beirut (later the American University), was born in Georgia, Vermont, the son of Loomis Bliss and Susanna Farwell, farmers. When he was a young child, his family moved to a farm in Cambridge, Vermont. His mother died when he was nine years old, and soon thereafter his father moved to a new farm in Jericho, Vermont, moving again to Painesville, Ohio, when Bliss was thirteen and then to Kingsville, Ohio. Bliss attended local schools and was apprenticed by his father to a tanner. In 1844 his master’s business failed, and he turned his hand to grafting fruit trees. Two years later he entered Kingsville Academy in Ohio and earned his living by teaching at a local school....

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Kathleen L. Lodwick and Lisabeth G. Svendsgaard

Brown, Samuel Robbins (1810–26 June 1880), missionary and educator, was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, the son of Timothy Hill Brown, a carpenter and painter, and Phoebe Hinsdale. His parents had strong religious convictions, and his mother was the author of several hymns published in Protestant hymnals. The family moved to Monson, Massachusetts, when Brown was a young child, and he attended the Monson Academy before going to Yale. While in college, he supported himself by sawing wood, instructing fellow students in music, and ringing the college bell. After graduating in 1832, he applied to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for appointment as a foreign missionary; but as no post was immediately forthcoming, he became a teacher of the deaf in New York City. In 1835 he began a two-year course of study first at Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, then at Union Seminary in New York....

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Mother Cabrini. From a portrait by W. Victor Guiness. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103568).

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Cabrini, Frances Xavier (15 July 1850–22 December 1917), educator and founder, was born Maria Francesca Cabrini in Saint’ Angelo Lodigiano, Italy, the daughter of Agostino Cabrini and Stella Oldini, farmers. Cabrini’s early life was greatly influenced by the political and religious disputes of her day. The drive for Italian unification, ...

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Davis, Jerome Dean (17 January 1838–04 November 1910), missionary and professor of theology, was born in Groton, New York, the son of Hope Davis, a farmer and schoolteacher, and Brooksy Woodbury. In 1861, while a student at Beloit College, he joined the Union army, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel at the age of twenty-six. He reentered Beloit College in 1865 and graduated as salutatorian of his class in 1866. Upon graduation from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1869, he was appointed to serve a church in Cheyenne, Wyoming, by the Congregational Home Missionary Society. On 15 July of the same year, he was married to Sophia Strong, a first cousin of ...

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Dempster, John (02 January 1794–28 November 1863), Methodist educator and minister, was born in Florida, Montgomery (Fulton) County, New York, the son of the Reverend James Dempster, a Scotsman and graduate of Edinburgh University, and his second wife (name unknown). His father came to New York in 1774 as one of John Wesley’s missionaries but chose to retain his Presbyterian convictions and became a minister in the settlement of Florida. As a child, Dempster was “eccentric and thoughtless.” His father died in 1803, and he failed to secure a formal education. At first he helped keep a tin store with one of his three brothers, but at the age of eighteen, while at a Methodist camp meeting, he was dramatically affected by a sudden religious impulse, through which he made a commitment to the Methodist ministry. He began to preach but also proceeded to harness his innate intellectual and scholarly abilities, educating himself in the classics, mathematics, theology, philosophy, and Hebrew. His metamorphosis, both spiritually and academically, was striking. For the rest of his life he would retire at nine and rise again at four to work, applying himself entirely to the investigation of a given subject or discipline....

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Dorsey, James Owen (31 October 1848–04 February 1895), ethnologist and missionary, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Thomas Anderson Dorsey and Mary Sweetser Hance. As a child, James showed an aptitude for languages, learning to read Hebrew by the age of ten. He entered Central High School in Baltimore in 1862 and in 1867 began studies at the Protestant Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Ordained as a deacon in 1871, Dorsey immediately left for the Dakota Territory, where he began missionary work among the Ponca Indians, a Siouan tribe. He quickly learned to speak the Ponca language well enough to communicate without an interpreter, and he was working on a Ponca grammar and dictionaries in 1873 when serious illness forced him to return east. Dorsey contacted the Smithsonian Institution, hoping to have his materials published, but his work was judged to be insufficiently professional....

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Engelhardt, Zephyrin (13 November 1851–27 April 1934), California missions historian and Franciscan missionary to Indians, was born in Bilshausen, Hanover, Germany, the son of Anthony Engelhardt, an expert in the manufacture of willowware, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). In 1852 the family immigrated to the United States, settling in Covington, Kentucky. In 1869 Engelhardt entered St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, and in 1872 he entered the novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor of the Sacred Heart Province in Teutopolis, Illinois. He made his solemn vows in 1876 and was ordained to the priesthood on 18 June 1878 in St. Louis, Missouri....

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Gates, Caleb Frank (18 October 1859–09 April 1946), missionary and college president, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Caleb Foote Gates, a business executive, and Mary Eliza Hutchins. Gates, Sr., was a benefactor of numerous Congregationalist projects, including the Chicago Theological Seminary. Gates was educated by his parents and in private schools, entering the preparatory department of Wheaton College in 1866 and graduating from Beloit College in 1877....

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Goodell, William (14 February 1792–18 February 1867), missionary and linguist, was born in Templeton, Massachusetts, the son of William Goodell and Phebe Newton, farmers. Goodell’s father was too poor to provide an education for his son but recognized that his mind was keen and that his physique was not suited for hard manual labor. Consequently he encouraged Goodell to seek aid from the charity fund at Phillips Academy in Andover. At the age of fifteen he packed all of his belongings and walked sixty miles to Andover, where he so impressed the preceptor ...

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Hepburn, James Curtis (13 March 1815–21 September 1911), medical missionary, oculist, and lexicographer, was born in Milton, Pennsylvania, the son of Samuel Hepburn, a lawyer, and Ann Clay, the daughter of the Reverend Slator Clay. Hepburn received his early education at home and at the Milton Academy. At the age of fourteen he matriculated as a junior in Princeton College, from which he graduated in 1832. He began his medical studies with Dr. Samuel Pollack of Milton, Pennsylvania, and then attended the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, from which he graduated with an M.D. in 1836. In 1835 he was awarded an A.M. by Princeton College....

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Homes, Henry Augustus (10 March 1812–03 November 1887), missionary and librarian, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Henry Homes, a wealthy merchant, and Dorcas Freeman. He entered Amherst College in 1826, graduating at age eighteen. Classmates found him introverted, absentminded, and inflexible in his opinions, but friends remembered a dry and sometimes droll wit, all characteristics noted by later acquaintances....

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Johnson, Samuel (14 October 1696–06 January 1772), Anglican priest-missionary, philosopher, and college president, was born in Guilford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Johnson, a fuller, and Mary Sage. Samuel was devoted to books and learning even as a small boy. At fourteen he entered the Collegiate School (later Yale College). Adept in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, he began a lifetime of intellectual activity by composing “A Synopsis of Natural Philosophy,” which he expanded into “An Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Even before graduation in 1714, Johnson began teaching school at Guilford, and in 1716 he was made a tutor of the Collegiate School. Johnson expanded his intellectual horizons by voluminous reading in the library collected by ...

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Jones, Charles Colcock (20 December 1804–16 March 1863), Presbyterian clergyman, professor, and missionary to African-American slaves, was born at Liberty Hall plantation in Liberty County, Georgia, the son of John Jones, a wealthy planter, and Susannah Hyrne Girardeau. Jones attended Sunbury Academy, in Sunbury, Georgia (1811–1819); Phillips Academy, in Andover, Massachusetts (1825–1827); Andover Theological Seminary (1827–1829); and Princeton Theological Seminary (1829–1830). After graduating from Princeton, he returned to Georgia and married his first cousin Mary Jones. They had three children. Ordained by the Georgia Presbytery, in May 1831 he accepted a call to be pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Savannah. Eighteen months later he resigned his pastorate, returned to a family plantation in Liberty County, and began his work as a missionary to the African-American slaves of the region....

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Jones, George Heber (14 August 1867–11 May 1919), Methodist missionary and student of Korean culture, was born in Mohawk, New York, the son of Charles Edward Jones and Susan Cosser. Educated in the public schools of Utica, New York, he left for the Korean mission field at the age of twenty in 1887, less than three years after the Methodist church had begun its work there. American Methodists William B. Scranton and Henry Gerhardt Appenzeller had reached Seoul, Korea, early in 1885 and realized the daunting obstacles they faced, principally profound cultural differences and local suspicions. But they persevered and in 1886 called for two new men to augment their work. In 1887 Jones accompanied Franklin Ollinger, a veteran missionary, to Seoul. Two years later other Methodist missionaries arrived, notably women. This small staff endured continual hardships, including disease and political turmoil, in establishing an enduring Methodist presence in Korea....