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Banvard, Joseph (09 May 1810–28 September 1887), Baptist clergyman and author, was born in New York City, the son of Daniel Banvard, a businessman. His mother’s name is unknown. When Banvard was in his early twenties, his father lost his savings in a failed business venture and died shortly after, leaving the family in financial difficulties. His younger brother, the painter ...

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Callender, John (1706–26 January 1748), Baptist clergyman and historian, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Callender, a shopkeeper, and Priscilla Man. His grandfather, Ellis Callender, was lay preacher at the First Baptist Church from 1708 to 1726. At the age of thirteen, Callender entered Harvard College. As a scholarship student, he was supported with the income from the benefactions of Thomas Hollis and later with funds supplied by ...

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Jones, John William (25 September 1836–17 March 1909), minister and author, was born at Louisa Court House, Virginia, the son of Colonel Francis William Jones and Ann Pendleton Ashby. As a young man Jones underwent a conversion experience that led to his decision to enter the Baptist ministry. After attending preparatory academies in Louisa and Orange counties, he enrolled at the University of Virginia, where he was active in a number of religious activities, including serving as treasurer of the Young Men’s Christian Association and teaching Sunday school. After graduation in 1859, he became a member of the first class at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Greenville, South Carolina. Jones graduated from the seminary and was ordained in 1860. Although he was approved by his denomination for missionary work in China, the political turmoil in the United States delayed his departure, and he returned to Louisa County, Virginia, to become the pastor of the Little River Baptist Church. He married Judith Page Helm in December 1860; they had five children....

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George Washington Williams. Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society.

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Williams, George Washington (16 October 1849–02 August 1891), soldier, clergyman, legislator, and historian, was born in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas Williams, a free black laborer, and Ellen Rouse. His father became a boatman and, eventually, a minister and barber, and the younger Williams drifted with his family from town to town in western Pennsylvania until the beginning of the Civil War. With no formal education, he lied about his age, adopted the name of an uncle, and enlisted in the United States Colored Troops in 1864. He served in operations against Petersburg and Richmond, sustaining multiple wounds during several battles. After the war’s end, Williams was stationed in Texas, but crossed the border to fight with the Mexican republican forces that overthrew the emperor Maximilian. He returned to the U.S. Army in 1867, serving with the Tenth Cavalry, an all-black unit, at Fort Arbuckle, Indian Territory. Williams was discharged for disability the following year after being shot through the left lung under circumstances that were never fully explained....