Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BAKER, Abijah R., clergyman, born in Franklin, Massachusetts, 30 August 1805. He was graduated at Amherst College ill 1830, and became principal of Dorchester academy, and, after his graduation at Andover theological seminary in 1835, a teacher of the English department of Phillips academy. He was settled as pastor of a Congregational Church at Medford, Massachusetts, in 1836, and in 1849 assumed a pastorate in Lynn. While teaching in Andover he prepared "The School History of the United States," combining history with geography. During his pastorate at Medford he published "The Catechism Tested by the Bible," graduated question-books on the "Westminster Shorter Catechism" for Sunday-school classes, of which 100,000 copies were sold the first year, and translations were made into French, Arabic, Armenian, and Hawaii. At Lynn he edited, with his wife's cooperation, "The Mother's Assistant" and "The Happy Home," two monthly magazines. He subsequently removed to Wellesley, Massachusetts, and then to South Boston. He published numerous Sunday-school books, edited an American edition of Cob-bin's "Child's Commentary," and prepared an elaborate "Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount," in connection with which he wrote a treatise on prayer and one on Christian character. A "Question-Book on the Sermon on the Mount" was issued in 1863.*His wife, Hariette Newell Woods, daughter of the Rev. Dr. Leonard Woods, president of Andover seminary, was born in 1815 in Andover. She published, under the pen-name of "Mrs. Madeline Leslie," in 1855, "The Courtesies of Wedded Life," followed by "Cora and the Doctor," printed anonymously, and has since issued nearly 200 moral and religious tales for Sunday-schools; some of them appeared under her own name or initials, some under that of "Aunt Hattie," but most of them under her pen-name. They include the " Home Life," "Silver Lake," "Golden Spring," "Leslie Stories," "Brookside," and "Tim" series, the latter containing the popular tale of "Tim, the Scissors-Grinder."
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