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Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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Adoniram Judson

JUDSON, Adoniram, missionary, born in Malden. Mass., 9 August, 1788; died at sea, 12 April, 1850. His father was a Congregational minister. Adoniram was graduated at Brown in 1807, and spent a year in teaching in Plymouth, Massachusetts He had become sceptical on theological subjects, and, being inclined to adopt dramatic authorship as his profession, attached himself for a short time to a theatrical company for the purpose of becoming familiar with the regulations of the. stage. But he soon experienced a decided change of feeling, and in 1808 entered Andover theological seminary as aspecial student. During his residence there he became deeply interested in the subject of foreign missions, and in 1810 formed the resolution to go as missionary to Burmah. In April, 1810, he addressed a letter, in behalf of himself and two or three associate students, to the London missionary society, offering to go in its service to "India, Tartary, or any part of the eastern continent," and his proposition was favorably received He married, 5 February, 1812, Ann Haseltine, of Bradford, Massachusetts, and on 19 February they sailed for Asia. landing at Calcutta in June. The most noteworthy incident of the voyage was a change in the views of Mr. and Mrs. Judson on the subject of Christian baptism. They became convinced that the baptism of the New Testament was immersion, and in accordance with this view they were baptized by immersion on reaching Calcutta. Being thus severed from the body under whose auspices they had entered on their mission, they were left for a time in uncertainty as to their future support. Dr. Judson's objective point had been Burmah, but he and his associates were not favorably received there, and unpleasant relations between England and Burmah made their stay impossible. They were ordered to return to America, and only after much effort and anxiety obtained permission to proceed instead to the Isle of France. After a stay there of a few months, they determined to go to Madras, whence, by reason of the renewed hostility of the East India company's officers toward the missionaries, they found themselves forced either to return home or to venture into Burmah. They chose the latter course, and went to Rangoon, where Dr. Judson applied himself at once to the task of learning the Burmese language. His mastery of this difficult and unattractive language evinced strikingly his persistence, his ability, and his consecration to his chosen work. He practically abandoned the English language, and read, spoke, and thought in Burmese. In May, 1814, he received the news that the Baptists of America had formed a missionary union, which had taken the Baptist missionaries under its care. As soon as his knowledge of the language permitted, Dr Judson began his public preaching. The first inquirer after religious truth gave him great encouragement, and the baptism of the first convert was an occasion of much rejoicing. Dr. Judson prepared and published tracts, taught, preached, undertook a perilous journey to obtain the assistance of a few native Christians of whom he had heard, and in many other ways pushed forward the work. He was prosecuting it with much hope and some success, when the accession to the throne of a bigoted and zealous Buddhist cast a dark shadow over the prospects of the mission. Dr. Judson resolved to go in person to Ava to solicit from the king tolerance for the Christian religion. Although this seemed to secure to the missionaries no very favorable result, yet for several years their work was not seriously interrupted. In 1817 Dr. Judson completed the translation of the Gospel of Matthew, and in 1821 the Epistle to the Ephesians. In 1824 he removed to Ava, where he was well received. The war, which at this time began between the English and the Burmese, involved the missionaries in extremest sufferings. They were suspected of being in correspondence with the English, and were subjected to every form of cruelty and indignity that a fierce and malicious government could invent. They were imprisoned in the "death prison," where there was foul air and no light, were given little food, and loaded with five pairs of fetters. They were driven like cattle, almost naked, under a scorching sun to another prison, where the purpose was to burn them alive in the presence of one of the high officials, who regarded it as a festive occasion. They were finally liberated and assisted through the agency of Sir Archibald Campbell, and left Ava for Rangoon. Finding this place ineligible for the re-establishment of their mission, they removed to Amherst, the capital of the provinces recently ceded to the British. Dr. Judson had been previously offered, but had declined, the post of interpreter in the English service, at a salary of $3,000. In 1830 and 1831 he made missionary tours to Prome and Rangoon, where hundreds of his tracts were distributed. In 1831 he removed his residence to Maulmain, which had been selected as the English capital. At this time he began a series of preaching tours in the Karen jungles, which were followed by marked results. The next twenty-five years witnessed, it is estimated, 20,000 conversions among the Karens to the Christian faith. In June, 1833, Dr. Judson completed the translation of the Bible into Burmese. He at once began a revision of the whole Scripture, which occupied him till near the close of 1840. His chief literary works consisted of a Burman grammar, a Pali dictionary, a Burman dictionary, and a complete Burman bible. His mastery of the Burmese language was remarkable; he forbade himself the use of English, excepting one English newspaper. About 1841 he began the revision of his Burman dictionary. His first plan of the work was to make only one part, Burmese into English; but the work grew on his hands, and he decided to make it double, Burmese into English, and English into Burmese. He finished the first part in 1849, and hoped to complete the second in the following year. Brown university gave him the degree of D. D. in 1823. In 1842 Mrs. Judson's declining health made it necessary that she should seek a colder climate, Her husband was obliged to accompany her, and they took passage for America. On their way thither Mrs. Judson died, and was buried on the island of St. Helena. Dr. Judson with the children, continued the voyage and landed in Boston. On 11 July, 1846, he embarked for Mauhnain. He fixed his residence in Rangoon, with the resolution of trying again to get a foothold in Ava; but on account of the low state of the treasury was obliged to return to Maulmain, where he devoted himself to the completion of his dictionary. In November, 1849, he took a violent cold, and from that time his health failed steadily until his death at sea, on his way to the Isle of France. His life has been written by Francis Wayland (2 vols., Boston, 1853), and by his son Edward (New York, 1883).--His first wife, Ann Haseltine, missionary, born in Bradford, Massachusetts, 22 December, 1789; died in Amherst, India, 24 October, 1826, was educated at the Bradford academy. She married Dr. Judson on 5 February, 1812, and sailed with him for Calcutta. Her health having become impaired, she left India in August, 1821, and after a visit to England arrived in New York, 25 September, 1822. She visited Philadelphia, Bradford, and Baltimore. where she spent the winter in preparing a "History of the Burmese Mission," in the form of letters addressed to her English host, Josiah Butterworth. In March, 1823, she visited Washington, D. C., where the Baptist general convention held its session. A committee was appointed to confer with her respecting the Burman mission, and at her suggestion several important measures were adopted. The copyright of her "History of the Burmese Mission" she presented to this committee. She returned to Calcutta in 1823, and sailed thence to Rangoon. Dr. Judson having been committed to the "death prison," she was unprotected against the plundering of her goods and the seizure of her person. She visited those in authority to ask assistance for the imprisoned missionaries, and with her infant and two Burmese girls she followed her husband to the prison. After Dr. Judson's release, she was attacked with spotted fever, and only partially recovered. A tribute to Mrs. Judson, which appeared in a Calcutta paper, written by one of the English prisoners, calls her "the author of those eloquent and forcible appeals to the government which prepared them by degrees for submission to terms of peace never expected by any who knew the hauteur and inflexible pride of the Burman court." After peace was concluded Dr. and Mrs. Judson settled in Amherst. With the aid of a teacher, she translated the Gospel of Matthew and the Burmese catechism into Siamese, and assisted him in preparing a Burmese grammar and made translations into that language.--His second wife, Sarah Hall Boardman, missionary, born in Alstead, New Hampshire. 4 November, 1803; died in the harbor of James Town, St. Helena, 1 September, 1845, married George Dana Board-man (q. v.), and went with him to India, remaining two years in Calcutta. studying the Burmese language, and preparing for future work. In April, 1827, Mr. and Mrs. Boardman removed to Amherst, which had been selected as the seat of the mission and also for the English capital in Burmah. They subsequently resided in Maul-main, and removed to Tavoy in 1828, where she established a girls' school. After the death of her husband in 1831, she remained in Burmah, and made journeys through the Karen jungles accompanied by some of her Karen disciples, and addressed assemblies of two or three hundred. In 1834 she married Dr. Judson. and removed to Mauhnain. In 1845 her health became impaired, and she went with her husband to the Isle of France and re-embarked there for the United States, but died and was buried in the island of St. Helena. In connection with her missionary labors, she translated a portion of "Pilgrim's Progress," Mr. Boardman's "Dying Father's Advice," a tract, which became popular, about twenty hymns in Burmese, printed in the chapel hymn book, which she was appointed by the mission to edit, and published four volumes of Scripture questions, for use in the mission schools.--His third wife, Emily Chubbuck, born in Eaton, Madison County, New York, 22 August, 1817; died in Hamilton, New York, 1 June, 1854. As a child she was delicate in health, and had an extremely sensitive mental organization. She became a teacher in 1834, united with a Baptist, church, gave much thought to foreign missions, and early recorded her desire to engage in missionary work. In 1840 she entered the Utica female seminary, where she reached at once the front rank as a scholar, and exhibited an easy and graceful style in writing. In 1841 she wrote her first book, "Charles Lilm," her second, "The Great Secret," in 1842, and "Allan Lucas" in 1843, all of which showed decided talent, and were for a time much in demand. In 1844 she became acquainted, through the "New Mirror," with Nathaniel P. Willis, its editor, and a warm literary friendship sprang up between them. Mr. Willis was at this time one of the most popular editors and writers of the country, and by timely praise and kindly suggestion and influence won the right to the title, which she gave him, of the "foster-father" of her intellect. The two or three years following her introduction to him comprised her career as an author, in which she became known in the literary world as Fanny Forrester. Many stories from her pen, of spirit and elegance, always pervaded by a high moral tone, appeared in the magazines, and most of them were subsequently collected under the title of "Alderbrook" (2 vols., Boston, 1846). In December, 1845, Miss Chubbuck met Dr. Judson, then on his only visit to this country, and they were married, 2 June, 1846, at Hamilton, New York, where she then resided. On 11 July they sailed from Boston, and landed, 30 November, at Amherst, in Bengal. When Dr. Judson died at sea, early in 1850, Mrs. Judson remained in ignorance of his death for nearly four months. Her health decided the question of remaining in the mission field, and she embarked, 22 , January, 1851, for the United States, with three children (one her own, and two of the late Mrs. Judson's), and reached New York in October, 1851. Her first efforts were directed to the gathering together of her husband's children in a home at, Hamilton; her next to the collecting of material for his biography, written by Francis Wayland. She then devoted her pen to the advancement of the cause of missions, and wrote a small volume called the "Kathayan Slave" (Boston, 1853). She published her collected poems under the title of "An Olio of Domestic Verses" (New York, 1852). Some of her occasional poems are exceedingly beautiful, and show alike fine poetical taste and capacity. But her health steadily declined and she died of consumption. Her other publications include "Trippings in Author Land" (New York, 1846); "My Two Sisters" (Boston, 1854); and a memoir of Mrs. Sarah B. Judson (New York, 1850). Her life was written by Asahel C. Kendrick (New York, 1860).--Edward, son of Adoniram and Sarah Boardman Judson, clergyman, born in Maulmain, Burmah, 27 December, 1844, was graduated at Brown in 1865, became principal of a seminary in Townshend, Vermont, and in 1867 was made professor of Latin and modern languages in Madison university. In 1875 he became pastor of the Baptist church in North Orange, New Jersey, where the membership was largely increased during his ministry; but in 1881 he resigned and removed to New York city, where he entered upon a peculiar mission work, becoming pastor of the Berean Baptist church, in a downtown district, and attracting thither a large congregation. Besides numerous contributions to current literature, he has published a life of his father (New York, 1883). He was given the degree of D. D. by Madison university in 1883.

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