Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MESSER, Asa, educator, born in Methuen, Massachusetts, in 1769; died in Providence, Rhode Island, 11 October, 1836. He was graduated at Brown in 1790, and in the next year chosen tutor there. After six years of service in this post he was advanced in 1796 to the professorship of learned languages. In 1799 he was transferred to the chair of mathematics and natural philosophy, and on the resignation of Jonathan Maxcy in 1802 was appointed president of the college In this office he remained until 1826, when he resigned. After his retirement he was elected by the citizens of Providence to several important civil offices. He was ordained to the Baptist ministry in 1801, received the degree of D. D. from Harvard in 1820, and that of LL. D. from the University of Vermont in 1812. Dr. Messer's publications consisted of several discourses, orations, and baccalaureate addresses.
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