Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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RAWSON, Edward, colonial secretary, born in Gillingham, Dorsetshire, England, 16 April, 1615; died in Boston. Mass., 27 August, 1693. He settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, about 1636, was graduated .at Harvard in 1653, and represented Newbury in the general court, of which he was clerk. For many years he was secretary of Massachusetts colony, and he was also chosen "steward or agent for the receiving and disposing of such goods and commodities as should be sent to the United colonies from England toward Christianizing the Indians." He is believed to have been one of the authors of a small book published in 1691, entitled "The Revolution in New England Justified." and signed "E. R." and "S.S." He published "The General Laws and Liberties concerning the Inhabitants of Massachusetts" (1660). -His son, Grindall, clergyman, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 23 January, 1659; died in Men-don, Massachusetts, 6 February, 1715, was graduated at liar-yard in 1678, and was pastor of a church in Men-don from 1680 until his death. He was instructed by the commissioners for the propagation of the gospel, in 1698, to visit the Indians in New England. An account of this visit was published in the "Massachusetts Historical Collections " (1st series, vol. x.). Several interesting anecdotes are recorded of Reverend Grindall Rawson in connection with Cotton Mather, who mentions him in his "Mantissa," and says in one of his sermons:" We generally esteemed him as a truly pious man, and a very prudent one." He was an accomplished scholar and writer, and preached to the Indians in their own language, He published a sermon "preached to and at the request of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery company in 1703," an election sermon (Boston, 1709), and a work entitled "The Confession of Faith," written in English and also in the Indian dialect.--Edward's daughter, Rebecca, born in Boston, Massachusetts, 23 May, 1656, was the heroine of a romantic episode in the history of the colony, commemorated by John G. Whittier in "Leaves from Margaret Smith's Journal " (1849). Her portrait is in possession of the New England historic genealogical society. See Sullivan S. Rawson's "Memoir of Edward Rawson, with Genealogical Notices of his Descendants" (Boston, 1849), and " Genealogy of the Descendants of Edward Rawson," by Reuben Rawson Dodge (1849 ; revised ed., Worcester, Massachusetts, 1875).
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