Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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LEACOCK, Hamble James, missionary, born in Cluff's Bay, Barbadoes, 14 February, 1795; died in Sierra Leone, Africa, 20 August, 1856. His father was a wealthy slave-owner. The son was educated at Codrington college, Barbadoes, studied theology, and took deacon's orders in 1826. While acting as assistant priest of St. John's church he aroused the hatred of the whites by freeing his slaves and by extending the privileges of the church to all the slaves in the parish. He was soon afterward transferred to the island of St. Vincent, and then to Nevis, where he became pastor and rural dean of St. George's church, Charlestown. While there he opposed polygamy successfully; but in 1835 a difficulty with the bishop and other causes led him to remove to the United States, where he settled in Lexington, Kentucky He secured a livelihood by teaching till 1836, and then held various pastorates. He preached again in Barbadoes from 1848 till 1855, when he went to Africa as a missionary, being the first volunteer to the West Indian church association for the furtherance of the gospel in western Africa. He landed at Freetown, Sierra Leone, on 10 November, 1855, and founded a mission station at Rio Pongas, afterward opening a school for boys, which became a great success. As a result of his labors a large missionary field was opened. See his biography by his friend, Reverend Henry Caswall, D.D. (London, 1857).
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