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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BASSETT, James, missionary, born near Hamilton, Canada, 31 January 1834. He was graduated at Wabash in 1856, and at Lane theological seminary in 1859. He served as chaplain in the United States volunteer army in 1862-'3. From 1863 until 1871 he held pastorates in the Presbyterian Churches of Newark and Englewood, New Jersey, and in 1871 became a missionary for the Presbyterian board. He traveled extensively in Europe, passed many years in Turkey and Persia, and was the first American to settle in Teheran, and the first known to have traveled as far east as the alleged tomb of Haroun-al-Raschid at Mashhad. As a pioneer of missionary work, he gained a wide acquaintance with the manners and customs of central and eastern Persia. He is the author of "Hymns in Persian" (Teheran, 1875 and 1884);"A Grammatical Note on the Simnuni Dialects of the Persian," from the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society" (London, 1884) ; "Among the Turcomans" (" Leisure Hour," London, 1879-'80) ;" Persia the Land of the Imams" (New York, 1886); and a translation of the gospel according to Matthew into Gaghatti Tartar (London, 1880).
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