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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DUNCAN, James Henry, lawyer, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, 5 Dec.. 1793; died there, 8 February 1869. He was graduated at Phillips Exeter academy and at Harvard in 1812. After studying law with Leverett Saltonstall in Salem, he was, in 1815, admitted to the Essex bar, and began to practice in Haverhill. He was a member of the Massachusetts state legislature in 1827'8, 1837'8, and in 1857, and of the governor's council in 1839'40. From 1828 till 1831 he was a state senator, and then was elected as a Whig to congress, serving from 3 December 1849, till 3 March 1853. For many years he was chairman of the board of managers of the American Baptist missionary union, a trustee of Newton theological seminary, and from 1835 till his death a fellow of Brown University, which gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1861. He was actively connected with the state militia, attaining the rank of colonel, and was also a commissioner of bankruptcy in 1841.
His son, Samuel White Duncan, clergyman, born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, 19 December 1838, was graduated at Brown in 1860, and at Rochester theological seminary in 1866. In the interval between his College and theological courses he spent a year in foreign travel, and some time in the Union army as captain of the 50th Massachusetts regiment. In 1867 he was ordained as pastor of the Erie Street Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio. In 1875 he accepted a call to the Ninth Street Church, Cincinnati, and remained there till 1885, when he became pastor of the 2d Baptist Church in Rochester, N. Y. In 1885 he was called to the presidency of Vassar College, but declined, continuing his pastorate in Rochester. The University of Chicago gave him the degree of D.D. in 1878.
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