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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ASHMUN, Jehudi, missionary, born in Champlain, New York, in April 1794; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 25 August 1828. He was graduated at the University of Vermont in 1816, taught for a short time in the Maine charity school, prepared for the Congregational ministry, and became a professor in the Bangor theological seminary. Removing to the District of Columbia, he united with the Protestant Episcopal Church and became editor of the "Theological Repertory," a monthly magazine published in the interest of that Church. His true mission was inaugurated when he became agent of the colonization society, and took charge of a reinforcement for the colony at Liberia, on the western coast of Africa. He sailed 19 June 1822, and found the colony in a wretched state of disorder and demoralization, and apparently on the point of extinction through incursions of the neighboring savages. With extraordinary energy and ability he undertook the task of reorganization. In November he was attacked by a force of savages, whose numbers he estimated at 800. With only 35 men and boys to help him, he repelled the attack, which was renewed by still greater numbers a few days later, with a like result. He displayed remarkable personal valor throughout these encounters, and when, six years later, his health compelled him to leave Africa, he had established a comparatively prosperous colony 1,200 strong. He died almost immediately after his arrival in the United States. He was author of "Memoirs of Samuel Bacon" (Washington, 1822), and of many contributions to the "African Repository." His life was written by R. R. Gurley (New York, 1839).
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