Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CHAMBERLAIN, Jeremiah, educator, born near Great Conewago, York County, Pennsylvania, 5 January, 1794; died in Claiborne county, Mississippi, 5 September, 1850. He was of Irish descent, and his father, James Chamberlain, was a colonel in the Revolutionary army. Jeremiah worked on his father's farm till 1809, when he was sent to school at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and in 1814 was graduated at Dickinson. He was licensed to preach by Carlisle presbytery in 1817, and, after a year spent in missionary work in the west and south, was ordained pastor of the Presbyterian church in Bedford, Pennsylvania Here he remained till 1822, when he became president of Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, then in its infancy. In a short administration of three years he placed the College on a firm basis, filled it with students, and obtained a new charter, authorizing the establishment of a theological seminary in connection with it. In 1825 he accepted the presidency of Louisiana College, at Jackson, Louisiana He found this institution in an unorganized state, and, receiving little aid from the state authorities, he resigned his office in 1828 and established an academy of his own in the same town, also organizing a Presbyterian church there. He now formed the project of establishing" a Presbyterian College in the south. The presbytery of Mississippi favored his plans, and in 1830 he became president of the newly founded Oakland College, Claiborne County, Mississippi Here he labored with great success for twenty years. He was stabbed to the heart by a student for some fancied grievance. The murderer was found dead two days afterward, and was supposed to have poisoned himself.
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