Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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MERCER, Jesse, clergyman, born in Halifax county, North Carolina, 16 December, 1769; died in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia, 6 September, 1841. His father, Silas, removed to Georgia when Jesse was a child. Though with slight opportunities of early education, at the age of nineteen he was ordained as a Baptist minister. During a period of more than fifty years he was a diligent preacher in connection with various churches of which he was pastor, besides repeatedly traversing the state in tours of evangelization. In guiding the councils and promoting the interests of the Baptists of Georgia he was the most potent man of his generation. With an admirable balance of character and mental endowments, with a spirit equally progressive and conservative, a profound and effective preacher, and possessed of large wealth which he devoted generously to philanthropic objects, he was made to be the leader of his denomination. He was for years publisher and editor of the first Baptist newspaper in Georgia, the " Christian Index," and this journal he subsequently presented as a gift to the Georgia Baptist state convention. For eighteen years in succession he was elected president of this convention. In promoting foreign and domestic missions he was an untiring worker, and he was an earnest and generous advocate of educational interests. His donations, including legacies, to Mercer university, which was named in his honor, amounted to more than, S40,000. To other benevolent objects he gave not less than $20,000. He received the honorary degree of D. D.
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