Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CONANT, John, manufacturer, born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts. ; died in Brandon, Vermont, in 1856. He represented the town of Brandon in the legislature for many years, was a member of the convention for revising the constitution of the state, and a presidential elector in 1840. He erected in Brandon a large edifice for a seminary under the direction of Baptists.--His son, Thomas Jefferson, biblical scholar, born in Brandon, Vermont, 13 December, 1802, was graduated at Niddlebury in 1823, haying studied Hebrew and German in addition to the usual curriculum, and continued for two years as a resident graduate, to read privately the Hebrew scriptures and the Greek classic writers with the professor of languages. He was tutor in Columbian College, Washington, District of Columbia, in 1825-'7, and in 1827 became professor of Greek, Latin, and German in Waterville College (now Colby university), Maine. He held this chair till 1833, when he resigned and made his home near Boston, where he could better prosecute his studies in the oriental languages. He had already become convinced of the necessity of a new translation of the scriptures, a work to which his life has been chiefly devoted. He was professor of languages and biblical literature in Hamilton literary and theological seminary (now Madison university), at Hamilton, New York, from 1835 till 1850, but spent two years of that time in study abroad, mainly at Halle and Berlin. In 1851 he accepted the chair of Hebrew and biblical exegesis in Rochester theological seminary, which he resigned in 1857, and removed to Brooklyn, New York, having accepted from the American Bible union the office of reviser of the common English version of the Bible. He continued in this service till 1875, and also became a member of the Old Testament company of the American committee, co-operating with the committee of the convocation of Canterbury, England, in the revision of the authorized English version of the Bible. He is conceded to be one of the first Hebraists of the time, and is also a writer of pure and nervous English. He has published a translation of the llth edition of the Hebrew grammar of Gesenius, with grammatical exercises and a chrestomathy added by the translator (Boston, 1839), and a translation of Dr. E. Rodiger's 17th edition of that work, with the additions (New York, 1877). This work has become a standard textbook in England and America. He has also published " The Book of Job" (New York. 1856), "The Gospel by Matthew" (1860), and " The Book of Proverbs" (1872), each book containing the received original text, the common version, and a revised version, with critical introduction, and critical and philological notes for scholars. His other works are revised versions in English, with notes, of "The New Testament" (1866); "The Book of Genesis" (1868); "The Book of Psalms" (1872); "Prophecies of Isaiah, Chapters I-XIII "(1874); and the historical books of the Old Testament, from Joshua to second Kings (Philadelphia, 1884); and " (a(((((((", its Meaning and Use philologically and historically investigated " (New York, 1864). His wife, Hannah 0'Brien Chaplin, born in Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1809; died in Brooklyn, New York, 18 February, 1865, was a daughter of the Rev. Jeremiah Chaplin, and married Dr. Conant in 1830. She was a frequent contributor to literary and religious periodicals, and in 1838 became editor of the "Mother's Monthly Journal," published in Utica, New York Mrs. Conant had a profound knowledge of the oriental tongues, and gave her husband much assistance in his life-work, at the same time keeping pace with current literature, and controlling a large family. She published "The Earnest Man," a biographical sketch of the missionary Judson (1855); " Popular History of English Bible Translation" (1856); " The History of the English Bible," a work of great research (1859); translations from the German of Strauss's "Lea, or The Baptism in the Jordan" (1844); Neander's Commentaries on the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, the Epistle of James, and the first Epistle of John (1850-'2); and Uhden's "New England Theocracy" (1857).--Their son, Samuel Stilhnan, author, born in Waterville, Maine, 11 December, 1831, studied at Madison University, Hamilton, New York, and in 1858 went abroad and spent two years in study in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Munich. After being connected with various journals, he was managing editor of "Harper's Weekly" from 1869 till January, 1885, when he mysteriously disappeared. He contributed largely to periodicals, and translated from the Russian, through the German, Lermontoff's "Circassian Boy" (Boston, 1875).--His wife, Helen Stevens, born in Methuen, Massachusetts, 9 October. 1839, has contributed to periodicals, and has published "The Butterfly-Hunters" (Boston, 1868), and primers of German and Spanish literature (New York, 1878-'9).
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