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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PIERCE, John Davis, clergyman, born in Chesterfield, New Hampshire, 18 February, 1797 ; died in Medford, Massachusetts, 5 April, 1882. He was brought up in Massachusetts, where he remained till 1817, and was graduated at Brown in 1822. He then became principal of an academy in New England, entered the theological seminary at Princeton, and in 1824 became pastor of a Congregational church in Oneida county, New York, where he remained till 1830. In that year he was principal of Goshen academy, Connecticut, and in 1831 he went to reside in Michigan. In 1847-'8 he was a member of the legislature, and of the State constitutional convention in 1850. While in the legislature he secured the passage of the bill for the protection of women in their rights of prop-err.y, the first of the kind that was passed in any state. He was superintendent of public instruction for two years, during that time edited and published the "Journal of Education," and also edited at one time the "Democratic Expounder" at Marshall. He is credited with being the author of the Michigan free-school system.
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