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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DEMPSTER, John, educator, born in Florida, Fulton County, New York, 2 January 1794 ; died in Evanston, Illinois, 28 November 1863. His father, Rev. James Dempster, was bred a Presbyterian, and educated at the University of Edinburgh, but became an associate of John Wesley, and was sent by him to this country as a missionary. He died while John was a child, and the boy, became a peddler of tin ware, but after his conversion, in 1812, begum to study diligently. He entered the itinerant, ministry of the Methodist Church in 1816, and soon distinguished himself as a powerful preacher. After laboring in western New York and Canada, he went as a missionary to Buenos Ayres in 1835, but returned in 1842, and had charge of Churches in New York City for three years. In ]847 he was one of the founders of the Biblical institute at Concord, N. II., now the Boston University theological school. He filled the chair of theology there till 1854, when he founded the Garrett Biblical institute at Evanston, Illinois, and was its senior professor from 1855 till his death. Plans for establishing institutes in Omaha and California failed, owing to the financial crisis of 1857. Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, gave him the degree of D. D. in 1848. Dr. Dempster was very successful as an educator of young men. He left many manuscripts, some of which have been published with the title "Lectures and Addresses " (Cincinnati, 1864).
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