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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EARLY, John, M. E. bishop, born in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1785; died in Lynchburg, Virginia, 5 November 1873. He joined the Methodist conference of his state in the great revival of 1801'2, and became an itinerant preacher about 1807. He soon attracted attention by his fervor and eloquence, and was specially successful in conducting religious exercises in a revival. He successively filled the offices of secretary of the conference and presiding elder, and was repeatedly a delegate to the quadrennial general conference. In the agitation that resulted, in 1844, in the division of his denomination into the Methodist Church north and south, Mr. Early took an active part, and was elected the first bookagent of the latter. Though sixty-nine years of age, he was elected bishop in 1854, and served his Church with great zeal and fidelity for nineteen years. He was largely Instrumental in founding Randolph-Macon College, Va, Bishop Early, though a vigorous writer, published only a few sermons, addresses, and occasional pamphlets, some of them relating to the disruption controversy. He received the degree of D. D.
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