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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HENSHAW, John Prentiss Kewley, P. E. bishop, born in Middletown, Connecticut, 13 June, 1792; died near Frederick, Maryland, 19 July, 1852. He was graduated at Middlebury in 1808, and spent a year at Harvard as a resident graduate. During a visit to his native place during this period, he was first deeply impressed by the truths of religion, and he subsequently became a member of the Protestant Episcopal church, although he had been educated as a Congregationalist. Shortly afterward Bishop Griswold appointed him a lay-reader, and by his zealous labors several congregations were established in different parts of Vermont. After studying theology and taking charge of a church at Marblehead, Mass, , for a time, he was ordered deacon on his twenty-first birthday. Soon afterward he was called to St. Ann's church, Brooklyn, New York, where he was ordained priest on his twenty-fourth birthday. Twenty-six years of his life were passed as rector of St. Peter's, Baltimore, Maryland, where he went in 1817. On his accession to the rectorship there were only 45 communicants, but at the close of his ministry the number had increased to 474, the whole number added during his incumbency being 900. He also baptized 1,018 persons, and presented 506 for confirmation. During his residence in Maryland, Dr. Henshaw (he received the degree of S. T. D. from his alma mater in 1830) exerted an important influence beyond the confines of his own parish and city, taking an active part in the erection of many churches, and the organization of several congregations. He was a devoted friend to the cause of missions, and performed valuable services in the conventions, both diocesan and general. He was repeatedly nominated as bishop of Maryland, but failed to receive a sufficiently large vote to secure his election. On the erection of Rhode Island into a separate diocese he was chosen its head in 1843, and made rector of Grace church, Providence. In 1848 his health began to fail, and in 1850 he had a stroke of apoplexy. In the summer of 1852 he was called to perform episcopal functions in the diocese of Maryland during Bishop Wittingham's absence in Europe, but was again stricken with apoplexy, this time fatally, after he had been engaged about two weeks in the discharge of these duties. Bishop Henshaw possessed a mind naturally clear, sound, and vigorous, trained to patient labor. He ranked high as a preacher, never reading his sermons, but composing them with care. He was also exceedingly happy as an extemporaneous speaker. He published many sermons, charges, and books, among which were "An Oration delivered before the Associated Alumni of Middlebury College" (1827): "Hymns " (5th ed., 1832); "The Usefulness of Sunday Schools" (1833); "Henshaw's Sheridan," being "Lessons on Elocution," etc. (1834); " Theology for the People" (1840); "Memoir of Right Reverend Channing Moore, D. D." (1842); "An Inquiry concerning the Second Advent" (1842); "Lectures on the Terms Priest, Altar, etc.," and "The Work of Christ's Living Body" (1843).
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