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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 biographies contain errors and bias. We rely on volunteers to edit the historic biographies on a continual basis. If you would like to edit this biography please submit a rewritten biography in text form . If acceptable, the new biography will be published above the 19th Century Appleton's Cyclopedia Biography citing the volunteer editor





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John Reed

REED, John, clergyman, born in Framingham, Massachusetts, 11 November, 1751; died in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 17 February, 1831. He was the son of Solomon, minister at Middleborough, Massachusetts, and was graduated at Yale in 1772. After studying theology and being licensed to preach, he was employed for two years as chaplain in the navy, although he never went to sea. On 7 January, 1780, he was installed at Bridgewater, Massachusetts, as colleague pastor of Reverend Daniel Perkins, who died in 1782, and maintained the connection until his death. In 1794 he was elected to congress as a Federalist, and he was twice re-elected, serving from 7 December, 1795, till 3 March, 1801. He was a follower and warm friend of George Washington and John Adams. His opinions on ecclesiastical affairs were so just and accurate as to receive the approbation of courts and judges; the report of a church council drawn up by him was adopted in substance as the foundation of an important decision of the supreme court of Massachusetts. His theological views were Arminian, and he excelled as a metaphysician and controversialist. Although the last ten years of his life were spent in blindness, he continued to preach regularly until a short time before his death. He was a member of the Unitarian council that was called to consider the case of Reverend Abiel Abbott. He received the degree of D. D. from Brown university in 1803. Besides eight occasional sermons, Dr. Reed published " An Apology for the Rite of Infant Baptism" (1806).--His son, John, legislator, born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 2 September, 1781; died there, 25 November, 1860, was graduated at Brown in 1803, where he was tutor from 1804 till 1806. He was also for one year principal of the Bridgewater academy. He afterward studied law, was admitted to the bar, and began to practise at Yarmouth, Massachusetts He soon became popular and was elected to the 13th congress as a Federalist, and re-elected to the 14th, serving from 24 May, 1813, till 3 March, 1817. Four years later he was again elected, this time as a Whig, and he was successively re-elected until he had served from 3 December, 1821, till 3 March, 1841, making in all nearly twenty-four years of congressional experience, tie was sometimes facetiously alluded to by his political opponents as the "life-member." In 1844 he was elected lieutenant-governor of Massachusetts, with George N. Briggs at the head of the ticket. Both served until 1851, when both retired to private life. Governor Reed received the degree of LL.D. from Brown in 1845.--Another son, Caleb, journalist, born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 22 April, 1797; died in Boston, 14 October, 1854, was graduated at Harvard in 1817, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practised at Yarmouth, Massachusetts, until 1827. He then became a partner in the firm of Cyrus Alger and Co., carrying on an iron-foundry at South Boston. This connection he maintained until his death. He was a believer in the doctrines of Swedenborg, and for more than twenty years edited the" New Jerusalem Magazine," devoted to their promulgation. He published " The General Principles of English Grammar" (Boston, 1821).--Another son, Sampson, editor, born in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, 10 June, 1800; died in Boston, Massachusetts, 8 July, 1880, was graduated at Harvard in 1818, and studied theology at Cambridge, but, becoming a convert to the doctrines of Swedenborg, he abandoned the design of preparing for the ministry, and engaged in business. He subsequently edited the " New Church Magazine," and was co-editor of the "New Jerusalem Magazine." He was the author of "Observations on the Growth of the Mind " (Boston, 1826; London, 1839; 5th ed., Boston, 1859).

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