Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HAMLINE, Leonidas Lent, M. E. bishop, born in Burlington, Connecticut, 10 May, 1797; died in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. 23 March, 1865. His education was at first directed with a view to the Congregational ministry, but that purpose was afterward abandoned, and the law was chosen instead. Having removed to Ohio, he was admitted to the bar at Lancaster, and for several years he pursued a successful practice. In 1828 he became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, was soon afterward licensed to preach, and before many months he was received into the travelling ministry in connection with the Ohio conference, and for about eight years he labored on circuits and stations in eastern Ohio and in Cincinnati, where he became known as a preacher of unusual eloquence and abilities. He became assistant editor of the "Western Christian Advocate" at Cincinnati in 1836, and in 1840, when the "Ladies' Repository," a monthly magazine, was projected, he became its editor. He was a delegate to the general conference in New York in May and June, 1844. at which began the rupture between the northern and southern parts of the Methodist body. He took a lively interest in the questions involved in that controversy, but less as it involved the relations of the church to slavery than in respect to the rights and powers of the general conference over the episcopacy. A speech delivered by him in the course of the debates, it was believed, contributed effectually to the result that was finally reached. Later, during the same session, he was elected and ordained a bishop. He discharged the duties of that office with fidelity for six years, but in 1850 was compelled by his health to desist from all labor. Acting upon his declared conception of the nature of the episcopal office--that it was only an allotment of service--and because he found himself permanently disabled, he requested the general conference of 1852 to release him from the duties of that office, and to permit him to take the place of a retired minister in the Cincinnati conference, which request was granted. His only preserved writings consist of a volume of sermons, published after his decease.
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