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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COX, Melville Beveridge, missionary, born in Hallowell, Maine, 9 November, 1799; died in Liberia, Africa, 21 July, 1833. His early education was obtained in the common schools. At the age of about nineteen he became a Methodist, and preached as a licentiate in various towns and villages in Maine. Failing health caused him to seek a more congenial climate. He spent a few years in Baltimore and vicinity, where he received an appointment as the first American Methodist missionary to the colony of Liberia. He arrived at his field of labor on 8 March, 1833, established a Sunday-school, summoned conferences, and organized the Methodist Episcopal church in Africa under the supervision and control of the general conference of that denomination in America. In less than five months from his arrival he became a victim of African fever. During the brief period of his sojourn in Liberia he wrote "Sketches of Western Africa" which was appended to a memoir of his life written by his brother, G. F. Cox, D. D. (New York, 1840).
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