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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FIELD, Nathaniel, physician, born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, 7 November 1805. His father, who was a native of Virginia and served in the Revolutionary war, immigrated to Kentucky in 1784. Nathaniel was educated in the best schools in the state of that day, and was graduated at Transylvania medical school, Lexington, Kentucky. He first settled in northern Alabama, and practiced there three years, when he returned to Kentucky. In the autumn of 1829 he removed to Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he afterward resided. He was a member of the legislature from 1838 till 1839. In the spring of the latter year he organized the City government of Jeffersonville, under a charter that he drafted and had passed by the legislature. In 1830 he established the first Christian (or Campbellite) Church in that City, and in 1847 the Second Advent Christian Church, He served as pastor of the former for seventeen years, and of the latter for forty years, without compensation, believing it to be wrong to earn a livelihood by preaching, or to "make merchandise of the gospel."
He voted against the entire township, in 1834, on the proposition to expel the free Negroes, and was compelled to face a mob in consequence. He was one of the original abolitionists of the west, and emancipated several valuable slaves that he had inherited. He held a debate, in 1852, with Elder Thomas P. Connelly on the "State of the Dead," and the arguments were published in book form. He also published a humorous poem, entitled "Arts of Imposture and Deception Peculiar to American Society" (1858). Dr. Field is the author of a monograph on "Asiatic Cholera," has contributed many essays to medical journals, and has prepared in manuscript lectures on "Capital Punishment," "The Mosaic Record of Creation," "The Age of the Human Race," and "The Chronology of Fossils."
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