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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HOWLAND, Robert Shaw, clergyman, born in New York city, 9 November, 1820; died in Morristown, New Jersey, 4 February, 1876. He was a son of Gardiner G. Howland, a wealthy New York merchant, of the firm of Howland and Aspinwall, and an active member of charitable organizations. Robert received a primary education in France, was graduated at St. Paul's college in 1840, and then studied in the general theological seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church in New York city. His studies were intermitted for three years, one of which he spent in Maryland, where he assisted Bishop John B. Kerfoot in organizing St. James's college, and two in foreign travel. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Brownell and priest by Bishop Ires of North Carolina in 1846. After serving as assistant in St. Luke's church, New York city, he became rector of the Church of the holy apostles, and in 1868 of the Church of the heavenly rest, when the parish was organized. Dr. Howland contributed largely of his own means toward the erection of its church building on Fifth avenue, and was instrumental in having houses erected adjacent to the edifice of such a style of architecture as would harmonize with it. Columbia gave him the degree of D.D. in 1863.--His wife, Mary Woolsey, poet, is known as the author of a short poem "Requiescam," also entitled "In the hospital," which was believed for a long time to have been found under the pillow of a soldier who died at Port Royal, South Carolina, in 1864.
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