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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GIDDINGS, Salmon, clergyman, born in Hartland, Connecticut, 2 March, 1782; died in St. Louis, Missouri, 1 February, 1828. He was graduated at Williams in 1811, studied theology at Andover seminary, and was ordained to the ministry in 1814. In 1814-'5 he was tutor at Williams, and occasionally preached among the neighboring Congregational Churches. Deciding to become a missionary, he set out on horseback, in December, 1815, for St. Louis, which was then regarded as in the far west. He reached the city in April, 1816, assembled a small congregation, and became the pioneer missionary of the Presbyterian Church to the country west of the Mississippi. In 1816 Mr. Giddings organized a Presbyterian Church at Bellevue settlement, eighty miles southwest of St. Louis, and during the next ten years formed eleven other congregations--five in Missouri, and six in Illinois. In the spring of 1822 he explored Nebraska and Kansas territories, preparatory to establishing missions among the Indians. On this tour of many weeks, without white companions, and hundreds of miles from any white settlement, he visited several Indian nations, held councils with their chiefs, and was received with hospitality. In 1826 Mr. Giddings was installed pastor of the 1st Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. He was an active member of the first Bible, Sunday-school, and tract societies of Missouri, and of the first colonization society in that state.
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