Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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MERRILL, Selah, clergyman, born in Canton Centre, Hartford County, Connecticut, 2 May, 1837. He entered Yale, but left before graduation, and was subsequently given the degree of A. M. by that institution "for special services in biblical learning." He prepared for the ministry in New Haven theological seminary, was ordained as an evangelist in 1864, and subsequently preached at Chester, Massachusetts, Le Roy, New York, San Francisco, California, and Salmon Falls, New Hampshire He was chaplain of the 49th United States colored infantry at Vicksburg, Mississippi, in 1864-'5, and from 1868 till 1870 studied in Germany. From 1874 till 1877 he was in the Holy Land as archaeologist of the American Palestine exploration society. He was United States consul in Jerusalem from 1882 till 1886, and while there finally settled the location of the second wall of the city, on which the site of Calvary depends. He has visited Palestine three times and made there the largest collection of birds, animals, coins, utensils of different kinds, and various natural objects that has yet been brought together. He is a member of the Society of biblical literature and exegesis and of the British society of biblical archaeology. He received the degree of D.D. from Iowa college in 1875, and that of EL. D. from Union in 1884. Dr. Merrill has written numerous articles for the "Bibliotheca Sacra" and other periodicals on biblical geography, the cuneiform inscriptions, and other oriental topics, and has published "East of the Jordan " (New York, 1881; new ed., 1883); "Galilee in the Time of Christ" (Boston, 1881 ; London, 1885-'6); parts of "Picturesque Palestine" (New York, 1882-'3); "Greek Inscriptions collected in the Years 1875-'77 in the Country East of [he Jordan" (1885); and "Reports on the Country East of the Jordan," in the " Fourth Statement of the American Palestine Exploration Society" (1887). Several of his reports on "Fruit Culture in Palestine," "The Climate of Palestine," the "Condition of the Laboring Classes and of Wages" in that country, and on other topics, have also appeared in the consular monthly reports that are published by the United States government.
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