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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BURROUGHS, Stephen, adventurer, born in Hanover. New Hampshire, in 1765; died in Three Rivers, Canada, 28 January, 1840. He was the son of a Congregational clergyman, and early gained the reputation of the worst boy in town. He ran away when fourteen years old and joined the army, but deserted and soon afterward entered Dartmouth, where he engaged in all sorts of mischief. He left College secretly before the end of his course, went to sea as a privateer's man, and then figured as ship's physician. Returning to land, he became a school-master, and then, assuming the name of Davis, took charge of a Congregational church at Pelham, Massachusetts. He preached there six months without detection, but was then discovered, and shortly afterward arrested in Springfield, Massachusetts, for passing counterfeit money. He was convicted and imprisoned at Northampton, where, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to escape, he set fire to the jail and was then removed to Castle island, Boston harbor. Even from this place he escaped, but was recaptured and served out his term. He then went to Canada, where ha was for years the head of a gang of counterfeiters. Later in life he reformed, united with the Roman Catholic church, and supported himself by educating the sons of wealthy Canadians at his home, where he had a valuable library, he was successful as a teacher, beloved by his pupils, and respected by all, notwithstanding his career. His charitable deeds were many, even in the worst part of his life. He published "Memoirs of My Own Life" (Albany, 1811; Philadelphia, 1848).
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