Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JUDD, Sylvester, antiquarian, born in Westhampton, Massachusetts, 23 April, 1789; died in Northampton, Massachusetts, 18 April, 1860. He received only a common school education, but while employed in the country store of his native town taught himself languages, history, and mathematics, and in later years gave much attention to botany and geology. He became a partner in the store, and in 1817 was sent to the legislature. In 1822 he removed to Northampton, and became the owner and editor of the "Hampshire Gazette," which he conducted till 1834. He spent many years in investigating the history of the towns of Massachusetts and the Connecticut valley, and published a genealogical work on his family from the coining of the first American ancestor in 1633 or 1634, entitled "Thomas Judd and his Descendants" (Northampton, 1856). His "History of Hadley," with a notice of his life, was published posthumously (1863).--His son, Sylvester, born in Westhampton, Massachusetts. 23 July, 1813; died in Augusta, Maine, 26 January, 1853, was graduated at Yale in 1836. While teaching at Templeton, Massachusetts, he became a Unitarian, and, declining a professorship in Miami college, entered the divinity school at Harvard, where he was graduated in 1840. On 1 October of that year he was ordained pastor of a church in Augusta, Maine, with which he was connected till his death. His first published work was a series of papers entitled "A Young Man's Account of his Conversion from Calvinism," written in his second year at the theological seminary. In 1843 he began a work entitled "Margaret, a Tale of the Real and Ideal, including Sketches of a Place not before described, called Mons Christi" (Boston, 1845; revised ed., 1851). In 1856 a folio edition of illustrations by Felix O. C. Darley was published. The book was intended to promote the cause of liberal Christianity and the principles of temperance and universal peace. It consists of a loosely constructed tale of old New England life, interspersed with descriptions of nature. In addition to his work in the pastorate, Mr. Judd's services were in frequent demand as a lecturer on social questions, especially in opposition to war and slavery, and in advocacy of temperance. In the later years of his ministry he devoted his efforts to spreading the idea of birthright in the church, urging that children should be regarded as members of the church from their birth, and that no distinction should be made between the church and the community, but that all people should share in whatever of value there is in the administration of the sacraments. These principles were adopted by his own society and by many others in Maine. He also published a didactic poem in defence of Unitarian doctrines, entitled "Philo, an Evangeliad" (Boston, 1850); a novel of modern New England life, similar in purpose and character to "Margaret," under the title of "Richard Edney and the Governor's Family" (1850); and a posthumous work entitled "The Church, in a Series of Discourses" (1854). He left in manuscript "The White Hills," a tragedy illustrating the evils of avarice. See "Life and Character of Sylvester Judd," by Arethusa Hall (Boston, 1854).
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