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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DUNCAN, William Cecil, clergyman, born in New York City, 24 January 1824; died in New Orleans, La., 1 May 1864. His father was a native of Glasgow, Scotland, and immigrated to this country in early life. During the childhood of his son he removed to Grenada, Miss. William Cecil was graduated at Columbia in 1843, studied divinity at Hamilton theological seminary, and returned to the south in 1847. There he established, at New Orleans, the "Southwestern Baptist Chronicle," a religious weekly, which he conducted with vigor and ability. He was ordained in 1848 but, although preaching constantly, accepted no pastoral charge, devoting his entire time to his paper.
In 1851, his health entirely failing him, he sailed for Europe, and spent nearly a year in Italy. On his return to New Orleans, convalescent, he was elected to the professorship of Greek and Latin in the University of Louisiana. Three years later he became pastor of the Coliseum place Baptist Church in New Orleans, where he continued for six years, although twice compelled to visit Texas for his health. In 1861 his outspoken loyalty to the national government alienated the feelings of his people, and he was forced to go to the north, leaving his family. In the summer of 1862, after the occupation of the City by the Union forces, Dr. Duncan returned to New Orleans and engaged in secular occupations, endeavoring, to the utmost of his ability, to promote the return of Louisiana to the Union. Though suffering from consumption, which resulted fatally, he labored, with pen and voice, for this result, and before his death had the satisfaction of seeing its accomplishment. Columbia gave him the degree of D.D. in 1857. Among his works are "Life of John the Baptist," based on a monograph by Von Rohden (New York, 1853);"History of the Baptists for the First Two Centuries of the Christian Era" (1857); and "The Tears of Jesus" (1859).
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