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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CRANE, William, merchant, born in Newark, New Jersey, 6 May 1790; died in Baltimore, Maryland, 28 September 1866. In Richmond, Virginia, where he resided from 1811 till 1834, he was distinguished for his zeal in promoting the religious welfare of the colored people. He was the founder of the Richmond African Baptist missionary society which sent out Lott Cary to Liberia, and he taught the first school for blacks in Richmond, and was one of the originators of Richmond College, giving to it $1,000. His benefactions to other religious objects were large.
His son, William Carey Crane, clergyman, born in Richmond, Virginia, 17 March 1816; died in Independence, Texas, 27 February 1885, was graduated at Columbian College and at Hamilton theological seminary. He was ordained in 1838 and was pastor of a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., from 1839 till 1842, and afterward pastor of various other Churches in Mississippi and Texas. He has been president of Mississippi female College, of Semple Broadus College, of Mount Lebanon College, and of Baylor University, Independence, Texas, to which he was called in 1863, retaining the place till his death. Upon the removal, in 1885, of the names of Baylor University and Baylor female College to Waco and Belton, respectively, the property, buildings, etc., were left at Independence, and were thenceforth called "Crane College" in honor of Dr. Crane. He was regarded as one of the ablest and most scholarly divines of his denomination. He was the author of "Literary Discourses," a "Life of Sam Houston," and other works.
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