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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GORDON, William, clergyman, born in Hitchin, England, in 1730; died in Ipswich, England, 19 October, 1807. He was settled over a large independent society at Ipswich, and afterward at Old Gravel Lane, Wapping; and came to Massachusetts in 1770. After preaching a year to the Third Church in Roxbury, he became its pastor, 6 July, 1772. During the Revolution he took an active part in public measures, and while chaplain to the Provincial congress of Massachusetts preached a fast-day sermon, strongly expressing his political sentiments, He was dismissed from his post, as the legislature regarded his prayers as intended rather to dictate their measures than to implore the divine direction on them. He returned to England in 1786, and published his "History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the Independence of the United States," a minute and generally faithful narrative (4 vols., London, 1788). The value of this work was somewhat impaired by the expurgation of such passages as might incur prosecution. He subsequently settled at St. Neot's, Huntingdonshire. Besides his history, he published "A Plan of a Society for making Provision for Widows by Life Annuities" (1772); "First Anniversary Sermon after the Declaration of Independence, 4 July, 1777"; and an "Abridgment of Edwards's Work on ' The Affections.'"
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