Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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GRANT, Asahel, missionary, born in Marshall, Allegheny County, New York, 17 August, 1807; died in Mosul, Asiatic Turkey, 25 April, 1844. He studied medicine, and had acquired a large practice in Utica, New York, when, in 1834, his attention was directed to missionary work. The field of Oroomiah, a district in Persia along the Turkish frontier, was selected by him, and in May, 1835, he sailed from Boston, reaching his new home in October. Dr. Grant's character as a physician secured him the favor of the Persian governor, and the Nestorian bishops and priests gave him a hearty welcome. For five years he worked with great assiduity among this remnant of the once great Nestorian Church. Schools were established both for boys and girls, and great good was wrought among those who came under his influence. His wife's death and his own failing health led him to return to the United States, but receiving the appointment of missionary to those Nestorians who lived in the rugged hills of Koordistan, known as the " Waldenses of the East--the Protestants of Asia," he again went to Persia a year later, and opened a school. Ascertaining that an alliance had been made tending toward the destruction of the independence of this people, he endeavored to persuade them to make terms with the Turks ; but this they were unwilling to do, and in consequence a massacre occurred in 1843, in which 10,000 were killed. The missionaries were compelled to fly for their lives, and Dr. Grant, settling for a while in Mosul, devoted all his energies to the work of relieving the wretched fugitives who crowded the City. He published "The Nestorians, or the Lost Tribes, with Sketches of Travel in Assyria, Armenia, Media, and Mesopotamia" (London and Boston, 1841). See "Memoir of Asahel Grant, M. D." (New York, 1847)and "Grant and the Nestorians" (Boston, 1853).
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