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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FRANCIS, Convers, clergyman, born in West Cambridge, Massachusetts, 9 November 1795; died in Cambridge, 7 April 1863. He studied at Medford academy, and was graduated at Harvard in 1815. Afterward he studied theology in the Cambridge Divinity School, and on 23 June 1819, was ordained pastor of the Unitarian Church in Watertown, Massachusetts, where he remained twenty-three years. In 1842 he was appointed professor of pulpit eloquence and the pastoral care in Harvard, which chair he continued to hold to the end of his life. He was a brother of Lydia Maria Child, the philanthropist and author. Harvard gave him the degree of D. D. in 1837. He contributed to religious periodicals, and published "Errors of Education," a discourse at the anniversary of the Derby academy in Hingham (1828): " Historical Sketch of Watertown" (1830); " Dudlean Lecture at Cambridge" (1833); "Life of Rev. John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians," in the fifth volume of Sparks's "American Biography " (1836); memoirs of Rev. John Allyn, D.D., of Duxbury (1836), Dr. Gamaliel Bradford (1846), and Judge Davis (1849): and "Life of Sebastian Rale" (Boston, 1848). See William Newell's "Memoirs of Convers Francis" (" Massachusetts Historical Society's Proceedings, 1864'5"), and John Weiss's "Discourse on the Death of Convers Francis" (Boston, 1863).
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