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MEGAPOLENSIS, Johannes, clergyman, born in Koedyck, Holland, in 1603; died in New York city, 14 January, 1670. The original form of the family name, Van Mecelenburg, was Hellenized into Megapolensis by his father, who was settled as a minister in Egmont-aan-Zee. The son came to the United States, under the patronage of the patroon of Rensselaerwyck, in 1642. He was the first Protestant missionary to the Indians, preceding John Eliot by three months, and the second that was sent by the classis of Amsterdam. Having learned what he called the "heavy language of the Mohawks," he preached fluently in it, received many converts into the church, and soon exerted a visible influence in restraining the immoralities of frontier life. He was instrumental in saving from torture and probable death Father Isaac Jogues (q. v.), and he subsequently rescued two other Jesuits under similar circumstances. At the end of his mission, to which he was appointed for six years, he was persuaded by Governor Peter Stuyvesant to remain ilk New York as senior pastor of the Dutch church, which of-flee he occupied for twenty years. The building, erected in 1656, is shown in the illustration. Although intolerant toward Lutherans and Independents, by his scholarship and character he exercised a marked influence in public affairs. To prevent bloodshed, he urged Stuyvesant to surrender the colony to the English in 1664. He published several treatises and tracts, and " A Short Account of the Mohawk Indians, their Country, Language, Figure, Costume, Religion, and Government" (Amsterdam, 1651). There is a translation in Hazard's " State Papers" and in the "New York Historical Society's Collections."--His son, Samuel, clergyman, born in Koedyck, Holland, in 1634; died after 1700, accompanied his father to this country, spent three years at Harvard, and in 1658 returned to Holland, where he studied at the universities of Utrecht and Leyden, and received at: the latter his medical degree. Returning to America, he became associate pastor with his father in New York. In 1664 he was one of the Dutch commissioners that prepared the terms of surrender to the English, and it is probable that the rights of the Dutch Reformed church were preserved through his influence. He returned to Holland in 1668, and, being "well skilled in both Dutch and English," served the English and Scotch churches in Flushing and Dordrecht from 1685 till 1700, when he became pastor emeritus. The exact date of his death is not known.
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