Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com advises that these 19th Century
biographies, although edited, still contain period bias.
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PEARSON, Jonathan, educator, born in Chichester, New Hampshire, 23 February, 1813. He is descended from John Pearson, an English carpenter who settled at Rowley, Massachusetts, prior to 1643. His father, Caleb, was a filer in the Continental army during the Revolutionary war. The son was graduated at Union in 1835, served as tutor in 1836-'9, and in 1839-'49 was assistant professor of chemistry and natural philosophy. He was given the chair of natural history in 1849, and that of agriculture and botany in 1873, and has also served as college treasurer and librarian. Beginning with a study of his own ancestry, he has spent much time in deciphering the Dutch records in Albany and Schenectady, translating most of the vast mass of records in "Mohawk Dutch"--a compound of Netherlandish, Indian, French, and English speech --in the archives of the churches and public offices in the Mohawk valley. He has published "Early Records of the County of Albany" (Albany, 1869); " Genealogy of the First Settlers of Albany" (1872) ; "Genealogies of the First Settlers of Schenectady" (1873) : "History of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Schenectady " (Schenectady, 1880); and "A History of the Schenectady Patent," edited by J. W. MacMurray (Albany, 1883).
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