1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Conway, Moncure Daniel

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CONWAY, MONCURE DANIEL (1832-1907), American clergyman and author, was born of an old Virginia family in Stafford county, Virginia, on the 17th of March 1832. He graduated at Dickinson College in 1849, studied law for a year, and then became a Methodist minister in his native state. In 1852, owing largely to the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson, his religious and political views underwent a radical change, and he entered the Harvard Divinity School, where he graduated in 1854. Here he fell under the inluence of “transcendentalism,” and became an outspoken abolitionist. On his return to Virginia this fact and his rumoured connexion with the attempt to rescue the fugitive slave, Anthony Burns, in Boston aroused the bitter hostility of his old neighbours and friends, and in consequence he left the state. In 1854-1856 he was pastor of a Unitarian church at Washington, D.C., but his anti-slavery views brought about his dismissal. From 1856 to 1861 he was a Unitarian minister in Cincinnati, Ohio, where, also, he edited a short-lived liberal periodical called The Dial. Subsequently he was an editor of the Commonwealth in Boston, Mass., and wrote The Rejected Stone (1861) and The Golden Hour (1862), both powerful pleas for emancipation. In 1862-1863, during the Civil War, he lectured in England in behalf of the North. From 1863 to 1884 he was the minister of the South Place chapel, Finsbury, London; and during this time wrote frequently for the London press. In 1884 he returned to the United States to devote himself to literary work. In addition to those above mentioned, his publications include Tracts for To-day (1858), The Natural History of the Devil (1859), Testimonies Concerning Slavery (1864), The Earthward Pilgrimage (1870), Republican Superstitions (1872), Idols and Ideals (1871), Demonology and Devil Lore (2 vols., 1878), A Necklace of Stories (1879), Thomas Carlyle (1881), The Wandering Jew (1881), Emerson at Home and Abroad (1882), Pine and Palm (2 vols., 1887), Life and Papers of Edmund Randolph (1888), The Life of Thomas Paine with an unpublished sketch of Paine by William Cobbett (2 vols., 1892), Solomon and Solomonic Literature (1899), his Autobiography (2 vols., 1900), and My Pilgrimage to the Wise Men of the East (1906). Conway died on the 15th of November 1907.