Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/McFarland, Asa

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McFARLAND, Asa, clergyman, b. in Worcester, Mass., 19 April, 1769; d. in Concord, N. H., 18 Feb., 1827. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1793, was two years principal of Moor's charity school, Hanover, two years tutor in the college, and member of its board of trustees in 1809-'22. He was installed pastor of the First Congregational church, Concord, N. H., 7 March, 1798, and remained its pastor until 1825. In 1811 he was president of the New Hampshire missionary society. He left more than 2,000 manuscript sermons, of which eighteen were published. He received the degree of D. D. from Yale in 1812. — His wife, Elizabeth Kneeland, of Boston, whom he married in 1803, was the projector, in 1804, of a notable society of women in New Hampshire pledged each to contribute one cent a week for missionary purposes. It is still flourishing, and its contributions have reached $153,000. — Their son, Asa, journalist, b. in Concord, N. H., 19 May, 1804; d. there, 13 Dec, 1879, after receiving a partial academic education at Gilmanton academy, learned the printing trade, and became interested in publishing the “New Hampshire Statesman” from 1826 till 1834, when he established a general printing business, but from July, 1844, till July, 1850, was the political writer for the “Statesman.” In 1850 he made a five months' journey to Great Britain and the continent, whence he contributed letters to the “Statesman” and the “Congregational Journal.” In 1851, with George E. Jenks, he became proprietor and editor of the “New Hampshire Statesman.” In 1860 Dartmouth conferred the degree of A. M. upon him. He was chairman of the Whig state committee in 1844-'6, championed the “right of way” for public thoroughfares in the state, the encouragement of foreign capital to develop railways, factories, etc., tending to the state's prosperity, and in 1853 railway communication to the Pacific. Mr. McFarland represented his city in the legislatures of 1859 and 1860, and was state printer in 1846, 1859, and 1860. He published a volume of favorite poems, termed “The Gift” (1835), and his foreign correspondence (1851). He was a member of the Historical society in 1840-'68, which published in its “Collections” an address (1837) on the dedication of a monument commemorative of men who fell in ambuscade by Indians in Concord in August, 1746. — Another son, Andrew, physician, b. in Concord, 14 July, 1817; d. in Jacksonville, 21 Nov., 1891, attended Dartmouth, and lectured at Jefferson medical college in 1843. He practised at Sandwich and Laconia, N. H., and was appointed superintendent of the New Hampshire asylum for the insane in August, 1845. He resigned in November, 1852, and practised at Concord, and Lawrence, Mass. About 1854 he became superintendent of the Illinois state asylum for the insane in Jacksonville, serving in that position till 1869, when he resigned and established “Oak Lawn Retreat,” a private asylum in Jacksonville, Ill. He published “The Escape” (Boston, 1851).