Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Thurston, Asa

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THURSTON, Asa, missionary, b. in Fitchburg, Mass., 12 Oct., 1787; d. in Honolulu, Hawaii, 11 March, 1868. He worked at the trade of scythe-making till he was twenty-two years old, then fitted himself for college, was graduated at Yale in 1816, and passed through the course of theological instruction at Andover seminary. On his graduation in 1819 he was ordained as a missionary, and on 23 Oct. sailed with his wife for the Sandwich islands. He established himself at Kailua, Hawaii, where he resided for more than forty years, retiring to Honolulu when incapacitated by paralysis for continued active work. He was a pioneer among the missionaries to the Sandwich islands, and instructed two of the kings while they still resided at Kailua. He also translated a large part of the Bible into the Hawaiian language.—His wife, Lucy Goodale, b. in Marlborough, Mass., 29 Oct., 1795; d. in Honolulu, Hawaii, 13 Oct., 1876, was educated at the academy in Bradford, Mass., and taught until she married and went to the Sandwich islands. She left an autobiography which was completed by Persis G. Taylor, her daughter, and Rev. Walter Freer, and published under the title of “Life and Times of Mrs. Lucy G. Thurston” (Ann Arbor, 1876).—Their son, Thomas Gairdner, was graduated at Yale in 1862, studied theology, and returned to Hawaii, where he preached until the time of his death in 1884.