Dawson, Thomas a Baptist minister, was born in England in 1790. He was, in early life, an officer in the English army; but, at the age of twenty-five, was baptized, and came to the United States in 1818. The following year he was ordained, and soon after sent as a missionary to the Cherokees in North Carolina. After their removal by the government, he went to South Carolina, and for twenty years preached among the mountains, and was a missionary among the colored people on the coast. He died June 29,1880. See Cathcart, Baptist Encyclop. page 317. (J.C.S.)
an eminent Wesleyan laypreacher, was born at Garforth, Yorkshire, March 30, 1773, and died suddenly at Colne, June 5, 1841. He was at first a member of the Established Church; became a local preacher in 1801; and, making his home at Barnbow, near Leeds, went up and down the kingdom, preaching, raising collections, speaking at missionary meetings, followed sometimes from town to town by colliers and yeomen; having congregations so large that he was compelled to preach in the open air. One who heard him says, "The effect of his sermons on the immense and eager audiences I never saw before nor expect to see again. Not a man, woman, nor child could resist him; and there was so much Scripture in his representations, and all said in honor of Christ, that the speaker, with the sacred, magic wand, was hid in the glory of his divine Redeemer" (Wakeley, Heroes of Methodism, page 360). Dr. George Smith considers him "the most eminent lay-preacher that has ever appeared in Methodism;" and Adam Clarke exclaimed, "What an astonishing mind he has." He "possessed a strong, highly original, noble and generous mind, with an equally catholic spirit, and his whole character was as transparent as the light, and warm as the sun's own ray and although not an educated man in the strictest sense of the term, much less refined, yet he possessed, along with earnest, manly sense, and a vigorous intellect, striking originality and a rich power of conception, which, although not free from occasional eccentricity, bespoke the man of true genius." Dawson published an address on the death of Reverend William Bramwell, short memoirs, speeches on passing events; and a volume of his private letters — tender, faithful, forcible, graceful — a "spiritual treasury," was edited by Everett, and issued in London in 1842. See Everett, Memoirs of William Dawson (Lond. 1842, page 547); West, Sketches of Wesleyan Preachers, page 299 sq.; Stevens, Hist. of Methodism, 3:179-184, 271, 275; Smith, Hist. of Wesleyan Methodism, 3:452-454 (see Index); Minutes of the British Conference, 1841, page 137.