Jenks, William

Jenks, William, D.D., a Congregational minister of great ability and distinction, was born at Newton, Mass. in 1778, but when only four years of age his father removed to Boston. He was educated at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1797. He was first settled in the ministry over the Congregational Church in Bath, Me. where he remained twelve years; he next filled the professorship of Oriental and English literature in Bowdoin College three years; then he went to Boston and was very active in originating plans to secure religious and social privileges for seamen, till that time a neglected class of men. Some of the more prominent institutions for the benefit of sailors now existing in that city owe their origin to him. He was pastor at the same time of the Green Street church, which he served for twenty-five years. He died Nov. 13, 1866. Dr. Jenks was one of the chief founders of the American Oriental Society and a prominent member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He was particularly distinguished as an Orientalist and edited the Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible (Brattleborough, 1834, 5 vols. roy. 8vo; Supplem. 1 vol. roy. 8vo), which "still stands without a rival for the purpose for which it was intended." He also published an Explanatory Bible Atlas and Scripture Gazetteer (1819, 4to). See Allibone, Dict. of Authors, 1, 963; Appleton, Amer. Annual Cyclop. 1866, p. 420. (J.H.W.)

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