Newcomb, Harvey

Newcomb, Harvey D.D., a noted Congregational minister, was born at Thetford, Vt., in 1803. In 1818 he removed to Alfred, Vt., and in the following year, though still quite young, he commenced teaching school, and continued in that occupation most of the time for eight years. In the spring of 1826 he became publisher and editor of a newspaper in Westfield, N. Y. Two years later he removed to Buffalo, as editor of the Buffalo Patriot. In 1830 and 1831 he published the Christian Herald at Pittsburgh, Pa., and a paper for children, and for nearly ten years from that period was mainly engaged in writing Sabbath-school books. In 1840 he was licensed to preach, and the following year was made pastor of the Congregational Church at West Roxbury, Mass., and subsequently ministered to the churches at West Needham and Grantville. In 1849 he returned for a season to editorial life, being assistant editor of the Daily Traveller for about a year, and of the New York Observer for two years. In the fall of 1859, having spent several years in writing, establishing mission Sabbath-schools in Brooklyn, N. Y., and preaching to the Park Street Mission Church of that city, he was installed over the Congregational Church in Hancock, Pa., where he continued to labor as long as his health allowed him to remain in active life. He died at Brooklyn, N. Y., Aug. 30, 1862. Dr. Newcomb was an able and useful Christian laborer, whose memory will be revered for many generations yet to come. He labored especially with his pen, and was the author of not less than 178 volumes, a great majority of which had special reference to the wants of children and youth, and had a large circulation; among these were fourteen volumes of Church history. According to a calculation made in 1853, the circulation of his works had then reached nearly sixty-five million pages. His largest work was the Cyclopaedia of Missions (New York, 1854, 8vo; 4th ed. 1856), a book of great value to the student seeking information on American missions, though of assistance also in the general field which it seeks to cover. At the time of its publication it proved a welcome guest, not only on this side of the Atlantic, but also in Great Britain, where it has been freely used in compilations requiring statistics of missions. In our own pages the work is frequently quoted, and its usefulness often made apparent by the lengthy extracts which it affords us. Revised and brought down to date, it would still rank as the best cyclopedia of missions in the English tongue. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, 2:1410; Drake, Dict. of Amer. Biog. p. 656; Congreg. Quarterly, 1863, 352 sq. (J. H. W.)

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