Norris, John (3)

Norris, John (3), an American philanthropist, one of the founders of the theological seminary in Andover, was born about 1751, and was for many years a respectable merchant in Salem, Mass. March 21, 1808, he gave $10.000 towards establishing the institution at Andover. This was a day of unequaled munificence, for on the same day Messrs. Brown and Bartlet, merchants of Newburyport, gave towards the same object, the former $10,000 and the latter $20,000. Mr. Norris lived to see the seminary opened on Sept. 28. He died Dec. 22, 1808, His widow, Mary Norris, died at Salem. in 1811, bequeathing $30,000 to the theological seminary at Andover, and the same sum to trustees for the benefit of foreign missions to the heathen. In such esteem was Mr. Norris held by his fellow-citizens that he was for several years elected a member of the senate of Massachusetts. Obtaining, through the divine blessing upon his industry, an ample fortune, he considered himself as the steward, of God, and his abundant liberality flowed in various channels. Extreme self-diffidence prevented him from making a public profession of religion; yet his house was a house of prayer, in which the morning and evening sacrifice ascended to the mercy-seat; and he once said in a solemn manner, "I would not relinquish my hope that I am a child of God for a thousand worlds."

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