Shinn, Asa (2)
Shinn, Asa an eminent Methodist Protestant minister, was born in New Jersey, May 3, 1781, of poor but honest Quaker parents. He received his education chiefly among the western hills of Virginia, became a Methodist at the age of eighteen, was requested to become an exhorter, and before his twentieth year was employed as a travelling preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which connection he continued over twenty-seven years. The fact that he never saw an English grammar or a clock until he entered upon his first circuit pictures his illiterate and inexperienced condition; yet such was his progress that in 1809 we find him by appointment in the city of Baltimore. He gave himself wholly to the work, utilized his opportunities as a student, and whether in season or out of season, in town or in country, in the woods or on horseback, his tireless mind was at work, until he became a theologian before whose logic and masterly delivery no foe of the truth could stand. In 1825 Mr. Shinn was transferred to the Pittsburgh Conference, and in 1829 withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Church, helped to organize the Methodist Protestant Church, and at its first conference, which was held that year, in Ohio, he was elected president. He afterwards was the first president of the Pittsburgh Conference. In 1834
he was elected editor of the Methodist Protestant, and served two years. When a young man Mr. Shinn experienced an accidental fracture of his skull, which, because of improper surgical attention, caused his insanity in old age, and he was removed to Brattleboro (Vermont) Lunatic Asylum, where he died, February 11, 1833. Mr. Shinn produced two theological works: The Plan of Salvation, and The Benevolence and Rectitude of the Supreme Being; they evince great logical power, piety of heart, and loyalty to Christ. See Bassett, Hist. of the M.E. Church, page 325.