« Brown, Phœbe Allen (Hinsdale) Brown, Samuel Robbins Brown, William Adams »

Brown, Samuel Robbins

BROWN, SAMUEL ROBBINS: The first American appointed missionary to Japan; b. at East Windsor, Conn., June 16, 1810, son of Phœbe (Hinsdale) Brown; d. at Monson, Mass., June 20, 1880. He was graduated at Yale, 1832; studied at the Theological School, Columbia, S. C., 1835–37, and at Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1837–38; went to China in 1838 and took charge of a school founded and maintained by the Morrison Education Society (see Morrison, Robert), located first at Macao, in 1842 removed to Hongkong. He returned to America in 1847 bringing with him three Chinese boys, one of whom was Yung Wing, afterward at the head of the Chinese Education Commission; he taught at Rome, N. Y., 1848–51, and was pastor of the Reformed (Dutch) Church and principal of a successful school at Owasco Outlet (Sand Beach), near Auburn, N. Y., 1851–59; was one of the incorporators (1851) and first chairman of the executive committee of Elmira College, the first chartered woman's college in America. In May, 1859, he sailed for Japan as missionary of the Reformed (Dutch) Church, and located at Kanagawa till 1863, when he removed to Yokohama; returned to America in 1867 and for two years preached for his old church at Owasco Outlet; was again in Japan 1869–79. Dr. Brown arrived in Japan immediately after the opening of the country; during the difficult transition period which followed he labored with rare judgment and unfailing zeal for both natives and foreign residents. His views and his methods were free from narrowness and he considered the advancement of civilization a part of the work of the Christian missionary. He wrote many articles and newspaper letters on Chinese and Japanese subjects; prepared school books for his pupils; published Colloquial Japanese (Shanghai, 1863), and Prendergast's Mastery System Adapted to the Study of Japanese or English (Yokohama, 1878); and assisted in the Japanese translation of the New Testament, completed just before his death and published the same year.

Bibliography: W. E. Griffis, A Maker of the New Orient, Samuel R. Brown, New York, 1902.

« Brown, Phœbe Allen (Hinsdale) Brown, Samuel Robbins Brown, William Adams »
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