Francis Wayland

1796-1865. Baptist pastor and educator. Born in New York City, he had intellectual gifts which enabled him to enter the sophomore class at Union College, from which he graduated in 1813. His immediate interest was medicine, but after completing a course of medical study he experienced a profound religious change which led him to Andover Theological Seminary for a year of study in 1816. From 1817 to 1821 he taught various subjects at Union College, then came a five-year pastorate at the First Baptist Society of Boston before he returned to Union College as professor of moral philosophy. In 1827 he was elected to the presidency of Brown University, which post he held with distinction until his retirement in 1855. He was author of a plan for free public schools in Rhode Island. He gained a national reputation for a printed sermon, “The Moral Dignity of the Missionary Enterprise,” and sponsored prison reform, emancipation of slaves, and free trade. Baptist historians have hailed him as one of the strongest defenders of religious freedom and toleration. His many published works include Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution (1845).