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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Garnet, Henry Highland, d.d.

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a colored Presbyterian minister, was born in New Market, Kent County, Maryland, April 15, 1815, of parents who escaped from slavery, in 1824, to New Hope, Pennsylvania, and the next year came to New York city, where the lad went to school, and at the same time served as a cook. In 1831 he entered a high-school; in 1835 went to Canaan Academy, N.H.; next year to Oneida Institute, N.Y.; in 1840 settled as a teacher in Troy; studied theology under Dr. Beman; was licensed to preach in 1842, and the next year installed pastor of the Liberty Street Presbyterian Church in that city. The same year he delivered an eloquent speech in Buffalo, before the Liberty Party convention. He addressed the state legislature in January, 1844, and in 1846 he presided at the Delevan Temperance Union, at Poughkeepsie.

About this time the late Gerrit Smith appointed him an agent for the purpose of distributing a large gift of lands in this state among colored men. In 1850 Dr. Garnet was invited to lecture in England, made an address in Exeter Hall, and was elected a delegate to the Peace Congress held at Frankfort-on-the-Main. At its conclusion he travelled through Bavaria, Prussia, and France. In 1852 he was sent by the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland as a missionary to Jamaica, West Indies. While there he received a unanimous call to the pulpit of the Shiloh Presbyterian Church, then at Prince and Marion Streets, New York, and soon became the leader of the colored population in that city. In 1861 he revisited England, as the president of the African Colonization Society, but soon returned, and volunteered as chaplain to the colored troops at Riker's Island. He early took an active interest in the poorer people of his race, and organized several charitable societies which care for all the colored people who try to support themselves. Dr. Garnet was the first colored man who, on any occasion, spoke in the national capitol, where he preached on Sunday, February 12, 1865, in the hall of the House of Representatives. In April of that year he was called by the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church of Washington, D.C., and accepted the call, staying there several years. Again he returned to his former church, the Shiloh, and was its pastor until the autumn of 1881, when he accepted the appointment of United States minister and consul to Liberia. He died at Monrovia, Africa, February 13, 1882. See The (N.Y.) Tribune, March 11, 1882.


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Garnet, Henry Highland, d.d.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/g/garnet-henry-highland-dd.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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