PALFREY, JOHN GORHAM ( 1 790-18S1 ). An American theologian and historian. 11e was born in Boston. Slay 2. 1796, graduated at Har vard in 1815, and studied for the ministry. In ISIS he was called to the pulpit of the Brattle Street Church (Congregational-Unitarian). Bos ton, and in 1831 to the chair of sacred litera ture at the Harvard Divinity School, where he remained till 1839. He was editor of the North, American Rericcr (1833-43), and in 1839 and 1842 gave a course of lectures before the Lowell Institute, Boston. on The Evidences of Chris tianity, which appeared in book form the next year. Ile was a member of the House of Rep resentatives of the Massachusetts Legislature, 1842-43, and Secretary of the Commonwealth, 1844-45. He entered Congress as a Whig in 1847. He had already opposed the extension of slavery in a series of articles called The Progress of the Slave Power (1846) : and in December, 1847. he declined to vote for Robert C. Winthrop, the Whig candidate for Speaker. This step, with his well-known anti-slavery principles, cost him his seat at the election of 1848. after a close contest. He soon joined the Free-Soil Party, was one of the editors of the Commonwealth. the
'Massachusetts organ of that party, and their candidate for Governor. He died in Cambridge, April 26. 1881. Dr. Palfrey published Lec tures on the Jewish Scriptures and An tiquities (1838-52); Sermons ( 18341 : Elements of chaldee, Syriac, S«maritan, and Rabbinical Grammar (1835) ; and Tice Relation Between Judaism and Christianity (1854). But his repu tation now rests upon his History of New Eng land During the ;quart Dynasty ( 1538-75 ) ; abridged as A History of Nem England from ON Discovery by Europeans to the Revolution of the Seventeenth Century (1866) ; again under title .4 Compendious History of Yew England, from the Discovery by Europeans to the First General Congress of the .inglo-American Colonies (4 vols., 1873). The closing part of the fourth volume in this edition was incomplete, and a fifth vol ume was published. History of New England from the E'crolation of the Serentecnth Century to the T?evolution of the Eighteenth Century, ed. by F. W. Palfrey (1890).