BARON STOW, D. D., eldest son of Peter and Deborah Stow, and grandson, by his father’s side, of Jonah and Lydia Stow, and by his mother’s, of Jeremiah and Love Nettleton, was born in the westerly part of Croydon, June 16, 1801. In September, 1809, his parents removed to Newport, where for a few years he had the advantages of a good common school, under the tuition of such excellent teachers as Benjamin Cummings and William R. Kimball, of Cornish; Austin Corbin, William A. Chapin, Moses Chapin and Carlton Hurd, of Newport, and Samuel Blanchard, of Croydon. In December, 1818, he became a member of the Baptist Church in Newport, and soon commenced preparation for the work of the Christian ministry, pursuing classical studies, at first with the Rev. Leland Howard, of Windsor, Vt., but mainly at the Newport Academy, defraying his expenses by teaching winter schools. The state of his health’ requiring a milder climate, he went, in 1822, to Washington, D. C., and joined the Columbian College, entering the Freshman Class eight months in advance. The funds for the expenses of his collegiate course were supplied in part by the generosity of others, and the remainder by giving private instruction. Among his pupils were two sons of Commodore Porter, one of whom is’ now Admiral David D. Porter, of the U. S. Navy. After graduating with the first honor of his class, in December, 1825, he edited for a year and a half a religious newspaper in Washington, called ” The Columbian Star.” In September, 1826, he married Miss Elizabeth L. Skinner, of Windsor, Vt. In the summer of 1827, he returned to New England, and on the 24th of October of the same year was ordained as pastor of the Middle St. Baptist Church, Portsmouth, N. H. After five years of service in that place, he accepted an invitation to the pastoral care of the Baldwin Place Church, Boston, and was there installed, November 15, 1832. In the spring of 1848, compelled by impaired health, he resigned that position, and, in the autumn, accepted the less onerous charge of the Rowe St. Church, in the same city, of which he is still the pastor.
In 1846, Brown University conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity, and, in 1854, Harvard University repeated the honor.
At three different times in twenty-three years, be was elected Corresponding Secretary of the national organization, now styled the American Baptist Missionary Union; but, from a clear conviction that he had & vocation from God to be a preacher and pastor, he in every instance declined the appointment. The same conviction has restrained him from listening to urgent propositions to accept positions in Colleges, either as President or Professor.
Notwithstanding imperfect health, he has performed, in thirty-nine years of ministerial life, a large amount of service, not only in his ecclesiastical relations, but in various Boards of Colleges and Benevolent Institutions. He is the author of several books and pamphlets, and has written much for the periodical press.
In 1840, and again in 1859, his people, at their own expense sent him to Europe for the benefit of his health, and for mental improvement.
During his ministry, he has preached nearly 4,500 sermons, baptized nearly 1,000 persons, married nearly 1,200 couples, officiated at more than 1,300 funerals, and made more than 21,600 parochial visits. His correspondence, for many years, has averaged 1,000 letters per annum. In forty-five years, his travels at home and abroad have exceeded more than 100,000 miles. His private journal extends through nineteen volumes of manuscript, making more than 4,000 pages. Such an amount of labor would have been impossible but for a rigid economy of time and a tenacious adherence to system.
His father, born in Grafton, Mass., June 21, 1771, died in Newport, N. H., in 1816 ; his mother, born in Killingworth, Conn., February 11, 1775, died in Potsdam, N. Y., in 1846.