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Decease of Dr. Buckland, of the Theological Seminary
The Rochester Evening Express, 1877

      The death of Dr. R. J. W. Buckland, Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Theological Seminary, in this city, took place at a quarter past 3 o'clock this (Tuesday) morning at his residence, No. 27 North St. Paul street. The sad news will be learned with the most genuine regret by hundreds of our citizens, as there are few men who enjoyed and so thoroughly deserved the esteem and confidence of his fellow-men as did Dr. Buckland. He has been in feeble health for many months, and though it was generally known that his death was a matter of, at longest, only a few months, few were prepared to learn of his death at the present time. The loss by his death to the Theological Seminary, where he was one of the most beloved and admired members of the faculty, is almost irreparable.

      Dr. Buckland was born in Deerfield, Oneida County, in December, 1829, his age, therefore, being at the time of his death, forty-nine. He graduated from Union University, of Schenectady, while, we believe, only seventeen years of age, and afterward from Union Theological Seminary in the same place. After his graduation he became pastor of a church in Sing Sing, where he remained several years, proving very successful as a pastor and preacher. His next charge was the Calvary Baptist Church in New York city, which position he occupied until called to the chair of Ecclesiastical History in the Theological Seminary here in 1869.

      This position he filled with remarkable ability, and he was regarded as being perhaps the ablest Baptist ecclesiastical historian in the United States. He has also at various times filled vacancies in several pulpits in this city, notably those of St. Peter's church on Grove street, the Brick church, the Second Baptist church, and others. Though by no means a brilliant orator, he at all of these places won the respect and esteem of his congregations by his sound theological arguments, good common sense, and the earnest efforts on behalf of the Master of whom he was a true disciple. A better Christian, a more genial gentleman, or a better citizen will rarely be found. At home, in the seminary, and in all his social relations he practiced the virtues and graces he taught in the pulpit and in his professor's chair.

      As a church historian the Baptists have indeed lost one of their most valuable men. There are few men, indeed, of whom so much can be said with truth as of Dr. Buckland. His health gave way some time ago, and he was compelled for a time to quit his post at the Seminary, and leave for other places where he could recuperate his failing energies. But the needed rest came too late, and he returned to [this] city last September, even feebler in [health] and vigor than when he left it. From [that] time until December, however, he gener[ally ma]naged to drag his weary body to the [lecture] room of the Seminary, his efforts [to] thus fulfill his duty being sometime painful to witness; but since December he had been unable to continue his work, and this morning, as above stated, he went to his rest. He leaves a wife and two children to mourn his great loss. One of his children is a young lady about 16 years of age, the other a son about 11 years old. He also leaves two brothers and two sisters, one of his sisters being present at his bedside at the time of his death.


[From The Rochester Evening Express, New York, January 1877; via Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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