William Dean, D. D. was born in Morrisville, N.Y., June 21, 1807. He was a graduate of the Hamilton Literary and Theological Institution, and was ordained in his native town, Morrisville, in June, 1834. He received anappointment to the foreign mission field, and sailed from Boston, July 3, 1834. His destination was Siam; he was to be associated with Rev. J. T. Jones in Bangkok, and to direct his special attention to the Chinese in that city. He had so far learned the dialect — the Tie Chin — that he was able to preach in Chinese the last Sabbath in August, 1835, to a congregation of 30 persons. Dr. Dean had the usual experiences of missionary life for several years. The Word was preached; converts made from time to time; labor interrupted occasionally by sickness, and then resumed after a time; and thus the Chinese department of the Siam mission could show signs of progress from year to year. In 1842, ill health compelled him to retire from the field for a season. When he resumed missionary work, with special reference to teaching the
Chinese, he commenced his labors in Hong-Kong, in October, 1842. In the spring of 1845 he returned to the United States, after an absence of eleven years. Having spent a year in this country, he resumed his work in Hong-Kong in the fall of 1847, and remained abroad until 1854, when he again visited America, remaining here until 1865, when he once more took up the work in Bangkok. At the end of his first year's work he writes, "I expect not to be happier in the present world than I have been during the present year." His labors had been nobly blessed, and have continued to be up to the present time. His record, up to the report of 1876, was six Chinese churches gathered, the superintendence of the building of four Chinese chapels, the ordination of three Chinese pastors, and the training of two others, and the baptism of 339 Chinese disciples, twelve of whom became preachers of the gospel. In April, 1876, Dr. Dean left Bangkok and again visited his native land, and spent six months in it, embarking at San Francisco the following November for his home in Siam. Forty-four years ago he consecrated himself to his work. No missionary has more thoroughly won the respect and affection of his brethren than the now venerable and beloved missionary of Bangkok, whom God has so honored as a faithful ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ.
[From William Cathcart, editor, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881; rpt. 1988, 320-321. - jrd]
Baptist China Missionary Index
Baptist History Homepage