Jesse Boardman Hartwell, D.D., son of Jesse Hartwell, D.D., and grandson of Rev. Jesse Hartwell, of Massachusetts, was born in Darlington, S.C., Oct. 17, 1835. His father was an ardent friend of missions, and gave him to that work from his birth. When Luther Rice returned from India he called upon the father. At the door he met his friend, saying, "Brother Rice, my missionary has come," and that day the babe was dedicated as a missionary to the heathen. He was baptized July 14, 1850; studied at Howard College, Ala.; graduated at Furman University, S.C., in 1855; was Professor in Mount Lebanon University, La., until December, 1857. In 1858 he was appointed by the
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board a missionary to China, and sailed for his field in November, with his wife, Miss Eliza H. Jewett, of Macon, Ga., to whom he was married September 29. They labored two years at Shanghai; then for many years at Tung Chau Foo, in the Shantung province of Northern China, where they opened the first mission, organized a church, and Mr. Hartwell's first convert was ordained as a minister. Here they were alone for many years, until two Presbyterian families came to labor on the same field. Mrs. Hartwell died in June, 1870. She was one of the best female missionaries ever sent to the foreign field; she spoke the Chinese tongue fluently. On his return to the United States he married Miss Julia C. Jewett, his deceased wife's sister, in 1872, returned to China, but was compelled by his wife's health to come back to the United States. After four years he was appointed by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to mission work in California among the Chinese. His wife died Dec. 2, 1879, ten days after their arrival at San Francisco. Dr. Hartwell has a mission chapel in that city, and is an enthusiastic teacher and preacher to the Chinese of California in their own language.
[From William Cathcart, editor, The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881; reprint 1988, pp. 506-7. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall]
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