Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell

Grinnell, Josiah Bushnell, 1821–91, American pioneer, clergyman, and abolitionist, b. New Haven, Vt. As pastor (1851–52) of the First Congregational Church in Washington, D.C., he created a sensation by preaching an antislavery sermon, which cost him his pastorate. It was claimed to have been to him that Horace Greeley gave the famous advice, “Go West, young man, go West!” Go Grinnell did—to Iowa, where he founded (1854) the town of Grinnell and gave land and buildings (1859) to Iowa College, which was later named Grinnell College. An abolitionist political leader, he aided in the formation of the Republican party and served as a Congressman (1863–67). He also helped to extend education in Iowa, to promote railroads, and to aid agriculture and stock raising (especially by introducing new breeds).

See his autobiographical Men and Events of Forty Years (1891); biography by C. E. Payne (1938).

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