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FRANCIS MASON (1799—1874)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 838 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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FRANCIS MASON (1799—1874), American missionary, was born in York, England, on the 2nd of April 1799. His grand-father, Francis Mason, was the founder of the Baptist Society in York, and his father, a shoemaker by trade, was a Baptist lay preacher there. After working with his father as a shoemaker for several years, he emigrated in 1818 to the United States, and in Massachusetts was licensed to preach as a Baptist in 1827. In 1830 he was sent by the American Baptist Missionary Convention to labour among the Karens in Burma. Besides conducting a training college for native preachers and teachers at Tavoy, he translated the Bible into the two principal dialects of the Karens, the Sgaw and the Pwo (his translation being published in 1853), and Matthew, Genesis, and the Psalms into the Bghai dialect. He also published A Pali Grammar on the Basis of Kachchayano, with Chrestomathy and Vocabulary (1868). In 1852 he published a book of great value on the fauna and flora of British Burma, of which an improved edition appeared in 186o under the title Burmah, its People and Natural Productions, and a third edition (2 vols.) revised and enlarged by W. Theobald in 1882—1883. He died at Rangoon on the 3rd of March 1874. See his autobiography, The Story cf a Working Man's Life, with Sketches of Travel in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (New York, 1870).
End of Article: FRANCIS MASON (1799—1874)
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