Wise, Daniel, 1813-1898

Titles by this author
The young man's counsellor

This Methodist Episcopal clergyman, editor, and writer was born to Daniel and Mary Wise in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. He attended grammar school in Portsmouth and a classical school under the patronage of the officials of Christ Church, Oxford. He was apprenticed to a grocer, but later opened an academy in Portsmouth. He continued his teaching career in Grafton County, New Hampshire after emigrating to the United States in 1833. While in England, he had been converted to Methodism, and in 1834, he became a local preacher in Lisbon, N.H. He moved to Massachusetts in 1837 and preached in churches at Hingham and Quincy. He lectured frequently on behalf of the anti-slavery cause and was employed by anti-slavery societies. In 1840, he was accepted into the New England Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, but was not ordained as an elder until 1843. Wise considered joining the Methodists who withdrew from the Church in 1843 and formed the Wesleyan Connection, a non-Episcopal and anti-slavery denomination. He finally chose to remain within the Methodist church and for the next twelve years, he was pastor at Nantucket, Mass., Hope Street Church, Providence, R.I., and New Bedford, Mass.

Wise edited a Methodist publication, the Sunday School Messenger (1838 - 1844) and the Ladies' Pearl (1840 - 1843) which was a monthly magazine for the instruction of women. In 1852, Wise served as editor of Zion's Herald and wrote in support of those who favored excluding all slave holders from the Methodist Church. In 1856, he was elected secretary of the Sunday School Union and editor of its publications, a position he occupied for sixteen years. He served the Tract Society in the same fashion after 1860. His books were numerous and include religious works, biographies, and stories for young people which often appeared under the pseudonyms Lawrence Lancewood and Francis Forrester. Wise was most widely known for his children's stories and his serial titles "Glen Morris Stories," "The Lindendale Stories, and "The Windwood Cliff Series" were very popular. He also published Popular Objections to Methodism, Considered and Answered (1856) and a series of biographical sketches of English and American literary figures including Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Longfellow, and Irving (1883).

Starr, Harris Elwood. Dictionary of American Biography. Vol X. New York: Scribner, 1936. 422-423.

Other Sources:

Year Book of the New England Southern Annual Conference, 1899.

Zion's Herald. Dec. 28, 1898.

Christian Advocate. (N.Y.) Dec. 29, 1898.

Written by Stephen Rachman