Grinnell, Josiah

Grinnell, Josiah (Bushnell)

(1821–91) abolitionist, clergyman; born in New Haven, Vt. A self-described pioneer, farmer, and radical, he did much to build Iowa agriculturally and through introduction of the railroads, and was a leading abolitionist. After being forced from his Congregational pulpit in Washington, D.C., for delivering antislavery sermons, he followed the advice of his friend Horace Greeley to "go West." Moving to Iowa, he was cofounder of the town of Grinnell (1854) and planned the future Grinnell College. He fought forcefully for temperance and against slavery. Elected Congressman (Rep., Iowa; 1863–67), he vigorously supported Lincoln and suffrage and lost the Republican nomination for governor (1867).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.