Erastus Wentworth

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Erastus Wentworth
Erastus Wentworth.jpg
Missionary to China
Born August 5, 1813
Stonington, Connecticut
Died May 26, 1886(1886-05-26) (aged 72)
Hudson Falls, New York
Signature from Wentworth Genealogy

Erastus Wentworth (simplified Chinese: 万为; traditional Chinese: 萬為;[1] Pinyin: Wànwéi; Foochow Romanized: Uâng-ùi; August 5, 1813 - May 26, 1886) was an educator, a Methodist Episcopal minister, and a missionary to Foochow, China.


Dr. Wentworth was born in Stonington, Connecticut. He converted to Methodism in 1831. Later he studied at the Cazenovia Seminary and attained an undergraduate degree at Wesleyan University in 1837.

Wentworth began teaching after leaving College. From 1838 to 1846 he taught natural science in the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary; from 1841 to 1846, in the Troy Conference Academy; in 1846 he became president of the McKendree College, which position he occupied until 1850, when he took the chair of Natural Philosophy and Chemistry in Dickinson College. In 1850, he received the degree of D.D. from Allegheny College.[2]

In 1854, Dr. Wentworth left his position to spearhead a Methodist Mission to Foochow, China, along with some students who were just graduating from Dickinson, including Otis T. Gibson. In 1862, he had to cut short his work in China because of the state of his wife's health. The couple returned to Troy Conference where he then worked as a pastor.

Wentworth was editor of the Ladies' Repository from 1872–76, after which he was semi-retired, writing and serving on committees for the Methodist Church. On May 26, 1886, he died at his home in Hudson Falls, New York.[3]


The son of Erastus and Esther (States) Wentworth, and seventh generation descendant of William Wentworth (elder), Erastus married three times, was widowed twice, and had twelve children, one in China.[4]


  1. ^ "中華基督教衛理公會在中國發展史(1835-1949)". Retrieved 9 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Obituary: Erastus Wentworth". 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2008. 
  3. ^ Erastus Wentworth (1813 - 1886) "Erastus Wentworth (1813-1886)". Encyclopedia Dickinsonia. Dickinson College. Retrieved 15 November 2008. 
  4. ^ John Wentworth, Wentworth Genealogy: English and American, p.656.