Joshua Coffin

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This article is about the abolitionist. For the whaler and discoverer, see Coffin (whaling family). For the poet who used this name as a pseudonym, see Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Joshua Coffin (October 12, 1792 – June 24, 1864) was an American antiquary and abolitionist.

Coffin was born in Newbury, Massachusetts. He graduated at Dartmouth in 1817, and taught school for many years, numbering among his pupils the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who addressed to him a poem entitled "To My Old School-Master."

Coffin was ardent in the cause of emancipation, and was one of the founders of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832, being its first recording secretary.

He published The History of Ancient Newbury (Boston, 1845), genealogies of the Woodman, Little, and Toppan families, and magazine articles. As an adult, Coffin lived for a time in the downstairs southwest room of the Coffin House, his ancestral home; in a tiny study housed within an ell of the house, Joshua wrote his History of Ancient Newbury.

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