Miron Winslow (11 December 1789 - 22 October 1864) was an American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions missionary to American Ceylon Mission, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where he established a mission at Oodooville and founded a seminary. He founded a mission station at Madras, first and chief station of American Madras Mission.
He published several books, notably, A History of Missions and A Comprehensive Tamil and English Dictionary of High and Low Tamil, a Tamil to English lexicon which took twenty years of missionary labor to compile sixty-seven thousand Tamil words-This dictionary was based in part on manuscript material of the Joseph Knight (pastor), of the London Missionary Society, and the Rev. Samuel Hutchings, of the American mission, and was the most complete dictionary of a modern Indian language published at that time. The book later become the base for the more exhaustive Tamil Lexicon dictionary published by the University of Madras in 1924.
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He was born in Williston, Vermont, on 11 December 1789 to Anna Kellogg and Nathaniel Winslow. At the age of fourteen, he started his career as a store clerk and than established himself in a business in Norwich, Connecticut, where he was employed for two years.
With conversion, he had a conviction that he had to preach gospel, and to preach un-evangelized nations; therefore, changed career paths, and gave himself to the service of Christ among the heathen. Later, he graduated from Middlebury College in 1813 and Andover Theological Seminary in 1818. On 19 January 1819, he married Harriet W. Lathrop, who bore him six children.
During his vacation years at Andover Theological Seminary, he worked as an agent of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions(ABCFM) to tour New England and raise funds. On 4 November 1818, he was ordained by ABCFM at Tabernacle church, Salem, Massachusetts, together with Pliny Fisk and others to be sent as missionaries to Ceylon Mission, Ceylon.
On June 8, 1819, he embarked from Boston on brig Indus, bound for Calcutta, India. From Calcutta, he proceeded to Ceylon and reached his destination on December 14, 1819. As part of his missionary duty, he was initially stationed at Oodooville on July 4, 1820. At Oodooville, he established a mission and a seminary. After having laboured for fourteen years at Oodooville, he was transferred to Madras, South India. Having arrived Madras on August 18, 1836, he had chose that as the mission site for American Madras Mission and started his missionary activities; consequently, Winslow is credited in commencing[founding] American Madras Mission in 1836. In September 1836, he was joined by John Scudder, Sr., the first American medical missionary in India.
He visited America in 1855, but returned in 1858. Due to ill-health, he left again to America in August 1864; however, he died at an age of seventy-four, on his way from India to America at the Cape of Good Hope(Cape Town), South Africa, on 22 October 1864, two days after he reached Cape Town.
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During his senior years in the seminary at Andover, he wrote A History of Missions or History of the principal attempt to propagate Christianity among the Heathen, and it has been published by Flagg and Gould at Andover in 1819. During his passage from India to America in 1855, he wrote Hints on Missions that had been published by M.W. Dodd in 1856. It is a sort of digest of his experiences and observations during his thirty-seven years of missionary life.
In addition to these, he published several of his sermons and addresses as pamphlets. Most of his missionary labor were consumed in translating Bible into Tamil language in 1855, especially in the preparation of Tamil-English lexicon entitled A Comprehensive Tamil and English Dictionary of High and Low Tamil, completed in 1862—Winslow devoted almost three to four hours a days for nearly thirty years. It extends to nearly a thousand quarto pages, and contains more than sixty-seven thousand Tamil words. This dictionary has thirty thousand five hundred and fifty one more words than any other dictionary of Tamil language. The dictionary was so comprehensive, that it included the astronomical, mythological, astrological, scientific, botanical, and official terms, along with names of Gods, authors, and heroes—for this, he received the highest encomiums from the Indian and England press like Madras Observer; Madras Times; Colombo Observer;Statesman; New York Observer; and more, and also from literary and official press too.
- The Congregational quarterly, Volume 7. the University of California. 1865. pp. 209–210.
- Wilder, Royal Gould (1861). Mission schools in India of the American board of commissioners for foreign missions. the University of Wisconsin - Madison (A. D. F. Randolph). pp. 360–.
- Howland, William Ware; James Herrick; Jim Herrick (1865). Historical sketch of the Ceylon mission. Harvard University (American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions). p. 44.
- Allibone, Samuel Austin (1871). A critical dictionary of English literature, and British and American authors. Harvard University (Childs & Peterson). pp. 2793–2794.
- Louis, Le Brun; Henri van Laun (1869). Materials for translating from English into French, a short essay on translation; followed by a selection by L. Le Brun. Oxford University. p. 227.
- Winslow, Miron. A comprehensive Tamil and English dictionary of high and low Tamil. Madras: P.R. Hunt, 1862.]
- Remains of Mrs. Catherine Winslow - By Catherine Mary Reignolds Winslow
- Phineas Rice Hunt - editor of Winslow's works in India.