The Life of John Mockett Cramp, D.D.
1796-1881. Late President of Acadia College by Rev. T. A. Higgins D.D. (1887)


A word of explanation is deemed advisable. It was the hope of some members of the family that Thomas Cramp, Esq., late of Montreal, would prepare a brief sketch of his father’s life for publication. So far as tender regard and needful information were concerned, no one else could hope to do it so well as he. He was old enough when the family left England in 1844, to be able, in after years, to call to mind many incidents of early life. Frequent visits were made by him, during the last few years of his life, to the home of his childhood. Correspondence was also kept up with the friends of the family in England.

Had he been permitted to undertake this work, doubtless many reminiscences, which give so much of life and interest to biography, would have been interwoven, and added great value to the record.

It required some time after his much lamented decease in 1885, before the work could be thought of or undertaken by another. This may explain why over six years have been allowed to pass without some permanent record of such a useful and instructive life, as that which is but too imperfectly exhibited in this small volume.

The work, such as it is, has necessarily been done at short intervals, as other pressing duties could be, for the moment, laid aside. If more time could have been devoted to it, the memoir might have been much more worthy of him whose record is given.

Nearly all the documents and papers left by Dr. Cramp, from which information could be derived, were in his own peculiar system of short-hand writing. This enhanced the difficulty of the work-While it was easily read by himself, it was sometimes difficult for others to decipher. And the writer wishes hereby to acknowledge his great indebtedness to Miss Cramp for her valuable assistance in this matter. Without her aid, the task, which has been an exceedingly pleasant one, would have been, to say the least, much more difficult, if, indeed, it could have been done at all.

Two chapters—the one referring to efforts in behalf of the Missionary cause, and the one headed “ The last things,” were furnished entire by Miss Cramp, who was the constant companion of her father, during the latter years of his life.

Valuable assistance has also been rendered by the other members of the family. If any pleasure or profit is derived from the perusal of the book, it will be largely due to the aid thus received from those who justly revere the memory of so great and good a father.

The labors, as well as the attainments of the subject of the following sketch, were so varied, and touched the world’s interests at so many points, that it has been found difficult to avoid some repetition. Thoughts, and even expressions and dates already found in one connection, may appear again in another.

The hope, however, is cherished that whatever defects may be discovered in the style of the work, the unselfish life described therein, may be found stimulating and useful to some who peruse it, and especially to the young student who is looking out upon life, and anxiously enquiring in what direction success may be found.

The compiler of the following pages will have failed in one prominent aim of his endeavour, if the reader fails to see, that whatever natural endowments one may possess, work, honest, persistent and persevering work, is the royal road to both usefulness and success.

T. A. Higgins
February, 1887.

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