An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Savage, Thomas Staughton

(June 7, 1804-Dec. 29, 1880). The first medical missionary sent out by the Episcopal Church. He was born in Middletown (now Cromwell), Connecticut, and graduated from Yale in 1825. He received his M.D. from the Yale Medical School in 1833 and graduated from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1836. Savage was ordained deacon on July 17, 1836, and priest on Oct. 23, 1836. On Nov. 1, 1836, he sailed for Africa as a missionary of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and reached Cape Palmas, Liberia, on Dec. 25, 1836. He resigned his missionary work in Dec. 1846. In 1848-1849 he was the rector of St. James' Church, Livingston, Alabama, and from 1849 to 1857 he was the rector of Trinity Church, Pass Christian, Mississippi. From 1857 to 1868 he lived in Pass Christian and worked in education. In 1869 he became the associate secretary of the Foreign Committee of the Board of Missions, and from 1871 until his death he was rector of the Church of the Ascension, Rhinecliff, New York. While in Africa, Savage studied the bones and skulls of an animal that proved to be the gorilla, which was previously unknown. He also published scientific articles. He died in Rhinecliff.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.