HENRY MARTYN BAIRD (1832-1906), American historian and educationalist, a son of Robert Baird (1798-1863), a Presbyterian preacher and author who worked earnestly both in the United States and in Europe for the cause of temperance, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 17th of January 1832. He spent eight years of his early youth with his father in Paris and Geneva, and in 1850 graduated at New York University. He then lived for two years in Italy and Greece, was a student in the Union Theological Seminary in New York city from 1853 to 1855, and in 1856 graduated at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He was a tutor for four years in the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and from 1859 until his death was professor of Greek language and literature in New York University. He is best known, however, as a historian of the Huguenots. His work, which appeared in three parts, entitled respectively History of the Rise of the Huguenots of France (2 vols., 1879), The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre (2 vols., 1886), and The Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (2 vols., 1895), is characterized by painstaking thoroughness, by a judicial temper, and by scholarship of a high order. He also published Modern Greece, A Narrative of a Residence and Travels in that Country (1856); a biography of his father, The Life of the Rev. Robert Baird, D.D. (1866); and Theodore Beza, the Counsellor of the French Reformation (1899). He died in New York city on the 11th of November 1906.
His brother, Charles Washington Baird (1828-1887), a graduate of New York University (1848) and of the Union Theological Seminary (1852), and the minister in turn of a Dutch Reformed church at Brooklyn, New York, and of a Presbyterian church at Rye, New York, also was deeply interested in the history of the Huguenots, and published a scholarly work entitled The History of the Huguenot Emigration to America (2 vols., 1885), left unfinished at his death.
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