Heard Dr. Baird deliver his introductory to a course of lectures he proposes to give on Europe, through which portion of the world the Dr. has been travelling for some years past. Dr. B. is entertaining, although a little awkward in appearance.
The Reverend Robert Baird, D.D. (1798–1863) was an enthusiastic evangelical christian and staunch supporter of temperance and education. He was involved for many years in various organizations whose mission was to convert the Roman Catholics of Europe to Protestantism. At the time of these lectures, Dr. Baird, was the secretary of the newly formed American and Foreign Christian Union, an amalgamation of several proselytizing groups. Dr. Baird was an accomplished writer and a very popular speaker. In his obituary of March 18, 1863, the New York Commercial Advertiser described Dr. Baird as having a “fine personal appearance, a most kindly face, an amiable disposition, and rare affability of manner.” The paper added he was “an accomplished linguist and a man of broad information.”
Reverend Baird had just arrived from Boston where he delivered a series of lectures on the political, social, and religious status of many European countries. He was invited to Philadelphia and asked to deliver the same lectures. His European lectures were open to the public, free of charge, and given at the Clinton Presbyterian Church at Tenth and Clinton Streets.
The American Antiquarian Society has many items by Robert Baird. For a complete list, click here.
Baird, Henry M. The Life of the Rev. Robert Baird, D. D. New York: Anson D. F. Randolph, 1866.
“Dr. Baird’s Lectures on Europe.” North American (Philadelphia) April 17, 1849, page 2.
“Obituary.” New York Commercial Advertiser, reprinted in the Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, D. C.) March 18, 1863, page 3.